Tuesday, 23 December 2008

The Wait-For- Husband Stone


Once upon a time, there was a poor couple who had 2 children: an 11-year-old son and a 6- year-old daughter. They often leave their children at home when they worked in the field or go. One day, the mother gave the children one sugar cane and told the boy to cut it for his sister to eat and took her out for some fun. She often said:

- Don't make her cry or else our father will hit you hard.

The boy took his sister to the front yard and they broke branches off a tree to build a house with their neighbour's friends. After playing, he took his sister home and looked for a knife to cut the sugar cane. When he cut the sugar cane, the knife blade suddenly slipped from knife handle and hit his sister on the head. She fell down and fainted, blood was spilled on the ground.

He was very scared and ran away. He ran and ran and ran. He didn't know where he was running, how many houses he was there to have lunches and dinners for 15 years. Until the last one, a fisherman who lived in Binh Dinh seaside adopted him. Fishing kept him over there. The days went by. Then he married a girl.

His wife was good at knitting fish net. When his boat landed, she brought his fish to market to sell. After 2 years, they had a son and were very happy. One day, he was at home mending the net because of the stormy sea. After lunch, his wife flowed down her hair and had him caught louses. He was so surprised to see the big round scar on her right ear. He asked her about it. She told him happily:

- 20 years ago, my elder brother cut sugar cane and that harmful knife blade hit my head. I fainted at that time. Later, I just knew my brother went away because he was fearful. My parents looked for him everywhere but there wasn't any news about him. Since then, my parents were so upset that they passed away because of their sadness. As for me, nobody raised me and they sold me to a business boat. I hadn't settled down anywhere till I met you.

Behind her back, his face was paler and paler when he knew he married his own sister. His heart was broken by her words. But he tried to repress his feelings and didn't let her know about them. His boat set sail, furrowed the waves and headed for the high sea again but he never came back to her anymore. She was waiting for him at home. Every afternoon, she took her child to the mountain at sea mouth, watching the horizon for her husband coming back. Days passed by, she still climbed the mountain to look for her husband although her eyes were dry because of much crying. Later, she and her child turned into a stone, it becomes a symbol of wife's faith.

Translated by Mai Anh Tuyet