The history of Gulan can be traced back to the Yin and Shang Dynasties, and the remaining city walls are relics of the Ming Dynasty. Although this place has a long history, it is not well-known, and the county is small in scale, with few outsiders.
Da Jinya, Fatty and I were like three drowned chickens. We asked someone about the route and found a guest house nearby. It was a coincidence when we went there. This guest house only provides one hour of hot water showers every day. There is still half an hour left.
After taking a hot bath indiscriminately, the three of them were still alive, and asked the waiter at the guest house if there was anything to sell. The waiter said there were only noodles, so we ordered a few bowls of noodles, put more chili, and we were sweating profusely.
While we were eating, the old man in charge of cooking noodles in the cafeteria of the guest house came over to talk to me and asked if we were from Beijing.
When I heard the old man's accent, he didn't look like a Northwesterner , a monster in a ghost cave on the Yellow River Ancient Road , so I chatted with him casually. The old man's surname is Liu, his hometown is Tong County, Beijing, and he has lived in Gulan for decades.
Lao Liu asked us how we got into such a mess, as if we had just been fished out of a pot.
I told about our experience in the Yellow River. What is there in this river? Why is it so powerful? I don’t know whether it is a fish or a turtle, or some other animal. I have never heard of such a thing in the Yellow River. something big. Thanks to the sturdy boat, if it were a wooden boat, we might all fall into the water and be filled with yellow soup by now.
Old Liu Tou said: "I have seen this before, and the boat runners said it was the river god. Isn't this year the water is big, and when the water rises, there will be more strange things in the river. I have lived by the Yellow River for a long time. For half my life, I was not yet liberated at that time, and I was only less than fifteen years old. Someone once caught a live one, and I saw this thing with my own eyes. If you really want to see it, I will tell you a place, and you can go and see it if you have a chance. "
I thought, the three of us are newcomers and unfamiliar with the place, so it is not easy to collect some antiques near this county. This old Liutou has lived in Gulan for decades, and he knows the local situation well from what he said, why not let him tell us more about the local things, such as what ancient tombs and antiques have been unearthed, This information is very useful to us.
So I didn't ask Old Liu to continue talking, saying that it's still early, let the fat man go out to buy a few bottles of wine, and then get some appetizers, and invite Old Liu to come to our room for a drink and chat, and talk about the local scenery.
Old Liu Tou is a drunkard, and he likes to join in the fun. Hearing that there is wine to drink, he immediately becomes respectful rather than obedient.
Seeing that he had to run errands again, the fat man was extremely reluctant, but he was also greedy for alcohol, so he changed into a set of clean clothes and went to a small shop outside to buy two bottles of liquor and some canned food.
The rain outside was pattering, and it didn't stop. Everyone closed the door in the room, and sat down to drink with the bed as a table. Old Liu was a lot talker, but after drinking these two glasses of white wine, his nose turned red, and he couldn't close his chatterbox when he opened it.
Da Jinya asked the old head Liu: "Master Liu, just now you said that you saw the things we met in the Yellow River with your own eyes. What is it? Is it Wang Bacheng?"
Old Liu shook his head and said, "It's not Wang Bajing, but it's actually a big fish. I don't know what the scientific name of this fish is. Many people in the local area have seen it, and they call it the Iron-headed Dragon King. People who run boats are superstitious, saying It was changed by the god of the river, and it is not usually seen, and only comes out when there is a flood."
The fat man said: "What you said is really mysterious, how big is this fish?"
Old Liu said: "How big is it? Let me tell you this. I saw it once by the river. That year, the water came in quickly and receded quickly. In addition, the ancient blue river was shallow, and a half-sized The Iron-headed Dragon King was stranded. At that time, before liberation, many superstitious people wanted to send the Dragon King back to the river. Before they could do anything, the Iron-headed Dragon King died. People burned incense and prayed by the river. There are huge crowds of people, and the grand occasion is unprecedented, I just followed the excitement and saw it."
I asked, "Master Liu, tell me what this fish looks like?"
Old Liu Tou said: "This big fish has seven layers of green scales on its body. The head of the fish is black and harder than iron plates. The head alone is as big as the front of a Jiefang truck."
Fatty and I and others repeatedly claimed that it was not the same as a small whale. How could there be such a big fish in the river? There are so many weird things in this world. Then he asked what happened afterwards, was the iron-headed dragon king buried or eaten?
Old Liu Tou smiled and said: "It's not a whale, but such a big fish is very rare. It doesn't exist at all, and you don't see it once every few decades. It's almost mature. Those who are superstitious say it's a dragon." The prince has changed, why not give it such a name? I heard that even if it is caught, it will be released. The meat is hard and old, who would dare to eat it. At that time, the iron-headed dragon king died on the shore. It was hot in the sky, like a fire, and it started to rot within a day, and the stench was suffocating, and the stench could be smelled many miles away. This kind of situation can easily cause the plague in the nearby people. As a result, everyone discussed, They cut off the flesh of the fish and burned it, leaving a fish skeleton on the river bank."
When Da Jinya heard this, he sighed and said, "Oh, what a pity, if the bones of this strange fish can be brought into the museum and made into specimens, many people will definitely visit it."
Old Liu Tou said: "Isn't it? But at that time, no one had the guts. They were afraid that the Dragon Lord would come down and there would be another big flood."
I asked: "Master Liu, you told us just now that there is a place where we can see the iron-headed dragon king fish. Did you mean this one? Could it be that after so many years, the skeleton of this fish is still preserved? It is still on the bank of the river." What about leaving it on?"
