Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei

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Xiao Fu

In the north of Yi County there lived a woman by the surname of Wang. One night, while in a deep sleep, she dreamed that a beautiful woman came to her bedside and told her she was in fact not a woman at all. Indeed, according to this ghostly visitor, Mistress Wang was really a young man and moreover one with whom the young ghost was rather keen on getting into a relationship.

"My name is Xiao Fu and when I was alive I worked as a maid for the Chen family from Panyu County," the ghost explained.

"In your previous life, you were also a servant for this Chen family. We two were lovers and had already arranged several secret rendezvous when our romance was discovered. We were forbidden to see each other ever again.

"Soon after this I died from the grief of being parted from you. Our love never came to fruition and our fate was never resolved, so I have come to you tonight to resume our unfulfilled romance."

When Mistress Wang awoke the next morning she had become quite crazed. She told her husband that she no longer wished to live with him and promptly moved to separate quarters. She became prone to laughing and talking to herself in the strangest ways. It was as if Mistress Wang had forgotten that she was a woman, because her speech was filled with the ribald obscenities of a man.

After this strange behavior had been going on for a while, the ghost Xiao Fu revealed herself during the daytime to the rest of the family. Naturally, they tried to evict this ghostly presence from their household, but nothing could persuade Xiao Fu to leave.

One day a neighbor's house caught fire and Xiao Fu alerted the Wangs, preventing certain disaster. From then on, the Wang family adopted a kinder attitude toward Xiao Fu. To show their gratitude they decided to invite her to join their household on a permanent basis.

The next year passed peacefully. Then one day, out of the blue, Xiao

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Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei
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