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Friday, September 25, 2020

James - Green Willow - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Here in lower Michigan leaves are changing in yards, on roadsides, and along the many lakes, BUT deep in the woods all is still green.  Before it's too late I am enjoying that green and bring a story to salute it.  The first green of spring is always the willow and many willows are still green.  The Japanese tale of Green Willow starts out romantically, but takes a haunting turn.  Both Lafcadio Hearn and Grace James tell the tale, but I'll save my paperbacks by copying it from the Project Gutenberg eBook of Japanese Fairy Tales by Grace James.  (Hearn's version is called "The Story of Aoyagi" in Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things.) The story opens her book and some versions of the James book have the following illustration by Warwick Goble.

GREEN WILLOW

Tomodata, the young samurai, owed allegiance to the Lord of Noto. He was a soldier, a courtier, and a poet. He had a sweet voice and a beautiful face, a noble form and a very winning address. He was a graceful dancer, and excelled in every manly sport. He was wealthy and generous and kind. He was beloved by rich and by poor.

Now his daimyo, the Lord of Noto, wanted a man to undertake a mission of trust. He chose Tomodata, and called him to his presence.

“Are you loyal?” said the daimyo.

“My lord, you know it,” answered Tomodata.

“Do you love me, then?” asked the daimyo.

“Ay, my good lord,” said Tomodata, kneeling before him.

“Then carry my message,” said the daimyo. “Ride and do not spare your beast. Ride straight, and fear not the mountains nor the enemies’ country. Stay not for storm nor any other thing. Lose your life; but betray not your trust. Above all, do not look any maid between the eyes. Ride, and bring me word again quickly.”

Thus spoke the Lord of Noto.

So Tomodata got him to horse, and away he rode upon his quest. Obedient to his lord’s commands, he spared not his good beast. He rode straight, and was not afraid of the steep mountain passes nor of the enemies’ country. Ere he had been three days upon the road the autumn tempest burst, for it was the ninth month. Down poured the rain in a torrent. Tomodata bowed his head and rode on. The wind howled in the pine-tree branches. It blew a typhoon. The good horse trembled and could scarcely keep its feet, but Tomodata spoke to it and urged it on. His own cloak he drew close about him and held it so that it might not blow away, and in this wise he rode on.

The fierce storm swept away many a familiar landmark of the road, and buffeted the samurai so that he became weary almost to fainting. Noontide was as dark as twilight, twilight was as dark as night, and when night fell it was as black as the night of Yomi, where lost souls wander and cry. By this time Tomodata had lost his way in a wild, lonely place, where, as it seemed to him, no human soul inhabited. His horse could carry him no longer, and he wandered on foot through bogs and marshes, through rocky and thorny tracks, until he fell into deep despair.

“Alack!” he cried, “must I die in this wilderness and the quest of the Lord of Noto be unfulfilled?”

At this moment the great winds blew away the clouds of the sky, so that the moon shone very brightly forth, and by the sudden light Tomodata saw a little hill on his right hand. Upon the hill was a small thatched cottage, and before the cottage grew three green weeping-willow trees.

“Now, indeed, the gods be thanked!” said Tomodata, and he climbed the hill in no time. Light shone from the chinks of the cottage door, and smoke curled out of a hole in the roof. The three willow trees swayed and flung out their green streamers in the wind. Tomodata threw his horse’s rein over a branch of one of them, and called for admittance to the longed-for shelter.

At once the cottage door was opened by an old woman, very poorly but neatly clad.

“Who rides abroad upon such a night?” she asked, “and what wills he here?”

“I am a weary traveller, lost and benighted upon your lonely moor. My name is Tomodata. I am a samurai in the service of the Lord of Noto, upon whose business I ride. Show me hospitality for the love of the gods. I crave food and shelter for myself and my horse.”

As the young man stood speaking the water streamed from his garments. He reeled a little, and put out a hand to hold on by the side-post of the door.

“Come in, come in, young sir!” cried the old woman, full of pity. “Come in to the warm fire. You are very welcome. We have but coarse fare to offer, but it shall be set before you with great good-will. As to your horse, I see you have delivered him to my daughter; he is in good hands.”

At this Tomodata turned sharply round. Just behind him, in the dim light, stood a very young girl with the horse’s rein thrown over her arm. Her garments were blown about and her long loose hair streamed out upon the wind. The samurai wondered how she had come there. Then the old woman drew him into the cottage and shut the door. Before the fire sat the good man of the house, and the two old people did the very best they could for Tomodata. They gave him dry garments, comforted him with hot rice wine, and quickly prepared a good supper for him.

Presently the daughter of the house came in, and retired behind a screen to comb her hair and to dress afresh. Then she came forth to wait upon him. She wore a blue robe of homespun cotton. Her feet were bare. Her hair was not tied nor confined in any way, but lay along her smooth cheeks, and hung, straight and long and black, to her very knees. She was slender and graceful. Tomodata judged her to be about fifteen years old, and knew well that she was the fairest maiden he had ever seen.

