"The Pre-Tang Chinese Animal Stories in the ShanHaiJing and SouShenJi".




"Of all the Six Dynasties anomaly collections, Gan Bao’s (370-420 A.D.) Soushenji is the most important."


"Kenneth J. DeWoskin’s dissertation "The Soushenji ..." "


"the twenty-chapter version is closest to Gan Bao’s original work."







"The Yuejun Kingdom has a kind of cow. If people cut some meat from it, it would not die, and the next day the wound would heal."



"In the east Sea, a dragon mated with a fish. When the baby was born, it was so scared that it would go back into its mother ..., but would come out again later."



"Pheasant had beautiful feathers, so it stared at its reflection on the water all day long. Then it would get dizzy and fall into the water and drowned."



"In the ... Han dynasty, the Hu people of the north presented an animal ... It was called Fierce Beast ... The animal was delighted to see the tiger. It licked its lips and swayed its tail".







"In the region of Huiji, the crabs all suddenly became rats ... At first they had hair and flesh but no bones ... A few day later, they all became female." {starfish?}



"in order to revive a dead horse, dozens of people are sent to ... the east to beat trees in the woods with bamboo roles. A monkey is then driven out of the woods ... , it disappears into the body of the horse and the horse revives." -- "the horse’s soul (in the shape of a monkey) ... is brought back, and it revives the horse."



"(other shamans) instruct that some empty graves in a waste town ... be dug ... Dozens of foxes are caught there. ... When the bags are eventually opened, two pounds of fox hair are found inside".



"Hua Tuo had a yellow dog tied to two horses. After the horses ran thirty miles, the dog was fatigued. Then he had the dog pulled by people for fifty more miles. ... He had the dog’s stomach cut open, and hold the dog’s open wound ... to the daughter’s knee. Soon a snake came out of the knee. The snake had eye but no pupils and the scales had grown in a direction opposite to normal snakeskin." {caecilian}



"Hua Tuo ... told him to drink some garlic soup ... After the patient did so, he spat out a snake and recovered." {tapeworm}



"Sheng’s blind mother ..., the maids feeding her a dish of maggots without her knowledge, which ended up healing her blindness."



"During the ... Han, a yellow rat danced with its tail in its mouth in front of the Royal Palace for one day and one night and then died."



"During the reign of emperor Zhou of the Shang dynasty, a big turtle grew hair, and a rabbit grew horns."



"In the high mountains of Eastern Yue, there was a giant serpent dozens of feet long ... The serpent told people in a dream that it wanted to eat young girls, so the local government official sent it a girl every year. One year, a girl ... named Li Ji volunteered to be the sacrifice. ... When the serpent appeared and ate the rice food, the girl killed it with the sword."



"the dog is tortured and eviscerated."



"Li Xinchun ... fell asleep in a grass in the field. At that time, a hunter was burning the grass in the wilderness and the fire was approaching Li. ... The dog the ran to a pond nearby and came back to wet the grass around Li. When Li woke up, the dog had died of fatigue. ... the magistrate ... ordered that the dog be buried ... in clothing and in a coffin ... The grave mound was hundreds of feet high."



"A man caught a baby gibbon, but when the mother followed him to beg for the baby, he killed the baby, so the mother gibbon died of sorrow right away. The man ... finds her liver and intestines were broken into pieces out of sorrow."






"In the area of Wu, ... On the ninth day of the ninth month, some scholar ... found an empty grave. Inside was an assembly of foxes. The foxes all fled ..., but an old fox remained. It was the white-haired scholar."



"One man was rowing a boat on a river in a rainy evening. A fair girl came to ... get onboard. At midnight, when the rain had stopped and the moon rose, he found the girl had turned into a turtle." {Since turtle-shells were fired for divination by the Chinese, cf. voluntary entry into fire by [Hindu] heroine DRaUPadi = [Hellenic] DRUoPe, who copulated with a tortoise (GM 21.j).}


"18/443" {19/448?}

"when a Minister in Nanyang died, ... he suddenly sat up in the coffin. He ... beat the maids and servants. ... In the following few years, he died and became alive again and did the same things again and again ... One day he ... revealed his true identity – that he was a dog. His family killed the dog". {After having been thought dead, Odusseus returned suddenly and slew (GM 171.i) his maid-servants. He already had been praesent incognito when his hound Argos, who recognized him, died (GM 171.d).}



"in the ... Han dynasty, a magistrate decided a case of two old men disputing over some mountain land. ... Eventually the magistrate noticed the two men looked strange, so he ordered that they be beaten, and they turned into two snakes." {Since the beatings would be with rods, cf. the rods of >ahro^n and of his rival magician in the court of the par<oh, where the two rods turned into two snakes (S^MWT 7:12).}



"a girl whose father was far away in military service joked with a horse of her family that if he could take her father home she would marry him. The horse immediately ran away and took the father back home. {cf. the flying horse Pegasos transporting Bellero-phon on military expeditions (GM 75.d)} However, ... her father ... killed the horse and hung spread horsehide on the wall. On day the skin wrapped up the girl and flew away." {In order to confront Bellero-phon, "the Xanthian women hoisted their skirts to the waist". Cf. also the flying skirts of star-maidens in Borneo mythology.}



"The wooden memorial pillar in front of the grave told the fox that if he went he would be recognized by Zhang Hua ... When the fox scholar visited Zhang Hua, Zhang Hua was so amazed by the young man’s knowledge {Authorities were baffled by S^ims^o^n secret; "And they could not in three days declare the riddle." (S^PT.YM 14:14)} ... Then Zhang Hua ordered that the wooden pillar in front of the grave be cut. When the fox scholar saw the fire {S^ims^o^n "caught three hundred foxes, ... and put a torch in the midst between every two tails. And ... he ... set the torches on fire" (S^PT.YM 15:4-5)} made with the pillar {S^ims^o^n "took fast hold of the two middle pillars" (S^PT.YM 16:29)}, it turned into a fox.



"Zhang Hua was impressed by his fashionable scholar with his youthful hairdo". {S^ims^o^n described his hairdo : "there hath not come a razor upon my head" (S^PT.YM 16:17).}



"a tiger, when trapped, turned into a lowest level local official. When the people released him, he turned into a tiger again" – "this is a metaphor that officials are as dangerous as tigers."

GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.

p. 39 aged animals’ metamorphoses, according to Gan Bao (Wang Yunwu, Li Ji, pp. 7 & 10)

a __-year old

__ (animal)

is able to __



become a clam



become a toad



talk with humans



become a woman



restore itself when cut into sections



praedict the future


in the middle of __

__ (bird)

becometh a __







p. 43 Tai-pin Guan-ji

"Chen the Thirteen ... slept on a tiger skin ..., and ten years later he was able to change into a tiger. ... His wife ... hid to observe him. When he started transforming into a tiger, she came out tom beat him. He ran away in the form of a tiger without having time to transform one arm."

Yanfeng Li : Tracing the Didactic in the Anomalous. M.A. thesis, U of HI, Aug 1999.