Grassy paths meandering thick along the brook far off from the village,
Who lifted the bar and set loose the lone Mandarin duck?
In the woods [I] searched through hidden cliffside huts,
Along winding banks [I] foraged through the roots of Manchurian wild rice.
First [I] was tempted to install nets [against] rat raids at night,
And feared in faint moonlight foxes would exploit the twilight.
As dead shells and dried stalks had covered up [suspicious] traces,
An old stable hand urged me to enhance the fences.
* From Xin’an wenxianzhi 新安文獻志 (Wenyuange yingyin Siku quanshu 文淵閣景印四庫全書 vol. 1375-76, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987), 59.6a-b: https://ctext.org/library.pl?if=en&file=63375&page=53.
 Red characters rhyme.
"Kuhe xichi tu" 枯荷鸂鶒 by Zhang Zhong 張中 (fl. 14 th century)
Picture credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei
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