The Dog Who Could Fly

Wei Shanjun was a man from Duling in the capital district of Jingzhao. He traveled all over the country in search of the Dao, visiting all the famous mountains. He met a deity who gave him a letter of summons from the Three Sovereigns, granting him the Daoist arts of transformation.

Wei Shanjun sometimes lived quietly in the wilds of the mountains, and sometimes he would get drunk and sleep on the road. He often carried a dog with him, which he called “Black Dragon.” No matter where Wei Shanjun went, he would always give some of his food to the dog. The dog had mange, and its fur had fallen out, making it very ugly. People who saw it were disgusted.

Wei Shanjun’s brother was a monk who had lived for many years in a temple on Mount Song. He had achieved great merit and become the abbot. When Wei Shanjun was about to ascend to immortality, he suddenly said to someone, “I have a debt that I have not repaid.” He then went to Mount Song to see his brother.

The other monks were very respectful of Wei Shanjun because he was the abbot’s brother. They had not seen him for many years, and they were surprised that he had returned. They took good care of him, and they served him with great respect.

Every time they went up to the hall to eat vegetarian food, Wei Shanjun would bring his dog and give it some of his food. The other monks were disgusted by Wei Shanjun, and they told the abbot.

The abbot was furious. He called Wei Shanjun to him and scolded him. He beat him with a bamboo stick ten times and then drove him out of the temple.

Wei Shanjun bowed and thanked the abbot. “I have repaid my debt,” he said. “I will not be coming back.” He then asked for permission to take a bath before leaving. The abbot agreed.

After a while, Wei Shanjun came out of the bath, leading his dog. The dog had grown to be six or seven feet tall. It walked up to the front of the hall and transformed into a dragon that was several dozen feet long.

Wei Shanjun mounted the dragon and ascended to immortality. As the dragon flew into the sky, it knocked down a corner of the hall. The mark is still there today.

Original text:

韋善俊者,京兆杜陵人也。訪道周遊,遍尋名岳。遇神仙,授三皇檄召之文,得神化之道。或靜棲林野,或醉臥道途。常攜一犬,號之曰烏龍。所至之處,必分己食以飼之。犬復病疥。毛盡禿落,無不嫌惡之。其兄為僧,久居嵩寺,最為長老。善俊將欲昇天,忽謂人曰:「我有少債未償耳。」遂入山見兄。衆僧以師長之弟。多年忽歸,彌加敬奉。每昇堂齋食,即牽犬於其側,分食與之。衆既惡之。白於長老。長老怒,召而責之,笞擊十數,遣出寺。善俊禮謝曰:「某宿債已還,此去不復來矣。」更乞一浴,然後乃去。許之。及浴移時,牽犬而去。犬已長六七尺,行至殿前,犬化為龍,長數十丈,善俊乘龍昇天。拏其殿角。蹤跡猶在。出《仙傳拾遺》

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