This is a story in Strange Tales from Make-Do Studio about "Drunken Tao," a unique species in the chrysanthemum family. The Ma family was a scholars family and a family of chrysanthemum love
rs. In this story, the lord of the present generation, Ma Zicai, was more fanantical about the plant than those of previous generations. On hearing
of a unique species available in JinlingCity, he rushed there and bought two. On his way back he saw a handsome young man on a horse behind a canopied cart. He was surnamed Tao and the girl inside the cart was his sister Huangying. They were moving away from Jinling and looking for a new place to live. At Ma's invitation, the two settled down in the south courtyard of the Ma residence. The girl often picked up the withered plants Ma discarded and would replant them in front of her room. The next day these withered plants would bloom splendidly and fragrantly. Before long, Huanying's flowers became known in the area and many people came to buy them.
Before long Ma's wife died of illness and Ma married
the flower-loving Huangying. Every day Ma drank and played chess with her brogher beside chrysanthemum flowers. One day ,after getting drunk, the young man tripped and fell. Ma couldn't believe his eyes when the young man fell and turned in a huge, man-sized chrysanthemum plant. He ran to report to his wife, who rushed out and plucked a flower that she kept inside her dress. By dawn, Ma saw the young man again, lying on the ground fast asleep. He realized that the brother and sister were both chrysanthemum spirits.
But the second time the brother turned into a plant after getting drunk, the young man failed to change back to human form. His sister reserved a length of root from the plant. Before long, a unique species sprouted, GRE
w up and bloomed with a smell of wine aroma. Later generations caslled this species "Drunken Tao."