Reading Notes: More Jataka Tales, Part A

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I read a different version of Jataka Tales written by Ellen Babbitt earlier in the semester. I really enjoy the use of illustration in her pieces signifying an illustrator, and I enjoy the retelling of Jataka stories.

In The Monkey and the String of Pearls, I found it an interesting point that the string of pears were such a treasure. They were so highly treasured that a servant kept eyes on the jewellery box. As soon as the servant fell asleep the monkey was quick to grab the string of pearls and hide them. As soon as the servant awoke, she found the string of pearls had been stolen, screamed it, and guards showed up everywhere. Again, these pearls were so treasured. The king ordered them to immediately discover who stole the beads, and I thought it was very interesting how they did so. I feel like in real life, this definitely wouldn’t have worked out to where the plan identifies the thief, and I could create a modern approach to this story. Better yet, I could tell this story from the Girl monkey who stole the pearls point of view. One thing I’ve noticed is there’s always many Jataka tales involving monkeys!

Another story I really enjoyed and would like to recreate is the Red-Bud Tree. I thought this tale was different from the general tales here, and I enjoyed the differences. Since the four princes saw the red-bud tree at different times of the year it looked different to each of them. Only one lucky son actually saw the red buds on the tree, so the rest of them thought it was a phony. Interestingly, they didn’t realize that different seasons mean different actions and looks for trees. This reminds me though of how people can all be looking at the same thing, but they interpret it differently. If I were to re-write this story, I could use that as the main point. I do like this tale though, and I could even just give more detail and have the same storyline as this one.

More Jataka Tales by Ellen Babbitt. 1922.

Image One: Brown Spider Monkey found on Wikipedia.

Reading Notes: The Giant Crab, and Other Tales from Old India, Part A

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First of all, I adore all of the illustrations in this book. It was so hard to pick a picture for my post, because I love all of the images. Based on the year this book was written, 1897, I was expecting something totally different. I guess I was expecting the language to be hard to understand, but this felt like a modern read to me, easy to understand and dialogue galore. The stories were all so cute, I had a hard time choosing a few to really think about rewriting a story to. The Hypocritical Cat was one of my favorites, and I enjoyed the great amount of dialogue involved. The story had a huge plot twist, like who would think the rats would end up killing the cat? I didn’t like that the cat was killed, so I could change this story to where the rats all stand together and fight for change some how. Instead of killing the cat, they could offer the cat some delicious cat food that they find on their scrummages? There are so many different ways I could change this story to where the meaning is the same but the cat doesn’t have to die.

Another story I really enjoyed and would like to create my own story over is The Wise Parrot and the Foolish Parrot. I definitely got a kick out of the parrot names, Beaky and Tweaky. I think it would be fun to keep Beaky and Tweaky as the parrots and develop the owner more. When the owner leaves, Beaky and Tweaky could actually be watching the owner’s dog instead. It would be comical to have the dog doing silly things while the owner is gone and having Beaky and Tweaky as tattle tales to change up the story. I think the amount of dialogue in all of these stories is so useful. When I create my own, I will for sure include dialogue.

The Giant Crab, and Other Tales from Old India by W. H. D. Rouse and illustrations by W. Robinson in 1897.

Image One: Two parrots found on Flickr.

Famous Last Words: Break Nearing?

Reading the announcements for this class makes me realize just how close we actually are to the end of the semester. It really amazes me that I graduate at the end of this semester. I’m so ready to graduate, but at the same time I think…already? I’ve really enjoyed this weekend because I got to come home to visit friends, family, and of course my animals.

It’s not that I’ve been procrastinating for my classes, it’s more like I’m just struggling to manage my time well. For a while I really thought I had it mastered, but now as my hours are cut at work, I’m finding that I’m actually more productive working around a “constant” schedule working more hours.
I completed both reading assignments and the storytelling assignment early this week and was determined to stay ahead. However, many unexpected things happened, and once again I’m here Monday morning trying to finish up some assignments.

After running so short on time, I decided that I primarily wanted to finish my story addition to my storybook. That was most important, because I plan to add another story to complete the book and to do so I can’t fall behind. I also really enjoy the storybook project, so I find joy in thinking about and creating new stories. For my capstone class I think I’ve actually came a long way. I know exactly what I’m doing for my project now, and it excites me to finish it.

