T is for Golden Table, Touch, Tree, & Thumb–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019TWe 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 Golden…And All Things That Glimmer.  Each post highlights golden items from a folktale from around the world. Each time you have to wonder, is something that is golden a blessing, a curse, or both?

What has inspired all this gold?–The Golden Spike with the 150th Transcontinental Railroad and the Spike 150 Grant for this year’s Story Crossroads Festival.

Golden Table-

There are whole stories on River Mumma and she is simply mentioned as one who protects the Golden Table. Though please explore this fascinating…and scary…figure in Jamaican folklore.

Jamaica – https://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2011/5/1/river-mumma-and-the-golden-table Though River Mumma also uses Golden Comb to lure people, see here:  https://jamaicanfolktales.weebly.com/index.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Below waters lie Golden Table left behind by Spainards, guarded by River Mumma. During hottest days, Table floats up. Man with 12 oxen pulled Table. All drowned. Bastian and Lora (kids) saw it. Argued on whether to get it. Day cooled, table sunk back. Told another. That person drowned. Kids were safe.

Golden Touch-

King Midas is famous for that golden touch. Though there is a link below, there are so many versions. Some say the daughter returns to life. I prefer the version when the daughter does not and this leads to another story involving King Midas with “The King with Donkey Ears.” Some see King Midas as being greedy. I see him as a kindhearted fool that could be any one of us.

Greek Mythology – https://www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Mortals/King_Midas/king_midas.html

50-word-or-less summary:

King Midas helps satyr. Dionysus rewards King with golden touch. Puts on feast. All turn to gold-food, drink. King cries. Will die by starvation. Daughter runs to comfort Father. Daughter turns to gold. Wish golden touch to be gone! Washes in river. No longer has golden touch. Daughter lost forever.

Golden Tree-

Forgiveness is beautiful, especially between husband and wife. The King’s realization of his mistake and desire to risk his life to find her again is moving.

India – http://spiritoftrees.org/the-golden-tree (retold by Laura Simms)

50-word-or-less summary:

Jealous Wives of King speak ill of fourth and kind Wife. King finally believes lies. Queen flees, disguises as beggar. She dreams of Golden Tree and next morning is pregnant. King told to find Golden Tree to find Queen. King risks life to find her. Forgiveness. Reunion with 7-year-old Son.

Golden Thumb-

This story–or more a story snippet–makes me think long and hard about the ability to have something “golden” and the ability to see something “golden.” How do you see the truth in this situation between the Merchant and the Miller?

England – https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type1620.html#goldenthumb

50-word-or-less summary:

Merchant wishes to mock the Miller and claims that honest millers have a golden thumb. Miller confirms it is true. The Miller shows his thumb though Merchant says it looks like any other thumb. Miller says his thumb is gold but the Merchant has no power to see it.

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 15, 2019 with free performances May 13-16, 2019 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2019-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 Utah Department of Heritage and Arts (Spike 150), the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.

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