We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Kindness Across Cultures: Stories to Prove We Care. Each post highlights present-day and folktale examples.
Ireland is a land of story and a place to be listened to and to listen. People regale stories of the fairies and mysterious magic to the everyday happenings of folks. When you go there, make sure to have a story or two on hand. This picture of an ancient church in Ireland was taken taken by Steve Evans. He has granted permission for Story Crossroads to use this image.
Present-Day Intuition & Interconnectedness
CanTeen Ireland is a support group for kids aged 12 to 25 going through cancer. Their website is http://www.canteen.ie/. Different activities and locations boost these patients’ confidence and shows that they have much to offer the world. In the “Irish Times,” there is an article The Caped Crusaders Tackling Childhood by Sheila Wayman that features a girl named Anna whose hurting leg turned out to be a rare bone cancer. The family was distraught and then the support came. CanTeen Ireland combined with Helium Arts for healing. You’ll want to know how.
Past Intuition & Interconnectedness (Folktale)
Jack tends to be more in England though this one is Irish-based. It also has a “Bremen Town Musician” feel that is more on the German side. In this story, Jack makes friends with animals who return the kindness through their talents.
My favorite version is “Jack and His Companions” found in “Mightier Than The Sword: World Folktales for Strong Boys” by Jane Yolen, published by Silver Whistle.
Here is a summary:
Jack and his widowed mother struggled to get by. Jack decided to travel and hopefully find fortune to share with his cherished mother. She sent along her blessings and a journeycake and lit some candles in the church to guide her son back home. While on his journey, Jack came upon a donkey steeped and stuck in mud. Jack threw stones in the mud and the donkey was saved. The donkey followed Jack. Jack came upon a dog with a kettle tied to his tail while being chased by a couple boys. Jack and the donkey made such a ruckus that the boys ran off. The dog followed Jack. Jack came upon a starved cat. Jack shared his journeycake with the cat, dog, and the donkey. Jack came upon a rooster in the mouth of a fox. The rooster called for help and all the animals and Jack chased after the fox until the rooster was dropped. The rooster followed Jack. Night came. They saw a light and followed it only to find it was a house filled with robbers. Jack and the animals stacked themselves and made such noise that the robbers thought the King’s Troops had raided them. The robbers ran off. Jack and the animals had a place to stay. The robbers sent someone back to be sure it was as they thought. In the dark, Jack and his companions seemed like monsters. Jack and the animals knew the robbers were not coming back. They gathered the treasure and headed to Lord Dunlavin to return them. They came upon the porter who allowed the thieves to get the treasure in the first place. Jack accuses the porter and Lord Dunlavin overhears. The porter said he did not let six thieves in, which proved the guilt as there was no mention of the number of thieves. The porter is fired. Jack becomes a gentleman and the animals are treated the best and asked to stay there. Jack returns to his mother so she can move nearby.
Interesting Notes on Kindness
- Jack wants to look out for his mother–not just himself
- Jack is kind to the donkey, dog, cat, and rooster and chooses kind ways to solve everything including yelling versus fighting the boys chasing the dog
- The animals naturally want to follow Jack rather than go about what they were doing due to Jack’s kindness
- Despite facing thieves and having to defend themselves (sounds are most effective), Jack and the animals are still aware of who really owns the treasure and are kind enough to gather the treasure and return the treasure to Lord Dunlavin
- Even when accusing the porter, Jack still spoke in a respectful way
- Lord Dunlavin recognized the kindness of Jack and the animals and rewarded them with higher stations and did not worry about their humble backgrounds
- Jack remembered his mother and made sure she lived nearby and was well taken care of
What stories of kindness do you know associated with Ireland? Anywhere in the world – past or present? Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 23, 2018 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2018-schedule/).
We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.)