Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Yellow Tiger and the Brown Owl

So this is the third story from last night.  As a prelude, I have to add, we are big on colours in our family.  Where before the hubby was wont to refer to all colors in the off-white, beige, brown spectrum as 'chocolate' colour, he now knows the differences between peach, orange, purple, violet even turquoise and aquamarine :-).  Hence the all important colours in my story's title.  You should also note that all children that appear in any of these stories are either 3 or 4 years old.  They cannot be any older than that because that would make them older than Sammu!  All protoganists are also female, unless otherwise specified.  So we have female Ramus and Somus as well as female Pooh bears in our stories.  On we go to the story.

There was once a tiger that lived on the banks of the Ganga river.  The tiger lived in the beautiful floating mangrove forests.  Where there was land, he walked, where there was water, he swam.  He was a beautiful animal, strong and fierce, with yellow and black stripes.  (I thought I was being poetic and lyrical in describing the tiger and the forests, but my daughter said I should stop with the description because all tigers look this way :-) ).  This tiger was friends with a brown owl.  Together they hunted at night and slept during the day.  One day, the owl told the tiger that he needed to go away on a trip with his parents.  He was going north up the river, he said and he would be back in some time. 

On his return, the owl told the tiger a fantastic tale - he claimed that he had seen a White tiger!  The tiger was very disbelieving and sarcastic.  You are trying to fool me, he said.  Oh no, I really saw a white tiger, said the owl.  The tiger decided to call his bluff.  Let's go together, he said.  We will take the same route that you did on your trip and we will see if we can find this white tiger.  So they decided to go that very night.  

They followed the river and went north for many days.  Long days and nights they travelled until they reached cold regions.  The river was an icy blue and it was very cold.  The yellow tiger was desperately thirsty but the water was so cold.  He didn't want to drink it.  Finally, thirst overcame discomfort and he decided to walk down to the river and drink the water.  He lapped the water from the river thirstily and was lost in his thoughts.  Suddenly he heard a loud roar, he looked up and saw to his shock - a tiger on the opposite side!! And it was white!!!!  He could not believe it.  He called to the owl, who was sleeping in the shadows among the trees.  Little Owl, look here, we have found the white tiger you saw!!!  And Owl could not stop smirking and laughing, I told you so, he said.  Yellow Tiger had to accept that the Owl was right.  

Ok, let's go back now, said Little Owl.  I miss Home.  And they decided to go back home again.
On the way back, they saw a White Owl (like Hedwig from HP :-) ) But that is a story for another day.

The Elephant's Tusks

Yesterday was a tough night - I thought I might get away easy when she said the story had to be about a lion, a tiger and an elephant.  I could make one up with all three animals and finish for the day.  But no, things are never that easy.  She decided that she wanted a story each for each animal.

I began with the lion and then moved on to the elephant.  But I don't want to write those stories here - I couldn't think of one good enough to tell her.  I just fumbled through about a lion trying to find it's mate and ended with they lived happily ever after :-). The elephant's story is a little more interesting.

There were once two elephants that lived in a jungle - Ramu and Somu.  Ramu was the taller of the two elephants and he had giant tusks.  Somu was a little smaller but also had fine tusks.  The two were good friends and spent all their time walking through the jungle, talking about a lot of stories, eating good food and generally having fun.

One day, Ramu had left Somu in a clearing and gone to drink water from a stream nearby.  On his return he saw a terrible sight - Somu had got caught by a hunter who gave it some medicine to make it sleep and pulled out it's tusks.  Ramu was very angry to see this.  He decided to follow the hunter and get the tusks back.  He walked behind him for a long distance until the hunter reached his village.  The hunter left the tusks in his home and went away on some work. 

There was a child near the hunter's home - about three or four years old.  Ramu made friends with the child and told him of what the hunter had done.  The child agreed to help Ramu get the tusks from the hunter.  They managed to get the tusks from the hunter's home and the child travelled back with Ramu to the jungle to get the tusks back to Somu.  Once there, they found Somu awake but crying because his tusks were missing.  Ramu produced the tusks and Somu was very happy - only, nobody knew what to do with the tasks.  How would they fix them up again?  At this point, I suggested that maybe they could glue the tusks back up with Fevicol.  Use a big bucket of fevicol and glue them back, I said.  Sammu looked at me with a little contempt - fevicol does not stick tusks, she declared. So we made Ramu and the child try to stick the tusks but fail.  And then, we found that elephants tusks grow back again... :-) Just like lizards' tails do... !!!  

