Today we will talk about a story from the book Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang 酉阳杂 俎, a book of legends and tales from the Tang dynasty 唐朝 from the 9th century.
In the book, it says during the reign of Emperor Wenzong of Tang 唐文宗 between the year 827 to 835, there was a man called Zheng Renben 郑仁本. One day, his cousin and his friend Mr. Wang went on a hiking on the Mountain Song 嵩山. They climbed over the bushes, jumped across the waters and went in the deep mountain and got lost. It was getting dark and they still couldn’t figure out their way.
As they were walking back and forth, they heard someone was snoring in the bushes. They followed the sound and found a person wearing white sleeping on his bag. They wake this stranger and asked for help, “we accidentally came here and got lost. Do you know how we can get out of here?”
The stranger wearing white looked at them and went to sleep again. The two guys woke up him again. The stranger wearing white finally got up and said,”follow me.” They were curious who he was and why he was in the deep mountain. The stranger smiled and said,”do you know the moon is made of seven treasures? The moon is ball-shaped. The dark side of the moon is due to the sunlight. There are 82000 people working on making and maintain the moon. I am one of them.” He opened his bag and showed his tools inside like a chisel and an axe. He handed them some food and said, “you can share it and you will never get sick.”
Then he pointed a path and said,”follow the path and you will find the way back.” After that, the stranger disappeared.
酉阳杂 俎 Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang