Friday, May 16, 2014

Carpe Diem #469, Awareness

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The last few days we had prompts referring to Native American Legends, Myths, Saga and Folktales and I will continue with that, but not today. As I was preparing this new episode about Awareness another nice tale came in mind, a Dutch folktale and I love to share it with you all.
This Dutch folktale is about a very wealthy woman who isn't very kind towards her surroundings and she thinks herself she is much much better than the rest of the people. It's a very classic folktale, but it has something to do with being aware of the way you live and your view on the world around you.
As you all know I am a Dutchmen from The Netherlands and this story I love to share is one which is told still ...

The Lady of Stavoren (a Dutch folktale)
Stavoren was one of the most wealthiest cities in the Middle Ages. Ships from everywhere crowded the harbor, and brought richness to the merchants of Stavoren. They became as rich as one could think and decorated their doors with gold leaf.
One of these wealthy merchants was Richbertha, a woman whose husband had died years before. She had inherited his fortune and continued to trade. She became wealthier and more beautiful and everyone spoke about her as the Lady of Stavoren.

Statue of the Lady of Stavoren in the harbor of Stavoren

One day a famous captain visited the Lady of Stavoren. He stood before her bowed and gave her a beautiful ruby ring. The stone was huge and sparkled in the bright sun. The Lady of Stavoren was impressed with its beauty. And thanked the captain for his gift, but it also filled her with greed and she asked the captain to bring her the most precious thing in all the world.
The captain sailed all the seven seas to find her the most precious thing on the world and he finally succeeded to find the most precious thing in all the world.
He sailed back to Stavoren where the Lady of Stavoren already had heard of his success and was waiting for him in the harbor. He asked her to come aboard to see what he had got for her. As she saw what he had brought her she became angry and full of rage. He had gotten her a full load of grains, wheat for bread. The Lady of Stavoren demanded that the wheat would be thrown into the sea, into the harbor. The captain tried to stop her, but that made her even more angry. She pulled of her ruby ring, which the captain had given her, and flung it into the water where the strong current swiftly carried it to sea. While she did that she said: "Sorrow will no sooner come to this city than my ruby-ring will return to me". And sayin that she commanded the men to toss the sacks into the sea.
The next evening, the lady sat down at her table to enjoy a feast. Where she sliced into the fish on the plate before her, she gasped, for there, inside the fish, lay her ruby ring.
That very night many ships were lost at sea in a terrible storm, and within weeks, the wheat at the bottom of the harbor began to grow. As it did, sand gathered between the stalks, and soon sand filled the harbor. Before long, large ships could no longer enter, for the sand bar grew and grew. To this day, the sandbar is called "Lady's Sand".
What once was the liveliestand wealthiest port of Europe grew smaller and poorer, and everyone says this was the fault of the greedy Lady of Stavoren, who didn't understand how precious is the bread that feeds us.

It's a wonderful story in which is very clear that greed is a bad habit and it can turn you to poverty. In this story (there are 27 different versions) the Lady of Stavoren becomes aware of what she had done after several years in poverty.

gold ring thrown away
returned in the belly of a fish
bringing poverty

rich merchant woman
could not understand her wealth -
no more bread

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this Dutch folktale and I hope it will inspire you to write/compose new haiku ...
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 19th at noon (CET). I will try to post our new episode, proud, later on today. For now ... have fun!
!! BTW I have published a new page "Discover the World of Haiku" with links to other websites and weblogs you can find that new page above in the menu bar or HERE it's a page in progress !!

1 comment:

  1. This story, as you say reminds me of many I know. The Emperors New Clothes is one that comes to mind straight away. Also the story of King Midas. Thank you for sharing this folktale.
    At least in one or some of the stories The Lady becomes aware of her actions.