Two Magpies Seek justice

0
167
(Pixabay)

During the Ming Dynasty there lived a man in Yi County by the name of Zhang Xing who made his living by renting out donkeys.

One day, Zhang caught two magpie birds and locked them in a cage. He intended to sell the birds while performing his trade. Along his route, he met a merchant. When the merchant saw the two birds in the cage, he was so moved by compassion that he took out some silver from his pouch to buy the birds, and then released them immediately.

Zhang saw the merchant’s pouch full of silver and was overcome by greed. When the two reached a remote area, and when the merchant was not paying attention, Zhang used the donkey’s bridle rope to strangle the merchant to death. He then tied a big stone to the body and threw the body into a river. There was no witness to the murder. Zhang then took the merchant’s money and ran away.

In Yi County there was a magistrate named Qiao. One day, he was reading a court case, when all of a sudden two magpies flew inside the court. They circled around him and sang a loud song of anger and sadness. Qiao tried to shoo the birds away but they refused to leave. Qiao felt uneasy in his heart.

The two birds suddenly flew to the Magistrate Hall and used their beaks to bang the drums three times. Qiao was shocked and wondered whether there was a grievance that Heaven had sent these two birds to seek justice for? The two birds looked up and nodded their heads as if knowing what Qiao was thinking.

So Qiao said to the two birds, “If you have a grievance, please fly around the beam of the hall three times.” The moment afterward, the birds flew around the beam three times.

Qiao then said, “Please bite these long ribbons with your beaks, and I will send two wardens to follow you to the place where your grievance exists.”

The two birds suddenly went to the table to bite the ribbons. They then flew to the front of the building and looked back, waiting for the wardens to catch up.

After a distance of 30 miles, they arrived at the bank of the river. The birds suddenly dived into the water and then surfaced again. They were very chatty and made a lot of noise. Then layers after layers of bubbles started to form on the surface of the water. The wardens were surprised and immediately went back to report to Qiao. When Qiao heard this news, he rushed to the river bank, followed closely by the two birds.

Qiao ordered nearby fishermen to dive into the water, and to salvage whatever is below. They retrieved a male body, about thirty years old. The body was still intact, and there was a big stone tied to its back, with a bridal around the neck.

Qiao said to the birds, “Please bring us to the murderer.”

The birds led the way with the two wardens in front and several people trailing behind. They reached a hut under a big tree in Pinggang village. The birds made a lot of noise in front of the hut, and drove Zhang Xing to come out. The two birds flew onto Zhang’s shoulder and continued to make noises. Zhang became enraged and hit the birds. The birds flew to the roof and continued to make noise.

The warden said to Zhang, “Bring your donkey and come with us.”

Zhang Xing saw the rope around the waist of the warden and recognized it. He suddenly recollected that his was the same rope that he used to strangle the merchant. He knew that his crime has been exposed. He was shocked.

After interrogation, Zhang admitted that he murdered the merchant and took the loot of forty taels of silver. After searching Zhang’s hut, the warden found the loot, and Zhang was convicted.

The merchant’s body was later buried in the eastern side of the city. The two birds flew to the grave, bowed in front of it to show their gratitude, and then flew around the grave for a long time, unwilling to leave, as they sang a sad song.

The moral of the story is that when people do bad things, they may think that nobody is watching, and they never expect that Heaven can see them from above, but nonetheless they cannot escape from their wicked deeds.

Translated by: Chua BC
Edited by: Derek Padula

source: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MOsyX-nzvNOIMommwrm_JW1DvtX-1p6g9wj6NxAsb0Y/edit#

雙鵲鳴冤

這是發生於明朝萬曆十一年的一樁奇事。

盱眙人張興以租賃騾子為生。一次他從林中捕獲了兩隻鵲,就關在了籠子裡。第二天清早,他趕騾子出去拉生意時,就順便帶上了這對鵲,想順手把它們賣了。

途遇一個商人,看見被關在籠中的鵲鳥,商人突生悲憫,他解下腰間的錢囊,掏些銀兩,贖買了這兩隻鳥,隨之把它們放生了。

商人鼓鼓囊囊的錢囊被張興窺見,他頓起劫財的歹意。二人行至偏僻之處時,張興趁其不備,用牽驢的鞭繩套住商人的脖子,把他勒死了,又將屍體捆上石頭,沉入了河灣。然後,商人錢囊裡的銀子就被張興揣進了自己的腰包。整個過程無人看見。

盱眙縣有位喬姓判官,一日正在公堂閱案卷,突然就闖進來兩隻鵲兒,繞著他的案幾飛旋,一邊飛一邊鳴叫,聲音悽苦悲憤,如怨如訴。喬大人揮袖驅趕,竟也無效,兩鳥始終不肯離去。

喬大人正心中疑慮,突然見鵲兒飛至公堂鳴冤鼓的地方,搖擺著身體用鳥喙擊鼓,連續三次。喬大人心裡一驚:莫非民間確有冤情,老天讓此鵲鳴冤?正想著,兩隻鵲竟點起頭來,好像知道他在想甚麼。

於是喬大人對著鵲兒說:「如你們有冤,請繞著屋裡大梁飛三圈。」

話音剛落,鵲兒果真上下翻飛,繞屋樑三圈。喬大人又說:「那請你們嘴銜令牌,我派兩個衙役跟隨你們到有冤情的地方。」

鵲鳥瞬間跳上案几,銜起令牌就飛旋在前,連連回首四次,之後雀躍翻騰,或落或翔,時而等待,時而引領,唯恐衙役不能跟上。

大約飛行了三十里,到了許灣河畔,鵲兒突然就一頭扎進水裡了,很長時間才從水中躍出,嘰嘰喳喳,異常喧噪,但見水面有層層的水漚泡沫泛起。

衙役深感驚奇,趕緊回去報告,喬大人知道後,就親自趕到了河畔。路上,兩隻鵲還是如影隨形,一直貼身跟著。

喬大人令漁人在水漚泛處打撈,結果撈上來一具男屍,大約三十多歲,屍體還未腐爛。屍體背部捆著一塊大石頭,脖子上繞著鞭繩。

喬大人對著鵲兒說:「請帶我們去找兇手吧。」

於是鵲兒像先前一樣帶路。兩個衙役在前,數人尾隨在後。走到平康村大槐樹下,鵲兒衝著屋檐鳴噪,張興就從裡面走出來。兩鵲立刻飛聚在他的肩頭,頻頻鳴叫,張興惱怒,擊打鵲子,鵲子就飛奔到屋頂繼續鳴叫。

衙役說:「牽著你的騾子跟我們走一趟吧。」

張興忽見衙役腰間掛著一根繩子,感覺眼熟,突然想起來了:這不是他勒死商人的那根牽驢繩嗎?自知事情敗露,大驚失色。

經過審問,張興如實招了:自己殺人越貨,總共謀財四十兩銀子。隨後搜家,衙役繳獲了劫款,張興也被定罪。

商人的屍體後來被埋在東城時,兩隻鵲也飛過來了,作俯首道謝狀,盤旋在墳前悲鳴苦叫,久久不願離去。

人做壞事時,總覺得沒人看見,不料天鑒昭昭,惡人難逃啊。

Facebook Comments