Tell me if you have a topic you'd like to see. (Contact: LoiS-sez@LoiS-sez.com .)
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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hale - Peterkins Celebrate the Fourth - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

I went looking to find stories about fireworks as many locations have canceled them this year.  Instead I found many stories about a greater than usual amount of individuals setting them off (often illegally) along with gunshots.  Since those stories would be possibly inappropriate for re-publishing or telling, I started to check my own collection.  Like a firework exploding in the air I was delighted to discover America's own "noodleheads", Lucretia Hale's delightful Peterkin family, celebrated the Fourth of July in true Peterkin fashion.

For those who might need reminding, the cast of characters includes Mr. and Mrs. Peterkin, their youngest sons just known as "the little boys" and their friends; the older, well educated (but clueless) sons, Solomon John and Agamemnon; daughter, Elizabeth Eliza, of approximately the same age; and their neighbors, the Bromwicks.  Their Hired Girl, Amanda, is given most of the holiday off, and the sensibility of "the lady from Philadelphia" is also absent.  Since this is 1876, here's the Philadelphia Centennial at Independence Hall.
Independence Hall Centennial Celebration July 4, 1876
The Peterkins had earlier in the book visited the lady from Philadelphia at the Centennial exposition.  Maybe that's why, in this story the lady "was not well, and her doctor had prescribed quiet."  There's not much quiet in this story.  The family seems determined to have every form of Independence Day insanity.  There's even the fire engines which on a normal day here in small towns are part of a parade.  There's no official parade, but cannons and bells and chaos aplenty.  It's enough to make whatever is happening near you seem tame.
Leave it to the Peterkin family to find a way to make it memorable.

Of course this blog is also viewed by storytelling friends abroad.  This year t-shirt makers all over the internet have had fun with a British view of our holiday saying variations on this theme.

While looking for a good graphic of that bit of cheek in the "mother tongue" I found the perfect response.
Stay safe, but have fun over this unusual holiday weekend.
********************
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 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, June 27, 2020

Transitions

E-books may be an alternative, but I'm delighted Michigan's libraries now are in the stage where curbside service has opened up.  Next I look forward to inter-library deliveries!
https://nemoshirt.com/product/thank-goodness-book-finally-arrived-almost-started-cleaning-house-shirt/

Added to that, this longtime librarian/storyteller agrees with author Neil Gaiman saying "Google can bring you 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one."

I still substitute in libraries.  I wasn't ready to abandon my skills even though my freelance focus is on storytelling.  The main problem with storytelling right now is I must either do it virtually or in large areas where the audience is spread out, wearing masks.  To continue as a storyteller, I have begun offering virtual storytelling programs.  Back on March 4th, as I was about to be in the opening of the musical, Grease, things already were starting to shut down.  The difference was it came without an official Executive Order.  I stand by what I said then:
I strongly believe there's a HUGE difference in the impact of LIVE performance and recorded shows or storytelling.  It's because of this I'm taking seriously some of the ways Coronavirus is starting to impact our travel and gatherings in theatres, schools, churches, athletic events, and more.  I really don't want to indulge in scaring people, but even the Olympics may be affected.  Digital conferencing is taking the place of meetings and conferences.  The stockmarket, always reacting to any potential impact on business, has magically transformed Bulls into Bears. 
The Olympics and much more were indeed affected.  Digital conferences are now so numerous they compete with each other.  Prophetically I said, "minimal exposure  may affect the live and in-person aspects of storytelling and theatre.  A videoconference or YouTube performance does not equal live productions."

"Social Distancing" really should have been called "Physical Distancing", yet it's true the social distancing of the current pandemic affects programs.   Everybody loses when audiences are distant in so many ways.  I sincerely hope this "new normal" eventually becomes the "temporary normal."

UPDATE:  This video from Guthrie Theater's director says it all and it encompasses storytelling, too.  

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Lang/Caylus - Fairy Gifts - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Sometimes finding one story leads to discovering another story I love even more.  Today's story is a perfect example.  Last week I found several interesting stories about fairies because I wanted something to go with my Quarantine project of a fairy house.  Here's that house now in place.
Andrew Lang produced a rainbow of books under a variety of colors.  This story is found in The Green Fairy Book and at the end is attributed to the Comte de Caylus, but Caylus both wrote original stories and collected French fairy tales and "oriental fantasies."  Britannica gives slightly dubious information about Caylus as the only son of the Marquise de Caylus, but both Wikipedia and Catholic Encyclopedia assert he was the eldest of two sons.  All agree the count went from a youthful military career to world travels exposing him to early archaeology and world cultures which influenced him when back in France for his work in the arts and literature in pre-revolutionary times.  This story isn't found in the two volume English translation of Les Contes Orientaux (Oriental Tales), so it seems to have been his original work.  

