Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Story: A Man and a Lion's Adventures

(Lion. Web Source: Wiki Commons)

Story. Androcles, a former slave, and Lion, a former circus lion, has been friends before they were granted freedom. They have shared a lot of time together in the forest. Usually, Lion would bring Androcles game and Androcles would make the food. After both were granted freedom and a reward for their friendship, they decided to travel the lands.

On their first journey, the man and lion walked to a neighboring kingdom. They saw a group of men running towards them. Androcles and Lion stopped in their tracks in case they had to run away as well. However, there was nothing chasing them. There was just a house.

“Hm, that was weird,” commented Androcles.

Both Androcles and Lion kept walking until they heard someone talking.

“It was me. I made them run away,” said a voice.

Androcles and Lion looked around for the person talking.

 (Windowsill. Web Source.)

“Over here, on the windowsill,” said the voice.

They both looked at the windowsill and found a boy the size of a thumb.

“You two look like a mighty fine pair. Do you mind helping me?” asked the thumb-sized boy.

They both looked at each other wondering whether they should help him. After all, this thumb-sized boy did scare off a group of men.

Reading their minds, the thumb-sized boy said, “Don’t worry about me. They were a group of thieves. They wanted to rob this house, but I alerted the owner. My name is Thumbkin and I need help returning home.”

After hearing this, they were happy to help. Androcles put Thumbkin on his shoulder and escorted him home with Lion. At Thumbkin’s house, his parents were overjoyed to be reunited and they asked Androcles and Lion to stay a few days in return for their help.

Two days later, on a hot day, Androcles and Lion traveled to another kingdom. At this kingdom, they met a group of three men sitting and eating under a tree.

One man greeted them. “How do you do?”

“I am well. And you?” said Androcles.

“I’m very hungry,” said the Lion.

“Why,” the man said to Lion, “you can have some of our food.”

“You understand Lion?” Androcles asked in astonishment.

“Yes, I understand lion. I may be the only one who does. My name is Jack, and this is Andrew and Paul.” said the man while he motioned to his sitting companions. "And you are?"

Androcles and Lion introduced themselves, and they all chatted away as they ate. After eating, they all packed up, washed up, and walked to the nearest city. At the city, Paul pointed at two doves on top of an arch with a bell under it. Andrew, Paul, and Jack stood in line to walk under the arch. Paul and Andrew walked under the arch but nothing happened. Then, right when Jack passed through the arch, two doves flew on his shoulders and the bell rang even though there was nothing close to it. All the locals cried in joy and surrounded Jack.

“What is happening?” Androcles asked Paul, who walked under the arch first.

“Jack said that one of us three would become Pope. It is said that when someone walks under the arch and two doves fly on one’s shoulders and the bell rings, that person is fated to be the Pope.”

After Jack became the Pope, he traveled around with his two companions, Androcles, and Lion to experience all that they could and help everyone they could.

Author's Note.
In Androcles and the Lion, Androcles was a slave who ran away from his master. He met Lion, who had a thorn on his paw, in the forest, and pulled out the thorn. Lion liked him ever since and Lion would bring Androcles an animal for Androcles to make food. Later, Androcles was captured by soldiers because he couldn't tell them what he was doing. When he was brought back, he was to be put to death because he ran away from his master. He was thrown in with lions in a huge circus so that the public can be entertained. However, when he was thrown in, Lion was his opponent and Lion just showed love towards Androcles. So, the king had both of them freed.

After reading Androcles and the Lion, I wondered if they traveled together in he end. All that was said in the end was that Androcles was freed and Lion was released to the forest. So, I wrote a story that continued their friendship. I wanted to write about their adventures, and since I have not incorporated characters from many stories in a single story, I decided to write this story. I chose Thumbkin and Jack because those two stood out to me while reading the whole unit.

As I wrote in Thumbkin, I figured that I would save him the trouble of going through many animals' stomachs. As for Jack's story, I wanted to write about one of the important parts that occurred in his story.

"Androcles and the Lion" from Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.
"Thumbkin" from Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.
"The Language of Animals" from Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reading Notes: Europa's Fairy Book, Reading B

(Swan feather. Web Source: Flickr.)  

Notes. In the Swan Maidens, I cannot believe that the six eldest sisters would leave the youngest at the pond to fend for herself. They should stay together. Aside from this, the shoes of swiftness and the invisible cap are interesting items. I could add this to another story. But the thing that doesn’t make sense is why the hunter’s wife returned home. It may be because he needed to show his love through going through troubles, but I am not sure. Perhaps I may write what she was thinking.

In Androcles and the Lion, I could continue their story. Androcles and the Lion was set free, but did they stay together? I can write about their adventures together after freedom. They may even meet with other characters.

Johnnie and Grizzle was a bit like Hansel and Gretel except there were pebbles, and the parents wanted to leave them in the forest. It was messed up that the parents wanted to leave them there because they didn’t want them to die in front of them. However, it does not justify their actions to leave the children in the forest. I may have to write a piece of karma for the parents. Later on, the father gave them bread. This is where it starts to get similar with Hansel and Gretel.

I have only heard bits and pieces of Hansel and Gretel, so I was glad the Johnnie and Grizzle got a happy ending. Perhaps now, I may not need to write an unfortunate ending for the parents because they went to find them in the forest. Yet, this all could have been avoided unless having the children really caused them financial struggles.

It was so sad in Thumbkin that all the boys died except one. He turned out to be quite useful and living. I wonder how all those beans turned into boys. It would be interesting to add siblings for Thumbkin. Thumbkin went quite on an adventure. Several of these stories are about an adventure. It was very strange for him to still be alive in the stomach. It must have been traumatic. I could add his character in another story.

Bibliography. Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Reading Notes: Europa's Fairy Book, Reading A

Notes. In Cinder-Maid, it is almost like Cinderella, but she weeps at her mother's grave and planted a hazel tree there that gave her a blue dress instead of a fairy godmother giving her a blue dress. Her rhyming brought a mist. That was interesting. Another thing that was interesting was that the stepsisters cut their parts of their foot just to get the shoe to fit. Another thing I wonder is why there was no one else who could fit it. I might make it comedic to have a man try it on. I wonder if I should write a story to give Cinderella a nice stepmother.

Perhaps for Beauty and the Beast, I could add more interaction between Belle and her sisters. That is something that was a bit lacking, because they lived together in the end, but I am not sure about their relationship prior to her marrying a prince. Like many stories, the sisters might get jealous and try to kill her.

(Three friends. Web Source.)

In the Language of Animals, Jack's story was quite interesting with his travels and learning to understand animal language. I can go in depth with his schooling or his friend who admires him. In his schooling, his teacher could have an all-knowing animal. So, instead of learning from the teacher, he learns from the teacher's pet. And in Jack's story, he always has a friend. I can write about his friend boasting about Jack at a bar or something. Because he is with Jack, he might even learn a thing or two.

I have not read about a giant before. Perhaps I can add that character to a story. In A Dozen At a Blow, I am not quite sure if I like the main character. Although he is witty, he is cheating. With his wits, I could even insert him into one of the other stories. He can travel with Jack in the Language of Animals.

Another story I could write about is the cat's background in The Earl of Cattenborough. Since the cat did all the talking and thinking, I wonder if they liked the cat or John/Jack.

Bibliography. Europa's Fairy Book by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Story: Disguise for Love

(Castle. Wiki Commons.)

Story. Once upon a time, a prince went on business. As he traveled, he heard such beautiful singing in the forest that he had to find the voice. He followed the angelic voice and saw the majestic woman who sang beautifully while gathering berries. Upon seeing her, he fell in love with her. As he asked her questions, he fell in love with her more. As for the lady, she was intrigued by him as well. Therefore, after finishing his business, he continued staying at an inn near where the she lived. He would help her father and her any chance he could get when he had no business to attend.

