Reading Notes: Filipino Popular Tales

  • I really like the monkey in the tale of the three friends. He seems really resourceful – much more so than his friends. I’d like to potentially rewrite this story with human characters in a different setting and see how it plays out
  • I don’t know what to say about the story of the three brothers of fortune. All I want it to see this from the woman’s point of view. I really want her to get the chance to give the three brothers a piece of her mind
  • I really enjoyed the story about Cochinango. I’m not sure what I would do with this story if I used it for storytelling this week, but I think it would be fun to work with. I could either remove the magical elements or tell the story from the princesses point of view.
  • I feel like the Enchanted Prince story is missing a lot of exposition. I think it would be nice to write about what I image happened leading up the main body of the story. I bet I could come up with something interesting
  • I like that the story of the poor man and his three sons has a moral to it. I have been missing those lately, but I like that this moral is applicable to everyday life. It’s honestly really sound advice

Bibliography: Filipino Popular Tales by Dean Fansler. Web Source.

Image: Flag map of the Philippines by Aira Cutamora. Source: Wikimedia

Week 6 Story: Determination

Scheherazade was with her younger sister, Dinarzade, when they both heard the news.

Everyone in the world knew how much the Sultan Schahriar loved his wife, and to hear of her betrayal of the Sultan. No one was happy. Although Scheherazade, more than anyone, thought of how the Sultan would react. She had observed him for most of their lives – he was not much older than she – and Scheherazade understood the Sultan’s temperament very well. She admired him deeply for the kindness he showed his people, but he was also apt to be impulsive, stubborn, and unlikely to forgive the wrong that had been committed against him.

And so Scheherazade worried.

When her father, the Grand Vizier, announced what the Sultan had decided, Scheherazade and Dinarzade weren’t even present for the proclamation. But the reaction of the people brought the two girls out into the streets. At first Scheherazade thought that the news must be false, and the people hysterical; it seemed impossible that the king had decided to protect his heart by marrying a new woman each night and having her killed in the morning. She and her sister ran to their home in the palace and asked to speak to their father. When he did arrive, he seemed to have aged years in the few hours since Scheherazade had seen him. She didn’t even have to ask to know that the rumors were true.

At first Scheherazade held out the hope that Sultan Schahriar would change his mind. But as night after night passed and more and more young women fell victim to the Sultan, Scheherazade knew something had to be done. As upset and frightened as everyone was, no one seemed to be prepared to do everything, and nothing came close to breaking the sultan’s resolve. But this could not be allowed to continue.

And so Scheherazade planned.

She thought through everything she had learned of Sultan Schahriar over her whole life, wracking her brain for anything that could be more powerful that his fear and sorrow. Scheherazade grew more determined every day that the sultan took a new wife, but each scheme she created seemed bound to fail. Until one day she told her sister Dinerzade a story that she had forgotten the ending to. Dinerazade queationed Scheherazade for days about the ending, even asking her to create something. Scheherazade was reminded of the insatiable curiousity that the young sultan had never grown out of.

When Sultan Schahriar was young, all of his tutors loved that he would learn anything they could teach him. As he grew older, his tutors despaired because they had already taught him everything, and now he asked questions they couldn’t answer.

A story then, Scheherazade decided. A story that would never end, to hold the sultans curiosity until he remembered that he was a good and kind man, and not a monster. But it would have to be a truly wonderous story to convince Sultan Schahriar to go against his original proclamation. Scheherazade all but locked herself in her room, Hardin each day that she wasn’t ready and another girl died, but knowing she would join them if she didn’t prepare properly.

At last, Scheherazade felt that she was ready. She could go up against the sultan and remind him of who he really was behind the hurt and the fear. All that was left was to put her plan into motion. Scheherazade knew she could do this.

“Father, I have a favor to ask of you. Will you grant it to me?”


Author’s Note: This story is based on the frame tale story of the Arabian Nights (or 1001 nights) where a sultan is betrayed by his wife and declares that he will take a new wife each night and see her killed the next day. A young woman named Scheherazade marries the sultan and tells him a wonderful story that she isn’t able to finish in one night. The sultan allows her to live until she finishes the story, and he ends up falling in love with her and trusting her enough to let her live. I thought that the beginning of the story was too rushed, and I wanted to show some of what I image Scheherazade was thinking as all of the events leading up to her storytelling were happening

Bibliography: The Arabian Nights translated by Andrew Lang. Web Source.

Image: Arabian Nights by Quentin088. Source: Pixabay

Reading Notes: Twenty-Two Goblins (B)

  • Honestly I don’t really want to finish this story because it’s so repetitive, but I feel like I’m too invested to quit now
  • I feel as if it might be a tad bit more realistic if the king told the Goblin to shut up and stop telling stories. That would make everyone’s lives easier!
  • I like how the story about the thief was a trick question. The thief both laughed and cried
  • I’m not sure how I feel about the story of the man who switched bodies with the dead boy. It seems like a bad thing to do, but the morality isn’t mentioned. I’m not sure how I feel about these stories. I like that they’re different but I don’t know if that makes me like the stories themselves
  • I like that the king didn’t win anything. He just talked to the Goblin and played his game, which made the goblin happy enough to help the king. That’s probably the best part of the story so far

Bibliography: Twenty-Two Goblins translated by Arthur W Ryder. Web Source.

