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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Butterflies + Im - The Soldier of Kang-Wha - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

by permission of Jim O'Donnell at www.aroundtheworldineightyyears.com
Today brings stories and you may think them a curious mixture.  How on earth can I combine Korean folklore (and a bit of Korean history and present-day news) with the stories of Michigan's native people, the Anishinaabe?  As easily as a butterfly on a lilac bush . . .


Just as my lilac bushes are starting to fade, the "dwarf" Korean lilacs outside my kitchen window are starting to bloom.  The air is fragrant as spring continues to bring me purple flowers, wild or otherwise.  Because of that Korean connection I remembered a story I wanted to tell.  Of course the search didn't end there.
That story came from the book originally published in 1913 which I've included in the past (both tales by Im Bang and one by Yi  Ryuk).  I recommend the James Gale translation heartily as a book jam-packed with haunting stories.

Becoming a bit curious -- of course! -- about Kang Wha, I went looking further.  This story talks about its fall in 1637 to the Chinese, but if you go beyond that old transliteration of its name, Ganghwa Island is a place with the misfortune of being "strategically located."  Even I recognized Korean War location names like Kaesong, Incheon, and, of course, Seoul.  South Korea's fourth largest island straddles the Han River to both North Korea and South Korea.  It hardly looks as if it could offer something as peaceful and traditional looking as this lovely photo which looks right at home with today's story.

Those butterflies and knowledge that could only be called supernatural, plus the story's introduction seemed to fit the sort of thing you might find in a Jim Butcher novel in the Dresden Files series.  I've been enjoying the books and recommend them to adults who enjoyed Harry Potter, but would like something set in modern times (Chicago) clashing with fantasy creatures like vampires, zombies, and many others always explained away by the news media and government.  The stories were adapted and presented at one time as a television series, but the books deserve to be read first as it's all about imagination when following the narrator who is a wizard/investigator.  Reading the Wikipedia article I learned Butcher originally was going to title the first book, Semiautomagic, and I agree it combines the fantasy with hard-boiled detective fiction in the series, but I'd also point to its sly humor.  <SIGH!>  That's what you get if you check out this storyteller's light reading and stream-of-consciousness thinking.
Moving back to what I would like to combine with today's creations by "The Soldier of Kang-Wha" is a tale from the People of the Three Fires, the Anishinaabe.  I don't have a written text I can give here, but will briefly give my own version.

Back when the Creator, sometimes called Gitchee Manitou or the Great Spirit had made much of the world, He was happy with it's waters, plants, birds, animals, and people, but regretted that the mountains might not be loved, for they seemed cold, hard and remote.  To get people to explore the mountains He put the colors of the rainbow inside them, reds, greens, blues and more, forming stones we call rubies, emeralds, sapphires, diamonds, to name a few.  People who discovered their beauty would spread the word and it would add to the value of mountains.  Of course not everyone would dig for those stones or even be able to afford them.  Surely there ought to be a way to share them with children.  The South Wind came just as Gitchee Manitou was looking at them and thinking this.  The South Wind carries the warmth of summer, so the Creator tossed some of the stones into the air and let them fly away.  They became what we call butterflies, letting us appreciate their color (and help in pollination).  Now that it's springtime they are returning.  Even as I was thinking about this a little orange butterfly -- no, not a Monarch or even a Viceroy (like the birds, I can't tell them apart, but this was neither even though its wings included some darker etching) -- fluttered down on my not so dwarf Korean Lilacs that come up to my kitchen window.  It was just enough to remind me of a story or two.
********************
Here's my closing for days when I have a story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain
***************** 

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
               - Karen Chace - http://karenchace.blogspot.com/search?q=public+domain
               - 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 Jackie Baldwin's wonderful site lives on there, fully searchable manually (the Google search doesn't work), at http://web.archive.org and put in http://www.story-lovers.com/ in the search box.  I recommend using the latest "snapshot" on November 2016
               - Tim Sheppard - http://www.timsheppard.co.uk/story/storylinks.html
               -  World of Tales - http://www.worldoftales.com/

    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.  For an example of using the "Wayback Machine", 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 gone, but using the Wayback Machine you can still see it.  At the Wayback Machine I put in his site's address, then chose 2006 since it was a later year and clicked until I reached the Library at http://www.pjtss.net/library/.  

