Heaven’s a Garden in the Heart

Heaven’s a Garden in the Heart

These five stories from five different cultures contain striking likenesses and delightful differences. They each give life a special meaning and reasons to be thankful for creation… and to keep on wondering.

1. Iduna and the Magic Apples (Scandinavia): The Frost Giant steals Heaven’s gardener and her magic Apples of Immortality.

2. Monkey, Master of Misbehavior (China): Heaven’s youngest Emperor invents a monkey who drives heaven nearly mad.

3. The Perilous Pomegranate (Greece): Hades kidnaps Demeter’s daughter. Nothing will grow on Earth until Persephone returns.

4. Ice Heart and the Beaming Maiden (Alaska): A cruel chief keeps the Sun Maiden for himself until his intrepid nephew frees her and saves his people.

5. Mother Holle (Germany): A brave, hard-working girl wins a grand reward underground, but her lazy stepsister gets far worse results.

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Copyrights © 2020 Beatrice Bowles

Excerpt from Iduna and the Magic Apples:

Loki grabbed a stick and smacked the eagle, but then the stick stuck to the eagle, and Loki’s hands stuck to the stick. The eagle shot up into the sky heading straight north, trailing Loki along, for that eagle was no eagle, but Heaven’s worst enemy, the Frost Giant, in disguise.

“Let me go!” yelled Loki.

“On one condition!” roared the Frost Giant. “Bring Iduna and one of her apples outside Heaven’s gate.”

Nothing was worse to ask, for Iduna, Goddess of Health, is the Head Gardener of Heaven’s Orchards. She grows the apples of immortality that keep the gods and goddesses forever young.

Erik Wu Chinatown Alleyway Tours
“So wonderfully told with such lively imagination!”

John Krich Father, Writer for Planet Shanghai (Bangkok, Thailand)
“Amita listens to “Heaven’s A Garden in the Heart” every morning on the way to school. She already knows “Monkey King” and “The Perilous Pomegranate” by heart!”

Malcolm Margolin Publisher, Heyday Books (Berkeley)
“What an engaging retelling of stories, shimmering with the magic of creation!”

“Stories contain so many secrets and surprises. When I found out how many stories about Heaven as a Garden existed worldwide, I was stunned. Whether an eternal Sky World or a sunny Underworld, the different accounts share some amazing likenesses. Their descriptions of an everlasting realm offer thrilling views of the drama of nature’s cycle of seasons. The wild adventures of spring’s or the sun’s dramatic escape from cold and cruel forces will delight you. May they warm our human-centered world with their nature-based wisdom, beauty, and delight.” ~ Beatrice Bowles