Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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The moon boy (Chú Cuội)

The moon boy (Chú Cuội)

And, the story begins...

Once upon a time in a rural region there was a man named, Cuoi, who was a lumberjack. His only possession was his ax. Like any other day, Cuoi took his ax into the deep forest in search of trees to chop down. After going across a small stream, Cuoi was surprised to come upon a lion's den. Looking back and forth, he only saw four cubs prancing in front of the cave.

Cuoi at once jumped upon the cubs and hit his ax onto each of the baby animals. In that moment the mother of those cubs arrived home. A loud, terrifying roar came from behind him, and Cuoi only had time to throw his ax and climb onto the top of the nearest tree in front of him.

From the top looking down, Cuoi saw the mother lion hovering over her cubs, who already had taken their last breaths. The mother only kneeled by her children for a short amount of time before she got up and left them to lay there. It turned out the mother went to a nearby tree close to the one Cuoi where was hiding, to take some of its leaves with her mouth then return to where her cubs were.

With the leaves in her mouth she started to chew and place it into her kids' mouths. After waiting a while, her cubs started to move, then their tails began to wag, and not much later all of the kids were able to jump up and down playfully as normal.

The moon boy (Chú Cuội)

Realizing that the tree from which the mother lion took the leaves was in fact the miracle medicine (herbal) tree, Cuoi waited until the mother led her cubs away to another place to slowly crawl down. Once he got to the ground, he walked toward the tree and began to dig the roots out to take home.

Along the way, Cuoi came across an elderly man lying unconscious on the grass. Cuoi stopped to look but the old man had already died. He immediately put the tree down. Then without any hesitation, Cuoi pulled some leaves off the branch and began to chew it.

Cuoi put the chewed leaves into the elder's mouth, and then tried to get it down his throat. Slowly the old man's skin began to glow, blood rushed back to his cheeks, and his eyes started to open. The elderly man could not stop thanking the boy for rescuing him and asked him to tell the story of what had happened.

With sincerity, Cuoi told everything that had occurred. After listening, the old man cried out, "Heaven! I have heard of this tree and it's known as the magical tree of resurrection (rebirth). I'm such a fortunate man to meet such a thing. Son, take good care of the tree and heal the world. Remember to never use dirty water on the tree, otherwise the tree will fly up into the sky."

Once the old man was done talking, he got up with his cane and left. This left Cuoi by himself to continue off with the tree, which he planted in the corner of his garden so he could easily care for it each day.

Cuoi always remembered the elder man's words and everyday he would water the tree with clear spring water. Ever since Cuoi had the precious tree, he had saved countless lives. Whenever he heard of someone who just closed his eyes, Cuoi would rush to take some of the leaves to him. Rumors of Cuoi and his magical power began to spread everywhere.

Once day, Cuoi was crossing a river and a dog was lying dead. With his compassion for the animal, Cuoi retrieved the dog to dry land and took a few leaves out in order to save the dog. The dog was very grateful towards Cuoi so it would tag along him happily. From then on, Cuoi has another loyal yet clever companion.

In another incident there was a wealthy old man who lived in the next village and came rushing to find Cuoi. He begged him to rescue his daughter who had just died of drowning. Cuoi was happy to follow the man home and gave him the leaves to save a life.

One leaf later, the face of the man's daughter began to glow with a rosy color. All of a sudden, her eyes opened and she got up. The wealthy man noisily celebrated his daughter's recovery and told Cuoi he could have anything he likes. Cuoi looked and only want to marry the young lady to be his wife.
Why don't you stop for a sip of tea? Let's continue...

Knowing Cuoi was her savior, the girl agreed to be his wife. The wealthy old man also agreed to let his daughter be Cuoi's wife. The couple lived happily and peacefully together. However, in the region there were plenty of guys who had taken an interest in the wealthy man's daughter first.

Now seeing the blossoming flower suddenly in the hands of a lumberjack, the men started to resent Cuoi and plotted against the couple. One afternoon when Cuoi left for the forest, the guys came and attempted to kidnap his wife. They did not realize Cuoi's wife would strongly resist so the men decided to kill her right there.

After killing her, the men were afraid they would be caught since they knew Cuoi could resurrect his wife. As a result, the killers decided to tear her stomach open. They then took her intestines and threw it down the river before they left. When Cuoi finished chopping wood, he came home only to see his wife had been long dead.

Cuoi dashed to pick some leaves off the tree and chewed it, but no matter how much he chewed and put into his wife's mouth nothing happened. With no vital organs he could not save his wife to make her come back to life.

Seeing his master sorrowfully crying, the dog came close and begged him to take its organs so he could put it into the mistress's stomach. Cuoi has never tried to replace a person's guts before but he took the risk anyway.

He closed his eyes, gutted the dog, and placed the intestines inside his wife's body. Then he just waited to see what happened. As it turned out the organ replacement had worked and Cuoi's wife was alive once again.

Because of his master, the dog died. Cuoi tried to make a clay replica of the intestines and put it into the animal's stomach along with some of the chewed leaves. He was surprised that the method actually worked and the dog stood up, wagged his tail, and ran into Cuoi's arms.

From then on Cuoi could not believe that his wife's personality and actions began to change as each day went by. Ever since her organs were gutted, when she was asked to do something, she would go do something else. It caused Cuoi to become madder inside as each day passed by.

Cuoi became very worried since he lost track of how many times he would ask his wife, "If you need to pee then go to the West. Do not pee on the East side because that is where the tree resides." His wife did not remember so his request would always go out the other ear.

One evening when her husband was still out finding wood, the wife was picking vegetables in the East part of the garden when she had to go the restroom. She then made a quickie in the corner next to her husband's precious tree. As soon as the wife was done peeing, the ground began to shake and rumble.

All the fruits and vegetables in the garden started to fly up as the wind keep gushing through. A part of the tree's root already came out of the ground and it started to lift itself up into the sky. Meanwhile, at this time Cuoi has just set foot into the gate.

With a glance over what was going on, he noticed his precious tree was about to fly off and next to it was his wife screaming violent while jumping up and down. Cuoi sprinted toward the tree anxiously. He dropped his stack of wood and jumped toward the tree to attempt to hold it down. Except at that moment the tree was no longer in the ground and was already a head above.

The only thing Cuoi could do is at that split second was to hook his ax into the root of the tree since he could no longer stop it. He was persistent not to let go of the root so the whole tree itself was lifted into the sky along with Cuoi, and it kept on going until it had reached the moon.

Since then, Cuoi has been living on the moon with that tree of his. Up to this day, when you look up at the moon you will see Cuoi's shadow sitting under his precious herbal tree. People said that each year the tree will have only one leaf fall off of its branches.

Whoever finds the leaf can use it to save a person who has died. Even the dolphins know about this so that is why when the leaf falls into the ocean you will see them try to get it. Whichever dolphin finds it will treasure it and use it as medicine to save drowned bodies.

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