The Old Lady, and the Siblings

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Taiwanese
Age: 25
Occupation: Student
Residence:
Date of Performance/Collection:
Primary Language: Chinese
Other Language(s): English

Background: This story was told to the informant by his parents.

Context: This tale was performed in the Architecture studio, for an audience of two, in
order to pass time while working on projects.

“So when kids don’t want to go to sleep in Taiwan, their parents tell this to them. A brother and a sister when their parents left for the night hear a knock on the door. An old woman comes in. At night the old woman eats one of the siblings. One night the old woman woke up and ate the brother. The sister hears the sound of chewing, so she woke up and asks the woman what she is eating. The old woman says, “Oh, I’m eating peanuts” and then she just throws the sister one of her brother’s fingers, “Oh, here’s a peanut”. The sister freaks out because of this, and says “Oh, I need to go pee” and then she goes outside and climbs a tree. The old woman comes out and says “I want to eat you too.” The sister tells the old lady “First I need a pot of hot water.” So the old lady takes the hot water outside, and brings it to the sister. The sister says, “Ok, Im going to jump.” The woman opens her mouth so that she can jump in, but the sister pours the hot water into her mouth instead. “

This tale is likely a cautionary one told by parents to convince their children not to trust strangers, and let them into their house. It also encourages creative thinking on the part of the sister to get out of a sticky situation.