Lately, I’ve been reading compilations of stories to my kids. I was reading long novels but for some reason I’ve switched.
I picked up Fire and Wings: Dragon Tales from East and West. My oldest loves fantasy and dragons and so does Mommy. Two tales stuck out:
Called Dragon’s Coo by Patricia MacLachlan, a dragon wishes for a name of its own and a family. He was a dragon ‘left-over’ from the days of knights. The dragon finds a human child and raises it as its own. It takes care of it and names the baby Coo because that’s all the baby could say. Until one day the dragon became too old to take care of itself so Coo began to provide for the dragon.
One day Coo touches the dragon and says, “Papa.” Finally, the dragon had a name–a name out of love– and a family.
My kids LOVED this story! It is touching. How a family can be what you make of it and love can grow in the oddest of circumstances. I loved the giving part: how the dragon gives to the baby and then the baby gives to the dragon. Just like life today. You raise a a baby and most likely one day the baby will be helping you in your old age.
Poignant story that really gets to the heart of what matters most.
The other story I really liked is called The Fourth Question: A Chinese Legend retold by Vida Chu. Here, a farmer named KaiWei sets out to ask the Budda a question: Why even though I work hard am I still poor?
Along the way, he meets 2 people and a dragon who ask him to ask the Buddha questions for themselves, which he agrees to do, since they all gave him a place to stay and food on his journey.
When he arrives, the Buddha informs him he can only ask 3 questions even though he has 4. So instead of asking his own question, KaiWei asks the questions of his friends he met along his journey.
KaiWei journeys back and gives his friends the answers. In so doing, KaiWei is given riches (a pearl, sacks of gold and silver, and one of the men’s daughter for a bride whom he loves) from these friends.
Thus, KaiWei gets the answer to his question through helping others. He is blessed beyond comparison through putting his needs aside.
Later, KaiWei’s grandkids favorite story is “their grandfather’s journey to see Buddha and the fourth question he never asked.”
I LOVE this one! I wish all the stories I read to my kids had such a powerful message. When we do put others first and our needs aside, powerful things begin to happen in our lives, questions get answered, and God moves in ways hitherto unforeseen.
Great stuff! Highly recommended!