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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mitchell - Biting Marion - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Digger at top of our hill
The bigger the boy, the bigger the toy is the saying.  Little boys love earth moving machines and some never grow out of their love of them.  I'm grateful to have found one of them, Tom Purves, who grew up in his father's excavating business (so it still says A. Purves Excavating). He's not big on having a website, too busy digging, but that link includes my unsolicited five star review.  We've had him on an earlier smaller job and now he's replacing our septic field.

My husband's groaning over "my poor torn-up yard!" That was his title for the photos he sent me.
This shows both the digger off to the right and truck down in the valley with gravel and sand just dumped.

Here's where the septic tank sits and the pipe starts down to the field over the hill.
This is just the start of the chaos!  I've seen a neighbor's septic field and know that gravel, sand, and the box of pipes are just the beginning of "my poor torn-up yard!"  It won't be quick, it won't be cheap, but I'm happy the "mole" digging up our yard is the same boy my yoga teacher knows as Tommy and he is the one doing it.  Our whole (the pun of "hole" also fits) neighborhood is starting to need "poor torn-up yards."  It's enough to excite a preschooler.  By the way, if my opening sentence seems a bit sexist, today's story is mentioned as being a favorite of a little girl named Lydia.

On a blog called The Earthling's Handbook, the author, 'Becca, in 2016 wrote about 4 Great Poetry Books for Young Children for her daughter, Lydia, who was then two years old.  Today's story was mentioned as a favorite in the first volume of the My Book House series edited by Olive Beaupre Miller, whose work has been mentioned here before.  A few pages earlier is the tale of "The Big Street in the Big City", also by Lucy Sprague Mitchell, with the comment that the
"city street scene looks dated to me, but Lydia’s not yet familiar with the stylistic changes in vehicles over time, so to her this is a story of everyday life and how that traffic she sees is all humming along and getting things done as 'little feet skip and patter and dance' in their right place."
It's true the series shows its age in the illustrations, but 'Becca continues her review with
Lydia also loves “Biting Marion”, a story about a female digging machine who loves to chomp through asphalt and spit big mouthfuls of dirt into a truck. (Luckily, imitating Biting Marion at the dinner table is a game that has not occurred to Lydia.)
I might correct her as "Marion" is the male name and "Marian" is the female form of the name, but what the heck, the story reminds me of the classic picture book, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, first published in 1939 (and definitely not yet in Public Domain).  Mike Mulligan's steam shovel is named Mary Anne and the story was ranked by the National Education Association as one of the "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."

Today's story may not earn that exalted ranking, but the author, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, was an educational pioneer founding the justifiably famous, Bank Street College of Education.  She started out being home-schooled because of  uncontrollable nervous twitches.  Eventually she was able to move on, including graduating with honors from Radcliffe College.  Her fascination with Dewey's Progressive Education Movement led her from being University of California, Berkeley's first dean of women students to founding BEE and Bank Street.  Today's story originated in the school's early days when it was still called the Bureau of Educational Experiments (BEE).  It's not Mike Mulligan, Burton's story was a Caldecott Medalist, but that medal is for the illustrator of a story that should also be worthwhile.  I think little Lydia shows Mitchell's story matters where it counts, with the young  audience, and, yes, it includes a bit of poetry.
I think you can see why little Lydia loved Biting Marion and how powerful earth movers are like modern day versions of prehistoric creatures delighting the same children who probably also gobble up books about dinosaurs.  

That same age group loves fingerplays and Flint Public Library's wonderful book Ring a Ring o' Roses, has been mentioned here before.  Here's their bit of poetry:

Steam Shovel

The steam shovel scoop opens its mouth so wide
Extend left hand in front, palm up, fingers closed.  Slowly open fingers.
Then  scoops up the dirt and lays it aside.
Lower hand, dig up dirt, move arm to left and dump it out.
Fortunately for our hillside, the equipment isn't steam powered or it really would result in "my poor torn-up yard!"  Our yard again will eventually look like the park my husband tries to make it, but in the meantime lovers of earth-moving vehicles are welcome to look as long as they stay out of the way.
******************** (The fine print)
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



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

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

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Livermore - "Loyal Cows and Hens" - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

A last minute request to do my Civil War program for Cromaine Public Library at the Hartland Senior Activity Center this Tuesday at 7 p.m. sent me reviewing my Civil War material to be sure and meet their program title of "Not Just a Man's War."

