This is a translation and annotation of text No. 457 in 搜神記 (Soushenji – ‘In Search of the Supernatural’), a collection of strange happenings compiled by 干寶 (Gan Bao) in the 4th century C.E.
義犬冢 Yì Quǎn Zhǒng [Righteous] [Dog] [Tomb] Tomb of the Faithful Dog
孫權時， Sūnquán shí, [Sun] [Quan] [time] In the time of Sun Quan,
李信純， Li Xìnchún, [Li] [Xin] [Chun] Li Xinchun
襄陽紀南人也。 Xiāngyáng Jìnán rén yě. [Xiang] [Yang] [Ji] [Nan] [person] [it is so]. was a man from Jinan in Xiangyang. Note that this isn’t the city of Jinan (济南) in Shandong province.
家養一狗， Jiā yǎng yī gǒu, [family] [raise] [a] [dog] His family kept a dog
字曰黑龍， zì yuē Hēilóng, [name] [say] [Black] [Dragon] called Black Dragon,
愛之尤甚， ài zhī yóu shèn, [love] [it] [very] [extreme] which he loved very much.
行坐相隨， xíng zuò xiāng suí, [walk] [sit] [each other] [follow] Walking or sitting, they were together;
飲饌之間， yǐn zhuàn zhī jiān, [drink] [food] [them] [between] as for food and drink, between them
皆分與食。 jiē fēn yǔ shí. [all] [share] [together] [eat] all was shared and consumed together.
忽一日， Hū yī rì, [sudden] [one] [day] Then one day,
於城外飲酒大醉， yú chéng wài yǐnjiǔ dà zuì, [at] [city] [outside] [drink] [wine] [big] [drunk] outside the city, Xinchun was drinking wine and got very drunk,
歸家不及， guī jiā bùjí, [return] [home] [not] [reach] and was unable to return home,
臥於草中。 wò yú cǎo zhōng. [lie] [at] [grass] [in] so he lay down in the grass.
遇太守鄭瑕出獵， Yù tàishǒu Zhèng Xiá chūliè, [chance] [governor] [Zheng] [Xia] [go out] [hunt] Now it happened that Governor Zheng Xia had come out hunting;
見田草深， jiàn tián cǎoshēn, [see] [field] [grass] [deep] on seeing how thick the grass in the field was,
遣人縱火爇之。 qiǎn rén zònghuǒ ruò zhī. [dispatch] [person] [release] [fire] [burn] [it] he sent someone to set it on fire and burn it off. This was done to cause animals to flee so that they could be hunted.
信純臥處， Xìnchún wò chù, [Xin] [Chun] [lie] [place] The place where Xinchun was lying
恰當順風。 qià dàng shùn fēng. [exactly] [at] [follow] [wind] was exactly downwind.
犬見火來， Quǎn jiàn huǒ lái, [dog] [see] [fire] [come] The dog saw the flames approaching,
乃以口拽純衣， nǎi yǐ kǒu zhuāi Chún yī, [thereupon] [with] [mouth] [tug] [Chun] [clothes] and tugged at Xinchun's clothes with its mouth;
純亦不動。 Chún yì bùdòng. [Chun] [same] [not] [move] Xinchun still did not move.
臥處比有一溪， Wò chù bì yǒuyī xī, [lie] [place] [near] [have] [a] [stream] Near the place where he was lying was a stream, Note that 比 is read bì here and means “to be near”.
相去三五十步， xiāng qù sānwǔshí bù, [each other] [go] [three][five][ten] [step] thirty to fifty paces away;
犬即奔往， quǎn jí bēn wǎng, [dog] [immediately] [rush] [towards] the dog immediately rushed over to it;
入水濕身， rù shuǐ shī shēn, [enter] [water] [wet] [body] it went into the water and soaked its body,
走來臥處。 zǒu lái wò chù. [run] [come] [lie] [place] and ran back to the place where Xinchun was lying.
周迴以身灑之， Zhōu huí yǐ shēn sǎ zhī, [circumference] [to circle] [with] [body] [sprinkle] [it] It circled around using its body to sprinkle water,
獲免主人大難， huò miǎn zhǔrén dànàn, [obtain] [avoid] [master] [person] [great] [disaster] in order to avoid calamity for its master.
犬運水困乏， quǎn yùn shuǐ kùnfá, [dog] [transport] [water] [hard-pressed] [tired] The dog was exhausted from transporting the water,
致斃於側。 zhì bì yú cè. [cause] [die] [at] [side] causing it to die by Xinchun's side.
俄爾信純醒來， É ěr xìn chún xǐnglái, [soon] [thus] [Xin] [Chun] [wake] [come round] Soon Xinchun woke up,
見犬已死， jiàn quǎn yǐ sǐ, [see] [dog] [had] [die] saw that his dog had died,
遍身毛濕， biàn shēn máo shī, [all] [body] [fur] [wet] and that the fur on its body was wet,
甚訝其事。 shèn yà qí shì. [very] [shock] [such] [thing] and was deeply shocked that such a thing had happened.
睹火蹤跡， Dǔ huǒ zōngjī, [see] [fire] [trace] [sign] He saw the remains of the fire,
因爾慟哭。 yīn ěr tòngkū. [because] [thus] [grief] [weep] and because it was so, he wept with grief.
聞於太守。 Wén yú tàishǒu. [hear] [by] [governor] News of this was heard by the governor.
太守憫之曰： Tàishǒu mǐn zhī yuē: [governor] [feel compassion] [it] [say] The governor felt compassion for it (the dog) and said:
「犬之報恩甚於人。 "Quǎn zhī bào'ēn shèn yú rén. [dog] ['s] [repay] [kindness] [extreme] [to] [man] "A dog's repayment of kindness is greater than man's.
人不知恩， Rén bùzhī ēn, [man] [not] [know] [kindness] Man does not know (true) kindness;
豈如犬乎？」 qǐ rú quǎn hu? " [how] [as] [dog] [?] how can he compare to a dog?
即命具棺槨衣衾葬之。 Jí mìng jù guānguǒ yī qīn zàng zhī. [prompt] [order] [one] [coffin] [dress] [cover] [bury] [it] He then ordered a coffin, clothing and cover, and had the dog buried. 具 here is a measure word for coffins.
今紀南有義犬冢， Jīn Jìnán yǒu Yì Quǎn Zhǒng, [today] [Ji] [Nan] [have] [righteous] [dog] [tomb] Today in Jinan there is the Tomb of the Faithful Dog,
高十餘丈。 gāo shí yú zhàng. [high] [ten] [surplus] [ten feet] several tens of feet high.
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