Legend – Nepal

“In Nepal, there’s a pond behind my grandfather’s house and at night when the moon is out and reflects on the pond, you can see a reflection of a lady. Behind the pond, there’s an old, worn down, beaten shack where a mother and her three sons use to live. And behind the shack there was this mansion that they use to live in when the husband was alive. The story goes that after the father died, the family became very poor and had to sell all their belongings because the father was the main breadwinner. After the father died, they had to move into the small shack. The one thing that the woman wouldn’t sell was her wedding ring because she loved her husband too much. The eldest son got tired of living in such destitute conditions and begged his mother to sell the ring. One night he got fed up and cut off his mother’s finger with the ring and ran away and became a rich man.

One night while the eldest son was driving back from work, he noticed a woman on the side of the road and he pulled over and asked if she needed help. The lady told him that she was really tired and her house was only a mile down the road and asked if he could give her a lift. He agreed and let the lady in his car and as they were driving towards her house, he told her that she looked familiar but could not put a name to her face. She pretended to be surprised but she already knew who he was and told him that she often gets that remark from people. She shows him her hand and he freaks out and realizes that the hand belongs to his mother and loses control of the car and goes off a cliff and dies.

Her reflection is still seen on the pond because she’s still looking for the ring that her son sold a long time ago.”

My friend, Rocky, heard about this story when she was in the third grade while visiting her grandfather in Nepal. She says that it is a family story and it deals with the history of the house. The house had been passed down through the family for many generations. She heard the story from her older cousin and she thinks that her cousin probably heard it from another family member. It is often told between the children of the house. Rocky believes that it was made up to scare kids so that they do not go out at night. She always wanted to go play outside, but her parents never wanted to let her, and so her cousin shared the story with her. Rocky also thinks that her cousins made it scarier just to poke fun at her. One night when she could see the moon out, her cousins hid behind some white curtains and started making noises and it freaked her out.

I believe that Rocky’s idea about the origins of this legend could be true. It definitely seems like a scare tactic to keep children away from the pond at night. This story would keep children wary of going too close to the pond when the moon is out, a dangerous time for children to be out alone. The legend also seems to be pretty recent because the son drives a car. Automobiles did not become widespread until the 1920s and so, I am guessing that either the legend is only a few generations old or that newer generations of children added the car into the story. The second assumption makes more sense to me because the legend is folklore and is subjected to alterations and variations according to Alan Dundes.