In the ancient city of Guìyáng, there lived a sage named Wǔdīng who was deeply immersed in the path of immortality. He frequently traversed between the mortal realm and the ethereal realms. One day, he suddenly addressed his younger brother, saying, “On the seventh day of the seventh month, the Weaving Maiden will cross the river, and all celestial beings will return to their palaces. I have been summoned and cannot delay; it is time for us to part.”
Perplexed, the younger brother inquired, “Why is the Weaving Maiden crossing the river, and when will she return?” Wǔdīng explained, “The Weaving Maiden is briefly visiting the Cowherd, and I, too, shall return after three years.” The next day, Wǔdīng disappeared, and the tale persists that the Weaving Maiden married the Cowherd, a story dating back to ancient times.
Original story in 《齊諧記》桂陽成武丁，有仙道，常在人間，忽謂其弟曰：「七月七曰，織女當渡河，諸仙悉還宮。吾向已被召，不得停，與爾別矣。」弟問曰：「織女何事渡河？去當何還？」答曰：「織女暫詣牽牛，吾復三年當還。」明曰失武丁，至今云織女嫁牽牛。