The Thousand-Day Liquor

Di Xi, who lived in Zhongshan, could make a liquor one cup of which was enough to get one drunk for a thousand days. There lived in the same prefecture a man called Liu Xuanshi, who, being a heavy drinker, went to Di to ask for it. "This brew is not yet ready," said Di. "I dare not give any to you." "Just one cup, please," Liu insisted, "though it is not yet ready." Because he said this, Di could not help giving him a cup, which he finished. "Wonderful!" he said. "Do give me some more." But Di said, "Please return home now and come on another day. The one cup you have drunk will make you sleep for a thousand days." So Liu left, the colour of his face having somewhat changed. As soon as he reached home, he apparently died of intoxication. His family believed he was dead, cried and buried him.

Three years later, Di said to himself, "It is time Liu woke up. I had better go and ask about him." He went to Liu's home and asked, "Is Mr. Liu in?" Surprised, Liu's people said, "He died a long time ago. The mourning for him is already over." It was now Di's turn to be surprised. "The liquor I made was so strong that he would sleep for a thousand days after drinking a cup of it," he said. "He ought to wake up today." He urged them to open the grave and break the coffin to have a look. There was the smell of sweat on the grave. When it was opened, they saw Liu opening his eyes and mouth and heard him drawling, "How happy it is to be drunk!" Then he asked Di, "What did you brew to make me so drunk that I've woken up only today, How high is the sun now?" All those around the grave laughed. The smell of liquor from Liu's mouth got into their nostrils and put them all into a drunken sleep for three months.

Gan Bao Sou shen ji (Stories of Immortals)