Ugly Son

An old lady lived with her only son, Yen Chong, at the foot of Mount Ali in central Taiwan. He was good boy but very ugly.
One day, he passed by the house of a rich man. The rich man's daughter, who was very beautiful, was washing her face near a window upstairs. Without looking, she threw some water out of the window. It fell on Yen Chong as he was walking on the road outside. Yen Chong looked up and saw the girl. She smiled at him and said, "Please excuse me. I did not mean to throw water on you."
Yen Chong fell in love with her at once.
That night, he told his mother that he wanted to marry the girl. "You must be mad," his mother said. "We are very poor and she is very rich. Also she is beautiful and you are ugly. She will never marry you."
Yen Chong was very unhappy to hear this. He stopped eat­ing and could not sleep. He became ill and his mother was very worried. She then went to the rich man. "My son is ill because he wants to marry your daughter," she said. "But he is afraid you will not give him permission."
Therich man laughed. "How can he marry my daughter?" he said. "Anyway, you can tell him that if he can give me four things, I shall let him marry her. They are: a golden bird, the skin of a dragon, a precious jewel, and a man'shair, which must be more than the height of a man in length."
The old lady returned home and told her son what the rich man had said. Yen Chong immediately felt better. He packed some food and left home to search for the four things that the girl's father wanted. "I will find the Goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin) and ask her to help me," he said.
After some time, he met a farmer who was growing melons. He told him that he was looking for Kuan Yin. "If you find Kuan Yin, please ask her to make my melons bigger. They are so small." Yen Chong promised to do so.
Later he came to an inn where he stayed. He was the only one staying there. He told the innkeeper his story. "Please ask Kuan Yin to help me. I have no customers. I don't know why no one stays here," the innkeeper said. Yen Chong promised to help him.
The next day, he met a very old man who said he was one thousand years old. He had a white beard that was longer than his own height. Yen Chong told him where he was going. The old man said, "Please tell Kuan Yin that I want to become an immortal. I have lived for a thousand years and I am still a man." Yen Chong promised to help him, too.
Kuan Yin then built a house in his path. When Yen Chong came to the house, he saw there was an old lady inside, with a very kind face. "I am Kuan Yin," she said. "Because you are a good boy, I shall help you."
Yen Chong told her about the four things he was looking for. Kuan Yin asked him, "Is there anything, else?" He then asked her if she would also help the farmer, the innkeeper and the old man.
KuanYin replied, "Sleep now and tomorrow go to the old man and tell him to cut off his beard. He will become an im­mortal and you will get your long hair. Afterwards, go to the inn. There is a dragon living underneath it. It is the dragon which is keeping customers away. Kill the dragon and you will help the innkeeper and also be able to obtain its skin. You will find a large melon in the house of the farmer. Underneath it is a precious jewel. Take the jewel, and tell the farmer to plant the melon in his fields. All his melons will grow to be the same size."
Yen Chong thanked Kuan Yin. He then remembered the golden bird. "Can you please help me get a golden bird?" he asked.
"Return to Mount Ali," Kuan Yin said, "and climb to the top. There you will find a stone lion. In its mouth lives a golden bird. Now go to sleep."
When Yen Chong woke up the next morning, there was no trace of the house or the kind old lady. However, he did what she had told him to do. He then returned home with the four things which the rich man wanted. He had been away three years.
He married the rich man's daughter and lived happily ever after.

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