Saturday, 27 December 2008
Mai An Tiem was an adopted son of 17th King Hung. He was talented and that was why he was highly considered by people and received many favors from the king. Once he said " Present means worry, gift means dept" and that provoked his father's anger. In spite of many pieces of advice from the whole court officials, there was an order that An Tiem and his family had to be deported to an isolated island in the far, far ocean without any belongings.
Fade came to those unlucky people. An Tiem's family was left in the island with nothing but a blunt sword, a clay pot and food that was only enough for them in five days. The wife sunk in sorrows and sobbed while the husband were releasing her and manly declared that they could make everything by their hands.
Life in remove place was so hard that both young and adult in the unfortunate family had to catch fish, oyster and also wild greens to remain life. Later the fruit was out of the season, fish in the sea could not be caught without net, bird was watchful over the trap. What they owned at this time was just some wild greens cultivated by the husband.
One early morning, An Tiem heard the sounds of birds in a distance then he just walked out to see the scene but the birds were frighten and flew high above in confusion and left a small piece of melon with bright red pulp and black tiny seeds. " It was absolutely good for birds. It must be the same for Man" he thought " Why don't I do something with those tiny seeds?" Its fresh and sweet taste seemed to make him believe that his decision was right. With a blunt sword he ploughed a small piece of land and sowed it with the seeds.
Time passed by; the man now was look happy and hopeful when travelling his eyes over the verdant and luxuriant plants sprawling on the sand. All people in the family looked for the coming day that their lianas bear fruit and the fruit got bigger and bigger... One morning the family was woke by the sounds of bird. An Tiem came out into the sand and found one of the melon was half-eaten and showing the bright red color of its pulp. He brought it home then and cut a small piece to each person in the family. The melon taste was so good that everyone liked it but the rest of it was only consumed at noon when they felt that what they had eaten in the morning was unharmful to them.
Thank to this kind of fruit, life in the island now was much better. Melon was cultivated, harvested season by season. Every time An Tiem himself also dropped some fruits with his name curved over their skin into the ocean for the desire of sharing the happiness and looking for a way to the mainland.
Later there were some merchants who got into the island and asked for exchanging tools as well as food for the kind of fruit they had picked up in the sea.
Hung king somewhat felt regretful that he had put his son a death until the day he was offered a melon and broken the news that An Tiem and his family weren't only alive but also cultivated a precious melon in the island. After that a favor was granted to bring An Tiem and his family back to the court as an honor to the country.
From that time on this kind of fruit - Watermelon - was commonly planted but it was said that those melons from Nga Son Island where An Tiem first cultivated it were the best ones.