The book contains folk, cautionary tales, myths and legends which inspired damsels to overcome challenges in their environment: predators, hunger, oppression, or aggression, and traditional male norms and standards.
This is a class theme: a seal or snake skin, a maiden's clothing, fairy's wings stolen to capture the magic and power for the stealer, in this tale a beautiful maiden from the heavenly realms. This male knows, the female and he possesses differences and each must and should be honor, still he steals her identity to keep her. We see this disrespect for equality for races and ethic differences. We have our special powers to use. Respect of the other is for each to profit. Patiently, the maiden deals with her constraints and gives rice to the people. Only again her offering taken for the prestige of the Monarch, who states a daughter of the maiden married into his family. Eventually, he claims the rice as his gift; he only fools himself. The women know and have statues of the Rice Goddess in their kitchens.
Always check the pronouns used to box us, who spoke, why used and how. Notice the voice, and who the person is that used the pronouns. He vs she, his vs her, us vs them, ours vs theirs, or me vs you; this usage splits us causing differences. We are all beings and must be treated as equals. I could never understand why those who dominate have power, why this domination rises to the top. While the dominated relate with fear. Worst is the admiration for this evil. I think this is a madness within the human and must be recognized. An animal gene to dominate over the group; the best at the kill. Remember, one weed in the garden, if not pulled, will grow over the flowers taking the sunlight and nourishment for growth and casting seeds to strangle others. We must not be boxed in, or all growth will smother, as a fungus in the garden that sucks life from everything eventually starving itself.
Bullies are everywhere, and not noticed because we are so a costumed to moving and getting out of the way of a mean, strong person. The women folk in Damsels Overcome taught me to stand against a bully with the power, emotion, and wisdom I have. The more I stood on my ground the strong I became. If needed talk back to the bully, challenge his/her threats. Our fear feeds the bully and makes his/her power more real. We are reality, what we think and do - face the bully. See your powers offered to defeat him or her. The bully has weakness and as you face the violence, you see these are what the bully is nothing but words used to cause fear.
The hardest weed to pull is an attitude we accept, and then we spread the seeds by actions and voice. Attitudes ingrained in our souls, bodies, speech, and vision, which we do not notice, and most times will not admit we have a negative attitude and opinion while throwing them everywhere and at whomever we meet. Worst, we school our children with these outdated weed seeds. Open up, LOOK, WATCH, and LISTEN to what is said. Evaluate narratives, whose voice, what is sold, and why believe this narrative. Actually, question the narrative's benefit --> yes, who benefits from the belief, attitude, opinion, standard, norm sold to you. If you are the scammed or 'underdog,' time for some protective growling. Never pass on negatives, which are exhausting to the health and well being of everyone.
A hand pump in the kitchen for water, a wood burning stove, an outside toilet, a small roomed house crowded with her teenaged sons, my Grandma Bessie's house. A large garden with vegetables, apple and cheery trees with chickens and a goat, and a pond for water; my Grandma's yard. A surviver, her first husband died and left her with my mother and her three brothers. Her second husband lost his well-paying job at the Golden Cycle Mill after running over a lady in the rain. While he was in jail, my Grandma married Dad Spence, and birthed two more sons. She waited on this cranky, mean broken man. When Dad Spence died, her life began: she worked in the corner grocery store, went square dancing, and got envolved in her church. Grandma had walked to Limon, Colorado from Indiana. Without complaining, she faced obstacles. Grandma Bessie is my inspiration, a little hen that would, could, and did.
For the book, I studied folktales about the weaker sex, the inferior, the helpless servants written by white male scribes. When I reworked the tales in a female narrative, I could see and hear her voice. Damsels had skills and achievements beyond what was told. Damsels were subtle warriors of persistent and productivity. One of the best ways to overcome negative tags is in education, which opened to working class girls in the late 1960's. I took that opportunity encouraged by my mother and father to attend college. My mother and her mother prevented education in the controlling male narratives in their lives. Many young girls traveled as I did into teaching, nursing or became secretaries. Today opening more doors to equality for their daughters and even sons. Damsels have power, persistance, are brave and fearless, and achieved respect. Remember, always analyze the narratives that play in your mind.
