Tell me if you have a topic you'd like to see. (Contact: LoiS-sez@LoiS-sez.com .)
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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Jacobs - Beth Gelert - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

ANGER!  Is there anybody who hasn't felt it?  If ever there was a tale to pop in your head before acting, "Beth Gelert" is it.  Anybody addressing the topic of Anger Management or Character Education and Values needs this story in their resources.

Read the story first, it won't take long. After it I'll give both Joseph Jacobs' own notes on the story and additional online information including photos -- but please don't skip ahead as it will ruin the story.  The story is given repeatedly by many people, but I think it's best told by Jacobs. He was an Australian best known for his collections of English and Celtic folklore and I've earlier posted a bit of that and a little of his Aesop fables.  This comes from his book, Celtic Fairy Tales, published in 1892.
 
That story has been told many times and even can be traced moving across the globe.  Wait a second.  I'm sometimes asked "Is that story true?"  Well truth and what really happened or even if it happened as a story may retell it can be different things.

Historic UK tells the facts in the briefest way:
To this day, a cairn of stones marks the place, and the name Beddgelert means in Welsh 'The grave of Gelert'. Every year thousands of people visit the grave of this brave dog; slight problem however, is that the cairn of stones is actually less than 200 years old!
Nevertheless this story has great appeal. History and myth appear to have become a little confused when in 1793, a man called David Pritchard came to live in Beddgelert. He was the landlord of the Royal Goat Inn and knew the story of the brave dog and adapted it to fit the village, and so benefit his trade at the inn.
He apparently invented the name Gelert, and introduced the name Llywelyn into the story because of the Prince's connection with the nearby Abbey, and it was with the help of the parish clerk that Pritchard, not Llywelyn, raised the cairn!

That site gives a quick view of the two tablets shown at Historic UK and placed in Beddgelert.  The second tablet repeats in Welsh, so here is the English version.  It and the appealing dog are found on
IrishWolfhounds.org.  Their source is a postcard entitled "The Faithful Hound" and was published by Gwynedd Crafts, Beddgelert. The hound pictured was named Sean and sadly died in May, 1989 from osteosarcoma at the age of three.  The site also gives the poem by William Robert Spencer, often given as a source and mentioned by Joseph Jacobs.   If you are further interested in the Irish Wolfhound,  the site mentions it's the "world's tallest breed of dog."  They also provide a great deal of information on the breed for Wolfhound fanciers and potential lovers of the breed.


https://wordsmith.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=67402&page=2 looked at the legend and had a Forum discussion following it.  One Forum member, "Maverick", said:
a comprehensive look at the legend and the Celtic myths behind it Croker (Fairy Legends of Ireland, vol. iii. p. 165) points out several places where the legend seems to have been localised in place-names - two places, called "Gwal y Vilast" ("Greyhound's Couch"), in Carmarthen and Glamorganshire; "Llech y Asp" ("Dog's Stone"), in Cardigan, and another place.

I love the idea of these tales migrating across the face of the globe so that a Bhuddhistic text eventually becomes subsumed into Celtic culture (and we wonder about the migration of language!)

This concludes the literary route of the Legend of Gellert from India to Wales: Buddhistic Vinaya Pitaka - Fables of Bidpai; - Oriental Sindibad;-Occidental Seven Sages of Rome ; - " English" (Latin), Gesta Romanorum ;-Welsh, Fables of Cattwg.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cft/cft28.htm

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Some Stories to Build a Better World

Why do I believe stories can make a difference?  Like music, a story has the ability to get inside a listener and play over and over.  I think back to a story I heard in grade school about gossip or misinformation being like feathers scattered, never to be retrieved.  Similarly I want to change the way young people handle disagreements and bullying.

Whether at​ a political l​ocation or a playground, conflict resolution and anger management are needed.  View the news to see what I mean.  Many libraries this summer use the Summer Reading theme of "Build a Better World."  It's a topic applied in many ways, but needs to include character education.  I believe it also should be brought to schools, too.  We must build that better world by reaching as young as possible in schools, libraries, or wherever children are.

