SILENCE AND SANCTUARY
(If you want to retell any of the stories listed below, be sure
to obtain permission from the copyright holder if the material
is not in the public domain)
are cooking away - thank you to those who have already sent some
suggestions . I also remembered the story from India of the woman
who was verbally abused by her family so she grew in size and
despondency until she found an abandoned building with only four
walls and no ceiling.so each day she would go to this place and
weep and yell at the walls until one after another wall fell down
and in the end she felt so much lighter than before. I cannot
remember where I read this - any sources that you remember? Another
story that came to mind is an (I think) Apache story of how the
world will end - (from Jane Yolen's Favorite
Folktales) when the old woman who is weaving the rug finishes
- the world will end so her black dog keeps unraveling the threads
each time she tirns to stir her soup and so we hang in the balance.
It's in the Pantheon collection of Folktales
from India - in the first section, I think.
2) My submission for the story contest. It's a classic Indian
story, The Woman Who Had a Story and a Song.
Once there was a woman who had a story and a song inside her.
But she never told the story nor sang the song. She just went
about her household duties while her husband worked in the rice
fields. One hot afternoon she lay down to sleep, her mouth open
as she breathed the heavy air. Inside, the story said to the song, "Let's escape, so long we have waited, for naught,"
and the two flew out her mouth. "Now what shall we do? If
no one is telling or singing us, we have neither shape nor form?
Let us assume shapes. I," said story, "shall become
a bathrobe and hang myself on the hook near the door." So
he did. "Then I shall be slippers," said the song, "and
rest below you," and it was done. And the woman slept on.
Her husband soon returned from the fields, and saw the robe and
slippers next to the door. "What have we here? A stranger
here, who hung his robe and left his slippers? What is my wife
up to in the bedroom," and he rushed to find her sleeping,
along. "Up, up!" he shouted, "where is the stranger
with the robe!" "Wha' wha'?" she asked sleepily,
of course with no idea of why he was accusing her of infidelity.
"No one is here! I was asleep!' Of course that answer did
not satisfy the man, who proceeded to berate her, and shout, and
look everywhere for the impostor, to no avail, until darkness
descended. Now, in India, when a couple fights, the man goes to
spend the night in the temple of Hunaman, the monkey king, and
the man took himself hither, and lay down to sleep. By the way,
did you ever think about what happens to the lights when you put
them out? Where do they go? To the temple of the monkey king,
to spend the night chatting and gossiping as their masters sleep.
So the farmer heard the lights above him, and one asked, "where
is the light from the end of the lane? He's late." The farmer
knew it was his light. Soon there was a tinkling and a puffing
and in rushed the missing light. "Fellows, you'll never believe
why I'm late! My master had a bitter fight with the mistress because
he saw a robe and slippers hanging where none had been, and suspected
her of infidelity. They argued late into the night, and so I am
late too. But that's was not true." And he told how Story
and Song transformed themselves. Well! The farmer felt sorry for
accusing his wife, and - he was curious! What was the story? What
was the song? At daybreak he returned home, gently wakened his
wife and apologized, then asked: "Please tell me the story.
Please sing me the song."
That's all. No more story. No more song! SO IF YOU HAVE A STORY
TELL IT. IF YOU HAVE A SONG SING IT.
3) Greg posted this story looking for the author/source. Never
did hear if he found one.
An Oldtimer and current Lurker
Yer Western Pal,
The American businessman was at the pier of a Mexican coastal
village when a small fishing boat, piloted by just one man, docked.
Inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American
complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked
how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, "Only
a little while."
The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch
more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's
immediate needs. The American then asked, "But what do you
do with the rest of your time?" The Mexican fisherman said,
"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take
siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening
where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full
and busy life, senor."
The American said, "I could help you. I have an MBA from
Harvard. You should spend more time fishing and buy a bigger boat
with what you make from your catch. With the proceeds from the
bigger boat you could buy several boats. You would have a fleet
of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman
you would sell directly to the processor and eventually open your
own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.
"You would need to leave this small fishing village and move
to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York, where
you will run your expanding enterprise."
The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this
To which the American replied, "15-20 years."
"But what then, senor?"
The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When
the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company
stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions."
"Millions, senor? Then what?"
The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small
coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little,
play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, then, in the
evenings, stroll to the village, where you would sip wine and
play your guitar with your amigos."