The Warrior Well An Ancient Mongol Story One way the ancient Mongols taught their children good behavior was by using folk tales to make a point. When the Mongols ruled ancient China, they brought their folk tales with them. This is a story we created for ancient China. It is loosely based on an ancient Mongol folk tale. It illustrates how a tale from one culture can blend with the culture of another. Retold by Lin Donn Illustrated by Phillip Martin
Once upon a time, a long time ago, a woman was watering her sheep. Her husband had reminded her to cover the well tightly when she was done as water was scarce. But when she was done, she forgot to close the well. Soon, the well filled and water poured out and began to flood the grassland at the bottom of the hill. The sheep bleated in fright.
Just then, a warrior came riding by. "Can you help me?" the woman cried. "I cannot stop the water!" The warrior shot an arrow into the tallest mountain, splitting it in two. One part fell onto the well and stopped the water from pouring out.
The woman turned to the warrior, eager to thank him and to offer him food to eat when suddenly something occurred to her. She blurted, "But how will I get to the water again? It is under a mountain!" The warrior only bowed and smiled and went on his way.
When the woman realized that she had not offered food or greeting, she hung her head in shame. Question: What do you think this story might teach a child about his or her own customs?
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