At length she knelt at his side to pour wine into his cup. She held the wine-bottle in two hands and bent her head. Tomodata turned to look at her. When she had made an end of pouring the wine and had set down the bottle, their glances met, and Tomodata looked at her full between the eyes, for he forgot altogether the warning of his daimyo, the Lord of Noto.

“Maiden,” he said, “what is your name?”

She answered: “They call me the Green Willow.”

“The dearest name on earth,” he said, and again he looked her between the eyes. And because he looked so long her face grew rosy red, from chin to forehead, and though she smiled her eyes filled with tears.

Ah me, for the Lord of Noto’s quest!

Then Tomodata made this little song:

Long-haired maiden, do you know That with the red dawn I must go? Do you wish me far away? Cruel long-haired maiden, say— Long-haired maiden, if you know That with the red dawn I must go, Why, oh why, do you blush so?

And the maiden, the Green Willow, answered:

The dawn comes if I will or no; Never leave me, never go. My sleeve shall hide the blush away. The dawn comes if I will or no; Never leave me, never go. Lord, I lift my long sleeve so....

“Oh, Green Willow, Green Willow ...” sighed Tomodata.

That night he lay before the fire—still, but with wide eyes, for no sleep came to him though he was weary. He was sick for love of the Green Willow. Yet by the rules of his service he was bound in honour to think of no such thing. Moreover, he had the quest of the Lord of Noto that lay heavy on his heart, and he longed to keep truth and loyalty.

At the first peep of day he rose up. He looked upon the kind old man who had been his host, and left a purse of gold at his side as he slept. The maiden and her mother lay behind the screen.

Tomodata saddled and bridled his horse, and mounting, rode slowly away through the mist of the early morning. The storm was quite over and it was as still as Paradise. The green grass and the leaves shone with the wet. The sky was clear, and the path very bright with autumn flowers; but Tomodata was sad.

When the sunlight streamed across his saddlebow, “Ah, Green Willow, Green Willow,” he sighed; and at noontide it was “Green Willow, Green Willow”; and “Green Willow, Green Willow,” when the twilight fell. That night he lay in a deserted shrine, and the place was so holy that in spite of all he slept from midnight till the dawn. Then he rose, having it in his mind to wash himself in a cold stream that flowed near by, so as to go refreshed upon his journey; but he was stopped upon the shrine’s threshold. There lay the Green Willow, prone upon the ground. A slender thing she lay, face downwards, with her black hair flung about her. She lifted a hand and held Tomodata by the sleeve. “My lord, my lord,” she said, and fell to sobbing piteously.

He took her in his arms without a word, and soon he set her on his horse before him, and together they rode the livelong day. It was little they recked of the road they went, for all the while they looked into each other’s eyes. The heat and the cold were nothing to them. They felt not the sun nor the rain; of truth or falsehood they thought nothing at all; nor of filial piety, nor of the Lord of Noto’s quest, nor of honour nor plighted word. They knew but the one thing. Alas, for the ways of love!

At last they came to an unknown city, where they stayed. Tomodata carried gold and jewels in his girdle, so they found a house built of white wood, spread with sweet white mats. In every dim room there could be heard the sound of the garden waterfall, whilst the swallow flitted across and across the paper lattice. Here they dwelt, knowing but the one thing. Here they dwelt three years of happy days, and for Tomodata and the Green Willow the years were like garlands of sweet flowers.

In the autumn of the third year it chanced that the two of them went forth into the garden at dusk, for they had a wish to see the round moon rise; and as they watched, the Green Willow began to shake and shiver.

“My dear,” said Tomodata, “you shake and shiver; and it is no wonder, the night wind is chill. Come in.” And he put his arm around her.

At this she gave a long and pitiful cry, very loud and full of agony, and when she had uttered the cry she failed, and dropped her head upon her love’s breast.

“Tomodata,” she whispered, “say a prayer for me; I die.”

“Oh, say not so, my sweet, my sweet! You are but weary; you are faint.”

He carried her to the stream’s side, where the iris grew like swords, and the lotus-leaves like shields, and laved her forehead with water. He said: “What is it, my dear? Look up and live.”

“The tree,” she moaned, “the tree ... they have cut down my tree. Remember the Green Willow.”

With that she slipped, as it seemed, from his arms to his feet; and he, casting himself upon the ground, found only silken garments, bright coloured, warm and sweet, and straw sandals, scarlet-thonged.

In after years, when Tomodata was a holy man, he travelled from shrine to shrine, painfully upon his feet, and acquired much merit.

