“When Red Pigeons Gathered on Tang's House” (Chi jiu zhi ji Tang zhi wu 赤
之集湯之屋) is a Warring States period bamboo manuscript written in the script of the Chu state. It concerns figures that are well known in historical legend: Tang 湯, the founder of the Shang dynasty; his wife; his minister Yi Yin 伊尹, here called by the title xiaochen 小臣 [minor servitor]; and the last king of the Xia dynasty, here called simply the Xia Lord (xia hou 夏后). These figures have their familiar identities, but the tale recorded in the manuscript is unique and has no apparent political or philosophical import. The protagonist, Xiaochen, is Tang's cook, but he does not play the role of founding minister raised up by a future king. Moreover, he is associated with a nexus of motifs associated with shamans, including spirit possession. He acquires clairvoyance after eating a soup of magic red birds (jiu 鳩, [pigeons] or hu 鵠 [cranes]) intended for Tang. After fleeing from an angry Tang, he is possessed by a spirit-medium raven. He then cures the illness of the Xia Lord by having him move his house and kill the yellow snakes and white rabbits under his bed. One rabbit escapes and the story concludes that this is why parapets are placed on houses, suggesting that the context of the story was the construction of a building. Thus, it may have been similar to a historiola, narrated in a ritual to sanctify houses after the placement of the parapet, thus preventing illness among the inhabitants.