Thursday, December 4, 2014

Morin Xuur

There was once a man named Xuxuu Namjil who was in love with a girl, but he was called to go away to war.  He had a horse that could fly, so he would fly on his horse from the battlefields to see his girl.  But there was another girl who lived near the battlefields and envied the couple.  So, she cut the wings off of Xuxuu’s horse so that he could no longer visit his girl.  After having his wings cut off, the horse died.  Xuxuu Namjil was very sad, and he cut off the horse’s head and tail and from them, he made the first Morin Xuur (Horse Fiddle).  When he played his Morin Xuur, it sounded like his horse, and this eased his pain. (RB, USA/Mongolia)

The Three Little Pigs

When the three little pigs grew up, they went out of their parents' house to build their own houses. The first pig built his house of stone, with a nice fireplace. The second built his house of wood, and the third built his house of straw. It could be said that the third built his house of straw because he was busy having a good time, and spent his money on carousing and having fun.
Nevertheless when the hungry wolf came looking for dinner, he came to the third little pig's house first. "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!" the wolf yelled at the pig. And, unfortunately, he did; he blew the house down, and the pig went running to his big brother's house. "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!" the wolf yelled at the two pigs hiding in the wood house. And he did; he blew the house down, and the pigs went running to their older brother's stone house.

Now, the wolf threatened to blow down the stone house as well, but no matter how hard he blew, he was unable to blow it down. He was determined to get the pigs, so he came down the chimney, but they were prepared and, in the end, the pigs were safe. It's a violent tale, but it shows the value of having a strong house when trouble comes. (TL, USA)

Wolves are coming

A long time ago there was a shepherd boy living in a beautiful mountain village in China. He owned fifteen baby sheep who were his best friends. During the daytime, he talked and played with these cute sheep and took them back home in the evening.
One day in summer a really bad idea came into the shepherd boy’ mind when he was in a grove with his sheep. He wanted to play a joke on his kind, nice, and friendly neighbors who lived with him in the same village. He shouted loudly and frightenedly, “Wolves are coming, wolves are coming to eat my sheep!" All villagers immediately ran into the grove as quickly as possible after they heard the boy crying for help. When they saw the shepherd boy they carefully asked him where the wolves were. To be infuriating the boy laughed and said, “You are so stupid!” and “I am joking on you”. With disappointment all the nice neighbors left. The shepherd boy enjoyed this joke very much and pretended to see wolves again a few days later. Kind-hearted villagers came to help again. However, this time villagers realized that this was a kid loving to lie.
  Fall had come. As usual the boy was playing with his sheep when wolves actually appeared. This poor boy shouted for help as loudly as he could. Unfortunately all the villagers thought he was playing the joke and no one cared about him. The boy and his sheep became the wolves’ delicious dinner.
This story tells us a truth that people don’t believe children who always tell lies, even when they tell the truth.  (YL, China)

The Story of Hanzhou West Lake Dragon Well Tea

Hanzhou West Lake Dragon Well Tea is the best green tea in China and is well-known around the world. It has over a thousand years of history. The tea’s name originates from a local folk story. Dragon Well is a well in the West Lake district of Hanzhou, China. A long time ago, a single old woman lived near the Dragon Well. The woman was very kind and was happy to help others. She did not have daughters and sons and her husband had died. She had eighteen common old wild tea trees surrounding the well. Her house was very close to an important path for farmers living in South Hill village to the downtown of the West Lake district. In order to facilitate passers for rest, she put a desk and several chairs in her yard. In addition, she cooked a pot of tea for passers every day using tea-leaves taken from the old tea trees. As time went by, she became famous for passers. In the winter of a year when the Chinese Spring Festival was coming soon, there was a heavy snow. It was very cold and the wild tea trees could be freezing to death. The woman worried about it. At this time, there were a lot of pedestrians on the path because people needed to go to the downtown to buy goods for the coming Spring Festival. They had a rest in the woman’s yard as usual. One of pedestrians, an old wise man, found the woman was not happy. So he spoke to the woman and asked her whether her goods for the Spring Festival were ready. The woman took a deep breath and answered that she did not have money to buy goods. And she complained that she was worrying that she could not provide the tea for passers in the next year because her wild tea trees could die of frost in this winter. Suddenly the man looked at an old stone mortar in the woman’s yard and his eyes sparkled with excitement. He pointed to the mortar and told the woman that she had a treasure. The woman could not believe it. She replied that the man could get it for free if he wanted. However, the man would not like to have it for free and he wanted to pay 500 grams of silver to the woman for it. The woman, however, insisted that she could not accept the money. Later, the man said that he firstly went home and then would ask some young people to help him to move this mortar to his home tomorrow. Then he was gone. The woman looked at the mortar and found a lot of rubbish in it. The woman would feel ashamed if she gave such a dirty and old mortar to others. Therefore she decided to clean it up. She took the rubbish out of the mortar and buried it at the foot of the old wild tea trees. She also cleaned the mortar using the water from the Dragon Well. In the next day, the man came with several companions. When he saw the mortar at first sight, he started to yell to the woman. He asked the woman where his treasure was. The woman was surprised and confused since she thought he might be happy because she cleaned the mortar. She pointed at the mortar and said that it was still there. The man shook his head and said no. He continued to ask the woman where she put the rubbish in the mortar. The woman pointed to the old wild tea trees and said that she buried the rubbish at the foot of these trees. The man walked to the trees. Then, he told the woman that it was a great pity because the rubbish in the mortar was unique and was the real treasure that he wanted. He also said the rubbish would help the tea trees a lot. After that, he left with his companions. Later, the spring of the next year came. The tea trees not only survived in the last cold winter, but also put out a lot of new shoots. Moreover, the tea-leaves taken from the trees looked fine and tasted tender and smelt sweet. Later, the neighbors of this old woman grew more of this kind of tea trees across several hills in proximity. This kind of tea grown in this area was becoming famous in the following years owing to its high quality. And people called it – Hanzhou West Lake Dragon Well Tea. (FL, China)