I’m going to push through the end of the semester lack of motivation, and I will finish strong. Maintaining a growth mindset is actually very important in times that it’s hard to find motivation. I look back and think “why is it hard to find motivation when I’m so close to graduating and that should be a huge motivation?” My answer to that is still not fully understood. I know that I can and will finish strong, but I’m definitely going to have to improve my motivation level.

Image One: Thanksgiving Day Turkey from Pixabay.

Reading Notes: Overview of Jataka Tales, Part B

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After the continuation of the book, I definitely think that many of these stories are harder to grasp than the more modern stories. Although they do contain a much more cultural background, which is cool, it just requires more google searches to understand some of the characters and what exactly is going on. I enjoyed most of the stories in this section, but some of them I was just confused about. Since my focus this week was to expand an original story giving it more depth, I tried to think of that while reading. One story that I just didn’t quite understand was The Foolish Friend. I think this is the main story that needs more development. Dialogue could definitely be of use in this story as well.

In The Foolish Friend, a mosquito was on the father carpenters head, stinging him. He asked the son to get it away, and that’s when the son told him to be very still, raised up an axe, and next thing you know the father was on the ground dead (Bodhisatta there). He apparently only had intentions of killing the mosquito from the father’s head. The overall meaning seems to resemble that friends with no sense are worse than enemies with sense. I do like how Bodhisatta talks in all of these stories. He’s basically always there, and he’s the voice of reason. He sums up the moral of each story, so I’d want to do the same approach.

I could create a story with two best friends in this same situation, Bodhisatta there witnessing. I would expand on the background of the story, giving each character personality and reason, as well as setting the scene. Instead of a mosquito annoying one of the friends, I’d use a spider or snake, something that modernly scare people much more. One best friend could try to save the other, but things could shift when the friend isn’t smart enough to realize the damage that whatever is decided will do to his best friend as well.

Jataka Tales by H.T. Francis and E.J. Thomas. 1916.

Image One: Hall Carpentry from Wikimedia Commons.

Reading Notes: Overview of Jataka Tales, Part A

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I chose the overview of jataka tales as my option for this weeks readings because once again, I really enjoy the jataka tales. I thought this one might be a little different based on the year it was written. I also thought this was a good option because it can accommodate for 6 weeks of reading. This gives me the option to stick with this book for the remaining 4 or so weeks of the semester, or the option to change to different reading if I don’t enjoy it as much. The one thing I didn’t like much is the lack of pictures. I enjoy when text (especially these tales) are accompanied by pictures (like in our posts). Granite, this was written in 1916, but any re-telling I do will obviously contain a picture as well!

As far as the reading goes, I think these versions contained a more cultural feel. In the first story, The Little Gildmaster, I thought the writers did a great job at keeping the cultural context alive. Many of these stories contain much more detail than the typical jataka tales I’ve been reading, but this book also contains some very short tales. My main goal for the next storytelling assignment is to expand and make one of the short tales into a longer, more meaningful tale. The Cold Half of the Month was a battle of it being cold between the lion and tiger living at the foot of the mountain. The Bodhisatta made peace between the friends, assuring them they were both right and the story was over. I could expand this story so much. I could give so many more descriptions about the lion and tiger, actually making them more into characters. The setting of a scene would also be nice, because in this tale they don’t really discuss the scenario or anything at all much.
I actually read the content for both part A and B last night, and I’m just now getting around to typing up the first note. I took notes on many great readings I found, but again, the goal I have is to expand one of theses stories to make it great, and The Cold Half of the Month leaves me so much room to expand!

Jataka Tales by H.T. Francis and E.J. Thomas. 1916.

Image One: Luke the Lion accessed from Flickr.

Week 12 Story: One City Dog Saves the Day

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In the largest castle of occupied residence, Windsor Castle, located 20 miles west of London lives King Great, Queen Awesome, and their royal family. Accompanying the family is dozens of dogs. They have guard dogs, palace dogs, and even the visiting outside city dogs. Every day the king drives through the city on his chariot pulled by two white, gorgeous horses switched daily between the six they owned. After a long day, the trainers take the horses to the stable for a good night’s rest. The chariot is left by the stable with the harnesses and tack atop, and not touched until the next day.

