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29 November 2006 @ 10:08 am
Here is a Philippine legend :) quite popular in the Philippines.

A thousand years ago,

there was a rich maharlika, or nobleman, who spent his early bachelor days recklessly, wining and dining in the company of nobility. He drank the finest wines, ate the most delectable food and enjoyed the company of the loveliest, perfumed and bejewelled women of the noble class.

After years of this kind of life, the maharlika finally felt it was time to settle down and marry the woman of his choice. "But who is the woman to choose?" he asked himself as he sat in the rich splendour of his home, "All the women I know are beautiful and charming, but I am tired of the glitter of their jewels and the richness of their clothes!" He wanted a woman different from all the women he saw day and night, and found this in a simple village lass. She was charming in her own unaffected ways, and her name was Dama.

They married and lived contentedly. She loved him and took care of him. She pampered him with the most delicious dishes, and kept his home and his clothes in order. But soon, the newness wore off for the maharlika. He started to long for the company of his friends. He took a good look at his wife and thought, she is not beautiful and she does not have the air of nobility abouther, she does not talk with wisdom. And so the maharlika returned to his own world of glitter and splendor. He spent his evenings sitting around with his friends in their noble homes , drank and talked till the first rays of the sun peeped from the iron grills of their ornate windows.

Poor Dama felt that she was losing her husband. She wept in the silence of their bedroom. "I cannot give my husband anything but the delights of my kitchen and the warmth of my bed. He is tired of me." She looked to the heavens. "Oh, friendly spirits! Help me. Give me a magic charm. Just one little magic charm to make my husband come home again, that he will never want to leave my side, forever!"

It was midnight when the maharlika came home. He opened the door of their bedroom and called for Dama to tell her to prepare his nightclothes. "Dama! Dama, where are you?" he called. He shouted all around the bedroom. He sarched the whole house. Still the nobleman could not find his simple wife. Finally the nobleman returned to their bedroom, tired and cross. But, as he opened the door, he stopped.

A are scent, sweet and fragrant, drifted to him. It was a scent he had never smelled before. He entered the room and crossed to the window where the scent seemed to be floating from. A strange bush was growing outside the window. Some of its thin branches had aleady reached the iron grills and were twisting around. And all over the bush were thousands of tiny starlike, white flowers, from which burst forth a heavenly, enchanting scent!

He stood there, completely enraptured by the glorious smell. "Dama..." he whispered softly, onderingly, could this be Dama? The rich maharlika sat by the window, and waited for the return of his loving simple wife. But she did not come back. She never returned to him again. Only the fragrance of the flowers stayed with him, casting a spell over his whole being.

In the moonlight, Dama of the night, or Dama de Noche would be in full bloom, capturing the rich maharlika, making him never want to leave her side, forever.
 
 
29 November 2006 @ 02:01 am
This is an old fairytale from the brothers Grimm... it really used to scare me as a child when my Grandma told it to me...



Once upon a time there lived a brother and a sister together with their father, his new wife and her ugly daughter who only had one eye.
But then the father died and the stepmother showed her real face as the cruel woman and evil witch she really was.
It was her who had poisoned first the children's mother and then their father - she hated the poor children and wanted to make their lives hell on earth.
Brother and sister sat together in the dark and sister was scared and cried into her brother's sholder.
"Let's run away from here and find a place where she can't find us" said the brother and so they packed a few things and left in secret.

The stepmother however was an evil woman but she was powerful and of course knew where they had gone.  "If not today, at least tomorrow you will need to drink" she said to herself and thus she bewitched all the brooks in the land around her castle.

Brother and sister now wandered through the woods and very soon the boy got very thirsty. He knelt down next to a fountain and wanted to drink but his sister cried out "No my brother, I have a feeling as if the river told me 'Whoever drinks from me will become a tiger' ... please don't drink or you will become a tiger and tear me into pieces"
Her brother nodded but he knew that he wouldn't be able to stand thirst much longer.

As they went on they came to another river and as the boy bent down to drink is sister heard the river's voice again telling her "Whoever drinks from me will become a wolf" and so she jumped forth and grabbed her brothers sholder to stop him. "Please my brother don'z drink from the fountain or you will become a wolf and hunt me"
Her brother promised to wait a little more but as much as he loved her, he knew that without water he soon would break down and die.

