Dao Thi Kim Ngan was washing clothes in the backyard of her house in Pleiku Roh Village, Gia Lai Province, when she heard loud wails.
Fearing that her daughter was hurt, she rushed to the courtyard in front, but the little one, just three years old, was nowhere in sight.
Terrified that her daughter had been kidnapped, she raised the alarm, and dozens of villagers set out to search for the little girl. The police were informed and they began their quest for the abductor by questioning everyone in the neighbourhood.
The mother also told a reporter that she'd gone to the neighbour's house and phoned her relatives, but no one had a clue. The father had her photo developed for use in the search operations.
In tears, she told the reporter: "We have only been here for five months. We have no hostility towards anyone."
The sympathetic reporter, eager to do his bit to help, rushed back to his office. He was about to send the story for publication when he got a call from the family.
In great relief, they told him that the little girl had been found.
"Our search was fruitless. Then my husband told me to return to our house and put everything in order so that we can go the district police station and report the case in detail," Ngan said.
She did so and as she made up the only bed in the tiny, 20sq.m house, she found the little one, sleeping in a corner, fully covered by a blanket.
Red River dyke suffers some side effects
If you are driving on Lam Du road that runs along the Hong (Red) River Dyke the section in Long Bien District's Bo De Ward, you can see a lot of running around happening on its sides.
Cocks and hens, including the highly sought-after fighting roosters, seem to have a free range here, but the range of activity extends to humans who have converted the area into a series of fenced-in vegetable gardens.
This pastoral scene is particularly lively as the Tet (Lunar New Year) approaches, and local households get busy planting and harvesting.
The conversion of the dyke side into chicken houses and vegetable gardens can be seen as a welcome, creative and useful use of space by residents in the area, as long as we can overlook the fact that the grass previously grown there to prevent landslides has been plucked out.
We might also consider the simple matter of an ordinance, which states unequivocally that nothing but grass should be grown on the sides of the dyke.
Ah, but the authorities can always take comfort from the fact that the grass is always greener on the other side. — VNS