My Encounter With a 500 Year Old Sage (3) Print

Preface: Mr. Ping is a 500 year old Daoist (Taoist), whom I have been keeping contact with since I was born. This memoir is based on my own, and a few other peoples experiences who have been involved with Mr. Ping and myself. It is not a continuous storyline.

This journey made me realize that many things in the world are not what people normally perceive through their eyes.....


Mr. Ping came to our house and told my Grandpa that he saw there is a bloody omen around our house. Mr. Ping has a fairly strong accent that was hard to grasp at times, but still we could understand him. After he heard what Mr Ping said, Grandpa knew that this was not an ordinary person, so he quickly asked Mr. Ping to sit in the best seat in the house. Mr. Ping asked grandpa some questions, and then said that it is not too serious a problem; and he can solve this ‘hundred day check!” that night.

Grandpa was so graciously thankful after hearing that and even forced my father to knee and bow to Mr. Ping, but Mr. Ping stopped him. Mr. Ping does not like to talk too much; he would take a long time to answer if you ask him a question. When having a meal, he did not use our bowl and chopsticks, but used his own bowl. Mr. Ping says that he stays everywhere, regards nature as home, so his body could be quite dusty, he prefers not to dirty our bowl and chopsticks. He does not sit with us around the table, he prefers to sit in the corner of the house and eat slowly by himself. He only has one meal per day. He would ask us for a bowl of cold water after his meal, so he could drink up every grain and grease that remained in his bowl.

In that afternoon, Mr. Ping took my father, carrying a spade, to the bottom of Mt Grandma which is over 5 kilometres  from our village. Mr. Ping pointed to an area 2 feet square and asked my father to dig, saying, stop when water comes out.

My father kept digging until the hole was about 2 metres deep, but still no sign of water. Father was tired and did not believe there would be any water from there, so he did not want to continue digging. Father threw his spade aside. Mr. Ping did not speak, just sat there with his eyes closed. So father picked up the spade and continued to dig again. Suddenly it was like the spade touched an artery vessel, the water shot out and filled the hole completely in just a second. Father was very surprised. The water was clean, cool and tasted a little sweet.

Mr. Ping then took a pottery jug from his bag, and opened up the mud seal of the jug, and placed the jug in the well. The jug was never fully filled after a long time in the water, but Mr. Ping re-sealed the jug with mud again, and returned with my father.

The strange thing was that the 10km return journey on the mountain track would usually take my father nearly a day to walk, but it took them less than half that time that day. Father said that his foot steps were not bigger or faster than usual, but he just felt that there was wind under his feet.

When night came, Mr. Ping asked everyone go to sleep, and did not let anybody sit up watching. But Grandpa was not so relaxed. He sat in the middle room, intensely watching my room. Mr. Ping still did not say anything, but took out that jug from his bag, placed it under my bed, then went outside the room, sat in a corner with his back against my door and closed his eyes.

About 2 or 3 o’clock after midnight, Grandpa heard a sound ‘Peng’, and saw a white shadow shooting out from the bottom of my bed making two circles over the beam. Then he heard sound like some wings struggling desperately, followed by few sharp screams, like a crow or a wild cat. At the same time, wild wind filled the whole room, and the fishing net was blown up. My father was horrified and took hold of his long knife which he had placed just beside his bed, and ran around looking for any strange thing. Suddenly, ‘Hu-lala’ a big noise came from the roof and when he looked up, the roof tiles were flying up and there was a hole in the roof. While everyone was in shock, suddenly, everything went quiet, as if nothing had happened.

Grandpa finally regained his senses and looked for Mr. Ping, but could not find him. About dawn, Mr. Ping came back and told grandpa that there will be no further problem for me, the ‘hundred day check’ had been cleared by him. Then he turned around and was about to walk away. Grandpa held his arm and asked him to stay, to thank him. Grandpa wanted to give Mr. Ping our family treasure left from our ancestors, but when Grandpa dug out those family treasures from bottom of the closet, Mr. Ping had already disappeared.

My father was so numb that he just stood there and finally ran around the village trying to find Mr. Ping, but to no avail.

From that time, my father never shouted the word “superstitious” again, even after Grandpa died.

To be continued.

Translated from DJY

Read part 2