Assignment 1:5 – How Evil Came to Be

At the end of this lesson you will find detailed instructions for this assignment. Your task is to take the story that King tells about how evil comes into the world at the witches conference [In “The Truth About Stories” ] — and change the story any way you want — as long as the end remains the same: once you have told a story, you can never take it back. So, be careful of the stories you tell, AND the stories you listen to. 

Then learn your story by heart, and then tell the story to your friends and family. When you are finished, post a blog with your version of the story and some commentary on what you discovered. If you want, you can post a video of you telling the story, in place of text.



How Evil Came to Be 

Before the existence of humans and civilization, there were only dragons in the sky and serpents on land. The dragons were seen as majestic, untouchable, and noble animals – respected by all and feared by troublemakers. The serpents on the other hand, were seen as lowly and lazy creatures that disgusted the land and ocean spirits. For most of the time, both species lived in peaceful harmony.

One day, the serpents were surprised with the birth of a baby girl. Her golden brown locks, soft blue eyes, and smooth, fair skin looked vastly different from what the creatures were used to expecting. Confused and flustered, the mother serpent hailed one of the dragons to come see for himself. Upon arrival, the dragon gasped in shock.

“What is it, Mr. Dragon? Please tell us what this little creature is doing on Earth?” eagerly asked the mother serpent.

“This baby is dangerous to your family and to your community! I must remove it from Earth at once!” The dragon inched forward to take the baby girl from the mother serpent.

“Wait! What harm could this tiny creature possibly do to us? Why do you get to take it away?” The mother serpent was desperate for answers.

“There is no time for your questions. You are under obligation to obey my order. Now, release!”

Before the mother serpent could respond, the dragon swooped in, lifted the baby girl out from the mother’s protective embrace, and flew up toward the skies.

News spread, and before the dragons could stop or deny any of it, the serpents finally understood why the baby girl was taken in a haste … She was the lost daughter of The Highest Power, an unseen force of the universe, and the ultimate creator of life. A sky-wide search for the missing baby had already ensued, but nobody had thought she would have reincarnated to Earth. The reward? Everlasting Joy and Happiness.

Infuriated and hurt from being lied to, the mother serpent, along with the rest of the serpent community, vowed to take revenge. They grew wings of fire and flew up to the skies to complete this mission. Dragon wings were burnt and torn and the dragon themselves fell to their death. It was a bloody revenge, but a sweet one to the serpents, and that is how Evil was introduced into their world.

“[And], of course, it was too late. For once a story is told, it cannot be called back. Once told, it is loose in the world” (King, 10).



Knowing that I needed to make my story sound personable and ‘story-like’ in both oral and written formats, I made a conscious effort to construct my sentences the way that I imagined children’s literature would sound like. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” I think it’s true that life is incredibly complicated and that we are often confronted with situations that force us to make hard decisions. Yet, I also think we like to make our complicated lives even more difficult, and amidst the chaos of trying to figure life out, we forget that there is so much more to life than our problems.

I think storytelling pushes people to extract the essence of complex matters and allow us to see the bigger picture. Through this story, I wanted to show that notions like Joy and Happiness can coexist with Evil (dragon finds baby and achieves both), and that is very much the reality we live in today. There is obviously room for improvement but I also don’t think I’ll ever be content with a story that doesn’t have room to evolve. This is where the audience comes in and makes that happen over time.


Works Cited 

InsaneIVI. Dragons in the Sky. 2011. Deviant Art. Web. 29 May 2016.

King, Thomas. The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2003. Print.

Pawula, Sandra. “36 Inspiring Quotations from Albert Einstein.” Always Well Within, 3 Nov. 2011. Web. 29 May 2016.

Thompson, Tosin. The pursuit of happiness: what is happiness, and how can we make ourselves happier?” NewStatesman, 8 Jul. 2015. Web. 28 May 2016.

1:3 Ceremonies of Belief & Respect

  1. Write a summary of three significant points that you find most interesting in the final chapter of If This is Your Land, Where are Your Stories?