The third brook came into sight and now the girl knew that she wouldn't be able to keep her brother from drinking.
The river whispered in her ear "Whoever drinks from me will turn into a deer" so she told her brother "No my brother, if you drink from this fountain you shall become a deer and run from me... please don't leave me here"
But it was already too late, her brother had bent down to the water and he drank. As soon as the first drops touched his lips he turned into a deer with big sad eyes.
His sister fell down on her knees, crying hard and hugging the beautiful animal that had been her beloved brother.

 
 
feeling: sleepysleepy
 
 
29 November 2006 @ 05:42 am
Here's a Japanese Legend :)

The Prince of Hizen, a distinguished member of the Nabéshima family, lingered in the garden with O Toyo, the favorite among his ladies. When the sun set they retired to the palace, but failed to notice that they were being followed by a large cat.

O Toyo went to her room and fell asleep. At midnight she awoke and gazed about her, as if suddenly aware of some dreadful presence in the apartment. At length she saw, crouching close beside her, a gigantic cat, and before she could cry out for assistance the animal sprang upon her and strangled her. The animal then made a hole under the verandah, buried the corpse, and assumed the form of the beautiful O Toyo.

The prince, who knew nothing of what had happened, continued to love the false O Toyo, unaware that in reality he was caressing a foul beast. He noticed, little by little, that his strength failed, and it was not long before he became dangerously ill. Physicians were summoned, but they could do nothing to restore the royal patient. It was observed that he suffered most during the night, and was troubled by horrible dreams. This being so, his councilors arranged that a hundred retainers should sit with their lord and keep watch while he slept.

The watch went into the sickroom, but just before ten o'clock it was overcome by a mysterious drowsiness. When all the men were asleep the false O Toyo crept into the apartment and disturbed the prince until sunrise. Night after night the retainers came to guard their master, but always they fell asleep at the same hour, and even three loyal councilors had a similar experience.

During this time the prince grew worse, and at length a priest named Ruiten was appointed to pray on his behalf. One night, while he was engaged in his supplications, he heard a strange noise proceeding from the garden. On looking out of the window he saw a young soldier washing himself. When he had finished his ablutions he stood before an image of Buddha, and prayed most ardently for the recovery of the prince.

Ruiten, delighted to find such zeal and loyalty, invited the young man to enter his house, and when he had done so inquired his name.

"I am Ito Soda," said the young man, "and serve in the infantry of Nabéshima. I have heard of my lord's sickness and long to have the honor of nursing him; but being of low rank it is not meet that I should come into his presence. I have, nevertheless, prayed to the Buddha that my lord's life may be spared. I believe that the Prince of Hizen is bewitched, and if I might remain with him I would do my utmost to find and crush the evil power that is the cause of his illness."
And so...Collapse )
 
 
26 November 2006 @ 09:00 pm
today I posted the following story to my lj... thought I'd share it with you :)

something reminded me of this story (must've been an image I guess, though I don't recall which and where I've seen it...) and as I own the book where the story is told (it's a story IN the story "Watership Down" by Richard Adams - I just decided to share it now. 'cause I love it so much. The animated film made me fall in love with it at first 'cause it's so very sad and very beautiful.


(This kind of creation-myth is told by one of the rabbits in this tale. for most of the characters of the book are rabbits)

 

from chapter 6 of Watership Down by Richard Adams:

 

"The Story of the Blessing of El-ahrairah

 

            Why should he think me cruel

                Or that the is betrayed?

            I’d have him love the thing that was

               Before the world was made

                                  W.B. Yeats A Woman Young and Old

 

‘Long ago, Frith made the wolrd. He made all the stars too and the world is one of the stars. He made them by scattering his droppings over the sky and this is why the grass and the trees grow thick on the world. Frith makes the brooks flow. They follow him as he goes through the sky and when he leaves the sky they look for him all night. Frith made all the animals and birds, but when he first made them they were all the same. The sparrow and the kestrel were friends and they both ate seeds and flies. And the fox and the rabbit were friends and they both ate grass. And there was plenty of grass and plenty of flies, because the world was new and Frith shone down bright and warm all day.

      Now El-ahrairah was among the animals in those days and he had many wives. He had so many wives that there was no one counting them and the wives had so many young that even Frith could not count them and they ate the grass and the dandelions and the lettuces and the clover and El-ahrairah was the father of them all. … After a time the grass began to grow thin and the rabbits wandered everywhere, multiplying and eating as they went.


      Then Frith said to El-ahrairah, “Prince Rabbit, if you cannot control you people, I shall find ways to control them. So mark what I say.” But El-ahrairah would not listen and he said to Frith, “My people are the strongest in the world, for they breed faster and eat more than any of the other people. And this shows how much they love Lord Frith, for of all the animals they are the most responsive to his warmth and brightness. You must realize, my lord, how important they are and not hinder them in their beautiful lives.”


