Episode 134: Parasite – part 1

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Today we will tell a story about a parasite in a man’s body. The story is from the book XuanShiZhi 宣室志 from the Tang dynasty 唐朝 by the author Zhang Du 张读 between the year 834 to 882.

In the book, it says, there was a man named Lu Yong 陆颙 from the region of Wu 吴, which was the southeastern China. He lived near the capital. His family were all scholars.

Lu Yong liked to eat noodles since he was a kid, however, the more noodles he ate, more skinny he became. When he grew up, he attended Imperial Exam as his families did. He didn’t get a good ranking so he attended Taixue 太学, the Imperial School to study.

After a few months in school, one day, a few barbarians visited his place. They looked at Lu Yong and introduced themselves, “we are native people from Nanyue 南越, which is the far south region of China. We have heard so much about the Imperial School in the capitol have all the genius of the country. So we have traveled over the seas and mountains here to see it ourselves. We notice you with your outstanding appearance and manners and would like to make friends with you.”

吃面记1

After hearing those complimentary words from some strangers from far away, he was so flattered but was still trying to be humble, “it was my luck to have the opportunity to study here. I don’t have any particular talents, how can you appreciate me? ” They started to drink and talk and had a great time.

Lu Yong was a person that easily trust people, and he never had any doubts about these barbarians. After half a month, the barbarians came back to visit him again and this time they even brought gold and silk as gifts. Lu Yong was suspicious that he needed to exchange something with the gifts so he refused to accept them.

The barbarians said, “although you live in the capital, your life seems to be not that great. You look like you are starving. The gold and silk we brought can cover the cost for your servants and carriage a day. We are just trying to be your friends and nothing else. ”

Lu Yong had no choice but accept the gifts.

Some of Lu Yong’s friends in school heard about these strange things happened, and all said to Lu Yong, “the greedy barbarians even fight with each other for small things like salt and rice. Why would they just give you gold and silk for no reason? Plus, there are many students in the Imperial School, why do they only choose you? We suggest you should hid in the suburb for a while before they came back again.”

Lu Yong was suspicious already and after hearing these words from his cohorts, he decided to be cautious and stayed in the suburb and avoided stepping out of the house at all.

After about a month, the barbarians came to his new place. Lu Yong was surprised to see them in front of the gate. The barbarians were happy and said, “we did have something to talk with you. Now you are living in the suburb, it is a better place to talk.” After they sat down, they continued, “we have a favor to ask. It has nothing harmful to you but makes a huge difference for us.”

Lu Yong said, “please continue.”

The barbarians said, “don’t you like eating noodles?”

Lu Yong answered, “that’s correct”

The barbarians said, “it’s not you who likes eating noodles but the parasite in your belly likes eating noodles. I have a pill for you that the parasite would come out after you take the pill. We can pay you with a great price for it.”

Lu Yong said, “if the parasite really exists, why not?”

吃面记2

The barbarians handed him a purple colored pill. Not too long after Lu Yong took the pill, he split out with a green creature around 6cm that looks like a frog. The barbarians said, “here it is the noodle-eater. It is a treasure.”

 

Mentioned:

宣室志 XuanShiZhi

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