A merchant from Zhejiang Province frequently made sea journeys for business purposes. On one of these journeys, he and his twenty or so employees were blown off course and onto an island. Since they were there, the men decided to explore the new territory.
They had walked only about a mile when they came across what they later described as a bear. It was over ten feet tall and extremely strong. By hitting the men with its giant paws, the bear herded them into a tight group under a tree. It then tied the men to the tree and to each other by threading a vine through holes it pierced in their ear lobes. Having completed this task to its satisfaction, the bear skipped gleefully away.
The men waited until they thought the bear was far enough away and then drew their knives, cut the vine, and ran back to the boat. Not long after this, they saw four bears walking along the shore carrying a stone platform on top of which sat a bear of enormous proportions. The bear that had tied them up led the party towards the tree, skipping all the way. When it reached the base of the tree and saw the vine slashed, the bear looked confused and very disappointed. The bear on the platform, however, was clearly enraged. It then gave what must have been an order for the four other bears to punish the first bear. The beating was so severe that the bear was killed.
The men on the boat, watching from the distance, were terrified at the brutality of what they had just witnessed. All the same they were relieved to have escaped with their own lives. One of the men who had his ears pierced during this adventure was a Mr. Wu of Shanyin. A relative, Shen Pingru, asked Wu how he had come to have pierced ears and this was the story Wu told.