| Watermelon Magic (a tale from Vietnam)

Posted by admin at 2006, August 9, 6:31 PM
More of this topic in Fairy tale

Long ago, . Vietnam was ruled by generous kings. One of these, King Hung Vuong the Third, had only one daughter, and so he adopted a poor boy from a faraway island. He named the child An Tiem and cherished him as if he were his own. МフつWWW.FAirY-tALE.iNfoたヱòㄤωㄐ

An Tiem grew to be intelligent, wise and skillful, and the king so loved him, he decided An Tiem must marry his daughter. Together they would rule the land after the king died. Нひ9WwW.FaiRY-TALe。INFoケترぅュ¤

An Tiem and the king's daughter married, and they loved each other deeply. They had two children, and their lives appeared to be blessed by the heavens. üサwWW。fairY-TAle.InFo€ィíAヰ

But some in the king's court envied the young man, and soon their envy turned to hatred. They began to spread rumors of his pride and disrespect. These stories were untrue, but still the rumors spread. Before long they reached the king.

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The king began to wonder. Might these stories be true? Would his own daughter help to destroy him? Would the young man he had for so long treated as his own son forget his favored position and turn on the king? 말eぬyχwWW.FaIRY-taLe.InFO3&ㄇǖS

He began to think betrayal might be possible.

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Distraught by his suspicions, the king decided he must exile An Tiem. With a heavy heart but fearful of the future, the king sent the whole family far away to live on their own on a desolate island.

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"If An Tiem is as brave and able as he claims, he will survive," the king announced. He hid his tears as the family departed, for he believed they could never survive. ㄉケШWwW。FAiry-TAle.InfoPㄊ4ВШOセ

The island was battered by heavy winds and waves that crashed upon the shores. An Tiem's wife wept when she saw how they would live一alone and without any of the comforts and luxuries she was accustomed to. ±PㄕWWw。FaiRy-TaLe。infoéもζこ

But she loved her husband, and she had faith, and so she remained devoted to An Tiem. Together they worked hard to make life bearable upon that barren island. ˊ5zwWW.FaIrY-TaLe。INfoネē

One day as An Tiem walked along the beach, he noticed strange yellow sea birds among the rocks. When he climbed up to see them closer, he noticed they were pecking at black seeds, and some of these dropped into the sand. ふ⌒ШコwWw.fAirY-TaLe.infOrひˇǖ

An Tiem decided he would plant these seeds. What could he lose? Perhaps something could grow in this place. When he returned home, he told his wife, "If these seeds are good for birds, they will be good for us."

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Together they prepared the ground and planted the seeds.

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Soon they noticed tender shoots sprouting from the earth, and the shoots grew and crept along the ground. Buds appeared on these vines, and these flowered and turned into fruits. To An Tiem's amazement, these fruits grew and grew, larger than peaches, then as large as a head, and covered with green skin smooth to the touch.

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The fruits smelled delightful, and when An Tiem sliced one open, he discovered inside beautiful red pulp sprinkled with those marvelous seeds. He tasted the pulp and smiled, for the taste was fresh and cool and sweet. He called his fruits "dua do," or red melon. But later his wife, hearing the cry of the birds that had carried the seeds, said, "Listen to their song."

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"Tay qua," the birds seemed to cry. "Tay qua." "Water melon."

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His wife wept with joy as she tasted the first watermelon. And the family picked the fruits and stored them carefully inside where the sun would not rot their skin.

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They went on planting, and by year's end they had so many watermelons that they began to offer these to passing sailors, trading them for food and clothing, for spices and toys and other things they needed for comfort. はUㄛむQwww.Fairy-TaLE。InfO⌒(ちニK

One day An Tiem sat upon the beach looking longingly toward his old land. Suddenly he had an idea. He gathered some watermelons, and upon these he wrote his name. Then he set them adrift. 99ГǎWWw.fairY-talE。InFOナt℃εㄥ*≈

When the king's servants discovered these peculiar fruits bobbing upon the sea outside the palace, they gathered them and carried them to the king. λ∵τヵwwW.faIRy-tALe.InFoサjせひ)

When the king saw An Tiem's name, his heart swelled.

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"So he is not dead," the king cried out with joy. Then he tasted the strange and wonderful new fruit, and he understood that An Tiem's resourcefulness had served him and his family well on that barren island. ゃWww.fAIRY-TaLE.InFoぇ_ЩUv1E

But the king longed for the loves of his life一his son and daughter and grandchildren 一and so he sent for them. КすH⊥wWw.fairy-TAlE.infOと

And forever afterward all the people of Vietnam told the story of those birds and their magical black seeds and the sweetness of An Tiem's gift, the watermelon.

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