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23 March 2007 @ 06:24 am
Hey  
Hey, Im Vicki. I just joined :)
I love myths and legends. Especially those from Scotland.
I'd like to think the Loch ness Monster exists, but my favorite stories are those of kelpies.

Information can be found
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/folklore/scots_folk/kelpie.html
They are thought to haunt rivers and streams.

I also love The story of The Each Uisge. Like a Keplie, but they are thought to haunt lochs, rather than rivers!
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/folklore/eachuisge.html
 
 
04 January 2007 @ 09:35 pm
I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall never see.

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.


J.R.R. Tolkien
 
 
feeling: okayokay
 
 
24 December 2006 @ 03:31 pm
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
by Dr. Suess


Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot...

But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
Did NOT!

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But,
Whatever the reason,
His heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos,
Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town.
For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath
Was busy now, hanging a mistleoe wreath.

"And they're hanging their stockings!" he snarled with a sneer.
"Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!"
Then he growled, with his grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find a way to keep Christmas from coming!"
For, tomorrow, he knew...

...All the Who girls and boys
Would wake up bright and early. They'd rush for their toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast.
And they'd feast! And they'd feast!
And they'd FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!
They would start on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast-beast
Which was something the Grinch couldn't stand in the least!

And THEN
They'd do something he liked least of all!
Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing.
They'd stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing!

They'd sing! And they'd sing!
AND they'd SING! SING! SING! SING!
And the more the Grinch thought of the Who-Christmas-Sing
The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop this whole thing!
"Why for fifty-three years I've put up with it now!
I MUST stop Christmas from coming!
...But HOW?"

Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
THE GRINCH
GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!

"I know just what to do!" The Grinch Laughed in his throat.
And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat.
And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great Grinchy trick!
"With this coat and this hat, I'll look just like Saint Nick!"

"All I need is a reindeer..."
The Grinch looked around.
But since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found.
Did that stop the old Grinch...?
No! The Grinch simply said,
"If I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead!"
So he called his dog Max. Then he took some red thread
And he tied a big horn on top of his head.

THEN
He loaded some bags
And some old empty sacks
On a ramshakle sleigh
And he hitched up old Max.

Then the Grinch said, "Giddyap!"
And the sleigh started down
Toward the homes where the Whos
Lay a-snooze in their town.

All their windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air.
All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care
When he came to the first house in the square.
"This is stop number one," The old Grinchy Claus hissed
And he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid down the chimney. A rather tight pinch.
But if Santa could do it, then so could the Grinch.
He got stuck only once, for a moment or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue
Where the little Who stockings all hung in a row.
"These stockings," he grinned, "are the first things to go!"

Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!
Pop guns! And bicycles! Roller skates! Drums!
Checkerboards! Tricycles! Popcorn! And plums!
And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Grinch, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimney!

Then he slunk to the icebox. He took the Whos' feast!
He took the Who-pudding! He took the roast beast!
He cleaned out that icebox as quick as a flash.
Why, that Grinch even took their last can of Who-hash!

Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with glee.
"And NOW!" grinned the Grinch, "I will stuff up the tree!"

And the Grinch grabbed the tree, and he started to shove
When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.
He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who!
Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two.

The Grinch had been caught by this little Who daughter
Who'd got out of bed for a cup of cold water.
She stared at the Grinch and said, "Santy Claus, why,
"Why are you taking our Christmas tree? WHY?"

But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"Why, my sweet little tot," the fake Santy Claus lied,
"There's a light on this tree that won't light on one side.
"So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
"I'll fix it up there. Then I'll bring it back here."

And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head
And he got her a drink and he sent he to bed.
And when Cindy-Lou Who went to bed with her cup,
HE went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!

Then the last thing he took
Was the log for their fire.
Then he went up the chimney himself, the old liar.
On their walls he left nothing but hooks, and some wire.

And the one speck of food
The he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.


Then
He did the same thing
To the other Whos' houses

Leaving crumbs
Much too small
For the other Whos' mouses!

It was quarter past dawn...
All the Whos, still a-bed
All the Whos, still a-snooze
When he packed up his sled,
Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of Mount Crumpit,
He rode to the tiptop to dump it!
"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinch-ish-ly humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!
"They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
"Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
"The all the Whos down in Who-ville will all cry BOO-HOO!"

"That's a noise," grinned the Grinch,
"That I simply must hear!"
So he paused. And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow...

But the sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn't be so!
But it WAS merry! VERY!

He stared down at Who-ville!
The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook!
What he saw was a shocking surprise!

Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming!
IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
"It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

And what happened then...?
Well...in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch's small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light
And he brought back the toys! And the food for the feast!
And he...

