The Lake of the Sisters and the Three Brothers
Mount Ali is located in central Taiwan. It is well known for its beautiful sunrise, seas of clouds, and huge redwoods. As a matter of fact, the Lake of the Sisters on Mount Ali is also a beautiful sight to see. Sometimes the clear lake water is like a mirror reflecting the bright sunshine while other times the lake surface embraces a layer of thin fog like a sheet of white veil.
There is a heartwarming legend about the Lake of the Sisters, which consists of two lakes, one larger than the other.
Once upon a time, only native Polynesians lived on Mount Ali. One tribal chief of these natives had two beautiful daughters. The elder one was called Awana and the younger one,
Awacha. They liked to sing and dance. Especially when it came to nights of full moons, they always invited other young girls of the same age with them to go to the woods to sing and dance on the natural turf there. They looked very much like little lovely fairies.
Almost all native people living on Mount Ali were peaceful except one tribe's chief named
Mogulu. He was vicious and cruel and often took advantage of others. Since he was strong capable of killing a wild pig and a panther by himself, everybody, though disliking him, was afraid of him. People nicknamed him the Bear of Mount Ali.
Once Mogulu went hunting with two of his subordinates. They heard some bright singing in the woods. Following the sounds, they came upon Awana and Awacha with a group of young girls happily singing and dancing swiftly on the grass.
Mogulu said loudly to his subordinates, " They are really not bad-looking! "
Upon hearing his voice, all the girls stopped and stared angrily at Mogulu. "Ha! ha! ha!," Mogulu laughed very loudly. "Continue your singing and dancing. I am the Bear of Mount Ali. It is your luck to play in front of me! "
Upon hearing his nickname, the group of girls was frightened and ran away quickly. Only Awana and Awacha stayed.
Awana said in a huff, "How can you be so rude ? You think you can insult others without good reason just because of your strength? "
Awacha followed, " Can you be a hero by insulting girls? If you always behave like this, God will punish you."
Mogulu frowned and yelled flagitiously, "Shut up! How dare you speak to me like that!"
One of his subordinates whispered to him, "Chief, they are the most beautiful girls on Mount Ali. Why don't you take them home as your concubines?"
Mogulu nodded, "Yes, not a bad idea! Each one of you grab one. Let's go!"
The sisters were mad. Their faces were flushed. They struggled but were unable to loosen themselves from the strong hold of the two big men. Mogulu laughed.
Suddenly there came a shout, "Leave them alone!"
Two young men appeared from behind a tree. One of them said to Mogulu without the slightest fear, "Even though we two brothers are unable to match you, we cannot let you take these girls. We believe that the Mountain God will help us. "
Mogulu said contemptuously, "You will die before the Mountain God shows up. He cannot help you."
Suddenly a flash of light came down from the sky. The clear sky became dark. The ear shocking thunder scared
Mogulu. One of his subordinates said to him with a trembling voice, "Chief, is the Mountain God angry?"
Mogulu was stunned but pretended to be undaunted. In a moment, however, he and his subordinates ran away timorously.
Once they ran away, the sky cleared up. The two sisters and the two brothers sang and danced happily in the woods. They forgot about their earlier incident with
A few days later, Mogulu was dissatisfied. He sent a messenger to notify the two sisters' father, "I order you to send your two daughters to become my wives within three days. Otherwise, I'll burn down your tribe and kill all your people."
This message spread across the tribe very quickly. Everybody was worried and fearful of the consequence. They did not like to sacrifice the two beautiful and tender sisters to
Mogulu, but they were also afraid of his vicious and cruel behavior.
Three days passed. On the night of the third day, Awana and Awacha left the tribe quietly and walked the passage between the two tribes. They knelt down and prayed respectfully to the Mountain God. "Kindly God, please protect our tribe. Do not let Mogulu hurt anybody. If we have to suffer, let us two sisters take the responsibility!"
They prayed continuously and cried constantly. The tears wetted their clothes and the grass. It was near dawn when the first rays of sun came through the trees. Suddenly lighting flashed, followed by deafening thunder.
The Mountain God transformed Awana and Awacha into two lakes, one larger than the other, which were connected together. This cut off the passage between the two tribes.
The sun rose higher and the lake waters became so bright that they looked like two big mirrors. The water flickered like two sisters blinking their beautiful eyes.
Before long, Mogulu and a group of assistants, all carrying either knives or bows and arrows, came to the lake side.
"It's strange! Where did these two lakes come from? They were not here three days ago!"
Mogulu and his men were puzzled and conferred with each other when the two sisters suddenly emerged from the water's surface. The mountain breeze swung their black hair and red clothes while the water reflected the woods as well as their lovely figures. The elder sister said to Mogulu with a clear voice,
"Mogulu, you have done too many bad things. If you do not repent and make a change, the Mountain God will punish you and disaster will fall upon you!"
Mogulu laughed loudly, "I am the great Bear of Mount Ali. What can the Mountain God do to me! You two come with me quickly."
The younger sister said angrily, "My sister, he does not repent and will not change. It is useless to advise him. Let the Mountain God punish him."
After this, the two sisters, holding their hands together, vanished into the water.
Mogulu shouted, "Do not escape!" and jumped promptly into the water in an attempt to catch them. As soon as he was in the water, a dark cloud appeared and blocked out the sky above the lakes. All of a sudden, lighting flashed, thunder roared, rain poured, and a gusty wind ripped across the land.
Mogulu struggled in the water blindly. He was trying to swim desperately in the sea, with no land in sight.
He continued to swim, swim, swim.. At last, he became frightened and desperately floundered in all directions. But no matter where he turned, he could see neither the two sisters nor the shore. Finally loosing all his strength, he drowned in the lake.
All his men were scared and ran away. This news soon spread all over Mount Ali.
When night came that day, two figures came to the lake shore, murmuring the names of the two sisters. They were the two young brothers who had rescued the sisters.
"The courageous Awana and Awacha, you must feel lonesome lying there. We will accompany you and stand by your sides.
For three days and three nights, they stood there. This sincerity touched the Mountain God. He transformed the two brothers into two big trees with their branches tied together. They stood there forever to accompany the Lake Sisters.
Since then, it is said that on nights of a full moon, the two sisters emerge from the lake water and walk to the land. They sing and dance around the Tree Brothers.
Under the bright moon and by the side of the lake, their dancing figures mix with their singing to enhance the charm and mystery of the Lake of the Sisters on Mount Ali.