Escape Artists
September 16, 2014, 12:25:13 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 [All]
  Print  
Author Topic: PC028: The Tanuki-Kettle  (Read 10240 times)
Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
Hipparch
******
Posts: 2938


Part-Time Psychopomp.


« on: October 08, 2008, 08:05:34 AM »

PC028: The Tanuki-Kettle

By Eugie Foster
Read by Tina Connolly
Introduction by M. K. Hobson
First appeared in Cricket Magazine.

As she opened the door, Hisa was surprised to see an iron kettle sitting on her step. It had a large, round belly and four stumpy legs. The spout was wide and curved like a fox’s mouth with two round, black eyes above it. And most curious, a pair of pointed triangles jutted from the top, exactly like a pair of ears.

“What an unusual teakettle.” Hisa looked, but there was no one about.

She set aside her broken pot and brought the new, iron one inside. She poured sweet, cool water into it. Where her old kettle took eight dippers of water, this new one required a full twelve to fill.

Hisa stoked the fire high and lifted the kettle to the hook.

“Mistress, I thank you for the drink, but please don’t put me on the fire.”

Hisa spun around, sloshing water on the floor. “Who said that?”

“It was I, mistress. The teakettle.”

Hisa stared at the iron pot in her hands. “Teakettles do not talk.”

“I’m only pretending to be a teakettle.”


Rated G. Contains objects and animals that refuse to remain in their platonic categories.


Logged

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4652



« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2008, 08:10:44 AM »

Aw, this was great. Not the deepest or most philosophical of stories, but it had me smiling throughout and I still am. Smiley
Logged
DKT
Friendly Neighborhood
Editor
*****
Posts: 4496


PodCastle is my Co-Pilot


WWW
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2008, 10:32:27 AM »

Very cool to hear a Eugie Foster story!

Also, that was one of the funniest intros I've heard.  Good stuff all around.
Logged

Rod
Silent
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2008, 10:41:05 AM »

Loved the story. It amazes me sometimes to know that at 48 years old, I can still be surprised to learn of the existance of a large animal species. Decoder Ring Theater introduced me to red pandas a year or so ago, and now tanukis. Maybe a note to the National Geographic and Discovery Channels....enough sharks already...what else is out there?
Logged
wintermute
Hipparch
******
Posts: 925


What Would Batman Do?


« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2008, 11:35:04 AM »

You know what species needs to be in more fantasy literature?

Tardigrades.

They might not be very big, but those things are cool.
Logged

Science means that not all dreams can come true
tazo
Extern
*
Posts: 18


WWW
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2008, 02:07:36 PM »

Needed more giant racoon-dog testicles. 

Maybe that WAS the source of the... nah, that's way too disgusting a thought, even for me.


At any rate, I got quite a chuckle out of this story.  Not every story needs to be deep, thought provoking, and maudlin.  There's something wonderful to be said for a nice, light fable.  It's part of why I'm really enjoying the Peter S. Beagle flash-fiction.  Fantasy, due to its roots in the fantastic, lends itself really well to this kind of light fable story. 
Logged
Talia
Moderator
*****
Posts: 2528


I like pie


« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2008, 10:46:09 PM »

Havent finished the episode yet, but I'm LOVING it so far.. it's totallly charming!  Just wanted to pop in to say that out of curiousity I searched EP to see what episodes were hers, and turns out they were episodes I really, really liked. Must say, she is turning out to be one of my favorite writers to be featured here. Smiley Looking forward to more from her. Smiley


edit: finally finished. Loved it! A nice, fun, light & warmhearted little tale. Quite a stark contrast to last week's! Good stuff.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 08:45:05 AM by Talia » Logged
deflective
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1171



« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2008, 04:17:54 AM »

how did we talk about a tanuki-kettle this long without working in the word teabag? i'll do it, i'm not proud.

fun story. found myself thinking of Barrymore throwing apples.
Logged
wintermute
Hipparch
******
Posts: 925


What Would Batman Do?


« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2008, 06:53:45 AM »

fun story. found myself thinking of Barrymore throwing apples.
Michael or Drew?
Logged

Science means that not all dreams can come true
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2008, 09:44:58 AM »

fun story. found myself thinking of Barrymore throwing apples.
Michael or Drew?

Jethro Tull drummer Barlow.  Barrymore Barlow.
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
wintermute
Hipparch
******
Posts: 925


What Would Batman Do?


« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2008, 09:55:41 AM »

OK, this is of the slenderest possible relevance, but a Japanese restaurant is using monkey waiters!

The money quote has to be "'The monkeys are actually better waiters than some really bad human ones,' customer Takayoshi Soeno said.", which doesn't sound too far off from "Compared to Stephen Hawking, he's a half-way decent high-jumper"...
Logged

Science means that not all dreams can come true
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2008, 12:25:18 PM »

OK, this is of the slenderest possible relevance, but a Japanese restaurant is using monkey waiters!

