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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lang - Wali Dad - Keeping the Public in Public Domain



Right now my focus has been on the insanity of filling a very big role, Abby, one of the two old aunts who "help elderly gentlemen find peace" by poisoning them.  For those who don't know either the classic comedy as a movie or play, it's a fun show BUT I made the mistake of accepting the role thinking it was a featured, not a leading role.

OI!

Why have I returned to occasional acting as time permits?  I've never had a good memory, in fact long ago I switched to directing to avoid it.  I love that storytelling is like a snowflake with each program being an interaction between storyteller and the audience.

Once a teacher who enjoyed my work introduced me as having "memorized all these wonderful stories" -- I corrected her and said they weren't memorized, I know them "by heart."

Memory is tricky and will let you down when you least expect it.  Just ask my fellow actors.

So why do it?  Because the brain, including memory, is a muscle that needs exercise.  (And this has been a real workout.)  To keep sharp, I keep telling myself, challenge yourself.  At the same time I know there are stories I either avoid or find ways to work around more than I can trust myself to memorize.  I remember a complaint by a storytelling mentor about how many storytellers told
it's a delightful tale (still in copyright), but he felt it was being told constantly.  There was no fear of me telling it because the story includes several long challenging jump rope rhymes.  In one storytelling anthology, A Storyteller's Choice, it is labeled "For the experienced storyteller."  I know I am, but don't trust myself on the memorization.

Today's story is in the same category, but I've found ways to have all the many gifts in the story in writing near me so I can concentrate on the story.  It's a great tale for the holidays, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, but isn't about either.  It's from Andrew Lang's 19th century series of rainbow colored folk tale anthologies and there is titled the  "Story of Wali Dad the Simple-Hearted."  I have the Dover edition shown here, a serviceable paperback that probably can't survive lots of scanning.  Similarly some books in my personal collection were library books that had a rebinding making it hard to open them fully for copying because of the process.  The works of Andrew Lang are all over the internet and I recommend one of my favorite sources, Project Gutenberg, and hope you, too, support them.  In this case it's extra important because they list 128 of his 249 books and there are many more worth discovering.  (My favorite nearly unknown book is his Prince Prigio, a comic novel about a prince cursed by a fairy to be "too clever.")  If you read a bit about Lang, there's the usual Wikipedia article,  or you can catch the article in "The Scotsman" about Andrew Lang: the life and times of a prolific talent", or the brief biography at Literature Network, all show his work goes far beyond the beloved rainbow series.  It takes another Wikipedia article, however, Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, to show the series went against the critical opinion of the time (1889-1910) which held fairy tales were too brutal and unreal for children and unworthy of an adult's serious consideration.  Because of his collecting the tales, the 1890s and early 20th century saw a flourishing interest in folklore.

Unlike the typical 19th century anonymity of a woman's contribution, Andrew Lang acknowledged his wife, Leonora's assistance.  I own a little of her work and see even more worth reading at Project Gutenberg and so there's even more hidden gems for storytelling.


For an index to the many stories in the Rainbow series, go to Flying Chipmunk Publishing.

There are a multitude of online Lang texts, but they omit the illustrations by H.J. Ford.  Many are at SurLaLune Fairy Tales, often wearable, but unfortunately not the one for today's story.  I'll scan it and let it follow today's story.

