Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Week 6 Story: Master & Pupil

Master & Pupil 

There once was a peasant who had a son. His wife had left him and he could not afford to raise his son, because he was a very poor peasant indeed. So he travelled around and searched for a home for his son whom he loved dearly. He searched and searched the surrounding towns and cities. Until one day (a few years later) he happened upon a man who housed many young boys in an orphanage. What the peasant did not know is that this man was the devil himself. And now the devil would raise his young boy.

About a year later the peasant went back to the orphanage to retrieve his boy. But when he got there to his dismay he could not distinguish his son from the other boys. The devil was aware of this and planned to tell the peasant to pick out his son, but if he could not the son would be his forever. The son knew of this plan (as he had seen it happen to many of his friends) so while the devil was not looking he went to his father and told him that when all of the boys changed into dogs he would be the golden retriever. The devil came back to the boys and told them to show the peasant their trick and asked the peasant to pick out his son. He correctly identified the golden retriever (his son), so he and his son headed back towards home with joy. The devil realized had had been duped.

On their journey back, the son told his father how he thought they could make some money using his shapeshifting abilities. The peasant agreed. So as they were walking along the path they saw some nobles heading their way. Immediately the son changed into a gigantic, gorgeous pig (it would have won first prize at any modern-day state fair) and the nobles offered the peasant a large sum of money to own him. So the peasant sold his son to the nobles and continued on his way home. A few hours later the son was back with his father. Once the nobles had put him in a pen he transformed into a bird and flew back to his father.

Then they reached the city not far from where the peasant lived. The son turned into a majestic thoroughbred, capable of winning any race. So the peasant to him to be auctioned off. What he did not know is that the devil had realized he was duped and planned to buy back the peasant's son. So in disguise at the auction he won the bid for the prized thoroughbred.

The son had planned to just change back into a bird and return to his father. But the devil took away his shapeshifting abilities. The son would remain a thoroughbred locked up in a stable for the rest of his life, unable to become human again and unable to roam free as a horse. Meanwhile, the peasant patiently waited at his home for his son to return, until he eventually died of remorse. Never do business with the devil.

Bibliography. "Master and Pupil" from Georgian Folk Tales by Marjory Wardrop (1894). Web Source. 

*Author's Note: I changed this story some from the original in that in the original story the wife did not leave the peasant. Also, the creatures in which the son shape shifted into varied from the original story. The biggest change of all was that in the original story the peasant and son are able to outwit the devil and live happily ever after, but in my story they do not live happily ever after. 

(Golden Retriever Puppy: Image by Laura Retyi from Pixabay)

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Reading Notes, Part B: Week 6 - The Hermit Philosopher

The Hermit Philosopher 

This story was short and sweet. The hermit philosopher was confused to why the nature is the way it is. The questions he asked were why the walnut tree was so big but produce little fruit. And why the larger pumpkins and melons grew on the small creeping plants. He thought it would make more symmetrical sense for the opposite to be true. However, he then laid down under the walnut tree - soon after he was struck in the face by a small walnut. It was then that he realized if the walnut had been a melon/pumpkin his fate may not have been the same. He said, "Henceforth let no one presume to find fault with Providence." I enjoyed this remark.

If I were to rewrite this story I might just change the situation a little. Instead of a hermit it could be a more modern thinker/person. Maybe a politician or computer programmer (someone who thinks they are very smart and know everything). I am not exactly sure what the "questions" this person might ask, but I do know that they would soon find out they are wrong.

Bibliography. "The Hermit Philosopher" from Georgian Folk Tales by Marjory Wardrop (1894). Web Source. 

(Hermit Crab: Image by Rolf Dobberstein from Pixabay)

Friday, February 7, 2020

Reading Notes, Part A: Week 6 - Master and Pupil

Master and Pupil 

I found this story from the Georgian Folktales unit very interesting. In this story, a peasant gives his son to a "master" this master ends up being the devil. A year later the peasant came back to retrieve his son but did not recognize him, however, the son recognized his father and came up to him to tell him the plans the devil had to trick him. They peasant succeeded in retrieving his son, but what occurred after was a lot of shapeshifting in order for the peasant and his son to earn money. An example of this is when the son turned into a hunting dog and captured an animal in front of some nobles. The peasant then sold the dog for a large sum of money, but soon after the son/dog escaped and returned to his father. This continues until the son changes into a horse and the father accidentally sells him back to the devil.

