The Man Who Was Afraid of Nothing

The Man Who Was Afraid of NothingThe Man Who Was Afraid of Nothing

Brule Sioux

Four ghosts were sitting together and the topic of discussion was one particular man who seemed to be afraid of nothing. The ghosts decided they would meet the man to see if they could scare him.

The first ghost met the man and tried to be scary, but the man wanted to play stick ball. He crumpled up the skeleton into a hoop and used one of his bones to push the hoop along. The second ghost also tried to be scary, but the young man used his head as a ball and used one of that ghost’s leg bones as a stick.

The third ghost also tried to scare the young man and challenged him to a wrestling match, but the man didn’t want to wrestle, he wanted to go sledding. He took the skeleton’s rib cage and used it as a sled, but the skeleton did look rather funny afterwards. After the man was done he threw the rib cage into the water and the skeleton exclaimed that it was going to get all wet trying to get it out. The man said the skeleton’s woman would appreciate the bath and the skeleton exclaimed that it was a woman. The man said he could never tell with skeletons, “You pretty thing.”

The fourth ghost came up and said it was going to kill the man, but the man said he was a ghost too, more terrifying than this ghost, which happened to be a skeleton riding a skeleton horse. The man said he was going to take the horse from the skeleton, which he did. He got on the horse and rode back to the village, where people rushed out to see what the commotion was. The sight was a bit frightening, but as soon as the sun came up the skeleton horse disappeared.

The man just laughed. Later on, he had dinner with some men who were talking about the man being so tough because he defeated four skeleton ghosts by himself. During this, a small spider landed on him. The man began to scream and holler beseeching anyone to get the tiny spider off of him. He hated spiders. A little girl laughed and removed the spider from the man.

Observations

This story reminds me a lot of the Grimm’s Fairy tale, The Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was. This man seemed to be afraid of nothing. It’s not for the same reason the youth in the Grimm’s Fairy Tale was afraid of nothing. Both of the men challenged supernatural beings without being the slightest bit scared of them.

A skeleton is just one form that a ghost is said to take. We tend to hear about apparitions, orbs, shadows, and so forth, but skeletons don’t come up that much. The idea comes up much more in folklore, like this story, versus “real life” ghost encounters.

I like that one of the ghosts was a woman.

Themes

Just because you’re not afraid of traditional fears, doesn’t mean you’re not afraid of something. I think everyone is afraid of something in some way. I tend to be one of those people who is afraid of very little. Spiders, snakes, heights–just throw it at me, I’m fine. Clowns? You think clowns are scary? I don’t. I’m sure there are things I’m afraid of though. Everyone is afraid of something. Fear is just part of our humanity. If you’re not scared of something, you’re probably an android and you should probably get that checked out.

That isn’t to say that one’s emotions cannot be muted, because they can. This usually happens when someone is very depressed. A severely depressed person, may not feel anything, even fear. This isn’t the point I’m trying to make though.

This man was afraid of a spider, lots of people are afraid of spiders. It’s pretty normal. On the other hand, being scared of skeleton ghosts is a thing most people would probably be scared of. Like, if I saw a for real skeleton, like a real skeleton, walking of its own accord, with no strings, no magnets, no trickery, I would be scared. What in the world has happened that has enabled a skeleton to get up and walk of its own accord? Is it the undead? Has it been struck by lightning and given life? Is it being controlled by a Voodoo master or a warlock? What’s the deal? No matter what the deal is, if it’s not readily explainable with trickery and clever engineering then there is something more sinister at work and you better bet your butt that I would be a bit freaked out.

This story simply illustrates that everyone is afraid of something, everyone, even that big tough guy who scares skeleton ghosts.

Overall

I aint afraid of no ghost.

Weigh In

Would you be scared of a skeleton ghost?

Does the fear of spiders make the man in this story more human?

