In far bygone days, there was a widow who had three daughters. The girls lived in a tiny house in the forest.

 

A tiger was also in the forest and watched out for the girls, hoping to hunt them down.

 

One day, the mother said to the girls, Ill go out to look for food. Dont go out and dont let anyone in. Then she set off.

 

The tiger saw the mother leave. An hour later, the tiger went to the house and knocked on the door. One of the girls, Ma Gyi, went to the door and asked,
Who is it?
This is me, your mother, replied the tiger.
May I see your eyes? Why are your eyes so red? enquired Ma Gyi.
I was worried about you and cried on the way home, answered the tiger.
May I see your hands? Why are your hands so big and dirty?
The tiger replied, I helped with planting on a farm and so my hands became dirty.

 

The girls unwisely opened the door and then ran away and climbed a tree while the tiger chased them.

 

The tiger asked, How can I climb up?
Ma Gyi gave a tricky response, Pour oil onto the tree.

 

The tiger went back to the house, brought some oil and poured it onto the tree. However, it could not climb up the tree as it was so slippery.

 

Then Ma Gyis sister, Ma Nge shouted, Chop the tree down with an axe.

 

The tiger got an axe and started to chop the tree down. The girls were very fearful and cried out to the Lord of the Sky to save them.

 

The Lord of the Sky sent down a basket and a rope and the girls went up into the sky. The tiger made the same request and climbed into another basket going up into the sky. However, the rope was old and finally broke and the tiger fell to the ground and died.

 

The girls became as fairies of the Sun, Moon and Stars.

—–

From FOLKLORE and FAIRY TALES from BURMA – 21 folk and fairy tales from ancient Myanmar

ISBN 9781909302856

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/burmese

 

55% of the net profit from the sale of this book will be donated to the Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education High School, Mandalay to assist with teaching materials.

Folklore and Fairy Tales from Burma

Low and brown barns, thatched and repatched and tattered,
Where I had seven sons until to-day—
A little hill of hay your spur has scattered….
This is not Paris. You have lost the way.

You, staring at your sword to find it brittle,
Surprised at the surprise that was your plan,
Who shaking and breaking barriers not a little,
Find never more the death-door of Sedan.

Must I for more than carnage call you claimant,
Paying you a penny for each son you slay?
Man, the whole globe in gold were no repayment
For what you have lost. And how shall I repay?

What is the price of that red spark that caught me
From a kind farm that never had a name?
What is the price of that dead man they brought me?
For other dead men do not look the same.

How should I pay for one poor graven steeple
Whereon you shattered what you shall not know?
How should I pay you, miserable people,
How should I pay you everything you owe?

Unhappy, can I give you back your honour?
Though I forgave, would any man forget?
While all the great green land has trampled on her
The treason and terror of the night we met.

Not any more in vengeance or in pardon,
One old wife bargains for a bean that’s hers.
You have no word to break: no heart to harden.
Ride on and prosper. You have lost your spurs.

G. K. Chesterton 1917

From POEMS of the GREAT WAR raising funds for the Royal British Legion (the equivalent of the Returned Servicemen’s Association or Veterans Association)

http://abelapublishing.com/poems-of-the-great-war–1914-to-1918_p28280158.htm

Poems of the Great War_wpers

Tales and Legends from the land of the ALL BLACKS…………

 

We’ve all watched in amazement at the ALL BLACKS (from my home country) performing the Haka at the start of a rugby match, laying down the challenge to their opponents. With eyes a-goggle and tongues extruded they perform the war dance with such passion and conviction. But what do the words (in Maori) mean? Well wonder no longer…..

 

Ka mate, ka mate! ka ora! ka ora! (Will I die, Will I die)
Ka mate! ka mate! ka ora! ka ora! (Will I live, Will I live)
Tēnei te tangata pūhuruhuru (This is the hairy man)
Nāna nei i tiki mai whakawhiti te rā (Who brought the sun and caused it to shine)
Ā, upane! ka upane! (A step upward, another step upward!)
Ā, upane, ka upane, whiti te ra (A step upward, another… the Sun shines!)

 

And here is a Maori folktale from the Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa) titled:

 

The Legend of Poutini and Whaiapu

 

(The Discovery of New Zealand)

NOW pay attention to the cause of the contention which arose between Poutini and Whaiapu, which led them to emigrate to New Zealand. For a long time they both rested in the same place, and Hine-tu-a-hoanga, to whom the stone Whaiapu (green Jasper) belonged, became excessively enraged with Ngahue, and with his prized stone Poutini (Obsidian). At last she drove Ngahue out and forced him to leave the place, and Ngahue departed and went to a strange land, taking his jasper. When Hine-tu-a-hoanga saw that he was departing with his precious stone, she followed after them, and Ngahue arrived at Tuhua with his stone, and Hine-tu-a-hoanga arrived and landed there at the same time with him, and began to drive him away again. Then Ngahue went to seek a place where his jasper might remain in peace, and be found in the sea this island Aotearoa (the northern island of New Zealand), and he thought he would land there.