That bit of idle curiosity satisfied, I really want to let the story stand on its own.
I didn't want to give the Wikipedia link for the story before the story itself.    Ever since 1915 they have complained about a lack of sources for the story's article.  That article calls it a literary tale, but credits Lang with reworking it.  I know I've never seen it in any other source pre-dating Lang's 1892 edition.  If Lang reworked the story, he gave it folkloric style.

Bet you saw eventually where Sylvia's choice would go.  Whether you sing "You Can't Always Get What You Want" or think "Be careful what you wish for", I find myself thinking about King Solomon's wish for Wisdom.  Even with all his wisdom he still managed to go astray.  Perhaps a "quiet spirit" or at least letting our best self show is the best we can want.


Here's a close-up of mine as shown on Etsy.   Search for "fairy playing flute" to find two Pixies playing flute or a flute-playing gnome on a mushroom.  Beyond that there are flute-playing animals. My fairy told me her name is Alyssa.  I've no idea where that idea originated, so it must be from her.  With my love of the Native American flute, I sought her out and can't reject either her name or the fact it is a more classical flute.

Choose fairies and their gifts with care.

**************
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 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, June 13, 2020

Fillmore - The Wood Maiden - Keeping the Public in Public Domain


Remember when the first writing or speaking assignment every year in school was "What I did on my Summer Vacation"?  A bit of wood bark from a tree that came down sparked the idea of a fairy house.  The project started with me and my husband joined in.  At first I wanted to be a preschooler say, "NO!  It's MINE!", but his skills working with tiny N Scale railroad modeling couldn't be denied.  I knew better than to make a fairy and went looking on Etsy.com.  So many fairies!  I play Native American flute a bit and have four earlier posts about this.  When I saw this little fairy from NWWholesaler I knew she was the perfect choice for me. 

Decided for this opening beyond the "Shelter in Place" posts to give a story of fairies and music.  The available selection is large indeed.  Frances Jenkins Olcott's The Book of Elves and Fairies is easily prowled with its own subject index.  I have the Dover reprint which omits the poetry beginning and ending each section plus a very few (five) stories.  I could understand the omission of two from Charles Perrault as they are easily available.  Lovers of Stephen King's The Tommyknockers may miss the omission of "Tom and the Knockers" as possible inspiration for the novel, and it would have helped the brief story of "The Knockers' Diamonds" that is included.  What caught my attention in the Project Gutenberg's posting the full book was the story of "Fairy Do-Nothing and Giant Snap-'Em-Up."  What a title!  I understand the story is moralistic, told with old-fashioned style, and they probably thought it was worth omitting, but oh if told or read with a sardonic style it's great!  I recommend this look at a boy who hates school lessons and loves eating "goodies."  Hmmmm parents trying to homeschool their children during the pandemic would never have that problem, would they?

Searching Olcott I chose "The Wood-Lady" listed as from Bohemia.  You may notice that's not today's story.  Why?  Well it does include a fairy orchestra (although it lists birds as the musicians), but it also has a girl, Betty, who is expected to help her mother in the production of flax into linen.  Here in Michigan we have a storyteller who not only tells stories, but is a weaver who can tell stories from that knowledge, Barbara Schutzgruber.  Barb and I have traveled and roomed together for a National Storytelling Network conference and, aside from her weaving knowledge, I wanted to congratulate her on receiving the Oracle award this year for the North Central Regional Excellence at the first-ever virtual conference.  Unlike previous conferences she had to sit there while we could see her close-up while she was praised.

Her acceptance speech stated, "Folktales shaped my belief that regardless of external differences, people are not that different deep on and showed me that the world is not one of Either/Or, but rather one of Both/And."  I've been struggling to find a way to say this during the current additional time of civil protest about human dignity.  If you go to the Oracle link (while it remains on Facebook) of the entire award ceremony you can hear her entire acceptance speech as well as seeing Michigan's other Oracle winner, Corinne Stavish, who not only won the Circle of Excellence award, but was on the original committee where the name "Oracle" was chosen as an acronym for what it represents.  If you watch the ceremony, you'll also see Corinne introduced by past Oracle recipient, Michigan's Judy Sima and another from Yvonne Healy, who has relocated to Denver, but was a long-time Michigander and at one time chair of the NSN board.