#676 Ghosts, Hauntings and Mysterious Happenings by Phyllis Raybin Emert

Ghosts, Hauntings and Mysterious Happenings by Phyllis Raybin EmertGhosts, Hauntings and Mysterious Happenings by Phyllis Raybin Emert

Sometimes we cannot explain everything in the world. Sometimes a house is haunted and science cannot explain it away. Sometimes a person has the ability to tell when something is happening hundreds of miles away, without having any connection to that place. Sometimes ghostly apparitions appear at historical locations. Sometimes someone writes a book that predicts something almost exactly as it happens in the future. Sometimes someone can seem to speak to the dead.

These are all very interesting occurrences. This book holds over twenty stories about various unexplained and mysterious circumstances. Prominent haunted places mentioned in this book are The Borley Rectory, The Whaley House, and The Tower of London. Another prominent haunting mentioned is the Bell Witch. Edgar Cayce and Rosemary Brown are both mentioned as mediums.

What I liked

I love mysterious things. If I can’t explain something; it’s very intriguing. I cannot explain any of the events in this book, although I’m quite skeptical on quite a few, especially the mediums. I have a hard time believing in the idea of mediums. Maybe it’s real, but I just don’t know. This book has always fascinated me, I’ve actually had it for a long time, but I’ve never reviewed it on this site. It’s all just so interesting.

It’s a short look at each item mentioned, which gives the reader a good overview of the occurrence.

What I didn’t like

I wish the book had more meat to it. I would love to read more in-depth on some of these subjects. In fact, I have on at least one of the stories in this book. The story in this book, The House on Plum Tree Lane, is actually the subject of the book Night Stalks the Mansion, which I have read and reviewed. Because I’ve read the other book, the story in this book definitely leaves out a lot, but it’s also a little inaccurate. This book states that the house was turned into apartments, which may have been the case, I don’t remember, but the house actually doesn’t exist anymore. It was burned down. This book could have been written before the house burned down, but I have absolutely no idea if it was or not.

Overall

This is quite an interesting book and always has been.

Weigh In

Are you more skeptical or believing?

If you hear of something unexplained, what is your first response?

Two Ghostly Lovers

Two Ghostly LoversTwo Ghostly Lovers

Brule Sioux

A young man was particularly popular with the ladies. He would play his flute and the women would just come running, even when their heads told them not to. This young man went out hunting one day and never came back. His parents worried over him and finally consulted a man who used seeing stones. The man told them that their son was not lost, but that he was dead and he told them exactly where.

The parents went to the spot and found their son with a knife through his chest. He was buried in his favorite shirt, but everyone thought he deserved it for sleeping with so many other men’s women.

The people began to hear a song out in the distance some time after the burial, young women especially would hear it. They would look up and see a young man wrapped in a gray blanket floating off of the ground.

Weeping I roam.

I thought I was the only one

Who had known many loves,

Many girls, many women,

Too many of them.

Now I am having a hard time.

I am roaming, roaming

And I have to keep on roaming

As long as the world stands.

The song was heard for some time still and the people still sing it today.

Another young man was known to go with many young women. He would practically tell them anything to get under their blanket. One particular young woman said she would wait for him. The young man said he would marry her when he got back. He left and was gone for many years, enjoying the company of many women along the way. He finally came back home and say a tipi. Inside the tipi was the same girl who said she would wait for him. She was happy to see him. She served him food. The tipi was warm. They slept together that night.

When the man awoke, he was in a tipi, but it was tattered. The buffalo robes had no fur and were full of holes. The woman beside him was not a woman at all, but a skeleton with some black hair still clinging to its scalp. The man had slept with a skeleton. The young woman had waited a long time for him and had died. The young man ran away and lost his thoughts. He was never right again.

Observations

As I was raised more on the white-Christian side of things, I tend to think of marriage and sexuality in this defined area. Sure, you can have sex with people, but it really needs to be exclusive and hopping around from one person to the next is immoral and nor preferable. That’s the general consensus of the idea of white-Christian fidelity. I am not all the way white, in fact, I actually have some Sioux in me, but I’m pretty white. Fidelity, sexual fidelity, doesn’t really seem to be as big of a deal in many of these stories that I have read. Whether it’s an exception rather than a rule, I don’t know. From many of the stories I have read, it almost seems expected that young men will sleep around and that a young women will almost certainly have had sex before marriage. I don’t know if there were teachings against this sort of thing or if the people just expected it because they were realistic, not that all men go around trying to be players.