However, a year later, his father was said to be gravely sick. He heard from many that his father wanted to see him for the last time. The prince had forgotten the time and stayed at the town for too long, but he could not stand to leave his beloved. He talked about his troubles with her and she urged him to return to the king. The prince then started his return home, leaving a ring for his beloved. Yet, he had forgotten some garments in his room, so the innkeeper gave it to his beloved to keep for the time being.

The king saw the only person he had left in world and was so cheerful. With his son, he behaved as a young man, walking about and laughing. Yet, as the son tucked his father in, the father asked him a great question.

“There is no doubt that you will be the next king after me. I hope that you will continue in my footsteps and serve the people well. Love the people and they will love you. Now, I have something to ask,” said the king.

“What is it, Father?” asked the son.

“Can you marry the person I choose for you? She is the daughter of a great friend of mine,” said the king.

When the prince heard this, he thought of his beloved that he left at the town and of his father’s condition. He then answered, “I will do what I can, but I make no promises.”

The father gently smiled to his son and his son left. The next day, the son found his father as cold as ice with his eyes closed as if he was sleeping. There was a grand funeral for the king and the prince, the new king, took over his father’s duties. The coronation and process of taking over his father’s duties took much of his time. He was so exhausted at the end of the day that he often forgot about the beloved he left behind.

During the time the new king performed his duties, his late father’s right hand man arranged to have the new queen that the late king chose come in a month to marry the new king. News of this spread quickly and the new king’s beloved was heartbroken.

As a result, she had her father find several women so she can apply to be the new king’s huntsmen. Her father, knowing his daughter’s sorrow, found some women. All the women prepared to look like huntsmen to go before the new king. As for the new king’s beloved, she packed huntsmen-like clothing, the clothing he left behind, and she kept the ring from the new king on her finger.

The women, dressed in huntsmen clothing and wearing gloves, asked the new king if he required huntsmen. The new king accepted them in his castle because the head huntsman, his beloved, looked familiar. The huntsmen would go with the new king whenever he needed them. While with the new king, his beloved would stare at him and he would catch her doing so. On a few occasions, the new king’s beloved wore his clothing to see if the new king would react to them. However, the new king never showed any obvious signs. Although, he was suspicious because he felt the clothing looked familiar.

Two weeks later, the late king’s right hand man told the new king to get his clothes tailored for his wedding to the woman his father chose in front of the huntsmen. That was the first time she was ever mentioned. All the huntsmen and especially the new king’s beloved were saddened. The new king’s beloved was so saddened, that she fell down and clutched at her heart. The other huntsmen surrounded her and took off her gloves to give her space. Right when they took off her gloves, the new king saw the ring and immediately asked who she was. Everyone was silent.

He pieced the pieces together, the familiar face, the ring, the similar clothing, and came to the conclusion that the huntsman was his beloved. He hugged her, she cried, and all the huntsmen said, “Awww.” Then, the new king called off the wedding to his father’s chosen bride and married his beloved instead.

Author’s Note. The original story was the Twelve Huntsmen. I decided to write about this because I felt like there should have been more interaction between the new king and his beloved while she was in disguise. The original story is somewhat similar to my story. I added the singing voice from Rapunzel and took out the lion and a servant from the Twelve Huntsmen.

In the original, the prince, for unknown reasons, was gone from the castle and was with a woman who he loves. The king calls for his son to come back and the prince gave his beloved a ring saying he will come back for her. At the castle, the king asks his son to marry a king’s daughter. The prince agrees and the king died before him. The prince’s beloved was so scared of his future marriage news, she almost died. She asked her father to find eleven girls who looked exactly like her and prepared twelve huntsmen outfits. They went to the new king and asked if he needed huntsmen and the new king took them in because they were handsome. Then, a lion, who I omitted, knew of many things and warned the king that the huntsmen were women. They tried a few times to reveal they were women, but a kind servant told the huntsmen what would happen so they could prepare beforehand. As they were usually with the new king hunting, news came that his bride was coming. The new king’s beloved was heartbroken and fell down. The king took off her glove and sees his ring. Then, he called off the wedding with the other bride and married his beloved.

Bibliography. “The Twelve Huntsmen” by Brothers Grimm; link to reading online
“Rapunzel” by Brothers Grimm; link to reading online.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Reading Notes: Grimm (LibriVox) Unit, Reading B

Notes. In the Queen Bee, the dwarf brother stops them from eating, but how will they get their strength? The idea of the tablets are quite magical. It seemed that if they started reading it, they would have to do what it said even if they didn’t find anything yet. The story was quite intriguing because the lives the dwarf asked his brothers to spare helped him in the end. It would be interesting to write a story like this except I would write about three different components that helped the dwarf.

The Twelve Huntsmen has an interesting plot. Women disguise as men for the hope of love. I was surprised that the real bride did not do anything and that there were no consequences for the new king. This plot would be interesting to write about. I could write about a daughter who disguises herself in order to find her lover who she does not know the name of. Or she can even disguise herself to get revenge.

(Purple Star Lily. Web Source: Flickr.)

In Jorinda and Jorindel, the fairy was strange because she kept women as birds but banished men. I liked her shape-shifting powers. I also liked the idea of a safeguard item. I could add that item into another story or make up a story about that item. How about instead of the invisibility cloak in the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I could write about the flower. If not, I could write how the king would give the soldier a flower for his reward.

In the Twelve Dancing Princesses, I like the idea of an invisibility cloak. I never thought that the princesses gave the men wine to drink first. The idea of the men dying if they do not find the cause to the princesses dancing during nights is quite harsh. I have watched Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses before and it is interesting to read the Brother Grimm’s version. I could write a bit about how the eldest liked the soldier and more about their relationship.

Bibliography. Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm; link to reading online.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Reading Notes: Grimm (LibriVox) Unit, Reading A

Notes. In Rapunzel, I was surprised that the prince fell down and got blinded from the thorns. I thought that the Enchantress would have had a hand in it, but that did not seem to be the case. In this story, I could change the enchantress into a nice enchantress. She might be growing an abundance of plants in order to help people. She can be a traveling enchantress who goes around and helps people. However, since she is not home and looks mean, her neighbors think she is evil. In actuality, she can be a nice enchantress. And even, Rapunzel’s parents can return the favor by having Rapunzel learn techniques from the enchantress.

Another story I could write based off Rapunzel is her magical voice. The prince hears her beautiful song but doesn’t know it is her. He sees he enchantress call for Rapunzel to let her hair down so he tries it too. However, he doesn’t tie her being alone in the tower and the singing he heard together. He thinks they are different people until later on, when he catches Rapunzel singing and they live happily ever after.

Clever Elise was a bit different. It wasn’t much to my liking. I almost believed she was smart until I thought about it more. At the end, I figured that she was not actually smart, but smart in her own way.

In Briar Rose, I wonder why they couldn’t make another plate and invite all the fairies. They were rich and could definitely afford it. Even if it was scarce, others would have had some gold. They could have bought it or traded for it. Also, the plates did not have to be gold.

Reading the part where the prince found Briar Rose makes me wonder if the first person who found her wasn’t him. What if it was one of his knights? The knight was honest, yet he failed to become Briar Rose’s soulmate. Another twist could be that he kissed Briar Rose first, but she didn’t wake up yet. She woke up after he went to get the prince and returned.

Bibliography. Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm; link to reading online.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Story: The Philosopher and the Fortune Teller

 (Crystal ball. Web Source.)

Story. At a busy market, a philosopher saw purple curtains with stars and crescent moons in the window. The hanging sign read “100% Correct Predictions!” The philosopher was hesitant on going in. He has been out of luck lately and wonders if his life holds anything else for him except a nagging wife and bratty children. Right after thinking about his annoying family and his hardship, he blindly runs through the fortune teller shop’s threshold.

“Hello there, philosopher,” greeted the fortune teller who sat at a table covered in the same purple cloth as the curtains. On top of the table, there was a crystal ball.