I will, as usual, portray Liberetta Lerich Green, whose family were abolitionists operating an Underground Railroad Station in Shelby Township.  Her brothers both were in Michigan Infantry regiments.  Younger brother, Isaac (Ike), was in the 3d Michigan Infantry alongside his brother, Will, in the 5th Michigan Infantry.  I've paid a lot of attention to the 5th, but the 3d was even more decimated so that Ike may have mustered in as a bugle boy, but by the time he finally left the military in San Antonio, he was a major.  Along the way he wound up eventually in the fighting that left the Potomac and went out to the southwest.  I can well believe he had at least a nodding knowledge of the Memphis Hospital where Union Soldiers were treated.

Mary Ann Bickerdyke in 1898
Mary Ann Bickerdyke, known as Mother Bickerdyke for her caring nature as hospital administrator is the subject of today's story written by Mary Livermore, who was a kindred spirit.  Livermore was a 19th century reformer journalist, abolitionist, and early advocate of women's rights who headed the United States Sanitary Commission, a private aid agency  for soldiers in the war who were sick or injured.  Chicago also features in this story because that was where the U.S.S.C. was headquartered.  The paragraph on Women in the USSC is worth reading for a highly condensed view of Women in the Civil War.

Families throughout the Union with sons, brothers, and husbands in the fight were eager to send food to help soldiers in the hospitals.

After the story of "Loyal Cows and Hens" I will add an incident from the Wikipedia article for yet another view of how this woman was an unstoppable force.

The story starts with a few lines that wouldn't size up properly with my scan of Livermore's story.  With so little, it's easier to type the introductory section.

"Loyal Cows and Hens" 

It was more difficult to supply the hospitals with milk and eggs than with any other necessaries.  With the supplies furnished by government, the tea, coffee, sugar, flour, meat and other like articles,

And this paragraph from the opening of the Wikipedia paragraph about her Civil War service:
Mary Bickerdyke served in the Civil War from June 9, 1861 to March 20, 1865, working in a total of nineteen battles.[7] Bickerdyke was described as a determined nurse who did not let anyone stand in the way of her duties.[8] Her patients, the enlisted soldiers, referred to her as "Mother" Bickerdyke because of her caring nature.[9][10][8] When a surgeon questioned her authority to take some action, she replied, "On the authority of Lord God Almighty, have you anything that outranks that?"[11][12] In reality, her authority came from her reputation with the Sanitary Commission and her popularity with the enlisted men.[13]
Wikipedia also tells of the "Loyal Cows and Hens" she acquired, saying General Hurlbut set aside President's Island as pasture for them -- along with permitting her chosen staff of escaped and former slaves to tend them.
********************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



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

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

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Skinner - Patsy and Jock - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

I've used illustrations before from The Old Design Shop, a blog and website I heartily recommend.  Julie posts a wide variety of vintage art and it's worth both strolling through her Gallery of 141 pages, (let your mouse hover over the word Gallery to see the many topics), subscribing to her weekly email of the blog, and going to her Etsy Shop.  I hadn't quite decided what to post this week until I saw her email this week of Girl on the Beach, an illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith, which is actually titled: Little Drops of Water.  The image was scanned  from a book titled A Child’s Book of Old Verses with pictures by Jessie Wilcox Smith. The book was published in 1910.

That made me wonder if I didn't have something that would be a good companion to the picture and I found the perfect one!  When I went to put in the names of the Skinner sisters, Ada M. and Eleanor L. plus Jessie Willcox Smith, I was surprised to find those names didn't come up for previous blog articles here.  Whether it's the charming artwork or the stories I know all three of them are guaranteed.

