My grandmother apparently spoke at a local school, by invitation. She told some of the traditional stories she grew up with. One of them was the Besiin story.
In this story, a child gets upset about something - I forget what, but it was petty - and starts throwing a tantrum, crying nonstop for hours. Finally that night a Besiin (owl) gets fed up, kidnaps the kid, claws his face up and threatens to eat him until the kid's uncle finds them and fights the besiin off to rescue the kid. In the latest news from the village, they have a couple of bits of feedback:
Dear Ms. Wade, I would like to thank you for coming to our class. I really
enjoyed your story telling and I hope you can come in again. Your stories
have made my day. I really enjoyed them and I will look for your book in the
bookstore. I loved your performance and your enthusiasm while you were in
our class. I think my favorite story you told was the one about the little
boy who cried too much. One thing you taught me was that in the old days
kids that cried may have attracted bears or scared off game so they were
told stories to shut them up because food comes before whiney little kids. I
would just like to thank you again for coming in. I loved your presentation
and I hope to see you again. Sincerely yours, Palmer High School student
Too harsh for elementary students. Calling someone a crybaby and telling
them an owl will claw at their face is not the message we like to send. The
lesson I heard was: if someone is abusing you and you call out or cry, they
will continue to abuse until you learn to keep quiet. Even though the uncle
saved the baby, it was suggested that it was the baby that was at fault * he
cried too much and brought on the abuse himself. (Unsigned evaluation from
teacher at Sherrod Elementary)
...Right. The kid got it in one. The teacher was just annoying. You wanted to expose them to culture. You got culture. That's culture. I'm sorry if an aspect of your ideallized, romanticized cartoon culture was revealed to have something slightly less than perfectly PC (and not even all that bad, really) that developed so they could survive. And 'Too harsh'? The story was made FOR people in the "elementary student" range.
Whatever. Anyways, I just needed to vent on that one, since I hear stuff like it too often.