Once, at nightfall, he found himself upon a lonely moor. On his right hand he beheld a little hill, and on it the sad ruins of a poor thatched cottage. The door swung to and fro with broken latch and creaking hinge. Before it stood three old stumps of willow trees that had long since been cut down. Tomodata stood for a long time still and silent. Then he sang gently to himself:

Long-haired maiden, do you know That with the red dawn I must go? Do you wish me far away? Cruel long-haired maiden, say— Long-haired maiden, if you know That with the red dawn I must go, Why, oh why, do you blush so?

“Ah, foolish song! The gods forgive me.... I should have recited the Holy Sutra for the Dead,” said Tomodata.

***

Because the James version has the English name of Green Willow, as opposed to Aoyagi, I chose her story, but advise comparing it with Hearn's.  An online study guide of Kwaidan at Gradesaver.com has these comments by Elmina Jazvin:

Nature is the main motif in most of the stories and shows the price that comes with disturbing the nature.  . . . 

The meaning of the word Kwaidan translates to "a ghost story" and this collection is mostly made out of those.

It's not the spookiest of tales, but might be worth keeping for some Halloween audiences.  The songs could use the teller singing them to an appropriate sounding melody.  My own silly mind keeps having Kermit the Frog singing, "It's not easy being green!"

************* 

This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  




At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but the late Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Richards - The Grave Diggers - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Today's story is very brief, typical of fables, so I want to mention a bit about the author, Laura E. Richards.  Just open that link and discover her over 90 books, many of which are available through Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive, including her 1917 Pulitzer Prize winner about her mother, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910 which she co-authored with her sisters.  Sounds serious doesn't it?  Then I learned she was the author of a nonsense poem that was one of the first things I ever memorized, "Eletelephony." 

This poem has LOTS of educational uses -- check Eletelephony images; this came from http://jcssummercamp.weebly.com/1st-grade-poems.html

I remember her name from grade school speech contests where a common bit of oratory was her story of "The Golden Windows."  That link calls it part morality-tale, philosophy and science lesson, rolled into one "gem" of a story! Featured in Ms. Richards' book The Pig Brother and Other Fables and Stories (1881). The collection is "a supplemental reader for the fourth school year."

Notice the book where it originated is The Pig Brother and Other Fables and Stories.  With a title like that you might want to check it out at Project Gutenberg and don't let the "fourth school year" stop you as "The Golden Windows" webpage recommends it even for Middle School and I've found her fables and stories have enough to challenge adults, too.

Many of her books are for children, but I bought the book it was called The Golden Windows.  It actually is two books as the second book, The Silver Crown, is where today's story appears.  (The title stories open each book.)  It's worth noting the book's subtitle, A Book of Fables for Old and Young.
 
Don't be misled, today's story isn't light nor are there talking or otherwise anthropomorphic animals.  It's a fable, which means it's a teaching story, a format Richards used frequently.  Something worth noting is she does not give a moral or any other obvious lesson at the end of her fables.  She believes you will get from it what you need to know.

Here's her story and then I'll mention a bit about what drew me to this story.
Aside from the fact that the recent high infection rate of Covid-19 from colleges and universities seems to show this story is still happening, I've had extra reason to think about the stories contained in graves lately.  My local township, Springfield, has offered two excellent self-guided cemetery tours in connection with Springfield Township Library.  I'm not sure if the earlier tour of the Davisburg Cemetery will still be up.  It was a really well-done self-conducted cemetery walk & I contacted the Parks & Recreation department for a copy as I was unable to do it during the time they scheduled it.  Fortunately it was still up, so my dog & I had a far easier time since the highlighted graves were easier to find.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                   The Davisburg Cemetery tour explained an odd combination of businesses in a building in town.
It's  the town's harness, watch/clock repair and barber shop.  It's now the township historical society building.  The tour shows a photo of Fred Schultz , barbering, and he also was a cobbler, to add to the mix.  The building was also living quarters for most of his life. 
   

Others on the tour include Revolutionary War and War of 1812 soldier, Solomon Jones.  There are many Civil War veterans.  The tour ends with the appropriately soldier named Tank, who was in WWI.  Of course there are tons of farm families.  I'd walked the place before, but this made it so much more interesting.  I especially enjoyed Lulu Gillies and appreciate how this widow became a successful business owner & milliner drawing people to the tiny "burg" by train for her fabulous hats.  The mystery of  Doctor Hall went through three trials, including the state Supreme Court.  Bet the town was buzzing with gossip for the early 1880s.  The joys of small towns.

They'll be doing another self-tour at the cemetery nearer to here.  I found a few bits of information in the Davisburg walk I used this past Sunday where I was one of the guides for the Oak Hill Cemetery tours in Pontiac. I loved that it was Prohibition related.  We had, among others, a cornet player who was a rumrunner.  People used to gather outside his jail cell to hear him play.

Then at the start of October I'll join other members of the Sashabaw Plains Daughters of the American Revolution at yet another local cemetery, tiny Sashabaw Plains Cemetery, for gravestone cleaning.



