Tsonokwa ~ Woman of the Woods

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“She’s called the wild woman of the woods. In some legends, she’s a giant. But she catches little children and puts them in a basket on her back, and then she takes them home and eats them.

“But she’s very slow and dull-witted, and her eyes are cast downward to symbolize this slowness of wit. So they usually get away.”

Her lips are pursed to make the “huuu-huuu” sounds that are characteristic of her. The sound is like the wind blowing, and when children hear that they will clutch at their parents’ legs so that they don’t get carried away by Tsonokwa,”

“But if you can find her house, you would come away with untold riches. For them, that consisted of furs, walrus ivory, dried fish, dried meats, and especially copper. Copper to them was like gold is to us.”

The well-stocked house of Tsonokwa means that she is a symbol of wealth. So when a chief dispenses his inheritance to his successor, she appears in a male form and presides over the ceremony. The figure representing the male form, Geekumal, wears a mask with a beard and mustache.

Retold by Anthony H. Taylor, a retired art teacher who spent a lifetime building his great ethnographic collection, and then upon passing donated it to  the University of Utah.
…and who taught me everything I know about art.

Hansel and Gretel

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“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to look after you!” Hansel tried to encourage his sister, but he too shivered when he glimpsed frightening shadows and evil eyes around them in the darkness. All night the two children huddled together for warmth at the foot of a large tree. When dawn broke, they started to wander about the forest, seeking a path, but all hope soon faded. They were well and truly lost. On they walked and walked, till suddenly they came upon a strange cottage in the middle of a glade.

“This is chocolate!” gasped Hansel as he broke a lump of plaster from the wall.
“And this is icing!” exclaimed Gretel, putting another piece of wall in her mouth. Starving but delighted, the children began to eat pieces of candy broken off the cottage.

“Isn’t this delicious?” said Gretel, with her mouth full. She had never tasted anything so nice.”We’ll stay here,” Hansel declared, munching a bit of nougat. They were just about to try a piece of the biscuit door when it quietly swung open.

“Well, well!” said an old woman, peering out with a crafty look. “And haven’t you children a sweet tooth?”
“Come in! Come in, you’ve nothing to fear!” went on the old woman. Unluckily for Hansel and Gretel, however, the sugar candy cottage belonged to an old witch, her trap for catching unwary victims. The two children had come to a really nasty place

“We’ll get to work on that,” said Hansel, “and have a real feast. I’ll eat a piece of the roof. Gretel, you can eat some of the window–that will taste real sweet.”Hansel reached up and broke off a little of the roof., to see how it tasted, and Gretel went up tot he windowpane and nibbled on it.

“Nibble, nibble, little mouse,
Who is nibbling at my house?”

Gruff

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Suddenly there was a huge roar.
‘Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?
and out from under the bridge loomed the Troll.

Iron Chef Vermin

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If you’re just now joining us on Iron Chef Vermin… Strawberry Challenge, you’ll note on the challenger’s side, Ronaldo Rodent, Executive Chef of the ever popular Hole in the Wall restaurant, unfolding a nice pate brisee over a sugared strawberry filling.

Little Red Riding Hood

Baird_Roberta_tomie72 little red roberta_72Every year I seem to do several versions  of my entry for the SCBWI Tomie Depaola award Contest. this year was no exception. I did two completely different settings for Little Red Riding Hood prompt. The passage I used was “Her grandmother lived in the woods, about half an hour’s walk away. When Little Red Riding Hood had only been walking a few minutes, a wolf came up to her. She didn’t know what a wicked animal he was, so she wasn’t afraid of him.”

In the end I sent the Central Park Little Red Riding Hood, but I always wonder if I should’ve sent the other one/ones. Which one?

 

Santa Claus is Comin to Town

HohoDooDa010_72aAnd that is the story of Santa Claus.
Hey, it’s getting late, and I’ve got these letters to deliver. You better be getting home, too.
And remember, behave yourselves, because Santa can still look into his magic snowball
and see just what you’re up to. And now that you know all about him, you can be darn sure that
come snow or high water, Santa Claus is comin’ to town!