Poutini and Whaiapu

(Poutini chases Whaiapu in the Bay of Plenty)

Then he thought again, lest he and his enemy should be too close to one another, and should quarrel again, that it would be better for him to go farther off with his jasper, a very long way off. So he carried it off with him, and they coasted along, and at length arrived at Arahura (on the west coast of the middle island), and he made that an everlasting resting-place for his jasper; then he broke off a portion of his jasper, and took it with him and returned, and as be coasted along lie at length reached Wairere (believed to be upon the east coast of the northern island), and he visited Whangaparaoa and Tauranga, and from thence he returned direct to Hawaiki, and reported that he had discovered a new country which produced the moa and jasper in abundance. He now manufactured sharp axes from his jasper; two axes were made from it, Tutauru and Hau-hau-te-rangi. He manufactured some portions of one piece of it into images for neck ornaments, and some portions into ear ornaments; the name of one of these ear ornaments was Kaukau-matua, which was recently in the possession of Te Heuheu, and was only lost in 1846, when he was killed with so many of his tribe by a landslip. The axe Tutauru was only lately lost by Purahokura and his brother Reretai, who were descended from Tama-ihu-toroa. When Ngahue, returning, arrived again in Hawaiki, he found them all engaged in war, and when they heard his description of the beauty of this country of Aotea, some of them determined to come here.

 

Construction of Canoes to Emigrate to New Zealand

They then felled a totara tree in Rarotonga, which lies on the other side of Hawaiki, that they might build the Arawa from it. The tree was felled, and thus the canoe was hewn out from it and finished. The names of the men who built this canoe were, Rata, Wahie-roa, Ngahue, Parata, and some other skilful men, who helped to hew out the Arawa and to finish it.

 

A chief of the name of Hotu-roa, hearing that the Arawa was built, and wishing to accompany them, came to Tama-te-kapua and asked him to lend him his workmen to hew out some canoes for him too, and they went and built and finished Tainui and some other canoes.

 

The workmen above mentioned are those who built the canoes in which our forefathers crossed the ocean to this island, to Aotea-roa. The names of the canoes were as follows: the Arawa was first completed, then Tainui, then Matatua, and Taki-tumu, and Kura-hau-po, and Tokomaru, and Matawhaorua. These are the names of the canoes in which our forefathers departed from Hawaiki, and crossed to this island. When they had lashed the topsides on to the Tainui, Rata slew the son of Manaia, and bid his body in the chips and shavings of the canoes. The names of the axes with which they hewed out these canoes were Hauhau-te-Rangi, and Tutauru. Tutauru was the axe with which they cut off the head of Uenuku.

 

All these axes were made from the block of jasper brought back by Ngahue to Hawaiki, which was called ‘The fish of Ngahue’. He had previously come to these islands from Hawaiki, when he was driven out from thence by Hine-tu-a-hoanga, whose fish or stone was obsidian. From that cause Ngahue came to these islands; the canoes which afterwards arrived here came in consequence of his discovery.

 

ISBN: 9781907256318

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/polynesian-mythology–and–ancient-traditional-history-of-the–new-zealanders–23-maori-folktales_p27279414.htm

African Scene

An Excerpt from “Old Hendrik’s Tales” 13 South African Folk Tales

 

The little girl was full of excitement. Driving home with her mother from the “dorp,” she had seen Ou’ Jackalse himself—Mynheer Jackal—slinking across the veldt, and all the tales Old Hendrik had told her about him crowded her mind as she watched him. She could hardly contain herself now, as she stood before the old Hottentot pouring forth the story. There was only one regret in it—“He must have been in some trouble, Ou’ Ta’,” said she; “’cause all the time I watched him his tail was right down. I watched and I watched to see if it wouldn’t stick up, ’cause then I’d know he was thinking of a plan; but it never did.”

Old Hendrik smiled. “So his tail was a-hangin’ an’ a-slinkin’ ahter him, was it? An’ didn’t he look back at you over his shoulder as he went?”

“Yes, he did,” answered Annie, still more eager at finding how well Old Hendrik knew the ways and doings of Ou’ Jackalse. “I kept hoping he was thinking of fetching Ou’ Wolf to work for us, then I could tell Ou’ Wolf not to trust him any more, no matter what he said.”

Old Hendrik’s delight bubbled into a jeering shake of the head and a half laugh of derision over the subject as he repeated the name—“Ou’ Jackalse, hey! Ou’ Jackalse!”

“But you needn’t to be feared he’s a-gun’ to get Ou’ Wolf into much more trouble nowadays, Ainkye,” went on the old Hottentot. “He ain’t a-gun’ to get de best o’ so many more folks, not since he went to get even wid Young Tink Tinky, de littlest bird on de veldt. Little Missis Tinky got Ou’ Mammy Reyer, de Crane, to he’p her, an’ dat made all de difference. You seen how he slunk his tail along behind him?—well, dat’s why. He’s a-tinkin’ o’ what happened den, an’ he looked at you over his shoulder, wonderin’ all de time weder you’d heerd de tale or not. It happened dis while or two back, an’ since den he ain’t bin near so sa’cy as he used to was.”

“Oh, poor Old Jackalse!” cried the little girl, “what did happen? Do tell me, Ou’ Ta’.”