    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, May 20, 2017

Follow-up on the Brothers Grimm and The Three Apprentices

Last week I mentioned getting ideas while hiking over hills and Michigan's dales with my Malamutt (Siberian Husky/Malamute).  That recently produced a pair of wildflower inspired stories.  Those wildflowers keep changing.  Here's the latest addition I'm seeing, along with a useful identification website.
The Wild Geranium has VERY LITTLE to do with today's story, but here's a source of wildflower identification.
As I hiked this week, I decided to give a follow-up to both the way I used "The Three Apprentices" and a few resources for the stories of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

Five years ago on March 12, 2012 I told about Project Grimm which celebrated the 200th year anniversary of the publication of Kinder-und Hausmärchen.  Using the KHM numbering system for the listing of stories, the site challenged storytellers to videotape Grimm tales.  Because this was especially an international challenge, many are in other languages, so you might review your second (or more) language on a few stories.  Even those in another language include written versions in German, English, and Spanish.  Unfortunately "The Three Apprentices", KHM 120, wasn't performed, but there's still a lot there to enjoy.

Want to find the Grimm tales by KHM, which gives all the stories and legends?  When I went to find "The Three Apprentices" I didn't know if the story's title might be different, since so many versions of the stories have been translated.  Duke University professor, Jakob Norberg, posted the list at Fairy Tales by KHM as part of his course work.  You can't get to the stories by his hotlinks unless you have a Duke i.d. or are willing to work through the process for a guest pass.  Instead I recommend either the Hathi Trust copy of the book translated by Margaret Hunt, I mentioned last week, OR, if you prefer something a bit quicker, go to World of Tales.com section on the Brothers Grimm and scroll down to the stories interesting you.  While there you can also see a few other Grimm Public Domain translations, but those books don't include "The Three Apprentices."  It truly was an overlooked story.  The site has enough beyond the work of the Brothers Grimm, that I'm going to add it to my recommended sites that follows on days when I do a segment on Keeping the Public in Public Domain.

I promised other resources about these Grimm tales and have an audio version of the complete tales.  While nobody currently is on YouTube or elsewhere performing a video of this story, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Complete and Unabridged is an audio book read by Paul Martin with a sidebar to let you scroll down and find the specific story you want.   For people wanting lesson plans, activities, or tests, I found Bookrags.com.  This is a paid subscription site, so I've no idea if it will be what you want, but think it's worth mentioning for its work with the Grimm stories.

I also promised more about the ways I used "The Three Apprentices" this past week.  I prepared by making signs for the comments made by each apprentice.  Apprentice number 1 says: All three of us -- I typed that on my word processing program in the Landscape position to give the maximum width and used the largest font that would fit across the page.  The second apprentice says: For money -- the same method was used.  The third apprentice's statement, if I used the same font, would have needed two lines: And quite right too! -- I preferred to use a smaller font.  After printing those out I trimmed them and attached them to three different colored strips.  That gave me a quick visual of which strip I was using (and I also put the number on the back).  This helps with participation as there's always that bit of uncertainty for an audience to remember their part.

While preparing I became a bit worried about the age levels attending as the youngest would be in second grade.  I know some disagree with "watering down" a story.  Personally I consider it caring for your audience to think in advance about what they might need explained or otherwise handled.  Before telling the story I explained what an apprentice is.  This also meant listing for myself the most well-known Grimm tales and then, before telling the story, mentioning many stories they know were collected by the brothers.  I said some have even used their name to call the tales "grim" and agreed there are some things sometimes in the stories like "Hansel and Gretel" or "Little Red Riding Hood."  I did not mention the ways those stories are sometimes sanitized.  Instead I said life sometimes has some grim things happen and it's the sort of thing that might appear on the news.  While actually telling the story I said the innkeeper and his wife killed the wealthy merchant, but didn't tell about the scene being bloody.  Later I didn't go into details about how the execution was to be done.  (It seemed to be a beheading, but might at times talk about a hanging.)  Bruno Bettelheim in his The Uses of Enchantment specifically tells about the need for such stories to show justice in the end by having the villain punished.  I don't mention that, but if someone questioned me afterwards I would certainly do so.  My husband also suggested, after he heard me tell the story, its inclusion of the devil might make it a bit problematic for some audiences.  He's right, it might not work with every community.  Similarly the same audiences might dislike the use of magic.  Both are part of the story, but if an objection was made on religious grounds it would be more likely that magic was questioned.