Old Liu Tou said: "That's right, but it's not on the river bank. In order to prevent the plague, the people nearby burned the fish meat and internal organs to sacrifice to the river god. They were discussing how to deal with the fish bones. At this time, they came to another province. People, this person is a businessman, and this businessman is also a very superstitious person, he paid some money to build a fish bone temple in Longling not far from us."
Da Jinya asked: "Fishbone Temple? There used to be this on the ground in Tianjin. Is it just to use fishbone as beams and fishheads as doors to worship the river god?"
Old Liu said: "Tianjin also has them? I haven't heard of them. But it is indeed similar to what you said. The businessman from other provinces claimed that he often goes to sea and crosses rivers, so he often takes boats, so he spent money to repair this fish. Bone Temple. This temple is not large in scale and does not even have a courtyard. It is no different from an ordinary Dragon King Temple. The fish bones are used as the frame of the house, and the skull of the big fish is the temple gate. Statues. When they were first repaired, some people would go to the Fish Bone Temple to offer incense and make wishes when they got sick or caught up with the drought. It’s funny to say, it’s so evil, and it never came true once. If you go to the Fish Bone Temple to pray for rain , It’s okay if you don’t ask for it, the more you ask for it, the more dry it gets, so it didn’t take long before the incense was cut off. The businessman who funded the temple has never appeared since then.”
I asked, "The Fishbone Temple is still there?"
Old Liu nodded and said: "Yes, but it has been abandoned for a long time, and the statue of the Dragon Lord collapsed within two years. Some people say that the businessman who paid for the temple was not sincere, or that he did something lacking in virtue. The Dragon King is not willing to accept his incense. In addition, the Fish Bone Temple is built in the valley of Longling Mountain, and the road is difficult. No one goes to the Fish Bone Temple again. I forgot about it. During the Cultural Revolution, even the Red Guards didn’t even think about smashing the Fishbone Temple. In fact, even if they did, there was nothing to smash. But the pattern of the temple and the fishbone are still there. If you have the opportunity, you can Go and see."
The fat man scolded with a smile: "What the hell is there to see, the three of us almost became fish food today, so don't worry about it."
Da Jinya had other plans. He discussed it with me and decided to rest tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and go to Longling to see the Fishbone Temple. Maybe such a big fishbone can be sold for money, at least to The Museum of Natural History reimbursed our travel expenses.
We persuaded old Liu to drink again and again, and asked him if any antique tombs had been unearthed nearby.
Old Liu was so drunk that his eyes were blurred, and his tongue was a bit thick when he spoke, but he uttered the truth after drinking, and he really spit out some local secrets.
Some time ago, Gu Lan was washed out of several ancient tombs by water, all of which belonged to the Song Dynasty, but they were not noble tombs, except for a few bones that were about to rot, there were only some broken bottles and jars.
The most valuable thing unearthed here is that there was a year of drought, and this section of the Yellow River was almost bottomed out. During dredging, three big iron monkeys were dug out from the mud, each weighing hundreds of catties, and the upper part was removed. After removing the rust, I found that the patterns carved on the iron monkeys are beautiful and smooth, and the outside is all gold-plated. So far, it seems that I have not found out what these iron monkeys are for.
Some people say that it was used to suppress demons in the Tang Dynasty, while others said it was used to sacrifice rivers. It is not known whether it was taken to a museum or melted by a large-scale steel smelting.
The most evil thing is that before the three iron-cast monkeys were found in the mud, many people dreamed of three old men with white beards and monsters in the ghost cave of the Yellow River Ancient Road , crying and begging to let them go. This matter became more and more mysterious, and many people said that these three old men were the iron monkey spirits in the river.
During the Spring Festival that year, there were monkeys in the family, and they all wore red trousers and red belts, for fear of being retaliated by the three iron monkeys. In the end, nothing major happened in the neighborhood, and of course there were a few bad luck. Yes, but that's what they asked for.
There are many strange things in the Yellow River. We have all heard of these things. The Yellow River iron cattle displayed in the Hedong Museum are used to suppress the river. At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, it was said that a one-eyed stone man was caught in the Yellow River. At that time, there was a peasant uprising. There were nursery rhymes saying that it was a one-eyed stone man who provoked rebellion in the Yellow River. That incident is just a legend, not credible, but one can still witness the ancient mystery of the Yellow River, how many secrets are covered in the muddy river mud.
However, we were not interested in such things as iron monkeys, iron bulls, and stone men, so we kept asking whether there were ancient tombs and ruins nearby, and who had antiques in their hands and wanted to sell them.
Old Liu thought for a while and said, it turns out that you are a waste of antiques. If you had made a lot of gains in the past few years, you would have been collected by now. Not only private antique dealers come to collect, but the government also collects. It is collected more than ten times a year, no matter how many things can be collected like this.
A few years ago, tomb robberies occurred one after another in the vicinity of Gulan, and many local people also participated. When the wind blows in autumn, you can see that the ground is full of robbery holes, and it is easy to fall into them if you don’t walk carefully. The places where the tombs are concentrated are almost dug into sieves.
Old Liu Tou said, let's hurry up to this point, I suddenly remembered that someone said it, let me say it, and you listen to it. I once heard from a local old man that there is an ancient tomb of the Tang Dynasty in Longling. It's secret, and the ancient tomb is hidden so deep that I don't even say whether it exists or not. After all, this kind of thing was passed down by word of mouth many years ago, so it may not be true. There are many legends about this kind of ancient tomb in our local area, and they are almost one person's own version, not fixed. Some people say that Longlingzhong is the tomb of the Tang Dynasty, and some say it belongs to other dynasties. Anyway, it's all legends, and no one has seen it.