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THE MOSQUITO STORY

DO YOU KNOW THAT ONLY THE FEMALE MOSQUITOES BITE?
DO YOU KNOW WHY? A LONG TIME AGO NGOC TAM AND HIS
WIFE NHAM DIEP LIVED ON A SMALL FARM. TAM TENDED THE
RICE FIELDS AND DIEP RAISED SILKWORMS. DIEP WAS A
DAYDREAMER. SHE HAD VISIONS OF ONE DAY LIVING IN A
LARGE HOUSE WITH MANY SERVANTS TO WAIT ON HER. SHE
HATED TO WORK.
ONE DAY DIEP BECAME ILL WHILE TAM WAS OUT WORKING IN THE
FIELDS. WHEN TAM GOT HOME DIEP WAS DEAD. AS TAM WAS
SAYING PRAYERS FOR HER, A VISION CAME TO HIM. THE
VISION TOLD TAM TO TAKE DIEP'S BODY BY BOAT TO THE
ENCHANTED MOUNTAIN IN THE SEA.
AFTER MANY DAYS OF ROWING TAM REACHED THE MOUNTAIN.
HE CARRIED DIEP UP THE STEEP PATH TO A LOVELY FIELD
OF FLOWERS AND LAID HER DOWN. AS HE KNELT BESIDE HER
A WRINKLED, GRAY HAIRED OLD MAN WITH SPARKLING EYES
APPEARED. THE OLD MAN ASKED TAM TO STAY IN THIS PLACE
AND BECOME A DISCIPLE. BUT TAM SAID HE LOVED DIEP
VERY MUCH AND WANTED HER BACK...SO THE OLD MAN TOLD
TAM TO MAKE A SMALL CUT ON HIS FINGER AND LET THREE
DROPS OF HIS BLOOD FALL ON DIEP. WHEN THIS WAS DONE
DIEP AWOKE TO THE WORLD OF THE LIVING AGAIN.
THE OLD MAN TOLD HER WHAT HAD HAPPENED. HE SAID SHE
MUST BE FAITHFUL, OBEDIENT AND WORK VERY HARD OR SHE
WOULD BE PUNISHED. THEN THE OLD MAN WAS GONE AND TAM
AND DIEP RETURNED TO THEIR BOAT. ON THE WAY HOME THEY
STOPPED AT A VILLAGE TO BUY SUPPLIES.
WHILE DIEP WAS WAITING FOR TAM AT THE DOCK, A LARGE
ELEGANT BOAT CAME IN. THE OWNER --A RICH MERCHANT--
ASKED DIEP ABOARD FOR A CUP OF TEA WHILE HIS SERVANTS
REPAIRED THE SAILS. THE MERCHANT TOLD DIEP SHE WAS
VERY BEAUTIFUL AND ASKED HER TO SAIL OFF WITH HIM AND
BECOME HIS WIFE. THESE WERE THE THINGS DIEP HAD ALWAYS
WANTED, SO SHE SAID YES AND DID NOT TELL THE MERCHANT
ABOUT TAM.
WHEN TAM RETURNED DIEP WAS GONE AND AN OLD SAILOR TOLD
HIM WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND WHERE THE MERCHANT LIVED.
TAM WAS VERY ANGRY. HE SET OUT FOR THE MERCHANT'S
HOME AND IN A FEW DAYS HE FOUND IT. HE TOLD A SERVANT
HE WANTED TO SEE THE MASTER AND HE WOULD WAIT IN THE
GARDEN. WHEN HE GOT TO THE GARDEN, HE CAME UPON DIEP
CUTTING SOME FLOWERS. DIEP WAS VERY SURPRISED TO
SEE TAM HERE IN THIS PLACE. SHE SAID SHE WAS HAPPY AND
WOULD NOT LEAVE.
TAM SAID HE DID NOT WANT HER BACK, HE ONLY WANTED HIS
THREE DROPS OF BLOOD. DIEP WAS GREATLY RELIEVED AND
MADE A SMALL CUT ON HER FINGER WITH THE FLOWER KNIFE.
TAM HELD OUT HIS ARM AND DIEP LET THE BLOOD FALL ON IT.
WHEN THE THIRD DROP FELL DIEP'S BEAUTY WAS GONE AND
SHE BEGAN TO SHRINK UNTIL SHE WAS THE SIZE OF A
MOSQUITO. THAT WAS DIEP'S PUNISHMENT. SHE BEGAN
BUZZING AROUND TAM'S HEAD AND IT SOUNDED AS IF SHE
WAS SAYING, "GIVE ME BACK THE BLOOD, I AM SORRY, I
AM SORRY."
TAM RAN BACK TO HIS BOAT AND ROWED FOR MANY DAYS UNTIL
HE FOUND THE ENCHANTED MOUNTAIN AGAIN. AFTER HE HAD
BECOME A DISCIPLE HE ASKED THE OLD MAN ABOUT DIEP.
AND THE OLD MAN SAID THAT DIEP AND ALL THE FEMALE
MOSQUITOES WHO CAME AFTER HER WOULD CONTINUE TO
SEARCH FOR THE THREE DROPS OF BLOOD. THEN HE SAID,
"AND THIS SHALL BE A REMINDER TO ALL PEOPLE TO LIVE
CLEANLY, BE OBEDIENT AND WORK HONESTLY." AND SO IT
HAS BEEN EVER SINCE.

Where learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Animal Life

Date learned: 00-00-1964

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