Wan Phing Lim

Writer . Editor . Author

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The dream about the house

There is a dream that is told about my ancestral house in Zhangzhou, Fujian. It is a dream about gold, and it was told to me by my grandfather.

Great-great-great grandpa is sitting outside the house at two o’clock in the morning, smoking his pipe, when he sees a vision. Three white horses come into the barn where they store earthen jars of water. They drink all of the water until the jars are empty.

The next morning, the lady of the house is furious that there is no water for drinking, eating and washing. She calls the servant girl and beats her, accusing her of not fetching any water. But great-great-great-grandpa protests, and tells his wife he saw three white horses come to finish the water at night.

Great-great-great-grandma doesn’t believe him, but the next night she stays up with him until two o’clock in the morning. Sure enough, the three white horses appear again. Grandpa explains the vision, telling her there is buried treasure in the house. The three white horses represent silver, and where they drink from the earthen jars is where they are protecting the treasure. The three horses then disappear into a wall.

Other strange apparitions were seen in the house by other members of the family. A white goat comes running out of a wooden room, and the servant girls chase it, but it disappears, never to be seen again. A mother hen and its chicks peck at two policeman’s feet, they swell and die from gangrene despite wearing boots and thick lint socks. The family take it as a sign that the policemen are sleeping on where the treasure is buried, and they suffer because it isn’t theirs to take.

My grandfather at age two has a dream about a fat man telling him there is gold in the house. The fat man shows him it is near the drain, or air well. He tells Grandfather to dig this drain, where he will find three pieces of tiles, and underneath the tiles is another drain. Inside this drain, there is a snake. Grandfather has to kill the snake before he can get to the jars of silver and gold.

The next morning, Grandfather wakes up and tells his mother about his dream. His mother dismisses it as hogwash, but follows the instructions in the dream nonetheless. They open up the air well, and lo and behold, there are the three tiles. They stop digging further, for fear it is not their time to discover the treasure. Perhaps it is guarded for someone else.

Even when Grandfather moves to Singapore with his parents, the fat man comes to visit him in his dreams. The fat man says he shouldn’t be in Singapore, and that he is to go back, kill that snake and find the treasure.

The house no longer exists today. It was turned into a woodwork factory by the Communist government, and torn down during the Cultural Revolution.

It was located in the countryside in Por Kuan Yim village, Longqi county, Zhangzhou city, Fujian province, China.

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This entry was posted on January 5, 2010 by and tagged .

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