Guess you could say things have been a bit dead around here.

LoiS(tories everywhere, especially in cemeteries)


 


Friday, September 11, 2020

"Nobody gets out alive!"

Back in 2013 I took a sabbatical while managing Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  I'm delighted it's in my rear-view mirror, but at the time I accepted a possibly different end, saying "Nobody gets out alive!"  This weekend seems determined to remind us that death comes to all of us.

This century has seen terrorism with 9/11 starting it.  The pandemic has also taken many away.  (Let's not have a "twindemic" -- get your flu shot.  At the end of today's blog there's a bit of information I'm sometimes asked about the end of the Spanish Influenza which was the pandemic of the 20th century.)  Additional deaths are occurring out west with fires.  Protests are nationwide around the U.S. about deaths caused by police action.  Locally a seemingly "freak accident" started this month with a falling tree killing a man driving a busy road, while his daughter as a passenger was spared.

This sent me looking for a story probably best known as "An Appointment in Samarra."  I was surprised to not find it in folklore indices.  It has been used by a variety of authors.  Most recent attention came when used on the 2017 television show, Sherlock.  There is no reason to "reinvent the wheel" of research.  Feel free to put "An Appointment in Samarra" in your favorite search engine.  The blog by Abdul Fatir does an excellent job of giving three versions and tracing the story's origins.  He gives the paragraph of W. Somerset Maugham's telling.  If you're academically inclined,  Kansas State University instructor, Lyman Baker, has a study guide to it.  To really get academic, "Professor Rau" has an online discussion of if it's a fable, allegory, or parable.

Abdul Fatir's Blog, however, gets us into its origins.  He remembers his mother telling something similar, so he went looking and finds its earliest known version in the Babylonian Talmud tale of King Solomon (or Sulaiman in Arabic).  He further adds a slightly longer Islamic literary version.  Going into the post's comments, Rich Horton gives a three paragraph version from Edith Wharton's autobiography that she said Jean Cocteau told her from "a story he read somewhere."  

Hmmm.  Like Death, the tale does get around.  There are YouTube versions and Alvin Schwartz in Scary Stories 3 gives us a modern version.  If you choose to tell it, clearly it has plenty of meat, like a stew bone, for you to make it your own.  

I promised also to answer the question about how the Spanish Influenza ended.  Yet again it's some copyrighted material, in this case from the Washington Post.  While it may give us hope in the current pandemic, there still is a need to remember death comes to us all as "Nobody gets out alive!"

Monday, August 31, 2020

Prosperity, Prohibition, & Pontiac in the Roaring Twenties

For several years Clarkston offered Ghost Walks through the town.  It ended after it became hard to find volunteers to staff it.  Fortunately there's a version in Pontiac and it's in a cemetery and it benefits the historic Oak Hill Cemetery.  This year the theme is Prohibition related, a topic I've been bringing to libraries and museums with my "High Times in Dry Times" program, so I'm delighted to be part of this look at people from the Roaring Twenties.

My favorite story is of the bootlegger, Albert Nelson, who was also a cornet player, so people would go to the back of the jail to hear him playing.  All six stops will be safely spaced and masked.

Take a good look at the facts on the above poster and I hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 29, 2020

An "Original" Story


I call my husky/malamute my Exercise Machine, getting him out roughly every other day for at least a 45 minute hike.  Fortunately we live near several parks with wooded trails.  Ideas for this blog often come while on these outings.  It's a great time to observe nature and think about storytelling possibilities.   Summer clearly isn't ready to leave Michigan, but lately I've seen scattered signs of autumn as leaf color changes on a few vines and an occasional bush or tree exposed to colder damp air. 

Most interesting, the wild grape vines. which until now were only good for chewing a bit on the tendrils, are starting to ripen. 
That picture came from an article on making "Wild grape wine"  from a blog called PA Wild Edibles.  The author has apparently kept the blog online, but it only ran from 2011-2014, offering ideas from his foraging in Pennsylvania.  I confess that foraging has long interested me.  Maybe my love of wildflowers and wild plants  is because I'm a terrrrrrible gardener.  For those of us interested in wild plants his blog is worth prowling.  I'm also impressed that anyone might be able to find enough wild grapes to make wine.  I love grabbing a cluster and nibbling one at a time.  It's guaranteed to have a seed to spit, possibly spreading more vines along the trail.

Besides spreading wild grapes, I want to spread this story the wild grapes made me decide to share.  Any fellow lovers of the "wise fool", the Hodja, will recognize its inspiration.  I set it in a tiny hamlet called Grape found in Monroe County alongside the River Raisin.  It's a Michigan area that welcomed French pioneers with plentiful wild grapes.

***********
Back when Grape was a flourishing community and not a mere spot in the road between Monroe and Dundee, a preacher was having an impossible time figuring out what to say in his weekly sermon.  He wracked his brain, but nothing seemed to work.  At last he decided what he would say.

