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Thursday, November 27, 2014

MacManus - The Plaisham - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

It's Thanksgiving today in the United States.  NO, I don't call it "Turkey Day!"  Whatever you choose to eat, it's a day to celebrate the reasons you have to be Thankful.  For readers I've a great story for audience participation I'm posting today.  The story's long and great to savor either while your Thanksgiving feast prepares or enjoy afterwards.  I'm thankful for so many wonderful stories in the Public Domain and this Irish tale comes from a book with the author's autograph.  He signs it "Faithfully" and at the usual time for articles here I will say more about Seumas MacManus.  Some have called him the last Seanachie (there are many spellings of that Gaelic word for Storyteller).  He's not the last by any means, but he is a fine one.
 The book opens in Gaelic and English


















































 
 About that audience participation idea: You need a large group and the easiest way to do it is to start with a picture of a cow or cow mask, then tell everyone when their turn comes to hold on to the person next to them who is in the line from the cow -- you could say it will happen near the story's end and will make sense when you come to it in the story.  All you need is the first person to hold the "cow" and then get each person to grab the person already named from Nancy to Rory to... chaos at the end when all can sit down again.  Your group should be more than 16 if you're going to use all the characters in the story, letting the number of gentleman's children and the guests of the Prince fill in so that all are involved in the story.  If you have a good group you can tell them to wiggle a bit as if they're traveling and trying unsuccessfully to get loose from the Plaisham.

My Thanksgiving wish for YOU is that, like Shamus, you are "happy and contented for the rest of your life."
This was early for my usual day for posting.  Next week has Summer Reading material scheduled, but in two weeks I will include information about Seumas MacManus as Storytelling is always better with a bit of Research.
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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 normal monthly posting of a research project here.  Response has convinced me that "Keeping the Public in Public Domain" should continue along with my monthly postings as often as I can manage it.    


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

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