After the program I asked the organizer for any feedback.  I was relieved and delighted to hear: Thank you for presenting at 2017 Young Writers Day!  It was a huge success, I received numerous compliments!

That also brings up another reason why I chose this story.  Before telling it I told the brief fable of "The Wind and the Sun."  I didn't end with the story's moral, instead asking what was the problem and who had the problem.  It was almost time for "The Three Apprentices."  This is when I divided the young attendees by going across the front row and counting off 1, 2, 3 for everyone.  I then had other rows do the same.  We went over their role in the story and then told it.  Because the program was intended to promote Young Writers, I then went into a story creation exercise using those three groups.  A few rows weren't exactly divisible by 3.  Adjustments were made  to use those triads.  The basic plan was for each #1 to choose a setting and character(s) for their own story.  The choice of a problem for it went to #2.  The conclusion went to #3. Since they were in auditorium seating, for those not in threes, I asked the group that might have four to let the extra person be the one to choose the character or characters.  If there were only two, they could decide how to divide up the choices.  What an auditorium full of creation!  I asked for any groups who wanted to share their stories and there was more than enough!  This was then coupled with my announcing and reading the day's winning stories submitted as books by the local schools.  Those two had been selected in advance by the program organizers.

Was anything created that will last as long as the tales collected by the Brothers Grimm over 200 years ago?  Doubtful, but it did give the young attendees a chance to see it wasn't just the two books chosen.  They all had lots of ability to create stories.

You do, too, so I hope you'll share some storytelling, with or without the Brothers Grimm.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Grimm - The 3 Apprentices - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

It's not surprising that I read a lot, but storytelling is an oral tradition and sometimes a story I hear just grabs me and shouts: TELL ME!  Today's story did that.  It's from the many tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, but with 200 stories (and ten legends), there's no way I know them all. . . nor do you!

There are many collections and translations, but Margaret Raine Hunt (who also wrote "generally exuberantly comic and satirical" novels -- according to the Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction -- under the pseudonym of Averil Beaumont until the mid-1870s) did us all the favor of also translating what Wikipedia calls "a definitive edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales."  Since the Brothers Grimm put out their anthologies from 1812 to 1857, it took until 1884 to complete her two volume Grimm's Household Tales, which became also known as Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales, although the Pantheon volume calls it The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales  and claims their version "has been thoroughly revised, corrected and completed by James Stern."

That publication of the story is essentially the same, just copyright protected, and you know my opinion on that since it accompanies every segment of "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  What you don't know is how I am looking forward to using the story for Audience Participation.  I plan to use it next week at a program for "Young Authors" as part of my presentation.  The audience will need to be divided into threes for one exercise in quickly creating a story.  This story will be before that exercise and the groups will each say one of the comments by the three apprentices that form both the humor and problem of this story.  So watch for these three statements, which are all the apprentices are allowed to say:
  1. All three of us
  2. For money
  3. And quite right too!
Many translations exist of the stories the brothers collected, but this is the only complete collection and surprisingly this story doesn't seem to be noticed by other anthologies.  I think you'll enjoy it and agree it deserves telling.

THERE were once three apprentices, who had agreed to keep always together while travelling, and always to work in the same town. At one time, however, their masters had no more work to give them, so that at last they were in rags, and had nothing to live on. Then one of them said, "What shall we do? We cannot stay here any longer, we will travel once more, and if we do not find any work in the town we go to, we will arrange with the innkeeper there, that we are to write and tell him where we are staying, so that we can always have news of each other, and then we will separate." And that seemed best to the others also. 

They went forth, and met on the way a richly-dressed man who asked who they were. "We are apprentices looking for work: up to this time we have kept together, but if we cannot find anything to do we are going to separate." "There is no need for that," said the man, "if you will do what I tell you, you shall not want for gold or for work;—nay, you shall become great lords, and drive in your carriages!" One of them said, "If our souls and salvation be not endangered, we will certainly do it." "They will not," replied the man, "I have no claim on you." 

