The Eagle, the Man, and the Lions
- The story ended with Part 3. This message contains some general information
on this folk tale. As I explained previously, this story was told to us, as
children; however, I wanted to just point out several other aspects of the
tale, although they might be obvious:
1. This story clearly was a way of telling of the hardship and oppression
experienced in the "Old Country." It also allows those who are oppressed
(or were) to tell of a time when one of their kind was victorious against
great odds. It also clearly establishes through the use of frequent
repetition of the adjectives "good" and "honest" who was on the honorable
side. The fact that a magical creature is necessary to make the good man
victorious is an indicator that the grip of the oppressors was very tight
2. This story also follows the path of a "Resurrection Myth" as seen in many
other cultures. Here we have, for all purposes, a man who is dead. When
the good man is sent to the great pit. He is sent to his death. There
then comes the intervention of a godly spirit. With the aid of this
spirit, the man is reborn through his escape from the great pit. With
great detail, we even have the man giving his flesh to be eaten. In truth,
at this level, this is a highly sophisticated myth.
3. In capturing this tale in writing, I have tried to retain some of the
rhythms and speech patterns used when it was told. The written story
will never have the same affect as when a real storyteller uses his voice
to greatly enhance the "Swoosh...Swoosh...Swoosh!" of the wings of the great
eagle and the great wind- swallowing "Gu-lump!" of the eagle asking for the
lion meat. This story is best when told in a quiet setting and with a great
deal of sound effects being provided by the storyteller including the
"yeowls and snarls'' of the lions and the slashing sound of the good man's
I suppose that, at the current time, this story would be considered to
graphic and gory to be told to children; however, I always listened
intently, no matter how many times I had heard it before...and I never
had nightmares about this tale.
I am planning to start writing about the Joseph and Anna Svoboda Hrncir
family who immigrated to Texas prior to the Civil War. I also need to
capture the folk tale of "Spriritus" a wee man who takes on a wealthy
nobleman in order to get food, clothing, and money for the oppressed
peasants. If any of you would rather read one or the other, please e-mail me
back and let me know your preference.
Susan Rektorik Henley
Kdo chce s vlky býti, musí s vlky výti!
"If you run with the wolves, you must howl with the wolves!"
"Remember who your people are, keep and tell their stories."
"Keep the fires of the culture alive!"