...HE HIMSELF...!
The Grinch carved the roast beast!
 
 
feeling: happyhappy
 
 
17 December 2006 @ 08:28 pm
A Japanese Folk Tale

Long, long ago, there lived an old bamboo woodcutter. He was very poor and sad also, for no child had Heaven sent to cheer his old age, and in his heart there was no hope of rest from work till he died and was laid in the quiet grave. Every morning he went forth into the woods and hills wherever the bamboo reared its lithe green plumes against the sky. When he had made his choice, he would cut down these feathers of the forest, and splitting them lengthwise, or cutting them into joints, would carry the bamboo wood home and make it into various articles for the household, and he and his old wife gained a small livelihood by selling them.

One morning as usual he had gone out to his work, and having found a nice clump of bamboos, had set to work to cut some of them down. Suddenly the green grove of bamboos was flooded with a bright soft light, as if the full moon had risen over the spot. Looking round in astonishment, he saw that the brilliance was streaming from one bamboo. The old man, full of wonder, dropped his ax and went towards the light. On nearer approach he saw that this soft splendor came from a hollow in the green bamboo stem, and still more wonderful to behold, in the midst of the brilliance stood a tiny human being, only three inches in height, and exquisitely beautiful in appearance.

"You must be sent to be my child, for I find you here among the bamboos where lies my daily work," said the old man, and taking the little creature in his hand he took it home to his wife to bring up. The tiny girl was so exceedingly beautiful and so small, that the old woman put her into a basket to safeguard her from the least possibility of being hurt in any way.

The old couple were now very happy, for it had been a lifelong regret that they had no children of their own, and with joy they now expended all the love of their old age on the little child who had come to them in so marvelous a manner.

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17 December 2006 @ 08:11 pm
well I've added a new poem to the sidebar...
as you might know, until today we had lewis carroll's poem about the doormouse's story, now we have one of the few long poems I know by heart... it's my favourite.
From J.R.R. Tolkien's collection of poetry and shortstories, the poem about the men from the moon :)


I shouldn't kneel next to the sofa like that when typing, I can't feel my feet T_T
 
 
feeling: hungryhungry
 
 
 
05 December 2006 @ 05:20 pm
Has anyone ever heard of the Kappa? I couldn't find the legend/story of one, but I found some descriptions on Wikipedia.:-)

Appearance
Most depictions show kappa as child-sized humanoids, though their bodies are often more like those of monkeys or frogs than human beings. Some descriptions say their faces are apelike, while others show them with beaked visages more like those of tortoises or with duck beaks. Pictures usually show kappa with thick shells and scaly skin that ranges in color from green to yellow or blue.

Kappa inhabit the ponds and rivers of Japan and have various features to aid them in this environment, such as webbed hands and feet. They are sometimes even said to smell like fish, and they can certainly swim like them. The expression kappa no kawa nagare ("a drowning kappa") conveys the idea that even experts make mistakes.

The kappa's most notable feature, however, is the water-filled depressions atop their heads. These cavities are surrounded by scraggly hair, and this type of bobbed hair style is named okappa atama for the creatures. The kappa derive their incredible strength from these liquid-filled holes, and anyone confronted with one may exploit this weakness by simply getting the kappa to spill the water from its head. One trusted method to do this is to appeal to the kappa's deep sense of etiquette, for a kappa cannot help but return a deep bow, even if it means losing its head-water in the process. Once depleted, the kappa is seriously weakened and may even die. Other tales say that this water allows kappa to move about on land, and once emptied, the creatures are immobilized. Stubborn children are encouraged to follow the custom of bowing on the grounds that it is a defense against kappa.

Behavior
Kappa are mischievous troublemakers. Their pranks range from the relatively innocent, such as loudly passing gas or looking up women's kimonos, to the more troublesome, such as stealing crops, kidnapping children, or raping women. In fact, small children are one of the gluttonous kappa's favorite meals, though they will eat adults as well. They feed on these hapless victims by sucking out the mythic shirikodama[1] ball (or entrails, blood, liver, or "life force", depending on the legend) through the anus. Even today, signs warning about kappa appear by bodies of water in some Japanese towns and villages. Kappa are also said to be afraid of fire, and some villages hold fireworks festivals each year to scare the spirits away.

Kappa are not entirely antagonistic to mankind, however. They are curious of human civilization, and they can understand and speak Japanese. They thus sometimes challenge those they encounter to various tests of skill, such as shogi (a chess-like game popular in Japan) or sumo wrestling. They may even befriend human beings in exchange for gifts and offerings, especially cucumbers, the only food kappa are known to enjoy more than human children. Japanese parents sometimes write the names of their children (or themselves) on cucumbers and toss them into kappa-infested waters in order to mollify the creatures and allow the family to bathe. There is even a kind of cucumber-filled sushi roll named for the kappa, the kappamaki.