The damsels in folktales enlightened progress for survival by their coping skills. Knowing and understanding their attitudes are gifts. Damsels used skills to overcome hardships. Today, the damsels’ of folklore strengthen my journey through harmful narrations in society. I have the values of the damsels to success by flexibility, education, my capabilities, other's support, and my resistance to the negative put-downs left in our societies codes and norms dictated in these in old folktales we all heard or read as children.
The stories included in Damsels Overcome are about damsels who did what they could while confined. Their strength encouraged me in my tangle with the male narratives stating what I could be, should be, and not to be. My mother, bless her, was stopped from her dream of education. She gave me the approval to graduate from college and step forward with the audacity to move, grow, and flourish as I do today. All of us, male or female, need driving force to overcome restrictive social standards --> we are all capable no matter. The damsel: the helpless, the weak, the inferior, through persistence reach beyond negative social narratives to spread achievements of what we are and will be.
In older times, girls married off at age twelve “to be taken care of,” an owned piece of property. She expected to give her gifts of children and services for male's prosperity. After many protests, thank goodness today, the anguished cries of women finally heard and laws passed, so that damsels are equals in society. Today’s males, as partners, help with family tasks, providing women time to achieve as doctors, nurses, news forecasters, lawyers, scientists, professors, politicians, judges, or CEOs, or even run their own companies. The protests and laws fought by grandmothers, mothers, and my peers saved us. My daughter and son have more freedom to cross the traditional lines of male social norms and codes.
The Heaven Maid, a damsel, her indemnity stolen and her justice to a selfish husband. Early folktales written from the male’s perspective speak of “females as mysterious.” Females wanted and used for the gifts they own. A helplessly abandoned “damsel” depending on a young lad for help; all the while, he is the deceiver. The captured maiden offered her gifts to his society. She accepted without question, giving her talents to the man that stole her. I think of secretaries who did all the work in the office, and the male given credit. Today the Heavenly Maiden is honored in every kitchen of Java, a satisfying ending for another damsel, a woman server. However, this tale later twisted by the male royalty—the Heavenly Maiden daughter's was fed by the father in a secret hut. Then this daughter married to a king; thus, she became royalty to suit the spread of his prestige—his relationship to the Rice Goddess. Protect your gifts!
In the Naga Princes a story from Java, we meet BoSinh a rice farmer and the Princess Naga who can come a maiden to speak to BoSinh; later she brings her sister (a damsel) to learn of the human ways. Notice the male has a name, BoSinh. In the eastern half of our globe, the snake, naga, symbolizes emotion to be honored, controlled. Today, many women are afraid of snakes and must maintain that attitude at costs to equality. Male is in control; the rice farmer teaches and educates. He is the supreme and honored being above all animals. Later the sister naga becomes Bosinh's wife in human form. Men receive adoration from the women in these ancient traditional tales. Education then was as important as now. Thanks to these damsels, today's women teach skills and talents as well as men.
Raven, the female narrator, demonstrates she has freedom and has liberty; she flies. She eats what she wants, not tattered or fenced by a male farmer. She has concerns about her friends; she warns them, and some listen. * * * My lesson is to watch and listen for coded pronouns which announce social negative norms, to recognize who speaks, what words used, and why said. Thanks to narrators who resist the negative norms and persist on recognition, worth, and value for everyone. Authors, male and females, must state over and over again that social norms include everyone: all cultures and genders…our rights.
My favorite fable is Turtle and Hare because I think of myself as a turtle, slow and steady, and somehow, finally, understanding what I know is true, not what I read or was told. My voice is important. We must use the female voices from our grandmothers and our mothers that resonate equality in our bones. The females can re-image time, scenes, place, characters, and events to enhance, resonate, and vitalize stories in a female voice about what happens for her. Today is the time for female storytellers and writers to reappraise the stories told in the twelfth to the eighteen centuries and even today written by males. Today is the day for women, ladies, the damsels to tell traditional stories in female narratives to understand what women feel, see, sense, and live from her point of view.
