[The Fairy Tale] Thanh Giong

Thanh giong

(A Vietnamese fairy tale)

Thanh Giong-Phu Dong Thien Vuong


It was said that: under 6th Hung Vuong dynasty, in a village, there was a couple that was really kind, hard-working and was famous for their mercy of helping others. They still did not have any child even though they were old.

One day, the wife came to the field and saw a large footprint. Due to her curiosity, she then tried her foot on to compare. Surprising that she was pregnant right after that. After 9 months and 10 days, the child had not been still born. The husband expected the child very much, but he was not able to wait because he had sickness and passed away. It had been twelve months after the wife was pregnant, she born a bright boy. She gave a name for him, Giong. But it was very weird that he hadn’t known how to smile, speak, and move, he lied everywhere he was placed at until he was 3 years old.

At that time, the country was threaten by invaders called “An” and leaded by “An Vuong”. He was famous for their immoral and cruelty, he went to a place, he killed people there. Residents both were afraid of him and felt a deep resentment . The king had to ask envoys to search for those who could fight against the enemy because the army had failed to beat them many times. Everywhere the envoy came to, he announced:

– Loa loa loa loa! The invaders are really pugnacious, if there is any talent, please come for rescuing our country!

When hearing the envoy’s voice, the child began asking his mother:

– Mom! Please invite the envoy to come here for me.

Being aware that the son could speak, at first his mother was very glad, but hearing his want, she prevented and said:

– You just are a little kid, how can you come out there to fight the enemy?

Giong still determined that:

– Mom, just ask the envoy to meet me please.

She accepted and asked the envoy. When the envoy came in, he was very angry because there was not any warrior, he saw only a 3 year-old boy who was sitting in bed. While he was intending to leave, Giong said clearly:

– Let’s come back and told the king that I need a horse, an armor and a rod all made from iron to destroy the enemy.

The man was surprised to hear that, he immediately came back to told the king. The king instantly ordered the workers to work through days and nights to meet Giong’s requirements. It was more surprising that from the day the child met the envoy, he grew rapidly. He ate all of the rice cooked by his mother, the clothes could not fit him. The old mother did not have enough food and clothes for her son because his family was so poor that there was only rice and eggplant, he had just worn clothes which had alright been tight.  However, all the villagers were willing to help her and Giong to accomplish the purpose of destroying cruel invaders to save the country.

The invader was about to reach to Trau mountain, the residents were very nervous as well as scared. At that moment, the envoy came with iron horse, armor and rod. Giong stretched his shoulders, rose himself and turned to be a valiant man. He wore the armor, hold the rod and rode the horse beganing to erupt fire, he rode the horse to place the enemy was. Giong whipped tens of enemies with his iron rod. Suddenly the ironed rod was broken but he continued by rooting up all the bamboo groves and used them as his weapon. The invader’s willing was absolutely broken. They all shattered and trampled on others to run away. Giong ran after them to Soc Son mountain.

Giong looked back to his village, kneeled down and bowed down his mother 3 times to show the deep gratitude for her. Then, he took off the armor, flew the horse up to heaven.

To show the gratitude, the king conferred a title “Phu Dong Thien Vuong” on Giong and set up a temple of memory in his village. Today, there is still Giong temple in Phu Dong village or Giong village. In April every year, there is a big traditional festival to commemorate Giong’s contribution. The round ponds linking from Kim Anh Van Phuc to Soc Son mountain are footprints of the horse Giong rode before. Interestingly, bamboo in Gia Binh district is yellowish due to the fire that came out from Giong’s horse. In addition, there is even a village called “Burn village” just because the horse had burned the whole village in the battle in the past.

– Edited by Hai Yen-

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