By now you're wanting the story, but why did I use the version by Parker Fillmore in Czechoslovak Fairy Tales instead of Olcott's?  I called Barbara and she led me to his superior version.  (I knew it was more accurate as the girl is called Betushka, and that was the familiar form of a name probably changed from the Czech/Bohemian Alzbeta, or in English, Elizabeth, which of course is nicknamed Betty among other things.)  Barb especially pointed to how Betushka uses her head quite literally to handle the flax since she doesn't have a distaff.  For us non-spinners, think of using your arm to wrap a cord or, in this case, unspun fibers.
Betushka normally is able to take those unspun fibers, wrap the flax around her head to fill her spindle even while tending goats, eating, and dancing.  Let's hear it for this tale of female multitasking until distracted by fairy music from the woods. 

Barb and I both were happy she didn't throw away any more of those leaves!  Adding to all of that I guess we should be careful when hearing fairy music.  In my searching I found several stories where the fairy music can entice you to their world and keep you -- I'm saving one for Halloween as that's when the story occurs.
As for this story versus the Olcott version, her re-telling is shorter, but doesn't seem to leave anything out, except her acknowledgement section omits crediting its source.  Hmmm.  His book appeared in 1919, while hers was 1918.  He worked with the original Slavic texts, but she gives no clue to how she learned the story.  Today's researchers would expect that.

While looking at tales of fairies I found one in Andrew Lang's multi-colored books I dearly loved.  It will probably appear here next week.  We'll see, but for now, this is the end.
***********
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 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, June 6, 2020

Shelter in Place - Final ?!? Week (11) - Powers - Why the Dog Hangs Out His Tongue - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Michigan is still opening up, although it's not business as usual.  As of Monday libraries are able to gradually reopen.  This past week I videotaped a virtual version of my Prohibition program.  Virtual is not the same as live storytelling or theatre, but it's great to work a bit.  Another program now has been planned to be offered out of doors, using live streaming only if the weather doesn't cooperate.

All of this has been tolerable thanks to two things, eBooks and my being allowed to hit the trails with my "trail buddy", my dog.  He's a Husky/Malamute mix, which I call a "Malamutt", but he's really the best of both breeds.  When we jumped 20 degrees in temperature, I thought I was helping him by not taking him out in the 80s.  WRONG!  He went nuts with the withdrawal and didn't appreciate his form of Shelter in Place.  Now I'm making sure we go out as early as I can manage it.  If that's not possible, we'll take a flashlight and do an after dark hike.  This made me wonder what stories it might fit.

Mabel Powers' Around an Iroquois Story Fire has the perfect tale, "Why the Dog Hangs Out His Tongue."  It's almost in the center of my copy which has a binding that wouldn't show the text in the gutter -- no, I'm not describing it's language, the gutter is a publishing term and it's the white space between pages.  Fortunately Archive.org let me copy and save the pages, but even they have a bit of shadow.
I've seen that tongue a lot in the sudden switch to hotter weather.  I must add, all my past malamutes, while generally quiet, have tried to talk with their characteristic "woo, woo" and my past huskies a bit, too.  A friend, when I told her about one who loved to sing the blues at night, was surprised because of their name: Malamute.  She thought that meant they couldn't make a sound.  Not Hardly!  The breed was known for its close association with a group of the Inuits called the Mahlemut people.   My "trail buddy" tries particularly hard to communicate...sometimes in ways I'd rather not hear.  He's a "MouthyMutt" trying to reverse the Iroquois tale.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Shelter in Place - week 10 / Three Versions of the Iris Legend - Keeping the Public in Public Domain


Just about everything that should be green has become green.  Kermit the Frog was known for saying "It's not easy being green" and until recently things were cold enough it was certainly true.  Then Michigan barely had time to flirt with spring when it leaped into summer with hot weather that popped everything out at once.  Purple seems to be everywhere!  One day it was the lilacs popping out, then my irises went from barely a bud to full-blown flowers.  Of course wildflowers started it with spring violets when the season was barely a hope.

Here's a bit of my house with Korean Lilacs, Irises and a wildflower I first heard called "Mock Geraniums", but the useful search tool at MyWildflowers.com  has me believing it's probably called "Dame's Rocket" although there are several very similar wildflowers.  Whenever I see Irises I remember their strange other name of "Flags" and it sent me looking to find more about them.  It turns out there are enough mythological stories that I wound up with at least three versions of the story about the flower.

