Folk Tales

Folk Tales

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When you where a kid did your parents ever tell you stories about your culture or about your family’s values? Chances are they where telling you a folk tale. Folk tales are stories passed down usually by word of mouth but often they are written down. Folk tales teach a valuable life lesson while entertaining the reader or in some cases the listener. This essay will give examples of three folk tales and go into depth on how they teach lessons and still remain entertaining for children and even adults.
The first of the three folk tales I will be discussing is titled The Sheep of San Cristobal, in which a young woman named Filipa looses her only son. She makes ends meet by growing beans and selling them to the local townspeople, who are very sympathetic to Filipa. When a rich sheep herder named Don Jose starts harassing Filipa because she refuses to marry him She wishes for him to fall off a cliff and break his neck, when her wish comes true she feels very guilty and makes penance by giving away all of Don Jose’s sheep to those poor enough to deserve them. At the end of her penance she finds her son. This story tells allot about Spanish Culture and shows how religious the
people are.

The second folk tale is titled From things fall apart. It is a story of a greedy manipulative turtle who tricks a flock of birds out of their feast in the sky, but he soon learns his lesson when the birds take away their feathers and he is forced to jump back to earth thus shattering his smooth shell. This story shows that this culture believes that if you do bad things you will eventually get what is coming to you.The third folk tale is called In the Land of the Small Dragon. This story has many similarities with Cinderella. It is the story of a beautiful young girl named Tam who’s beauty reflects her inner kindness and innocence. Her half-sister Cam is ugly, which reflects her bitter, jealous, and lazy personality. Tams stepmother treats her like a slave and lets Cam do whatever she wants. Later in the story Tam is given new clothes and a
pair of crystal shoes by some animals. A bird takes on of the shoes and delivers in to the emperors son, who is inspired to find the owner of the shoe and marry her.

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This story shows that the Vietnamese culture believes your inner goodness will be shown on you physical appearance and thus promotes good behavior.

Its not hard to see that these three stories are geared mainly towards children, they have many animal characters to help keep children entertained while still teaching a lesson. Folk tales often include such things as magical or fictional creatures and talking animals to amuse and entertain children, From Things Fall Apart and Land of the Small Dragon are good examples of this.
Each of the three folk tales are designed to teach a lesson as well as entertain. The Sheep of San Cristobal teaches two things. First that if you make a mistake you can always make up for it, and second that if you do good deeds life will reward you. From things fall apart taught a similar lesson in that if you are cruel to others you will eventually be punished. The Land of the Small Dragon showed that hard work and humbleness eventually pays off and that you appearance shows what you are like on the inside so it is better to be beautiful and pure of heart then to be bitter and ugly.

I think folk tales are a valuable part of every culture and do a great job of teaching young children right from wrong while still being entertaining.
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