“How did you know I was a philosopher?” the philosopher questioned suspiciously.

The fortune teller said, “There is no need to ask that because it is a waste of time. Now, come and I will tell you what you can do for your life of dread.”

The philosopher walked to the fortune teller’s table and sat in the chair in front of her and the table.

“First, before you tell me what I need to do, I need to test you first,” declared the philosopher.

“You have a nagging wife who always tells you to find a real job as opposed to your job as a philosopher, which does not get much. Even though you are passionate about it, you realize that being a philosopher will not get you far. So, you are finding a way to get income or else you will dwindle your life away in sorrow and dread or go mad from your wife’s nagging and kill her,” the fortune teller said without missing a beat.

The philosopher was amazed at her knowledge. He perked up and eagerly said, “You are 100% Correct like your sign! Now, tell me what I must do.”

“With your knowledge, you can make things that are magical. You know that. I know that. However, using them at home won’t be of much use. You have to find people and show them what you are capable of. Now, there is a priest who wishes to learn something from a philosopher. This is where you come in. Borrow money from that priest. You will see him at dusk by the pier. He will be in all black. And later, return that money. You can either keep the money or use it. However, you must return the same exact of amount you borrowed. The priest will be shocked that you were able to pay him back. Then, he will ask you how you did it. You will talk about your powers and the priest will become interested. At this time, you will have him under your thumb. He will do anything you ask if it deals with making precious metals.”

“Is that all I have to do?” asked the philosopher.

“That is not every little step you have to do. You have to think of the other steps yourself. I can't give you all the answers,” said the fortune teller.

The philosopher was still skeptical. This was his first time talking to a fortune teller. Also, he wondered if priests would be so gullible. He knew that tricking a priest was not a good thing to do as well. He said his thanks and stood up to leave.

“That will be 30 pounds,” the fortune teller quickly said.

“What?! That is absurd!” the philosopher shouted.

“Give it to me in five days or else your future will become worse,” said the fortune teller.

After hearing this, the philosopher ran away. He was surprised how much it was. He scolded himself. “Stupid! Stupid! How could you do that?! You knew you had no money but you still went there! Now, where will you get the money?!”

After he thought of the different paths he could take, he decided to follow the fortune teller’s advice or else he would be dead. Plus, he would get money too and perhaps his wife would finally stop nagging at him. He looked towards the direction of the fortune teller’s shop and started towards the pier to wait for his target.

Author’s Note. My story happens before the story, The Priest who Learned to be a Philosopher. In the original story, the priest was tricked by a false canon, a member of a clergy, who asked to borrow money from the priest. Then, the canon asked to return the favor by showing the priest a technique in philosophy. He showed the priest how to “make” silver and copper while using all the sources from the priest. He added a special coal to make special effects. At the end, the false canon took all the stuff that they made and left the priest with “knowledge.”

For my story, I wanted to write about a fortune teller and write a story that happened before the original story. Therefore, I came up with this story. I believe I changed the canon to a philosopher. Although he was a false canon, it was not specified what he was. Also, I added some background to the philosopher. Aside from this, instead of the philosopher returning the favor, the priest wanted to ask the philosopher about his techniques.

Bibliography. “The Priest who Learned to be a Philosopher” from Canterbury Tales by Eva March Tappan; link to reading online

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Reading Notes: Canterbury Tales, Reading B

Notes. In Little Hugh, I felt so sad for him! I cannot believe that such an innocent little boy was killed. Writing a better story for Hugh would make me feel much better. He sincerely deserves it. If I chose this story, I will write about his pure heart and the evil plot against him. I will write about his near death but the seed in his mouth will surely revive him. As a result, he will be taken care of after death and while he is alive. He will be considered he blessed man. I can even add a part of the song at the beginning of the story as well to add more of an impact. Additionally, I could add information about how the Jew who killed him felt shame at the end.

(Dreaming. Web Source.)

The part I liked in the Cock, the Hen, and the Fox was the dream that came true. It is quite interesting because this is very unlikely in real life. Anyway, it was weird for the friend who dreamed of his friends’ messages did what his friend told him to do. He actually found out his body. It was sad but I was glad that the innkeeper and the other person received their karma and justice. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Although it would be interesting to blend this in while writing about Hugh, it would take away the magical aspect of being chosen. Or perhaps Hugh can dream of seeing an angel or something. He might be warned about his death but he cannot avoid it.

In the Priest who learned to be a philosopher, I sympathized with the unknowing priest. He was too trustful and greedy to a degree. Also, I felt that the philosopher had no morals. He lied and tricked a priest!

I believe that I may write about Hugh or about Arviragus’ love life and the fortune teller’s obstruction. Those two are the stories that I feel I would be interested in writing.

Bibliography. Canterbury Tales by Eva March Tappan; link to reading online.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Reading Notes: Canterbury Tales, Reading A

(Knight by Sam Howzit. Web Source: Flickr.)

Notes. There are different type of characters like an apothecary, knights, princesses, summoners, and commoners. Since there is a theme to this, I will make sure that my characters are these different types of characters.

In the Promise of Dorigen, there are lots of parts I could base this week’s story on. There are songs that Aurelius sang about Dorigen. I could write a few stanzas of the song and write about their first meeting. I was surprised the guy, Aurelius, let her, Dorigen, go back to her husband, Arviragus. And then, the magician didn’t charge Aurelius for his service. They all were so nice that it was too much like a fairytale.

Aside from this, I could write how Dorigen and Arviragus got together. Perhaps, I could write how they met from his point-of-view. Then, I could write about a fortune teller coming in to ruin his future with her because she wanted him to be his daughter’s husband. However, at the end, he would marry his Dorigen regardless. I could write about the magic part as well. I could write more about the magician and his point-of-view.

In the Revelers, I was thinking that the place the old man referred them to would make them fall off and die. For example, when they go there, they would stand at the tree together and their weight would make the land crumble. However, they lived much longer than that. I was very surprised that the old man even told them of the place. It held money. Although he may guess that they would kill each other, it was not a sure thing that they would do so. Perhaps I can write a story that changed the ending. I would write a bit about their background. Since there were three men, I could have one be a rouge knight, another a lazy husband, and the last will be sleazy merchant. Also, I would write about the bad things they did.

Bibliography. Canterbury Tales by Eva March Tappan; link to reading online.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Story: The Harp

(Harp. Web Source.)

Story. At a museum, a tour group is with a tour guide and they stop by a broken harp on a table.

The guide said, “And this is the famous harp said to be made of a princess’ remains. The harpist saw the body of a princess so beautiful that he would never forget her even after traveling far away. When he passed the town where he saw her body again, only her bones and hair remained. He made a harp out of those remains. When the harpist sang in front of her family, she began singing of what happened to her and broke right after singing. Now, we will be going to some skeins made by a Tom Tit Tot…”

As the group followed the tour guide, only James remained. He was entranced by the harp. He looked around, making sure no one was watching and touched the harp. As soon as he touched it, he was sucked into a different time period.

“Where am I?” James thought. He saw a swift little river or millstream. A young woman was yelling for help in the water. James dove in the water and reached her. Then, James heard some yelling and the water's swiftness stopped. James then brought her on land.

A teenage girl and her father ran to both of them. The girl exclaimed, “Oh dear! The princess! Come this way to my home.”

They both went to the girl’s house. The teenage girl’s father offered him tea and the teenage girl attended to the princess. James and the father sat at a small wooden table and talked about the situation that happened. Then, the father left him alone and continued working.

“This is crazy. I am here? In the period of the harp? Who would have known?! I’ve been researching about the harp for so long and to be sucked in right after touching it? Wow! And I helped the princess?!” James happily spoke to himself.

“Sir, the princess wishes to see you,” interrupted the teenage girl.

James went in to see the princess.

“Thank you for helping me, Sir,” the princess sincerely said.

