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A Cat Sprite

《夷堅志》:臨安周五之女,美姿容,忽若有所迷,晝眠則終日不寤,夜則達旦忘寢,每到晚,必洗妝再飾,更衣一新,中夜暱暱如與人語。父母以為憂,有羽三者,問其故,周具告之。羽曰:「此貓魈也。」運法劍斬其首,女豁然醒,魈遂絕。

According to the Yijianzhi,[1] the daughter of Zhou Wu in Lin’an, a fine lady, suddenly seemed bewitched. At daytime [she] slept without waking up throughout the daylight hours, and during the night [she] forgot about sleeping till dawn. Every night [she] always took great care in grooming herself and put on a fresh dress. At midnight [she] was stealthy and seemed to whisper with someone. [Her] parents were worried. Someone called Yu San asked about it; Zhou told [him] everything. Yu said: “This is a cat sprite.”  [He] worked his magic and cut off its head with a sword. The girl snapped out of the spell, and the sprite was gone thereafter.


* From Wang Chutong 王初桐 (1729-1821) ed., Mao sheng 貓乘 (Historia Felum), 4.10a-b:


[1] A collection of strange tales (zhiguai 志怪) compiled by Hong Mai 洪邁 (1123-1202). This tale is, however, not found in the extant editions of the Yijianzhi.


Sleeping (not exactly in a lady-like way) the whole day ... Checked.


Meticulous in grooming herself... Checked.


 

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