Chinese Folktales

26. The Spirit of the Wulien Mountain

TO the west of Kiauchou Bay is the Wulien mountain, the home of many ghosts. Once there Was a scholar who lived nearby, and one night he stayed awake until late, reading. When he stepped outside his house a storm suddenly sprang up and a monster reached out its claws for him and seized him by the hair. It lifted him up into the air and carried him away. It carried him past the Watch-tower of the Sea, which is a Buddhist temple in the mountains. There, from afar, he saw in the clouds the figure of a god in golden armour. The figure was just like the image of Wei To which was on the tower. In its right hand it held an iron club and its left hand pointed at the monster with an angry gesture. At once the monster let the scholar drop, right on to the top of the tower, and then vanished. No doubt the saint in the tower had come to his help because his whole family devoutly revered the Buddha.

When the sun rose the priest arrived and saw him on his tower. He piled up hay and straw on the ground, so the scholar could jump down without injuring himself. He was taken back home, but at the places where the monster had seized him his hair remained stiff and inflexible. Not until six months later did it begin to heal.