Sticking with the beach theme, today's story of a little girl and her dog are perfect.  I'll give the story, end with the illustration (it was given later in the book, so using your imagination first is perfect) and then mention a few things about telling it.
 
Sometimes the language of a Public Domain story doesn't fit modern ears although here in Michigan I do hear some talk of "bathing suits."  It always strikes me as a bit old-fashioned.  In telling this story I would say swim suit and would have Patsy talk of going wading in the water rather than "bathing."  Also I always tend to make barking sounds rather than say "Bow-wow!"  I've never heard that sound from any dogs I've known, although my previous Malamute did surprise me by actually barking "Arf!" at times.  There's a comedy play called Sylvia about a friendship between a man and his dog, Sylvia, which includes the actress playing Sylvia speaking her thoughts.  I never realized before it how perfectly a dog's bark is saying "Hey! Hey-hey!" 

I recommend both the play and A Very Little Child's Book of Stories by Ada M. and Eleanor L. Skinner, complete with illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith.  I'm surprised I've never given anything by them here before as their reliability is certain.  I'll have to remedy that in the future and give a bit of information about them, but for now I want to head to the beach.  It may be a Michigan inland beach, as Oakland County has so many they might have named it Lakeland County, but summer is fast slipping away and one of my local theatre groups is having their annual picnic and business meeting at the beach home of a member.  Time to enjoy summer before it's gone!
********************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



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

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Olcott/Grierson - Burg Hill's on Fire - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

This is appearing a bit early to let all able to come to Greenmead Historical Park, 20501 Newburgh Rd, Livonia, Michigan 48152 for the Saint Andrew's Society of Detroit's 170th Highland Games (yes, that's the oldest continuous games in North America!) this Saturday, August 3.  North Oakland County Storytellers officially dissolved in July, but plans to having an annual reunion telling stories each year in the Wee Bairns area of the Highland Games.  It's a delightful time for stories and Scottish heritage and as a descendant of Clan Stirling I enjoy doing it if I'm available.  In the future we'll also let this be a time to get together with longtime friends.

I've given my story here of "Assipattle and the mester stoorworm" five years ago.  It's a favorite of mine.  I also enjoy using audience participation to tell the story of "The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies."  Heather Forest did a delightful retelling of it, but it's definitely still under copyright.  I recommend it to you, but wanted to track down its Scottish roots.  I don't own Elizabeth Wilson Grierson's books, but this has made me interested.  She wrote a great many from her home in the borderland of Scotland.   A favorite author of mine, Frances Jenkins Olcott, gave a version of a tale Grierson called "The Good Housewife and Her Night Labours."  While Olcott calls it a Celtic Fairy Tale, within the story it's clearly stated as Scotland.  Scots Gaelic is mentioned enough in other books I've read that I've decided, if I was ever able to manage a trip to Scotland, I'd have to take a book along to enjoy it.

Fortunately Olcott sees to it this is easily understood and enjoyed.

You may have noticed some of the pages say Halloween.  This was anthologized in Olcott's Good Stories for Great Holidays.

By the way, my prowling for sources of "The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies" sent me prowling and I found this story instead.  Online I've found "Flummoxed" supposedly was found in Thistle and Thyme by Sorche Nic Leodhas.  It's not there, instead Leodhas included it in Heather and Broom; Tales of the Scottish Highlands.   That, too, is under copyright and Leodhas didn't always make it easy to track down her sources.  She calls it a "household story brought from Durris near Aberdeen."  Lacking the opportunity to go to the Aberdeen area, I'm happy to find this version instead of what can happen if you're foolish enough to call out for help and the helpers may be more than you can handle.  Just ask Faust about such deals!
*******************
This is part of a series of postings of stories under the category, "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."  The idea behind Public Domain was to preserve our cultural heritage after the authors and their immediate heirs were compensated.  I feel strongly current copyright law delays this intent on works of the 20th century.  My own library of folklore includes so many books within the Public Domain I decided to share stories from them.  I hope you enjoy discovering new stories.  