If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories by J. Edward Chamberlin provides an excellent introduction into the historical customs of the Canadian Indigenous people, injustices and discriminatory treatment made against them, and finally the duality and parallels when seen as a bigger picture. To say that reading Chamberlin’s book was an eye-opening experience is an understatement – Instead, it forces readers to dig deeper and scrutinize the stories we have been taught to believe all this time without much thought. In his final chapter “Ceremonies,” the author emphasizes on three significant points:

  1. It is the act of believing, rather than the particular belief itself that unites people across all cultures.

Chamberlin makes it clear that without the intention of respect in the first place, misunderstanding and hostility become inevitable. It is only when we regard the Indigenous people with our sincere wish to understand and accept their stories as valid do we begin to see the common ground that ultimately unites us all. Instead of always fixating our focus on the specific tales and questioning their factual validity, we are encouraged to engage in their stories with an open mindset of simply believing. The reason for this, is that all too often we fall in the traps of talking without communicating, seeing without understanding, and touching without feeling. Chamberlin explains that “we try to match the unmatchable, such as what J.B.S. Haldane called statements of fact that are untrue in detail but contain truth at their core with those that are right in detail but only reveal the form and not the real nature of things” (227). Any story that serves to provide information of experience encompasses both the nature of reality and imaginative agency, and the differences between reality and imagination become transformed in the ceremony of belief. This leads me to my second point.

  1. Both oral and written traditions are equal in intent and sophistication when preserving cultures.

The value in the practice of orality must not be reduced. Stories experienced, shared, and passed down the generations hold the history and evidence of the First Nation people’s sacred relationship to their land. For example, the grizzly bear story told by the Gitksan people of northwestern B.C., then later confirmed an earthquake seven thousand years ago by geologists, is not the main point (Chamberlin 219-221). The fundamental idea of comprehending this story is not whether or not the tale is proven true with evidence, but rather the need to respect every story in all form regardless of it being supported or not. Orality is not regressive and western stories are not progressive due to their written form; both methods are simply how we share our joys and existence with one another.

  1. Borders are the manifestation of space between imagination and reality.

One thing that most of us fail to realize is that borders are not always ominous. Yes, it is a way of claiming ownership to something, but they are never specifically implemented to offend others. Same with stories: they connect some people together and keep others apart, and that fact should never affect the way we see or treat an unfamiliar culture. Chamberlin makes a great point, “… We attack the very strangeness and contradiction we should cherish. Not getting to the border is to mistake the imaged events on stage for real life” (222). Once we recognize these borders, see where we stand on the spectrum and overcome these borders, we ultimately transcend notions of Them and Us.


Works Cited

Chamberlin, J. Edward. If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?: Finding Common Ground. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2004. Print.

“Hazelton: ‘Ksan village of the Gitksan people.” Digital image. N.p. Web. 18 May 2016.

MacNeil, Courtney. “Orality.” The Chicago School of Media Theory, 2007. Web. 18 May 2016.

Powell, J.V., Jensen, Vickie D., and Pedersen, Anne-Marie. “Gitxsan.” Histórica Canada, 1 Nov. 2010. Web. 19 May 2016.

ENGL 470A: Canadian Studies in Literature / Assignment 1:1

no more stolen sisters pic

Hello there, and welcome to my English 470A blog. This will be a safe, creative, and open space to record my exploration of relationships between Canadian literature and storytelling with a focus on contexts at the intersection of Indigenous and European history. I welcome any comments, questions, and suggestions, and am open to hearing your thoughts on the topics I will be writing on for the duration of this course.

My name is Sandra Wu, a rising senior majoring in English Literature and minoring in Creative Writing. I was born and raised in Vancouver with full Taiwanese heritage. My mother, a Mandarin teacher of 30+ years, made it a lifetime goal to never have me lose my roots with the language or culture she was born into, and in retrospect, I am grateful to have suffered through more than a decade of grumpy Saturday mornings in Chinese school. Between learning the English alphabet with ease and rummaging through my brain to memorize the Chinese phonetics, four-year-old Sandra could not understand the importance or need to preserve one’s cultural identity until much later on.

I am eager to examine Canadian literature through the voices of indigenous people because it paves the path to truly understanding their sense of/lack of belonging in the modern Canadian landscape. ENGL 470A provides an opportunity to analyze and scrutinize the tactics used by the colonizers during the process of nation-building, and I believe it is crucial to understand the rooted tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples before we can comment on how the antagonist party needs to reform its ways.

Again, I am super excited to be embarking on this journey of learning more about my culturally rich and beautifully diverse country. I look forward to sharing and changing perspectives with everyone!


Until next time,

Sandra Wu


Works Cited

“Canada’s rejection of inquiry into violence against Aboriginal women is a national disgrace.” 23 September 2013. Web. 14 May 2016. Image.

eChineseLearning. “Chinese Pinyin (Part 1).” YouTube. YouTube, 22 February 2011. Web. 14 May 2016.

“Taiwan: Culture and Heritage.” Taiwan – The Heart of Asia. 27 July 2015. Web. 14 May 2016.

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