Thoas loved the dragon who he helped, well saved, not as a Knight in Shining Armor saving a helpless damsel. Thoas is a concerned person helping a creature in distress. I believe there is a difference between the helper and the champion. A line exists between the two, the Knight seeks and wants glory; the helper is a silent hero, aiding, which in this tale builds a bond between the boy and the dragon. The boy and dragon separated by fear from the shepherds have a bond of respect, love. Thoas is not tangled in pride. So, when the boy needs and screams for his friend's help, as the young dragon once screamed for help; she, now called Kua, flies to aid her friend.
Troll symbolized oppression and ownership illustrated by his words, “Who tramps over my bridge.” Goats are survivors of harsh climates—sure-footed, balanced, and flexible, able to climb precarious cliffs. Their “horns of plenty” fight enemies. The extorted knows not whom he extorts. Today in society, the negative norms sit under the bridges of opportunity to block, threaten, and discourage anyone from crossing over to prosper. For centuries, male-dominated sociolinguistics guard laws and attitudes to prevent passage over bridges to fertile lands: places to live, proper food, productive jobs, and just education. Our voices are horns blown against troll norms for more just equality laws without cruelty, injustice, hardship, suffering, or servitude. Our horns demand bridges to freedoms and opportunities.
The mean thing couldn't escape. We tease, “Nia yeah, Nia yeah Nia; you can't catch us.” Being young we could run fast, off I went. I lead out in front and all of a sudden I tripped over my feet and fell in the dirt. My friend screamed by me. Alone with the monster, who was ready to pounce, I screamed and shouted. I twisted. I kicked the monster. It would not eat me. After a while I got tired and stopped to discover only dust flew around me. I cough then became quiet. I heard the crickets singing, I smelled sweet flowers, and the stars sparkled. I got up dusty and my knees leaked. I brushed them off. When I looked up, in a beautiful golden light stood a gorgeous lady dressed in yellow; she smiled at me. She was not my mother, not an angel, not a fairy. I stood, brushed myself off, and walked across to my friends…waiting. This was Durga, the Hindi Goddess that helps when you ask, and I asked. I met her again at the Asian Art Museum when I told stories in the Hindi gallery. She is now part of my book Damsels Overcome, she is part of all of us - and will come.
As a girl child, my mother, bless her, helped. She pushed her daughter to believe in herself. My mom was a warrior; she worked outside the home for money against the social norms. She forced me to think of myself as a girl who could almost do anything she wanted. Then, in the 1960s, money make available for females of poor economic background to go to college. I was a woman with a future as a teacher, yet no recognition to be an author, artist, lawyer, doctor, film producer, judge, president, and on and on. My life still confined by the male narratives in fairy tales and folktales and laws. Women saved as servant dominate and restrict literature past, present, and in the future. * * * Interestingly, words denoting the feminine always have a male word hovering inside. Always check the pronouns used and the narrator’s writing or speaking; these pronouns are suppressors in our language.
Lying on my couch resting after rereading my written stories, a voice floated through my mind, “You write analogies. You need the sunshine in the sky. Go dig in the rich earth so that you can move on.” Gardening healed my hurts over my story rejections. Well, as all events develop…while gardening during cold rains, I developed pneumonia and had to stop. Again lying on my couch, the voice floated through my mind, “Time for you to stand on stage and tell stories.” All my life, I never read out loud. As a woman, female, she, or her, I worked behind the scenes as the server. The negative opinion that males were the writers stuck in my childhood belief. I needed the highest mountain to throw my desire into the vast sky, overcoming my doubts.
In Ireland and France, Little Wren is portrayed as a male king during the male-dominated social norms in literature from the sixth to eighteenth centuries. The appearance of wren does not indicate sex or gender. The female lays the eggs; both build and sit on the eggs, and both feed the chicks, much as humans who perform the same tasks of tending, feeding, and protecting the young. Birds and humans need to live without the harassment of domination. Acceptable social standards and rules need support to maintain who we are to stop the greedy bullies who want power and wealth. Further, we insist on equality and respect for males and females, regarding skin color, country born, jobs worked, health, and wealth.
