A Tigress Witch (Hoko Po)
A long time ago, many people in Taiwan believed in different spirits; gods and goddesses, ghosts and witches. They believed in the
SunGod, MoonGod, EarthGod, RockGod, TreeGod, and even animal gods and goddesses. They even believed that when an animal became old enough, it would possess a strange ability to change itself into a human being~ to devour other humans.
Once upon a time, there was a lady in Taiwan. She lived in a deep mountain house with her two daughters. The older daughter was called AKim and the younger daughter,
AGiok. They were poor but their daily life was peaceful and happy. One day, the mother had to make a trip to the city. She was very worried about her daughters' safety, so she told them to lock the door and not to open it to anyone while she was gone.
After the mother left, the two daughters did as they were instructed. Not long later, someone came to the door and began to knock loudly. "Bong, Bong, Bong. "
The elder daughter, AKim, woke up first and was scared. She hugged her younger sister,
AGiok, tightly. They both did not know what to do. Then, the person outside the door began to call out loudly: "Open the door, open the door! I am your mother."
The sisters moved closer to the door and said: "You are not Mama; you wouldn't be back so soon." But the person knocked harder and called out louder: "I am your Mama. l thought you would be scared, so I came back quickly to see you."
The sisters thought that it might be true, so they unlocked the door. As they opened the door and saw that the person wasn't their mother, they tried to close the door, but it was too late. The person outside pushed the door open and entered quickly. Her hair was white as snow and her face was wrinkled like a cat'.~
"Who are you?" the sisters asked?
"Don't be scared. I am your great-aunt; I live behind the mountain. I haven't visited you for a long time. Today, I passed by your house, so I came to see you. "
After hearing the explanation, the sisters felt less afraid. AGiok was young and naive, and she was happy to see this great-aunt, but AKim was much older and wiser and she did not believe it. AKim wondered why their mother never mentioned to them that they had a great-aunt. It was very late and AGiok wanted to return to sleep, so she slept with her great-aunt. However, A Kim was still suspicious and went to the next room to sleep by herself.
At midnight, AKim woke up and heard some strange noises coming from the room AGiok slept in. "Chunk, Chunk," it sounded like someone chewing roasted peanuts or like dogs chewing bones. Finally, AKim asked loudly, "Great-aunt, what are you eating?" The great-aunt had not expected AKim to wake up and ask. Surprised, she quickly answered, "Oh, I am chewing some ginger roots; they are very hard, hot, and bitter, not for children to eat."
AKim could not believe the great-aunt. She asked and insisted that she wanted to have some too. Finally, the great-aunt threw over a piece for
AKim. When AKim picked it up, it was a piece of a finger. "Oh, little sister AGiok must have been eaten up by the Tigress Witch, who has pretended to be our great-aunt! ! I've got to escape!"
A little while later, AKim pretended and said to the great-aunt, "Great-aunt, I have to go to the toilet and wash my hands." "No!" The great-aunt finally showed her true nature as an old Tigress Witch. "You will be my breakfast. How can I let you go; you might try to sneak away!" AKim was very smart and answered again, "If you don't want me to escape, why don't you tie a rope to my leg; then I will have no way to escape." The Tigress Witch thought for a moment and judged this offer reasonable. She tied a rope around AKim's leg and held the other end in her hand and let AKim go to the rest room.
As soon as AKim reached the rest room, she unleashed the rope from her leg and tied it to the edge of the water container. Then she escaped through the window and hid in the top of a tree.
The Tigress Witch waited for a long time and finally pulled the rope, hearing the water sound.
She waited for a few more minutes while chewing on the fingers and then wondered why AKim was spending such a long time in the rest room. She went over to check on AKim and realized that AKim had escaped. She tracked AKim's footsteps and found AKim hiding in the tree.
The Tigress Witch could not climb the tree so she began to chew the trunk of the tree with her sharp teeth. AKim looked down and thought she would fall out of the tree if the witch kept on chewing the trunk. Calmly she thought of a solution.
"Great-aunt, you don't have to chew the tree trunk so hard. I am willing to come down to let you eat me. The only problem is that I am so hungry that if you eat me now, I will become a Hungry Ghost, and I will forever follow you and torment you. If you boil a bucket of peanut oil for me, I'll fry some birds here and eat them. When my stomach is full, you can then eat me without any worry. "
The Tigress Witch thought this was a very wonderful idea. She boiled a bucket of peanut oil and sent it up to
AKim. After awhile, AKim called out, "I am ready to jump down now. Open your mouth" When the Tigress Witch heard this, she opened her mouth widely, thinking that she would be eating
AKim. Instead, the stupid Tigress got a whole mouthful of boiling peanut oil and died instantly.