A story may fit more than one topic. Beyond Anger Management and Conflict Resolution I add Cooperation, Courage, Creative Thinking, Forgiveness, Honesty, Patience, Persistence, Respect, and Responsibility.  Notice my puppet sidekick, Priscilla Gorilla, in her cheer leading outfit.  Just as stories or music can stay with us a long time, so can cheers.  I bet you remember the old saying: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Similarly cheers can be what is called an Earworm, an important enough topic to generate a Wikipedia article.  I'll give a sample cheer later that may contain an earworm.

I won't give all of the stories I use -- the list is long and I enjoy being able to pick stories suiting my audience.  Here the need is for stories I can either link or reprint.  Today I will only give a few stories helping Anger Management or Conflict Resolution. 


 
Because of copyright, I can't print here the African story, "A Blind Man Catches a Bird", from Alexander McCall Smith in his anthology, The Girl Who Married a Lion.  He has delighted me with his novels set in Botswana about Mma Ramotswe and The Number One Ladies Detective Agency, but that link should take you to PDF of a teacher's unit reprinting and using the story for her class of English language learners.



Fellow storyteller, Doug Lipman, in addition to other offerings, hosts the Hasidic Stories Home Page.  Because "Can You See the Turning" is an original copyrighted story by Doug, as opposed to many of the traditional tales there, I called and asked if I can reproduce it here.  As I expected, he graciously agreed.
Sometimes on the internet you can't be sure if something truly is a traditional story or not.  A site called Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors gives the story "The Gift of Insults" complete with reactions to it.  If I could choose only one story, this is the most important.  My only hesitation with printing it here is I also see it attributed to Brazilian novelist, Paulo Coelho, best known for The Alchemist.  I believe he is the author and should have been credited there even though his own posting of the story does end with this statement: Welcome to Share with Friends – Free Texts for a Free Internet.  Generosity should still include known origin.  Because I consider the story so important I'm not going to risk your clicking on a link being too difficult.  Here it is.

Near Tokyo lived a great Samurai warrior, now old, who decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people. In spite of his age, the legend was that he could defeat any adversary.
One afternoon, a warrior – known for his complete lack of scruples – arrived there. He was famous for using techniques of provocation: he waited until his adversary made the first move and, being gifted with an enviable intelligence in order to repair any mistakes made, he counterattacked with fulminating speed.
The young and impatient warrior had never lost a fight. Hearing of the Samurai’s reputation, he had come to defeat him, and increase his fame.
All the students were against the idea, but the old man accepted the challenge.
All gathered on the town square, and the young man started insulting the old master. He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted every insult under the sun – he even insulted his ancestors. For hours, he did everything to provoke him, but the old man remained impassive. At the end of the afternoon, by now feeling exhausted and humiliated, the impetuous warrior left.
Disappointed by the fact that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students asked:
– How could you bear such indignity? Why didn’t you use your sword, even knowing you might lose the fight, instead of displaying your cowardice in front of us all?
– If someone comes to you with a gift, and you do not accept it, who does the gift belong to? – asked the Samurai.
– He who tried to deliver it – replied one of his disciples.
– The same goes for envy, anger and insults – said the master. – When they are not accepted, they continue to belong to the one who carried them.

That's only a third of my Conflict Resolution stories.  Another story that only fits Anger will be next week in the Keeping the Public in Public Domain series.  It's a perfect story about the need to take a few moments before reacting.  Sometimes I like to joke and say "The most frequent exercise I get is jumping to conclusions."  This is a longer cheer, so if you remembered it all, there would certainly be a few moments before reacting, but the "earworm" is the final part of the cheer which should be shouted twice.  (Actions are given in parentheses.)

