The only thing I don’t really like about my A Year Full Of Stories is when I come across a religious story (like Jonah and The Whale previously). I guess it does also say ‘legend’ on the front cover, so Rama and Sita could be one that the author has labelled a legend. Perhaps I’m just being over sensitive! I know Rama and Sita very well after teaching it for several years in Religious Education.
It centres around Rama and Sita are newly married. Rama’s stepmother wanted her own son to be on the throne. She tricked the King into believing this too and made him banish Rama from the kingdom for fourteen years. Rama and Sita left the palace to find a new home. They lived in a forest where they were very happy together.
One day, Sita spotted a golden deer and asked Rama to catch it for her as a companion. Rama left his brother Lakshmana to look after Sita and off he went. Sita heard Rama cry out and told Lakshmana to go find him. He drew a circle around her with an arrow and told her to stay inside to keep safe. An old man staggered up to the house asking Sita to help her. She stepped outside the circle, but as soon as she had done so, the man disappeared and in his place rose the great demon king Ravana. He said he would have her as a wife. He swept her up in his chariot and took her away.
As they flew through the sky, Sita started to drop parts of her jewellery for Rama to be able to follow. As Rama returned, he realised what had happened. He found the jewellery and started to follow the trail but soon enough, the jewels ran out. As he went through the forest, he came across Hanuman the monkey king. Rama had once helped him out so Hanuman was eager to help. Hanuman called of his monkey friends to search for the prisoner. It was Hanuman who found Sita on an island far from the shore.
Hanuman’s monkeys made a brdge to the island. Rama was able to lead the animal army over to the island. There was a fierce battle. In the end, Rama shot Ravana through the chest and he fell dead to the floor. Rama and Sita were reunited. Fourteen years had passed, so they could go back to their kingdom. Along the way, they saw a thousand sparkling lights in their kingdom, out to welcome the beloved Prince and Princess home.
An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)
Next Fairy/Folk Tale- The Buried Moon AND The Shortest Ghost Story In The World