I'll use Lit2Go's text and recommend the site as it's also useful to teachers and homeschoolers, even giving a readability level.
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Once upon a time there lived a poor old man whose name was Wali Dad Gunjay, or Wali Dad the Bald. He had no relations, but lived all by himself in a little mud hut some distance from any town, and made his living by cutting grass in the jungle, and selling it as fodder for horses. He only earned by this five halfpence a day; but he was a simple old man, and needed so little out of it, that he saved up one halfpenny daily, and spent the rest upon such food and clothing as he required.
In this way he lived for many years until, one night, he thought that he would count the money he had hidden away in the great earthen pot under the floor of his hut. So he set to work, and with much trouble he pulled the bag out on to the floor, and sat gazing in astonishment at the heap of coins which tumbled out of it. What should he do with them all? he wondered. But he never thought of spending the money on himself, because he was content to pass the rest of his days as he had been doing for ever so long, and he really had no desire for any greater comfort or luxury.
At last he threw all the money into an old sack, which he pushed under his bed, and then, rolled in his ragged old blanket, he went off to sleep.
Early next morning he staggered off with his sack of money to the shop of a jeweller, whom he knew in the town, and bargained with him for a beautiful little gold bracelet. With this carefully wrapped up in his cotton waistband he went to the house of a rich friend, who was a travelling merchant, and used to wander about with his camels and merchandise through many countries. Wali Dad was lucky enough to find him at home, so he sat down, and after a little talk he asked the merchant who was the most virtuous and beautiful lady he had ever met with. The merchant replied that the princess of Khaistan was renowned everywhere as well for the beauty of her person as for the kindness and generosity of her disposition.
‘Then,’ said Wali Dad, ‘next time you go that way, give her this little bracelet, with the respectful compliments of one who admires virtue far more than he desires wealth.’
With that he pulled the bracelet from his waistband, and handed it to his friend. The merchant was naturally much astonished, but said nothing, and made no objection to carrying out his friend’s plan.
Time passed by, and at length the merchant arrived in the course of his travels at the capital of Khaistan. As soon as he had opportunity he presented himself at the palace, and sent in the bracelet, neatly packed in a little perfumed box provided by himself, giving at the same time the message entrusted to him by Wali Dad.
The princess could not think who could have bestowed this present on her, but she bade her servant to tell the merchant that if he would return, after he had finished his business in the city, she would give him her reply. In a few days, therefore, the merchant came back, and received from the princess a return present in the shape of a camel-load of rich silks, besides a present of money for himself. With these he set out on his journey.
Some months later he got home again from his journeyings, and proceeded to take Wali Dad the princess’s present. Great was the perplexity of the good man to find a camel-load of silks tumbled at his door! What was he to do with these costly things? But, presently, after much thought, he begged the merchant to consider whether he did not know of some young prince to whom such treasures might be useful.
‘Of course,’ cried the merchant, greatly amused; ‘from Delhi to Baghdad, and from Constantinople to Lucknow, I know them all; and there lives none worthier than the gallant and wealthy young prince of Nekabad.’
‘Very well, then, take the silks to him, with the blessing of an old man,’ said Wali Dad, much relieved to be rid of them.
So, the next time that the merchant journeyed that way he carried the silks with him, and in due course arrived at Nekabad, and sought an audience of the prince. When he was shown into his presence he produced the beautiful gift of silks that Wali Dad had sent, and begged the young man to accept them as a humble tribute to his worth and greatness. The prince was much touched by the generosity of the giver, and ordered, as a return present, twelve of the finest breed of horses for which his country was famous to be delivered over to the merchant, to whom also, before he took his leave, he gave a munificent reward for his services.
As before, the merchant at last arrived at home; and next day, he set out for Wali Dad’s house with the twelve horses. When the old man saw them coming in the distance he said to himself: ‘Here’s luck! a troop of horses coming! They are sure to want quantities of grass, and I shall sell all I have without having to drag it to market.’ Thereupon he rushed off and cut grass as fast he could. When he got back, with as much grass as he could possibly carry, he was greatly discomfited to find that the horses were all for himself. At first he could not think what to do with them, but, after a little, a brilliant idea struck him! He gave two to the merchant, and begged him to take the rest to the princess of Khaistan, who was clearly the fittest person to possess such beautiful animals.
The merchant departed, laughing. But, true to his old friend’s request, he took the horses with him on his next journey, and eventually presented them safely to the princess. This time the princess sent for the merchant, and questioned him about the giver. Now, the merchant was usually a most honest man, but he did not quite like to describe Wali Dad in his true light as an old man whose income was five halfpence a day, and who had hardly clothes to cover him. So he told her that his friend had heard stories of her beauty and goodness, and had longed to lay the best he had at her feet. The princess then took her father into her confidence, and begged him to advise her what courtesy she might return to one who persisted in making her such presents.
‘Well,’ said the king, ‘you cannot refuse them; so the best thing you can do is to send this friend at once a present so magnificent that he is not likely to be able to send you anything better, and so will be ashamed to send anything at all!’ Then he ordered that, in place of each of the ten horses, two mules laden with silver should be returned by her.
Thus, in a few hours, the merchant found himself in charge of a splendid caravan; and he had to hire a number of armed men to defend it on the road against the robbers, and he was glad indeed to find himself back again in Wali Dad’s hut.

