Author Archives: yuchima

Donkey Lady

1) Donkey Lady

  • There’s a remote bridge over Elm Creek in San Antonio that’s called the Donkey Lady Bridge. It’s said to be haunted by the Donkey Lady, who will do damage to people’s cars and terrorize people that cross it. People have even found hoof-like tracks in the mud under the bridge. The donkey lady is said to have been a settler in the 1800s that threw rocks at a rich boy who was beating up her donkey. The boy went back to town and got all his friends to get revenge, and set her house on fire that night. She was disfigured in the fire, which also killed her children. Her fingers were melted together so it looked like she had hooves and her skin was all freaky and melted, making her look like a really scary donkey. She was angry at the death of her kids, and to this day tries to take it out on anyone she encounters.
  • My friend Annalise who is from San Antonio, Texas told us about this story. She learnt of this story just because growing up in San Antonio, it is a story that everyone naturally talked about, among family or friends. This story was sometimes used my adults to scare children and early teens to not go to certain places or stay out too late. Annalise told me this story when we were just talking about San Antonio, because I didn’t know this story, as I didn’t grow up there. It was casual but also intriguing.
  • I had no idea of this story before so it was nice to hear about it. I wonder if the events described actually happened or that if it did not, who told the story and shaped it this way. It now makes me wanna go try to see if this story is real, or like if this has inspired any crimes to happen.
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Golem

19) Golem

The Golem is a creature created by a rabbi to serve the Jewish community when the community needed to be protected. The creature is made of soil or clay and brought to life by the use of alchemical-like formulas described in holy texts. The creature is not possessed by a spirit or ghost, but driven by the ritual to follow the rabbi’s commands and serve the community until he is not needed. The Golem is then called-off and put away. The stories of ‘Golems-run-amok’ are tales of Golems that did not stop once they were told to, but rather continued on wreaking havoc wherever they went.

Another version of the Golem story is that one would mould the Golem out of soil, then walk or dance around it while speaking combination of letters from the alphabet and the secret name of God. To “kill” or “stop” this golem, the creator would need to walk/dance in the opposite direction saying the words backward.

Once again, Max told me this story upon my request. I have definitely heard of similar storie in other culture, but more along the lines of writing magical words into a paper and putting the paper either on a doll or on someone to commend “magical” powers. I had no idea that these stories had a jewish origin though; or is the jewish version an original work or just one of the editions.

 

Prince Lutin

17) Prince Lutin

Once there was a prince named Leandre, and he lived in this big palace. Another prince also lived with him, and his name was Furibon. Furibon was born deformed, but even more so, he is mean and nasty, and he has an insane mother.

As time went by, everyone loved Leandre, but hated Furibon. Furibon, out of hatred and jealousy, eventually tried to harm Leandre, and thus Leandre sent him away to live in the countryside to be safely away from Furibon.

While living in the countryside, Leandre was happy and free, but he was lonely. Once when he was out hunting, he was almost attacked by this grass snake; after defeating the snake, he decided to save it instead of killing it. So Leandre kept it in his house and raised it. After a few years, Furibon decided to attack Leandre again, and having found out about this, Leandre decided that he need to travel and get away. It is just then he found out that the grass snake is no longer a snake, but has turned into a fairy named Gentille. To thank Leandre for saving her life, Gentille promised Leandre one wish. She turned Leandre into a Lutin (imp) and gave him a red feather hat. When Leandre put this hat on, he can choose to have the power of the Lutin where he can choose to hide or reveal himself whenever, and he can choose to cross and borders, and he can choose to return to his original self whenever.

Having this power, Leandre first went to the palace and took revenge on Furibon and his mother. Then he went on several adventures where he experienced treasures and unrequited love, till he eventually ended up saving these 3 maidens. He found out from one of them that they are fairies from the Island of Quiet pleasure. This island was made by an old fairy who, after being hurt in love, created this island of only women where she replaced the guards with amazonian women. Leandre used his power to go check out this island out, and he eventually fell in love with the fairy princess. He devised himself as the voice of the parrot and from time to time tried to convince her that it is okay to trust men sometimes. Furibon at the same time, sought to invade this island for its riches and for the beautiful princess. Leandre devised a plan and in the end he killed Furibon successfully, protected the island, gained power and riches, and ended up winning the heart of the princess he loves.