“Miss, please send a message to my father,” she addressed the teenage girl. “Tell him that I am here and to meet me, but you have to tell him personally unless my sister will know. Show him this bracelet when you meet him.”

The teenage girl left to send the message.

“What are you planning to do?” James asked.

“Why, of course I need to tell my father what happened. My sister will surely be beheaded,” replied the princess.

James didn’t reply and the princess did not continue. After a long silence, James spoke to the princess. “I understand that what she did to you was unforgivable. However, why don’t you try looking at it from her perspective?”

“Why should I? She tried to kill me. Her heart is as black as the darkness,” the princess angrily said.

“You know what you did to her was unforgivable as well. The man your sister loved betrayed her by loving you, who is her blood sister, and you loved him back. Sisters are not supposed to do that. What if it happened to you? Wouldn’t you feel the same as your sister?” James reasoned.

“No! Now, please excuse me and leave this room,” the princess sternly said.

James left the room in anger. In solitude, he talked to himself. “I was only trying to help and this is what I get? I don’t need to do this. I’m going home.”

However, James stopped in his tracks. He did not know how to return home. He has never time traveled before. Therefore, he went to talk to the Father in the mill next door because he did not know where else to go.

After a while, the teenage girl returned with the King. Everyone went to the room where the princess was in. As the King asked the princess who the culprit was, the princess shifted her gaze to James.

“As long as you know that I am fine now, you do not need to know the culprit. Please arrange a safe home for me. Someone wanted me dead and I decided that I will stay dead,” said the princess.

(House in the forest. Web Source.)

The king protested but he could not stop his child. So, he arranged a safe home in the forest, a few of the princess’ servants, and everything the princess needed. As time went on, he would send things to her occasionally. The princess’ sister would often look pale and drained due to the guilt of killing her sister, but she told no one of what happened. William was often sad because his beloved died, but he still lived with the sister.

As time went on, the princess frequented the teenage girl’s house because it was a place of her rebirth and James lived there. Everyone on that day would create a bond that would last forever. James, although he liked living there, always tried to find a way to return home. He discreetly asked the teenage girl’s Father and people he met while working with the father about time traveling, but he could not find a way home.

It was not until he met a traveling harpist that a method came to mind. The traveling harpist would pass by several times but he never met the princess. The only way James got to the past was through the harp made of the princess. Perhaps if he touched the same harp, he would return home. However, James would never kill the princess just so that he could return home. As last, James decided that he would let fate take its own course.  

Author's Note. My story is based on Binnoire from the English Fairy Tales. Binnoire is about a princess who stole her sister's lover's love. As a result, the sister got angry and pushed her sister in a millstream. They had a little conversation while she was floating away. The princess in the river asked for help, but the princess who pushed her did not help. A little girl saw something in the river and told her father to dam the water. They got the princess but unfortunately, she was already dead. A famous harpist saw her beauty and golden hair, but he could not forget about her. So, when he went back, all that was left was her bones and hair, which he made into a harp. Then, he had to perform in front of the princess' family. He sang with his old harp first. Next, as he sang with the harp made of her, she began singing of what her sister did. After that, she snapped and broke.

In my story, I wanted to write about some time traveling, and created this story. Adding James changed my story greatly from the original. Another route to this story could have been her having amnesia and living a humble life or her sister killing her off in order to get James back to the present. However, I felt that having the princess let go of her bad deed of stealing her sister's lover would be better for her.

Bibliography. Binnoire from English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Reading Notes: English Fairy Tales, Reading B

Notes. In Henny Penny, I was sure that there would be bad news after the fox told them to go in the hole. I am glad the chicken was able to yell before dying. However, I am sad that Henny Penny ran off and didn’t do anything to revenge their deaths.

In Mr. Fox, no one knew who he was. In the beginning, I had an idea of writing about him, but it seems like the rest of the story focused on him. I was very surprised to know about his background. It was very gruesome and evil.

(Sofa. Web source.)

In Mr. Miacca Tommy was clever yet naughty at the same time. I am glad that there is a figure like Mr. Miacca to scare kids. It will teach him and other kids to be afraid, but it is not too extreme. I was surprised when Tommy gave a leg to Mr. Miacca, it was a sofa leg instead of his own leg. I actually thought it was Tommy’s leg.

In Fairy Ointment I was shocked that the nurse got punched in the eye and became blind forever. I can write a story about what people thought of the nurse. The nurse would not tell anyone of how she got blind, so there were absurd rumors. The setting would be in a family’s home and after the nurse’s death but before her funeral. The children from that home would ask about the nurse. The parents would tell her who they were and then go on about the rumors of her blind eye. She probably got poisoned while doing a bad job. She probably got kicked in the eye by a horse. The nurse may have gotten cursed by witch because she helped someone the witch attacked. There are lots of possibilities.

I think that I will be writing about either the dog who stole the candles in the Rose Tree like I mentioned in the previous post or about the harp in Binnoire. Regarding the harp, it would be in a museum. A man couldn’t help but touch the harp and he went back in time. He knows about the story about the harp and tries to change it in order to help the main character. However, he can’t get back until the woman is dead. Therefore, he becomes her partner until she is dead and then he can return to present life.

Bibliography. English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Reading Notes: English Fairy Tales, Reading A

Notes. Going off the story of Tom Tit Tot, I could write about what she did while the skeins were being made. It says that the girl thought of names all day. I will include that, her feelings, and things that distracted her. Or I could write about the perspective of Tom Tit Tot. I could write how he heard her crying. However, instead of actually wanting her, he just used the three names per night as an excuse to do a good deed. He didn’t really want her. He may even lament about how much he despises humans, and think of killing and eating her.

In the Rose Tree, the dog stole the candles three times. I can go in depth as to why he did that. He may have done that as orders from her stepmother or he may have done that because he needed the candles. I may create a situation where he needs the candles, and later on, he will meet the girl in dove form and apologize to her. Then, he will explain why he did it.

In the Old Woman and Her Pig, it was fun and musical. I can hear the woman talking in my ears. If I were to write a story about this, I would keep the same concept but write about different things that create a domino effect.

In Binnoire, I am very surprised that he made a harp out of the woman’s hair and bones. It is surreal. In my story, I could make her haunt her sister. Instead of breaking at the end, I will make her successful in her revenge and travel with the harpist forever.


In Cap O’ Rushes, I really liked the daughter who was kicked out. It was unfair that she was kicked out because the father did not understand what she meant about the salt. I was glad to read about the salt reoccurring in the story again.

Bibliography. English Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs; link to reading online

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Story: The Pond

(Pond by George Hodan. Web source.) 

Story. Ever since I set eyes on a pond in the forest, I felt drawn to it. Every day I felt it calling for me. I could sit and watch the tranquil pond for hours. However, the more I went there to watch the pond, more things appeared each time. First, I could see only the pond, then some fish, then animals, and then a young man my age. It was weird, but it was nice to have some company.

I can stay there all day without getting bored. When I am there, it is like I’m in a trance. At the end of the day, though, I always go back home. I can hear my younger brother calling my name from a distance away and that is when I remember to go home.

“Penelope! Penelope!” my younger brother, Oliver, called.

In a rush, I bid goodbye to William, the young man my age, and the animals. I have forgotten the time again.

“See you later,” William shouted as I ran towards my brother’s voice.

“There you are. It’s time to eat supper. I called your name numerous times. What were you doing?” said Oliver.

“I was busy talking to William and playing with the animals today,” I responded.

We arrived home and my mother said she had news to tell me.

“Your father and I have found a husband for you!” she happily announced.

“What?! Who?! I’m not ready to marry.” I quickly said.

“It’s Jacob,” my mother said.

“Jacob is always focused on hunting.” I mentioned.

Mother reasoned, “And? We know that he will be able to feed you. You will never starve, child. Anyway, you’re marrying in a week.”

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to argue against her. She always had the last say. So, I kept my mouth shut and longed to return to the pond. The pond… the place where I can relax.

