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1001 Stories Collection

When Humans Had Tails

1001 whenhumanshavetails
Added on 04th July 2020

Oral tradition East Indian folktale

Asia Environment and nature
1001 , Audio

What happened to the tails that humans were once so proud to have?

Story

Once there was a time when all humans had tails and were very proud of those tails. One day the Great Creator, visited the market which was busy with people jostling and pushing and somebody stepped on his tail. He tripped and fell, and the crowd laughed at him. In his anger he did something that changed the human race forever…

Why we chose it

When Humans Had Tails was one of the stories in The Story Museum’s original audio stories collection. These stories are particularly suitable for learning to retell.

Where it came from

This is a Saora folk tale from Odisha (formerly Orissa) in East India.

Where it went next

The story was recorded and written down by the anthropologist Verrier Elwin in 1961. The book, When the World Was Young: Folk-tales from India’s Hills and Forests, contains many other Indian myths and legends.

Associated stories

There are several myths in different cultures of ancient humans having tails, including stories of Cornishmen and Kentish men. In Japanese legend, Kitsune are shape-shifting foxes which, in some stories, keep their tails while they are in human form.

Added on 04th July 2020

Oral tradition East Indian folktale

Asia Environment and nature
1001 , Audio