Chinese Historical Story: The story of pearl in fish belly


One day in the late Qing Dynasty, the magistrate of Baoding came to Yesanpo. In the fish bone cave spring, he found that some fish would emerge from the spring around noon every day, ranging from more than a dozen to as few as seven or eight, which was not surprising.

“Do you want the fish?” A farmer appeared beside the magistrate, “if you don’t, I’ll take it away.”

The story of pearl in fish belly

The magistrate waved his hand and said, “take it away. I don’t want it. Is the fish edible“

The farmer said, “you are a stranger. To tell you the truth, the fish is delicious“

The magistrate was greedy. The farmer said as he fished, “we have an unwritten rule here. Whoever comes to the fishbone cave first, the spring fish will belong to whoever comes. Today you gave me the fish and I invited you to eat it“

The magistrate nodded again and again. Soon he arrived at the farmer’s house. The farmer asked the magistrate to drink water first and went to work on his own. After drinking water, the magistrate started to fight the farmer. Suddenly, the farmer shouted, “what’s this thing that doesn’t slip away?”

The magistrate saw that the farmer held a pearl in his hand and hurriedly asked, “where did you pick it up?”

The farmer said, “the fish is in the stomach.” The magistrate said, “it’s like pearls. See if there are any in the stomach of other fish.” As soon as the farmer was busy, he found pearls in the belly of another fish.

The prefect shared one and didn’t eat any fish. On the same day, he rushed back to Baoding house and presented it to the governor of Zhili.

The governor of Zhili has a big mouth. It’s too evil. I can’t. I have to see it myself.

He asked the magistrate to lead the way to yugudong spring, and happened to meet the farmer again. The magistrate hurried over and asked, “do you still recognize me?”

When the farmer saw the magistrate in official clothes, he was so frightened that he knelt to the ground: “my Lord made atonement. Yesterday, I didn’t know it was the Lord.”

The magistrate picked up the farmer, asked the farmer to fish, took out a dagger and said, “open these fish.” The farmer dared not neglect it, but there was no pearl except fish soaking in the viscera. Governor Zhili’s face sank, looked coldly at the magistrate and said, “why not?”

The magistrate said, “I saw it with my own eyes yesterday…”

“Look, there’s another fish.” The farmer suddenly pointed to the fishbone cave spring and shouted.

The magistrate hurriedly called, “go, get it up, and then cut it open.”

After the farmer fished out the fish, he cut open the belly and rolled out a pearl with a thumb cover. When the magistrate saw the Savior, he said, “Sir, please look.”

The governor of Zhili looked at the Pearl, looked at the fishbone cave spring, waved his hand and said, “come and take care of the fishbone cave spring. No one is allowed to come near until the governor comes back.”

In this way, the governor of Zhili took the three pearls and rushed to the capital overnight. The next day, he reported it to Empress Dowager Cixi.

Cixi looked at the governor of Zhili without expression and asked, “is this serious?”

The governor of Zhili said, “how dare you deceive the old Buddha when you see it with your own eyes. Now, the lower officer has ordered to block the yugudong spring. If the Empress Dowager doesn’t believe it, she can verify it in person“

Cixi said nothing. After looking at the three pearls for a long time, she said, “are you going to produce ‘King Chen Sheng’ in Zhili Province? Before Chen Sheng rebelled, he stuffed a note with “King Chen Sheng” into the fish’s belly to deceive the public. I’ve just finished “yihequan” in the Qing Dynasty. It’s only stopped for a few days. Don’t you think it’s suspicious“

The governor of Zhili trembled, hurriedly knelt down and said, “old Buddha, these two things can’t be compared. This… This fish belly contains pearls. I thought it was auspicious“

Cixi looked at the nervous governor of Zhili and smiled: “it’s reasonable, but it can’t be compared. It’s all caused by boxing bandits, which makes the AI family suspicious. All right, get up. AI’s family has been living in the capital these days. Go and have a look tomorrow. You should relax“

The next day, Cixi took several ministers to Baoding with the governor of Zhili. After staying overnight, before the next day, the brigade came to yugudong spring.

Sure enough, just after the time of day, several fish came out with the spring. Cixi was surprised and delighted. She had long heard that the fish bone cave spring had this landscape. Today, she finally saw it with her own eyes. The governor of Zhili quickly ordered the farmers to fish and take pearls in front of Cixi.

