Residence: San Francisco, California
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/29/13
Primary Language: Chinese
Informant: My mother used to tell me a story to get me to sleep. It was one of those like endless stories that loop back around until the child eventually gets bored. It goes like this: “There once was a mountain… and on the mountain there was a temple… and in the temple there was a monk… and he was trying to get the baby to go to sleep, but the baby didn’t want to go to sleep, so then the monk said: “Let me tell you a story… There once was a mountain… and on the mountain there was a temple… and in the temple…” You get the point. It just goes on and on.
Me: Did it ever work on you?
Informant: I don’t remember. I feel like it didn’t because it seems so boring.
Analysis: This story is very common in Chinese culture for mothers to get their babies to sleep. My informant told me that it is commonly told to children between ages of 6 months to two years. The origin is unknown, however it references the Buddhist religion just like many other tales from China do.