I decided to give all three versions and when I tell my own composite story would pick and choose from all three, leaving out some of the story.  You'll see what I mean and I hope from now on when you see an Iris you'll think of this early legend.

The simplest version comes from The Turquoise Story Book; Stories and Legends of Summer and Nature compiled by Ada M. and Eleanor L. Skinner, with this version credited to Ada Skinner.
Another popular anthologist was Frances Jenkins Olcott and her book, The Wonder Garden; Nature Myths and Tales from All the World Over does a good job of crediting many sources, but doesn't mention a source for her story, merely calling it an "Old Tale," BUT her first page tells us new information about Iris and her origin.
the second page gets more into the story as Skinner told it.
It's interesting that Olcott has one story in her book from Skinner's The Turquoise Story Book, but obviously felt it was necessary to give us Iris's background.  At the same time she simplified the story of the colors omitting the three flower sisters.

Finally I want to give Mary Catherine Judd's version which she retold "for Primary Pupils" in her Classic Myths; Greek, German, and Scandinavian.  The book opens with teacher suggestions, by the way, using examples of Phaeton for the sun, Diana for the moon, Jupiter for the stars, and a few tales for studying the winds and water.  She closes her 1898 edition of the book by inserting the Finnish myth of "Where Language Came From", adding a pair of Russian myths, and an Egyptian myth.  After the basics about Iris, she presents an interesting additional aspect of Iris.  I do have one caution to her book, but I'll give after her version of the Iris story.  Maybe you will guess it.

From here on it can get picky or sticky, so I'll understand if you don't feel like going beyond these three stories of Iris.  In fact it reminds me of this John D. Batten illustration in Joseph Jacob's Celtic Fairy Tales right before the section called "Notes and References" because it can get dry and complicated.

Classical mythology purists would probably say this is Roman and not Greek mythology, but the Romans managed to thoroughly intermingle their myths with the Greeks, causing sometimes the names to be changed and sometimes not.  Jupiter is definitely the Roman version of the Greek's Jove or Zeus.  I went to Wikipedia and found Juno's story oh so complicated.  Then I decided to see what Wikipedia could tell us about Iris herself.  Olcott's story of her family is completely discounted by a whole different family tree in Wikipedia's look at Iris.  It does mention the Harpies in relation to Iris turning back the Argonauts who pursued them, but not that they were her sisters.

By now I began to wonder if this tangled mess of a myth could be unraveled and went to some of the more standard works on mythology.  If you're interested or trying to make a complete story about Iris, it's really necessary to look further.  Fortunately I have reference works on hand even if libraries are closed.  First off I would challenge Wikipedia, because I did indeed find her sisters listed as the Harpies.  Olcott appears to be correct!  The simplest yet most thorough information is in Herbert Spencer Robinson and Knox Wilson's Myths and Legends of All Nations states:
Thaumas (whose name means Wonder) was the husband of Electra (meaning Brightness), one of the Oceanids (not the Electra of the Agamemnon story), and was by her the father of Iris, the beautiful goddess of the rainbow, and also father of the three Harpies, terrifying winged creatures representing the speed and horror of the storm.  The Harpies are mentioned as two or three -- Aello (Storm) and Ocypete (Swift-flyer); with Podarge (Swift-foot) sometimes added.
While a few sources say it should be Hera (not Juno) and Zeus (not Jupiter), putting it squarely back in Greek mythology, it is agreed with in Funk & Wagnall Standard Dictionary of Folklore and in Classical Mythology by Mark P.O. Morford and Robert J. Lenardon.  Interestingly Isaac Asimov in Words from the Myths doesn't deal with any of that as his focus is how the Greek word "iris" means "rainbow."   He goes on to talk about the multi-colored rainbow and how the word "iris" is applied to other objects having many colors including the colored part of the eye.  He goes on to mention the plant, calling it the flag, and that it, too, comes in many colors.  (His comments also go on to talk about how it led to the word "iridescence.")  I found it interesting that another standard look at mythology, The New Golden Bough by Sir James Frazer and revised by Theodor H. Gaster doesn't even talk about Iris.

****
WAKE UP!  Now surely some of this lodged itself in your brain and I hope you think of it when you see irises and maybe even the rainbow.
Photo by Yulia Gadalina on Unsplash
I was all set to end this story with that rainbow and then I saw this wonderful iris on a friend's Facebook page and knew this should be updated as her iris has that multicolored idea in one flower.
by Rosie M. Chapman

That certainly gives the "flag" idea and rainbow, doesn't it!  Thanks, Miz Rosie!
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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 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!