The Bald Spot of an Immortal

In the autumn of the thirty-eighth year of the Qianlong reign(癸巳秋), Magistrate Zhang(張明府) encountered a Daoist named Yang(楊道人) in Changzhou. This Daoist had a youthful appearance with the exception of a one-inch square bald spot on the crown of his head, devoid of any hair. Zhang, the Magistrate, found this quite peculiar and inquired about the reason behind it. Yang chuckled and said, ‘Have you not noticed how grass grows on either side of a street, but in the middle, where people walk, not a blade of grass thrives?’

Initially puzzled by his words, Zhang later contemplated and understood that the crown was the gateway for the soul to come and go, thus explaining the absence of hair. Yang Daoist would spend his nights outside the temple gates. Although monks invited him inside to rest, he steadfastly declined. The following morning, as the sun rose in the east, they saw him perched on the wall, absorbing the sunlight.

At the crown of his head was a small child, perfect and radiant, also facing the sun, dancing and absorbing its rays.

Translated from《仙人頂門無髮》in 《子不語》:


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