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

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

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ginzberg - Moses Rescued by Gabriel - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

If at all possible, every year I try to save a week for storytelling at my church.  More and more both Catholic and Protestant churches here in the metro Detroit area are going together to share materials produced for Vacation Bible School.  My Bible Adventures station was this year centered on the stories of Moses and the book of Exodus.  The kids especially enjoyed experiencing -- and being many of -- the Ten Plagues of Egypt.

Like a teacher following a curriculum, however, I wished I had time and opportunity to expand on what was expected.  I went to my own collection for more.  Growing up in a Jewish neighborhood in metro St. Louis, Missouri, I love Jewish culture and have many books of it, including Judith Ish-Kishor's Tales from the Wise Men of Israel.  (That link is from a site on poets.)  She is mentioned in Wikipedia as being Sulamith Ish-kishor's older sister, who "was a pioneering writer of Jewish children's literature in English.[1]"
Well!

Nothing like saying a sibling was less important!

As a storyteller I often find children's versions of stories are more tellable.  I recommend looking up the way she simplified the story I'm going to post today that she called "Why Moses Stuttered."  Unfortunately for Public Domain lovers, Tales from the Wise Men of Israel's copyright was renewed, but her source, Rabbi Louis Ginzberg's multi-volume translation of the Legends of the Jews, is available.  Those volumes start with Creation and end with Esther and the Jews in Persia, including "a huge collection of legends on Moses."  His interest in the historical and context of Judaism makes his writing a resource of continuing interest.

The "usual suspects" of Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and LibriVox, for those who listen to their literature, include the Legends, but it was most easily scanned in a PDF from Rick Swartzentrover's site, which includes over 400 e-books, including the complete Ginzberg Legends in his section of History, Secular, and Reference books.  While there are other sites like those "usual suspects", the Swartzentrover PDF has extra linkage to make browsing and finding this story easier.  If you want resource books of Biblical Commentary or other resources related to religious topics in the Public Domain it's a site worth checking thoroughly for e-books and information such as his atlases, charts, and timelines.  His Holman Bible Atlas, for example, might just help me understand who and where were those people I've read about like the Moabites, Canaanites, Amalekites, Ammonites, and the electric lights, er that's a joke, but also the Philistines or places whose names have changed.  In telling about the Diaspora and, especially the Babylonian captivity, for example, it helps to compare those spots on old maps with what we call those places today.  I mentioned Babylon and had to explain today it would be in Iraq.  Swartzentrover definitely includes Biblical resources stretching into the New Testament, but this week most of my focus was Moses.

But for today's story posting, I present the source of Ish-Kishor's more streamlined story for those of us who always found it interesting that an important leader and speaker like Moses called himself "slow of speech" and we would say he stuttered.  Along the way in the Ginzberg legend you get a five paragraph review criticizing how the Israelites came to Egypt.  For more about Moses and his adopted mother, who was Pharaoh's daughter, read earlier in the story by going to the PDF.

MOSES RESCUED BY GABRIEL

When Moses was in his third year, Pharaoh was dining one day, with the queen Alfar'anit at his right hand, his daughter Bithiah with the infant Moses upon her lap at his left, and Balaam the son of Beor together with his two sons and all the princes of the realm sitting at table in the king's presence. It happened that the infant took the crown from off the king's head, and placed it on his own. When the king and the princes saw this, they were terrified, and each one in turn expressed his astonishment. The king said unto the princes, "What speak you, and what say you, O ye princes, on this matter, and what is to be done to this Hebrew boy on account of this act?"

Balaam spoke, saying: "Remember now, O my lord and king, the dream which thou didst dream many days ago, and how thy servant interpreted it unto thee. Now this is a child of the Hebrews in whom is the spirit of God. Let not my lord the king imagine in his heart that being a child he did the thing without knowledge. For he is a Hebrew boy, and wisdom and understanding are with him, although he is yet a child, and with wisdom has he done this, and chosen unto himself the kingdom of Egypt. For this is the manner of all the Hebrews, to deceive kings and their magnates, to do all things cunningly in order to make the kings of the earth and their men to stumble."

