Friday, May 13, 2016

A Monk’s Story About Foxes (狐精的故事)

I met a senior Buddhist monk from Taiwan and he told me a story about his real experiences of fox spirits:

Before I became a Buddhist monk, I have not seen any ghosts but I did see real fox spirits with my own naked eyes. Not only me, but many others too have seen fox spirits in my place.

The fox spirit I have seen was a male fox who wears a blue robe during WWII in China. Many people have seen it too but no one can really see its face clearly though I did see its blurred face from a far. Legend has it that a fox takes 500 years to be able to transform into human shape. Perhaps the one I saw just short of 500 years hence it could only materialize in the human form but with blurred face. I was in my teen about 16 to 17 years old. At that time, I was very much fond of hunting and I really wanted to shot at this fox spirit but my mom stopped me for the fear of retaliation and endless problems later.

To tell you the truth, I really wished to shoot at the fox spirit as it was leaving upstairs. You see, during WWII, my family was staying in an abandoned mansion and the fox spirit was staying upstairs. It was said that more than few decades’ time no one really ventured upstairs and consequently a group of foxes stayed there for good. Neighbours sworn that they did see the foxes prostrated to the sun in the morning and they prostrated to the moon during full moon nights. Strangely speaking, the foxes and human lived in harmony: the foxes never harm human and no one dares to disturb the foxes. I was small but bold at that time and I would make every effort to climb upstairs but the seniors always stopped me… Well, there wasn’t any staircases leading to upstairs or else I would have paid the foxes a visit.

I swear to you what I have said is as real as gold. The foxes did transform into human shape and witnessed by many passer-by.  So I believe foxes can indeed transform themselves into human shape when the time is right…

A strange incident happened in my village after the war. I know the story very well…

My village produced rice at that time and the rice was mostly transported out from the Lake Wu (芜湖) to a market situated at the other side of the lake. I have a relative whose rice production boomed during one particular year. He filled his rice in hemp sacks and loaded all his rice sacks into a sail boat so that he could transport all his rice to Nanjing for sale. During the loading of the boat, someone saw a fox like creature jumped into the sail boat and the workers did a search but found nothing; perhaps they have mistaken something else as a fox… Anyway, the boat sailed to Nanjing after it was fully loaded.

Strangely speaking, when the boat arrived at the harbour and the workers were about to unload the rice, they found all rice went missing though the hemp backs were sealed intact. They opened up the seal and found there was no rice grains; not even one grain of rice was found in the sack. At this point, everyone understood that this must be the work of the fox that jumped into the boat. This was the only explanation they could make then. There was nothing my distant relative could do but to stay in Nanjing for a few days and then set sail home.

It was to my relative’s surprised, when he returned home; he found all his rice was safely stored in his rice storage untouched!

Was it a joke and who played such a prank to him? What could move a large quantity of rice from sealed sacks back to the store room? No one could provide a satisfactory answer. Perhaps the spirit only wanted to teach my relative a lesion; or it only wanted to play a harmless prank? What I have said was real to my personal experience which happened about 70 years ago. Hence I swear to you what I said is true to my knowledge.

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