One of the others had, however, looked at his feet, and when he saw a horse's foot and a man's foot, he did not want to have anything to do with him. The Devil, however, said, "Be easy, I have no designs on you, but on another soul, which is half my own already, and whose measure shall but run full." As they were now secure, they consented, and the Devil told them what he wanted. The first was to answer, "All three of us," to every question; the second was to say, "For money," and the third, "And quite right too!" They were always to say this, one after the other, but they were not to say one word more, and if they disobeyed this order, all their money would disappear at once, but so long as they observed it, their pockets would always be full. 

 As a beginning, he at once gave them as much as they could carry, and told them to go to such and such an inn when they got to the town. They went to it, and the innkeeper came to meet them, and asked if they wished for anything to eat? The first replied, "All three of us." "Yes," said the host, "that is what I mean." The second said, "For money." "Of course," said the host. The third said, "And quite right too!" "Certainly it is right," said the host.

Good meat and drink were now brought to them, and they were well waited on. After the dinner came the payment, and the innkeeper gave the bill to the one who said, "All three of us," the second said, "For money," and the third, "And quite right too!" "Indeed it is right," said the host, "all three pay, and without money I can give nothing." They, however, paid still more than he had asked. The lodgers, who were looking on, said, "These people must be mad." "Yes, indeed they are," said the host, "they are not very wise." So they stayed some time in the inn, and said nothing else but, "All three of us," "For money," and "And quite right too!" But they saw and knew all that was going on.

It so happened that a great merchant came with a large sum of money, and said, "Sir host, take care of my money for me, here are three crazy apprentices who might steal it from me." The host did as he was asked. As he was carrying the trunk into his room, he felt that it was heavy with gold. Thereupon he gave the three apprentices a lodging below, but the merchant came up-stairs into a separate apartment. When it was midnight, and the host thought that all were asleep, he came with his wife, and they had an axe and struck the rich merchant dead; and after they had murdered him they went to bed again.

When it was day there was a great outcry; the merchant lay dead in bed bathed in blood. All the guests ran at once but the host said, "The three crazy apprentices have done this;" the lodgers confirmed it, and said, "It can have been no one else." The innkeeper, however, had them called, and said to them, "Have you killed the merchant?" "All three of us," said the first, "For money," said the second; and the third added, "And quite right too!" "There now, you hear," said the host, "they confess it themselves." They were taken to prison, therefore, and were to be tried. When they saw that things were going so seriously, they were after all afraid, but at night the Devil came and said, "Bear it just one day longer, and do not play away your luck, not one hair of your head shall be hurt."

The next morning they were led to the bar, and the judge said, "Are you the murderers?" "All three of us." "Why did you kill the merchant?" "For money." "You wicked wretches, you have no horror of your sins?" "And quite right too!" "They have confessed, and are still stubborn," said the judge, "lead them to death instantly." So they were taken out, and the host had to go with them into the circle. When they were taken hold of by the executioner's men, and were just going to be led up to the scaffold where the headsman was standing with naked sword, a coach drawn by four blood-red chestnut horses came up suddenly, driving so fast that fire flashed from the stones, and some one made signs from the window with a white handkerchief.

Then said the headsman, "It is a pardon coming," and "Pardon! pardon!" was called from the carriage also. Then the Devil stepped out as a very noble gentleman, beautifully dressed and said, "You three are innocent; you may now speak, make known what you have seen and heard." Then said the eldest, "We did not kill the merchant, the murderer is standing there in the circle," and he pointed to the innkeeper. "In proof of this, go into his cellar, where many others whom he has killed are still hanging."

Then the judge sent the executioner's men thither, and they found it was as the apprentices said, and when they had informed the judge of this, he caused the innkeeper to be led up, and his head was cut off. Then said the Devil to the three, "Now I have got the soul which I wanted to have, and you are free, and have money for the rest of your lives."

From Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Household Tales, and you can go to that link for the two volume set translated by Margaret Hunt at the Hathi Trust digital library.