On this quiet night with stars shining bright in the night sky, the palace dogs were feeling mischievous after the king had gone to bed and the horses were back in their stables.

“Let’s have some fun tonight. The king and queen will never know,” the chief palace dog said to the rest of the palace dogs, assuring for no trouble because everyone was asleep. Immediately, the dogs took the leather harnesses and used them as dog toys. They bit, growled, swung, and passed the harnesses from dog to dog not realizing the damage they were creating.

“Everybody STOP!” yelled the chief dog as he began to notice total destruction.

“We must fix this disaster. We will be forced outside the palace if the king finds his harnesses all destroyed,” he continued, with tears in his eyes.

The dogs ran around the palace looking for new harnesses, leather repair machines, anything. With no luck on their side, the dogs shrugged accepting their fate.

***

“Chief, look what I found for y’all!” yelled one of the visiting city dogs.
He reached out his paw with brand new harnesses and tack.
“We found these at the palace 15 miles from here when we heard of the disaster. The king and queen there were very friendly and gladly gave their harnesses and tack to me,” he continued.

The chief’s eyes lit up. He was thrilled. How could an outside city dog be friendly enough to save the lives of all palace dogs living at Windsor Castle.

“Thank you so much, I will repay you,” spoke the chief dog.

***

The next day the king awoke and walked to his chariot prepared by the trainer, awaiting him.

“Wow, the tack looks wonderful. Thank you so much for blessing me with new tack,” the king said to the trainer.

The chief dog sighed in relief, but knew he had to tell the king all about what happened and how the city dog saved the day. He ran to the chariot and jumped on with the king as they both strolled through the city. The chief had time to tell the king all about the betrayal the palace dogs had done, and with that the king bowed in forgiveness. He then ordered for that very special city dog to come to his palace. For he would forever live as a palace dog after the great efforts he made. Furthermore, the king ordered rich food for ALL of the surrounding city dogs and they all lived happily ever after.

Author’s notes:

I wanted to set the background as an actual palace, so I searched the largest palace, and found the Windsor Castle. It was the weekend home of Queen Elizabeth II, but in my story it’s the residence of Queen Awesome and her family. The story I got my idea from was The Guilty Dogs in Twenty Jataka Tales. The story sets in an unnamed city where the king rides his chariot with six horses through daily. The palace dogs decide to have some fun and end up destroying all of the harnesses and tack. The next day when the king found out, he ordered that all of the city dogs must be killed assuming it was city dogs who broke in to destroy his supplies. The city was broken hearted, because several hundred dogs were ordered a death sentence. The chief dog knew there was no way for city dogs to enter the village, and though he wasn’t a part of it in the original, he knew the palace dogs did this. He fought for lives of all city dogs by bringing all royal dogs to the king and giving them kusa grass and buttermilk. Sure enough, leather shreds were coming from the royal dog’s mouths. The king then ordered rich food be given to ALL of the city dogs and everyone lived happily ever after. I really enjoyed the original, but I changed the plot of the story, as I wanted the city dogs to save the palace dogs.

Bibliography:

Image One: Windsor Castle accessed from Wikipedia.

Image Two: Horse and Carriage located from Pixabay.

Twenty Jataka Tales by Noor Inayat (Khan).

 

Reading Notes: Twenty Jataka Tales, Part B

I really wanted to finish the Twenty Jataka Tales this week, and since I missed the due date, I’m going to use this reading as my extra credit reading option. Once again, these have been my favorite readings in this class. I adore Jataka tales, and it’s wonderful to me that they use animals as the main characters.

I loved the little poem in The Patient Buffalo that the monkey said stating that he’s not afraid of the buffalo and the buffalo isn’t afraid of him. The buffalo was really my favorite character. This story reminded me of when children will poke and prod the parent to get what they want. The monkey got no reaction from the buffalo so he finally was sent away by the fairy. When children get no reaction from a joke or whatever, they typically tend to pipe down a bit. I just loved the buffalo’s attitude. He also reminded me of Eeyore. This could be re-written with Eeyore as the buffalo and maybe tigger as the monkey? The plot could be changed to where the fairy doesn’t send tigger away, but tigger could figure out the annoyance and fix it.

