Asian-American Folklore

Tikki Tikki Tembo

A Chinese Folk Tale

Retold by S.E. Schlosser

Listen to the story

Once there lived a family in ancient China that had two sons.  The elder son, who was to inherit the family fortune, was given a very-long and very-impressive name, as befitted an elder son.  He was called Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo.  The second son, who would have to make his own way in the world and was therefore not so important, though no less beloved, was named Ping. 

The two brothers were good friends, and loved to play games with one another.  One day, as they were playing tag, little Ping slipped on some wet grass and fell into the river. 

Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo was alarmed.  Neither of the brothers knew how to swim. 

Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo ran swiftly toward the house shouting:  “Mother!  Mother!  Ping has fallen into the river!”   

Alarmed, Mother cried:  “Ping has fallen into the river!  We must tell your father!” 

So Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo and his Mother ran out into the farm yard to look for Father.  They found him tending the horse. 

“Father!  Father!  Ping has fallen into the river,” shouted Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo and his Mother.  

“Ping has fallen into the river?” Father cried in alarm.  “We must borrow our Neighbor’s boat and rescue him!” 

Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo, his Mother and his Father ran to the neighbor’s house. 

“Neighbor, Ping has fallen into the river!  May we borrow your boat?” asked Father. 

“Ping has fallen into the river?” exclaimed the Neighbor.  “How terrible.  Of course you may borrow my boat.” 

So Father and Mother and Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo paddled out into the river and rescued poor Ping, who was nearly drowned. 

A few weeks later, Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo and Ping were fetching water from the well when Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo leaned over too far and fell into the well.

Ping was alarmed.  Neither of the brothers knew how to swim. 

Ping ran up to the house, shouting:  “Mother!  Mother!  Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo has fallen into the well!”   

Alarmed, Mother cried:  “Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo has fallen into the well!  We must find your father!” 

Ping and his Mother ran out into the yard to look for Father.  They found him in his workshop, carving a table for the kitchen. 

“Father!  Father!  Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo has fallen into the well,” shouted Ping and his Mother.  

“Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo has fallen into the well?” Father cried in alarm.  “We must borrow a ladder from the Gardener and rescue him!” 

Ping, his Mother and his Father ran to the gardener’s house.  “Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo has fallen into the well,” they told the Gardener.    “We need to borrow your ladder.”

“Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo has fallen into the well?” the Gardener exclaimed.  “How terrible.  Of course you may borrow my ladder.”

So Father took the ladder and climbed down the well to rescue Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo. 

But it took so long for everyone to say the poor boy’s name that Father arrived too late.  Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo had drowned.

Ever since that day, the people of China have given their children very short names.

 

Comments

Haha, when I was reading it I just called him No Serembo. Good story.

this story is good

Wow! Unexpectable ending

This story was too long for me to read it to 4 graders and by the time I was it was lunch time I am a teacher and glade it was lunch time

that's funny

i know a song of that

poor Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sarembo Hari Kari Pi Chi Pip Peri Pembo...i call my youngest "Papi Papoopoos Paroopoos Gangoogoos Doodoos poopoos " and other Long baby made up names...Lol he's almost 11 and Loves it

I loved this folk tale. This folk tale is must for everyone to laugh. hahahahahahaha

sad endig long boook took me three minutes poor tikki tikki

Omg this is so freaking awesome

Like!! :D

oh my gosh it was so terrible situation happen to you because of your long named there are too late to rescue you in the well

I love this story!boy would i hate to have a name thet long!!!!!

that's very funny as well as sad........poor tikki tembo?

this book was OK haha

nice story hahaha

good story

Good to read and telling this story to children! Name of another child TTTNSHKPCPP was wonderfully coined! Thanks for the story!

Hari kari?? No.

Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo

i love this stories because it was a long and i like the tikki tikki tembon no sarembo hari kari pi chi pip pembon

That's a sad story but funny. I'm glad that won't me and if that was my child I would name him a shorter name.

nice story

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