Thunder Strikes the Land

During the Kangxi era(康熙), Wang Yixin(汪以炘), the magistrate of Shidai(石埭), had a close relationship with his friend Lin(林某). Later, Lin passed away, becoming the local land deity of Shidai. Every night, Wang and Lin, one in the mortal realm and the other in the afterlife, maintained an intimate connection, just like in the past.

Once, the land deity privately told Wang, “Disaster will befall your family, and I dare not withhold this information. But after telling you, I fear I may not escape punishment from the heavens.” Despite Wang’s repeated inquiries, the land deity finally said, “Your mother will be struck by lightning.”

Shocked, Wang cried out, begging for the land deity’s help. The deity replied, “This is retribution for past wrongdoing. My position is lowly; how can I aid you?” Wang continued pleading, and the deity said, “There’s only one way to save her. Quickly fulfill filial duties to your mother. Provide ten times the usual amount for her daily needs, extravagantly waste and debase everything she consumes. Perhaps by enjoying an excess of blessings, she may pass away peacefully. At that time, even if the thunder god arrives, there will be no room for action.”

Following the deity’s advice, Wang acted accordingly. Indeed, his mother passed away after a few years.

Three years later, during a thunderstorm, the thunder god arrived. Lightning surrounded the coffin, the room filled with sulfuric gas, but ultimately, no strike occurred. Instead, the lightning pierced through the roof and shattered the land deity’s statue in the temple into a pile of mud.

Translated from 《雷擊土地》 in 《子不語》:



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