The farmer dared not hesitate and ran to catch the fish. Just as she was about to take out her dagger, Cixi said, “wait a minute! I can’t bear to see these murders. Little plum, please look for the mourners“ Then he asked the sedan bearer to turn the sedan chair in a direction and not face the scene.

Li Lianying hurried over and supervised the whole process. The farmer seemed a little nervous. He swallowed his saliva and began to do it. As the fish belly was cut open, a pearl appeared in it. Li Lianying was overjoyed and turned her head and said, “old Buddha, pearls have come to the world.”

Instead of being happy, Cixi frowned and said, “order him to cut another one.”

The second fish was cut open, and Li Lianying shouted again: “go back to the old Buddha, and pearls will be born again.”

Cixi’s face became even more ugly and asked the governor of Zhili, “I heard from you two days ago that you and the governor of Baoding dissected several fish bellies before pearls came into the world. But how come there are pearls after AI’s family came? Are you waiting for your partner to deceive AI family“

The governor of Zhili hurriedly replied, “the old Buddha is too worried. You think, you are the emperor’s grandmother, called the Dragon ancestor. When those fish saw the Dragon ancestor coming, they naturally wanted to give treasure first, so they had pearls in their belly. We ordinary people, how can we have such a creation“

After hearing this, Cixi calmed down and said, “really? Well, cut another one“

The third fish belly was cut open, and Li Lianying shouted, “old Buddha, another fish offers pearls!”

Cixi is already smiling and cheering. Seeing this, the governor of Zhili fell on his knees with a plop and shouted loudly, “master Buddha, I just suddenly realized that this fish belly hidden beads is actually a harbinger of national peace and peace in the Qing Dynasty.”

Cixi said, “how do you say that?”

Governor Zhili said, “fish are more than every year. It is a sign that the Qing Dynasty will have good weather and more than years in a row. And the pearls are dazzling. Now they are hidden in the belly of fish, just like saints arch down and rule the world. Today’s saints are you, old Buddha. This is really a fish belly with pearls, auspicious days, Empress Dowager Shengming, Qing Yongchang“

Well, as soon as these words came out, everyone around knelt down and shouted: “fish belly, hidden pearls, blessed days, Empress Dowager Shengming, Qing Yongchang!”

The farmer, who had seen this, trembled uncontrollably, and a pearl rolled from his sleeve to the ground. He quickly peeked around and saw that no one was paying attention. Then he knelt down and pressed the Pearl under his knee

In fact, there is no “fish belly hidden beads”, all of which were arranged by the governor of Zhili. The governor of Zhili knew that since the Eight Power Allied forces captured Beijing six months ago, the Qing Dynasty had been shaky and in danger. After Cixi fled and returned, she was at a loss. Therefore, the governor of Zhili was anxious about Cixi. He personally directed the great play of “fish belly hiding pearls” by using the natural wonders of fish bone cave spring – asked the governor of Baoding to pay a private visit to fish bone cave spring. When he met the farmer, he stuffed the pearls into the fish belly while giving the farmer a hand, and then coerced and lured the farmer to co perform the play together.

Cixi was not stupid. She knew it was false as soon as she heard it, but she couldn’t understand why the governor of Zhili wanted to sing the play, so she took something about “King Chen Sheng” and alluded to “fish belly hiding pearls”. When he realized that the governor of Zhili wanted to maintain the rule of the Qing Dynasty under the pretext of Providence, he gladly entered the play. It was tacitly understood that the trick of singing and harmonizing reached a climax. The effect was really good!

The play was finally finished. Cixi returned to Beijing, and the governor and magistrate of Zhili returned to Baoding. When the farmer got the silver, he couldn’t find anyone. After Cixi and others left, the local people flocked to the scene and found that in addition to more horse dung and several dead fish, they also found several shrimps. People wonder: there are pearls in the belly of fish. Even if it is auspicious, they have never seen shrimp coming out of the fish bone cave spring. What’s the matter?

This question was not revealed until the founding of the Republic of China and the farmer came back. It turned out that the farmer didn’t want to play the play at all, but if he didn’t, he would lose his head. So he wanted to let the pearls and shrimp in the fish belly appear together in front of Cixi, suggesting that Cixi was “blind (shrimp) tossing” and fake. But Cixi asked Li Lianying to supervise. And Li Lianying’s first sentence after coming over was: “play well and make the old Buddha happy.” So these shrimps were useless. Finally, they were thrown there by the farmer

In the farmer’s original words, it is: “after a long time of trouble, people are willing to toss around blindly. What’s my heart…”

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