The Story of the Mosquito
Chuyê.n Con Muô~i
Once upon a time in a faraway region of Vietnam, there was a young, brave and generous farmer of the name Ngọc Tâm. He had a wife of the name Nhan Diệp. She was gracious and charming. Contrary to her husband who was thrifty and hard working, she was lazy and loved luxury. In spite of that, Ngoc Tan loved his wife and forgave her for anything. Unfortunately, this union lasted only for a short time because his wife died brutally on a beautiful morning. Sinking into distress, Ngọc Tâm did not want to stay away from the corpse of his wife and opposed to her burial. After having sold all his assets, he embarked in a sampan with the casket and drifted with the current without having in mind any precise destination.
One day, his sampan took him to the foot of a green and scented hill. Landing on ground, he discovered a landscape imprinted with the beauty of rare flowers and trees bearing varied fruits. During the time he continued his exploration, he suddenly met an old man with his long hair as white as his goatee beard. From the old man emanated a great serenity and a surprising compassion, which allowed him to understand he had in front of him a God of Places. He threw himself down to the old man's feet, and then implores him to give back life to his wife.
Feeling sorry for him, the old man said: "I am going to grant your wish because your love and grief are sincere. But could you not regret it later on!" Then he asked the peasant to open the casket, and cut the end of his finger and let three drops of blood fall on the body of his wife Nhan Diep. Right away, the latter opened her eyes as if she got out of a long lethargy. Her forces returned very fast. Before leaving, the old man told the woman: "Don't forget your duties of a wife. Think of the love your husband brought to you and of his devotion. Be happy both of you."
Hurrying to go back home, the peasant Ngọc Tâm tried to row days and nights. One evening, he had to land to buy groceries. During his absence, a big boat of a wealthy merchant drew up alongside his. Caught by the beauty of Nhan Diệp, the merchant got into a conversation with her, ended up seducing her and taking her with him to a new destination. Upon his return, furious Ngọc Tâm decided to launch himself into the pursuit of the rich merchant. He succeeded in finding the latter after long months of search. He found his wife and proposed her to go back to him. Used to easy life, the latter refused to the proposal. Right then, the peasant recovered from his craze and told his wife: "You are free to leave me. But you have to give back my three drops of blood that I poured on your body to revive you".
Happy for getting rid of her stupid husband at a good deal, Nhan Diệp hurried to prick her finger. But at the time the blood began to flow, she tumbled down dead. This frivolous and light-hearted woman could not be resigned to leave this world definitively. She came back by transforming herself into a minuscule insect relentlessly pursuing Ngọc Tâm to steal from him the three drops of blood that brought her to human life. This tiny creature is known later as the mosquito.