One final bit of mounting my soapbox for a bit of pointing you to Battle for the net to protest the proposed FCC end of Net Neutrality letting the big Internet Service Providers slow down your access and charge more.  This was a battle we thought had ended, but like The Terminator, It's Baaaack!  As a small-time provider to you, there's no way I can pay their inflated rates.  Even researching I find sites like Oxford Dictionary of National Biography want a subscription to find more about Margaret Hunt.  There are limits as to how much this free blog can provide.
**************
Here's my closing for days when I have a story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain
***************** 

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!"
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Burgess (and a bit more) about the Trillium -- Keeping the Public in Public Domain

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring?
. . .
Pilgrims, of course, if you remember your children's riddles.  Right now the state where I grew up, Missouri, and a few other states just would like to see those showers ease off the flooding.  While hiking on the few days dry enough to do so, this pilgrim sees Trilliums are now sprouting.  I love the plant, as do my Canadian neighbors in Ontario where it's the Provincial flower.

I had something else I was going to write, but this plant grabbed me and insisted I look for stories, facts, and so much more.  I used to live in 15 acres of woods and know that the oak leaf acidity and dampness of Michigan's forests are perfect growing conditions.  The photo above also gives proof of something I was convinced trilliums could do. . . change color!

In the past I have posted three stories here from Thornton W. Burgess, none of which are about plants.  Today's story comes from The Burgess Flower Book for Children.  It's not quite as much of a story format as his several Mother West Wind books, nor even his The Burgess Bird Book for Children and The Burgess Animal Book for Children as they lend themselves more to characters having an adventure.  As a result I've had to take the excerpt out of Chapter XV, "Buttercups and Lily Cousins."  After that excerpt I have a few hotlinks to explore further, including yet two other trillium stories.  Oh, and the character of "Peter" is Peter Rabbit, and Burgess's Peter Rabbit is not to be confused with the Beatrix Potter character of the same name.
. . . (rabbits do tend to hop around and so shall we to the next mention of trilliums.)
Lois:  I don't know why this is in black and white, but picture the leaves green and you have it.

That's as close as Burgess comes to a story about this lovely flower for this book is almost a field guide to flowers.  This is why today's title isn't just Burgess's work.  Here's a Native American Legend of the Trillium from this area where the Ojibwa are among Michigan's People of the Three Fires or Anishinaabe, and among Canada's First Nations.  It sounds somewhat reminiscent of a story I've heard about St. Patrick's use of the shamrock for the same purpose.  Another story, "Don't Pick the Trillium", is from further south in the Appalachian mountains.

That last story gives an introduction to some of the "mystery and lore" of the trillium.  It's almost required that we give the article from Wikipedia on the Trillium.  I know Wikipedia should not be the end of all research, but it's always worth starting there for an overview.  Beyond that overview, it's up to you how much interests you, such as Ten-things-to-know-about-trilliums which gives oh so many names and more of a gardening view, as does "Two becomes 200: how to divide trillium".  That's not likely for me as I always claim plants quake in fear at the prospect of my own pitiful gardening skills.  It's one of the reasons I love wildflowers.  I also enjoy, as I mentioned last week, knowing the other uses of wild plants.  If that's you, too, give a look at trilliums medicinal use

Before I ever started school I remember my mother taking me out for walks and identifying plants.  She also read me the classic (1906) When the Root Children Wake Up, which has changed its cover over the years and now has a new version by Audrey Wood with illustrations by Ned Bittinger.

I recommend looking at both. Reading the various reviews on Amazon, I'm convinced there's room enough for each version.

It's also why I grew up loving the many Zim Field Guides and now am giving the closest thing to a new version of those wonderful pocket sized books, the National Geographic Kids Ultimate Field Explorer guides as they are published.  Adults would be served well by getting the out-of-print Zim books, but children inclined towards nature will be more intrigued by the new series.

In the meantime this "pilgrim" looks forward to hiking over hill and valley and thinking about the many stories it contains.
*******************
Here's my closing for days when I have a story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain
***************** 

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!"
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Cowles - Origin of the Violet - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

I call my dog my "cross trainer" as every other day, if at all possible, I try to take him out for a 45 minute to an hour hike, with some days double that if time and energy permits.  (He also becomes a "cross" trainer if he doesn't get enough exercise.)  It's a perfect time to observe nature and think about things like stories.