“Excuse me.” I said after I finished my meal at the dinner table. I put the dishes up and started the chores I should've done long ago. I shouldn’t have stayed so long at the pond. As I did the dishes, I overheard my brother and mother talk.

“Mother, do you think Penelope spends too much time in the forest?” asked Oliver.

My mother said, “That is why I am sending her off to marry. With a husband and child on her mind, she would stop going in the forest.”

“She was with William again,” he told Mother.

“I really don’t know who that William is. I’ve asked everyone I know and they don’t know this William either,” Mother said.

Oliver said, “All she does is go to the forest. The other kids don’t talk to her because she doesn’t talk much. I’m worried about her, Mother.”

“Me too. Now, hurry and go to sleep.” said Mother.

I sighed. They always talk about me. I know they don’t like the fact that I’m spending time in the forest, but I can handle myself. And so far, nothing has happened.

I went in my room where I shared with my brother after bathing.

“Goodnight, Sis,” he quietly said.

“Goodnight,” I replied and went to my bed. I dreamed of going to the pond. William was there.

He spoke first. “How are you, Penelope?”

“As usual.” I responded, “My parents have found me a husband.”

William didn’t talk for a minute. “How is he?”

“I don’t know much about him except what Mother says about him. He’s really into hunting. He is always doing something about it.” I said.

After that, we dropped the subject and did our usual routine of staring off in the pond, watching the animals, talking, and exploring.

“Wake up! It’s morning, Sis!” yelled my brother. I jolted up and got ready in a rush.

I apologized to Mother for not helping her cook. and she told me to gather vegetables for lunch and supper. After I ate, I went to gather vegetables and sang.

“Penelope. Penelope.” said a voice.

I searched for the source. William! I quickly put down the vegetables and walked over to him. “What are you doing here?!” I asked in a surprised voice.

“Do you want to come to my house?” he asked.

I replied, “Yes. Let me finish and I’ll meet you at the pond.” I gave my brother the vegetables to give Mother. If I personally gave it to Mother, she would have me do more chores.

I went to the pond and William guided me to his home which was inside the pond. I was very surprised to see his home. It was grand and magical. He gave me some food and we talked and talked.

We ate a lot. It has been about a dozen times, about four days’ worth of food if I ate three meals a day. How long have I been here actually? I heard a crack. It was like the house was hit with a big rock.

“Penelope! Sis!” I heard Oliver calling me. I finally saw him.

He told me to run home and shot an arrow at William without me seeing. I knew that he shot William later at home. They told me I’ve been gone for four days. Mother kept talking about preparing for the wedding.

I was so worried about William; I skipped sleep for a day, but fatigue took over me and I fell asleep. I saw William in my dream and apologized to him.

He confessed, “I love you, Penelope. Do you love me?”

“Yes,” I replied sincerely.

“Then, wake up and meet me at the pond if you want to be with me forever,” William said.

I woke up instantly and secretly left home. I ran to the pond and William took me in his arms. He took me to the land of his parents and I have lived happily ever since. I still think of my family sometimes though. I wonder if they still think of me.

Author's Note. In the original story, Neen-i-zu, a short woman, went in the forest or dim trails for hours. She always longed for a Happy Land where it was always summer without sorrow. In real life she longed for Happly Land and little gnomes would make Neen-i-zu dream of the Happy Land. She often went a grove by the Spirit Wood and sang sad songs to fairies. Later, her mom would arrange her to wed a hunter, but Neen-i-zu felt they were incompatible. In her wedding clothes, she would go to alone to the grove one last time only to not return ever again. In the end, although she did not marry the hunter, she did marry a fairy.

In my story, I kept most of the same things. I added a brother for Penelope. He would try to bring her back to reality, but he was not able to prevent her at the end. I wanted to give Penelope a chance to return to reality instead of being stuck in a different world. Aside from this, in the original, Neen-i-zu was the main character, but the story was told in third person. My story is told in first person. Although there were details that cannot be added because my story is from her point-of-view, I believe it was important to write what she felt and experienced.

Bibliography. "The Fairy Bride" from American Indian Fairy Tales by W.T. Larned; link to reading online

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reading Notes: American Indian Fairy Tales, Reading B

Notes. In the Boy Who Snared the Sun, it was interesting that ordinary things could be sacred. For example, a small fire was watched over by two old witches. Aside from this, catching the sun is quite strange in reality, but anything can happen in myths.

There are interesting questions that two stories in this unit asked whether in question form or sentence form. In How the Summer Came, a sentence says, “Suppose there was no summer anywhere.” In Fairy Bride, the question is “Where was this Happy Land—this place without pain or care?” These sentences are so interesting that I can think of a story that goes with them.

In How the Summer Came, I can write about a story with only winter conditions. It will be something like the movie The Day After Tomorrow. People are stuck with winter after mistreating the Earth. So, I can go into detail about a family’s daily activity.

Aside from this, another story I could write is about O-jeeg’s deeds. O-jeeg knew about the landscape he frequented, and he was able to transform into a fisher or marten. He knew how to hunt, he was friends with animals, and when he transformed, he was somewhat invincible but he had a weak spot.

(Cracked window. Web Source.)

Another story I could write is inspired from how the sky cracked showing a summer-like land. I can make a story about a dream in a dream. A little girl is stuck in a pretend world that feels real until a family member of hers cracks the pretend world and brings her back to reality. I can even expand this story with some parts of Fairy Bride. The girl who finds a happy land, but it’s not what she thinks it is. A girl who always has a longing of something that she can’t explain. She’s just drawn to this place. She felt out of place in the world she was in. And then her real brother cracks the world she is in and she returns home.

Bibliography. American Indian Fairy Tales by W.T. Larned; link to reading online

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reading Notes: American Indian Fairy Tales, Reading A

Notes. In Shin-ge-bis Fools the North Wind, I liked how there was two highly different characters. There was the North Wind and South Wind. I really liked the South Wind character who brought spring with his presence. The North Wind’s overall appearance and description was suitable. While reading, I was predicted that his anger would melt off the icicles on him, but that did not happen. Shin-ge-bis was very clever in his plan to weaken the North Wind. I was very surprised that he was able to beat the North Wind.

In the Little Boy and Girl in the Clouds, animals interacted with people long in the past. I liked reading how the detailed description of the variety of animals. I have thoughts of writing a story where people go in the past. The first part of this story could be a good foundation to this storytelling style. Nowadays, animals are mostly scared of people already. A character will go back in the past and see how differently animals behaved. Therefore, it will make the child cherish all animals and try to make a connection with them in the future.

In the second part of the Little Boy and Girl in the Clouds, I was very surprised that an insignificant worm was the savior of the kids. It clearly sent a message to me and most likely future readers.

In the Child of the Evening Star, I never expected the ugly man, Osseo to be the child. He was sent down because of a curse. This definitely reminded me of Beauty and the Beast in a way even though it was not exactly the same. It was sad and tragic that as he became young, his wife, Oweenee became old. This part, I can expand Osseo’s thought process before he became young again. As he saw the tree, he could have a flash of the future. However, he did not see too far in the future, which led him to jump in the hollow tree without thinking of what would happen next.

(Descending to Earth. Web Source: Flickr

In the last part, Osseo and Oweenee’s son made the evening start descend back to Earth. It makes me wonder what happened next. Was the son punished? What happened to the King of the Evening Star? Who was all affected? There were several questions I had. 

American Indian Fairy Tales by W.T. Larned; link to reading online.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Story: Finding Dad

(Buffalo mother and child. Web source: Wiki Commons)

Story. Looking at the stars and moon, I asked my mom a question that has been gnawing at my heart. “Mom, where is dad?” I said. I am a buffalo boy who can transform into a young boy. I have transformed back and forth without any human knowing my true identity. They think that I am an orphan.

“You ask me all the time, child, and I tell you the same thing,” my mother responded. “He’s gone far away.”

