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Classical Kids Storytime: 'Yer and the Tiger'

Yer leaned out the bedroom window and called to a crow that was watching the Tiger at the stream, a scene from Classical Kids Storytime: 'Yer and the Tiger.' Xee Reiter for MPR
13min 15sec : Classical Kids Storytime: Yer and the Tiger

▼ Download: Yer and the Tiger

Nyob zoo! That's pronounced "nyaw zhong," and it means "Hello!" in the Hmong language. A story popular among southeast Asia's Hmong people — many of whom now live in the United States — is the subject of this episode of Classical Kids Storytime.

What happens when a magical girl comes face to face with a cunning tiger in her quiet village? Find out in the Hmong folk tale Yer and the Tiger, featuring traditional music, narration by Ka Vang and illustrations by Xee Reiter.

(See more of Reiter's illustrations in the gallery.)

Classical Kids Storytime is supported by
Minnesota College Savings Plan

Other Classical Kids Storytime adventures
Download the Classical Kids Storytime coloring book!

Podcast: Listen to Classical Kids Storytime in your favorite podcast portal, including these:
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Educators: Classical Kids Storytime meets Common Core Standards



Our telling of Yer and the Tiger includes excerpts from the following recordings:

The Music of the Hmong People of Laos, performed by Boua Xou Mua (Arhoolie CD446):
"Qeej Kawm Ntawv" ("Gaeng School Song")
"Ncaas Nja"
"Qeej Nqug Rooj"/"Qeb Tsoog Tuam Ntsaa" ("Gaeng Evening Song"/"Pull the Table")
"Tsaaj Nplaim, Dja Mblai"

Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Music from Thailand and Laos, recorded by David Fanshawe (ARC 2588):
"Hmong Khaen"

Courtesy of Naxos of America Inc.

Original recordings by the Hmong Cultural Center:
"Qeej Nuj Nrws" (Storytelling), performed by Chai Lee, Qeej (Khaen/Gaeng)
Unnamed work, performed by Ger Xiong, Tsaaj Nplaim (free reed flute)
"Qeej Ntaus Rog" ("Getting Rid of Evil Spirits"), performed by Arahvihn Thor, Qeej (Khaen/Gaeng)

The Hmong Cultural Center, based in St. Paul, Minn., is the primary Hmong and Asian American organization in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that provides community outreach activities related to multicultural education for the purposes of promoting positive race relations in the Twin Cities community. Find out more at


Narrator: Ka Vang
Adaptation: Ka Vang and Scott Blankenship
Illustrator: Xee Reiter
Producer: Valerie Kahler
Senior digital producer: Randy Salas
Program director: Julie Amacher

On the day that Yer was born, the village Shaman visited her parents and asked to meet their new daughter. Xee Reiter for MPR
While Father was hunting for dinner in the jungle, he didn't know that he was being hunted for dinner, too -- by an enormous tiger. Xee Reiter for MPR
When Yer woke up, she could hear pots clanking, and she smelled her Mother's delicious fried chicken. She thought, "Father must be home from hunting!" Xee Reiter for MPR
Yer grabbed a bowl of hot peppers from the dinner table and brought them along to hide. Xee Reiter for MPR
Yer leaned out the bedroom window and called to a crow that was watching the Tiger at the stream, a scene from Classical Kids Storytime: 'Yer and the Tiger.' Xee Reiter for MPR
With a loud crack, the Tiger was suddenly suspended in the air. Xee Reiter for MPR

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