Episode 19: Lady In The Picture

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I am sure most people have this experiences that you have a crush on a person from a novel like Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, that’s like most girls fantasy or a character from a movie or TV show like maybe Princess Leila from Star Wars for a lot of guys. If you have a chance to meet them in person and even marry them for live how do you feel? Today’s story is about such a lucky guy.

In the look WenQiLu 闻奇录, a book from the period of WuDai 五代,between the year 907~ 960, it says, in the Tang Dynasty 唐朝, there was a guy named Zhao Yan 赵颜. One day he got a painting from an artist and the lady in the picture was extremely gorgeous. He told the artist that, “I have never seen a person in real life before. Do you know how can I find her and let her marry me?” The artist told him,” This painting is not a usual picture. The lady’s name is ZhenZhen 真真. If you call her name for a hundred days day and night without stopping, she would reply. And then you should let her drink CaiHui Jiu彩灰酒, a kind of liquor, and she would be alive.” So Zhao Yan did what the artist told him. He called the girl’s name for a hundred days and the girl replied! And then he hurried to give her the liquor, she was alive and walked to him and said, ” thank you for having me. I would like to marry you.”


After a year, they had a son. After another two years, one friend told Zhao Yan, “Your wife is a ghost. You will have troubles if you keep living with her. I can give you this sword to kill her.” What would you do in this situation? You are married with your goddess or dream lover and your trustworthy friend told you you should get rid of her or him. Zhao Yan took the sword and when he returned home ZhenZhen started to cry. Apparently she already knew what happened. She cried and told Zhao Yan,” I am the earth goddess in the South Mountain. I have no idea what drew a picture of me and you called my name. If you are suspicious of me, I can no longer stay here.” After the words, she brought their son, walked onto the painting and threw up the liquor she drank. Zhao Yan looked at the painting, the lady and his son became picture again. He lost his wife and son.

I think people’s curiosity and suspicion can really hurt their beloved people sometimes. Human are so conflicted that when we suffer we ask the god why we deserve the bad luck. However, when we have the good luck we start to question do we really deserve the wonderful things happening to ask and what is the reason behind it. Why do people get overly suspicious? If you are a cave man out in the woods, you see something rusling in the woods, it might save your life it is a tiger if you are more alert. In a word suspicion is in everyone’s blood.


Pride and Prejudice

Star Wars

闻奇录 WenQiLu

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