The money quote has to be "'The monkeys are actually better waiters than some really bad human ones,' customer Takayoshi Soeno said.", which doesn't sound too far off from "Compared to Stephen Hawking, he's a half-way decent high-jumper"...

"I'm trying to be the most well-groomed folk singer.  That's kind of like being the smartest drummer ... not that big a deal." --George Hrab, April 2007
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3168


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2008, 02:22:55 PM »

The reading was fine. Professionals tend to use the "crochety old person voice" way too often... sort of a twist to the lip and a squint of the eye, if you know what I mean, and she did a little of that.

The intro was hilarious. Totally unexpected.

The story was fine too. Neither awesome nor un-awesome. An enjoyable 20 minutes or so.
Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
deflective
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1171



« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2008, 03:20:12 PM »

fun story. found myself thinking of Barrymore throwing apples.
Michael or Drew?

Drew Barrymore in ever after. the son of the local rich dude kept riding through her place in that annoying way they do so she threw an apple and introduced her charming strong-minded willfulness.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 09:34:26 PM by deflective » Logged
hatton
Peltast
***
Posts: 86


WWW
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2008, 09:15:45 AM »

Really enjoyable!  My only question was why the author had the story start with the fortune teller and not just place the girl in the tea house?
Logged
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3168


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2008, 12:28:15 PM »

Really enjoyable!  My only question was why the author had the story start with the fortune teller and not just place the girl in the tea house?

I'm guessing for two reasons:

1. That genre usually starts with something that happened in the past.
2. It shows why Hisa was happy to just be a tea-girl... her mother groomed her for it.

IMO.
Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
wintermute
Hipparch
******
Posts: 925


What Would Batman Do?


« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2008, 12:34:27 PM »

Also, the fortune teller says that she'll be too bold for her own good, and must take a humble profession. And in the end, her boldness is what wins her Akuma's (?) heart.
Logged

Science means that not all dreams can come true
RKG
Palmer
**
Posts: 60



« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2008, 04:24:53 PM »

A completely charming story and an excellent reading.  Had me smiling during my run today!
Logged

thomasowenm
Lochage
*****
Posts: 364


Servant of The Orator Maleficent


« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2008, 07:24:44 PM »

why the author had the story start with the fortune teller and not just place the girl in the tea house?

I also wondered the same thing.  The story would have been stronger, I think, without mom and the fortune teller.  I have to imagine that during that era of Japanese history there were tea houses with maidens who worked in them without being told to by their mom's psychic.  I know she also talked about her boldness but that was demonstrated in the story, it didn't need to be forshadowed at the beginning. 

That is my only complaint, on the whole I really liked the story.  Ms. Foster really wrote for Cricket's target audience without writing down to them.  Kudos.

As for the incredible growing testicle drums of the racoon dog, it was hard to not vusualize that when the tanuki was mentioned.  I wish that would have been in the outro so I didn't see a tea kettle with legs and large protrusions coming underneath it making it unstable.  Was that why he was winking and smiling a lot?
Logged
ajames
Lochage
*****
Posts: 358



« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2008, 08:37:21 PM »

 I'll happily join the chorus on this one. Very enjoyable story.

After listening to the story, the Tanuki-Kettle reminded me a bit of the fire demon in Howl's Moving Castle. Why do I find these Japanese-style stories so compelling?
Logged
Hilary Moon Murphy
Palmer
**
Posts: 76


Proving the inherent superiority of purple hair


« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2008, 11:10:53 AM »

I adored this one.  It's so nice to have a gentle sweet story that we can share with our children.  Thanks for the lovely selection from Eugie Foster!

Hmm
Logged

Ocicat
Castle Watchcat
Moderator
*****
Posts: 2177


Anything for a Weird Life


« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2008, 06:37:15 PM »

I don't think I've commented on this one yet, possibly because I just don't have any bones to pick about it.  Great light fun story.  Good reading.  No complaints.   Smiley
Logged
Kaa
Lochage
*****
Posts: 545


Trusst in me, jusst in me.


WWW
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2008, 04:10:47 PM »

<lemming> I really enjoyed this one, but I, too, had a hard time not picturing the enormous testicles described in the intro during the story. Smiley

And I did wonder about the opening. I listened while doing something mindless at work, and kept thinking I'd missed something, and "rewound" the file twice before realizing that I hadn't.

Still, very enjoyable. I like Eugie's stories. </lemming>

Wink
Logged

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

About writing || About Atheism and Skepticism (mostly) || About Everything Else
ryos
Palmer
**
Posts: 60


« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2008, 07:18:58 PM »

Fun, delightful, heartwarming, and utterly predictable. In this case the predictability scarcely detracted from the enjoyability. I could easily imagine this as an animated short film, possibly for children.

Teste drums? Err, OUCH!  Shocked

P.S. While the reading was generally good, I found the reader's "Tanuki Voice" extremely grating.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 07:28:18 PM by ryos » Logged
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2008, 09:45:46 PM »

I really enjoyed this one, but I, too, had a hard time not picturing the enormous testicles described in the intro during the story. Smiley

Yeah, thanks to the intro I went into this expecting Big Nuts.  But no Big Nuts were to be had. 

