April 28, 2006

playing around

I slept very badly last night, even though I was very tired. I thought I would collapse into bed and go straight to sleep, but instead laid there watching telly until I got sleepy at 11pm. But that’s not the end of my story. Sometime later, my mobile phone woke me up. I thought someone was sending me a text message. I woke up and looked at my phone but there was no text message and no missed call. It had definitely made a noise because the phone was lit up too. But whatever noise my phone was making was totally unexplained. It was just after midnight. I fell back into sleep easily but woke up a couple of hours later and couldn’t go back to sleep. I sat there awake for a while, getting eaten by mozzies. Eventually, I sat up and reached for the fan switch to turn it up. At the exact moment I turned the fan up, the touch lamp on the other side of the room went on. In two years, this touch lamp has never turned on for no reason.

So this afternoon, I told this story to my two brothers and one gagu (grandfather) who were here at the language centre. They automically said it was something of significance. My baba said someone or something was playing around. He thought it was a little person. I’m not sure what it was, but it was definitely strange.

I’ve always been intrigued by ‘little people’. I was an exchange student in Iceland and lots of people there believe in them. My best friend when I was there was a mexican-american who knew stories about little people from California and Mexico that were remarkably similar to those of the Icelanders. And since then I’ve heard plenty of stories from Aboriginal people about little people. Similar stories from three parts of the globe is a bit of a coincidence and I still can’t explain what was happening last night.

7 comments:

bulanjdjan said...

In Germany, in Cologne specifically I think, there is a folklore that little people used to come at night and do all the day's unfinished work. I wish I could remember more specifics - it's quite a good tale, which is probably why it has survived in oral tradition for so long. Something about a human getting curious and waiting up to spy on the little people (who have a really cool name...), but by spying on them, and exposing them, the human really pissed the little people off, so they buggered off. Moral of the story perhaps being to not investigate that which you don't understand yet works in your favour?

And what is it about sleeping poorly when you're tired? It's sooo frustrating!

Sophie said...

There is nothing wrong with being a little shortwan

Laraba said...

Thank you Bulanjdjan, now I can really understand what is being meant by "little people". I did a google search which was helpful but it didn`t cross my mind it`d be Heinzelmännchen! :o)

And Wamut - well done on your dancing! (to add a little cross-blog reference)

bulanjdjan said...

Heinzelmaennchen! Wal tharran na!

Catalin said...

"The Shoemaker and the elves" is a fairytale I grew up with. The little elves help the poor shoemaker by making beautiful shoes in the night (this goes on for some time and the shoemaker is able to buy more leather and make more shoes, etc.). The shoemaker and his wife stay up to see who is helping them. When they see the little elves working so hard, they feel sorry for them because they are naked. So the wife sews them eahc a little set of clothes and leaves them out. When the elves find the clothes, they put them on, dance around in delight, then take off, never to be seen again.

Anyway, there are so many stories of both "little people" and giants around the world in totally diverse mythologies. I think the mythologists and psychologists would have something to say about how size relates to power from our earliest days (little children are keenly aware of how much bigger adults are and also take note of whether other children are bigger or smaller than they are, etc.).

I wonder if helpful little people are more common than mischievous ones...

Can you share some of the ideas/stories about "little people" that you've heard from indigenous Australians?

Wamut said...

When I've heard Aboriginal people, Icelanders and my mexican-american friend talk about little people it hasn't had anything to do with mythology... they exist and people have seen them or know people who see them... they're not the stuff of gammin stories but accounts of events and not even doubted. Like when I told my baba the story of what was happening in my room that night, there wasn't a sceric of doubt, just that 'I had a visitor'.

And I've heard stories from a diverse range of Aboriginal people too.. my friend from Bundaberg area in Qld who would be labelled as 'urbanised' told me detailed stories about little people there and sightings and it's on the internet too ... can't find it tho... his stories are not different from the few i've heard around here in arnhem land

Anonymous said...

Hey Munanga have bucketloads of little people stories do you want to hear them? Some are from your area xx