Once upon a time there was a peasant couple who led a modest life in a hamlet near Khanh Hoa.
Like all other Vietnamese houses, their house was made of beams from the forest, partitioned by bamboo and covered with straw.

The soil enriched by the humus of the forest was fertile. A little rivulet along the clearing flowed muddily or clearly all the year round. Manioc, taro and yam vied with one another to grow. Some terraced-fields, some hens, ducks, a few banana trees and a big mango tree provided the couple with something to live on. The husband added to it a few silver fish he got from his hoop nets. These simple people did not complain about their fate.

A son was born, then, two years later, a daughter. It was at the time of the mid-Autumn moon, the clearest moon. The children grew up in the calm of the clearing.
The boy was then seven years old and his sister was five. They often went to the forest to collect fire wood to help their mother.

One day they set off as usual to cut small branches with their bush knives. The boy who walked before his sister imitated the gestures of the warriors he had seen at the theatre. The bush knife, turned into a sword, twirled round. Suddenly, slipping from his hand, it hit the girl on the head. When he saw blood on his sister’s head the poor boy ran away.

The wound was not fatal. An old woman, a kind of sorceress, dressed it with some-herbs. Her parents, who were very anxious, had her horoscope cast at the pagoda. And the bonze, having consulted the prophetic rolls, declared that she would have a remarkable destiny the memory of which would last as long as mountains and seas.

The Mountain of the Woman Who Waits For Her Husband, Lang Son

The Mountain of the Woman Who Waits For Her Husband, Lang Son

When the rainy season came back the wound was healed. But the parents failed to find their son. Who would say the ritual prayers in front of the altar when they died?

The months and days went by. The home became a strangely sad place. After a hopeless life of hard work the parents died on the very year when their daughter was sixteen years old. The latter had to sell the family house to pay for the funeral. Then she went to work in the house of a rich family in Khanh Hoa.
Meanwhile the runaway brother had escaped death. After several trips to China in search of precious silks he became a famous merchant.

The day arrived when he decided to settle down in Khanh Hoa to start a home and family. It was then that he was introduced to a poor but very virtuous girl. He married her, and after one year, had the joy to have a son.

Their happy life, alas, was not to last. One evening, having lulled her baby to sleep in the hammock, she decided to have a shampoo. She put in the large basin some lukewarm water and some pods of market which preserved the beauty of her hair. As she unwound the heavy coil of her jet-black hair dropped. Her husband entered.

’Why that scar?’, asked the man as he saw a paler line on the head of the young woman.
She had hardly told the whole story when he understood the horrible truth: he had married his own sister!

Every day with her child, she watched at the horizon for her husband's return

Every day with her child, she watched at the horizon for her husband’s return

Overcome by the blows dealt by fate, he decided to disappear. He put his affairs in order to ensure the life of his wife and son and made for the distant silk lands.
His wife, standing on the hill, looked at the veil becoming blurred in the setting sun. Every day with her child, she watched at the horizon for her husband’s return. The wind carried away the doleful notes of her song. Boatmen addressed the silhouette which searched the sky, and asked it whether the winds were favorable.
In the end, Heaven, in his mercy, turned into a mountain the Mother and her Child, symbol of the wife’s constancy.