“But are you sure? You tell him to come back to you every night in your sleep.” I replied.

My mom looked at me in surprise and sighed. “I guess it is time for you to know. Long ago, your father and I met when the moon was full. It was love at first sight. However, I could only turn human for a week every month. So, after a week, he couldn’t find me and returned to his home in sorrow. We haven’t met each other since because I know I can’t stay with him as a human wife. And it would be too selfish to have him become a buffalo.”

“You mean he’s still alive?!” I exclaimed. My mom nodded her head. I galloped around joyfully.

“I’m going to go find him.” I decided. My mom was worried, but she knew that it would not be dangerous because I play with their children often. She told me that my father is living at the village I usually play at. So, I planned to ask the chief for help tomorrow morning.

The time has arrived. I was going to see my father for the first time! I walked to the chief’s hut and greeted familiar faces cheerfully as I walked by.

“Chief, I need help.” I told him. He was in the middle of breakfast.

He swallowed the food in his mouth and asked, “What do you need help with, young boy?”

I told him of my troubles and asked him to help find my father by assembling the men he had. He was convinced of my story, but he asked, “If you haven’t met your father, how will you know who he is?”

I replied, “I’ll know who my father is.” I couldn’t tell him I was a buffalo. It might sound absurd and he might kill me for meat. Anyway, I had a keen sense of smell.

I smelled a familiar smell every now and then around the village, but I could never follow it. Besides, too many other scents obstructed the familiar smell. Whenever I tried to follow it, it was like it disappeared in thin air. However, with the chief’s help, I can surely pinpoint the familiar scent, the scent of my father.

The chief saw my confidence and had someone gather the men. When all the men were settled, he said, “These are the old married men. Are any of them your father?”

I looked and smelled each person but I didn’t go too close. None of them were my father. I shook my head. The chief told the same person to gather the middle-aged married men. As they walked in, I knew that none of them were my father. I told the chief and the chief had his person get another group of men, the unmarried men.

I watched as they walked in and I caught whiff of the same familiar smell! I kept my eye on that man and walked towards him. Yes! This was my dad! I embraced him and told the chief that he was my father. The chief shouted in joy.

“But I don’t have a son or a wife, Chief,” my father said. I suppose all the men were informed of why they came.

Hearing that sent an imaginary dagger in my heart. “How can Dad say that? I am his son,” I thought. “I am your son,” I told Dad.

“How can you be my son? I’m not married. I’ve never had-” he stopped mid-sentence.

“If the boy says he is your son, then he is your son. Can you not hear the sincerity in his voice?” the chief sternly said.

“You met Mom in the plains by the woods, remember?” I softly said.

Then, my father remembered. He hugged me and asked, “Where is your mom?”

I graciously thanked the chief and led him towards where Mom and I lived. While walking, I held his hand and told him all about Mom and me. Thankfully, today was the second day where Mom was human, so she can talk to him herself. I showed him our humble home and let him in. Right when we walked in, Mom turned around and said Dad’s name. She started tearing up. My dad went to her and held her. “I will never leave you again,” he told Mom. I hugged both of them.

It turns out that Dad has been looking for Mom every time he went out and hunted with the hunting group. He went with them every chance he could in case he could find Mom. That’s why I smelled his scent every now and then. Now, we all are living together in our home, Dad, Mom, and me.

Author's Note. The original story tells of a buffalo boy and his family. The buffalo boy finds his father and takes him back to his mom. After that, they all live together at the father's village. The mom told the dad not to hit her with a fire stick, but one day, the father got mad and hit her with it anyway. So, the mother and the child ran away. Well, the father went out to find them. He saw the son while the buffaloes were dancing. Then, the son knew that in order for his father to get them back, he would have to identify the son among other buffalo. The father had to identify the son a few times, but failed on the last try. As a result, the buffalo trampled the father to death. However, he was revived from a piece of bone and the three, father, mother, and son, went back to the father's village. For my story, I focused in the beginning of the original story. I went into detail about how the child questioned where his father was and how they got back together. Instead of another test of finding the son, I kept it at one test where the son had to find the father. And then, in the end, I wrote about how they lived happily together.

Bibliography. The Piqued Buffalo-Wife from Native American Marriage Tales by Stith Thompson; link to reading online.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Reading Notes: Native American Marriage Tales, Reading B

Notes. Girl and the turkeys sounded a lot like Cinderella (which is clarified in the notes on the second part). She has worn out clothes, but she is beautiful. There is a dance as well. It all sounds very magical and like a fairy tale. The turkeys are helping her. It is different from Cinderella because I can totally see how the girl can forget the turkeys. I dread the misfortune that may fall on her, which in the end, did occur.

It was interesting how the turkey made a beautiful outfit from picking at and stepping on the girl’s clothes. I can make a story where an ugly rich person becomes beautiful after being stepped on by these turkeys. I’ll say that the turkeys are old and ancient with magical powers. Not all turkeys can do this, so people spread the information about the special turkeys like rumors. An ugly man who wishes to go to a dance and find his love searches for these turkeys who is taken care of by a beautiful woman who wears old clothes. So, in the end, the man and woman married each other, disregarding the dance altogether.

In contrast with the Girls and the Turkeys, the True Bride gives us a female character that is not a goody-goody. She knows that she has a bad stepmother. And, it’s interesting. She has character and she is not na├»ve. I love how the boys are very helpful and skilled. It was such a strange idea to have the girl spit gold. It is not really sanitary, but it was gold.

In the third part, they even helped the girl although they were not mentioned in the part where she got married. After reading how much the girl was helped, I am very glad that they were able to help her. I really liked the idea of the dog running and passing people who wanted him to ask the Sun questions. This can be a part of a story all by itself. I could write ideas about other animals or things the dog passed.

Bibliography. Native American Marriage Tales by Stith Thompson; link to reading online.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Reading Notes: Native American Marriage Tales, Reading A


Notes. In the Piqued Buffalo-Wife, I wondered how the boy would know his father through just looking at him. Perhaps he had some special smelling power. I’m not sure. I could go into detail about this question through writing my own story. To go with the smelling power, I would say that the child has special powers from his father. In the original story, it was sad when the father was supposed to return the favor, he failed. He needed a sign and help from his son. So, in the new story, I could write that the father knew who the son was each time because of his powers. And then in the end, they would return home, mother, father, and son.

In Splinter-Foot-Girl (Part 2), it talks about moles and badgers who work in secret. If I were to not write about the Father and Son having special powers in story, I could write about moles and badgers helping them figure out who the son was. There are talking inanimate objects as well, such as a rock and tree. There are many possibilities from this story that I would be able to incorporate in the story about the father identifying the son and vice versa. Aside from this, the bull is able to smell. Perhaps this can be a part of why the son was able to figure out who his father was. It seemed like he was able to transform from bull to human. If so, his buffalo/bull senses could work as a human as well.

The Eagle and Whale Husbands were interesting because they took humans as wives. It was unfortunate that they were killed later, but it was surprising that they wanted them as wives, but not their own kind. It was strange because they wanted to go home even though they said that they wanted an eagle for a husband and a whale for a husband.

In the Bear-Woman, I was astonished when the sister became and real bear and returned to being a person. It would be a nice idea for my story about the father and son. The mother could be like the bear woman.

Bibliography. Native American Marriage Tales by Stith Thompson; link to reading online.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week 8 Growth Mindset

(Inspirational Quote from Charles Dubois by Omar Reyes: Web Source)

While reading the table, I realized that I would choose the left more than the right. However, there were some things that includes what I would do. I still like being in my comfort zone. I get a little anxious if I’m not in my comfort zone. Trying new things could be scary. On the other hand, if a new activity is required, then I would be willing to do it. It just depends on what I think and feel at the time. This would be one of my weaknesses.