Next time, I want Big Nuts.  (And Pom Poko is now on my Netflix queue.  I think she said there were Big Nuts in that.)
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
SFFNut314159265
Silent
*
Posts: 3


« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2008, 11:11:52 AM »

 Grin Tanuki Kettle, you make me laugh!!

Although I have to wonder what your serving those people  Lips sealed
Logged
Roney
Lochage
*****
Posts: 418



« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2008, 03:22:11 PM »

I started off wary at another fairy tale, another oriental-esque fairy tale, but this quickly won me over.  The lightness of touch was delightful and the reading brought out the best in the story.
Logged
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2008, 04:10:12 PM »

I started off wary at another fairy tale, another oriental-esque fairy tale, but this quickly won me over.  The lightness of touch was delightful and the reading brought out the best in the story.

I'm actually predisposed to like stories set in feudal Japan.  Motto onegai shimasu.
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
mudguts
Extern
*
Posts: 12


WWW
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2008, 02:17:37 PM »

This was a cute story.  It would make a great little animated piece for kids. 
though it got a bit side-tracked.

It started out with a seer telling the mother that the child would be wild.. but then turned into a romance story??

If you pull out the beginning and just started the story with the girl at the tea-house.. it would've been complete.   

Unless the story had a twist at the end where the seer was the Tanuki... that might have brought the story together.. otherwise, it didn't make sense.

6.5/10
Logged

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Free Blogs, Free Hosting, Free domain name
http://www.BlogAllo.com
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6229



WWW
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2010, 02:38:44 PM »

Cute, and I liked the Tanuki, a little guy I could easily root for.

And, I hadn't realized it until hearing the intro, but I've come across these Tanuki creatures before!  In 2 separate video games, it turns out.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
One of the best side-scroller games of all time.  One of Mario's rarer power ups is the "Tanooki" suit (that's how it was spelled in the game strategy guides and stuff).  The more common "raccoon" suit gives Mario a raccoon tail and ears, and he can smack enemies with the tail, and can use the tail to fly or to slow a fall.  The Tanooki suit is similar, but is a full raccoon outfit covering everything but Mario's face.  It can do everything the Raccoon suit can do, but Mario can also turn into a statue for a few seconds which is invulnerable to damage.

Legend of the Mystical Ninja (Super NES)
This is a really fun game set in Japan which has the ninja character traveling through various regions of Japan to rescue a princess.  This has a lot of elements of Japanese culture sewn into the plot and setting, which I thought was a fun way for kids to come across it.  The raccoon-dog (which is what he's called in the game) shows up from time to time, I think it was just a speaking character to give the player information.  Surprisingly, his giant testicles are there and uncensored.  It's surprising because the censors in the U.S. rarely have let nudity slip by in kid's games.  Final Fantasy III, for instance, had some summon magics that had some nudity in the Japanese versions that was covered up for the U.S. releases.  Anyway, when I played this game, I couldn't tell on the game screen that they were supposed to be testicles.  I did, however, subscribe to Nintendo Power magazine at the time and in their article showcasing the game they showed the characters including the raccoon-dog drawn as cartoons and his testicles were obvious in that rendition.

Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2010, 08:07:28 PM »

I'll happily join the chorus on this one. Very enjoyable story.

After listening to the story, the Tanuki-Kettle reminded me a bit of the fire demon in Howl's Moving Castle. Why do I find these Japanese-style stories so compelling?

This is really late, I know, but...
You do know that Howl's Moving Castle is an Occidental story written by British author Diana Wynne Jones, right?
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
mbrennan
Peltast
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2010, 11:01:09 PM »

This is really late, I know, but...
You do know that Howl's Moving Castle is an Occidental story written by British author Diana Wynne Jones, right?

Although -- to be fair -- Miyazaki's Calcifer was not the same as DWJ's.

(Says the reader who vastly prefers book!Calcifer.)
Logged
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2010, 11:58:25 PM »

This is really late, I know, but...
You do know that Howl's Moving Castle is an Occidental story written by British author Diana Wynne Jones, right?

Although -- to be fair -- Miyazaki's Calcifer was not the same as DWJ's.

Hell, Miyazaki's story was not the same as DWJ's.  One wonders why he bothered to "adapt" the book at all.  If he'd just renamed some characters and changed a couple of other small details, he could have saved whatever he spent on the film rights.  Huh
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
mbrennan
Peltast
***
Posts: 120


« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2010, 01:50:53 AM »

Well, I was trying not to wear my purist colors TOO obviously on my sleeve. :-)  But yeah, round about where it got to Wizard Suliman, I said to the screen, "you're supposed to be a man, and dead," and that was pretty much the last anybody saw of the book's plot.
Logged
Fenrix
Curmudgeon
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 2418


Have you found the Yellow Sign?


« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2013, 03:41:31 PM »

One of my favorite tiki mugs:

Logged

I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
Pages: 1 2 [All]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!