Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei

By Kam Louie; Louise Edwards et al. | Go to book overview

The Good Little Ghost

In Jinling there was a young fellow by the name of Ge who loved drinking and acting tough. He was forever harassing and bullying other people.

Early one morning he and a group of friends went to Yuhuatai Park, where they chanced upon a partly rotted coffin. A piece of a red skirt was hanging through the rotted boards.

Ge's companions baited him, saying: "You're pretty good at heckling people, but would you dare bother that thing in the coffin?"

Ge laughed. "Why not?" He strode to the coffin and beckoned to it several times, saying, "That's a good little girl, come out and have some wine with me!"

Ge's friends were most impressed with his bravado and roared with laughter before going their separate ways.

As he made his way home that evening Ge was tailed by a black shadow that chittered eerily, "Your good little girl has come for some wine."

Ge knew that this must be the ghost from the rotted coffin and decided to keep the upper hand. He boldly greeted the shadow, saying, "Come along with me, my good little ghost."

He made his way toward a wineshop, went upstairs, and ordered a jug of wine for two. He then raised his cup and toasted the black shadow.

None of the tavern's patrons could see the shadow, so they assumed Ge was an idiot and gathered around to have a bit of a laugh.

After Ge and the shadow had drunk for a while, Ge took off his hat, placed it on the table, and said, "I'm just going downstairs to relieve myself. I'll be back in a moment."

The shadow nodded in reply.

Ge went downstairs and immediately rushed home.

The bartender later noticed that one of his guests had left without

-74-

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