Tales From The Tenets.
You will most likely be familiar with the concept of a tale. A tenet is essentially a principle, a guideline, you may know this also. These eponymous tenets are known to many Tae Kwon Do practitioners, being in common use as rules to live by. Courtesy Integrity Perseverance Self Control and Indomitable Spirit! We spin them out like a chant as we explain them to our new students/remind regular students why they are doing those apology press ups. But how to make our mantra stick? How to show these rules are to make you a good person, how to explain that good people are happy people without sounding like this: blahblah do-as-you’re-told blahblah be a sheep baa baaa? You could try telling some tales, of course.
Ronko The Rude Clown, for example. He has such selfish mean behaviour that he can’t even be bothered with personal hygiene and as a result of this he has a socially unfortunate accident. He is not popular so the other clowns laugh at him. This is not terribly polite of them but he understands why. He learns.
There’s the magpie, the dishonest thief. If he had told the truth his head might still be attached.
There’s Elenora, persistently exploring, persistently vexed. And thanks to her persistence she remains persistently alive. (No one is quite sure how the hammerhead shark came to be in the undergrowth.)
There is Timmy O’Tomkinbert the loveable robot whose self control panel was tragically compromised in a thinly veiled dig at shabby modern industrial practices. Sci-fi, sausage making and shoes gone wrong!
And then there is the Zombie Apocalypse: prep or die? Your choice… only remember how delicious you are to those grumbly-tummied undead…
These five educational stories were written for fireside sharing at our Junior TKD Kids Camp (the cub scouts may have regretted joining us) to nurture a little moral reasoning. The stories proved popular so I put them in a book. An ebook initially, as there’s currently no capital available for printing. My publishing enterprise Black Belt Books is a slow grower, which is fine as I have no particular plan, only curiosity and enthusiasm. And I’ve been invited back to camp and some other venues too: and there exists a list of ideas for the next five years worth of Tales From The Tenets. And other ideas!
The Novel, the grown up novel of which I sometimes speak, is close to ready. Today I met my Chief Dear Reader. There are a few alterations to make: nips and tucks only. This is not Black Belt Books catalogue material. Do I set up a second publishing enterprise? This is not a rhetorical question yet requires no immediate answer. It is more a way of wondering what I will do next.
Meanwhile blackberries get fat in unexpected heat: my fingertips are wrinkled from indigo juice. Dark demijohns in the kitchen sing bubbling September songs.