THE GHOST OF THE RIVER
Written by Deng Meiling
English text by Yuko Saito and Sean Nelson
nce upon a time, there was a fisherman named Xu who lived by a big river in the Linzi district of Shandong Province. He loved his job and had a special way to do it. Every evening he loaded his boat with a fishing net and a pot of wine, then rowed out into the river. When he came to the middle of the river, the first thing he would do was to pour a cup of wine into the river as a tribute to the river-god and to the souls of the drowned. Then he would set the fishing net and enjoy drinking under the moon while waiting for fish to be caught.
ne evening, as Xu sat in the boat preparing to drink, he noticed a shabbily dressed young man standing on the riverbank. He was glad to have company, so he turned the boat to the shore and called out, "Hello, young man! Would you like to drink with me?"
he young man's name was Liulang. He drank well and talked well. Xu liked him immediately, and Liulang also seemed to enjoy the company. They talked and drank on and on, totally forgetting the passage of time.
At break of dawn, Xu finally decided to go home and drew up the fishing net. But to his dismay there were no fish caught in the net..