In Nam Xuong, present-day Ha Nam Ninh province, there lived a couple native to the same village. The young woman was as beautiful as she was virtuous. Vu Thi Thiet and Truong Sinh were head over ears in love with each other. Despite their poverty they would have been perfectly happy, had not been for the husband’s suspicious character.

Shortly after their wedding, Truong Sinh was called up and was sent to the southern border.
The young woman gave birth to a wonderful son. She brought up the child, looked after her house, took care of her mother-in-law, who, alas, and died. She arranged the best obsequies for her deceased mother-in-law. The whole people in the area paid tribute to her qualities.

After one year, when the war was over, the husband returned to his village. He was very happy to see his son and received him with open arms.
But the child was afraid and pushed him away.

“I am your father,” he told the child.
“Dad comes only at night,” answered the child.

A play of The Young Woman of Nam Xuong

A play of The Young Woman of Nam Xuong

Immediately Truong Sinh’s heart was overwhelmed with great suspicion. Alone with his son he asked him many questions.
“Dad only comes at night,” repeated the child.
“When mummy walks, Dad follows her, when mummy sits down, Dad does the same.”
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Truong Sinh no longer doubted his wife’s infidelity. She was always so beautiful. His rival must love her so much to follow her as her shadow.

Green with jealousy, he finally decided to question her. She did not understand anything and denied everything. Truong Sinh was beside himself. He abused her and went to the length of beating her. Relatives and friends tried in vain to reason with him. That home which had been until then so peaceful became a hell.

One evening, taking advantage of her husband’s absence, the humiliated young woman, at the end of her tether, kissed her child, put him to bed and went to the river and drowned herself.

On his return, the husband had a foreboding sense of misfortune and ran to the river. But he did not find Vu Thi Thiet’s body.
Night fell when Truong Sinh returned home. As the child was crying, he held him in his arms and lighted the lamp. Suddenly pointing to the shadow cast on the wall, the child cried:
“Dad! There he is!”

The poor man then had the key to the sad mystery. During his absence, to answer the questions of the child who always asked “Dad! Where is Dad?”, his wife had pointed to the shadow on the wall and said: “That’s him, your sad!”
The population erected to the memory of Vu Thi Thiet a temple called Temple of Truong’s Wife.