Long ago, there was a village at the foot of Mount Du, where the people of the Dong ethnicity lived. The area was suffering from drought. The local villagers had to walk a long distance to find water every day. They had to go to dangerous lengths to get what little water was available.
In the village, there was a beautiful girl who had long black hair. She was very helpful and she even shared the precious water she collected with the vast banyan tree. Everyone liked her and they gave her the nickname 'Long Hair'.
One day, Long Hair went out to collect edible wild plants for her mother but failed to find anything.
She looked up at the steep sides of Mount Du.
'Maybe I can find something there,' she thought.
Long Hair climbed up the mountainside. Surprisingly, she found an enormous radish on the mountainside. As she pulled it from the ground, a stream of sweet water flowed from the earth.
Suddenly, a dusty black wind blew her away from the mountain. When she dusted herself off, she found herself alone in a dark cave.
A scary voice screamed at her. 'I am a demon! The water is mine! If you dare tell the others in your village about it, I will kill you!'
Then Long Hair was lifted again by the dusty wind and blown back to her village.
Although Long Hair wanted to tell others about the water, she didn’t want to lose her life. As she struggled with this problem, her hair turned from black to yellow, then to grey and finally to white.
One day, as she was brushing her hair near her window, Long Hair saw an old man falling down the mountainside as he was searching for water. She threw her comb on the ground and made a decision. Enough was enough! Her village was suffering and so she told the secret of the demon's water to everyone.
The villagers began celebrating the new water source but a sudden, strong, dusty, dark wind blew Long Hair away again.
The demon was furious. He said that he would only allow the villagers to drink from his stream if Long Hair went under the water until she drowned and died.
Long Hair went home to say goodbye to her mother. When she passed the banyan tree, an old man appeared.
'I am the god of the banyan,' he said. 'Let me help you, kind girl.'
The god of the banyan transformed a stone into the shape of Long Hair.
'She can take your place under the water but I need your hair to make her look more convincing.'
Long Hair agreed and her hair disappeared as the stone girl's hair grew long.
The god of the banyan used his magic to put the stone girl under the water. They tricked the demon.
From then on, Long Hair went by the name of 'Short Hair' and lived a happy life with her fellow villagers.Enjoyed this story?
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