Archive for the ‘Fables’ Category

A Story of Seasons

Every season has it’s story. Some stories are sad, some are fun. Some stories touch you while some make you wonder. Here’s a short story that involves all the four seasons.

Pic by: David Biesack

Fable: There was once a friendly competition between four sisters to judge who was prettiest amongst them. While each sister was exceptionally beautiful, they were all different from each other in nature. Winter, the eldest, was cold and harsh and everyone was afraid of her. Spring was the friendliest and the most popular amongst the four. Summer was warm, but had a mercurial temper. The fourth sister was autumn, who was very shy and generally kept to herself.

Their parents, the Earth and the Sky refused to judge as all daughters were equally beautiful to them. So the daughters went to ask the Sun. The Sun thought for a while and asked them to come to him next day dressed in their finest. Winter dressed in white was impressive but the Sun could not gauge her beauty through the veil of fog. Spring looked lovely in her dress of flowers and bright green leaves and the Sun was impressed. Summer was even better in her revealing dress and seemed to be a clear favourite with the Sun. Autumn was a little hesitant to come out at first, but the other three sisters forced her. When she finally came out in front of the Sun in her amazing colours, he was so shaken up by her beauty that he fell down from his throne.  The crown of gold went to Autumn, and if you happen to catch her at sunset you can see her wearing it with pride.

Moral: The shy and silent are often full of surprises

Fact: The seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis. Sadly, people at the equator only experience one season throughout the year.

Movie: Watch this beautiful video that covers all the four seasons in just 40 seconds.

Read more fables from around the world

Do you know of any more stories about the seasons? Send us a note if you do. Watch out for our story-telling competition with exciting prizes.

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Fable: At the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan was a dense forest that was home to many animals. A group of samurai warriors passing by decided to cut down the forest and make place for a training ground for martial arts. But a monk who lived in a secluded monastery nearby objected. Since the Samurai could not fight the monk, they decided on a simple competition to end the argument. The Samurai and the monk would race to the top of Mt. Fuji and the person who lost would have to leave.

Japanese Fable

The samurai chose their fittest soldier and next morning both the monk and the soldier set off from the base of Mt Fuji to reach its summit. The samurai being young and energetic quickly took the lead. For a while the going was easy, but soon he found his path blocked by thick forests that cut into his flesh when he tried to pass. But the Samurai used his sword and cut his way up. He climbed hurriedly but his path was blocked by steep rocks. The samurai shed his heavy armour and sword and began to climb. He climbed for hours even though the way kept getting tougher. Soon he found himself hanging from a precipice with no way to go further. Many hours passed and by the next morning the Samurai’s strength was completely drained. He was about to let go of his hold and fall down to his death, when a hand reached out from above and pulled the Samurai up. The grateful Samurai was surprised to see that it was the monk who had saved his life. The Samurai was ashamed and he asked the monk how had he managed to climb up so fast. The monk explained that when you climb a mountain, you don’t make your own path, but you let the mountain show you the path.

Moral: We need to learn to make our way around Nature, not against Nature.

Amazing Fact: Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain of Japan. It is one of Japan’s three “Holy Mountains” along with Mount Tate and Mount Haku.

Pic by: Altus
Story by: Nitin Das

From Fable to Film:

On March 11, 2011 a huge tsunami hit the north eastern part of Japan, causing immense damage and taking many lives. Watch this trailer of a short documentary about how the Japanese people took inspiration from nature to rebuild their lives.

Directed by Academy Award Nominated filmmaker Lucy Walker, featuring photography by Aaron Phillips and music by Moby.

Watch more Green Movies>>
Read more Fables from around the world>>

Discussion:  A study has shown that catastrophic incidents related to nature are on the rise. A lot of the world is still debating whether this can be linked to man made activities. But this debate does nothing for the people who suffer.
What can we do to be prepared for the changing times?

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A collection of seven stories from places some would call strange. But in our world, they are called enchanted. Enjoy this collection of strange stories from strange places and watch out for the next round of stories.

strange places chocolate hills

7. Strange place: Chocolate Hills, Bohol, Philippines.
Fact: Spread across 50 sq. km (20 sq. miles.) there are more than 1200 similar shaped mounds covered in green grass. The hills turn brown during the dry season.
Fable: There was once a giant water buffalo, as tall as a small mountain. The buffalo used to eat up all the crops in the fields of the neighbouring villages. So the villagers decided to trick it by offering it huge piles of spoilt food. The buffalo gulped the food but soon fell sick. It ran all over the place, leaving behind it’s enormous droppings. The feces dried and came to be known as the chocolate hills!
Moral: Be careful when accepting a gift or favor from an enemy.
Pic by: Kitseps

