The Fox Immortal Keeps Accounts

A man named Zhang from Hezhou traveled to Yangzhou(揚州) and stayed at the Xingjiao Temple(興教寺). The monks’ quarters in the temple were haunted by a fox immortal, so no one dared to stay there. Zhang, with his carefree personality, decided to reside in the monk’s room.

Not long after Zhang moved in, an old man claiming to be Wu Gangzi(吳剛子) came to visit. After exchanging greetings with a bow, they began to converse. 

The Bull Begging for Life

The county magistrate Zhong Liquan(鍾醴泉) of Tiantai County(天台縣) told me: when his father served as the governor of Guizhou(貴州) Dading Prefecture(大定府), he established a lead mining bureau. One noon, a bull suddenly rushed into the lead factory, and despite the efforts of dozens of people whipping it, they couldn’t drive it away. Liquan went to observe, and the bull knelt on the ground as if bowing. Therefore, he asked the person who brought the bull, “Is this a plowing ox or a slaughter ox for meat?” 

Reborn to Collect a Debt as a Son

Ge Zuliang(葛祖亮), an official in the Ministry of Rites, told me: A neighbor named Cheng, who was wealthy but childless for many years, unexpectedly had a son in his old age. This son was intelligent and clever, with bright features that Cheng cherished dearly. However, by the age of twelve, the child fell seriously ill, incurring countless medical expenses. As he grew older, instead of engaging in productive activities, he took pleasure in cockfighting and dog racing, squandering away the family fortune. 

The God of Mount Taibai

《神龍沛雨圖》宋 陳容

The god of Mount Taibai(太白山神) in central Qin is considered the most efficacious. At the summit of Mount Taibai, there are three ponds known as the Big Taibai, Middle Taibai, and Three Taibai. If leaves, weeds, or mud fall into these ponds, flocks of birds will come and carry away these impurities. Therefore, the local people refer to these birds as the ‘Pond-cleaning Birds(淨池鳥).’

Once, a carpenter accidentally fell into the Taibai Pond and discovered another world beneath its surface. 


《秋景貨郎圖軸》佚名 明朝

Yang Kaxiong(楊喀雄)’s father served as a military officer but passed away early. His paternal uncle, Zhou, held the position of deputy general, stationed in Hezhou(河州). Feeling sympathetic for the young and orphaned Yang Kaxiong, he took him in and raised him. Zhou had a daughter who took a liking to the young and clever Kaxiong. She often gave him food. Despite their closeness, there was no impropriety between Zhou’s daughter and Kaxiong. 

Debt Repaid

In Luoyang’s Shuilu Temple, there was a monk named Da Le, who was quite wealthy. His neighbor, surnamed Zhou, worked in the government office and was very poor. The supervisor of his post often extorted money when collecting taxes, taking advantage whenever possible. Whenever it was time to turn in the collected sum, Zhou would frequently borrow money from Monk Da Le to make up the shortfall. Over a span of a few years, he ended up owing the monk a total of seven taels of silver.