Blatant, shameless flirting, using beauty and body for sex—the apparent essential powers a woman possesses, used to gain her worth. I admire Julnar for using her feminine abilities to manipulate a man through seduction, although not what I would do, too dangerous, I would be stuck as struggling mother. Julnar did the best for herself, gaining wealth, respect, honor, and an heir for her esteem and worth. * * * Women are captives in different situations and become accepting of their submission, making peace with their fate while longing for their distant dreams. Julnar worked her position for her good and maneuvered her desires to be real. As women, we need strong determination to manifest our dreams.
In the folktale, Ursula, the Kitchen Princess stands up for what she wants. Our young damsel, loved to cook and spent all her time in the kitchen. Her father, demanding, disagreeable, shows his disappointment with his youngest daughter, who preferred the kitchen and the servants, not an unkind father, the king. Ursula will not concede and runs from the castle. At this time in Europe, the male and the social norms made “her” a victim to patriarch demands. Ursula does accomplish what she desires. A matron, an owner of an inn, helps her improve her skills in cooking gaining esteem. The damsel overcomes her father’s degrading language: “common as the servants.” Luckily, I had a special dad who pushed me to take chances and adventures to save me from living the “damsel in distress.” I saw my friends struggle and comply with the male codes and norms, which were strong in the city populated by the military, old farmers, or mine workers. I attended Colorado University. My education introduced another view of male codes. The damsels in the folklore helped me to overcome male barriers and now grateful for their inspiration.
A throw away from the library in my neighborhood was The Tongue-Cut Sparrow, a surprise gift, a picture book about Shinto beliefs, which I used in the Japanese Gallery storytelling tours at the Asia Art Museum. The book was in the trash; I understood why, told from the Japanese traditional male perspective. He was the ruler of the house and government and jobs. He finally did the sacred Shinto Sparrow dance. Males married more than once; females were married off. The male point of view kept women enslaved through the centuries by loyalty. * * * I changed the narrative to two females to soften the harshness. I wanted the story to show the Shinto way of morality, the female way. I told about two grandmas while standing in front of a Shinto wood female statue from the eighth century that denoted feminine energies, the Komi force, the balance of nature, loyalty, and the gifts received. Life is in all rocks, objects and humans.
Tatsuko was beautiful, robust, intelligent, and more motivated than the other maidens in her impoverished Japanese village. Her wish for a better life came true. Most young girls of my time wished for betterment in their lives. Tatsuko obtained lasting beauty, a Geisha during the Edo period, (1603–1867), the final period of traditional Japan, under the Shogunate, the military dictatorship. Educated in the arts, Tatsuko sang and played instruments while serving tea to rich males. I was not to be old and tired in a small backward town, population less then of 30,000. Neither was I to marry an overworked husband, have six children, or work in a factory for income, or becoming a prostitute for money. I was college bound; my grades were excellent and I received a scholarship and National Defense Loan. My wish came true education for females from the impoverished inferior of the USA.
I dedicate this story to my brother who was a present day Knight in Shining Armor and his lady by his side, his wife who traveled with him on many adventures. He shot himself 12/30 after hospitalized for Covid-19 with his many pre-existing conditions and now more. His life was over and he knew. I do not blame him - no more motorcycling, camp trips, gambling, no more panning for gold, no more remolding cars. His life was a success, his family doing well for themselves, his sister and her family fine and doing well. All relations gone including mother and father. His lady sat with him in many rebuild cars as proud as he with the accomplishment. He was the owner of Alpha Ramayo in Denver for over 30 years and worked hard for his customers and proud of his work. I LOVED MY BROTHER.
This story says accept, be patient, work diligently on your goal, and you will liberate your family and yourself. I was not a princess needing to save eleven brothers. I interrupted the tale to break my curse, from the traditional social norm that stated to marry at 18. I wanted an education to expand my life. The tale warned me to stick with my goals, finish that education, no matter the hindrances. As Elisa worked, during my time, I worked to break the curse of the struggling working class: “All life is a struggle.” A barrier, a norm from the male social classes. An education brought me choices. Working for my purpose was worth all the obstacles encountered; I am now a writer, artist, and storyteller while loyal to my primary and secondary families.