Hiking the hills and valleys of a nearby state park right now made me wonder what Pourquois story might exist about what I was seeing and even tasting.  Pourquois tales are stories about Why or How something came to be.  When I mention tasting, it's related to

and enjoying the taste of wild plants like the leaves of wild violets which are sweeter than any lettuce.  No, I didn't have a bunch of them, just a leaf or two doesn't hurt those beautiful bits of scattered springtime color.  Euell Gibbons started Americans appreciating the edible bounty of nature without our even planting it.

Here's an Iroquois story to pay for that bite of springtime.
Photo: James Steakley / Wikimedia
A sad end to a story that seems to just pop up out of nowhere even as the wild violet does along the trail.

Earlier on this blog I have what little information could be found about Julia Darrow Cowles,who gave no source for that Iroquois tale, but at least she identified it as coming from the Iroquois.  Many early editors of Native American anthologies from many of those nations didn't identify the tradition.  Her Indian Nature Myths at least gives us that much documentation.

Logo of the Haudenosaunee Confederation
The name itself of Iroquois some say came from the French, while others believe it came from their Algonquin enemies here in this Great Lakes area and means "rattlesnakes."  They call themselves the Haudenosaunee, meaning "people of the long house."  I only use it because it is the more common description for the confederation, but the hotlink on the logo and previous sentence take you to the official website of a people who can easily lay claim to being the oldest living participatory democracy on earth.  A Wikipedia article debates their contribution to the creation of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, but the U.S. Congress in 1988 passed a resolution recognizing the influence of the Iroquois League.

Similarly it was difficult to find the source where Julia Darrow Cowles found her tale.  I searched well-regarded Iroquois books pre-dating her title. Books I have and online come from the half-Seneca folklorist, Arthur C. Parker, also Harriet Maxwell Converse and Mabel Powers, each of whom were adopted were adopted into the Seneca nation within the Confederation.  Folklorist Jeremiah Curtin was another early recorder, again from the Seneca tradition.  The U.S. Bureau of American Ethnology publications from these individuals, when online are small type and not easily browsed when a title uses an Iroquois/Haudenosaunee word.  It's not in my own books by Parker, Converse, and Powers, and the only books I own by Curtin are his Irish collections, another area of folklore he loved.

I also checked Legends of the Longhouse by J.J. Cornplanter since an Iroquois Reprints of a 1938 book, but Cornplanter is apparently a popular Iroquois name.  Hathi Trust Digital Library has the 1902 Legends of the Iroquois told by "the Cornplanter" with "authoritative notes and studies by William W. Canfield" and it's there on page 81!  I think it does a better job of starting and ending the story.  Canfield described the Cornplanter as a Seneca chief, giving two transliterations of his name meaning the Cornplanter, who told the stories shortly after the American Revolution.  Canfield explains further about the authority of the stories and how he proceeded to document them.

The ending in Legends of the Longhouse says more about the two lovers and the girl's choice to leave her people, but closes with: From this spot sprang the violets; and the winds and birds carried the seeds of the little flowers over all the world, into all countries where men dare and maidens love, so that the Indians of all ages might know that the Great Spirit would always raise a monument to true love and bravery.

Powers, whose book, Stories the Iroquois Tell Their Children, available for free through both Project Gutenberg and Archive.orgArchive.org, tells not only about her sources, but how she became named Yeh Sen Noh Wehs or Daughter of the Senecas.  She is the only one specifically saying she collected from all the Iroquois.  She tells us a story was ended traditionally with "Na ho" meaning "It is the end" -- and for today it is.
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Here's my closing for days when I have a story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain
***************** 

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!"
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Van Dyke - Handful of Clay - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

I'm trying to regain flexibility and strength in my dominant hand and wrist after breaking it for the second year in a row!  That includes therapy.  Hand therapy falls under the category of "occupational" therapy.  It's certainly true for me as I once again will be teaching American Sign Language, to say nothing of the pain typing for two of my fingers.  I remember the stab of pain as I signed "bad" -- OUCH! it was.  On the wall is a sign telling me April is National Occupational Therapy Month.
found on Pinterest.com by OT Month booster, Jardim Secreto Love

O.k. I'm not about to bake a cake for this, but went looking for a Public Domain story about hands or sign language and today's story, by serendipitous searching is most appropriate.  How?  Wait and see.

