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 Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.
And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.
It appears that it is bad luck to kill a rat in Sudan…and this story gives a reason why. Though the Nile Rat found in Sudan was studied in 2009 about the parasites carried by the rodent. See that article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21392288/.
What makes rats dangerous?
Some people don’t realize that rats are in their homes. They can feel sick and think it’s the flu…when its the rat droppings hitting the air and mix with the dust. Rats can infect humans with hantavirus, ratbite fever, lymphocytic choriomeningitis. Rats often are linked to ectoparasites, plague, murine typhus and Lyme disease.
Women cut open when giving birth. Women died. Baby survived. Rat came to village, learned of women dying, and asked for people to wait rather than cut woman open for child. People listened. Baby and mother survived. People wished to reward Rat. Only wanted to share woman’s home and food.
That Rat was lucky to arrive when it did and share another way so both woman and child could survive birthing. That woman was lucky to raise her child and be the first of many women to survive childbirth. While some could point out and blame women for being the reason that rats roam our homes, I prefer to see this as the redemptive story for rats.
Finding the Story:
Read or listen to the story shared by Nyaduong Ruot Duoth – http://www.southsudanesefolktales.org/?project=how-the-woman-and-the-rat-came-to-stay-in-the-same-house
Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors.
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One thought on “R is for Redeeming Rats – A to Z Blog Challenge”
Interesting! I have encountered this tale type in Oceania as well.
The Multicolored Diary