A Folk Tale; The Analysis

Posted: December 18, 2009 by aknownemass in Humour
Tags: , , ,

Dear all, it been a while. I can’t quite say that I have missed you but I do hope that you have missed me (okay, this salutation does not make any sense but then again, does any?). Now that we are through with the formalities, I will go straight to my story. It is a story about stories. Those old stories that we heard from our parents and grandparents (or atleast from people who claimed to have heard them from their parents or grandparents). I figured that before we retell them to our children, yes ours, we need to critique them a bit. So here goes the detailed analysis.

A long, long time ago, in a place far, far away…. From my few years on earth, I have come to know one thing and that is that the most interesting stories are not from far away or from long ago. Ever since I began hearing stories from people other than my relatives and teachers (and indeed even from them), I have realised that the most intriguing stories are those of or about neighbours, workmates, prominent personalities and other associates. I have also learnt that the more recent the story, the juicier it is. I therefore wonder why our forefathers and more importantly foremothers, decided not to share these interesting stories from our formative years. I find it hard to believe that neighbours and friends only started to do interesting stuff in the last twenty years or so. Surely there must have been men back then who ended up in the wrong bedroom or women who ‘consulted’ persons with first line access to the dark spirits!

There lived a hare, lion, elephant, tortoise, hyena… Okay, fair enough, all these wonderful creatures must have lived in those far, far away lands. But then again, so must have women, men and children. I therefore find it a tad unfair that the stories opted to pick on creatures that could not defend themselves while leaving out the humans (and here I must say that I am not one of those ‘green’ people or even a vegetarian). Why couldn’t the creators of these tales pick certain people to give some of the qualities that were given to these innocent creatures? Surely in each village there must have been at least one person that was cunning, one that was greedy, a slow guy e.t.c. Probably the only difficulty may have been picking examples of those who were wise or leaders but then, in the very least, the story teller should have presented themselves as the epitome of leadership, the fountain of wisdom etcetera.

The animals used to wake up very early in the morning everyday to work together in their farm. Am sure any person not resident in a communist country will pick up at least ten things wrong with this statement without even having to think (well don’t worry if you can’t pick them up, not all of us were designed for picking, or is it thinking). I believe a more accurate and genuine statement should have in the very least indicated who was waking up the animals, what torture methods they were using, why the animals never had anything more interesting to do (examples here being dating, hiking, skiing, general travel etc), why they never subdivided the land, why they never considered mechanisation, why they worked on Sundays and public holidays, how come the work never ended, was there sick leave, did they have a title deed or how was the land theirs e.t.c.

The animals would work together and joyfully all day tending their crops.. If this here is not a statement aimed at brainwashing, then I do not know what is. The contradictions and untruthfulness in this line alone make me doubt the moral fabric of the peddlers of these stories. In my experience, if the words ‘work’ and ‘together’ follow each other in a statement, they can then not be followed immediately by the word ‘joyful’. More appropriate words would include acrimoniously, discordantly, dissonantly, cacophonously and jarringly (all of which mean inharmoniously, but do I say). Plus, from my farming experience, you do not tend crops all day.

From the fore going, I would suggest that we tell our children stories beginning as follows in future; Last night, in our neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. So and So’s house, the same house where they live with Mrs. So’s younger sister, (you know her?  The one who refuses to wake up anytime before midday), there was a fight. Hopefully by exposing our offspring to the truth from earlier on, they will turn out better than most of you did. Just a thought.

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