That Sunday he stepped into his usual spot to deliver his sermon to his small congregation.  He looked at them all carefully, taking his time to be sure each person felt his gaze.  At last he spoke up.  "Good people of Grape, do you know what I have to tell you?"  He waited.  The people shifted in their seats uncomfortably.  "Well do you?" he repeated in a demanding tone.  They began to look at each other and shake their heads No.  "Well then, how can I speak to you?" he said defiantly, turned and went on with the church service.

The next week he again had no idea what to say in his sermon.  Again he stepped into his usual spot to deliver his sermon.  Again he called out, "Good people of Grape, do you know what I have to tell you?"  He waited.  The people shifted in their seats uncomfortably, but this time they shook their heads Yes.  "Good," he said, "then I have no need to say any more to you."  He turned and went on with the church service.

For yet a third week he again had no idea what to say in his sermon.  Again he stepped into his usual spot to deliver his sermon.  Again he called out, "Good people of Grape, do you know what I have to tell you?"  He waited.  The people shifted in their seats uncomfortably, but this time some shook their heads Yes and some shook their heads No.  "Excellent," he said, "then those of you who know should tell those of you who don't."  He turned and went on with the church service, but knew he really had to figure what to say in his next weekly sermon.
***********
As that story shows, it's rather like my storytelling friend, Laura Vitek, likes to say at the end of her emails, "There's always a story.  It'd be a shame not to tell it."

Similarly while prowling that PA Wild Edibles blog I found a recipe for sumac cider.  I've known staghorn sumac supposedly made a lemonade ever since I read it in the late Euell Gibbons' ground-breaking book on foraging, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, but lemonade didn't need my experimentation.  Cider?  Maybe.  It's certainly a year when orchards aren't opening for their usual autumn treat.

That leads me, good people on the internet, to ask you if you agree with my husband or me.  Should it always be Cider and Doughnuts or not?  Those of you who think you know, please be sure to say.  You can let me know either in my email or on Facebook where each week I also post these articles.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Primary Manual Work (Plus) - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

One of the things about live storytelling, especially historical storytelling, there's always more that can be said.  It reminds me of the final chapter of Peg Bracken's Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book which she titled "Tail Gate, Shutting the; Now What Did I Forget This Time?"  This past week I was once again the One Room School Teacher, treating the board of the Iosco County Historical Society as if they were a local group considering starting a One Room School.  The program was live streamed and I've given permission for a clip from it for their website or their Facebook page. I'm not able to post it yet.  Volunteers work as their time permits, but will add it here when available.

Because everyone was wearing a mask, I acted as if I thought the Spanish Influenza might have returned.   This let me expand the program a bit to talk of how it affected their county (a 25% increase in deaths), how it had affected Michigan including soldiers at Camp Custer (nearly 700 deaths), and how President Wilson's refusal ever to discuss it led to deaths here and in the trenches of World War I.  I also mentioned his own stroke led to Mrs. Wilson being the undeclared first woman president.

Probably coverage of both Spanish Influenza and briefly women's suffrage made my omission of today's material reasonable.  Still I was sorry to leave out this aspect.
The term "manual work" refers to the crafts a teacher would use to supplement course work.  In this case it was for the public schools of Los Angeles, California.  While other instances of manual work can be seen online, this book is only available for sale at present.  The book might be interlibrary loaned, however, and the bibliography pages at the end are particularly worthwhile.  The example I wanted to include was the start of second grade when it was tied to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe.  With the interest in survival, it was interesting how it could tie curriculum elements together with this classic.

Second graders?!?  While one-room schools served roughly ages five to fifteen, U.S. second graders are approximately seven years old.  How could they handle Robinson Crusoe?  I grew up with "Classics Illustrated" comic books and wondered how much was eliminated, but here are two versions listed in the book's bibliography.  Robinson Crusoe for Boys and Girls and  An American Robinson Crusoe do a surprisingly good job of eliminating the more adult part of the classic.  The crafts essentially start where Crusoe began to establish his island survival home.  The first book opens that topic in chapter three, "Robinson in His New Home", while the other is chapter eight, "Robinson on an Island."

Later I'll point out some projects still used in crafts today.  Let's see how it is suggested.


You'll notice the cover isn't completely shown.  This is because the book is 9 1/2" by 13 1/2" and I will need to add a little bit of what didn't scan.  Several of these projects are standard crafts worth using even without the Robinson Crusoe thematic work.