Image: Shiva by ManasMishra31. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: Twenty-Two Goblins (A)

  • I like how creepy the premise of this story is. I haven’t read anything like it before and it’s nice to not feel like I’m reading the same thing over and over again
  • I really like that there is a reason the king can’t just lie and give the wrong answer to save himself some trouble. That was my first thought, but it’s not that he wasn’t smart enough to think of it, it’s that he can’t!
  • Honestly, I liked this story at the beginning, but the lack of progress in the frame story is kind of obnoxious and repetitive. I think the story would be much better if we saw what was happening in the frame tale as well as the riddles.

Bibiography: Twenty-Two Goblins translated by Arthur W Ryder. Web Source.

Image: Full Tree by Kahlid Mahmood. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: 1001 Nights (B)

  • Why is it always idle young boys who go through some crazy experiences and mature? Why isn’t there ever any other plot device? I want to read (or write) about a young boy who works and studies hard and finds the lamp for himself and see what he decides to do with it!
  • Honestly it’s kind of creepy that Aladdin followed the sultan’s daughter to the bath like that. And he fell in love at first sight. Even if I didn’t change a thing I would have to give this story more details!
  • I hate that the Sultan only cares about what price his daughter will fetch when he sells her in marriage. I know that was normal for the times, but it really bothers me.
  • Honestly I really appreciate that the story doesn’t end with the happily ever after. I think more stories should extend beyond that
  • Good idea Aladdin, to put the powder in the wine. It’s the first smart thing he did.
  • I feel like Aladdin got a whole lot for basically nothing. He didn’t have to try hard or anything. He was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t really sit well with me

Bibliography: Arabian Nights translated by Andrew Lang. Web Source.

Image: “Aladdin and the Princess” by J. B. Lippincott & Co. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: 1001 Nights (A)

  • I want to see this from Scheherazade’s point of view. Why has she decided to do this? What changes? Has she been planning this for a while? Is she scared?
  • I like that the man was honorable enough to actually return to face the Genii, but I wonder what happened during that year he put his affairs in order. How did his family react? What plans did they make?

So I really like this story so far, but I find that I’m more interested in the frame story than any of the individual stories. I wonder what the Sultan is thinking as Scheherazade keeps telling story after story. Has he changed his mind about her? Does he understand what she’s trying to do? What did he think about killing all the young women he married? I think this story is much more interesting than the stories the Sultana tells.

Bibliography: 1001 Nights, translated by Andrew Lang. Web Source.

Image: Scheheradzade by Édouard Frédéric Wilhelm Richter. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: The Iliad (B)

  • I don’t know if this counts as a reading note, but now I really want to watch Troy
  • Athena is really a jerk in Hector’s death scene. I wonder what would have happened without her
  • I wand Andromache to fight for vengeance for Hector. Even if it’s just shooting arrows from the walls of the city, I want her to take her husband’s place leading the soliders
  • I absolutely hate that it ends with Hector’s burial. That’s not much of an ending at all! I think it would be much better to end with the Trojan Horse, or with Aeneas escaping

Bibliography: The Iliad by Homer. Web Source.

Image: Triumph of Achilles in Corfu Achilleion by Franz Matsch. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: The Iliad (A)

  • Did Helen want to marry Menelaüs or was she forced to? Did she want to go with Paris or did he kidnap her? I want details!
  • I like Achilles, but I want to know why he is favored by Athena and Hera both
  • I want to know what changed Achilles’ mind about the two lots in life his mother had offered him
  • I wonder what Helen is thinking during all of these battles. Does she care that all of these people are dying because of her? I want to see it from her point of view

Bibliography: The Iliad by Homer. Web Source

Image: Helen of Troy by Evelyn de Morgan. Source: Wikimedia

Reading Notes: Cupid and Psyche (B)

Today I finished reading Cupid and Psyche for Mythology and Folklore.


  • Honestly I’d love to write this from Venus’ point of view. She seems so dang angry, I want to get in her head and figure out why
  • What if it wasn’t ants that helped Psyche. I think it would be funny if Vulcan sent some of his little creations to sort the pile, just to spite Venus. They always had a rocky relationship. Or if she did something crazy that technically fit the instructions, but wasn’t what Venus had actually asked for
  • I think it would be really funny for Pandora to narrate the part of the story where Psyche opens the jar of “Divine Beauty.” I think she would have a lot to say to someone who should have learned from her mistakes
  • Then “Wedding Feast” portion of the story is so rushed! I want more detail or, at the very least, a window into Venus’ thoughts

Bibliography: Cupid and Psyche by Apuleius. Web Source.

Image: Olga Fersen on a Donkey by Karl Brullov. Source: Wikimedia