In 1720, during the reign of the Kangxi emperor, the governor of Shandong, Li Shude, celebrated his birthday with an enormous party. He was showered with gifts of wine and goats by his subordinates, and the drinking, feasting, and entertainment continued unabated for several nights. Many guests didn't bother to sleep at all during this time.
One of them, a Mr. Zhang from the Bureau of Punishments, had had a little too much to drink and decided to retire to his quarters. As he entered his bedroom he heard from behind his bed curtain the groaning and whispering of a couple having sex. He assumed one of the other guests had availed himself of his bed to have some fun with a houseboy.
Zhang gave a shout and lifted the bed curtain only to find, making love on his bed just like a human couple, two of the white goats that had been presented to the governor as birthday gifts. When they saw Zhang, they jumped up in fright and trotted quickly away.
Zhang thought this hilarious and decided to tell his friends what he had just witnessed.
But before he could do so he collapsed senseless to the floor, began slapping himself about the face, and shouted abusively, "You old fool! You really are despicable! Mr. Xie and I are fated to be together through life and death.
"We were separated for four hundred and seventy years until we finally managed to get together today. Do you realize how difficult it was to arrange this meeting? Your interruption frightened us out of our wits, and what's more you've well and truly wrecked our betrothal plans. I'll have you know this is an unforgivable sin!"
Having finished this diatribe, Zhang recommenced slapping himself about the face.
The governor was quickly informed of this strange occurrence. He marched directly to the scene and said, "My dear Mistress Xie, why are