“Well,” began Old Hendrik, “if ever you sees Ou’ Jackalse tryin’ to fool Ou’ Wolf into trouble agen, you don’t ha’ to say on’y yust one ting. You’s on’y got to ask him how he likes eggs, an’ den see if he don’t turn round an fair slink off wid his tail draggin’. Dat’s where de trouble come in, he would go ahter eggs.

“You ’members me tellin’ you how Young Tink Tinky bested Ou’ Jackalse when de birds wantto choose a King for demselves? Well, Ou’ Jackalse he never forgot dat, an’ he was al’ays a-studyin’ how he’s a-gun’ to get even, but he couldn’t find de way nohow till at last he sees Missis Tinky a-sittin’ on de nest, an’ he knows by dat dere’s eggs dere. ‘Dat’s me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse. ‘Eggs is de ting I does like—an’ here’s some. Watch me teach dat Young Tinky dis time.’

“Now dere was a t’orn-tree like dis,”—here Old Hendrik indicated the mimosa under which he sat,—“an’ dis t’orn-tree was a-growin close beside de river, an’ a willow-tree dat was bigger yet was a-hangin’ over de t’orn. In dat t’orn-tree Young Tinky build his nest, an ahter de eggs is all laid, an’ his missis is well an’ comfy settled into sittin’ on ’em, Young Tink he offs to look for scoff for hisse’f an’ de missis. Den’s de time when Ou’ Jackalse is a-watchin’ him, an’ as soon as he’s gone, here comes Jackalse to de bottom o’ de t’orn-tree an’ begins to scratch on de bark—scratch! scratch! scratch!

“Little Missis Tinky she look down out o de nest. ‘Who’s dere?’ ses she.

“‘Me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘What you want?’ ses Missis Tinky, all in a tremble.

“‘Want dem eggs you got,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, wid his hair up. ‘You better be sharp about it too.’

“‘Well, you ain’t a-gun’ to get ’em,’ flutter Missis Tinky; but she’s yust dat frighten’ she cahnt har’ly speak.

“‘Please yourse’f,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse; ‘but if you don’t drop me down a egg dis minute, den I’s a-comin’ up, an’ if I once does come up dere, den I’s a-gun’ to eat you first as well as de eggs. Make a hurry now—drop one!’

“Little missis she get sich a scrik when Ou’ Jackalse ses he’s a-comin’ up dat she yust go all a-flitty flutty, an’ dere ain’t no two ways about it, she hatto drop him one egg to save de rest. So out she pull it an down she drop it, right into Ou’ Jackalse mouf, where he stand on his back legs wid his front feets agen de tree. An’ as soon as he feel it in his mouf he yust gullup it down, an’ off he go for dat day. ‘I’ll make dis ting last a bit,’ ses he to hisse’f.

“Well, little Missis Tinky she’s in dat terr’ble way she cahnt har’ly sit still till Young Tinky comes home, an’ as soon’s ever she sees him she burst out a-cryin’ an’ a-tellin’ him what happened.

“‘What! An’ you b’lieve sich a fool tale as dat about him climbin’ de tree,’ ses Young Tinky, fair fightin’ mad at de way he lose dat egg. ‘He cahnt climb dis tree, not if he break his neck a-tryin’.’

“But Young Tinky he sees it ain’t no use; it ain’t a-gun’ to he’p his missis for him to shout an’ talk about it. ‘Never you mind dis time, little missis,’ ses he. ‘To-morrow you can go an’ look for de scoff, an’ I stay at home an’ wait for Ou’ Jackalse. I’ll show him what’s what dis time, too,’ ses he. An’ his missis she stop cryin’, dough she cahnt stop lookin’ where dat one egg ought to be.

“Well, de nex’ day Young Tinky he stop at home an’ sit on de nest while his missis went for scoff, an’ it ain’t but a while or two ’fore along comes Ou’ Jackalse to de foot o’ de tree-scratch! scratch! scratch!

“Young Tinky he ain’t a-lettin’ Ou’ Jackalse see who’s at home to-day; he yust on’y slant half o’ one eye down at him. ‘Who’s dere?’ ses he.

“‘Me,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘An’ what you want scratchin’ dere?’ ses Tinky.

“‘Anoder egg, an’ you best be sharp about it,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘Well, you’s yust about got all de eggs you’s a-gun’ to get here,’ ses Tinky, stickin’ all his head an’ shoulders out for Jackalse to have a good look at him.

“‘Oh, it’s you, is it?’ ses Ou’ Jackalse, showin’ his teef. ‘Well, if you won’t drop darie egg down in one minute, den I’s a-comin’ up an’ eat you all up—bones, beak an’ feders!’

“‘Come up den,’ ses Young Tinky, hoppin’ out onto a branch. ‘Yust you come up here if you darse, you hairy skellum you,’ squeak Tinky, hoppin’ up an’ down an’ flickin’ his wings like he’s fair a-gun’ to peck de eyes out o’ de hull fam’ly o’ de Jackalses. ‘You try it on, Mister Ou’ Jackalse, an’ see what I’s do to you!’ an’ Tinky swells hisse’f into a reg’lar ole rage as he tink o’ dat egg yestiday an’ his little missis frighten’ to deaf nearly.