Themes

Both of these young men stuck it wherever they wanted without considering any consequences. There are lots of consequences concerned with sticking it wherever you want. There’s the normal stuff–disease, pregnancy, and the possible emotional detachment to sex, but then there’s the stuff in this story. Maybe someone will kill you, as in dead, because you slept with their wife, makes sense. It’s called a crime of passion and will get you a lighter prison sentence if you kill the man you caught red-handed, red-something, in bed with your wife. Who can blame a person for being angry about something like that? Nobody blamed the killer of the first young man in this story. They thought he got what he deserved for sticking it to too many women who belonged to someone else.

The second young man was more of an emotional thing. A girl set her sights on this young man and ultimately died waiting for him. He was careless with her emotions and he got what was coming to him. This girl got her revenge from the grave. She was probably doing a victory dance, invisible, off to the side, when this happened. The guy deserved it.

This story is about ghosts, but it boils down to the fact that if you do bad things in your Earthly life, you could possibly suffer the consequences from the other side. Maybe you turn into a ghost doomed to wander the Earth like the first young man or like Stingy Jack, or maybe, a ghost gets her revenge on you for playing with her emotions. So in addition to all the diseases, pregnancy, and emotional detachment that could come from sleeping with whoever walks down the sidewalk, think about the fact that they could die and haunt you with nasty tricks.

Overall

They both deserved it.

Weigh In

Did both of the young men deserved what they got? Was any of their treatment unfair? Like, for example, what if the second young man had a promising career as a warrior? Was it unfair that he went mad because some ghost girl was hurt by him?

Do you think more people would second-guess treating others poorly if they knew those people could get revenge on them, even in death?

#675 Harry Plotter and the Chamber of Serpents by MJ Ware

 Harry Plotter and the Chamber of Serpents by MJ Ware Harry Plotter and the Chamber of Serpents by MJ Ware

Austin Winters has just arrived in England where his father works at the embassy. There isn’t a lot to do at the embassy, but an owl drops a strange letter for him there. He is accepted into the Hogworts School of Mysteries and Magic. His father wants to send him to an expensive boarding school, but Austin suggest Hogworts, so off he goes. He doesn’t have any of the supplies and the whole thing is kind of weird.

He gets to school and he’s sorted into the Slipperin House. There is some surprise there, because Austin is considered a Muddle, a non-magical person, but he’s in Slipperin anyway. At first, Austin doesn’t think he has the knack for magic, but with the tutoring of Hermione Danger, he starts to get along pretty well. He even doesn’t do so badly in Smape’s potions class.

Austin hears a wear voice that says it wants to kill and this concerns Austin. He finds a weird door with snakes on it in the dungeon and the voice that says it wants to kill. The door is opened. People start getting petrified in the hallways. The Weaseley twins play pranks on everyone; the turn the Slipperin common rooms into a swamp. Austin begins to make friends though, but not with Drano Malfoy, because no one is really friends with him.

Dumblesnore entrusts Austin with some important tasks along the way.

In the end, Harry Plotter, Ron Weaseley and Hermione Danger aren’t the bad people everyone in Slipperin says they are. Austin finds good friends and hopes he gets to come back the next year, without all the giant snakes though. Austin does not like snakes.

What I liked

This book wasn’t roll on the floor funny, but it was humorous. I liked the parody of the whole story. Everyone has a different name, or at least part of it. This story supposes that there were other alternate people helping Ron, Hermione, and Harry defeat the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, or Serpents rather. I think it’s interesting to think about the fact that there may have been a more concerted effort in this whole thing rather than just three kids trying to defeat an evil monster.

