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Dingbo the ghost-seller

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Dingbo the ghost-seller (定伯賣鬼, word-by-word: Dingbo sold a ghost) is a ghost tale from Midrike. This tale can be found in the book "Tales of unknown things"(列異傳), which might be written by Cao, Pi(曹丕), and can also be found in the book "Lorekeeps of seeking for souls and ghosts."(搜神記), which was written by Gan, Bao(干寶).

All the first wends of this tale were written in Old Midrike Speech(文言文), and they were written down in nearly two thousand years ago, and the oversetting shown here was from one wend of this tale.

The TaleEdit

Once upon the time, there was a man living in Nan-yang(南陽), his name was Zong, Dingbo(宗定伯, also called Song, Dingbo, 宋定伯). At the time when Dingbo was a young man, he had ever met a ghost when he was walking on the night of a day.

When the ghost came, Dingbo asked "Who's it?"

The ghost answered "I am a ghost, and who art thou?"

Dingbo lied to him and said "I am a ghost, too."

The ghost asked "Where art thou going to?"

Dingbo answered "I'm going to the town of Wan(宛)."

The ghost said "I'm going to the town of Wan, too."

So they fared together, after they had walked some miles, the ghost said "Faring on foot is too slow, we may bear each other on our own backs one after the other when faring, is it good for us to bear each other on our backs one after the other?"

Dingbo answered "That's so good."

So they started to bear each other on their backs one after the other, at first, the ghost bore Dingbo on his back, the ghost said "I found that thou art too heavy, maybe thou art not a ghost."

Dingbo answered "I'm a new ghost, so my body is still heavy."

Then it's Dingbo's time to bear the ghost, Dingbo found that the ghost had almost no weight. After the had bore each other on their backs one after the other for some time, Dingbo asked "I am a new ghost, so I don't know what a ghost may fear."

The ghost answered "We ghosts only fear spits."

And they still fared together.

When they were faring, they met a stream, Dingbo let the ghost go first, and the ghost didn't make any din, however, when Dingbo went through the stream, he made a lot of dins, so the ghost asked "why didst thou make so many dins?"

Dingbo answered "I'm a ghost that only died lately, so I am not good at going through water, don't think too much."

When they were near the town of Wan, Dingbo put the ghost on his shoulder fastly, holding the ghost tightly, and the ghost shouted loudly, begging Dingbo to put him down, but Dingbo didn't follow his beggings.

After they had reached the town of Wan, Dingbo put the ghost down onto the ground, and the ghost became a sheep. Fearing that the sheep, which had once been a ghost, would become something else, Dingbo spitted on the sheep, then he sold it for one thousand and five hundred gelds and left.

Shi, Chong(石崇, he was a well-known man that was highly wealthy in Midrike at that time, he showed his wealth a lot, but he was not straightforward(many of his wealth was built by reaving) and he was at last put to death.), a man of that time, said "Dingbo's a ghost seller, he got one thousand and five hundred gelds by selling a ghost."

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