Day Eighteen: The Rumor
Karadi Tales 2009
The villagers in The Rumor are “prosperous and happy, but had nothing much to do most of the time”–so they told tales. In this cautionary tale that plays out like the game ‘telephone,’ what comes out of the mouth of the protagonist literally grows and mutates with greater improbability as the rumor spreads around the countryside.
Of the many cautionary tales to be told to children about rumors, The Rumor is a new favorite. I appreciate how it addresses tale-telling and rumor.
The tales told about the feather that the sour old man’s mouth are told in rhyming verse, silly and colorful and absurd. The story that makes it back to the unfriendly neighbor is literally laughable. A level of serious can be drawn out of the story, but on the whole the humor is the most effective teacher. Rumors are ridiculous, unbelievable. Better situations for tale-swapping can be found.
Anushka Ravishankar a mathematics graduate, has made a name for herself internationally as an Indian children’s writer, with over 10 books of verse, fiction and non-fiction. Her special talent is in the area of nonsense verse, where she brilliantly adapts this difficult genre to Indian English usage, without a false note. Anushka Ravishankar can be said to have pioneered the Indian English nonsense verse form and brought it to international attention. She recently returned from a UK tour with Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, at the Children’s Bookshow.
Kanyika Kini a freelance web designer based in Munich. I graduated in Communication Design from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore in 2005. When I’m not sketching wireframes, obsessing about a screen or brushing up on the latest web standards, I sometimes take time off to pursue my other interests such as illustration. And when I’m not at my computer, I’m probably hiking in the Alps, teaching Indian dance or in the midst of a culinary experiment.