What Pegman Saw: The Merlion

Image by Randolfo Santos on Google Maps

The winds howled. Fierce lightning flashed through the sky.
In their fright, the moon and stars hid behind the inky clouds.
The waves crashed higher, higher.
The fisher-folk of Temasek, terrified, prayed harder, harder.
And from the southern waters rose a gigantic shining beast.
Part-lion, part-fish, the Merlion roared.
Long was the battle twixt beast and nature, all through the night and into the dawn.
The winds died. The waves calmed. And a rosy sun lit a new morning sky.


80 words, written for What Pegman Saw: Singapore.

The Merlion represents Prince Sang Nila Utama’s founding of Singapore (lion-city) upon the ancient fishing village of Temasek. According to legend, this magnificent beast was making its annual visit to the island to guard the Lion City when a violent storm erupted.

An ancient myth? Or like the statue, one constructed in modern times?

 

 

 

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in Mostly Micro and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to What Pegman Saw: The Merlion

  1. Lynn Love says:

    Love that idea of a merlion – never seen that before! You filled this with drama. Suitably mythic, too. Lovely stuff

    Liked by 2 people

    • I thank you, Lynn. I always look for the mythic first. Though on this occasion, I don’t know how genuine. Though I will say I thought detected the Hindu tale, of the Flood survivors, their *ark* pulled to shore by what might resemble a narwhale.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Note, it is Lord Vishnu, in the form of a sea-beast, who pulls the boat to shore. And also Lord Vishnu who gives the alert.
        Might Lord Vishnu have been morphed to become the underlying motive for the Merlion?

        Like

      • Lynn Love says:

        Ooh, sounds interesting. So many ‘big flood’ myths across the world, aren’t there?

        Like

      • It has been claimed they originate from one cause. Reality, they were (mostly) recorded by one man. Who didn’t visit the many peoples, didn’t have the stories from their own mouths, but wrote to the various missionaries, who then recorded what the people told them. But was it said to keep the priests happy? Or did they tell a real tale? I know where my vote goes. We have so many stories all the same, because Churchmen recorded them. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Those early church men did bend the accepted/acceptable religious truth to their own ends, didn’t they? Erasing and adding as they saw fit or as it suited their purpose and what they felt was proper.

        Like

      • Indeed. But until you start to dig and delve, we just accept what you’ve been told since … Victorian times and before. I’ve an inquiring mind. And I like to dig. I’m never satisfied with secondhand knowledge; I have to go to source. And then query it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Ah, what a joy you are! Love your inquiring mind – we could do with a few more of those these days πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure there are thousands of us. But I’m also sure we each have a different focus.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Being a history grad myself, I love hearing your snippets – they make me want to rush out and find books on the subjects you talk about. As for my history obsession, it comes in handy sometimes. Last night, we were negotiating Cardiff city centre, on our way back from a gig. I knew the way immediately because I saw a wonderful Victorian cast iron arcade I’d notice on the way in. Ignored all the heaving wine bar, the clubs pulsing music – I just saw all that lovely original ironwork πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • I like that. Yea, me too, ignore everything modern, let’s find the ancient centre. And aren’t we lucky to have that here in UK.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        I love that – churches especially are often so old and yet part of our everyday lives. Lucky indeed

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yea. I notice it in some of the comments from Readers across the pond.

        Liked by 1 person

      • However, in this instance, the Hindu story comes from Rig Veda, and therefore carries story strong veracity, Though whether stemming from a real event, or a symbolic tale, I couldn’t say. But, when we consider the sea rises since the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, I’d be very surprised if there’d been no coastal inundations.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        I’m sure there were many devastating floods that inspired myth makers – now, whether we accept any of them as the Flood depends on your viewpoint.

        Like

      • *The Flood* belongs to the *Peoples of the Book*. It’s based on an ancient folk tale.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lynn Love says:

        Hmm. Thanks for that. I’ll look into it

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Violet Lentz says:

    Brilliantly told take full of bits of fun facts. You never disappoint.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jen Goldie says:

    Interesting tale Crispina πŸ™‚ Chocked full of images! Very dramatic use of words and imagery.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Prior... says:

    enjoyed the visuals – from inky clouds to that sunlit new morning – πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dale says:

    You do this challenge (ok… all your challenges) so very well!.
    I loved this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Joy Pixley says:

    Aha, the merlion appears! And what an impressive beast he is. I always enjoy hearing more myths from you.
    I also really liked the repetition of “higher, higher” echoed by “harder, harder”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. k rawson says:

    Loved the mythic and lyrical take. Thought provoking to wonder how much is myth and how much is modern.

    Liked by 1 person

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