Monday, 8 December 2014

From Anansi to Brer Rabbit to Coyote – Lynne Garner

Collection of 8 short stories
featuring Brer Rabbit
Back in 2003 a friend (Felix Cobson) introduced me to Anansi the Trickster Spider. My writing ‘love affair’ with trickster characters was born. Since that time I’ve written and published two collections of Anansi stories (volume one and volume two) and one collect of Brer Rabbit stories. Whilst researching Brer Rabbit I came across another trickster character, Coyote. I’m now half way through writing the first draft of eight Coyote trickster stories.

Also during my research into each of these trickster characters I came across several versions of the hare and the tortoise story. Sadly I’ve only been able to use one version in my own published short story collections. So I wasn’t surprised whilst researching Coyote that I came across yet another version, which is my favourite one to date. As I’m unable to use it I wanted to share it with you (call it my festive present to you all).

Planned cover for latest collection
of short stories featuring Coyote 
So here it is ‘The Race Between Turtle And Frog’

At one time there was a race proposed between Turtle and Frog. All the people bet that Frog would win. Mud-Turtle asked for three days to let his friends know about the race. The racecourse was very uneven, low and high ground, rolling meadow.

Turtle bet his back against Frog’s tail.

On the third day Turtle was given a head start. Frog stood there taking more bets. Finally he started, and ahead in a low place he saw Turtle going out of sight. Each time he looked ahead he saw Turtle going out of sight. He hurried faster and faster, but did not over take him. Just as he crossed the last low ground he saw Turtle over the line. He had to give up his tail. It took six turtles to beat him, but he lost the race. Now the pollywogs have to lose their tails before they can become frogs.

This first appeared in:
Folk-Tales of Salishan and Sahaptin Tribes
Collected by James A Teit, Livingston Farrand, Marian K Gould and Herbert J Spinden
Published by The American Folklore Society – 1917

I hope you enjoyed this version and although I know it’s only the 8th I also want to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful festive time.

Lynne

P.S. Well I say I can’t use these tales but I’m thinking about writing a collection of trickster stories featuring Turtle/Tortoise. You see the more I read about him the trickier he is and I’m beginning to feel he deserves his own book. So as they say watch this space.

My new eCourses starting January 2015:


3 comments:

Susan Price said...

Have you read 'Seven Basic Plots' by Christopher Booker, Lynne? It's all about these fascinating links between stories from all over the world. I'm reading it on Kindle at the moment, and it's amazing.

Reb MacRath said...

Delightful. Brer Rabbit is steadily being erased from our country's consciousness. Tar Baby=racism. Or so they say.

Lydia Bennet said...

tricksters (like the norse god Loki) have always intrigued people world-wide so they are a good source of stories for you Lynne!
hope you too have a happy christmas, and no Blogger, I'm not a robot, how dare you ask me to prove it when I'm actually signed in! I'm sure Anansi and his ilk wouldn't put up with that.