The Mysterious Diadem: A Tale of Jiang Qian

In the East Sea, there resided a man named Jiang Qian, who once traveled to an unfamiliar county. Along the way, he passed through a forest where a decaying corpse lay exposed, emitting a foul odor that attracted birds for feasting. Suddenly, a small child, about three feet tall, appeared and drove away the birds. Whenever he did so, the birds would obediently take flight. This bizarre occurrence happened not just once.
Perplexed, Jiang Qian closely observed and noticed that the corpse had a heavenly rhinoceros diadem on its head. Estimating its value to be several tens of thousands of coins, Qian decided to pluck it off. Once he did, he observed that the birds no longer needed to be chased away; they dispersed on their own. Later, Qian presented this diadem to Jin Wuling Wang Xi, who, upon his demise, used it as a backdrop for a group of monks. Wang Wugang, the King of Wu, bought it for ninety thousand coins. Eventually, it ended up in the possession of Chancellor Chu. It was then presented as a gift to the former Prime Minister, the King of Yuzhang. After the king’s passing, Lady Jiang, one of his consorts, transformed it into a hairpin.
Every night, a child would appear, circling the bed and wailing, saying, “Why witness the slaughter? You must plead to the heavens; retribution is inevitable!” Lady Jiang was disturbed by this, and after a month, she disappeared without a trace.

Original story in 《齊諧記


Leave a Comment