On the right side of the table, I find motivation from inside myself. Mostly, I think that what I need to do is a duty. It is something I have to do, not someone else. I need to be independent and work for what I want. I feel like this is a strength of mine.

Also, I’m being open to any and all feedback. Feedback is what can help me grow and become better. They let me understand what I can improve and what I lack. The articles that I read helped me further understand giving and receiving feedback. Therefore, I can be open to all types of feedback. And I am confident I can improve. With practice and the right knowledge, I can do anything.

Another weakness of mine is that I prefer to do the minimum, so I can have time to do other activities that I would rather do. For example, in most of my posts, I have put in one image. However, as I start to realize that pictures would be useful, I may add another picture. I consider pushing myself to go farther as a work in progress. To further work on this, in this class, aside from the regular assignments, I may choose an extra credit option. This would help push myself to go farther and learn new things.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 8 Reflections

(Lightbulb: Web Source)

The reading notes were helpful. It required me to take notes and think of possible stories. And I like the choices I’m making in readings because I get to understand and know about different stories. However, I guess I am not reading like a writer. I don’t think of the project and weekly reading at the same time. I usually keep them separate from each other. I start the weekly readings in the beginning of the week and the project during the weekend.

I would like to add, this cycle of finding what you like from a story to make my own story is affecting activities aside from this class. When I was watching TV, I thought “This is how the story should go,” “What if this happened,” or something like that. I like it, but I did not know how much this would impact my life.

Some of the reading options I would take for the next weeks are:
  • 9-10: Native American Marriage Tales and American Indian Tales
  • 11-12: English Tales and Canterbury Tales
  • 13-14: Brothers Grimm’s Librivox and La Fontaine
These caught my eyes among the others. Also, the crystal ball on the bottom of the posts helped greatly.

As I look at my stories, I am happy with what I have written. I believe that I progressed. My first story was not as great as it could have been. Then, as I started to read the others' stories, I realized that I was not limited to writing. Therefore, I added in more imagery and descriptions for my later stories. However, now, I feel like I need to write more and write differently. I need to progress further.

For my storybook, I am happy with my choice. With the appropriate research, I was able to be confident of what I will write. I had to consider what I could do to write a balanced amount of content. I was able to find three to four stories that dealt with golden apples. However, I decided to write about three of them only. I will leave the last story for the young apple’s anecdote, which will include an idea from the instructor, King Midas.

There are some storytelling experiments I want to try. It’ll be refreshing and a new experience to try them. I want to add a little poetry, a script, or time travel. There are endless options to choose. A writing skill I want to master is using more vocabulary. There are different ways to say “said.” I don’t want to continue writing “he said” or “she said.” So, I’ll use a thesaurus to figure out a list of options to say “said” and other words.

When I look at other people’s stories I admire their creativity and the flow of their stories. It is amazing to read and become infused in their stories. There are really no habits or tendencies that I have seen in other stories that I would avoid. People are doing their best in writing, and I appreciate their creations. I think I do a good job in giving feedback. It’s not the best though. I don’t really want to criticize their stories too harshly. To provide better feedback in the second half of the semester, I may research more about giving feedback and continue using the three Ws (Wow, I wonder, and What if).

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Story: The Mad Leopard

 (Leopard: Wiki Commons)

Story. At a small clearing, a gazelle approached a female leopard with something in its mouth. He threw it to the leopard. It was a skinless head.

“For you, in exchange for your husband’s fruitful harvest,” declared the gazelle.

The leopard thanked him and ate the head. As she was eating, the gazelle gave her stares accompanied with a sly smile. When the leopard finished eating the head, the gazelle laughed.

The leopard asked, “Why are you laughing? Also, why were you watching me? I am married, you know?”

“You haven’t noticed? You ate your husband!” said the gazelle. The gazelle cackled.

“No. No. No!” The leopard was in denial. The leopard attempted to spit out an imaginary piece of meat. “How dare you?! You should be ashamed of yourself!”

“I should be ashamed?! He was your husband. You should have known.” The gazelle’s goal was finished, so he started to leave.

In anger, the leopard pounced on the gazelle. Both fought, but a passerby came and tried to break up the fight. “Stop fighting! Turn around and go your separate ways!”

The leopard stopped and felt weak after remembering that her husband was dead. Right when the gazelle saw this, he went in for the kill at her neck. However, the passerby was able to push the gazelle slightly, and the gazelle did not kill her. He only severely injured her. The gazelle ran away and the passerby chased after him.

As the gazelle ran away, the leopard cursed, “You’ll never live a happy life!”

The leopard dragged herself to her husband’s bones and wept. “My dear, I apologize for eating you. I didn’t know that it was you. I vow to never eat again.”

The leopard has not eaten for a few days, and her health deteriorated. A rabbit slowly approached the leopard to see if it was still alive. The leopard tried to strike at the rabbit, but the rabbit was quick. The rabbit was surprised the leopard still had strength. He said, “I thought you were dead.”

(Rabbit: Wiki Commons)

“Come here, so I can eat your small figure, even though your gray fluff shows otherwise,” mumbled the leopard, and she swiped at the rabbit again.

The little rabbit dodged the leopard’s every move. It went behind bushes and then showed itself to the leopard. When the leopard swiped at him, he went behind a tree, and appeared again. “Ha! Ha! You’ll never catch me!” The rabbit was so confident, that it accidentally hit an old, fragile tree. A branch fell on the rabbit and killed it.

The leopard saw the blood spatter and imagined the soft skin of the rabbit. She went towards the rabbit’s corpse. As soon as she approached the body, the rabbit’s face turned into her husband’s face.

He said, “Are you going to eat me again? Didn’t you say that you’ll never eat again?”

“Darling, is that you? But I’m so hungry,” pleaded the leopard's wife.

“Fine, but you can’t eat this. Go eat those rocks over there. I’ve tried them and they are so tasty. If you eat them, I’ll accompany you for a few days.”

The leopard proceeded to eat the rocks. At first, she thought that it was strange to be eating rocks. However, after looking at her husband again, she ate a few more rocks until her hunger was satisfied.

Her husband smiled at her and exclaimed, “You are a very good eater! What shall we do today?”

The leopard excitedly told him a list of things she wanted to do.

The next morning, another rabbit was hopping around and searching for her son. “Bobby! Where are you?!” the mother rabbit yelled, “Although you’re a pain and mischievous, I still want you to come home everyday!”

As the mother rabbit neared the leopard’s clearing, she saw blood and a limp, gray ear. Instantly, she had a bad feeling. “Bobby?” She got closer and saw that it was her son. She started crying, but she saw a movement thirty feet behind her son. There was a leopard talking to herself. She held in her tears, bade farewell to her son, and left because she didn’t want to be killed.

Several days later, the mother rabbit, gazelle, and other animals were at a gathering that the gazelle held at his old friend, the leopard’s garden. There, the animals spoke of the crazy leopard who ate her husband and died. At the sound of this, the gazelle gave a smirk. And the animals continued their feast discussing other happenings like the leopard’s situation was just another story.

Author's Note. This story was based on a story from the Congo unit, The Gazelle and the Leopard. In this story, the gazelle and the leopard worked together on a garden. However, the gazelle did a lesser amount of work than the leopard. When the crops were ready to eat, the gazelle secretly had a party. The day after, the leopard found and and set a trap for the thief who stole his crops. An antelope fell in the trap, saying that the gazelle was the leader, but the leopard ate him anyway. When the gazelle found out, he planned with a mob to kill the leopard. The leopard was drawn by the sound of music to the trap and he died. At the end, the gazelle sent the leopard's head to his wife. She ate it and the gazelle told her that it was her husband. And then, this is where I continued in my story. I thought that it would be a new experience to write about a leopard going crazy, and that is what I did. Several stories from the Congo unit were gruesome as well, so I wanted to write a story similar to them. 