“Dat make Ou’ Jackalse in sich a wax dat he spurt out de word he didn’t mean to. ‘I on’y wish I could yust come up dis tree to you. I’d scoff you down in yust one gullup an’ your eggses ahter you,’ ses he, a-rampin’ an’ a-tearin’.

“‘You ses dat,’ squeak young Tinky, ‘but I knows better. It’s not you cahnt—it’s you dahnt. But I’ll teach you to frighten poor little mammickies into givin’ you deir eggses, you skellum! skellum! skellum!’

“Ou’ Jackalse he get dat mad, a-snappin’ an’ a-snarlin’ while he listen, dat he fair turn away an’ slant out o’ dat, an’ Young Tinky is yust dat conceited of hisse’f he cahnt har’ly wait till his missis comes home ’fore he begin a-tellin’ her dat’s de way she ought to done yestiday. An’ Missis Tink she listen an’ she tink she’ll do de same herse’f now, if ever Ou’ Jackalse trouble her agen.

“So de nex’ day Young Tinky he go ahter de scoff, an’ his missis she sit on de eggs, tinkin’ it’s all right now. But Ou’ Jackalse he’d bin a-watchin’, an’ he know’s who’s a-gone an who’s a-stop at home, an in about no time he’s at de foot o’ darie t’orn-tree agen, an’ de same ole scratch! scratch! scratch! at it.

“Little Missis Tink she stick her head out an’ she start to tell him to get out o’ dat, in de biggest voice she’s got. But she hadn’t more dan got out de first two words dan she see his teef where he bare ’em all round, white an’ yammerin’, an’ he look dat savage an’ murderin’ dat de rest o’ de words stuck fast in her froat, an’ she fair chattered wid fright.

“‘Down wi’ darie egg, else I’ll come an’ tear you into smitchies,’ ses Ou’ Jackalse.

“Missis Tinky nearly drop out o’ de nest wid de scrik she got; but she tink o’ what Tink Tinky say, an’ she squeak it out. ‘You cahnt come up dis tree if you try,’ ses she.

“‘Cahnt I?’ ses he, all hair an’ spiky. ‘Yust see me half try!’ an’ he gives de biggest yump he ever make in his life, an’ it scrape him a couple o’ yards up de tree stem.

“Little missis she fair gi’en one big squawk an’ tink she’s all gone—eggs, nest, an’ all. ‘Is you a-gun’ to drop me dat egg?’ shouts Ou’ Jackalse.

“‘Yes, yes. Here it is! Take it, take it!’ squeak de little missis, an’ she drop out de one egg to him.

“Ou’ Jackalse he ketch dat egg an’ he gulp it down an’ off he go agen. ‘Nex’ time I come you better drop one quicker. I ain’t a-gun’ to ax twice no more,’ ses he.

“Well, as soon as he go, little Missis Tinky she cry like her heart break, an’ she cahnt sit dere on de dest at all. Anyhow she’s feared to wait till Young Tinky comes home, ’cause she don’t know what he’ll say when he finds anoder egg gone, an’ she’s in dat misery dat she don’t know what to do. Den she tink of her Aunt, Ou’ Reyer, de Blue Crane, an’ she fly off to her where she’s a-fis’in’ in de reeds, an’ she yust up an’ tell her de hull tale of it.

“‘So darie Ou’ Jackalse’s up to his tricks agen, is he?’ ses Ou’ Reyer. ‘Well, he’s meddle wid de birds before, an’ dis time we’ll teach him to don’t do it no more. Now you yust go home an’ sit on de nest agen, an’ I’ll come in a minute or two—den well be ready for him.’

“Little missis she go back, an’ in a minute or two Ou’ Reyer follows, an’ she hide herse’f in de top o’ de willow-tree over de nest. ‘Now for Ou’ Jackalse,’ ses she.

“Well, it ain’t but a little while rill here come Ou’ Jackalse agen, wid de same ole scratch! scratch! scratch! an’ de same ole terr’fyin’ words—‘Drop me down anoder egg or I’ll come up an’ eat you,’ ses he.

“‘Make like you’s a-gun’ to drop him one,’ whispers Ou’ Reyer; an’ little Missis Tinky she make like she’s a-doin’ it.

“Ou’ Jackalse he rise up on his hine legs, an’ he put his paws agen de tree, an’ he open his mouf an’ shut his eyes, an’ he fair feel de taste o’ dat egg a’ready. An’ den, yust den, Ou’ Reyer she lean out over Missis Tinky an’ she open her big long beak, an’, swock! she drop a great big bull-frog right into Ou’ Jackalse’s froat.

And she dropped one right into Jackal's throat

And she dropped one right into Jackal’s throat

 

“Wow! but dere was a chokin’ an’ a squeal-in’ den. Ou’ Jackalse he yump an’ he roll, an’ he fling hisse’f along de ground a-tryin’ to cough up darie fat bull-frog, an’ darie ou’ bull-frog he puff an’ he wiggle an’ he slip down an’ down till dere he is in Ou’ Jackalse’s tummy, a-hoppin’ an’ a-floppin’ an’ a-croakin’ an’ a-gloakin’ till Ou’ Jackalse is yust dat scared dat he light out f’m dere plump across de scenery. An’ he go dat fast he yust hit de high places as he went an’ never touch’ de low. I tell you Ou’ Jackalse was scared.

