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Author Topic: PC028: The Tanuki-Kettle  (Read 10192 times)
Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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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.


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eytanz
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« 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
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DKT
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« 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.
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Rod
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« 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?
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wintermute
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« 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.
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tazo
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« 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. 
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Talia
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« 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
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« 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.
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wintermute
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2008, 06:53:45 AM »

fun story. found myself thinking of Barrymore throwing apples.
Michael or Drew?
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stePH
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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.
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wintermute
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« 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"...
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stePH
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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
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Listener
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« 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.
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deflective
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« 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
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« 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?
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Listener
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« 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.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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wintermute
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« 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.
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RKG
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« 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!
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thomasowenm
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« 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?
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ajames
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« 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?
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