 strange places Tsingy madagascar

6. Strange Place: Tsingy, Madagascar
Fact: Near the western coast of Madagascar, exists a strange forest of limestone rocks shaped like giant needles. It is home to many creatures found nowhere else in the world.
Fable: The Silky Sifaka was granted a special gift by the Moon god, which turned it’s silky coat moonlight white in color. The Sifakas were very proud of their good looks, but soon found out that their shiny white coat made them more visible to the cunning Fossa (A cat like hunter). Soon their numbers began to diminish alarmingly. The remaining silky sifakas took shelter in a rocky forest and asked the Moon God for help. To protect his beloved lemurs the Moon god turned the rocks into a forest of huge needles. The jagged rocks were so sharp that they could cut one in half, if one was not careful. It was a hard place to live in, but at the same time it became very difficult for the hunters to catch the silky sifakas and kept them safe.
Moral: Every positive has it’s own negative, just as every negative has it’s own positive.
Pic by: Stephen Alvarez

 strange place devils tower

5. Strange place: Bear Rock (Devils Tower Monument), USA
Fact: A huge tower of rock that rises suddenly from the ground and has strange markings on it’s sides.
Fable: Long ago a group of seven girls went out to play in the forest. They were spotted by several giant bears, who began to chase them. The girls barely escaped by climbing a small rock. But the bears began to dig their claws into the rock and climb it. The girls prayed to the Great Spirit to save them. Hearing their prayers, the Great Spirit made the rock rise from the ground towards the heaven. The bears, began to slip down the slopes and left deep claw marks in the sides of the mountain. When the girls reached the sky, they were turned into the star constellation called the Pleiades (seven sisters).
Moral: If you plan to mess with wild bears, you better have someone to answer your prayers.
Pic by: Colin Faulkingham


strange place Socotra island

4. Strange place: Socotra Island, Yemen
Fact: This island is teeming with more than 700 extremely rare species of plants and animals, a full 1/3 of which are found nowhere else on Earth.
Fable: On a tiny isalnd in the Arabian sea, the Creator had built up a new world with fascinating forms of life. Of all His creations, the most magnificient was the Dragon. A strange but powerful beast that was the king of all animals. After many year when the Creator came to visit the Island, he found none of the other mammals. For the Dragon had eaten them all up. The Creator was furious and turned the dragon into a tree. The strange tree is known as the Dragon tree. If you cut it’s bark, you’ll see the Dragon’s blood.
Moral: Don’t leave a cat to guard your milk.


strange place uluru australia

3. Strange place: Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), Australia
Fact: Uluru is a vast single red stone, larger than an island, that lies at Australia’s heart.
Fable: The tribes were dying. The desert was a hard place to live in. The hard Sun had driven away all the clouds and dried up all the water from the lands. The tribes prayed to the Goddess of Rain, until she took pity. She told them that she would create a great lake that would be invisible to sun. And as the tribes watch a huge rock grew up in the middle of the desert. The tribes were confused. But soon realised that the Uluru’s runoff from the rain, lies deep-set in the sand at it’s base or is held in the roots of desert scrub that grow around it. In a way, the Uluru was an inverted lake.
Moral: Nature has many secrets to tell, but only a few people willing to listen.
Pic by: Digital Reflections


strange place cave of crystals mexico

2. Strange Place: Cave of Crystals, Naica, Mexico
Fact: Mexico’s Cave of Crystals, contains some of the world’s largest known natural crystals—translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet (11 meters).  
: A poor farmer once saved a young girl from drowning . Now the little girl was no ordinary girl, but the daughter of a silver star. Pleased with the farmer, the Star gifted him with an immense treaure of precious crystals. The famer was overjoyed at his luck. But soon his joy turned to fear. He had never seen such wealth. He was afraid, it would get stolen or taken away from him. He asked the Satr to hide his treasure in a deep cave far from everyone’s view. Years passed, the farmer grew old, and his memory grew weak. On his dying day, he called his family to tell them something important, but could not remember what he wanted to say.
Moral: Unused wealth is worthless


strange place great hole belize

1. Strange place: Blue Hole, Belize
Fact: The world’s largest blue hole is a verticle cave in the sea and is one of the most amazing dive sites to explore in the world.
Fable: Long back in time, when Earth was covered in ice, there was a group of sabretooth tigers who lived in a big vertical cave. The cave protected them from other enemies and had been their home for generations. One year a bunch of animals running past their cave warned them of approaching seas. But the sabretooth tiger family did not believe in rumors. They were confident of their strength and the security of their cave. The temperature was rising and more and more animals were seen rushing past the cave. The sabretooth laughed at the scared animals and ignored them. Until one day, a huge wave from the ocean came in and filled up the entire cave within a few seconds. There was no escape for the sabretooth tigers.
Moral: Don’t live in a hole. Stay informed about what’s happening in the world.

All fables written, or collected and retold by Nitin Das.

