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Fang Wenshu

5 de dic. de 2023
6 min de lectura
Historias Extrañas de un Estudio Chino

Deng Chengde, a native of Kaifeng, came to Yanzhou to study and lived in a dilapidated temple. He was hired to copy household registers. At the end of the year, his colleagues and servants all went home, leaving Deng Chengde alone in the temple, cooking for himself.

One day, early in the morning, a young woman knocked on the door, very beautiful. She came in, burned incense in front of the Buddha, and left after paying her respects. The next day, the young woman came to worship the Buddha again. At night, when it was late, Deng Chengde got up and turned on the lamp, thinking about doing something, but the young woman had already arrived. Deng Chengde asked, 'Why did you come so early?' The young woman said, 'It's too crowded after dawn, so it's better to come at night. I was worried that coming too early would disturb your sleep. I saw the light just now and knew that you were already up, so I came.' Deng Chengde flirted, 'There's no one in the temple. Living here can save you the trouble of coming back and forth.' The young woman sneered, 'There's no one in the temple. Are you a ghost?' Deng Chengde saw that he could get close to her, so he waited for her to finish worshiping the Buddha and then pulled her to sit down and seek pleasure. The young woman said, 'How can we do such a thing in front of the Buddha? You have no money, and you dare to have such thoughts?' Deng Chengde insisted, and the young woman said, 'Thirty miles away from here, there is a village where there are six or seven children who have not yet found a tutor. You can go there and find a man named Li Qianchuan to request this job. Tell him that you want to bring your family and ask him to prepare another room. Then we can be together for a long time.' Deng Chengde worried that kidnapping someone's wife would lead to trouble, but the young woman said, 'It's okay. My surname is Fang, and my nickname is Wenshu. I have no relatives and have been living with my uncle's family for a long time. No one will know.' Deng Chengde was overjoyed. He bid farewell to Wenshu and went to the village to meet Li Qianchuan. He was indeed hired as a tutor and agreed to bring his family before the New Year. After returning, he told Wenshu about it. Wenshu left first and agreed to wait for him on the way. Deng Chengde said goodbye to his colleagues and borrowed a horse to rush to the village. Wenshu was indeed waiting on the way. Deng Chengde got off his horse and let her ride on it, and they continued on their way. When they arrived at the school, they became intimate and lived together. They lived like a married couple for six or seven years, with a good relationship and no one chasing after the runaway wife.

Later, Wenshu suddenly gave birth to a son. Deng Chengde was overjoyed because his wife at home was infertile. He named the child 'Yansheng' and said, 'If I have good luck and make some money, I want to take you and the child back to my hometown. Why are you saying such things?' Wenshu smiled and said, 'Thank you, thank you! I won't flatter and smile to please others. I won't go to rely on the breath of the old lady! Being a wet nurse and embarrassing the child.' Deng Chengde hurriedly defended his wife and Wenshu remained silent. Over a month later, Deng Chengde left the school and planned to go into business with Li Qianchuan's son. He told Wenshu, 'I think it's difficult to have a comfortable life as a tutor. It's better to learn to do business and have hope of making money to return to our hometown.' Wenshu still didn't say anything. At night, Wenshu suddenly got up with the child. Deng Chengde asked anxiously, 'What are you doing?' Wenshu said, 'I'm leaving!' Deng Chengde hurriedly got up, but the door was not opened and Wenshu had disappeared. Shocked, Deng Chengde realized that Wenshu was not an ordinary person. Because of Wenshu's suspicious behavior, he didn't dare to tell anyone after she left, and only said that she had returned to her parents' home.

Before this, when Deng Chengde went far away from home, he had made an agreement with his wife, Lou Shi, that he would return at the end of the year. Unexpectedly, he had no news for several years. There were rumors that Deng Chengde had died, and Lou Shi's brother advised her to remarry because she had no children. Lou Shi disagreed and made a three-year agreement with her brother. She made a living by spinning and weaving every day. One day, after dark, Lou Shi went out to close the door, and a young woman suddenly squeezed in from outside, holding a baby in her arms, and said, 'I'm back from my parents' home. It's dark now. I know my sister is living alone, so I came to stay for one night.' Lou Shi let her in. When she looked closely in the room, she saw a beautiful young woman in her twenties. Lou Shi happily slept with her in the same bed, playing with the baby together. Lou Shi saw that the baby was as cute as a melon, and said sadly, 'Why don't I have such a thing!' The young woman said, 'I'm tired of him. I'll give him to my sister as a son. How about that?' Lou Shi said, 'Even if I'm willing, I don't have milk to feed him!' The young woman said, 'That's not difficult. When this child was born, I didn't have milk either. After drinking half a dose of medicine, I was fine. The remaining medicine is here, so I'll give it to you.' She took out a small package and put it on the windowsill. Lou Shi thought the young woman was joking and didn't pay much attention. The next day, when she woke up, she called for the young woman, but no one answered. She looked and saw that the baby was there, but the young woman had already left. Lou Shi was shocked and waited until the morning, when the baby cried from hunger. Lou Shi had no choice but to drink the medicine and started producing milk to feed the baby. This went on for more than a year, and the child grew up fair and fat, gradually learning to speak. Lou Shi loved him as much as her own child. From then on, she gave up the idea of remarrying. But every morning, she would pick up the child and couldn't work to earn money anymore, and the family became even more difficult.

One day, the young woman suddenly came back. Lou Shi was shocked and afraid that she had come to take the child away, so she preemptively blamed her for leaving without saying goodbye and then talked about the difficulties of raising the child. The young woman smiled and said, 'Sister, if you complain so much, should I just throw away the child?' She beckoned to the child with her hand, but the child cried and threw himself into Lou Shi's arms. The young woman scolded, 'The little calf doesn't recognize his own mother!' She said to Lou Shi, 'This child is priceless. Bring the money, and we'll make a written agreement!' Lou Shi believed her and couldn't come up with any money, blushing. The young woman hurriedly said with a smile, 'Sister, don't worry. I came this time for the child. Since we separated, I have been worried that you don't have the means to raise a child, so I borrowed money from various sources and raised more than ten taels of silver to bring here.' She took out the silver and handed it to Lou Shi. Lou Shi was worried that if she accepted the silver, someone would come and ask for the child, so she refused to accept it. The young woman put it on the bed and left. Lou Shi hurriedly chased after her with the child, but she was already far away and didn't respond to her calls. Lou Shi suspected that the young woman had left in anger and felt uneasy. But since receiving the silver, she started lending money and earning interest, and the family became more prosperous. Three years later, Deng Chengde made money in business, prepared his belongings, and returned home. The couple reunited after a long separation, overjoyed. Deng Chengde suddenly saw the child and asked whose child it was. Lou Shi explained in detail what had happened. Deng Chengde asked again, 'What's his name?' Lou Shi said, 'His mother called him Yansheng.' Deng Chengde was shocked and said, 'This is really my son!' He told his wife about the joys and sorrows of his relationship with Fang Wenshu. They were doubly pleased to have a child together and hoped that Wenshu would return, but there was no news from her again.

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