Cut Out Her Liver to Save Her Mother-in-Law
[There was once] in Xincheng, Jiangxi province, a woman of the Chen family married to Wang Zongluo. Once, while her husband was serving in an official capacity in another province, her mother-in-law became gravely ill with a disease of old age. The wife burned incense day and night, appealing to Heaven. She vowed to shortened the destined years of her own life to augment her mother"s lifespan.
A physician said, "This old-age malady is difficult [if not impossible] to cure. Only the liver of a dragon and the marrow of a phoenix can save her." The wife believed him, and she said to herself, "Dragon"s liver is impossible to come by. Why not use my own liver in its place?" Thereupon, praying for blessings from the Kitchen God, she took up a knife and sliced into her belly, extracting a slice of her liver. Of this she made a broth, which she served to her mother. Her mother ate it, and she declared it delicious.
She asked, "What is this?" The wife lied, saying, "It is the liver of a sheep."When her mother finished eating, her illness was immediately cured. Even though the wife felt no pain, the blood of her wound flowed unceasingly. All of this was observed by her husband"s younger sister, and the story spread quickly throughout the whole family. When the mother-in-law learned that the wife had sliced her own liver, she cried bitterly and soothed her. The mother lived another twelve years before she died. When the provincial governor, Duke Zhou heard this, he presented a placard for the Wang family gate. It read, "Such marvelous filiality reaches all the way to Heaven!"
Subsequently, the wife enjoyed [the extension of] her lifespan to 108 years. [During her life,] her sons and grandsons numbered five generations under the same roof. On the day of her death, she gathered the family together, saying, "I am about to ascend into the heavens [as an immortal]. The Golden Boy (jintong] and Jade Girl (yunu) have come to welcome me!" Thus speaking, she departed.