• JoAnne Saldanha

Sometimes misfortune can indeed be a blessing.


August, 2020




Sion, an excellent and well-respected fortune-teller, lives in a kingdom just along the Great Wall of China. Everyone went to get their future read by him, and he was never wrong. However, when a series of unlucky incidents befall him, Sion takes it all in his stride, saying, ‘This might actually be a good thing.’ His friends and neighbours are aghast when Sion sings the same refrain, even when his son breaks his leg. How silly, to say such a thing!! They wonder if Sion is unable to think clearly any longer, and wonder if he will lose his reputation as the wisest man in the kingdom. As the story unfolds, his friends realise that Sion was right all along. That ... ‘misfortune could indeed be a blessing.’ . I had picked this book online from the Karadi Tales website, because I loved another one of their Chinese tales. When I received it, a few months ago, I marvelled at the beautiful, soothing illustrations, thought it was a nice enough story and put it away. However, once school started and I would hear the children grumbling about being cooped up, and how horrible the lockdown was. So I took this book to my elementary children...and after reading the story, I asked them to think about how CoVid 19 and the resultant lockdowns could possibly be a blessing. They wondered if I was losing my marbles, so I asked them all to be quiet and to just think about their own lives, pre-CoVid 19 and now, while it is raging outside our doors. The brief was to think personal...I did not want parroted answers about the earth healing and the ozone layer closing. Those are blessings too. But how has it affected us on a personal level? And how they began to appreciate all that this time at home gives us and avalanche of answers came pouring out….. ‘ We get to be a family...though my parents are working, we are all together.’ ‘ We are doing new things together...baking, cooking, origami, Rubiks cube.’ ‘ Games, loads of board games and cards….its such fun Aunty!!’ ‘ I get to help my mother with my baby sister/brother.’ ‘Lots of time to be free, just by myself.’ ‘We go and watch the sunrise/sunset.’ ‘I get to be like my mom/dad and work on a laptop, feels like I’m in the office.’ ‘I get to look for constellations.’ ‘We talk. My family, my cousins we put all devices away and we talk.’

….and many many more wonderful blessings in this time. . As the book ends….’sometimes misfortune can indeed be a blessing.’

SION'S MISFORTUNE AUTHOR/ ILLUSTRATOR: Chen Jiafei/ Wang Ran PUBLISHER: Karadi Tales





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