Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Episode 18: An Overlord Angered

In this feature, we outline the chapters of The Legend of Ponnivala as we've laid them out in the animated and print series. The sub-story descriptions are those that occur in each episode, and are drawn from our Teacher's Handbook.

Two brother-heroes who rule Ponnivala together set off on a campaign to shame their clansmen for past wrongs committed against their now-deceased parents. Those clansmen and their families are forced into exile, but they cleverly complain to the neighboring Chola king. Informed that Ponnivala has not paid tribute for years, that king soon demands his due.

The Twin Heroes Attack Their Rivals’ School-age Sons

The twin brothers racing their horses towards the land of their clan rivals. Following on foot (with magical speed) is their powerful assistant. When these three men find the clansmen's village they quickly locate its single room school house. There they tie up the horses, enter the one-room building, and sit down at the back of the class. Of course, they are soon noticed. The children react with anger at the presumption of the visitors and a row begins. The younger brother, with help from the powerful assistant, wreaks havoc inside the school. But the elder brother stands to one side. After much beating and whipping, all the young boys in the class are tied together in sets of two. Then they are forced out the schoolhouse door and told to run home. Of course they can only hobble.

A Group of School Boys Are Humiliated And Their Families Exiled

The school boys’ mothers soon notice a strange-looking group of kids running towards them. They call their husbands who have just returned from the fields for lunch. Everyone who sees the state of these poor children feels horrified and insulted. The men from each child’s family run to the school and try to attack the challengers with sticks. But they do not win. Instead, the heroes beat them back. As the situation worsens the heroes throw the entire set of residents out of their village. Forced into exile by the unwelcome visitors, these victimized families set out from their own village as refugees. They quickly develop a plan. They will find refuge with the overlord of the entire South (the Chola king). Then they will submit their complaint about mistreatment to him.

The Exiled Families Cleverly Enlist A Superior King’s Backing

The clansmen find the Chola’s palace. As they meet the king, several spokespersons for the group cleverly remind the great monarch that the two young boy-rulers from Ponnivala have not delivered the traditional tribute to him even once since their parents’ death. Angered, the Chola sends an envoy to the twin brothers’ palace to demand immediate payment. But the envoys are stopped at the river by aggressive palace animals. Frightened, they leave their message with a maid who is filling water pots there, and return quickly to the Chola's home territory. The palace maid brings the two king brothers news of the great Chola's demands. But they disagree on how to handle this new challenge. The younger brother refuses to humiliate himself by taking a symbolic tribute payment to their overlord. By contrast, the elder feels it must be done. He agrees to go.

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