Friday, January 24, 2014

Reading Diary B: Shelton's Tibetan Folk Tales

Here are my favorite stories from Tibetan Folktales unit:

How the Rabbit Killed the Lion. I love this story! The rabbit doesn't want to kowtow to the lion, which makes the lion angry. The rabbit blames his failure to attend the lion's court on a she-devil who lives in the water. He takes the lion to see the she-devil and the lion, seeing his own reflection, attacks the reflection and drowns himself. This is an old story that I recognize from the Indian Panchatantra, and this version was especially charming - I like the idea of a she-devil in the water.

The Golden Squash. This is a very elegant little story that contrasts the actions of a good man and a bad man. A good man treats a little bird with kindness and is rewarded with a magical golden squash seed that makes him rich; being a good man, he gives away his riches to the poor. The evil man sees this and wants to get rich too, so he actually injures a bird on purpose, but the bird manages to trick the man and brings him a seed that grows into a squash containing a demon who kills the bad man. Very cool! I like stories that develop two parallel plots, one about a hero and the other about a villain so we can compare and contrast.

The Two Little Cats. This is such a cute story! The cats need salt for their butter tea, and on the way they meet a monster called a Handre so they need help to defeat it. There is a whole series of animals and even objects who get together to defeat the big bad monster. The way all the animals and objects cooperate to defeat the monster is really nice.

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