In the Qin Dynasty, there lived a family Meng and a family Jiang, who were next-door neighbors. When Family Meng planted a melon, the seedling crawled across the wall between the two houses and bore a melon there. The ripe melon was cut open and revealed the girl within, who was named Meng Jiang Girl.
As she grew up, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty began to draft people for the construction of the Great Wall. A fellow named Fan Xiliang escaped from his family. He ran into the back yard of Meng Jiang Girl’s family to take refuge from the drafting. The two fell in love and prepared to get married. Unexpectedly, one servant of family Meng informed against them. Fan was caught and sent to build the Great Wall. He died there and his body was buried under the wall.
When the winter came, Meng Jiang Girl went to send cotton-padded clothes for her husband. She went through misery and hardships, and finally arrived there, only to be told that her husband was already dead and was buried underneath the wall. She was shocked. When she could utter her first cry, the wall began to shed bricks; on her second cry, the wall began to rock; and on her third, the Great Wall collapsed for dozens of zhang. Bones of the dead appeared. Not knowing where her husband was, she bit her finger, and dripped blood on the bones, saying, “If it is Fan Xiliang, let the blood seep in.” Finally, she found her husband’s remains, which she hugged and cried over for three days, turning everything around in a state of chaos and darkness.
Soon, the Emperor learned this and took her to the palace. At the sight of her beauty, the Emperor’s mood to kill her turned into joy. He wanted to make her an imperial concubine. Meng Jiang Girl first refused, and then she made three requests. First, the Emperor should be dressed in deep mourning for Fan Xiliang and cried for him as his father thrice. Second, all the ministers and generals of the court should hold a funeral procession for Fan Xiliang. Third, the Emperor should accompany her to visit the East China Sea. The emperor complied with all of them. Nevertheless, Meng Jiang Girl plunged herself into the ocean while visiting the East China Sea.