* From Youxi zhuren 遊戲主人 (fl. 19th century) ed., Xiaolin guangji 笑林廣記 2.8b-9a: https://ctext.org/library.pl?if=en&file=92726&page=50
A habitual liar told his relative: “I’ve got three treasures at home: an ox capable of travelling a thousand miles a day, a cock crowing once at the end of each night-hour, and a dog well versed in literature.”
The relative said in astonishment: “How extraordinary! [I] shall visit you and view [them] someday.”
The man returned home and told his wife about it: “It was just a random fib, how to cover it up?”
His wife said: “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.”
The next day, the relative came over. The wife said: “[My husband] left for Beijing this morning.”
[The relative] asked: “When will [he] return?”
[She] replied: “In about seven or eight days.”
[He] asked: “So soon? How’s that possible?”
[She] said: “[He’s] travelling on our own ox.”
[He] asked: “But you’ve also got a cock that reports on night-hours?”
It was at noon, and a cock happened to crow. [The wife] pointed at [it], saying: “That’s the one. Not just night-hours, it also reports on new visitors during daytime.”
[He] asked: “May [I] also have the honour of seeing the learned dog?”
[She] answered: “To tell you the truth, since our family is not well-off, [the dog] is out tutoring.”
 The name reads “Master of Fun”, and some identify the compiler as Cheng Shijue 程世爵, about whom little is known except that he was a native of Pingjiang 平江, Jiangsu.  Geng 更 (night-hour, or night-watch) is a two-hour unit that divides the period from 7pm to 5am into five parts.  The text of the Xiaolin guangji is written in literary Chinese mixed with occasional colloquial expressions from the Wu region (around present-day Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, some 1200 km from Beijing).
“Taiping qiniu” 太平騎牛; album leaf by Dai Jin 戴進 (1388-1462)
Image credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei
A dog figurine from the Tang dynasty (618-907)
Image credit: Shaanxi History Museum (https://www.sxhm.com/collections/detail/9460.html)
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