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The Great Elephant was another favorite of mine, mostly because I LOVE elephants. I was a bit confused at first when the elephant was telling the weak people that there was an elephant down there to eat. It all made sense when he crashed his body from the hill to the exact spot he spoke of an elephant being. The men were so thankful but at the same time they didn’t want to eat their very own friend. But they knew if they didn’t eat him, his sacrifice for them would’ve been all for nothing. The elephant gave his own life to save the hundreds of men lost in the desert. I could make my own story, but instead of the sacrifice being the elephant’s life, I could make it something less detrimental.

Image One: Elephant found on Wikimedia Commons.

Twenty Jataka Tales by Noor Inayat (Khan)

Famous Last Words: What a Week

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If the image above doesn’t describe this week perfectly than nothing does…

For starters, my napping and procrastination habits for the week have been at an all-time high. It’s strange how that works. I cut down on my hours at work and somehow end up having less time to work on and complete my homework? Nope, that’s not acceptable.

In capstone everything has been going well, and I am getting more and more excited the closer that we get to the end of the semester in there. The overall experiment project is definitely tough, but it will be so worth it if I ever decide to go into a research lab. I’ve learned a lot of skills and techniques, and I can’t wait to see the final product of my experiment.

I missed the second reading and storytelling assignments this week, and I’m so annoyed at myself for letting that happen. There’s no excuse since my week hasn’t even been that crazy, honestly. Since there’s a grace period for assignments, I plan to wake up tomorrow morning (since I don’t have class) and get straight to work on some extra credit options for week 11. I have completed the first reading, project, and project feedback today, but I plan to finish blog comments after this post. An easy extra credit assignment that I also really enjoy is the extra commenting. I like to find the stream of posts on canvas and choose from that list to comment on peoples blog posts. That way I’m actually reading different posts for different assignments rather than the introduction and storytelling.

As the semester nears the end, I’ve got to step up and find motivation for graduation. The fact that I could seriously complete this class before Thanksgiving if I wanted to and set my mind to it is very exciting. My plan is to finish early, and to do that I HAVE to get back ahead. I know I say this every week, but this week my main focus throughout the week is to get ahead in this class. I enjoy the work in here, and I want to find ample time to sit down and enjoy working on the assignments.

Image One: What a week this has been accessed on Gina’s blog by Brunna.

Reading Notes: Twenty Jataka Tales, Part A

For some reason, these Jataka tales as told by Inayat seemed more developed than the previous tales I’ve read. Many of these stories are so similar and just different versions of the other Jataka tales I’ve read. For that reason, I tried to find the ones that aren’t related and give me a whole new set of ideas.

My favorite of these first tales was The Guilty Dogs. Why? First of all, because it includes both of my favorite animals in it (horses & dogs). It also is so fitting! Young dogs especially could be suspicious for taking and eating something that is needed! When the guilty dogs destroyed the royal chariot equipment I thought it was so funny! Though obviously it wasn’t funny to the royalty since they ordered for all of the dogs to be killed (which made me furious at first). I liked the twist during the story that it was the royal dogs and they were after the city dogs. Come to find out, the royal dogs were the guilty ones. I could do so many different versions of this story. The dogs could go for a different activity and steal the harness and run around with the chariot instead of destroying it. That way, there would be no proof of who actually did it, and the king would just have to take the royal dog’s word for who did it.

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I found great joy in reading The Golden Feathers. I can just picture a fairy turning a father setting out to provide and find fortune for his family into a goose with gold feathers. I wondered what the wife and children were thinking about their husband/father never returning? I could tell this from the daughter’s point of view. The daughter could end up finding out that it was actually her dad flying and providing their fortune, and this could cause a change of events. I would still keep the story the same in relations that the father flies far away after being robbed and mistreated by his own wife, and when she finds out she has to live with that regret. It’s a life lesson that she had to find out the hard way, but I really want to provide a whole family reaction to the events.

Image One: Golden Goose accessed on Wikimedia Commons.

Twenty Jataka Tales by Noor Inayat (Khan)