T is for Tricky Terrapin

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 Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.

TERRAPIN-

From Joel Chandler Harris & African-American tales & beyond

Br’er Rabbit stories are told as important ways to bring hope to the hopeless. Yet, that Br’er Rabbit came from across the ocean with all the trickster tales of Rabbit there. When Black people were enslaved in the United States, this story was told more than by Joel Chandler Harris and what was published in “Uncle Remus” books. The oral tradition spread. Normally, Br’er Rabbit was against Man or predators like Fox or Bear. But even Br’er Rabbit could be tricked and had to always be on his toes.

But how can the Terrapin/Turtle beat Rabbit?

Well, in throughout Africa, with special attention to Nigeria, many trickster stories are told of Turtle more so than Rabbit. Whenever you have Turtle AND Rabbit in a story? Put your money on the Turtle.

By the way, a Terrapin is a freshwater Turtle. Much smaller than a typical Turtle. And thus why all the more amazing.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Often when people tell of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” people praise the Tortoise for preserving and that “slow and steady wins the race.” This particular version shows that it wasn’t “slow and steady” but “clever and wiles wins the race.”

Though, sometimes people equate slowness with speed AND brains. There’s no slowness in brains with this Terrapin.

50-word-or-less summary:

Terrapin and Rabbit argue about who is fastest. 5-mile Race! Buzzard to monitor the race. Posts at every 1-mile mark. Terrapin prefers old woods. Rabbit winds another way. Terrapin has wife and three kids who look like him. Positioned at each post. Come out like a relay race. Terrapin(s) win!

Finding the Story: 

Mister Rabbit Finds His Match At Last – Joel Chandler Harris – found here

More than one Terrapin Story – found here

Story of Terrapin with Fox – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

S is for Sorrowing Selkie

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 Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.

SELKIE-

From Ireland/Scotland

How did the stories came about of half seal/half people (seal folk) creatures known as selkies? While people will differ, most think it was the sealskin coats that the Finnish or Sami wore while floating in their kayaks. The Irish and Scottish people exchanged these selkie stories.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Do you live as a seal? Or a human? Or both? I have dreamed of what it would be like to be a selkie. There is so much sorrow – to be split between two worlds. When there is a child, it becomes more intense and heartbreaking.

Yet, not all selkie stories are sad. I have come upon kind ones and truly inspiring tales. So there is hope that a balance can be had. And joy. There can still be joy.

50-word-or-less summary:

Man heard singing. A dozen selkies (women). Seal skins on shore. Man took one. Selkies swam off except one. Trapped in woman form. Begged for skin. Man offered marriage. Time passed. Woman could not find her skin. Man and Woman had child who finds skin. Tells mother. She swims away.

Finding the Story: 

Origin of the Selkie Folk – found here

Storyteller Daniel Allison wrote a post on Selkies – found here

One of Several Selkie Stories – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; Ashton Family Foundation; and people like you.

R is for Reincarnated Rama

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 Dual Natures in Folktales Around the World – opposites, contradictions & paradoxes.

RAMA-

From Hinduism, part of Ramayana

The Ramayana is an ancient epic poem that was written sometime between 500 and 100 BCE. Many say that sage Valmiki wrote it from India. It is quite the feat to summarize this epic to 50 words. I encourage you to read it. The main focus is on doing one’s duty, known as dharma.

What is so fascinating? What dualities have surfaced?

Reincarnation goes beyond duality. Birth and re-birth continuous. Vishnu and Laksmi already love each other. When both are reincarnated as Rama and Sita, that love endures. This is a beautiful duality.

Despite this love story, Rama does question if Sita has still been faithful to him. After all, she has been with the King of Demons for so long. What could have happened in the meantime? Instead of being insulted by taking a test to prove herself, Sita patiently shows her innocence. She must walk through fire, but the flames turn into flowers.

Even the strongest of love can have some questions. Two sides – confidence mixed with questions. A strong marriage can survive tests without being offended. Or at least recognizing that no one is perfect.

50-word-or-less summary:

Vishnu reincarnated as Rama. Laksmi as Sita. Love. Rama banished 14 years. Ravana, King of Demons, loves Sita. Kidnapped! Rama and brother have monkeys search. Ring given to Sita with promise to be saved from island. Bridge built. Battle! Ravana killed. Free! Rama worries of her faithfulness. Passes test. Innocent!

Finding the Story: 

Read the entire Ramayana – found here

Quick guide to the Ramayana – found here

Teacher-version of sharing Ramayana – found here

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been “dual” in our offerings of our hybrid summit & festival on May 9-12, 2022 – yes, in-person and virtual – and would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; Youth, Educators, Storytellers (YES); City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Clever Octopus; High Desert Brain Trust; and people like you.