The Immortal Child Brings Rain

A severe drought occurred in Guangdong, and Governor-General Sun Gong(孫公) prayed to the gods for rain, but it was ineffective. At that time, while he was inspecting Chaozhou, he saw over a thousand people gathered on a hill ahead. He sent someone to inquire, and the answer he received was, “Watching the immortal child.”

Previously, in Chaozhou, there was a villager surnamed Sun. His twelve-year-old son, along with a group of village boys, was playing on the hill. 

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 Monkey and Ape Wine


Scholar Cao Loyin(曹學士洛禋) once told me this story.

In the spring of the forty-third year of Kangxi(康熙)’s reign, he and his friend Pan Xichou(潘錫疇) traveled to Huangshan(黃山) and arrived at the Wenshu Monastery(文殊院), where they dined with monks including Xuezhuang(雪莊). Suddenly, the monks disappeared from the table, leaving only their heads visible. Xuezhuang said, ‘This is the ‘floating cloud atop(雲過),’ no need for the two guests to be surprised.’

The next day, they reached the Yunfeng Cave(雲峰洞) and found an old man living there. 

The Folding Immortal


In the Hushi Pass of Suzhou(滸市關), there was a man named Chen Yiyuan(陳一元) who left home to pursue the Dao. He constructed a house solely for cultivating his practices. He would sit alone in the house, locking himself inside. At first, he stopped eating porridge, then abstained from fruits and vegetables, drinking only water from the Stone Lake. He instructed his son to bring a jug of water each month. On the second month, when his son came to visit, the jug remained outside the door, but the water had dried up. 

Stone Words


Lü Shi(呂蓍) was from Jianning(建寧) and studied in an ancient temple at the foot of the northern slope of Wuyi Mountain(武夷山). One bright day, the sky suddenly darkened, and Lü Shi saw the stones on the stone steps standing up as if they were people. Then, a chilling wind arose, blowing window paper and tree leaves all over, sticking firmly to the stones. Roof tiles from the eaves also flew onto the stones. 

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. 

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.

Penglai(蓬莱/蓬萊)’s Story

鰲 蕭雲從《天問圖》

In Chinese #mythology, Penglai(蓬莱/蓬萊) is depicted as a suspended pavilion above the sea,supported by a cluster of auspicious clouds. It’s the palace of the immortals,all made of gold and jade,and the birds and beasts are all white.

It is stated in《列子》that there are five fairy mountains in the sea: First is Mount Taiyu, second is Mount Yuanjiao, third is Mount Fanghu, fourth is Mount Yingzhou, fifth is Mount Penglai.’ Penglai is just one among them. 

The Structure of Penglai(蓬萊)

There is an interesting theory about the structure of the mystical mountain, Penglai(#蓬萊) being a pot.

In WangJia(王嘉)’s ‘Records of the Unearthed Tales《拾遺記》’, Penglai ‘s structure is described as resembling a pot, alongside two other mystical mountains, Fangzheng and Yingzhou. These three, collectively termed the ‘Three Pots(三壺) ‘. The Three Pots symbolize three sea-bound mountains. Fanghu(方壺) represents Fangzhang(方丈), Ponghu(蓬壺) signifies Penglai(蓬萊), and Yinghu(瀛壺) embodies Yingzhou(瀛洲), all shaped akin to vessels.
This pot-like imagery signifies a contained world, each potentially holding its own universe within.