Weeding the rice field with four sisters, Li Chi stopped to watch her father, mother, and oldest sister waiting. The ancient, rounded, bent sorceress and the tall, thin magistrate walked up the road with an ox-led cart. They wore gowns of silk embroidery flowers of golden and bright-colored threads. This day was the tenth day of the eighth month when a young maiden of twelve years old offered to the eighty-meter worm that lived on the mountain. Li Chi knew the pain and tears of her oldest sister. Her family worked exceptionally hard, and this year the rain and Earth Dragons provided five extra bags of rice to pay the bribe to the sorceress and the magistrate, saving her oldest sister.
Li Chi yelled, “That worm will never eat me, never!”
Since a baby, Li Chi heard stories about the eighty-meter long, hundred toothed, wide-eyed, rice barrel thick worm that slid down the mountain to eat chickens, pigs, sheep, oxen, and goats, sometimes farmers, and several times a magistrate.
Some years ago, a sorceress traveled into town. She informed, "In a dream, the worm asked for a young maiden aged twelve to eat. The farmers must pay rice to save their daughters.
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