Read our selection of best fables from around the world>>
See green movies from enchanted lands>> 

What’s the strangest place you know of? Tell us and we’ll try to find and post it’s fable.

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Stories about nature series: Li River, China

In the Stories about nature series we are presenting a collection of wonderful stories from around the world that revolve around nature. These stories show the importance and respect given to nature since time immemorial.

Pic by: Flickr/Primeroz

Fable: In ancient China lived an artist whose paintings were almost life-like. The artist’s fame had made him proud and conceited. One day the emperor wanted to get his portrait done so he called all great artists to come and present their finest work, so that he could choose the best. The artist was sure he would be chosen, but when he presented his masterpiece to the emperor’s chief minister, the old man laughed. The wise old man told him to travel to the Li River, perhaps he could learn a little from the greatest artist in the world.

Reduced to tears with anger and curiosity, the artist packed his bags and left to find out this mysterious master. When he asked the villagers on the banks of the river for the whereabouts of the legendary artist, they smiled and pointed down the river. The next morning he hired a boat and set out to find the illustrious painter. As the small boat moved gently along the river he was left speechless by myriad mountains being silently reflected in the water. He passed milky white waterfalls and mountains in many shades of blue. And when he saw the mists rising from the river and merging with the soft clouds surrounding the peaks, he was reduced to tears. The artist was finally humbled by the greatest artist on earth, Mother Nature.

Moral: We have a lot to learn from Nature, the most important thing being humility.

Amazing fact: The Li River originates in the Mao’er Mountains in Xing’an County in China. Along the 100-kilometer stretch of the Li River, there are beautiful mountain peaks. It is one of China’s most famous scenic areas, featured in many scroll paintings.
stories about nature
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On his dying day, a hermit who had travelled the mountains all his life, spoke of a hidden valley that had trees of gold. But he also warned of an ice monster that guarded the valley. Before he could complete the map to locate the valley, he passed away. The news of this strange story spread like wild-fire and many an adventurer set out to find the promising treasure. They scoured the mountains, high and low. Through valleys filled with flowers and past slopes filled with dark green forests.  They climbed over steep cliffs and cascades of waterfalls but found no sign of the treasure. After traveling for many months, a few of the seekers came to a valley that looked like a desert filled with tall mountains. A cold river ran through the barren landscape of sand, stone, and snow covered peaks, but nothing grew in this harsh terrain.

Disheartened, most of the treasure hunters decided to turn back and head home. But two of them chose to carry on. Their food was running out and so was their patience, but greed for gold is often more powerful than hunger and common sense. Both of them set out into the cold desert and travelled for many days without encountering any sign of life. One morning,  in the distance they saw an orchard of poplar  and willow trees, standing tall and magnificent in the barren landscape.  They decided to camp under the beautiful trees and survive the winter that was fast approaching.

As the season changed, the trees changed color from green to warm yellow and the river turned from brown to cold blue. Ice storms began to loom on the horizon and the mountains cloaked themselves in capes of white snow. And then suddenly as if by magic, one day the sky was crystal blue. Everything became still in anticipation. Slowly the cold sun moved across the bright blue sky and shone upon the valley with the turquoise river and the yellow forest.Towards the evening a gentle but icy wind began to blow and suddenly the bright yellow leaves of the poplar and willow, caught the rays of the setting sun and began to shine as if they were made of gold. Awestruck, the two adventurers finally realized what the hermit was talking about.

The next summer, a search party was organized to find the two missing men. After tracking their trail across the ice desert for many days, the search party spotted the two men in the distance near a small green forest. When they came near, the rescuers found the two men were long dead, their bodies frozen in ice. But surprisingly both the men had a smile on their face. Their bodies were searched but no gold was found. The search party returned home empty handed except for the sad tale that would be told to their children for generations.

Moral: In our chase for wealth, we often forget to appreciate the precious gifts that nature has given us.

Amazing fact: Most leaves don’t actually “change” color. When the days shorten, they lose their masks of green chlorophyll and reveal their natural pigments.

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Youtube link: http://youtu.be/vJFag3IIQXo

Read the fable first, then watch the film:
In the Andes mountains of Ecuador lived two friends, the Cloud and the Forest. They would play with each other, not for hours or days but for weeks that turned into months. One day they had a difference of opinion, which turned into a heated argument that soon became an ego issue. The Clouds decided to move on and Forest decided to focus on growing into newer territories.

Forest Fable

But the animals and birds of the forest very unhappy about this sudden turn of events for their lives depended on the two being together. They thought of a plan to get the two friends back together. The great condor wrote a beautiful apology letter and flew to the Clouds with it saying it was from the Forest. Meanwhile, the anaconda presented a copy of the same letter to the Forest, but signed it in the Cloud’s name. But both the Cloud and the Forest caught on to their trick and scolded them severely.

