Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Even more tales for a time of quarantine

This post is a follow-up to my two previous posts: Folktales for a time of quarantine and More folktales for a time of quarantine. Over the course of the past month and a half I had a lot of time to think about stories. I have been doing live storytelling on my Facebook page because I miss telling, and by now I have a new batch of stories I feel like have something to do with the continued lockdown mood. So, here we go:

The Jinn of Wadi Dahr (Yemen)

A man inherits a very comfortable tower-house and moves in, only to find out it is already inhabited by a jinn. The two of them start fighting about who should be allowed to stay, and the whole thing devolves into a poltergeist-type situation. Nothing works for exorcising the jinn. Eventually a wise man visits, sits both of them down, and convinces them to live as roommates. The conflict is resolved, and they eventually become friends, living in the tower together.

The maiden and the unicorn (England)

A princess falls on hard times and lives in a run-down castle with only an old nurse and a talking unicorn for company (hey, it could be worse!). One day she encounters house elves who had been chased away from their home, and invites them to stay with her. The elves happily move in and fix up the castle. When suitors start arriving, the princess asks all of them whether they would let the elves stay in their home. All suitors turn out to be horribly racist against elves, so she rejects all of them, saying she'd rather marry her unicorn friend instead. Luckily, the unicorn transforms into a prince in the end. All of them live on happily ever after in their castle.

The king who trusted his kingdom to his daughters (Jewish tale)

I blogged about this one recently in detail (see the link). It is a wonderful story where kindness and compassion saves a whole kingdom. I don't think we can have too many stories about kindness these days.

The curing fox (Cree legend)

A little girl falls very ill. Her mother calls the shaman who listens to her chest, and hears the sounds of an injured fox limping in the snow. The father sets out to find the fox. The shaman keeps hearing the sounds of the hunt through the girl's chest. Eventually the father returns with the fox, and the girl and the fox share their food and get well together.
This is a beautiful and powerful story, however, the girl's symptoms are very close to coronavirus symptoms, so I suggest caution in case it triggers feelings people need to deal with. 

The wee little tyke (England)

A family takes in a small black stray dog, and in return the dog keeps a witch away from the house, no matter how she tries to get in and harm the family. In the end, the family adopts the dog, even though he is shy and not sure he has a place with them. It is a lovely story, both because it talks about defending one's home from harm, and because it talks about acceptance and empathy.

The lazy horse (Namibia)

The people of a distant village in the veld have to cross lion-infested lands to go to the city market. All of them keep riding their horses at full speed to make the trip as fast as possible. One man has a lazy horse, but he sets out anyway. The horse keeps stopping to eat and rest. On the way back they are attacked by lions; all the horses are so tired they can't get away fast enough, but the lazy horse is well rested and has the strength to escape.
Self-care is important, people.

Go to sleep gecko (Indonesia)

Gecko makes noises all night, not letting other animals sleep. The chief/lion keeps asking what the matter is. This is a chain story: Gecko can't sleep because the fireflies are flashing their lights, the fireflies are flashing their lights to warn people about buffalo's dung on the road, buffalo poops on the road to cover potholes, etc. In the end it turns out everyone is connected, and if Gecko didn't put up with the small inconveniences, there would be no mosquitoes to eat.
People have a tendency to get annoyed easily at small inconveniences these days (I know I do). Gecko reminds us it's for our own benefit too.

As always: Stay safe, take care of yourselves, be kind to each other, and keep the stories going! :)


  1. Oh, I loved those stories, they really made me smile. :)

  2. Thanks for contribution. We also create an article for you which is based on lockdown life. In this article, we add 7 ways to maintain Life Under Quarantine During Lockdown In India.

  3. All the stories are great, enjoyed reading them :)