There once lived a beautiful girl named Tam in a small village. Her mother died when she was little, so she was being raised only by her father. Life without Mother wasn't at all easy, but they loved each other dearly and were happy anyway.
However, one day everything changed. The father fell in love and soon brought home a new stepmother. She never had a single kind word or affection for Tam. As time went on, they had another daughter, and this one they named Cam. Unfortunately, the father died shortly afterwards. From that moment on, it was truly horrid for Tam in the house.
Poor Tam was dressed only in tattered, dirty rags and was in charge of all house chores. She scrubbed the floors until they shone; carried heavy buckets of water; cooked all of the meals; and worked long afternoons in the large field. But no matter how much hard work her stepmother flooded her with, or how ugly the rags were, Tam became more and more beautiful every day.
The time was slowly coming when the two sisters would be of an age to get married, and the stepmother began to be jealous of Tam. She was afraid she would steal a good, rich man from her younger sister Cam. That’s why she gave Tam very dangerous tasks. She was secretly hoping that something bad would happen to her. However, Tam always returned home safe and sound. And beautiful, as always. It made the stepmother hate her even more.
One day, she sent the two sisters to the creek to fish and said: “Whoever brings the biggest catch will get a beautiful red dress as a reward.” Tam dreamed that she would finally be able to put on something pretty for once. She fished…