Seeing their plan fail, the dejected animals and birds prepared to leave the forest and look for another home. That night the forest was very silent. But the next morning everyone was surprised to see the Cloud and Forest back together. Surprised, the Condor, Anaconda and others went and asked the two friends for the reason behind their change of heart. With a smile, the friends explained –
your letters made us realize how well we know each other and also what our friendship means not just to us but also to others around us.

Moral: True friends are hard to find. When you do, hold on to them.

Amazing fact: Only 1% of the global woodland is covered by cloud forests. Climate change and rapid deforestation of the cloud forests is putting the future of many rare birds, animals,insects and plants in grave danger.

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The Sundarban forests (literally meaning ‘beautiful jungle’),  cover parts of India and Bangladesh. They are situated in the area where the mighty rivers Ganges and the Brahmaputra flow into the Bay of Bengal Sea, forming the world’s largest delta. These amazing forests are home of the Royal Bengal tiger.

Bengal Tiger - pic by guppiecat

Fable:  In the Sundarbans, a little-known goddess Bon-bibi graces its forests. The story goes that Bonbibi, the ‘lady of the jungle’, was chosen by God to protect people who worked in the Sundarbans against a greedy man-eating half sage half tiger-demon named Dokkhin Rai.

Dokkhin Rai was a sage meditating in the forest, who was constantly disturbed by the villagers entering the forest to collect wood or honey. In a fit of rage he decided to feed on them. Using his ascetic powers he took the form of a tiger. Soon, he refused to share any of the forest resources with humans. He also started legitimizing the killings by calling them a ‘tax’ – one the villagers had to pay with their lives for the products they usurped from ‘his’ jungle. He proclaimed himself the master of the Sundarbans and of all the tigers spirits, gods, and demons that inhabited it. With time, he became a demon. The trust that had existed between tigers and humans was now shattered.

On noticing this, God decided to put a stop to Dokkhin Rai’s reign of terror. He chose for this task Bonbibi, an orphan who was abandoned in the forest as a baby and was raised by the deer. Along with her twin brother Shah Jangoli, she arrived in the infamous land of the eighteen tides, the deepest part of the Sundarbans which was home to the demon tiger.  But Dokkhin Rai was wily and clever, he always managed to evade them.

At the same time in a nearby village lived a poor young boy called Dukhe – The sad one. He received this strange name because he had a very loud cry. Even as a baby his cries could be heard across the river right up to the neighbouring village. One summer  he was lured by his uncle Dhona to join him for collecting honey from the forest. Dukhe’s mother reluctantly allowed him to leave, with the advice that he should call out to Mother Bonbibi should any harm befall him. Once in the forest, the team was confronted by the demon Dokkhin Rai, who promised to give the evil uncle Dhona seven boats full of honey and wax if he could have Dukhe in return. The greedy Dhona decided to leave Dukhe on the banks of Kedokhali Island and sailed off in his wooden boat. Just as Dukhe was about to be devoured by Dokkhin Rai, he cried out to Bonbibi. Hearing the loud cries Bonbibi was able to locate the elusive tiger and sent her brother Shah Jangoli to beat up Dokkhin Rai.

Sunderban - pic by WildVanilla (Rob)

After a battle that lasted for 7 days Dokkhin Rai was overpowered and brought to Bonbibi. Bonbibi was about to order his death when a wise man named Ghazi intervened.  He pleaded to Bonbibi and argued that if Dokhin Rai was killed there would be no difference between good and evil. Instead of killing the demon, we should kill the reason that led to Dokhin Rai becoming a demon.  Bonbibi  understood the wisdom in this.

A defeated Dokkhin Rai  complained that if the humans are given a free reign, there will be no forest left. So, to be fair and ensure that Dokkhin Rai and his retinue of tigers and spirits stop being a threat to humans, and humans stop being a threat to non-humans, Bonbibi elicits promises from Dukhe, Dokkhin Rai and the Ghazi that they are all to treat each other as brothers. She does this by forcing Dokkhin Rai and the Ghazi to part with some of their wood and gold respectively, and by making Dukhe promise that he and his kind should only enter the forest with a pure heart and empty handed.

She accepted Dokkhin Rai’s apology and accepted him as her ‘son’. Later, she ordered her pet crocodile, Seko, to drop Dukhe to his village. It is after his return to the village that Dukhe popularized the worship of Bonbibi – The lady of the Jungle.

Moral: Senseless wars can end if we understand the real reason behind them. It is important to create a balance in nature, if we wish to have a better future.

Sundarbans - pic by WildVanilla (Rob)

Fact:  In recent times, the Sundarbans have faced serious threats due to environmental degradation. Not only has the felling of trees caused a lot of damage to the soil and the forest itself, but rampant poaching has endangered the existence of Bengal tigers in the area, and is threatening to cause serious imbalances in the ecosystem.
Read more about the Sunderbans>>>
See how you can protect the Tiger>>>

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