Back on December 24, 2014 I said: By the way, Henry Van Dyke wrote a lovely story of the Fourth Wise Man.  It's too long (50 pages) for me to post in my Keeping the Public in Public Domain, but I recommend it heartily.  The novella, The Story of the Other Wise Man, can be found at Project Gutenberg.  I first heard it told as an entire program by an Indiana storyteller who has gone to tell stories in the hereafter.  I've forgotten his name, but definitely not the story.

Because of that storyteller's program, when I found The Blue Flower, which contained the story, I bought it and after that two other Van Dyke books.  Authors talk about missing the day when publishing was a gentlemen's business.  Scribner is an old firm started in 1846.  It's now part of a conglomeration of major publishers, but look at how lovely this embossed cover is.  The contents are just as lovingly handled, as are the other books from Scribner.

The book not only has "The Story of the Other Wise Man", but ends with another Christmas story that was also quite popular, "The First Christmas-Tree."  Almost all but the title story, which Van Dyke says is from the German poet and philosopher, Novalis, are too long for a single post here, but the story I've chosen for today. It is definitely not a Christmas tale. I'll say more in a bit, but will say it, too, has been very popular both back in the early 20th century and on the internet.  As I read it I thought I might know where it was heading, but . . .
 
This photo came from Father Julian's Blog -- brief history of the Easter Lily
Definitely a story to think about as you claim your Easter lily, or garden, or enjoy Earth Day, which is today and also fits today's story.  Some pots still are clay, a substance that can be recycled although once that clay is fired into pottery it gets more difficult.  Try these ideas to recycle broken pottery.  Often the starts for plants come in recycled plastic and those, too, can be recycled, frequently at gardening centers.  Here's a link to an article called "How to Recycle Anything" dating back to 2013.  I notice it wasn't covering things like the larger decorative resin pots that sometimes look like clay.  Whether it be resin lawn furniture or pots, it's a bit more challenging as types of plastic don't mix well in the recycling process.  It's a bit more difficult, but try online searching using terms like recycle broken resin and other words describing what needs recycling.  For a general explanation and ideas (beyond even its title as the 5th way includes 9 more ways!) look at "5 Ways to Recycle Plastic."  At the article's end there are other articles listed for still more recycling.

But I'm not completely ready to leave "A Handful of Clay."  Looking further, I'm not the only one to think highly of this story.  While preparing this I found two other bloggers who were similarly taken with the story when they, too, dug it up after all this time.  (Alright, I couldn't resist the pun, but both Lee Enry Erickson and Sue Bertolini-Fox couldn't resist the story once they read it.)  Back in the early 20th century the story was popular with many school reader anthologies and even Anna M. Lütkenhaus for New York City Public Schools included it in Plays for School Children (1915), with ideas you may want to use in presenting it.  (That hotlink is a free Google eBook.)  Additionally Tesolman Reading Center, which uses public domain short stories in its goal of "walking you from being a good reader to a good writer"offers study questions related to this story.  The Baldwin Project is an online homeschooling and teaching resource serving as a "Gateway to the Classics."   Their site gives The Blue Flower 's entire text including this story.  You can also find it on YouTube, but it's just the text given in what I find are annoying chunks along with a narration that sounds like the Kurzweil Reader machine text to speech reader software for Dyslexia, English Language Learners, and the Blind and Vision Impaired.  (If you want to hear it, I'd be more inclined to suggest trying The Blue Flower by Henry Van Dyke on LibriVox.)

As I mentioned earlier, The Blue Flower contains some gems, but they're all too long to reprint here unless I break them up and take several posts.  I have another book by Van Dyke that isn't yet online and is specifically his short stories.  I have a plan to give at least one rather witty "parable" from it in June along with information on the author.  He puzzled me a bit and . . . well, as you probably can guess it led to a bit more research.
********
Here's my closing for days when I have a story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain
***************** 

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!"
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!