First the text and then the illustrations.
Notice the quotations at the top, including from Plato and the second page has the poet, Whittier.
I believe most of the first column on the second page can be easily guessed with the possible exception of "Jute Hammock."  The definite exception is the material for "Special Days" where a "Portfolio" is suggested.  Since the text is not complete (and small) I'll give it all.  It also is a general idea useful throughout the year (and is first shown in the September of the First Grade).  The materials and tools are "1/4 Sheet Manila or Kraft Paper, 36"x48"; Paste; Scissors."  The third column says:
As no Special Days occur during this First Month, the time assigned for this work may be utilized in making a Portfolio from Manila or Kraft paper, to be used as a receptacle for preserving incomplete work.  Divide the large sheet of paper, 36"x48", into fourths, resulting in sheets 12"x36".  From each of these sheets cut off a square 12"x12", leaving sheets 12"x24".  Fold lower short edge up to within 4" of upper short edge.    Open.  Beginning at lower short edge, cut off strips 1"x10" from right and left edges.  Again fold on horizontal crease.  Fold over side flaps.  Fold down upper flap, cutting off the inch margins.  Paste side flaps.  (Figs. 93 and 93a)
 Those figures were earlier in the First Grade material where they also made a Portfolio:
The top 3 pictures on the page are not part of the Portfolio
 Nowadays a quick trip to the office supply store is probably how most of us would handle it, but it's interesting to know how it was done before that and could be made again.  The time would supposedly be 30 minutes.

Here are the two pages of examples, numbers 165 through 174 with a few explanations of what is cut off.






The top rows' numbers were cut off.  The Tree Spelling Blank is 165, the Furniture for the Table has 166 in the center and then 166a.  Number 169b is part of the tent with the bottom of the paper cut off when scanning.

The top row middle is 171a for the Tool Chest and the upper right is 172a for the Circular Raffia Table Mat and that's certainly a craft idea worth using beyond the Robinson Crusoe projects.  The cut off of 173 and 173b are the sort of pot holder and mat loom projects you may remember from scouts or summer camps just like the Raffia Mat.  Robinson Crusoe's Raft, number 170, while not explained beyond being a "supplementary model by interweaving slats", should be recognized as something often made nowadays with craft or popsicle sticks to make a trivet.  Number 174, the Jute Hammock can be enlarged to make a hammock for things like toys or a catchall in the car or kitchen.

Bet you never realized those craft projects from summer camps and scout meetings were common even at the start of the Twentieth Century (and probably much earlier).  You also may note my copy of this book originally came from the Grand Traverse County Normal Training Class.  Normal today has other meanings, but back then said it fit "norms" or standards required in education.
******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but the late Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Grimm - The Fisherman and His Wife - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

This is from https://diycandy.com/gone-fishing-mini-wood-sign/ and is a simple craft for Dad or decor

I don't know about you, but right now the above sign matches my level of ambition.  Oh, I don't fish, but the idea of disappearing to lay around in August sure fits my mood.  Of course thinking about "Gone Fishing" made me think about today's story collected by the Brothers Grimm in their Household Tales.


The fisherman and his wife

Fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm

There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close by the seaside. The fisherman used to go out all day long a-fishing; and one day, as he sat on the shore with his rod, looking at the sparkling waves and watching his line, all on a sudden his float was dragged away deep into the water: and in drawing it up he pulled out a great fish. But the fish said, 'Pray let me live! I am not a real fish; I am an enchanted prince: put me in the water again, and let me go!' 'Oh, ho!' said the man, 'you need not make so many words about the matter; I will have nothing to do with a fish that can talk: so swim away, sir, as soon as you please!' Then he put him back into the water, and the fish darted straight down to the bottom, and left a long streak of blood behind him on the wave.

When the fisherman went home to his wife in the pigsty, he told her how he had caught a great fish, and how it had told him it was an enchanted prince, and how, on hearing it speak, he had let it go again. 'Did not you ask it for anything?' said the wife, 'we live very wretchedly here, in this nasty dirty pigsty; do go back and tell the fish we want a snug little cottage.'

The fisherman did not much like the business: however, he went to the seashore; and when he came back there the water looked all yellow and green. And he stood at the water's edge, and said:
'O man of the sea! Hearken to me! My wife Ilsabill Will have her own will, And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

Then the fish came swimming to him, and said, 'Well, what is her will? What does your wife want?' 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'she says that when I had caught you, I ought to have asked you for something before I let you go; she does not like living any longer in the pigsty, and wants a snug little cottage.' 'Go home, then,' said the fish; 'she is in the cottage already!' So the man went home, and saw his wife standing at the door of a nice trim little cottage. 'Come in, come in!' said she; 'is not this much better than the filthy pigsty we had?' And there was a parlour, and a bedchamber, and a kitchen; and behind the cottage there was a little garden, planted with all sorts of flowers and fruits; and there was a courtyard behind, full of ducks and chickens. 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'how happily we shall live now!' 'We will try to do so, at least,' said his wife.