I assumed because the Moon is associated with female power, every woman knew Rabbit is our symbol for a healer, server; she is our power symbol. I was horrified to find this tale narrated in a male voice, and the rabbit was a male. Women have worshiped both Rabbit and the Moon as symbols of fertility, fruitfulness, abundance, sexuality, procreation, renewal, spring, growth, and love. Rabbit symbolizes the receptacle of souls between life and death associated with the Moon. * * * Both women and rabbits create the time cycles of creation: growth, decline, destruction, and the menstrual cycles, the moon cycles. When I tell my version I, changed the gender to a female and her narrative. I put the god in the middle of the story, not the beginning, as usual in folktales; this is a female tale. * * * One never knows by looking at a rabbit; the gender could be a male or female. In today’s world, both help and serve others, one of the greatest gifts. Something happens, a tragedy, DOOM, then BAM! Spontaneously, someone appears to help support life. We feel good when giving and serving; we share LOVE!
The weeds are flexible and bend under the power and cast their seeds into the wind. Some tales in this collection, I have rewritten into a female narrative to understand what the female felt as she bowed to the social winds. The damsels in these traditional tales show what I believed about male-dominated norms and the skill I learned from the damsels to bend and succeed. Males are also damsels caught in the norms they protect. The folktales included are of a time and place that reveal attitudes use by women to survive the male norms, who had the POWER. Maidens, matrons, and crones, mere females surviving. For eons, social norms taught through folktales and legends written by males with their views of dominance. I once believed his authority the truth, valid, dictating my attitude that only males were authors or artists.
Giving LOVE is BEING. Love is value, beneficial, advantageous, useful, virtue, helpful, significance; Love is worth, worthiness, merit, excellence, caliber, quality, stature, eminence, importance, significance, distinct; Love is compassion, care, caring, regarding, concern, friendliness, friendship, kindness, charity, goodwill, empathy, kindliness; Love is kindhearted, warmhearted, affection, warmth, gentleness, consideration, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, compassion, sympathy, understanding, big-hearted, hospitality, neighborliness; generosity, charitableness, appreciation, gratitude, thankfulness; Love is balance, stability, equilibrium, steadiness, fairness, justice, impartiality, evenhanded, equal opportunity, equity, equilibrium, evenness, equality, equivalence; Love is steady without boundaries, open, unconditional, wholehearted, unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, unquestioning; Love is without limitation, without constraint, no control, on checking, no curbing, no restrictions, no conditions, no qualification, without reduction, without diminution, without curtailment, full, unequivocal.
In our world are the visible and the invisible hunters, The wolf or bears in the time of diminishing our forest, Now, we have the invisible ones who stock us in a different way, still eating. They infect us, move inside our bodies and cause deadly pain. Horror, like frighting a pack of wolves charging from a woods. I did hear an Native Indian in Alaska tell of a wolf standing on a rock staring at him with water dripping from her mouth and eyes full of fire. He could smell his death on her breath. His weapon weak against her strength and cunning. Although ready to fight, he accepted that this huge, strong being was his death. His friends came to help with the battle. Today with this virus, we can not stare our enemy in the eyes or see their sharp teeth only feel the pain they cause in our bodies. Remember your friends are here to help with their their weapons; masks, cleaning and staying calm until the virus defeated.
Thoughts about the story, Innocence Red, or Little Red Riding Hood. I write about strong maidens or matrons who overcome tyranny and suppression by facing ignorant dominance. BECAUSE as a child and young adult, I was --> female, second to a male; --> lady, second to a lad; --> women, second to the man; --> she or her, second to he; ---> heroine, second the hero! Unfortunately, still 'he' leads and solves the problems and dilemmas of our world. As a girl and young adult pushed from the success frame because of my sex, I needed a place in the stories, in the plots. So I write with my mature feminine voice about strong maidens or matrons who battled against oppression cause by a 'him”. as a villain, a male antagonist. In my last piece, PURSUED, a Russian folktale, the ugly frog skin of a princess is burnt by a selfish prince, the fool. I did use a male's helper because this fool needed to know what his failure was.The fool does not understand balance and equality in a partnership only that a female's beauty is for his prestige. My feminine protagonist needs to conquer this hateful message as does Faery Rhyonna who rids Zzuf from her realm.
