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The Fox-Victim's Revenge
In a local community there were several young rakes. On learning
that, at the deserted gravesite belonging to a certain clan, there
were vixens who could assume form and seduce men, they took traps
with them at night and, laying them at the mouths of holes and crannies,
caught two. Lest the vixens should change their forms, the rakes
quickly stabbed them in their thighs with daggers and tied them
up with ropes. Brandishing their knives they threatened the vixens:
"If you can assume human form and serve us wine, we'll release
you. Or else we'll have you butchered."
The two vixens yelped and leapt about, as though they did not understand.
The rakes, much angered, stabbed one of them to death. The other
then spoke in a human voice:
"I have neither clothes nor shoes. How could I face you when
transformed into a human being?"
The rakes held their knives under her chin. By a series of twists
and turns she metamorphosed into a beautiful woman, but stark naked.
The group was ecstatic with pleasure, and one after another made
indecent advances at [raped] her. With their arms around her, they
forced her to present them with wine, all the time holding fast
to the rope with which the woman was tied. She spoke softly and
enticingly, pleading with them to loosen the rope. Once it left
their hands, however, she disappeared in a twinkling.
As they approached home, the rakes could see flames at a distance.
All their houses were burnt to the ground, and a daughter of the
man who killed the vixen was burned to death.
From this one knows the revenge of the fox. Although these foxes
did not give men trouble, the men chose to disturb them. Appropriate
enough are the consequences for those who do evil frequently!
This 18th-century story appears in Ji Yun's Random Jottings
at the Cottage of Close Scrutiny.
Translation: Leo Tak-hung Chan, The Discourse on Foxes and Ghosts:
Ji Yun and Eighteenth-Century Literati Storytelling. Honolulu:
University of Hawai-i Press, 1998. Pp 205-6.