Story #2, Nasreddin

Story #2
One day, Nasreddin Hoca buys two kilograms of meat from butcher’s shop and goes to his house. After telling his wife to cook meat for dinner, he goes back to work. After he goes, his wife cooks the food and invites her neighbors and gives them a feast. Nasrettin Hoca comes back to his house at night and his wife gets the table ready and gives Nasrettin Hoca a plate of cracked wheat pilaf. When Nasrettin Hoca sees the plate, he gets surprised and asks his wife,
-"You were supposed to cook meat for dinner! I went to the butcher’s shop in the early morning and brought you meat. What happened to that?"
She gets sad and tells him:
-"Oh my dear husband… Our cat ate all of the meat."
Nasrettin Hoca gets very mad and jumps from the chair, grabs a stick and decides to beat the cat. Then he sees the skinny cat sitting next to the wall. He asks his wife to bring the scale. Then he checks the cat’s weight and then he gets confused. The cat weights two kilograms. He calls his wife and says,
-"The cat weights two kilograms; where is the meat I bought from the butcher? If we assume this is the meat I bought, then where is the cat?"  (SK, Turkey)

Story #1, Nasrettin

Nasrettin Hoca goes to his neighbor’s house and asks him to borrow his big cauldron for a few days. His neighbor gives him the cauldron. After a week, Nasrettin Hoca gives the cauldron back to his neighbor. While his neighbor is checking the cauldron, he sees a little pot inside of the cauldron and asks what it is. Nasrettin Hoca says:
-Congratulations! Your cauldron gave birth!
The neighbor thinks that this is a good profit and takes them. After a while, Nasrettin Hoca goes to his neighbor’s house again and asks to borrow his cauldron again. His neighbor borrows the cauldron enthusiastically. Two months pass by and Nasrettin Hoca doesn’t bring his cauldron back. The neighbor decides to go and take his cauldron back. When he goes to Nasrettin Hoca’s house and asks for his cauldron, Nasrettin Hoca gets very sad, shakes his neighbor’s hand and says:
-"Please accept my condolences, your cauldron passed away last month."
The neighbor gets mad and yells at him,
-"Dear Hoca what are you saying? How can a cauldron die? A cauldron is not an alive thing.
Then Nasrettin Hoca says:
-You were so happy and believed me when it gave birth. Why don’t you believe it is dead now?
(SK, Turkey)

Shirin and Farhad

Shirin and Farhad
The king of Persia in Sasanian dynasty had a handsome and skillful son, named Khosrow. He fell in love with an Armenian princess – Shirin – when his close friend and companion, Shapour, showed him a picture of Shirin and described her beauty and goodness. Khosrow ordered Shapour to go to Armenian territory and try to seduce Shirin by talking about the prince and showing her a picture of him. Shapour managed to reveal a picture of Khosrow to Shirin in Armenia and tell her that the prince was in love with her. Shirin found the picture very attractive and decided to go to Persia to meet Khosrow. On her way, she stopped at a tranquil spring to bathe. At the same time, Khosrow was passing by the spring to go away from his father who was angry with him. He saw Shirin bathing in the pond and found her as beautiful as a legendary fairy, but he did not know who she was. Once Shirin saw him, he turned his face but could not forget that picture. When Shirin arrived in Madaen, the capital of Sasanian kingdom, she found that Khosrow was not there, and Khosrow found the same thing in Armenia. She returned to Armenia but could not meet Khosrow again because he had to go back home due to his father’s death. The two lovers could not meet for a while because of a chain of strange coincidences. When they finally met, Shirin did not agree to marry the prince because he was defeated by Bahram-e-Choobin, who had succeeded to his throne. Hence, Khosrow went back to claim his country to be able to marry the princess.
Meanwhile, a stone carver, named Farhad, was introduced to Shirin when she was looking for a person who could make a canal between the mountains and her castle to bring milk for her. Farhad fell in love with the princess at first sight and did his best to make her happy by cutting a canal through the hard stone and making a pond of milk by her castle. When Shirin saw his work, she was greatly impressed and gave him her earrings as a reward, which made her even more endearing in Farhad’s eyes. He started writing love letters for her and beautiful poems about her beauty. He became famous for his mad love for Shirin. Khosrow, however, could not resist the fact that another man was trying to steal Shirin’s heart. He decided to use his power by calling him and bribing him to be away from the princess. But soon he found that it was impossible. Farhad was vary determined to win Shirin’s heart. Therefore, Khosrow decided to deceive him into thinking that the princess could be won. Khosrow promised Farhad that if he could cut a passage through the Bistoon Mountains, outside of his castle, Khosrow would let him marry Shirin. Khosrow knew that it was an impossible task and he could never carve a way out of the cliff rocks. But Farhad agreed and it was this point in history when Farhad’s labor of love started. He never gave up and became the symbol of love. People still hear him hitting hard on his blade to cut the rocks. If they do not hear him one night, it means that Farhad is in Shirin’s dream. (SV, Iran)