FROM the PRAIRIE HEN or the Little Red Hen ----> When we have a task, we might think too hard for us, some of us ask for help and are turned down. This can be upsetting. The little hen is not upset and can do what she must in order to make life easier for her and her children. I love this story because it is my Grandma Bessie. When we visited, mean, cranky step-grandpa was in his rocking chair demanding, and Grandma served him. He saved her and her four children when her husband died early. My Grandma had a garden, cherry and apple trees, a pond full of fish, chickens, a goat, lots of cats, and six children. She made her bread in a wooden stove and had a water pump in her kitchen. She did all this herself. I figured if Grandma could do in her world so her granddaughter could. I've 'taken on' being unable to spell and write my stories. To the little hen story, I added a helper, they are out there, only, beware of demanding bullies.
This is the first folktale, I really heard as a child. I loved the fact the little hen made bread all by herself. We did have the little prairie birds on the Alpine Meadows of Colorado, especially at Harstel Flats, we drove through to go fishin'. In Colorado Springs, My brother and I walked from our home on 18 St across a long field to 26 St were Grandma Bessie lived. We ventured through the disabled train terminal where trains once traveled up Pike Peak to Cripple Creek and down to the Golden Cycle Mill, that was also abandon. We live by Fountain Creek and below the gold mill. What fun we had exploring. By the time we got to grandma's house, she had baked fresh bread for us, and we had many stories to tell. She was my prairie HEN!
A dark, smelling, cold fog crawled to the Elve's gardens searching for someone. That mess of fog growled through the gardens up turning houses and drowning the circle of laughter! Then the elves heard a humongous uproar and fight on top of the bridge where the older Troll children live. Troll Canute, his house, now Troll Grunda Faye and the sherrie are missing.
As a child running and playing in the mountains of Colorado, I remember the cold snow, the bitter fog, and the bite of the blowing wind. No matter if your hands had on mitten or gloves or your head was covered after awhile the cold penetrated into your clothing. If you got wet the cold was more dangerous, freezing the cloth, which made your movement tight and hard which caused you to fall into the snow and becoming more cold and stiff. I heard stories of people freezing to death. After getting dangerous cold to the point of falling asleep, I would stagger into the house. Of course, the rule was all clothing from outside left by the door. Taking off the stiff, frozen coats, leggings, gloves, and hat was an enduring process. Finally inside, the feeling of warmth to fiery hot was the best. My cheeks burned. My legs and arms moved. I could think. Death did not get me.
Adventures start when time traveling. This happened to a sherrie who dropped into the Oakgrove gardens through the PortHold while escaping through the InBetween PURSUED by Ole Fog, the immortal, DEATH. -- I borrowed this analogy from our ways of traveling. -- When driving a car, riding on a train, flying in an airplane, or voyaging on a ship, we travel through place, time, space, and dimensions. We enter a protective frame: our car, plane, train or boat, the PortHold. Then we drive, ride, fly, or float through the InBetween of vast experiences. We disembark at our destination, the next PortHold: a parking lot, train station, airport, or ship dock. video games, television, movies, and computers are also PortHolds of time travel through to the InBetween — streaming. — A variety of textures, noise, and lights waits for us and describes any tunnel in the InBetween used to slide from one realm to the next realm — the general relativity or string theory!
During my childhood in Colorado, the weather was dramatic with winds, rain, and snow. When living Alaska, there were three days of Autumn: one the yellowed leaves, next the leaves dropped off, on the third tiresome snow fell. California has either drought or rains. With the rain comes the fog which rolls across the ocean creeps through San Francisco and crawls across the Bay. Fog blankets the East Bay quietly and deceptively. Fog was an essential character in the Celtic and the Russian folklore and is called Ole Boneless, the immortal, Death. Fog's strange and mysterious appearance makes the perfect nemesis. PURSUED is a retelling of the Russian folktale, 'Vasalisa, the Frog Princess,' which is now in writing process, that means re-imagining, enhancing, and elaborating.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish