Jeremy | Izzy
L. | Alex | Izzy
L. | Gabby | Izzy
L. | Izzy S. | Benjamin
| Jenny | Izzy L.
| Izzy S. | Mark
| Pakou | Sara K.
At the United Hmong Community Center
in Green Bay we heard a storyteller named Mr. Pao Xiong tell
a Hmong folktale.
Mr. Xiong came in to tell us a Hmong
story with his voice and a slide projector. First, he told
us to get up and exercise. That’s just what we did.
We sat down and he told us he was a member of the Xiong clan
and that Xiong means Bear.
The story was about three orphan boys
who moved to the jungle and met some friendly tigers. The
boys had to feed the tigers because they were too young to
There were three orphan
boys who got chased and teased by the other boys. Their only
friend was a short fat boy who helped them run away from the
other boys. The leader of the village said ‘move downstream
and into the jungle’ so they did. One night, as they
were fretfully trying to get to sleep, some tigers broke into
their shelter. They gave themselves over to the tigers but
the tigers didn’t want them. They were orphan tigers
and they were hungry.
The tigers [who had a lot of money] gave
the boys some money to go buy some meat, so they went to the
butcher who saw the money and said he had never seen that
kind of money before. He went to ask someone else about it
and was told the money belonged to a very rich king and queen.
He asked the boys where they got it but they wouldn’t
Everything went as planned until they
recognized the money as belonging to an ancient queen. One
of the boys was brought to the palace of the king where he
was questioned but he wouldn’t answer anything. The
king tried coaxing him, saying if he told where he got the
money, he could marry his daughter. He had some time alone
with the daughter. She wanted the money but he married her
first. He got the money, and he became king.
They gave the fat boy some money and
let him marry the prettiest girl in the village. The mean
boys wanted to become friends with them now, so they could
get some money and wives but the orphans [now kings] were
suspicious and didn’t become friends with them because
they remembered how they had treated them when they were young.
After some time with the tigers, the
orphans moved back into town. One became a king (tiger king)
and the others became civilians.
At the end, they got to keep the money.
Their fat friend got married to the most beautiful girl in
the village because he had treated the orphans well. That’s
why Hmong children are so respectful.
As for the short fat boy, they gave
him the position of General of the army and the prettiest
woman in the village as his wife.
The moral of the story is: be nice to
everyone because you don’t know what they will become
when they grow up!
The story was kind of funny because tigers
can’t really be your friends. They will eat you up!
I think stories about tigers are very
popular because there are a lot of Hmong stories about tigers.
I’ve heard a LOT of tiger stories.
[The story] was rather confusing. It’s
not much different from the other Hmong stories because they
were confusing too. The story was so confusing that at one
point I just couldn’t understand it. It would be interesting
to ask Hmong people if they understood the story.
I quickly learned that not all storytellers
are alike. Some just tell stories in one, drawling, boring,
bored voice. Others use one voice for the main character but
then change it, in other words, too many voices! But, some
use their normal voice for the narrator and different voices
for the characters but keep the voices the same throughout
and put a lot of excitement into it. Mr. Xiong spoke in his
normal voice for the narrator and when dialogue started, his
voice would get high and, although the voices of the characters
were all high, they were all different too. I enjoyed the
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