This is where I thought the story was going to end. But the son was able to escape by changing himself into a needle. I thought the moral of the story was going to be don't get greedy. Which I guess it still kind of is. However, the ending which is like they, "lived happily ever after" was surprising, I just did not expect this story to end happily. So I guess if I were to rewrite this story I would write it with a less happy ending. Maybe the son would die or maybe the son could become the devil or get stuck as a needle with no ability to change again.

(Trotting Horse: Image by Floortje Walraven)

Bibliography. "Master and Pupil" from Georgian Folk Tales by Marjory Wardrop (1894). Web Source.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Week 5 Story: David


As many of you may know, King David of Israel was once just a shepherd-boy who killed the giant Goliath with just a rock and a sling. But what happened next is not as well known. Once David had cut off the giant's head with his giant sword - David stood over Goliath and admired his armor. He took the pieces of armor off one by one weaving a long strand of cord among the armor so he could easily drag it back to his father's field.

For the next few days while he tended the sheep David studied the armor and drew pictures of it on his papyrus. Then he melted the metals down to start fresh. He tried his hand at creating armor for the first time. He failed miserably. But he did not give up. He melted it down and tried again, it was better this time but still not satisfactory to David. The third time was the charm. David had created a masterpiece! The armor fit the young shepherd-boy perfectly, the design was immaculate, and it was impenetrable.

Not long after this, King Saul of Israel came to David's father Jesse hoping that Jesse would allow his son to come to his palace and play the lyre for him (as Saul had been afflicted by an evil spirit). Immediately David left to live with Saul, his family, and his servants. David would play his lyre for Saul often, one day David came to play while wearing his armor. Saul was very impressed! Saul asked David if he would make armor for the king and his son Jonathan. David agreed to this as long as Saul would provide the materials. So Saul brought David to his armory and David set to work. He took measurements of Saul and Jonathan (this is when they first became friends), and soon the armor was complete. They loved their new armor! Soon word spread and David was commissioned by many great soldiers from nations far and wide to create their specialty armor. Saul allowed this as long as David paid him back for the material plus a small commission fee.

However, after a while David and Saul's relationship soured, eventually David would become King of Israel. He had not created his armor in a long while. But one night the angel Gabriel came to him and told him to stop living on the people's money (public treasury), but to earn his money through trade. Immediately David recalled his craftsmanship in the armory. He went to his armory to see if he still had what it takes. On the first try he built the best suit of armor he had ever created. He had his servants take it around for display to the soldiers of his nation and other nations (the friendly ones of course). Soon enough he was making plenty of money from the armor he created for him and his wives to live even more extravagantly than they had before.

(David and Goliath: Anton Robert Leinweber (1845-1921))

*Author's Note: In part of the original story, David is summoned by an angel to find new ways to support himself, instead of just spending money from the public treasury. Then the angel Gabriel is sent to help him learn how to create armor. I decided to change it to where he already knew how to create armor, and gave this ability an origin story using information I knew from 1 Samuel in the Bible. 

Bibliography. "David" from Folk-lore of the Holy Land: Moslem, Christian and Jewish by J.E. Hanauer (1907). Web Source. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Reading Notes, Part B: Week 5 - David


I found this story interesting because I am quite familiar with the biblical tellings of David's life and of course his affair with Bathsheba/murder of Uriah. I thought the whole thing in this story about David designing armor and such was interesting. From what I know about David it is reasonable to think that he would be skilled in something like this. We already know from the Bible that he was artistic - he could play the lyre and obviously he wrote many psalms.

The Bathsheba aspect of the story was definitely different than anything I've ever read/heard. In this story, David knows the day and hour in which he is to be tempted - and he is confident that he will not fall into temptation. However, after a series of events involving a beautiful pigeon, he sees Bathsheba and sleeps with her and then basically kills Uriah. Then David interacts with some angels and a prophet - he eventually goes to Uriah's tomb and asks for forgiveness. In this story, David receives forgiveness from Uriah. Uriah's tomb said, "I forgive thee, O King, because for one wife torn from me on earth, Allah has given me a thousand in Heaven." I found this quote quite interesting.

