E is for Evading Elephants – 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 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.

ELEPHANTS-

From Botswana

Where can you find the most elephants in Africa? Yes, Botswana. Despite this fact, the elephant population is declining due to anobacteria developing exponentially within the water supply. Here is an article about this mystery from BBC, published September 21, 2020. While the folktale focuses on the danger of elephants, keep in mind that elephants are facing their own battles by and beyond humans.

What makes elephants dangerous?

Most of the time elephants are gentle creatures, though any creature can cause harm. Bull elephants are most dangerous in musth when getting older and having 60 times the amount of testosterone levels. When an elephant becomes aggressive it can charge at 30 mph and can weigh as much as 13,000 pounds. While this documentary was featuring elephants in India, it can give a feel for how dangerous can be: https://youtu.be/LjSM3jLsymw. Now, I happen to have a friend who LOVES elephants. I love them, too. So I bring up this story as this was still trouble that was faced in this folktale.

50-words-or-less summary:

Elephants smash family’s pumpkins. Elephants too dangerous and grandparents say to move. Brother volunteers youngest boy to get inside largest pumpkin. Bull elephant swallows pumpkin with boy inside it. Boy cuts out through knife. Emerges from elephant. Scares elephant herd away. Family’s farm saved.

That boy was lucky to survive the stomach of an elephant! The family was lucky to keep the farm and livelihood. Interesting how lucky and unlucky go hand in hand…like unlucky to be small enough to fit in a pumpkin and be swallowed by an elephant. Hopefully you are lucky quickly after those unlucky times in life.

Finding the Story and Background:

“The Girl Who Married a Lion: and Other Tales” by Alexander McCall Smith pp. 29-35 can be found online to purchase here – https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Married-Lion-Africa/dp/0375423125

Video of elephants smashing/eating pumpkins: https://youtu.be/mOWBwFqltYA

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/can-elephants-and-humans-live-together

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.

We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as the hybrid Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

E is for Golden Elephant Tusks–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019EWe 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 Elephant Tusks-

White elephants are more popular than golden elephants. Though, at least there are still elephants with golden tusks. Don’t ask me how. It makes me wonder if the elephant was born with golden tusks or this was a man-made possibility. Either way, the elephant is extremely kind.

Buddhist (Jataka Tales)  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy8UPlzWLyA

50-word-or-less summary:

Elephant with golden tusks learns of poor family. Elephant goes inside their hut. Scares family (not surprising). Then elephant explains that he can give part of his golden tusk. Hurrah! Money spent. Elephant gives more tusk. Hurrah! Money spent. Repeats. Greed. Woman plans to kill elephant. Stop! Won’t come back.

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.