ISBN: 9781909302150

As Retold By Arthur Owen Vaughan

Illustrated By J.A. Shepherd

URL http://abelapublishing.com/old-hendiks-tales–13-south-african-folk-tales_p27279516.htm

 

Old Hendrik's Tales cover

Old Hendrik’s Tales cover

 

THIS eStory is FREE – so FEEL FREE to Love it, Save it and Share it with your Friends and Family

OH YES Its-Free

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HEAR FROM THE HEROES of WWI THIS REMEMBRANCE DAY

As most of you know, this November is the centenary of WWI. It is only right that we remember the circa 10 million soldiers, from both sides of the barbed wire, who perished during this conflict; not forgetting the 6 million civilians who also died during The Great War.
In remembrance of WWI we have published 3 books, 1 book of poetry by the most prominent English poets of the day and 2 books by Louis Raemakers.

33% of the net profit from the sale of these books will be donated to the ROYAL BRITISH LEGION.

Louis Raemaekers

A bit of history about Louis Raemakers – whom many of you have probably never heard of. Raemakers was a Dutch cartoonist who drew cartoons for newspapers during the war. His cartoons were so effective, and to the point, that the Germans stated “When we win the war, Raemakers will be tried as War Criminal” or words to that effect. The German High Command even placed a 12,000 guilder reward, $250,000 in today’s money, for his capture, dead or alive (proving words and images can be as effective as bullets, bombs and shells.) This forced Raemakers to flee to England. The first two books in the series are displayed in our November newsletter (link below) with the third to be published in the next few weeks. Samples of the cartoons can be found on each book’s pages.

               COMING SOON

RAEMAKERS CARTOONS of the GREAT WAR vol. 3


 

If anyone knows of similar cartoon works of WWI in German, please do let me know, as I would love to publish these as well to give balance to the catastrophe that was WWI.

ALSO READ INTERVIEW WITH TERRY HAYWARD

Author of the Jack Delaney Chronicles.

Author Terry Hayward

 

 

“My newest published book is “Aphrodisiac” which continues the cause of the anti-poaching lobby and is the 4th book in the series. The story tells of Rhinos that are being poached from a Private Game Reserve and Jack Delaney and his team are called in to put a stop to this blight.”

 

SOUND BITES from Terry’s interview:

“In my youth I was a top swimmer and had my eyes set on Olympic glory when South Africa was expelled from the Olympic movement for its racist apartheid policies.”

“I was fired as Chaplain to Westville Prison, Durban, South Africa when I went public and highlighted the corruption.”

 

DOWNLOAD a free e-story – ARA AND SERAMIS from the book ARMENIAN POETRY AND LEGENDS

Download from http://www.potn.co.uk/images/abela/ARA%20and%20SEMIRAMIS.pdf

 

READ THIS NEWSLETTER ONLINE @ http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c41d269606581b96d6bf339c4&id=4c17696aab

johndhalsted:

In the run-up to Christmas, our busiest period, I wonder if Kobo will adopt the Christmas spirit of giving and come clean with just how much they have retained, or should that be stolen, for themselves.

Originally posted on Folklore and Fairytales:

A while ago I registered with Kobo books to make our fundraising books available as eBooks. Kobo then “did the dirty” and decided that they are entitled to the greater share of the profits (70%), much in the same way as Amazon does. When I challenged them on why they have done this and why they believe they have the right to this money and not the charities we raise funds for, I received no reply - not from the CEO nor the FD.

I then “upped the ante” and Kobo responded by closing my account but did not remove the books I had listed with them.

Kobo are now not advising me of any sales and I have to conclude that they are retaining the funds for themselves.

My response is PLEASE DO NOT BUY books or eBooks from Kobo.

Rakuten owns Kobo. Please tweet Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani…

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ONCE upon a time, a wise raven lived in the top of the Giralda, the Moorish bell tower of the cathedral in Seville, Spain. The raven was old, so old that his head was not black, but gray. The tower, too, is old, and is crowned by the large, bronze figure of Faith which serves as a weather vane. For four centuries, el Girandello, the weather vane, has turned with the wind; and it was four centuries ago, that the raven was living in the tower. All day, he would sit on his perch, with his learned head cocked on one side as he sleepily studied the stonework of the belfry, or alertly discussed weighty matters with his bird comrades and with the wind. At night, he was often deep in talk with his special friend, the owl, who, when tired of roaming through the tops of the giant palm trees or of prowling into out-of-the-way nooks in the cathedral roof, liked to tell of his adventures. For, in night wanderings, the owl sometimes flew near the quiet Guadalquiver which flowed by Seville, and he heard the river murmur tales of the Tower of Gold on its bank; or he peered into the gardens of the Alcazar where Spanish kings had long had their palace, and heard, from the moonbeams, tales which, when repeated, made even the raven’s sober thoughts turn sprightly. What the raven liked best to hear was what the owl, or any one else, could tell of the Giralda itself or of the mighty Cathedral below the tower. For the raven cared for nothing in the world so much as he cared for this tall tower, up whose winding passage, of three hundred feet, men had ridden on horseback, almost to the very top. Yes, with his own eyes he had seen those riders. Before the days of the riders, in the time when the bells of the Giralda summoned the Moors to prayer, there had been, on the spire, four large, gilded, copper balls that shone like golden apples. After an earthquake had thrown down the copper balls, el Girandello was placed on the top of the dome. The raven considered himself the owner of el Girandello and, in truth, of all the Giralda. Who, but himself, had perched on the sills of the twin windows that looked out, high in the tower, over the white-roofed Seville? Who, but himself, had stood upon the helmet on the head of el Girandello? Not the owl!–the raven saw to that! And not another bird of his acquaintance, surely! He knew himself to be the oldest raven in the world; he knew himself to be the wisest raven in the world;–and he certainly owned the whole of the Giralda!