Once befriended, kappa have been known to perform any number of tasks for human beings, such as helping farmers irrigate their land. They are also highly knowledgeable of medicine, and legend states that they taught the art of bone setting to mankind. Due to these benevolent aspects, some shrines are dedicated to the worship of particularly helpful kappa. Kappa may also be tricked into helping people. Their deep sense of decorum will not allow them to break an oath, for example, so if a human being can dupe a kappa into promising to help him, the kappa has no choice but to follow through.

Origins
There are several theories for the origins of the kappa in Japanese myth. One possibility is that they developed from an ancient Japanese practice of floating stillborn fetuses down rivers and streams. Another theory is that the kappa were invented to scare children away from rivers or rice paddies, using the swollen anus common in drowning victims as "proof" of having one's shirikodama stolen. The name "kappa" may be derived from the term for "robe" used by the Portuguese monks who arrived in Japan in the 16th century; they called this garment a capa, and the monks' appearance is not unlike that of the similarly named Japanese sprites, from the loose, shell-like cloaks to the tonsured hair. Some modern commentators even suggest that the kappa may be space aliens, and many of their pranks are similar to those often attributed to UFOs. They could also be some form of unknown creature that breathed outside of water by carrying water with it in its head.
 
 
feeling: contentcontent
 
 
05 December 2006 @ 09:22 am
I can't help but post this, information (quite interesting) on Chinese Dragons :)

The Celestial Chinese Dragon is comparable as the symbol of the Chinese race itself. Chinese around the world, proudly proclaim themselves "Lung Tik Chuan Ren" (Descendents of the Dragon). Dragons are referred to as the divine mythical creature that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune.

As the emblem of the Emperor and the Imperial command, the legend of the Chinese Dragon permeates the ancient Chinese civilization and shaped their culture until today. Its benevolence signifies greatness, goodness and blessings.

The Chinese Dragon, or Lung , symbolizes power and excellence, valiancy and boldness, heroism and perseverance, nobility and divinity. A dragon overcomes obstacles until success is his. He is energetic, decisive, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious.

Unlike the negative energies associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines have been built to honor them, for they control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas. Many Chinese cities have pagodas where people used to burn incense and pray to dragons.

The Black Dragon Pool Chapel, near Peking, was reserved for the Empress and her court.

Special worship services took place there on the first and fifteenth of every month. Dragon shrines and altars can still be seen in many parts of the Far East. They are usually along seashores and riverbanks, because most Eastern Dragons live in water.

The Isle of the Temple, in Japan's Inland Sea, has become a famous stopover for pilgrims who meditate and pray to dragons. Both male and female dragons have mated with humans.

Their descendants became great rulers. The Japanese Emperor Hirohito traced his ancestry back 125 generations to Princess Fruitful Jewel, daughter of a Dragon King of the Sea. Emperors in many Asian countries claimed to have dragon ancestors. This made them so proud, that everything they used was decorated with dragons and described in terms of the dragon: dragon-throne, dragon-robe, dragon-bed, dragon-boat. Calling an emperor "dragon-face" was a supreme compliment. People believed that rulers could change themselves into dragons. For hundreds of years, Japanese emperors sat concealed behind bamboo curtains whenever visitors came. Anyone who dared to peek was condemned to death.

Everything connected with Eastern Dragons is blessed.

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02 December 2006 @ 10:09 pm
Long ago there lived in a small fishing village by the southern shores of Japan a young fisherman named Urashima Taro. We will call him Taro in our story.

One bright day while he was walking along the seashore with his fishing pole, Taro saw a group of children jumping and running about. All of the children seemed very excited. They were shouting with glee and seemed to be standing over some object lying on the beach. When Taro came nearer to the children, he saw that they were tormenting a little turtle. They threw stones at it, and then each one took his turn kicking the poor turtle.

Taro felt great sympathy for the unfortunate turtle. He turned to the children and said, "Please don't be cruel to the little turtle. You should be kind to animals. If you will set the turtle free, I will give each of you some money."

So Taro bought the turtle's freedom from the thoughtless children. Then he took it to the water's edge and set it free. Soon the turtle disappeared into the blue waves and in a moment Taro could see it no more.

After a few days Taro again went fishing by the seashore. He cast his line into the water and, as he did so, he was surprised to see a big turtle appear from out of the waves.

The huge turtle approached Taro and said, "Hello, Taro-san! Don't you remember me?"

Taro stared at the turtle, and to his great surprise he saw that it was the same turtle whose life he had saved by rescuing it from the naughty children a few days before. But now the turtle was very large and looked very old.

