Thu, 14 February 2008
"The Castle in the Lake" from Tibet is a tale about a poor herdsman who undertakes a quest to change his fortunes. Like many other stories from many other cultures, he does so by submerging himself into a body of water. And the story also includes an animal transformation motif and a concealed identity motif, rather similar to "Lohengrin" and "East of the Sun and West of the Moon".
We bring it to you from Everglades National Park in Florida, where we took a bicycle tour to snuggle up to those notorious Florida gators in their natural habitat. How many do you suppose we counted on a 15-mile trek on our Treks?
We also spent some time in Homestead, where we caught a Mardi Gras parade in the city's old town section, a parade that included an outstanding (or outmarching) band and some wild animals -- including an alligator!
And what would a homestead be without an outhouse? Hopefully the outhouses they had in homesteading days stayed stationary, unlike the ones we saw, which were on wheels and used in races. It was the 14th annual chili cook-off and outhouse race (is there a connection there?), and it was quite a memorable event that included some artistically designed and decorated outhouses.
And then there was a truly unique homestead in Homestead, the Coral Castle. It was constructed by Latvian immigrant Edward Leedskalnin from about 1920-1940, though he continued to modify it until his death in 1951. Though Ed was physically very small, he built this imposing complex by himself from granite blocks weighing several tons. Nobody knows exactly how -- one might call it (and many have) the Florida Stonehenge. He certainly was a brilliant technician, and also very good at fashioning tools from scrap metal. you'd be amazed how comfortable it can be to sit on a chair made of coral!
Dennis (Herdsman), Kimberly (Narrator & Woman) and Zephyr (Servant, King, Chief's Son)