I liked that I got an American’s take on Hogworts/Hogwarts. This is a loving parody and in no way trying to demean the Harry Potter series. It’s really flattery at its best. The author knows his stuff about Harry Potter.

What I didn’t like

Nothing really, this was a pretty good book, especially for free.

Overall

I wonder if Austin will be around the help Harry Plotter next year?

Weigh In

If you were in Hogwarts, what house would you be sorted into?

Do you think the rest of the world of Hogwarts would be interesting to find out? For example, would it be interesting to find out what a day in the life of Filch is like?

Wakiash and the First Totem Pole

Wakiash and the First Totem PoleWakiash and the First Totem Pole

Kwakiutl

Wakiash was a chief and all the other chiefs were presenting dances, but Wakiash felt that he did not have a good dance. He decided to go into the woods and see if one would come to him. He was there for four days, fasting and washing, when, one day, he woke up to find a frog on his chest. The frog told him to stay still because he was on the back of a raven, which would take Wakiash around the world to find something that he liked.

They flew over a house with a totem pole out front and Wakiash thought that he might like to have it. The frog, which could understand his thoughts, told the raven to land. At the house were a bunch of animals who were trying to dance, but they could not. They sent out the mouse to see if anyone was around; the mouse was small and could fit almost anywhere, so she could certainly find whoever or whatever was outside. The mouse put back on her mouse skin, all the animals had taken off their animal skins and looked like people.

Wakiash caught the mouse and gave it a piece of fat to eat and the mouse started talking to Wakiash. She asked him what he wanted and he told her that he wanted the house, the totem pole, and a dance. The mouse decided to help Wakiash out. The animals tried to dance again, but still couldn’t. The mouse was sent out several more times and on the last time, she told Wakiash to jump into the middle of the room when the animals begun to dance.

He did jump into the middle of the room and the animals were ashamed that a man had seen them looking as humans. They asked Wakiash what he wanted and he told them. They decided to dance for him so that he could pick out what dance he wanted. Afterwards, they gave him the house, which folded up. Wakiash took the folded up house and got back on the raven and left. When he awoke, he was back in the forest, but there was no frog or raven. He went home and threw down the folded-up house, which became the house he had seen before along with the totem pole. He danced there. His people came to him and he did have the best dance out of all of them. The thing was that Wakiash had not been gone four days, but four years.

After the dance was over, the house disappeared. Wakiash built his own house, along with a totem pole which was said to hold up the sky. The pole was called Kalukuyuwish, which Wakiash later took for his own name.

Observations

I do not know much of anything about totem poles. I am not from the northwest and have never even been there. I know that totem poles are a cherished piece of many cultures there. This is just one story about how totem poles came to be. Totem is not a work used purely to mean a carved pole. A totem can be a natural object believed to have spiritual power. For example, if you say, “Tina Fey is my spirit animal,” you’re sort of saying she’s your totem. If you were going to go all out with it and use the idea of a totem correctly, you would adopt Tina Fey as your crest or as a symbol that represented you.

Themes

I suppose that if you really want something, you can certainly get it. This man went out into the woods to be able to have a good dance and he found one, it took him four years, but he found one. He was given his dance, almost by divine power. He fasted and did the work to receive revelation and he did. It was a frog and a raven, but it happened.

I don’t know that wanting to do a good dance is a worthy endeavor for God, or the gods, to pay attention to, but maybe it is. Different things are important to different people. If your purpose in life was somehow tied up in being a good dancer or bringing a new art form to a people, then maybe, God, or the gods, would help you out in your journey.

Dancing, while enjoyable and beautiful, isn’t something you would consider to be so important that gods would interfere in human life to make it happen, but like I said, maybe it’s really important to that person and that thing just has to happen in their life. Wakiash was apparently supposed to bring a new dance and totem poles to the people, which he did, with the help from whoever sent the frog and the raven.

Overall

Very interesting story about where totem poles came from.

Weigh In

If you were going to adopt a totem, what would it be?

Do you think Wakiash deserved divine intervention to find a new dance?