‘Well, now,’ cried Wali Dad, as he viewed all the wealth laid at his door, ‘I can well repay that kind prince for his magnificent present of horses; but to be sure you have been put to great expenses! Still, if you will accept six mules and their loads, and will take the rest straight to Nekabad, I shall thank you heartily.’
The merchant felt handsomely repaid for his trouble, and wondered greatly how the matter would turn out. So he made no difficulty about it; and as soon as he could get things ready, he set out for Nekabad with this new and princely gift.
This time the prince, too, was embarrassed, and questioned the merchant closely. The merchant felt that his credit was at stake, and whilst inwardly determining that he would not carry the joke any further, could not help describing Wali Dad in such glowing terms that the old man would never have known himself had he heard them. The prince, like the king of Khaistan, determined that he would send in return a gift that would be truly royal, and which would perhaps prevent the giver sending him anything more. So he made up a caravan on twenty splendid horses caparisoned in gold embroidered cloths, with fine morocco saddles and silver bridles and stirrups, also twenty camels of the best breed, which had the speed of race-horses, and could swing along at a trot all day without getting tired; and, lastly, twenty elephants, with magnificent silver howdahs and coverings of silk embroidered with pearls. To take care of these animals the merchant hired a little army of men; and the troop made a great show as they travelled along.
When Wali Dad from a distance saw the cloud of dust which the caravan made, and the glitter of its appointments, he said to himself: ‘By Allah! here’s a grand crowd coming! Elephants, too! Grass will be selling well to-day!’ And with that he hurried off to the jungle and cut grass as fast as he could. As soon as he got back he found the caravan had stopped at his door, and the merchant was waiting, a little anxiously, to tell him the news and to congratulate him upon his riches.
‘Riches!’ cried Wali Dad, ‘what has an old man like me with one foot in the grave to do with riches? That beautiful young princess, now! She’d be the one to enjoy all these fine things! Do you take for yourself two horses, two camels, and two elephants, with all their trappings, and present the rest to her.’
The merchant at first objected to these remarks, and pointed out to Wali Dad that he was beginning to feel these embassies a little awkward. Of course he was himself richly repaid, so far as expenses went; but still he did not like going so often, and he was getting nervous. At length, however he consented to go once more, but he promised himself never to embark on another such enterprise.
So, after a few days’ rest, the caravan started off once more for Khaistan.
The moment the king of Khaistan saw the gorgeous train of men and beasts entering his palace courtyard, he was so amazed that he hurried down in person to inquire about it, and became dumb when he heard that these also were a present from the princely Wali Dad, and were for the princess, his daughter. He went hastily off to her apartments, and said to her: ‘I tell you what it is, my dear, this man wants to marry you; that is the meaning of all these presents! There is nothing for it but that we go and pay him a visit in person. He must be a man of immense wealth, and as he is so devoted to you, perhaps you might do worse than marry him!’
The princess agreed with all that her father said, and orders were issued for vast numbers of elephants and camels, and gorgeous tents and flags, and litters for the ladies, and horses for the men, to be prepared without delay, as the king and princess were going to pay a visit to the great and munificent prince Wali Dad. The merchant, the king declared, was to guide the party.
The feelings of the poor merchant in this sore dilemma can hardly be imagined. Willingly would he have run away; but he was treated with so much hospitality as Wali Dad’s representative, that he hardly got an instant’s real peace, and never any opportunity of slipping away. In fact, after a few days, despair possessed him to such a degree that he made up his mind that all that happened was fate, and that escape was impossible; but he hoped devoutly some turn of fortune would reveal to him a way out of the difficulties which he had, with the best intentions, drawn upon himself.
On the seventh day they all started, amidst thunderous salutes from the ramparts of the city, and much dust, and cheering, and blaring of trumpets.
Day after day they moved on, and every day the poor merchant felt more ill and miserable. He wondered what kind of death the king would invent for him, and went through almost as much torture, as he lay awake nearly the whole of every night thinking over the situation, as he would have suffered if the king’s executioners were already setting to work upon his neck.
At last they were only one day’s march from Wali Dad’s little mud home. Here a great encampment was made, and the merchant was sent on to tell Wali Dad that the King and Princess of Khaistan had arrived and were seeking an interview. When the merchant arrived he found the poor old man eating his evening meal of onions and dry bread, and when he told him of all that had happened he had not the heart to proceed to load him with the reproaches which rose to his tongue. For Wali Dad was overwhelmed with grief and shame for himself, for his friend, and for the name and honour of the princess; and he wept and plucked at his beard, and groaned most piteously. With tears he begged the merchant to detain them for one day by any kind of excuse he could think of, and to come in the morning to discuss what they should do.
As soon as the merchant was gone Wali Dad made up his mind that there was only one honourable way out of the shame and distress that he had created by his foolishness, and that was—to kill himself. So, without stopping to ask any one’s advice, he went off in the middle of the night to a place where the river wound along at the base of steep rocky cliffs of great height, and determined to throw himself down and put an end to his life. When he got to the place he drew back a few paces, took a little run, and at the very edge of that dreadful black gulf he stopped short! He COULD not do it!
From below, unseen in the blackness of the deep night shadows, the water roared and boiled round the jagged rocks—he could picture the place as he knew it, only ten times more pitiless and forbidding in the visionless darkness; the wind soughed through the gorge with fearsome sighs, and rustlings and whisperings, and the bushes and grasses that grew in the ledges of the cliffs seemed to him like living creatures that danced and beckoned, shadowy and indistinct. An owl laughed ‘Hoo! hoo!’ almost in his face, as he peered over the edge of the gulf, and the old man threw himself back in a perspiration of horror. He was afraid! He drew back shuddering, and covering his face in his hands he wept aloud.
Presently he was aware of a gentle radiance that shed itself before him. Surely morning was not already coming to hasten and reveal his disgrace! He took his hands from before his face, and saw before him two lovely beings whom his instinct told him were not mortal, but were Peris from Paradise.
‘Why do you weep, old man?’ said one, in a voice as clear and musical as that of the bulbul.
‘I weep for shame,’ replied he.
‘What do you here?’ questioned the other.
‘I came here to die,’ said Wali Dad. And as they questioned him, he confessed all his story.
Then the first stepped forward and laid a hand upon his shoulder, and Wali Dad began to feel that something strange—what, he did not know—was happening to him. His old cotton rags of clothes were changed to beautiful linen and embroidered cloth; on his hard, bare feet were warm, soft shoes, and on his head a great jewelled turban. Round his neck there lay a heavy golden chain, and the little old bent sickle, which he cut grass with, and which hung in his waistband, had turned into a gorgeous scimitar, whose ivory hilt gleamed in the pale light like snow in moonlight. As he stood wondering, like a man in a dream, the other peri waved her hand and bade him turn and see; and, lo! before him a noble gateway stood open. And up an avenue of giant place trees the peris led him, dumb with amazement. At the end of the avenue, on the very spot where his hut had stood, a gorgeous palace appeared, ablaze with myriads of lights. Its great porticoes and verandahs were occupied by hurrying servants, and guards paced to and fro and saluted him respectfully as he drew near, along mossy walks and through sweeping grassy lawns where fountains were playing and flowers scented the air. Wali Dad stood stunned and helpless.
‘Fear not,’ said one of the peris; ‘go to your house, and learn that God rewards the simple-hearted.’
With these words they both disappeared and left him. He walked on, thinking still that he must be dreaming. Very soon he retired to rest in a splendid room, far grander than anything he had ever dreamed of.
When morning dawned he woke, and found that the palace, and himself, and his servants were all real, and that he was not dreaming after all!
If he was dumbfounded, the merchant, who was ushered into his presence soon after sunrise, was much more so. He told Wali Dad that he had not slept all night, and by the first streak of daylight had started to seek out his friend. And what a search he had had! A great stretch of wild jungle country had, in the night, been changed into parks and gardens; and if it had not been for some of Wali Dad’s new servants, who found him and brought him to the palace, he would have fled away under the impression that his trouble had sent him crazy, and that all he saw was only imagination.
Then Wali Dad told the merchant all that had happened. By his advice he sent an invitation to the king and princess of Khaistan to come and be his guests, together with all their retinue and servants, down to the very humblest in the camp.
For three nights and days a great feast was held in honour of the royal guests. Every evening the king and his nobles were served on golden plates and from golden cups; and the smaller people on silver plates and from silver cups; and each evening each guest was requested to keep the plates and cups that they had used as a remembrance of the occasion. Never had anything so splendid been seen. Besides the great dinners, there were sports and hunting, and dances, and amusements of all sorts.
On the fourth day the king of Khaistan took his host aside, and asked him whether it was true, as he had suspected, that he wished to marry his daughter. But Wali Dad, after thanking him very much for the compliment, said that he had never dreamed of so great an honour, and that he was far too old and ugly for so fair a lady; but he begged the king to stay with him until he could send for the Prince of Nekabad, who was a most excellent, brave, and honourable young man, and would surely be delighted to try to win the hand of the beautiful princess.
To this the king agreed, and Wali Dad sent the merchant to Nekabad, with a number of attendants, and with such handsome presents that the prince came at once, fell head over ears in love with the princess, and married her at Wali Dad’s palace amidst a fresh outburst of rejoicings.
And now the King of Khaistan and the Prince and Princess of Nekabad, each went back to their own country; and Wali Dad lived to a good old age, befriending all who were in trouble and preserving, in his prosperity, the simple-hearted and generous nature that he had when he was only Wali Dad Gunjay, the grass cutter.
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I like to tell a story and only show the pictures later, letting the audience visualize their own pictures.  Here are Ford's Peris and Wali Dad.
Editorial comment: I hate crooked scans, but know it happens with books
Today's story and all I wanted to say about the Langs has gone quite long, but I first met the story through my friend Aaron Shepard, who produced not only a delightful book, but his website gives many extras such as a Reader's Theater version, posters, and insight into what went into his book.  Another worthwhile picture book was also made by Kristina Rodanas and she calls it The Story of Wali Dad, so it makes a great story to tell, then show the two picture books, and the Ford illustration to compare and contrast and get reactions.

Truly we have many gifts in this story that supposedly came to Lang from a Major Campbell stationed in the Punjab.
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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.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Schoolcraft - Star Family - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Earlier this month I mentioned the Perseid Meteor Showers or "shooting stars" when talking about Orion and Mara L. Pratt's book, The Storyland of Stars.  Unfortunately her coverage of the August "shower" is more factual than story.

Jane Johnston Schoolcraft ~ OjibweAt the back of my mind was a story found in both  Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's Algic Researches (published in two volumes in 1839 and again in his The Myth of Hiawatha, and other Oral Legends (published in 1856)  about a family that began with female stars coming down to earth.  "The Star Family or Celestial Sisters" is an interesting story, but unfortunately it's also an example of 19th century language needing to be brought alive when re-telling it.  I also noticed that, unlike the various stories I usually think about from  Schoolcraft, this is not from the people of our region.  The story is from the Shawnee, and like Michigan's Anishinaabe, they are an Algonquian speaking people, but they suffered through the Indian Removals of the 1830s.  That overlapped some of the time when Schoolcraft was an Indian Agent.  Because his wife, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft helped him learn both Algonquian languages and lore, this story probably included her influence even though it isn't an Anishinaabe tale.

I've chosen the later version, but I think you'll see what I mean about some of the language.  Don't let it keep you from enjoying a lovely pourquois tale and looking up for a stray shooting star.

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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.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Grimm - Fred and Kate - Keeping the Public in Public Domain + Frankenmuth exhibit

"Fred and Kate" in Household Stories, illustrated by Walter Crane
Here's my favorite little known story by the Brothers Grimm, but along the way I want to give the story of both how I use it and how I came to put it in the "Keeping the Public in Public Domain"series.
   
Right before the Frankenmuth Historical Museum had a lecture on the Grimm Brothers, I happened to see their exhibit.  There wasn't time to post an announcement here before the lecture, but the exhibit will be there until Halloween.  (I asked about that interesting ending date and was told it was when they would open a new exhibit about the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in 1975.)  Frankenmuth is a major Michigan tourist site and always offers events, shopping, and dining, so it's worth the trip even without the lecture.  The exhibit is well done even for those of us well informed about Grimm tales beyond the usual Disney versions.  (There's an adults only cabinet with the original tales to explore.)  To see the exhibit you need a museum ticket and it may help to know the exhibit is at the end of all their displays.  If you want to see well done exhibits about Frankenmuth from pioneer times and on throughout its history, follow the normal entrance to the right of the shop.  If you are in a rush, want to walk less, or don't care about those historical exhibits, it might help to know the same ticket could let you see just "Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm" by entering to the left where the exhibit hall ends.  With so much happening in Frankenmuth, that also is a reasonable choice letting you see biographical, illustrative, and comparative Grimm displays, as well as some geared to any children accompanying you.
 
Today's story as I tell it is less than I discovered prowling various Grimm editions and finding public domain copies.  HORRORS!  Have I sanitized Grimm!?!  Not really.  It's just the story is often published without the final adventure.  It's also politically incorrect and I love it!  There's a story type called "Noodleheads" where the main character is hopelessly unaware of the crazy, yes, dumb results of actions.  The female version is the stereotypical "dumb blonde", but the sheer zaniness of any Noodlehead has a bouncy lack of awareness.

When I tell it, I rename the main characters "Friedrich and Katya."  This feels more in keeping with their Germanic roots than the title of "Fred and Kate" given by Mrs. E. V. Lucas whose version appears here.  Some versions title it "Frederick and Catherine."  Anytime you use a translated tale, title variations can play havoc with finding the story.  My Katya always earnestly answers her newly wed husband with "I did not know; you should have told me what to do" and from her viewpoint it's true even as he tries to goofproof their recent marriage.

Now for the part that probably only appeals to researchers.  The version I will start with is from Mrs. E. V. Lucas, but, just as her husband is the one noticed in the early 20th century, I found her translation work also almost uncredited in more than one edition.  There's the undated Lippincott book, Fairy Tales, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, but clearly predating the 1915 Index to Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends by Mary Huse Eastman.  There's also this copy found in the Internet Archive edition which has a 1920 publication by E.P. Dutton crediting an earlier version from 1909 of "Grimm's Fairy Tales illustrated by Arthur Rackham" but omitting the translator.
On the same Internet Archive page is mentioned the 1920 edition (yes, same year and pagination) published by Constable & Company crediting that same:

Hansel & Grethel & other tales
by the brothers Grimm. Illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Published by Constable & Co. in New York .
Written in English.

Edition Notes

Half-title: Grimm's fairy tales.
Title within ornamental border.
Translated by Mrs. Edgar Lucas.

Yes, Arthur Rackham deserves credit, but isn't it interesting how I had to do detective work to find out who translated this since it has the closest to the tellable style I use.  (Also did you notice the use of "Edgar", but E.V. Lucas was actually Edward Verrall Lucas . . . I believe they are Mrs. E.V. Lucas's husband.)








































































































That's where I've been ending the story.  Here's the rest of the tale from the translation by Lucy Crane, truly an interesting 19th century woman.  Oh and about that header on this article by Walter Crane, he's her more famous brother.  I don't care for her version before this as much as the translation by Mrs. Lucas, but think it's time to give "the rest of the story" to you.  I'm not sure if I will add it when I tell the story.  The story picks up where we stopped by jumping into her Household Stories published by Macmillan in 1899 and ends with another illustration by Walter Crane.
Hmmmmm.  What do you think about the story?  What about the extra adventure?

An earlier post in 2012 about the Grimm Brothers bicentennial's Project Grimm points out the KHM number of this story is 59.  Wikipedia's summary of Frederick and Catherine includes the final adventure and also notes it combines eight Aarne-Thompson types.  That number certainly may help you more than the way publishers repackage versions of the story and then copyright the total book for something like different illustrations.  One of the books I have with this story did exactly that.  It never stated if their version came from Lucas, Crane, or a third interpreter who never included this little known story in her collection of stories by the Grimm Brothers.  They count on you thinking the story itself is under copyright.  This is a perfect example of a story told in many translations, but still worth 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.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Dog Days of Summer + Pratt - Orion - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Michigan arguably has had some of the best summer weather in the U.S. this year.  The last week of July was the closest we came to hot weather.  It reminded me of the so-called "Dog Days of Summer."
Vita Bone summer contest
from Steve Dale's Pet World "Summer dog photo contest"
The name Sirius is more than just a radio service as the Dog Days are tied to Sirius, once thought to be the brightest star in the sky.  We now know it's a star system of two or even a hidden third star within the constellation of Orion.  (Here in metro Detroit the accent falls on the initial "O" for the town of Lake Orion, unlike the mythical figure with the accent on the "ri", which seems a bit wry in a punny way.)

That mention of Sirius, the Dog Star, brings us to the story of Orion, his master.  The basics of that story are nicely told by Mara L. Pratt in her 1892 book The Storyland of Stars.  If you have an interest in stories related to the constellations or about such astronomical topics as shooting stars or comets, don't let the 1892 copyright scare you off some delightful material.
I really wanted you to see Pratt's story first, but as Pratt herself says, "There are so many stories told about Orion."  However I'd add that she does the most interesting job of telling about him.  She also avoids the Greek names and even uses the Roman Jupiter instead of Greek Zeus.  A modern publisher called Sirius Publications gives the name of that moon goddess and a bit of earlier story about Orion that reveals his character in ways Pratt's children's book audience wasn't ready to hear.  (If you're reading the story to your children, stop here unless they're about middle school age.)
Their Prequel tells us:
Orion was madly in love with the daughter of King Oenopion of Chios, Metrope, but was never allowed to marry her. One day, while drunk, he did something horrible to Metrope, and her father asked Dionysis to curse him. Dionysis put him into a coma and then blinded him. When he awoke, he went to an Oracle, who told him he would get his sight back if he traveled east and let the rays of the sun strike his eyes. Orion did so, and after regaining his sight he moved to Crete. In Crete, the goddess of the moon, Artemis, fell in love with him, and was too distracted to remember to light up the sky with moonlight.

That boy was made for the modern day media, wasn't he?

I greatly enjoy the storytelling of Barbara McBride-Smith and one of her specialties is bringing Greek myths alive as if they were a bunch of Good Ol' Boys in Texas.  It reminds me of when I still worked at Mount Clemens Public Library.  Annually the middle schoolers would come in talking about mythology as if it was the latest soap opera.  Jean Fargo, I never sat in your classroom,  but it must have approached the level of Barbara McBride-Smith, who combines her professional storytelling with her "day job" as a school librarian.  If you can't enroll in Mrs. Fargo's class, I recommend two of McBride-Smith's award winning CDs, It's Not Easy Being a Goddess and Good Old Boys And The Women Who Love Them.  The latter includes Eve and Mrs. Noah as well as Greek myths.

Wikipedia's article on Sirius can tell you way more than you probably want to know about the brightest star in the sky which is actually a binary star system and has been influential with those Dog Days internationally throughout history.  I find a company called Sirius, a group of technological freelancers, covers the scientific basics and history of Sirius in a more interesting way.  (Just wish they hadn't treated us all as if we were viewing the page on a mobile phone when formatting it.)

Here's the 2015 astronomical look at Orion the Hunter and Sirius the Dog Star from EarthSky, the daily astronomical newsletter.  As they point out, "Every year in late August, look for Orion the Hunter and Sirius the Dog in the early morning sky! Orion’s three prominent Belt stars always point to Sirius."  Here's also a short video of Weather Wisdom: The Dog Days of Summer from The Old Farmer's Almanac which mentions on their current homepage that this month will have the best meteors in years, so maybe I'll next bring Pratt's commentary on Shooting Stars.

I have many nature programs including one on astronomy, but Orion and faithful Sirius is a story suited to an older audience than the general family setting for most nature programs.  It is, however, a story worth Keeping the Public in Public Domain.
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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.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  Have fun discovering even more stories!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The International Folktales Collection


Just learned from a reader that the link to Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection of Public Domain stories from Yoel Perez has changed its email address without having a forwarding service.  The link, starting with this week's story about "The Seal-Catcher's Adventure", has been changed.  My apologies for any inconvenience.  It's a great site jam-packed with Public Domain stories.  Our approaches to what we post may differ, but supplement each other as I try to give background information whenever I can find it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Highland Games + Douglas - Seal-catcher's Adventure - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Last year I gave a favorite story from Sir George Douglas about an enormous Sea Serpent defeated by a lad named Assipattle.  (Unfortunately the use of Baronet Douglas's title put him alphabetically in the Labels section under "S.")  This was in preparation for the 165th Highland Games of the St. Andrews Society of Detroit.  This Saturday I hope you catch the 166th Highland Games including storytelling in the Wee Bairns area.   Selkie (or Silkie, or Selchie) are the Scottish "Mer people."  There are many stories about them in Douglas's Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales, including the ever-popular tale of the woman trapped in human form until she can find her seal skin, leaving her human husband to return to her Selkie people.  That story has been made into many picture books, including this irresistable Arthur Rackham illustration inspired by a related non-Scottish legend.
Undine (1909) by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué

That illustration can also be found with a brief re-telling of the Seal Wife story at Bo's Little Black Book of Fae Lore which also mentions a similar Australian creature, the Bunyip.  (There are some great stories the Aussies tell about Bunyips, too!)  
With so much attention on female Selchie, today's story gives an interesting male view.  The Orkney Isles are especially associated with Selkie tales and Orkneyjar gives a concise, but livelier overview than the earlier hotlinked Wikipedia Selkie customarily thorough article
So let's dive right in to the story!