Smiling at Taro, the turtle continued, "Thank you very much for your kindness to me the other day. You rescued me from those bad children. I wish to reward you for your kindness. If you wish to go, I will take you to the Coral Palace. It is a beautiful palace in the middle of a kingdom down under the sea. Please get on my back, Taro. Then we will begin our journey."

Then...Collapse )
 
 
01 December 2006 @ 08:45 am
Here is another Japanese legend I enjoyed as a kid :)

Long, long ago in a far off land there lived a young man. One day, while working on his farm, a brilliant white crane came swooping down and crashed to the ground at his feet. The man noticed an arrow pierced through one of its wings. Taking pity on the crane, he pulled out the arrow and cleaned the wound. Thanks to his care the bird was soon able to fly again. The young man sent the crane back to the sky, saying, "Be careful to avoid hunters." The crane circled three times over his head, let out a cry as if in thanks, and then flew away.

As the day grew dark the young man made his way home. When he arrived, he was surprised by the sight of a beautiful woman whom he had never seen before standing at the doorway. "Welcome home. I am your wife," said the woman. The young man was surprised and said, "I am very poor, and cannot support you." The woman answered, pointing to a small sack, "Don't worry, I have plenty of rice," and began preparing dinner. The young man was puzzled, but the two began a happy life together. And the rice sack, mysteriously, remained full always.

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29 November 2006 @ 08:17 pm
Another popular Philippine legend. This one is about Mayon Volcano, a volcano once famous for its "perfect cone" shape.

A long time ago when the Philippines was not yet separated by a wide stretch of water from the mainland of Asia, there was neither then high mountain nor volcano in the region now known as Bikolandia or Kabikolan the old name given by the inhabitants to this place. There once dwelt a distinct group of people composed of beautiful women and sturdy warriors. Many suitors from far away regions went to Kabikolan purposely to court its maidens. They, however, returned home dejectedly because it was the unbroken code of that place that no strangers could marry its daragas (maidens). So strict were the fathers with regard to the marriage of their daughters that tribal wars would frequently mar the beauty of the village. The inhabitants, of course, were secure from the onslaught of the invaders from all of them were mostly experienced warriors.

Of all the women in Kabikolan, none was more winsome than Tiong Makusog’s daughter, Daragang Magayon, whose name literally means woman beauteous. That was why in the whole region, she was the kabinibinihan (modest) of them all. Among the native who fell madly in love with her, was the wealthy but selfish Paratuga. Thrice did this suitor thrust his spear near the stairs of Tiong Makusog’s house as a sign of his love of Daragang Magayon, and thrice did he present valuable gift of pearls, diamonds and gold, only to be answered with firm words of refusal. “He is not the man for me, father,” the beautiful woman would say whenever she was enjoined by Tiong Makusog in behaolf of the native lover. Since the old man was open-minded, he could do no other but follow her wish.

One midnight, while silence pervaded the place, Daragang Magayon unexpectedly confessed to her father of her love affair with a certain man who lives beyond the border of Kabikolan.

“Tatay” (father), she began tremulously,” it will mean eternal disgrace to our family if I am known to be in love with a stranger who lives on the other side of Kabikolan (the boundary river that separates Kabikolan from Katagalogan, the region inhabited by the tagalogs). To me he is the handsomest of all men I have ever seen. I owe my life to him, because he was the brave man who saved me from the mad currents of Kabikolan, when one morning while I was bathing in the river, my feet unfortunately slipped on the rock I stood upon”.

Tiong Makusog became grief-stricken after learning that his only daughter had already chosen her life-partner without his knowledge. Nevetherless, he controlled himself, and queried, although scarcely intelligible, who her strange sweetheart was.

“That is it”, Daragang Magayon seemed to have trailed her father thoughts, “I am sure you don’t know his name because when you arrived, I was already saved from drowning and he had immediately told me, “Namomotan Ta Ka”, (I love you) he told me one sunset when we met again at the bank of the river. “Namomotan ta ka man,” (I love you too) I replied, whereupon, I felt his lifps tenderly pressing on mine. What shall we do father? I don’t love Paratuga. I prefer a thousand deaths than wed him!” She ended firmly.

“I will help you to find the best way out, my daughter,” Tiong Makusog, albeit heavy was his heart, assured her.

Unfortunately one morning, while Tiong Makusog was hunting in a nearby forest, several strong henchmen of Paratuga suddenly seized him unawares. He was taken to the home of this treacherous suitor where he was demanded as ransom, the hand of his daughter, otherwise death from the wounds of hundred arrows would be his punishment.

That same day, a few hours after Tiong Makusog had been taken as captive, Linog, Paratuga’s chief messenger arrived at Daranga Magayon’s house and delivered to her a letter written on a piece of white bamboo...

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