"Surely thou knowest that Abraham their father acted thus, who made the armies of Nimrod king of Babel and of Abimelech king of Gerar to stumble, and he possessed himself of the land of the children of Heth and the whole realm of Canaan. Their father Abraham went down into Egypt, and said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister, in order to make Egypt and its king to stumble.

"His son Isaac did likewise when he went to Gerar, and he dwelt there, and his strength prevailed over the army of Abimelech, and he intended to make the kingdom of the Philistines to stumble, by saying that Rebekah his wife was his sister.

"Jacob also dealt treacherously with his brother, and took his birthright and his blessing from him. Then he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, his mother's brother, and he obtained his daughters from him cunningly, and also his cattle and all his belongings, and he fled away and returned to the land of Canaan, to his father.

His sons sold their brother Joseph, and he went down into Egypt and became a slave, and he was put into prison for twelve years, until the former Pharaoh delivered him from the prison, and magnified him above all the princes of Egypt on account of his interpreting the king's dreams. When God caused a famine to descend upon the whole world, Joseph sent for his father, and he brought him down into Egypt his father, his brethren, and all his father's household, and he supplied them with food without pay or reward, while he acquired Egypt, and made slaves of all its inhabitants.

"Now, therefore, my lord king, behold, this child has risen up in their stead in Egypt, to do according to their deeds and make sport of every man, be he king, prince, or judge. If it please the king, let us now spill his blood upon the ground, lest he grow up and snatch the government from thine hand, and the hope of Egypt be cut off after he reigns. Let us, moreover, call for all the judges and the wise men of Egypt, that we may know whether the judgment of death be due to this child, as I have said, and then we will slay him."

Pharaoh sent and called for all the wise men of Egypt, and they came, and the angel Gabriel was disguised as one of them. When they were asked their opinion in the matter, Gabriel spoke up, and said: "If it please the king, let him place an onyx stone before the child, and a coal of fire, and if he stretches out his hand and grasps the onyx stone, then shall we know that the child hath done with wisdom all that he bath done, and we will slay him. But if he stretches out his hand and grasps the coal of fire, then shall we know that it was not with consciousness that he did the thing, and he shall live."

The counsel seemed good in the eyes of the king, and when they had placed the stone and the coal before the child, Moses stretched forth his hand toward the onyx stone and attempted to seize it, but the angel Gabriel guided his hand away from it and placed it upon the live coal, and the coal burnt the child's hand, and he lifted it up and touched it to his mouth, and burnt part of his lips and part of his tongue, and for all his life he became slow of speech and of a slow tongue. 

Seeing this, the king and the princes knew that Moses had not acted with knowledge in taking the crown from off the king's head, and they refrained from slaying him. God Himself, who protected Moses, turned the king's mind to grace, and his foster-mother snatched him away, and she had him educated with great care, so that the Hebrews depended upon him, and cherished the hope that great things would be done by him. But the Egyptians were suspicious of what would follow from such an education as his.

There you have it as related by Ginzberg.  Ish-Kishor doesn't name nor give Gabriel a role in the greatly condensed discussion by Pharaoh's advisors.  She omits Balaam's complaints, condensing it to a prophecy that the Egyptian gods warned about the overthrow of Pharaoh.  Instead she plays up the suspense in Moses making his choice.

Is this accurate history?  Did it happen this way, or as I am sometimes asked, "Is that true?"  I do believe in Biblical truth, but this is legend and fits my answer of "If you believed the story while it was told to you, then it was true for you."  Another way of putting it is to call it Midrash, which Wikipedia quotes the Hebrew scholar, Wilda C. Gafney, as saying
"They reimagine dominant narratival readings while crafting new ones to stand alongside—not replace—former readings. Midrash also asks questions of the text; sometimes it provides answers, sometimes it leaves the reader to answer the questions."[3]
Modern midrash I recommend can be found in the books of Rabbi Marc Gellman, like Does God Have a Big Toe? and God's Mailbox.  Of course, like the book by Ish-Kishor, they're not Public Domain. 

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



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

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