A Vietnamese Folktale: A Tiger, A Worm, A Snail
In one of the better-known folktales it is told about a fisherman who cared for his aging mother. Every evening he would cast his nets into the river, and every morning he would collect the fish that had been caught in them, and this is how they lived.

One morning he discovered that one of his nets had been torn open and was empty of fish. That day he repaired the net and in the evening cast his several nets into the river as usual. The next morning he was alarmed to discover that all of his nets had been rent and twisted, and there was not a single fish in any of them!

He carefully repaired all the nets, and set them out in the evening. But the next morning he came upon the same dismal scene of torn and empty nets. This same situation occurred day after day until, seeing that his dear mother was weakening from lack of food, he determined to spend an entire night hidden in the shadows beside the river and to capture whoever was responsible for this.

The next morning his body was found, lacerated and lifeless, beside the flowing river.

To the villagers, this was clearly the work of a tiger — the most feared of animals! They walked the forest paths in fear.

The fisherman's mother grieved profoundly for her only son, and visited his grave daily. One evening, lost in grief, as she was returning home from the graveyard she came upon a tiger. Distraught as she was, she challenged him directly: "Are you the one who killed my son? What am I to do now? I shall soon die of sadness and hunger." The tiger just stood there, rather meekly for a tiger. "Will you provide for me? Will you do for me as my son did?" The tiger nodded slightly, but the woman simply turned her back on him and slowly proceeded home.

The next day, and every few days after, she found a deer or a boar laid before the threshold of her house. She would quickly cook and eat her fill, then sell the rest of the meat at the market. For two months this went on before she decided to find out who was being so generous to her. She stayed awake the whole night until, toward dawn, she saw the same tiger she had spoken to near the graveyard come along dragging fresh game, which he laid at her door. She invited him in, and it wasn't long before a friendship developed between them.
Now they visited every time he brought game, and once he came to her when he was ill and she kept him in her home and nursed him until he was well enough to return to the forest.

And so it was until the woman lay dying. "Please promise me you will no longer kill people," she said. The tiger hung his head low and nodded. He remained by her side all through the night. Soon afterwards the villagers found enough wild game piled before her front door to pay for a big funeral. And during the funeral the forest was filled with the roaring of a tiger.

It was a tradition in all of the villages thereabouts for people to gather on the thirtieth day of the last month of the year, bearing offerings for the spirits of their ancestors so that they might spend time together again. And ever after it was always noticed and admired that on that very day, the loyal tiger returned with an offering of wild game.