If I were to rewrite this story this week, I think I would change all the human characters into horses. I don't exactly know why, but it is easy for me to picture this story with horses.

(Bathsheba: Artemisia Gentileschi)

Bibliography. "David" From Folk-lore of the Holy Land: Moslem, Christian and Jewish by J.E. Hanauer. Web Source. 

Reading Notes, Part A: Week 5 - Lokman


I liked this story because it gave somewhat of a background story on Lokman, but also another well-known story about it him. Lokman was related to Ayƻb (or Job) but had been sold into slavery at some point. He was freed by his master when he ate a bitter melon - his master asked him how he could eat such a disgusting melon. Lokman's response would free him, "Lokman answered that it was no wonder that he should, for once in a while, accept an evil thing from one who had conferred so many benefits on him." I thought this response was fantastic! Sometimes we have to do things we do not necessarily want to do, but if we do them they can pay off in the long run.

The second part of this story was a story about Lokman healing a rich man who was believed to have a serpent clinging to his heart. This serpent turned out to be a crab, which made the operation even more difficult. The irony of this story is that Lokman's nephew an aspiring physician (the only nearby physician who did not invite to the operation), gave Lokman advice from the rooftop as he performed the operation. Without his nephew's help the rich man surely would have died, instead he lived a long and happy life.

If I were to base my story this week off of this story - I think I would for sure change what type of animal was clinging to the heart of the rich man. (Maybe I would have the rich man die, or maybe he would not be a rich man.) I think I would also change the nephew's appearance in some fashion, maybe he will become a dragon or a monkey.

(Crab: Image by Ariapsa MX from Pixabay)

Bibliography. "Lokman" from Folk-lore of the Holy Land: Moslem, Christian and Jewish by J.E. Hanauer (1907). Web Source. 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Storybook Plan

Story Sources 

The following sources are from: The English and Scottish Popular Ballads by Francis James Child (1882-1898). Web Source.

"Robin Hood and Little John." Web Source.

"Robin Hood and the Bishop of Hereford." Web Source.

"The Golden Arrow." Web Source.

"Robin Hood and Maid Marian." Web Source.

Additionally this story is inspired by the 1981 classic - Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Web Source. 

Story Episodes

Episode #1: "Little John and the Clue"

Inspired by "Robin Hood and Little John" - Robin will meet Little John and become friends/comrades. Little John also delivers a clue to an ancient relic (right now I think it is going to be a bow, but I haven't decided if it is actually going to be of historical significance or fictional, still need to research this more).

Episode #2: "Robin Hood in Disguise"

Inspired by "Robin and the Bishop of Hereford" - Robin blends in with the Bishop's men and interacts with the Bishop in order to further his search for the "lost bow". I would also like to mix in some snakes somewhere in the story, and this might be the "episode" to do it. As you know, Indie "hates snakes".

Episode #3: "The Golden Arrow"

Inspired by the "Golden Arrow" this will be the last mission before Robin finally finds the "lost bow". This story will also involved Maid Marian (the other stories might as well, but I haven't quite figured out how I want to do it yet).

Episode #4: "The Lost Bow"

Robin Hood and Little John finally find it, but the Bishop ends up stealing it from them. But the bow turns out to be the Bishop's demise...

Storytelling Styles 

I think I prefer to write in the first person. So I could write these stories from the perspective of different characters. Maybe: Little John, Bishop of Hereford (this could be a letter to Prince John), Maid Marian (might do this one like a journal), and then Robin Hood. But I am still not sure.

I could also write it as a narrator, who is telling a story to his grandkids.

Storybook Theme 

My main idea for this story is for it to be an adventure similar to Indiana Jones, but using the stories of Robin Hood as inspiration. Also, I would like to show that winner does not always win, and people can often pursue things for the wrong reasons.

(LEGO Indiana Jones: Photo by Rob Jones)