Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tikki Tikki Tembo

“Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo has fallen into the well.”

Based on an old Chinese folktale, the story of Tikki Tikki Tembo was read to me many moons ago in grade school and I have never forgotten it. But really who could? In a nutshell, the tale is about a little boy with a deliciously and at times aggravatingly long name (see above) who happens to fall into a well. His trials and tribulations due to that unfortunate fall, coupled with obvious communication problems owing to his lengthy moniker, eventually incite societal change.

As the story goes, Chinese parents henceforth bestowed their children with much shorter names. Being one who has grown up with a fun yet ridiculously long name—albeit without the inciting societal change bit—this story makes me smile, simply because I can fully appreciate the hero's predicament. If you have young kids this is definitely one to read out loud. It’s more fun than saying:
Try it.

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