Sinbad is a famous character in Arab countries. He is a young boy from Baghdad in Iraq. He made adventure stories with his bird named Yasmina and with his friends Ali Baba and Alaa Adin. He did a series of Sinbad journeys to different destinations. 

One day, Sinbad decided to sail with his uncle and his bird Yasmina, which had the ability to speak. In the sea, a whale attacked their boat; at this point Sinbad with his Yasmina separated from his uncle. Here started Sinbad's adventure. He got a new land and knew new two friends.  The first was Ali Baba; he works with thieves but he likes adventures, and decided to involve Sinbad. The second was Alaa Adian; he is an old man who also likes adventures.  

They fought several strange creatures, such as a giant bird, gigantic snakes, mermaids, genies, Lilliputians, and hostile magicians. At the end of each adventure they were victorious over malefactors. Finally, Sinbad killed a blue monster and the magic was gone, and Yasmina returned to her normal life as a beautiful girl. Also Sinbad survived people who a blue monster had changed to stone, and he went back to his home to live with his family.     

 (FA, Saudi Arabia)

The Walker Tadpole

There was once the son of a frog Rinrin Tadpole
One morning he went out very stiffly and very pretty
He was in shorts and a fashion tie
With a nice wedding hat and fancy vest on it
“My son please don’t go,” mom yells,
But he very smugly suddenly leaves.

By the road Rinrin found a mouse,
And he said, “My friend you should come with me,
We can visit Mrs. Mouse and have a feast”

The little mouse and Rinrin arrived at Mrs. Mouse's house
And very elegantly the little mouse knocked on the door at once
After two or three knocks, Mrs. Mouse asks, “Who is it?”
“Me Mrs. Mouse, kiss your feet!”

They say hi to each other while hanging their hands
And suddenly the little mouse said,
“Mrs. Mouse, my little friend needs something to drink,
Please give him a beer and let's start to drink”

While the little mouse was drinking the beer
And asking Mrs. Mouse to bring something to sing
The pretty Rinrin was enjoying this time
With some good drinks and nice music to hear.

Although the party was fun for all
With dancing, drinking and a beautiful song
Suddenly Mom Cat and her kitties arrived at Mrs. Mouse's place
And this wonderful party finally ends.

Mom cat hooked the little mouse's ear
And with her terrific voice just said “hi”
The little kitten caught Mrs. Mouse
Once by the tail and once at the foot

The little Rinrin the walker tadpole
Took his hat and suddenly ran,
And quickly said good bye to all

Rinrin the tadpole was jumping so fast
That he tore his vest and lost his hat
He lost himself and while he was turning around
A hungry big duck suddenly ate the little tadpole

And that how it ends, one, two and three,
little mouse, Mrs. Mouse and Rinrin the tadpole;
The cats ate and the duck too
And finally the poor little Mom frog, remained alone.
(MCRB, Colombia)

Beauty is Nothing

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl who lived with her little sister. Her sister was not as beautiful as she was. The boys always liked the big sister; she was asked to marry. She got presents from boys every day. On the other side the little sister always dreamed about the guy who may love her. She knew that she was not beautiful and every boy was looking for her sister, but she was okay with it. She was very humble and modest.
One day the big sister thought she found her true love. He was the richest boy in the town. She tried to meet with him. She did everything to see him. Finally he noticed her. He was shocked by her beauty. He wanted to get married with her immediately.
They got married. The wedding took 40 days and 40 nights. They started to live together. At first everything was like a dream. They seemed like a perfect couple ever. They were both good looking. And the little sister was living with them. She cleaned her sister’s clothes, she cooked for them, she did everything to make them happy.
Therefore, he realized that his wife is not a nice person. She got used to using people. She forced them do something for her.  She always wanted people to obey her because she was beautiful. And he noticed that she was using her sister too. She treated her like nothing. She used her for everything; she was a terrible person.
One day he heard that she was yelling at her sister, ‘you have to live with us because you do not have anybody, you will always be ugly, nobody will want to marry with you.’ He got very mad. He never thought that his wife was such a devil.
Then he realized that beauty is nothing, the most important thing is personality. 
Kubra Nur Aric, Turkey