So Ramu and Somu were happy and they played happily with the child and all was well again!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

A tale of many tales

I've recently started telling my daughter stories at bedtime again - I thought that I would post the stories I tell her every day.  These are not completely original or completely 'inspired'.  They are a mix and match of both - some stories with morals, some that end abruptly, some well known stories that are toned down to suit her because she has an overactive imagination and I don't want to add to that just before she sleeps.

Yesterday I told her the story of the young deer who was very found of his antlers. Here it is:

There was once a deer who loved his antlers.  He loved them so much he was always gazing at them in the forest pond.  He kept admiring them, the way there were so tall and big and strong and how beautiful they made him look.  He caught sight of his legs in the forest pond and thought to himself - 'How ugly my feet are, how thin - they look like sticks.  And so it went on every day.  

Suddenly one day - there was a hunter in the woods.  He had caught sight of the many deer in the forest.  He decided to catch one.  He ran after our young deer.  The deer ran but suddenly could not move.  It looked up to see that it's beautiful antlers were caught in the low hanging branches of the tree above.  It could not move.  And the hunter was coming closer every minute.  The deer tried with all it's strength to break free and just as the hunter appeared in the clearing it was caught in, it broke free.  The hunter chased after it but the deer was too fast for him and it got away.

A little while later, the deer stood at the edge of the forest pond again - now he resented the antlers which he had always thought beautiful, instead he realized his legs were the most beautiful for they carried him fast and far way from danger.

Note:  This tale was told to me by my grandfather as an example of how we should accept all parts of ourselves etc... my daughter felt the antlers could still be more useful than the legs to the deer - she felt the deer should have rammed the hunter with its huge antlers instead of attempting to run away.  Aggression comes early these days ;-)

I also told her about the story of a snake that ran over a garden of greens.  Excuse the mistakes in my farming story - I know next to nothing about farming and am completely city bread.

There was once a girl who grew greens (keerai) in her garden.  She grew all variety of greens, molla keerai, pasala keerai, agathu keerai, vendhaya keerai, sombhu keerai, dill keerai (that's all the variety i know ;-)).
Every week she used to cut bunches of her keerai from her garden and pack them in a wet sack and take them to the market for selling.  

One week, a snake came into her garden and ran all over the greens.  It then went back to its home near the garden.  That week, the girl followed her usual practice and collected the greens from the garden and took them to the market.  A young mother and her daughter came to the market that day and bought the keerai from her.  They had it for lunch that day with some dal. The mother offered the daughter a first bite of the rice and keerai/dal mixture.  The daughter took a mouthful only to spit it out immediately saying that it was bitter.  The mother took a bite herself and found it bitter too... They then kept the keerai away and had a different lunch.  The next week, at the market, they told the keerai-girl angrily that the keerai from last week was very bitter and that it probably had been poisonous.  The keerai-girl burst into tears at their complaints because she had done nothing different - she decided to meet her grandmother and find out what could be wrong.  

Her grandmother knew exactly what the problem had been - she asked the granddaughter to check the garden for evidence of a snake.  The keerai girl went home and checked her garden.  She promptly found the snake's home.  The grandmother suggested that the keerai girl pour some milk inside the snake's hole.  The grand daughter did as instructed and after that day, she never had troubles from the snake again.

Notes:  This story is inspired by the snake gourd we bought from a vegetable vendor one day who claimed to sell 'thotathu kai'.  We cooked the gourd and it was so bitter - we threw it away.  I then heard that some vegetables taste bitter when a poisonous snake runs around them.  I don't know if it's true or not but it seemed very interesting and has stuck in my head since then.  About pouring milk on the snake's home - this is just tamil-movie inspired and I don't know if snakes even drink milk in reality.