This tale took place a long time ago in the beautiful Dohwa village.
“Father, be careful. There is a brook ahead.”
“Okay. You got the end of my walking stick?”
Seven-year-old Shim Cheong took very good care of her blind father.
Cheong’s mother passed away not long after giving birth to the baby girl, so her father had to beg other women in the village for breast milk in order to raise her all by himself.
Thanks to his devoted care, the girl grew up to be kind and healthy.
Cheong’s father was waiting anxiously for his daughter outside of his house, as Cheong hadn’t returned home from visiting Lady Jang’s house.
He got his walking stick and ventured outside. He tapped his stick to carefully maneuver his way across the brook, but he slipped and fell into the water. A Buddhist monk passing by happened to hear the call for help and rescued Mr. Shim from the water.
The monk told Mr. Shim that he could regain his sight if he offered 300 bushels of rice in offering and pray fervently. Tempted by the possibility of regaining his sight, Mr. Shim impulsively promised to donate 300 bushels of rice.
Shim Cheong’s father told his daughter what had happened, and what the monk had told him.
“Don’t worry, Father. I will find a way to come up with the rice offering.”
Despite her confident promise, Shim Cheong couldn’t think of a way to get that massive amount of rice. Then she heard that some traders were looking for a human sacrifice, and that they were willing to pay a lot of money.
The next day she went to see the traders.
Leaving her crying father behind, she boarded the traders’ ship.
“No! Shim Cheong, come back! I don't want the rice, and I don't want my sight! Come back to me!”
The ship stopped in the middle of the sea. Shim Cheong jumped into the roaring sea.
When Cheong regained consciousness, she found herself surrounded by an incredible sight. Apparently moved bu her love for her father, the sea god brought the girl to his underwater palace. The sea god sent her up to the surface in a large lotus flower.
The traders offered the beautiful flower to their young king. Moved by her devotion and also her lovely appearance, the king married Cheong and made her queen. But Cheong was still worried about her father.
So, did Mr. Shim regain his sight after Cheong’s sacrifice?
He had the money and food provided by the traders, but the news of newly found wealth attracted some unwanted attention. Mr. Shim was left penniless after greedy Bbaengdeok’s mom stole all his fortune and was forced to beg for food from villagers. Ashamed, Shim Cheong’s father left the village and was nowhere to be found.
Shim Cheong decided to hold a party for every blind person in the kingdom. People came from all over the country to enjoy the party.
The queen was looking for her father among the crowd when she spotted a familiar face, a man wearing shabby clothes.
“Father, father! It’s me! It’s Cheong!”
“Cheong? Is it really you?”
The father and daughter were finally reunited, and they lived happily together at the royal palace.