Bibliography. The Gazelle and the Leopard from Folklore of Congo by Richard Edward Dennett; link to reading online.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Reading Notes: Stories from Congo, Reading B

Notes. There were a few shape shifting stories in this folklore unit. I can probably use this idea in my story. I liked a few stories from this reading. A lot of them I felt passive towards.

 (Spider and web: Web source)

I did not realize how the story would go in How the Spider Won and Lost Nzambi’s Daughter. In the end, Nzambi gave them monetary value of what the daughter was worth. This is peculiar. In stories similar to this, I hear of the father giving it to the person who did the most important job. However, in this story, he gave his daughter to no one. It was something different, but it was nice. If I were to write a story about this, I would write it from the father’s point-of-view. It would show his internal conflict. Also, I would add more to his bond with his daughter. He would be more loving and not want her to get married. Perhaps, he told people to get the thing because he was angry at his daughter, but he did not mean it.

In The Gazelle and The Leopard, it was messed up that the leopard’s wife ate her husband unknowingly. There was much destruction and revenge. The wife cursed the leopard at the end. I could make a story about this. It would briefly tell about the leopard and gazelle’s story first. Then, I would go into depth about the leopard wife turning crazy because she ate her husband. His ghost may haunt her, but in actuality, she becomes crazy and dies. However, the gazelle continues to live a nice life. This would be a good story to write about, because it has some unfairness in it opposed to the many happy stories I write.

I cannot believe that with such logic, the crocodile could be duped by the hen. The common denominator they have are eggs. That is it. The crocodile can actually eat the hen, but when the hen yelled “brother” the crocodile stopped eating her.

Bibliography. Stories from Congo by R. E. Dennett; link to reading online.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Reading Notes: Stories from Congo, Reading A

Notes. In How Wives Restored Their Husband, the third wife knew how to bring her husband back, but why did she and the other wives wait on him to kill food? Perhaps, it was probably their gender roles at the time.

In How Nsassi (Gazelle) Got Married, I was amazed at the dog’s and Nsassi’s forgetfulness. Figuring out the girls’ names in order to marry them was an interesting idea. My grandma has said that people named their girls “Forget it” in my language, so that when boys ask for their names, they’ll say “forget it.” And then, they won’t be able to ‘know’ their name and perhaps forget about them.

The Vanishing Wife was an interesting read, and it was unfortunate. I could write a story about the wife’s background. She could be a fish who fell in love with him, which is why she didn’t want to see a fish’s head. And then in the end, she would return just as Buite’s brother, Swarmi, was talking to Buite. Then, Buite will treat his brother the same way he was treated.

The Wicked Husband was gruesome like the story before it. What they did is surreal. They used the husband as fuel to a fire that dried the wife. It is quite unbelievable. This could be a story that I write. I could go into depth of the song the wife sang, and change some details. 

 (Blades of grass: Web Source)

In Twin Brothers, I liked how the blades of grass could be changed into different objects. I could probably use this idea with another story. Also, I liked how the charm was able to aid him. I loved how the twin brother who didn’t die, Luemba, did not do anything to Mavungu’s, his brother, wife, but instead he had his charm take her out and return her later. As I read, I thought his brother died and would never come back to life, but he saved him! And then, the twist, brother killing each other, was exciting and surprising!

Bibliography. Stories from Congo by R. E. Dennett; link to reading online.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Story: The Tiger Girl

(The jungle and river in Luang Prabang, Laos: Wiki Commons)

Story. One day, a little girl named Anne was playing with a girl named Sun outside Anne's house. They were playing hide and seek. Anne was the seeker and Sun had to hide. Sun went to hide in Anne's kitchen. Anne looked for Sun outside, but she could not be found. Since Sun didn't hear Anne's footsteps anymore, she ran outside to hide in another place, but hit a pot on the way. It was Anne's mom's ceramic pot! Sun got scared and ran home.

Anne could not find Sun outside at all. "Maybe she is inside," thought Anne. So, Anne walked home only to find her mom angry.

Her mom asked, "Why did you break my precious pot, Anne?!"

"I didn't do it," said Anne. She totally forgot about hide and seek. Anne's mom disregarded her words and gave her a stern lecture. All Anne could do was sit there and take in the lecture or else should would be spanked. Anne thought, "I'm always being blamed for things I didn't do."

Anne was fed up with being lectured and became sad and angry. She looked up to the sky in vain. Her eyes were filled with anger and redness. Every time she got in trouble, she desperately wanted to run away to the forest. And this time, her desire to run was more than ever.

When her mom finished lecturing her, she blindly ran to the forest. She didn't care about packing. She was so mad with anger, and didn't care about anything. She was not afraid of the dark, the bugs, or the wild animals.

After feeling drained, Anne stopped and hugged a tree to keep from falling. When she stopped running, her mind returned to thinking. All those thoughts of yelling and sadness came again. She sat down with the tree supporting her back. She looked up in the sky again to see the only source of light, the moon. Feeling the moon's comforting light, the little girl went to sleep.

A few hours later, a tiger saw Anne, and she woke up to the tiger's footsteps. The tiger stopped in its tracks and they stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. The tiger bore through Anne's eyes, but Anne wasn't afraid. Then, the tiger slowly walked towards Anne and laid down next to her. Anne did not feel in danger, so she went to sleep.

When Anne woke up to the early, shining lights of dawn, the tiger was no longer there. At home, Anne had to wake up early with her mom to prepare breakfast. However, now, she did not need to anymore. Anne was happy to have no chores and responsibilities. She explored the forest to find a place to stay.

Day by day, little Anne started her day finding some food to go with the little game she caught. Then, she made a fire, cooked her food, ate, and explored the forest. She occasionally thought of the good times at home, but she thought she could never return home. After being gone for many days, there was no way her mom would not be mad at her. She would get a lecture and spanking for sure.

During Anne's daily routine, the tiger always watched from far away. Anne caught glimpses of the tiger, but she did not notice it everyday. The tiger became intrigued with this little girl like her own little girl who recently died from an attack.

The tiger went to a witch who lived deep in the forest and asked her for help, but didn't say exactly what it was. The witch could read minds. She followed the tiger to Anne.

"A human child. What do you want with her?" said the witch.

The tiger said in her mind, "She's been alone for a while. I want you to turn the kid to a tiger, so I can take care of her and fill in my void from the daughter I lost. Please, witch."

The witch was unsure of what to do. The witch approached Anne from her back and asked, "What are you doing so deep in the forest, child?"

Anne was startled and didn't say anything. She acted like the witch wasn't there. The witch tried getting answers, but Anne still ignored her. Then, the tiger appeared and Anne looked at the tiger with a pleading look.

"Do you like that tiger?" questioned the Witch. Anne nodded her head slightly to indicate a yes.

The tiger, after hearing this, pleaded to the witch to grant her wish. The witch felt pity for the tiger and the child's loneliness. The witch then used a spell to transform the girl into a tiger. During the process, the girl realized what was happening. She yelled, "Stop! I don't want to be a tiger! I don't know who you are! I want to go home! Mommy!"

It was too late. The witch could not turn her back.

Anne lived as a tiger and accompanied the mother tiger. Anne often thought of her own mother, but nothing could be done. Anne learned to live as a tiger and would remain as one forever.

Author's Note. This story is based from A Child of the Woods from the Laos unit. In the original story, a child runs into the jungle unafraid and full of anger because she hated all people. The hate slowly increased until she liked the animals better. Like this story, a tiger sleeps a night with her. Also, the wild animals protect her. However, in the end she returns home after she feels like she does not hate people anymore. When she told people about the man-eating tiger, they gave her gifts and items. However, she still thought of her times in the jungle. I decided it to change it up and keep the girl in the jungle with a loving tiger who would be nice and take care of her. I usually write happy endings, and I wanted to try writing a not happy ending. The part about the witch was made up as well. I had to find something to transform the girl.

Bibliography. A Child of the Woods from Folklore of Laos by Katherine Neville Fleeson; link to reading online.