Once again, Cami told me this story. This story seems a lot more like a Rumpelstiltskin style tale. According to Cami, every kid in France knew of this story. When she performed it it was a lot more lively and fun.

This story reminds me a lot of stories like the Iliad or Sinbad’s adventures.

 

Dames Blanches

16) Dames Blanches

This is from out of french mythologies/folklores.

Dames Blanches are white dressed female spirits who supposedly appear near caves, caverns, bridges or ravines. These are not extremely evil spirits, but they would ask passersby to do certain things for them to pass.

Those who did what was asked of them were able to pass the road safely, while others that refused are tortured by animals that helped the dames blanches or thrown off somewhere.

Some believe that these were pre-christian goddesses.

(*For more information, check out White Woman of Dutch and Germanic mythologies.)

My french friend Cami told me about this story as her parents used to tell her this story to scare her from going out late at night. She has never encountered these situations herself so it was hard for her to perform it in a believable manner but overall it was cool and I definitely remember reading about similar versions of this story.

ShimChong: the blindman’s daughter

15) Shimchong: the blindman’s daughter

Long time ago, maybe during the end of the HongPung era, there was a poor blind man named Shim Hakkyu. Him and his wife finally had a kid, but the tiredness of childbearing was too much for his wife so she passed away. Shim Hakkyu raised his daughter alone with great hardship, but his daughter grew up to be beautiful and kind.

One day, when Shim Hakkyu was out and about begging for alms, he fell into a ditch. As he was wailing about his ill fate, a monk came and helped him out; he told Shim Hakkyu that if he offers 300 sacks of rice to the temple and the Buddha, then it will have his sight restored. Shim Hakkyu was overjoyed by this kind offer and said yes in a whim. However, he soon realized that he has no means to get 300 sacks of rice. Shim Hakkyu told ShimChong that he was really really worried because what if they end up offending the Buddha???

That night, in ShimChong’s dream, her mother came to her and told her that if she goes and find this merchant at the harbor, he will give their family 300 sacks of rice. So the next day, ShimChong sets out to go to the harbor. The merchant is looking for a fair and beautiful girl to sacrifice to the dragon king so that they can finally sail, and he was overjoyed to see ShimChong volunteer.

The temple was very pleased to receive the 300 sacks of rice, yet Shim Hakkyu did not ge his sights back. The monks of the temple told Shim Hakkyu that it will come to him in time. Because of  that, Shim Hakkyu has now yet to regain his eyesight, but also lost his only daughter. As ShimChong descended into the water, the sea became calm and all the sailors weeped for this beautiful and filial girl. ShimChong surprisingly found herself to be breathing under water. Two guards of the dragon king came to take her with them to the palace; there she lived happily, and her mother’s spirit rested there as well. However, she soon felt homesick, and unwilling to see this beautiful and filial girl sad, the Dragon King turned her into a beautiful white flower and brought her back to land.

ShimChong the flower was discovered by a fisherman, and then offered to the sad emperor that has just recently lost his spouse. When the emperor laid eyes on this flower, he was so wowed and happy that he took the flower in and kept it in the center of his palace. The king was completely obsessed with the flower and one night, he discovered the beautiful ShimChong that came outside of the flower at night. The emperor was so pleased with ShimChong that he decided to marry her. ShimChong was happy to marry the emperor and finally be back on land, but she was still sad that she could not find her father. She sent a request for the king to have a public wedding banquet and to invite all the blind beggars in this country. For three days, countless blind beggars feasted and joyed, but her father was nowhere to be seen. Just as ShimChong was about to give up, she hears the sound of a blind man who arrived late trying to argue his way in with the guards. She rushes towards the gate and discovers that that was her father! The two were overjoyed and to be reunited, and in that moment, Shim Hakkyu regains his sight so that he was able finally see his beautiful daughter.

My korean friend Justin presented this story to me. Justin could not remember a lot of the details so out of curiosity I looked them up. I really like this story in that it has many ups and downs. Justin knew this story just from reading in Elementary school. I feel like I see some common elements between asian folktales in that they seem to rarely end happily, and that family and being filial is absolutely one of the most important things. However, at the same time, I feel like this story really degrades women, making them objects that when in need are praised.