The raven, in short, was entirely satisfied with his belfry and its bells. It was a rectangular belfry, and on the four faces of the rectangular stage, high up, were inscribed the four words: Turris . . . Fortissima . . . Nomen . . . Domini1 The great bells, each christened with holy oil, had their own names. There were Santa Maria and San Juan; there was la Gorda, or The Fat; there was brave San Miguel; there was el Cantor, or The Singer; and there was many another. At times, the bells rang softly through the still air that hovered over the flat-roofed city. At other times, they rang out with such noisy clamor that the vibration penetrated the houses farthest away, and the raven of the Giralda clung to his stone perch as closely as the leaves of the cocoa tree cling to their twigs. The raven liked el Cantor better than all the other bells. He couldn’t sing a note himself, but he liked this singing bell, with its especially clear tone. On spring evenings when the fragrance of orange blossoms and acacias filled the air, The Singer would peal forth such a glad note that the people down in the street would say, “El Cantor is feeling fine tonight”; and the raven, up in the tower, would croak loudly with him, though he never croaked with any other bell.

Now it happened that the wind, even more than the owl, was a friend of the raven. This was not only because the wind was usually a gentle, lovable, sunny-hearted fellow, but because he was always around the tower, day and night, whereas the owl hid all day.

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - Raven Ringing the Bell

When the raven felt like talking, the wind was always on hand to listen. That was a friend worth having! The wind, too, often told capital stories.

One afternoon, the wind told the raven an astonishing tale. The wind had it from the owl who, in turn, had it from the passarinno–that small, gray bird who sings like an angel. To this passarinno, the story had come down from his ancestor, of a much earlier time. That ancestor had told it to the wind of his day, who wafted it to the ears of King Alfonso, the Sage. Perhaps, in the later days, it had grown by traveling (passarinno to owl, owl to wind, wind to raven); for, when Alfonso, in the thirteenth century, wrote the tale in his big book of Cantigas, it wasn’t just like the passarinno’s story to the owl three centuries later. Would you like to hear the tale? Anyone may hear it. To believe the tale as it should be believed, and to understand it aright, you must be able to know the power of melodious sounds, as truly as the blind organist of Seville Cathedral knew that power. If you do not know anything about the music of the trees, or the music of the birds, or the music of the air, you may as well stop reading this story and gather nuts instead. Listen to the tale, if you will; here it is, as the wind told it to the raven.

“For, sir,” began the wind,” it was a passarinno who told the owl and the owl told me. The owl had been praising the voice of the passarinno, but the passarinno protested and said,

‘My voice is nothing compared to the voice of my ancestress–the passarinna 2 who entranced the monk.’ Now, pray, explain your words,’ said the owl. The passarinno answered, pleasantly, ‘Sit comfortably and I will tell you all.’ They were in the garden of the Alcazar and were perched on a tall cocoa tree. The owl settled himself on a wide, sweeping leaf, and the passarinno perched himself on a leaf above.

‘My ancestress,’ the passarinno went on, ‘was the most marvelous singer ever known. Her home was in the garden, just outside the Court of Oranges beside the Giralda, and when she was singing she would look up at the tower. But she rarely was heard by anyone, because she chose to live in the unfrequented part of the great garden. One morning a monk came, very slowly, along the path that led to the shrubbery where the passarinna lived, and my ancestress knew at once three things about that monk: first, that he was good; second, that he was old; third, that he was weary. The monk sat down, rather heavily, beside the fountain that was sending a cool, orange-scented, shimmering spray of water into the air. Leaning over the edge of the pool, he bathed his hands in the clear water and bathed his face. The passarinna could plainly see how refreshing, to the tired monk, the water felt; for there came into his face a look like the look on a parched tree when a shower renews it. The weary lines on the monk’s brow passed away, as cloud-bars vanish from the evening sky, leaving fairness and tranquillity. He sat, for some time, with a smile on his face, looking up at the tree tops and at the Giralda beyond. Then, kneeling down–and his knees were not as stiff as when he entered the garden–he prayed aloud that he might be permitted to know what the happiness of Paradise would be like. It was at that moment the passarinna–marvelous ancestress of mine–began to sing.

