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 Fox Daoist

《雙鉤竹石圖》李衎

In the maternal family of Fa Jiasun(法嘉蓀)’s grandmother, there was a nephew named Sun who was a wealthy man in the local area. In the early Qing Dynasty, piracy was rampant along the coastal areas, so Sun moved his family to Jintan(金壇). One day, an old man surnamed Hu, accompanied by dozens of descendants and servants, along with some valuable luggage, passed by Sun’s house. The old man claimed to be from Shanxi(山西) and, due to the chaos of war, couldn’t proceed further, requesting to borrow an empty room in Sun’s house for temporary residence. 

The Fox Immortal Hangs Itself

《薇亭小憩圖》趙大亨 宋

In the west of the Zhang family house on Jingling’s Judicial Street(金陵評事街), there were three study rooms rumored to house a hanging ghost. No one dared to live there; it remained securely locked. One day, a young scholar, dressed in fine attire, arrived seeking lodging at the Zhang household. The Zhang family, citing the lack of available rooms, refused him. The scholar, angered, said, ‘If you won’t lend me a room, I’ll stay on my own. 

Fox Demon in the Belly

《幽竹枯槎圖》卷 王庭筠

Li Yi(李鷁), the son of Minister Li Hefeng(李鶴峰), styled as Yishan(醫山), passed the imperial examination in the 26th year of Qianlong’s reign and was selected to join the Hanlin Academy(翰林). He excelled in poetry and literature, and had a fondness for the Cheng-Zhu school of Neo-Confucianism(宋儒理學).

One day, while Li Yi was studying under the lamp, two exceedingly beautiful women suddenly appeared to tempt him, but he paid them no attention. 

Kaxiong

《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. 

The Axe Cuts the Fox’s Tail

In the prefecture of Hejian(河間府), there was a man surnamed Ding who neglected his proper duties, spending his days idling around. One time, Ding heard of a fox spirit causing mischief somewhere and decided to seek it out alone. He handed over his business card, expressing a desire to become sworn brothers with the fox immortal. That very night, the fox immortal indeed transformed into a human form and introduced himself as Brother Wu Qing. 

The Fox Student Advises on Cultivation

General Zhao Liangdong(趙良棟)’s son, posthumously named Xiangmin(襄敏公), held the position of Governor of Baoding(保定).

One night, Xiangmin was studying in the west tower with all doors and windows closed. Suddenly, a flat-shaped entity squeezed through the window crack and entered the room. It rubbed itself from head to toe, gradually transforming into a complete form. Wearing a square scarf and red boots, dressed like a scholar, it bowed deeply to Xiangmin, clasping its hands, and said, ‘I am a fox immortal scholar living in this tower for a hundred years, fortunate to have received the permission of the esteemed lords, leading a peaceful existence. 

Illustration for 《辛十四娘》in《聊齋誌異》

The story tells of Xin Shisiniang(辛十四娘), a beautiful woman in red who is a kind-hearted fox spirit, aspires to help others and become an immortal.

Although she is a fox spirit, she has a kind heart. She lives with her fox father and 18 sisters in a dilapidated temple. She is named Shishier because she is the 14th of 19 sisters.

The Learned Lurker and the Elusive Fox Spirit

hang Hua, appointed as the Minister of Works, found himself facing an unusual challenge during the time of Yan Zhao, the King of Yan. Near the king’s tomb, there was a spotted fox spirit that transformed into a scholar, eager to visit Minister Zhang. Approaching the minister’s residence, it inquired of the tombstone, “Given my talents and appearance, would I be deemed worthy to meet Minister Zhang?” The stone replied, “Your extraordinary understanding renders all things possible.