Everything went right for a week or two, and then Dame Ilsabill said, 'Husband, there is not near room enough for us in this cottage; the courtyard and the garden are a great deal too small; I should like to have a large stone castle to live in: go to the fish again and tell him to give us a castle.' 'Wife,' said the fisherman, 'I don't like to go to him again, for perhaps he will be angry; we ought to be easy with this pretty cottage to live in.' 'Nonsense!' said the wife; 'he will do it very willingly, I know; go along and try!'

The fisherman went, but his heart was very heavy: and when he came to the sea, it looked blue and gloomy, though it was very calm; and he went close to the edge of the waves, and said:
'O man of the sea! Hearken to me! My wife Ilsabill Will have her own will, And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'Well, what does she want now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said the man, dolefully, 'my wife wants to live in a stone castle.' 'Go home, then,' said the fish; 'she is standing at the gate of it already.' So away went the fisherman, and found his wife standing before the gate of a great castle. 'See,' said she, 'is not this grand?' With that they went into the castle together, and found a great many servants there, and the rooms all richly furnished, and full of golden chairs and tables; and behind the castle was a garden, and around it was a park half a mile long, full of sheep, and goats, and hares, and deer; and in the courtyard were stables and cow-houses. 'Well,' said the man, 'now we will live cheerful and happy in this beautiful castle for the rest of our lives.' 'Perhaps we may,' said the wife; 'but let us sleep upon it, before we make up our minds to that.' So they went to bed.

The next morning when Dame Ilsabill awoke it was broad daylight, and she jogged the fisherman with her elbow, and said, 'Get up, husband, and bestir yourself, for we must be king of all the land.' 'Wife, wife,' said the man, 'why should we wish to be the king? I will not be king.' 'Then I will,' said she. 'But, wife,' said the fisherman, 'how can you be king--the fish cannot make you a king?' 'Husband,' said she, 'say no more about it, but go and try! I will be king.' So the man went away quite sorrowful to think that his wife should want to be king. This time the sea looked a dark grey colour, and was overspread with curling waves and the ridges of foam as he cried out:
'O man of the sea! Hearken to me! My wife Ilsabill Will have her own will, And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'Well, what would she have now?' said the fish. 'Alas!' said the poor man, 'my wife wants to be king.' 

'Go home,' said the fish; 'she is king already.'

Then the fisherman went home; and as he came close to the palace he saw a troop of soldiers, and heard the sound of drums and trumpets. And when he went in he saw his wife sitting on a throne of gold and diamonds, with a golden crown upon her head; and on each side of her stood six fair maidens, each a head taller than the other. 'Well, wife,' said the fisherman, 'are you king?' 'Yes,' said she, 'I am king.' And when he had looked at her for a long time, he said, 'Ah, wife! what a fine thing it is to be king! Now we shall never have anything more to wish for as long as we live.' 'I don't know how that may be,' said she; 'never is a long time. I am king, it is true; but I begin to be tired of that, and I think I should like to be emperor.' 'Alas, wife! why should you wish to be emperor?' said the fisherman. 'Husband,' said she, 'go to the fish! I say I will be emperor.' 'Ah, wife!' replied the fisherman, 'the fish cannot make an emperor, I am sure, and I should not like to ask him for such a thing.' 'I am king,' said Ilsabill, 'and you are my slave; so go at once!'

So the fisherman was forced to go; and he muttered as he went along, 'This will come to no good, it is too much to ask; the fish will be tired at last, and then we shall be sorry for what we have done.' He soon came to the seashore; and the water was quite black and muddy, and a mighty whirlwind blew over the waves and rolled them about, but he went as near as he could to the water's brink, and said:
'O man of the sea! Hearken to me! My wife Ilsabill Will have her own will, And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'What would she have now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'she wants to be emperor.' 'Go home,' said the fish; 'she is emperor already.'

So he went home again; and as he came near he saw his wife Ilsabill sitting on a very lofty throne made of solid gold, with a great crown on her head full two yards high; and on each side of her stood her guards and attendants in a row, each one smaller than the other, from the tallest giant down to a little dwarf no bigger than my finger. And before her stood princes, and dukes, and earls: and the fisherman went up to her and said, 'Wife, are you emperor?' 'Yes,' said she, 'I am emperor.' 'Ah!' said the man, as he gazed upon her, 'what a fine thing it is to be emperor!' 'Husband,' said she, 'why should we stop at being emperor? I will be pope next.' 'O wife, wife!' said he, 'how can you be pope? there is but one pope at a time in Christendom.' 'Husband,' said she, 'I will be pope this very day.' 'But,' replied the husband, 'the fish cannot make you pope.' 'What nonsense!' said she; 'if he can make an emperor, he can make a pope: go and try him.'