 





this is the myth as it's been animated in the film (1978)




and that's the trailer:



 
 
listening to: bright eyes - art garfunkel
 
 
27 November 2006 @ 03:03 am
I thought of making a list of books/comics with mythology references in them, might interest all of you :)

American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
Sandman: Dream Hunters - Neil Gaiman, art by Yoshitaka Amano

More to be added soon :D
 
 
 
27 November 2006 @ 02:41 am
This is another popular story :)

A little over two hundred years before our era, the first emperor of the Chin dynasty ascended the throne under the name of Shih Huang. This emperor was very cruel towards his subjects, forcing people from every part of the country to come and build the Great Wall to protect his empire. Work never stopped, day or night, with the people carrying heavy loads of earth and bricks under the overseers' whips, lashes, and curses. They received very little food; the clothes they wore were threadbare. So it was scarcely to be wondered at that large numbers of them died every day.

There was a young man, named Wan Hsi-liang, among those who had been pressed into the service of building Emperor Shih Huang's Great Wall. This Wan Hsi-liang had a beautiful and virtuous wife, whose name was Meng Chiang-nu. For a long, long time after her husband was forced to leave her, Meng Chiang-nu had no news of him, and it saddened her to think what he must be suffering, toiling for the accursed emperor. Her hatred of the wicked ruler grew apace with her longing for the husband he had torn from her side. One spring, when the flowers were in bloom and the trees budding, when the grass was a lush green, and the swallows were flying in pairs in the sky, her sorrow seemed to deepen as she walked in the fields, so she sang:

In March the peach is blossom-dressed;
Swallows, mating, build their nest.
Two by two they gaily fly....
Left all alone, how sad am I!

But even when autumn came round, there still was no news about Wan Hsi-liang. It was rumored that the Great Wall was in building somewhere way up north where it was so cold that one would hardly dare stick one's hands out of one's sleeves. When Meng Chiang-nu heard this, she hurriedly made cotton-padded clothes and shoes for her husband. But who should take these to him when it was such a long way to the Great Wall? Pondering the matter over and over, she finally decided she would take the clothes and shoes to Wan Hsi-liang herself.

It was rather cold when she started out. The leaves had fallen from the trees and, as the harvest had been gathered in, the fields were empty and forlornly dismal. It was very lonely for Meng Chiang-nu to walk all by herself, especially since she had never been away from home in her life, and did not know the way and had to ask for directions every now and then.

One evening she failed to reach a town she was going to, so she put up for the night in a little temple in a grove beside the road. Having walked the whole day, she was very tired and fell asleep as soon as she lay down on a stone table. She dreamed her husband was coming towards her, and a feeling of great happiness enveloped her. But then he told her that he had died, and she cried bitterly. When she woke up in the morning, she was overwhelmed by doubts and sadness as she remembered this dream. With curses on the emperor who had torn so many families asunder, Meng Chiang-nu continued on her way.

One day, she came to a small inn by the side of the hilly road. The inn was kept by an old woman who, when she saw Meng Chiang-nu's hot face and dusty clothes, asked where she was going. When Meng Chiang-nu told her, she was deeply moved.

And then...Collapse )
 
 
26 November 2006 @ 07:28 pm
Another legend from ancient Vienna :)

Long time ago the emperor decided to pay a visit to our town so he called for his carriage and left his castle.
Arrived in Vienna he hired a group of townsmen to accompany him and show him around. Together they sat in the carriage riding through an alley of cottonwood trees when the emperor suddenly felt strange and dizzy and as he looked out the window it seemed to him as if the cottonwood trees were men who stoof there with their arms crossed in front of their chests.
"Did you by any chance cut the cottonwood trees before my arrival?" he asked the townsmen.
"No my Lord" they all answered.
"Well that's strange cause doesn't it seem to you like the cottonwood trees were men with their arms crossed in front of their chests?"
"Hmm, oh yes, yes like men with their arms crossed" they agreed, they didn't see it but didn't want to insult the emperor.

