In his youth, Song Dingbo, from Nanyang, was walking one night when he encountered a spirit. When asked, it told him: “I’m a ghost.” When the spirit asked who he was, Dingbo lied to it, saying: “I’m a ghost too.” The spirit asked him where he wanted to go, to which he replied: “I’m going to the market at Wan.” The spirit told him: “I’m also heading for the Wan market.” They travelled together for several li, then the spirit said: “Walking is too slow. Wouldn’t it be better if we carried one another?” Ding-  -bo said: “Great!” The spirit took the first turn and carried Dingbo for several li. The spirit said: “The gentleman is extremely heavy. Are you not a ghost?” Dingbo told it: “I’m a new ghost, so my body is just a bit heavier.” Dingbo therefore carried the spirit, which was entirely weightless, and this exchange was repeated several times. Dingbo spoke up again: “I’m a new ghost, and don’t know which things to detest and avoid.” The spirit replied: “The only thing we dislike is people’s saliva.” They carried on together. When the road reached a river, Dingbo ordered the spirit to cross., and it waded through without making any splashing sounds. When Dingbo himself crossed, he made an audible splashing and sploshing. The spirit asked: “Why do you make such a noise?” Dingbo told it: “Being newly dead, I am just not yet used to crossing rivers. Don’t worry about me.” Approaching the Wan market, Dingbo again picked up the spirit and carried it on his shoulder, then grabbed it tightly. The spirit let out a shout, and started yelling, but he tied it with rope and stopped listening. Passing through the market, he placed it on the ground. The spirit immediately changed into a sheep, so Dingbo sold it. Fearing it would turn back, he spat upon it. He earned 1,500 cash, and departed. For a time it was widely repeated that Dingbo had sold a ghost and earned fifteen hundred cash.
Li Fang 李昉, et al., Taiping guangji 太平廣記 (Extensive Gleanings from the Era of Great Harmony), 10 vols (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1961), vii, 321.2548-49:
南陽宋定伯。年少時。夜行逢鬼。問之。鬼言我是鬼。鬼問汝復誰。定伯誑之。言我亦鬼。鬼問欲至何所。答曰。欲至宛市。鬼言。我亦欲至宛市。遂行數里。鬼言。步行太遲。可共遞相擔。何如。定  伯曰。大善。鬼便先擔定伯數里。鬼言。卿太重。不是鬼也。定伯言。我新鬼。故身重耳。定伯因復擔鬼。鬼略無重。如是再三。定伯復言。我新鬼。不知有何所惡忌。鬼答言。唯不喜人唾。于是共行。道遇水。定伯令鬼渡。聽之了然無水音。定伯自渡。漕漼作聲。鬼復言。何以有聲。定伯曰。新死。不習渡水故爾。勿怪吾也。行欲至宛市。定伯便擔鬼著肩上。急執之。鬼大呼。聲咋咋然。索下。不復聽之。徑至宛市中。下著地。化為一羊。便賣之。恐其變化。唾之。得錢千五百。乃去。當時有言。定伯賣鬼。得錢千五。出列異傳