So the fisherman went. But when he came to the shore the wind was raging and the sea was tossed up and down in boiling waves, and the ships were in trouble, and rolled fearfully upon the tops of the billows. In the middle of the heavens there was a little piece of blue sky, but towards the south all was red, as if a dreadful storm was rising. At this sight the fisherman was dreadfully frightened, and he trembled so that his knees knocked together: but still he went down near to the shore, and said:
'O man of the sea! Hearken to me! My wife Ilsabill Will have her own will, And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'What does she want now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said the fisherman, 'my wife wants to be pope.' 'Go home,' said the fish; 'she is pope already.'

Then the fisherman went home, and found Ilsabill sitting on a throne that was two miles high. And she had three great crowns on her head, and around her stood all the pomp and power of the Church. And on each side of her were two rows of burning lights, of all sizes, the greatest as large as the highest and biggest tower in the world, and the least no larger than a small rushlight. 'Wife,' said the fisherman, as he looked at all this greatness, 'are you pope?' 'Yes,' said she, 'I am pope.' 'Well, wife,' replied he, 'it is a grand thing to be pope; and now you must be easy, for you can be nothing greater.' 'I will think about that,' said the wife. Then they went to bed: but Dame Ilsabill could not sleep all night for thinking what she should be next. At last, as she was dropping asleep, morning broke, and the sun rose. 'Ha!' thought she, as she woke up and looked at it through the window, 'after all I cannot prevent the sun rising.' At this thought she was very angry, and wakened her husband, and said, 'Husband, go to the fish and tell him I must be lord of the sun and moon.' The fisherman was half asleep, but the thought frightened him so much that he started and fell out of bed. 'Alas, wife!' said he, 'cannot you be easy with being pope?' 'No,' said she, 'I am very uneasy as long as the sun and moon rise without my leave. Go to the fish at once!'

Then the man went shivering with fear; and as he was going down to the shore a dreadful storm arose, so that the trees and the very rocks shook. And all the heavens became black with stormy clouds, and the lightnings played, and the thunders rolled; and you might have seen in the sea great black waves, swelling up like mountains with crowns of white foam upon their heads. And the fisherman crept towards the sea, and cried out, as well as he could:
'O man of the sea! Hearken to me! My wife Ilsabill Will have her own will, And hath sent me to beg a boon of thee!'

'What does she want now?' said the fish. 'Ah!' said he, 'she wants to be lord of the sun and moon.' 'Go home,' said the fish, 'to your pigsty again.'

And there they live to this very day.
******************
That was what Wikipedia called an "anti-fairytale" of greed and dissatisfaction.   I found their article says variants include a Russian and an Indian version, but the Japanese tale of The Stonecutter is the one I recognize from both Andrew Lang and Gerald McDermott's excellent picture book.  It certainly takes wishes to an extreme.

With the current Covid chaos, I think it fits this bit of humor:
Remember all those times when you wished the weekend would last 
forever? Well, wish granted. Happy now?
******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



At the same time, my own involvement in storytelling regularly creates projects requiring research as part of my sharing stories with an audience.  Whenever that research needs to be shown here, the publishing of Public Domain stories will not occur that week.  This is a return to my regular posting of a research project here.  (Don't worry, this isn't dry research, my research is always geared towards future storytelling to an audience.)  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my other postings as often as I can manage it.
Other Public Domain story resources I recommend-
  • There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, maybe none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I have long recommended it and continue to do so.  He has loaded Stith Thompson's Motif Index into his server as a database so you can search the whole 6 volumes for whatever word or expression you like by pressing one key. http://folkmasa.org/motiv/motif.htm
  • You may have noticed I'm no longer certain Dr. Perez has the largest database, although his offering the Motif Index certainly qualifies for those of us seeking specific types of stories.  There's another site, FairyTalez claiming to be the largest, with "over 2000 fairy tales, folktales, and fables" and they are "fully optimized for phones, tablets, and PCs", free and presented without ads.

    Between those two sites, there is much for story-lovers, but as they say in infomercials, "Wait, there's more!"
The email list for storytellers, Storytell, discussed Online Story Sources and came up with these additional suggestions:            
         - David K. Brown - http://people.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/stories.html
         - Richard Martin - http://www.tellatale.eu/tales_page.html
         - Spirit of Trees - http://spiritoftrees.org/featured-folktales
         - Story-Lovers - http://www.story-lovers.com/ is now only accessible through the Wayback Machine, described below, but the late Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at https://archive.org/ .  It's not easy, but go to Story-lovers.com snapshot for October 22 2016  and you can click on SOS: Searching Out Stories to scroll down through the many story topics and click on the story topic that interests you.
       - World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/ 
           - Zalka Csenge Virag - http://multicoloreddiary.blogspot.com doesn't give the actual stories, but her recommendations, working her way through each country on a continent, give excellent ideas for finding new books and stories to love and tell.
     
You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  Possibly searches maintained it.  Unfortunately Storytell list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is now only on the Wayback Machine.  It took some patience working back through claims of snapshots but finally in December of 2006 it appears!
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin - http://chucklarkin.com/stories.html.  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a. Archive.org, when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!