The Love of Life

38. A Terrible Death

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In 1732 in K’uihsing, there was an unemployed trapper named Wei who had a gun. He caught hundreds of birds and either sold them or ate them himself with liquor.

Wei also liked to dig out eels, catch frogs, and trap turtles. Sometimes he even poisoned ponds and dragged out heaps of dead fish. He overturned nests and took away birds’ eggs.

His friends told him, “Old Wei, you should stop killing animals. You ought to do some farming or get a decent job.”

Old Wei never took their advice. Instead, he told them to mind their own business.

Over the years, Old Wei ran up an enormous blood debt. He ended up with boils all over his body. Some of the boils were as large as pigeon eggs, and every boil had a hard piece in it the size of a shotgun pellet. Old Wei’s whole body was a mass of pus. It was so painful that when he screamed, he sounded like a soul suffering in hell.

After a few days of torment, Old Wei died. His family got a coffin. While they were preparing for the funeral, they heard a strange sound. They looked out and saw hundreds and hundreds of animals rushing towards their house! They were astonished. They watched in amazement as flocks of birds, goats, turtles, and frogs rushed into the house. Before they had time to react, all of those animals attacked Old Wei’s corpse. They nipped and bit. They clawed and gashed. They chewed and tugged. Some kicked the corpse. Others butted it. It was an incredible, gruesome scene.

His family knew that this was the result of his bad deeds. In moments, nothing was left of Old Wei but bare bones.


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