Hey you angry folk
Come and clap your hands (clap, clap)
Stomp your feet (stomp, stomp)
You've got the beat (clap, clap)
Feel the groove (clap, clap)
Start to move (stomp, stomp)
Now have no fear / Take it in one ear
Just wait and send it out
Yes, twice just shout it out:
IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER!
IN ONE EAR AND OUT THE OTHER!


An Australian storyteller's friends worried when she moved to the U.S. for a while.  Their perception of how violent it is may not fit the average American's daily life, but increasingly the world is becoming dangerous in both personal and global ways.


I've seen the U.S. political temperature heat up, with the need for compromise and conflict resolution disappearing first with the "Tea Party" and now "The Resistance."  When politicians are criticized for failing to accomplish anything, such knee-jerk opposition plays a role.  I guess you could say it's taking the wait before reacting to extremes.  It also seems to be making it impossible for people to get along.  My father was a business man and always said there were two things you should never discuss...politics and religion.  I might occasionally find ways my beliefs will be discussed, but I hope it doesn't get to the point of hatred.

Am I perfect enough to never get angry? On a more global scale, will stories stop ISIS or someone in need of mental health intervention?  DUNBERIDICULOUS! but maybe we can slow down and think before acting.

We need to do what we can to Build a Better World.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Carrick - The Crane and the Heron - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

"Storyteller Sorepaw" here, bringing a story from my own field and that of my neighbors, yet it reaches out from here in Michigan to Utah and possibly back into the dawn of time.  Every year at this time we are visited by a few Sandhill Cranes.  It's like watching something from the age of the dinosaurs.  In fact this article from The Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah may interest those of us who have wondered "Are Birds Really Dinosaurs?"  That article is from the controversial author, Stephen Czerkas.  He died in 2015 and Wikipedia at this point has yet to do an article on him, but as of last month the self-taught paleontologist's work attempting to trace the link from prehistoric raptors to modern birds fills up most of the 62 citations under the name of Czerkas including several from May 2017.  I'm certainly not a paleontologist, and don't know if past mistakes like his National Geographic accidental hoax about Archaeoraptor prove anything beyond curiosity will always leave us wondering.

Fortunately I do have the ability to find stories, including many in the Public Domain which can be published for our enjoyment without restriction.  The stories are not necessarily about this particular type of Crane as Sandhill Cranes are one of 15 living species of a bird with a record that continues to fascinate paleontologists and the public alike.  That fascination includes stories wherever any cranes have appeared, Asia, Europe, and here in North America.

Some other time I may add other crane stories, but today prefer a story that includes a cousin of the Crane, the Heron, who also is here in Michigan.  The Sandhill Crane and our own Blue Heron may not be the specific species in this Russian tale, but the story is a delightful look at the contrariness of courting.  I prefer it to television's attempt with The Bachelor.  Earlier on this blog we've had another article and three stories by or about Valery Carrick .  Those stories and today's tale come from his trio of Picture Tales from the Russian.  Today's offering is from the first volume and was translated by Nevill Forbes with Carrick's own humorous drawings.  Don't get hung up on the inter-species behavior, just enjoy this look at "true love" and its difficulties.  Oh heck, here's a site with lots of quotes about True Love and, if that's too sappy for you, let your cursor hover over the Topics button at the top of the page and go to others on love you prefer.


Fortunately my own "local" cranes each year seem to match this Wikipedia claim, "Cranes are perennially monogamous breeders, establishing long-term pair bonds that may last the lifetime of the birds." I can't tell the male from the female, but they clearly are more motivated in their search for food in the fields than by whose turn it is to be in charge.
*************
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, June 3, 2017

A personal note

I managed to slice open my hand.  Yes, my dominant hand.  Yes, the same one that goes with the wrist I managed to break this past winter and also the winter before.

It's interesting seeing an actual vein.  Nearly half the day in an emergency room (glad it wasn't an artery!) and a little over half a dozen stitches later resewing the flap of skin down -- which might or might not be saved -- I really don't feel up to producing my blog this week.

OUCH!


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.
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Here's my closing for days when I have a story in 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. 

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!