That night, the emperor, sleeping in his rich harbourage, had a dream about the cottonwood trees visiting him and waiting outside his window.
"My Lord" they spoke "You're going to return to your castel and leave Vienna to itsself without the guidance of someone qualified to handle the finance and thus this town will soon face it's doom"
The emperor was really impressed and so, early the next morning, he borrowed ordinary clothes and a fake beard and strolled through the streets of Vienna. In a tavern he found a pleasent round of people and as he sat with them he asked "If I, as a townsman, would come to ask you about someone in this town who knows how to handle money,... who would you send me to?"
"Well, the rich people" they said.
"No, I'm not talking about people who have a lot of money, I want to know whether there's someone who can handle that amount of money he has in a perfect way"
Now they all agreed "Yes there's someone like that, a blacksmith called the Iron Man"
"And what's so speacial about this man?"

 
 
feeling: hungryhungry
 
 
26 November 2006 @ 10:36 pm
There once lived in a small town in China a man named Hok Lee. He was a steady industrious man, who not only worked hard at his trade, but did all his own housework as well, for he had no wife to do it for him.

"What an excellent industrious man is this Hok Lee!" said his neighbors; "how hard he works: he never leaves his house to amuse himself or to take a holiday as others do!"

But Hok Lee was by no means the virtuous person his neighbors thought him. True, he worked hard enough by day, but at night, when all respectable folk were fast asleep, he used to steal out and join a dangerous band of robbers, who broke into rich people's houses and carried off all they could lay hands on. This state of things went on for some time, and, though a thief was caught now and then and punished, no suspicion ever fell on Hok Lee, he was such a very respectable, hardworking man.

Hok Lee had already amassed a good store of money as his share of the proceeds of these robberies when it happened one morning on going to market that a neighbor said to him: "Why, Hok Lee, what is the matter with your face? One side of it is all swelled up." True enough, Hok Lee's right cheek was twice the size of his left, and it soon began to feel very uncomfortable.

Read onCollapse )
 
 
25 November 2006 @ 04:00 pm
Answering to the story about the lady in the moon :) Usually in Austria we have a man in the moon but this is a story from a pixi-book of mine I remember, these are very very thin and easy books for very small children :)

High above the world there lives the man on the moon lookin down on us like he's always done but suddenly he felt that he was really lonesome up there and he thought "Maybe I should find myself a lovely wife to share my life with me"
So once again he went all around the moon only to find that no other living creature was up there and so he sat down crying and feeling very lonely and helpless.
Suddenly he had an idea:  Why don't look fo a wife down on earth? Good idea, but how to do that?
He wrote a message: "Who would want to marry to poor and lonely man in the moon and make him happy? PS: You have to be able to bake applepie"
He tied the letter to a stone and let it slide down a beam of light until it fell down on the earth.
Down there a little gnome girl called Molly fell over the letter and read it. She was feeling very lonely too and really wanted to marry the man in the moon but there was a problem... how should she get up there?
So she went to ask the beetle-magician for help and he promised to build her a rocket that would fly her to the moon.
When she returned some weeks later,  the rocket, made of a pine cone, already stood there waiting for her and Molly, wearing her wedding dress,  climbed up and grabbed on tightly.
The rocked started and soon she was on her way to the moon flying far through the night.
The man on the moon far above us saw somethng blinking from far and started wondering as suddenly the blinking came closer and before he could wonder even more, Molly was lying before his feet in her beautiful weddingdress but stained all over from the flight. He took her hands and they fell in love that very second.
"I've come to marry you" she said.
"Can you bake applepie?" he asked
"I guess so..."
And so they've lived happily together ever since and the man in the moon can finally have applepie :D

I think that applepie stuff is the austrian version of the ricecake story with the bunnies... I think it's quite cute but of course I stretched the style of writing a bit because  the original is so very simplified but I didn't change the story at all :)
 
 
feeling: hungryhungry
 
 
25 November 2006 @ 10:42 pm
regenvogel mentioned the anime series Ayashi no Ceres (I never did finish watching this) but the story is based on the legend of the Tenyo

"Once upon a time", "A long, long time ago", there lived a fisherman who was walking in the forest. From a distance, the man caught sight of a feather robe (the Hagoromo) hanging from the branches of a pine tree. Nearby, he discovers seven Tenyo bathing in the lake. Tenyo (also spelled Tennyo) are celestial beings from the heaven who I refer to as Celestial Maidens.

The fisherman selfishly hid her feather robe and by doing so, forbidding her from returning to heaven. Six Tenyo flew back to heaven leaving one behind who was bind to earth without her Hagoromo. The Tenyo met the suspicious fisherman and asked if he had her robe. The fisherman denied that he had taken the feathered robe. The desperate Tenyo became the fisherman wife and carried his children.

Years later, the Tenyo discovers from a children's song of her hidden Hagoromo. She retrieve it from its place and left for the heavens with her children.

And here are some other variationsCollapse )