Special Thanks to my Personal Faery Friend for the Button Art: Ye Olde Faery Shoppe
This week in fairy tales, we are visiting India with The Tiger, the Brahman, and the Jackal. We begin this story with the introduction of Tiger, who just so happens to be locked in a cage. The Brahman then appears and is convinced to let the Tiger go. Unfortunately, the Tiger turns on the Brahman and ends up giving him an ultimatum . . .
" . . . the beast promised to let the Brahman go if the man could find three things that thought the tiger's action unjust."Sadly, every thing the Brahman asked resulted only in failure, from the pipal tree to buffalo to even the road. He began to turn back to return to the Tiger when along comes the Jackal. The Brahman attempts to explain the situation to Jackal, but to no avail; therefore, they return to the Tiger together in the hopes that an understanding can ensue. It may at first appear that the Jackal is "slow in his wits," but he may just surprise us all in the end!
I have always viewed jackals to be deceitful . . . maybe because I have always thought of them as similar to hyenas . . . but this deceit may not always work in the negative as this story represents! In fact, I would not even term the jackal deceitful in this tale because his purpose is not used for the means of dishonesty or trickery; rather, I believe I would rather use the term cunning because of his intent to help and reduce harm.
This line of thought then got me thinking along the lines of pre-conceived images or thoughts. We often enter situations or stories with an idea of how we think they are to go, but can often be surprised by what we find or encounter. Life is a learning process and many of our expectations end up being just tossed aside. I think a perfect example of this is the Wicked Witch of the West. When Baum wrote this character, she was written as deceitful and out for herself. When the film was released, she was painted green for technical filming reasons and to this day, her character and even the color green bring very specific reactions from people. However, Gregory Maguire turned these pre-conceived notions around with his novel, Wicked and even more so with the release of the musical. Now that I have completely went off on a tangent . . .
In short . . . I have gone into stories, particularly during my Fairy Tale Fridays series, with an idea of what to expect. I have been pleasantly surprised (and not so much!) with a completely different picture being painted about characters or the stories taking a turn that I never could have guessed. In the end, it's refreshing to experience this dissonance and expand my mind a bit more!
All in all, this was a simple and enjoyable read, and one that I would recommend to anyone!
What did you think of the tale? Did you end up reading a different Indian tale? Have you had any experiences in fairy tale dissonance?
Friday, August 6th: The Twin Brothers (Danish Folk and Fairy Tales)
Friday, August 13th: Chunda's Wisdom Quest (Tales from Tibet)
Friday, August 20th: Choose Your Own Tale
**SPECIAL NOTE: I have linked those stories that I can find above either in writing or as a video of the reading via YouTube. The generic link via the country's tales will take you to a listing of additional tales or possible replacements. Enjoy!