On his way home from seeking enlightenment, Zhuang Zi sees a widow fanning a tomb. Zhuang learns that the woman is doing so because she is eager to remarry, but she is unwilling to break her promise to her late husband that she will wait to remarry until the earth of his tomb is dry. Touched by her faithfulness,Zhuang dries the tomb thoroughly with Taoist sorcery. Back home, Zhuang’s beautifully dressed wife Tian reminds him of the young widow and it occurs to him that love is fickle and nothing is eternal. The husband feigns death and turns into a handsome young man to test his wife for her loyalty.
Unlike the young widow, Tian is noble-minded and adheres to spiritual love. She respects Zhuang for his knowledge and upright character. Now that her husband is dead, she closes the door to all matchmakers and makes ready for a life of solitude. However, she soon falls in love with Zhuang, who disguises himself as a young man. In order to save the young man from a serious illness, Tian is told she must break her husband’s coffin and remove his brains as an enhancing substance to the remedy. When she is about to do so, Zhuang appears and ridicules her inconstancy as a proof of the Natural Law of Change. Knowing that he has made a fool of her, she leaves in shame, sorrow and indignation.