Snakes and Rats, Treasure-troves, Magic Words
—— An Across-cultural Study on the Functions of Animals and Plants in Treasure-seeking Stories WANG Li ( School of Literature, Liaoning Teacher's University, Dalian 116029 )
In a treasure-seeking theme of Chinese literature, there is an exotic creed to believe in the functions of animals and plants, and to use some supernatural objects as treasure-seeking implements. The varied theme of treasure-seeking drew inspiration from that creed, as illustrated by a type of story in which a ghost guards gold and silver in a treasure-trove. The images of snakes and rats in treasure-seeking stories may be traced back to Boreal literature and the ancient Chinese versions of Buddhist sutra stories.