Smoke Dragon

Zhang Ningren(張寧人) said that the elderly man next door likes to smoke. He holds a bamboo pipe that is more than five feet long and has been using it for over thirty years.

One day, a Daoist priest walked by the door, saw the smoking pipe in the old man’s hand, and said to him, ‘This thing has absorbed human essence for a long time and has become a Smoke Dragon. It has a special effect in treating deficiency syndromes. In the future, if someone comes to ask for it, don’t easily give it to him.’

Sure enough, a pawnshop owner came, saying that his son had a deficiency disease. Learning that you have been using the bamboo smoking pipe for many years, he begged to buy it to treat the illness. The pawnshop owner offered seventy thousand yuan, and the old man allowed him to cut off about half a foot. After the businessman’s son took it, the pests and diseases in his body turned into purple water and were excreted.

Some time later, the old man met the Daoist priest at the door again and showed him the shortened smoking pipe. The Taoist said, ‘The Smoke Dragon has injured its tail, but it can still be saved. However, you must smoke with this pipe for another ten years to make the elixir again for treating illnesses.’ When the old man asked for specific methods, the Daoist smiled and did not answer, then left.

The bamboo smoking pipe is still there to this day. Zhang Ningren has seen it with his own eyes, and indeed, it is extremely glossy. Hair and beard can be clearly reflected. When hung on the wall at night, no poisonous insects dare to approach.

Translated from《煙龍》in 《子不語》: