N is for Neutralizing & Negotiating—A to Z Blog Challenge

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 Hope & Healing…folktales around the world that beat back viruses. Each post highlights one or more balms to soothe and cure our struggles of today with oral tradition and lore of the past. At times, a post will make a connection to history. You can guess what inspired this theme. Yes, the COVID-19. What better time to delve into tales where things can and do turn out “happily ever after”?

Neutralizing & Negotiating-

From South Africa-

The woodcutter’s daughter caught the eye of a sultan and luckily the wazir saw what was going on before it was too late. This story is from the Malay-Indian provence.

50-word-or-less summary:

Sultan wanted to snatch girl. Wazir gave wolf skin/ring to escape. Girl transformed into wolf. Escaped! Captured! Wazir sick. Girl forgot how to turn back. Remembered in time for dance. Wazir not there-still sick. Wolf! Woman! Wolf! Wazir neutralized/killed wolf. Woman permanently. Wazir happy/healed. Married!

Version of the Story: https://www.amazon.com/Nelson-Mandelas-Favorite-African-Folktales/dp/1600246664

Compare to History:

Lovesickness is real though also goes by the name “limerance.” Dr. Dorothy Tennov created that word in 1979, and she explained that people with it “become involuntarily crazy.” Insomnia and lack of appetite are most common as well as an intense desire for their love to be returned. Many symptoms of limerance closely resemble mental illness. A lovesick person can have chemicals released in the brain that can be worse than being on drugs. The poor wazir helped his secret love escape…and a wolf-human relationship would not work. No wonder he got sick. Glad he got better!

More on the History: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/1027621/lovesick-is-an-actual-condition/amp/

From Tanzania-

The boy named ‘Mvoo Laana made his own traps from branches and coconut fibers to make rope. The ape he encountered has the name Neea’nee and the ape and other animals can talk. The snake has the name Neeoka. These names count as bonus words starting with “N.” I love the stories that come from when animals could talk. In this story, that’s a good thing, too. Lives are spared…not a typical sickness or fate. A moment in the story is where the boy is mistaken by an old woman to be a doctor. He did not want to claim something he was not.

50-word-or-less summary:

Boy hunted like father. Then nothing. Finally caught ape, snake, and lion. Released out of kindness. Man caught. Released. Ape and lion return kindness with food/drink. Snake gave gold/silver. Woman asked if boy was doctor. Stayed honest. Man housed boy. Saw gold. Lied. Snake convinced villagers of man’s treachery. Saved!

Finding the Story: https://www.worldoftales.com/African_folktales/African_Folktale_44.html

Compare to History:

So many people have battled cancer. This book caught my eye as the title said, “Negotiating Disease: Power and Cancer Care, 1900-1950. So many treatments were used to convince cancer to stay away. This drive can, in and of itself, be enough to boost the person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

More on the History: https://books.google.com/books?id=QZf5iVjZq64C&pg=PR1&lpg=PR1&dq=negotiate+kindness+doctor+history&source=bl&ots=3fEYOvSqQf&sig=ACfU3U1-7s1W2yEzFRSIGVE0TtG4yE8-9Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiM_Nn97e7oAhUTbc0KHRloAisQ6AEwB3oECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=negotiate%20kindness%20doctor%20history&f=false

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings in process of being adapted due to COVID-19.Our 2020 Festival has been transformed into Story Crossroads Spectacular, a virtual experience. See here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/spectacular on May 13, 2020 starting at 9am MDT with events all day.

We thank our funders such as National Endowment for the Arts, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, Zoo, Arts & the Parks of Salt Lake County (ZAP), City of Murray, Salt Lake City Arts Council, and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by donating today!

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