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - The Monk rose from his knees

‘The monk rose from his knees, and, with a smile on his face, seated himself in the thickest part of the shrubbery, where he could see the passarinna and where the passarinna could see him. That bird of birds sang on and on, now softly, now triumphantly, now wistfully, now ecstatically. There was such charm in her singing, all the leaves forgot to rustle. There was such charm in the melody, the water in the fountain ceased moving–the breezy air was hushed and wondering–the day faded imperceptibly into night, and the stars came nearer earth to hear the song. Still the passarinna sang on and on and on. Still the monk listened happily, with an exalted look in his eyes, and was unaware of the passing of hours or of days. As the passarinna continued her heavenly song, time itself stopped, though life went on. . . . The monk listened, listened in rapture, while joyous satisfaction held his whole being . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - There came to the door of the monastery

‘Late one afternoon,’ went on the passarinno, ‘there came to the door of the monastery near the Giralda, an aged, worn-looking man, long-bearded, and in shabby monk’s dress. The prior himself answered his knock and said, “Who are you, poor stranger, and what do you want?”

‘The monk stammered in much confusion, “Good father, I belong here . . . I left the monastery this morning for a walk. . . . I come back–all is changed. I do not understand. The trees look different . . . the monastery is larger . . . you are not my prior . . . nothing is the same. Where am I? . . . What has happened since morning? . .

I heard a bird sing, and I was so entranced with the song I may have stayed away too long.”

‘The prior and the brother monks who had now come to the door looked at one another in surprise, and said, in low tones, “He is evidently not himself. . . . The man does not know what he says.”

‘The prior then spoke to the man, kindly, saying, “What is your name?”

“I am Brother Jubilo,” the monk replied; “I mean, . . . he stammered, “that was my name in the monastery . . . that was what I was called this morning.”

‘The oldest monk among those at the door now looked thoughtful. It was to him that the others always turned whenever any knowledge of the past was wanted. “Attend my words,” he suddenly said to the prior. “Three hundred years ago a brother monk, named Jubilo, wandered off and was never again seen. My Father–my brother monks—I am of the opinion that we have before us, this day, a true marvel! I am sure this poor monk and that Jubilo, of three hundred years ago, are the same!”

‘Then the prior, believing, took the monk warmly by the hand and brought him into the monastery, and all rejoiced.’

‘That, ‘said the passarinno to the owl, ‘is the story of my ancestress, the passarinna of long ago. The Giralda knows I speak truth.’

And the wind, as he finished the tale, remarked, “That’s all the story, sir; but the passarinno does speak truth.”

“Truth it is,” replied the raven, “and I’ll keep the story going.”

Then the sunny wind brushed the tail feathers of the raven and blew along his leisurely way, through the streets of Seville.

The raven sat stolidly in his niche, gazing with keen eyes at the city spread out below the Giralda–its flat-roofed houses gleaming in soft colours, from blue and gray to palest pink. He watched the women watering their carnations on the roofs. He saw the motionless, dusky Guadalquiver, in the late afternoon light. His eyes followed the group of boys coming to the Cathedral to practice their solemn dance. Turning his wise, old head, he looked toward the gardens of the Alcazar, then down at the Court of Oranges, and at the roof of the vast Cathedral below him–its parapets, and buttresses. His roving gaze went all over the city until sundown. The bells of the Giralda sent out their evening peal, and el Cantor’s vibrating tone fell softly on the waiting breeze. The raven sturdily croaked, croaked, until el Cantor stopped singing; then, humping himself into a ball, he tucked his head under his feathers and went to sleep.

RAVEN OF THE GIRALDA - The Raven Sings

From: TOWER LEGENDS

ISBN: 9781907256349

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/tower-legends_p27279490.htm

Also available as an eBook in PDF and ePub

Footnotes

1 The name of the Lord a most steadfast tower.

2 Passarinna (the feminine form of passarinno) is the diminutive of the Old Spanish pasara (in modern Spanish, pajara). The nearest equivalent today is Passerina (sparrow), the painted finch.

Raven of the Giralda - Sevilla_La_Giralda

Here’s something that might interest you……

For more than half a century, America’s vast literary culture has been disparately policed, and imperceptibly contained, by state and corporate entities well placed and perfectly equipped to wipe out wayward writings. As America does not ban books, other means—less obvious, and so less controversial—have been deployed to vaporize them. The purpose of Forbidden Bookshelf is to bring such disappeared books back to life so that readers may finally learn what those in power did not want anyone to know.

By looking deep into the darker trends and episodes in US history, these brave works help show how America became the land it is today, and how we might start to change it.

 

http://www.openroadmedia.com/forbidden-bookshelf

forbidden Bookshelf

 

An Excerpt from “Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards”

 

THE stars shine down!

The Northern Lights flash over the sky,

and the Milky Way glows white!

Listen to the song of the Wizard

of the Crystal-Lighted Cavern!

 

AH! BEAUTIFUL was Linda the lovely daughter of Uko. She showed all the skypaths to the little birds, when they came flocking home in the springtime or flew away in autumn. She cared as gently and tenderly for the little birds, as a mother cares for her children. And just as a flower bespangled with a thousand drops of dew shines and smiles in the morning sunshine, so Linda shone while caring for her little winged ones.

