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The Legend of Muddy River

Do you know the longest river in Taiwan? No? Well, the answer is Zhuo Shui Xi. This river starts from Neng Gao Shan and passes through many dense forests. Zhuo Shui Xi brings fertile soils downstream which produce many delicious watermelons and rice. By legend, the name of this river was originally Qing Shui Xi (Clearwater River) instead of Zhuo Shui Xi. Today we are going to explain this legend. 
Long ago, the Qing Shui Xi was very clear. Beside the river, there was a huge mountain called Neng Gao Shan. On the other side of the river, there lived a lonely young man called SuoYa. 

He lived in an old shack and earned his living by farming. One day when Suo Ya was working on the farm, he saw a snow leopard jump into a bush near the farmland. The leopard had caught a little rabbit; he was going to enjoy eating this rabbit in the bush. Suo Ya quietly walked behind the leopard and hit the leopard with his hoe. The pain caused the leopard to roar and drop the rabbit; at the same time, he ran away with the speed of the wind. 

As for the rabbit, she was hurt badly; one of her legs was broken, and her snowy fur was imbued with blood. Suo Ya quickly found some grass medicine and chewed the medicine into little pieces with his teeth. Suo Ya softly put the medicine on the rabbit's wounds and tore off a piece of his clothing to serve as a bandage. After treating the rabbit's wounds, Suo Ya carefully took the rabbit home to nourish her back to health. 

After a few days, the rabbit's wounds were completely healed. The rabbit stared at SuoYa with her big round eyes and softly nodded her head. After thanking her savior, the rabbit ran back into the forest 

On a very hot afternoon, SuoYa was working on the farm again. The hot weather and burning sun made him sweat profusely. It also made him very thirsty. He stopped working to wipe sweat off of his brow. He raised his head to survey the place around Neng Gao Shan and Qing Shui Xi; all he saw was grass and pine trees. 

Suo Ya sighed and said, "Wouldn't it be a nice treat if I could have some sweet & sour fruits to quench my thirst?" 

Following his spoken thoughts, a singing voice was suddenly heard: "I'll give you a purple bead as a gift. Bury the bead in the soil and step on it; then you'll see mountain valleys full of rattan and many soured-sweet fruits," the voice said. 

Suddenly, a young lady in a white dress came with the wind. She walked softly to Suo Ya and gave him the purple bead and disappeared. 

Suo Ya doubtfully picked up the purple bead and buried it as the voice had said. After a while, a sprout spurted out from the soil. The sprout grew continuously; within a blink of an eye, the rattan covered the farmland forests and the Neng Gao Shan. Suo Ya was very surprised by the many fruits that began to form on the rattan. He climbed up the rattan and discovered that the purple fruits were passion fruits. Suo Ya ate many passion fruits happily to quench his thirst 

When Suo Ya climbed down the rattan, his shirt was hooked by the rattan. The rattan tore a big hole in his shirt. SuoYa used rope to patch up his shirt. At the same time, he complained to the rattan and said, "Don't you know that I live alone? No one will fix the shirt for me." 

When Suo Ya got home he saw smoke coming out from his chimney. Suo Ya was surprised and ran toward his house quickly. "You...You...aren't you the lady who gave me the purple bead?" Suo Ya asked when he got inside the house. 

The lady turned around, blinked her big round eyes, and said, "Yes. A few days ago you saved my life. That's why I gave you the purple bead to show my gratitude. Since you complained to the rattan, I came to do the house chores for you." 

From then on, the white lady and Suo Ya lived together happily. They farmed together and picked the passion fruits together. 

One day when Suo Ya was picking the passion fruits, his shirt was torn again. The lady took the shirt home to fix it. When Suo Ya finished farming and went home, he couldn't find the lady. He was very worried and began looking for her, calling her name. Suddenly a shaking voice came from a far place. "Purple fruits....clear river...," the lady's voice was chanting, "....the ruthless bad guys....," the lady was crying.... 

The voice was mixed with crying sounds; it came from Neng Gao Shan. 

"Oh no! The lady has been kidnapped by bad guys." Suo Ya ran toward Neng Gao Shan to try to save the lady. Then he got to the bank of the Qing Shui Xi, the water had risen and he could not cross the river because the water current was too strong. 

Suddenly, two huge passion fruit rattans were broken; the rattans formed a natural bridge connecting Neng Gao Shan to the bank of Qing Shui Xi. Suo Ya grabbed the rattan firmly and began climbing toward Neng Gao Shan. After a period of tenacious climbing, he finally reached the mountain. 

He ran through many grasslands and forests. Although his feet were bleeding, he continued his journey to find the lady. A white bearded old man appeared and said, "Young man, your lady is suffering in the rock house not far from here. Take the ax and bamboo basket. It may be useful." After he finished talking, the old man disappeared. 

Suo Ya ran towards the house with a basket on his back and ax in his hand. Suddenly, he heard the lady's sorrowful voice coming from the house. He used the ax to hack down the house and jumped into the house. 

Suo Ya put the white dress lady in the basket and began to run home. 

At this time, a bunch of bad guys, who were holding big knives, began chasing Suo Ya. Suo Ya ran into a pine tree forest and hid. When the bad guys arrived at a cliff, they saw the rattan and said, "This guy runs very fast. He must have climbed down the rattan to escape." 

One by one, the bad guys climbed down the rattan. Suo Ya quickly jumped out of the forest and began to chop down the rattan. When the rattan was chopped down, the bad guys fell into the river one by one. They struggled in the river and caused the river to become muddy. 

After this incident, Qing Shui Xi was no longer clear. The water become very dirty and murky. The people began to call the river Zhuo Shui Xi (MuddyWater River), instead of Qing Shui Xi (Clearwater River). They also called the portion of the river near Neng Gao Shan the Duan Teng Wan (Broken Rattan Gulf). 

As for Suo Ya and the lady, they lived a happy and wonderful life on Neng Gao Shan, and they were never separated again.

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