Friday, April 21, 2023

R is for Ribs (Body Folktales)

This year, my A to Z Challenge theme is Body Folktales. Enjoy! 

Adam's rib (Mexico)

I could have linked the actual Bible story, but this one is way funnier. Adam wants a cook, and God tells him to knock on his ribs util a woman comes out. To which Adam says "I only wanted a cook..." The more you think about it, the more ways you can interpret this tale.

Cethern's wounds (Ireland)

This story is part of the Táin, one of Ireland's great epics. A warrior named Cethern is mortally wounded in battle. Fifteen healers are summoned, but all say he's going to die - at which point Cethern knocks them dead, showing he is displeased with the diagnosis. Finally a wise healer appears and examines his wounds in detail, offering two courses of action: long treatment and a long life, or quick treatment to make him strong enough to die in battle. Cethern chooses the second. The healer collects bone marrow for him, and replaces his missing ribs with the ribs of a chariot. Cethern returns to battle to fight until he falls.

Raven and the ghosts (Tahltan)

Raven tries to steal a fishing spear from a house which turns out to be a house of ghosts. When the ghosts keep him from escaping, he asks them to teach him how to make a spear. One ghost breaks off part of its lower rib, and shows Raven how to fashion the bone into a tool. Since then, the story claims, people and some animals have been missing half of their lower ribs.

The toad resurrection pill (Dongxiang)

A poor boy rescues and heals a wounded toad. In return, the toad gives him a pill that can resurrect anything. The boy resurrects a snake and a horse, and then finds a dead man. He replaces the man's broken ribs with willow branches, and brings him back to life (against the toad's warnings that humans will always betray you). The man turns out to be a bandit who takes the pill and tries to kill the boy. The resurrected animals help him survive and win a princess.

Share your thoughts in the comments :)


  1. Jamie (
    I immediately shout of "Adam's Rib" when I saw your topic for today. The one from Mexico is quite funny.

  2. Clever raven - perhaps he was the first of his clan to learn to use tools. :)

  3. The first one from Mexico reminds me of an old country music song where the man is singing about all the troubles he's having with his wife and ends with "Why didn't I just learn how to cook"?

  4. Gotta go with the toad...LOL!

    My A to Z Blogs
    DB McNicol - Small Delights, Simple Pleasures, and Significant Memories
    My Snap Memories - My Life in Black & White

  5. I only wanted a cook... Hmm.

    The boy & toad tale is not very inspiring; no good deed goes unpunished.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.