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|The Tragic Tale of Yue|
The Tragic Tale of Yue is the seventh chapter of. It gives Yue's backstory.
The voice from the cell in the Tower of Iroh belonged to Yue. She had once been an attractive young girl.
After her parents died, Yue had given birth to a beautiful babay daughter. She christened the child Ursa, meaning "bear."
Yue doted on her baby, the only love in her life, and dressed her up as finely as a princess, even though she herself was poor.
She had even made little Ursa a pair of red boots from the finest silk. Yue loved to kiss the child's tiny feet and toes.
But her happiness would soon end. When the child was about one year old, a group of travelling Gypsies came to the town where Yue and Ursa lived.
They were petty thieves and fortune tellers who used tricks to make a living in the area. Soon all the local people came to fear and avoid them.
One day, Yue briefly left the house to see a friend. When she returned, little Ursa's cot was empty. Her child was missing, Ursa had been stolen!
The only sign left of Ursa was a single red boot. Yue was terrified. Who could take a defenseless baby from its mother?
Yue ran in panic through the streets, crying out for her poor child.
When she finally returned home, neighbors told her they had seen Gypsies creeping into her house with a bundle of rags. Hearing a child crying inside, Yue was overjoyed.
But when she burst in, she got a nasty surprise. Instead of her beautiful Ursa, the baby in the cot looked more like a hog-monkey than a human.
Yue rushed to where the Gypsies were camped outside the town, but found only the embers of a fire and some of Ursa's torn clothes. They had gone!
The distraught mother thought that the Gypsies had eaten her baby! She cried for months, clutching all that remained of her lost daughter, her tiny red boot.
Eventually, unable to continue with life, Yue locked herself in the Elephant Rat Hole, by the Place of Grieving, vowing never to come out again!
You, reader, now know what became of the deformed child. He was taken to the Fire Temple and adopted by a Fire Sage.
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