Re-telling this story I'd clarify that "present" mentioned at the end.  It sounds as if the grateful Selkie may have given him a treasure to replace the seal-catcher's former work.  Then again perhaps his life and the adventure were enough? . . . NAH!  The fae folk have treasure and are likely generous in such circumstances.  By the way, re-telling the story I'm sure we all would revise some of the 19th century language, but the tale is surely a keeper to balance all those Mermaids and Selkie wives.  (Douglas precedes this story with "The Mermaid Wife" from Folk Lore and Legends, Scotland published by W.Gibbings -- which is that oh so familiar tale.)

You also probably noticed Douglas, who lists himself as having "Selected and edited" the book's contents, gives his source for this story as W.Grant Stewart's book, Highland Superstitions and Amusements.  Hathitrust has two copies of that book but it's titled The Popular Superstitions and Festive Amusements of the Highlanders, with this story starting on page 65, if you are interested.  Since Douglas is considered the more easily obtained and generally recognized collector, I'm still crediting him, but want to note his source.  

If you really want to get into the spirit of Scottish folklore, Professor D.L. Ashliman, before retiring from University of Pittsburgh, did a digital library page taking you to 79 Scottish folklore books including Douglas and the Gibbings anonymous book, but omits W.Grant Stewart.  There's always more to discover as folklore is a bottomless reservoir that never stops and so we want to Keep the Public in Public Domain.
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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.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  Have fun discovering even more stories!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

End of Sesquicentennial + Alexander - Double Jeopardy of Wilmer McLean - Keeping the Public in Public Domain



As the Civil War sesquicentennial ends, local events remember it including at the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society's
Annual Summer Ice Cream Social ~ Sat, July 25, 2015 on the grounds of the Moses Wisner house.

Michigan's 12th Governor, Moses Wisner, like the Lerich family, was an abolitionist.  His barn was burned to protest his activity in the anti-slavery movement even though he was elected by a large majority.  Rather than seek a second term, he turned his attention to organizing the 22nd Michigan Infantry, which trained at the Pontiac Fairgrounds. On August 25, 1862, the 22nd Michigan Infantry left Pontiac for Kentucky with Colonel Moses Wisner in command. Before leaving, Wisner conveyed the property on which Pine Grove is located to his wife, Angeolina. Colonel Wisner died of typhoid fever, January 5, 1863, in Kentucky while en route to the regiment's deployment.


Why not plan on attending the event?:SummerSocialFlyer.jpg
Yes, there will be much more than their card shows: Also included are Opening Ceremonies, local dignitaries, free Cake and Ice Cream, Veterans Mobile Service Center, Junior ROTC, a Curiosity Sale, Kid's crafts, Storytellers, and many other attractions.
Free secure parking on site at 405 Cesar Chavez Ave., Pontiac, MI 48342
For more details, please contact OCPHS: office@ocphs.org Phone: 248-338-6732 (office is normally open Tues/Wed/Thurs from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM).

Of course the end of the sesquicentennial remembrance deserves at least a brief Public Domain story showing a more personal side of the war.

That was part of an article in The Century Magazine, volume LXIII (April 1902) p. 931, by Brigadier General E.P.Alexander, C.S.A. entitled "Lee at Appomattox: Personal Recollection of the Break-up of the Confederacy."  It was included in A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore edited and introduced by the folklorist B.A. Botkin.  That book isn't Public Domain, but Botkin used Public Domain sources in his many thick volumes of folklore and in his work for the Federal Writers' Project, the Joint Committee on Folk Arts of the Works Progress Administration, and the Writers' Unit of the Library of Congress Project. That first link was Wikipedia, but another view of him is at New York Folklore Society's Journal, Voices.  His work was analyzed in America's Folklorist: B.A. Botkin and American Culture edited by Lawrence Rodgers and Jerrold Hirsch.  (That last link just gives you the book's Table of Contents in case you wish to read even more.)  Benjamin Albert Botkin's anthologies are a great resource of Public Domain material even if their published format is under copyright for the total book.  I was going to include his portrait photo and "About the Author" for his own view of himself, but instead recommend obtaining as many of his books as you can manage.  There are PLENTY!
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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.  
 


There are many online resources for Public Domain stories, none for folklore is as ambitious as fellow storyteller, Yoel Perez's database, Yashpeh, the International Folktales Collection.  I recommended it earlier and want to continue to do so.  Have fun discovering even more stories!