Thus it was no wonder that all the world loved Linda. Every youth wished her for his bride, and crowds of suitors came to woo her.

In a handsome coach with six brown horses, the Pole Star drove up, and brought ten gifts. But Linda sent him away, with hurried words:

“You always have to stay in the same place. You cannot move about,” said she.

Then came the Moon in a silver coach drawn by ten brown horses. He brought her twenty gifts. But Linda refused the Moon, saying:

“You change your looks too often. You run in your same old way. You do not suit me.

Hardly had the Moon driven sorrowfully off, before the Sun drove up. In a golden coach with twenty red-gold horses, he rattled up to the door. He brought thirty presents with him. But all his pomp, shining splendor, and fine gifts did not help him. Linda said:

“I do not want you. You are like the Moon. Day after day you run in the same street.”

So the Sun went away sorrowful.

Then at midnight, in a diamond coach drawn by a thousand white horses, came the Northern Lights. His coming was so magnificent, that Linda ran to the door to meet him. A whole coach-load of gold, silver, pearls and jewelled ornaments, the servants of the Northern Lights carried into the house and his gifts pleased her, and she let him woo her.

“You do not always travel in the same course,” said Linda. “You flash where you will, and stop when you please. Each time you appear robed in new beauty and richness, and wear each time a different garment. And each time you ride about in a new coach with new horses. You are the true bridegroom!”

Then they celebrated their betrothal. But the Sun, Moon, and Pole Star looked sadly on. They envied the Northern Lights his happiness.

The Northern Lights could not stay long in the bride’s house, for he had to hurry back to the sky. When he said farewell, he promised to return soon for the wedding, and to drive Linda back with him to his home in the North. Meanwhile, they were to prepare Linda’s bridal garments.

Linda made her bridal robes, and waited and waited. One day followed the other, but the bridegroom did not come to hold the joyous wedding with his beloved. The winter passed, and the lovely spring adorned the earth with fresh beauty, while Linda waited in vain for her bridegroom. Nothing was seen of him!

Then she began to grieve bitterly and lament, and to sorrow day and night. She put on her bridal robes and white veil, and set the wreath on her head, and sat down in a meadow by a river. From her thousand tears little brooks ran into the valleys. In her deep heart-felt sorrow she thought only of her bridegroom.

The little birds flew tenderly about her head, brushing her with their soft wings, to comfort her. But she did not see them, nor did she take care of them anymore. So the little birds wandered about, flying here, flying there, for they did not know what to do or where to go.

Uko, Linda’s father, heard of her sorrow and how the little birds were untended. He ordered his Winds to fetch his daughter to him, to rescue her from such deep grief. And while Linda was sitting alone in the meadow weeping and lamenting, the Winds sank softly down beside her, and gently lifting her, bore her up and away. They laid her down in the blue sky.

And there is Linda now, dwelling in a sky-tent. Her white bridal veil spreads round her. And if you look up at the Milky Way, you will see Linda in her bridal robes. There she is, showing the way to little birds who wander.

Linda is happy! In winter she gazes towards the North. She waves her hand at the Northern Lights flashing nearer and nearer, then he again asks her to be his bride.

But though he flashes very close to Linda, heart to heart, he cannot carry her off. She must stay forever in the sky, robed in white, and must spread out her veil to make the Milky Way.

 

From: Wonder Tales of Baltic Wizards [1928]

ISBN: 9781907256585

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/wonder-tales-from-baltic-wizards

Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards - Cover

Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards – Cover

 

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On this day in 1895, the Delagoa Bay (Maputo, Mozambique) Railway opened in South-Africa by President Paul Kruger. The link connected the Transvaal (Boer) Republic with the coast without having to go through the British controlled ports of Port Natal (Durban) or Cape Town.

 

As such we bring you a South African folktale of heroism during the “Groot Trek” (Great Trek) inland from the Cape Colony. This story occurred in about 1843 approximately 50 years before the Boer Wars (yes, plural, there were 2 Boer Wars)……..

 

Rachel de Beer (1831–1843) (sometimes known by the diminutive form, Racheltjie) is an Afrikaner heroine who gave her life in order to save that of her brother. She was the daughter of George Stephanus de Beer (b. 1794).

 

The fable goes that in the winter months of 1843 Rachel was part of a trek from the Orange Free State to the south-eastern Transvaal. During one of their nightly stopovers, the members of the trek realised that a calf called Frikkie, much-beloved by their children, was missing.

 

A search party was formed, in which Rachel and her six-year old brother also took part. However, during the gathering dusk Rachel and her brother got separated from the search party and became lost. As the night progressed it got very cold and started snowing.

 

Realising that their chances of survival were slim, Rachel found an abandoned anthill, hollowed out by an aardvark, took off her clothes, put them on her brother and commanded him to get into the hollowed-out anthill. She then lay in front of the opening of the anthill in order to keep out the cold.

 

The children were found the next morning by the trekking party. Rachel was dead, but her brother had survived.

 

Note: The story of Rachel de Beer is entrenched in the Afrikaner culture, which is evident by the number of streets and schools named after her.

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