Once upon a time, there was a daughter named Thi To, whose parents both died young and had to live with a rich widow. The landlady was of such a cruel disposition that one day Thi To had to run away, into a forest, thinking that she would rather die in the mouths of wild beasts than stay forever in misery and daily torment. Thi To walked a considerable distance, and for a long time she was without food, exhausted, and wading hard through streams in the forest, whereupon she fainted and lay down on a rock.
The mountain god there was well aware of the poor plight of this innocent, gentle girl, and he had just been watching and protecting her.
When Thi To woke up, she thought she had only dreamed. Her surroundings were different from when she fainted. She found herself lying in a cave, with moss laid as soft as velvet and a stream flowing through the rocks beneath her feet, as soft as music. Before her eyes, within reach, countless delicious ripe fruits dangled from the vines like curtains over the cave door. Being hungry and thirsty, she lifted her hand to pick them up and ate them.
The god of the mountain appeared in the form of an old man with a white beard and white hair, holding a bamboo stick and walking toward her. Seeing the kindly old man, Thi Tao bowed respectfully. The old man pretended to be surprised and asked her where she came from and how she got lost alone in the deserted mountain. thi To sincerely told everything about her miserable life. The old man shook his head pityingly for her, then persuaded.
“This is how I escaped”. You stay here, maybe you will be more comfortable with an old man watching over you.
– Grandfather, you are my benefactor, please tell me where you are.
This whole mountain forest is his home. He makes his living by cutting wood, so he’s always here and there. Don’t worry, the old man will come to visit from time to time. If there is anything you need from him, just go to this cliff and call out “old man” and he will come right away.
The next morning, the old man came back and gave Thi To a bag of new clothes and told him to change into his old tattered clothes. From then on, Thi To lived a peaceful and free life, not worrying about tomorrow or the past. Gradually, the birds and animals of the forest got acquainted with her, bringing sweet and precious fruits as food day after day. Living like this, Thi Tao’s beauty grew more and more radiant, like a lush wild flower.
Seeing that his quest was fruitless and lost the mind of the mountain girl, the god of heaven was angry and vowed to capture her until the end. Thanks to superhuman magic, the gods cast a huge net with very fine but strong silk threads to surround the whole forest.