Today we will continue our story of Madame White Snake.
Xu Xuan used Madame White Snake’s money opened his business – a pharmacy as he used to do. Since he was a honest man, he had a lot of customers. One day he was working in the store, a monk stopped by for alms. I don’t know if you know about this kind of behaviors in Buddhism. The giving and receiving of alms is not the same as charity, it creates a spiritual connection between the monastic and lay communities. Monks periodically do alms with eating bowls in some places. Anyway, this monk was requesting money to buy incense for a Buddhism ceremony on the 7th day of the 7th month in the Temple Jin Shan 金山寺 where he was from. Xu Xuan gave him a piece of high quality incense he owned. Madame White Snake saw it and complained, “you wasted such a great piece of incense for that bald guy. He is probably going to exchange it with some meat and liquor.” You know monks are forbidden to eat meat or drink alcohol. From the words of Madame White Snake, she definitely didn’t like monks or didn’t care about Buddha. Xu Xuan said, “I gave him with my sincere heart. It would be his sin if he did some disgraceful.”
On the 7th of the 7th month, the day the monk said when the ceremony held in Temple Jin Shan, there were more people on the streets than usual. Xu Xuan’s assistant said, “remember you gave the alms for the temple? Why don’t we visit there today?” Madame White Snake said, “why are you going to the temple?” Xu Xuan said, “I have never been there and also I recently gave the alms there.” Madame White Snake replied, “fine. But please promise me three things. First, don’t visit the abbot. Abbot is the head of an abbey of monks. Second, don’t talk to monks. Third. Don’t stay there too long. Otherwise, I would go to find you.” Xu Xuan agreed and dressed up.
Xu Xuan and his assistant left for the Buddhism ceremony in the Temple JinShan. They burned incense as an offering to the Buddha and walked around in the temple. Along with the crowd, they came to the door of the abbot FaHai 法海, the head of the abbey of monks. Xu Xuan released his wife made him to promise not to see the abbot and stopped. However, persuaded by his assistant he still went in the room with the crowd.
The abbot named FaHai looks like a monk with years of practice. Compared to the previous monk Xu Xuan met, FaHai is much more powerful. The moment he saw Xu Xuan, he asked his helper to bring him. However, the helper lost Xu Xuan in the crowd. The abbot left the room to find Xu Xuan. At that moment a lot of people were all waiting for boats outside the temple to leave including Xu Xuan and his assistant. A boat was coming at a full speed. When Xu Xuan was wondering how can a boat be so fast, he saw Madame White Snake and Qing Qing on the boat and shouted to him to get on board. Xu Xuan heard somebody’s harsh voice from his back, “what are you doing here you beast” It was the FaHai the abbot. “How dare you to harm the living creatures in this world.” Madame White Snake and Qing Qing tipped over the boat and disappeared. You might wonder why Madame White Snake didn’t confront FaHai like last time with a monk. Because FaHai is more powerful. She knew she wasn’t a match for him. Xu Xuan knelt down and thanked FaHai for saving his life.
Xu Xuan arrived home and didn’t see Madame White Snake and Qing Qing. This time he was sure that they are bad spirits. He decided to pack everything and go back to HangZhou 杭州, his home town and visited his sister and brother in law. His brother in law complained that, “why didn’t you tell us you got married? A couple of days ago, a lady with her maid came here and addressed herself as your wife and they are waiting for you here.” Xu Xuan was shocked to see Madame White Snake and Qing Qing again. He knelt down and begged Madame White Snake, “I don’t know who are you are what are you. But please bear my life.” Madame White Snake said, “what are you talking about? We have been married couple for a while. I never did anything to hurt you and don’t own you. I am treating you with my whole heart while you are suspicious and trust other people. To be honest, I will make my final words today: if you trust me everything will be fine. If, however, you got suspicious, I will let the whole city be flooded and everyone would suffer.” Xu Xuan was trembling and couldn’t make a sound. Qing Qing tried to make him feel less worried, “Madame loves you very much. Because you are not only good looking but also have a good heart. You don’t have to worry about anything as long as you two get along.”
Xu Xuan’s sister and brother in law heard the sound of the couple’s argument and after Madame White Snake fell asleep talked with him. He eventually told them everything happened since he met the Madame White Snake. They looked through the window, on the bed, a huge huge white serpent was sleeping on the bed.
What will happen? You will find out in our next episode, which is finally the end of this story.