Category Archives: Week 12

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

Image result for carpenter

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

Image result for the lion and tiger

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

Image result for largest palace in england

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).