I'm feeling a bit like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, calling out "I'm late! I'm late!" There are many reasons I am slightly overdue (the librarian in me makes a <GASP!>), but this story from Janet Field Heath in the book with the unlikely name of The Hygienic Pig and Other Stories fits it well. Here it is and further comments can follow.
I chose this book, not just for its story, but because this is one of 15 books I own now in the Public Domain. That link celebrates a year now freely available to all of us to reprint, sing, and view. Having recently appeared in the dramatized form of The Great Gatsby, I applaud its availability, along with songs like "Always" by Irving Berlin, which seems appropriate. Silent films of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton can now be freely examined, too. As a lover of the Public Domain, who hates the 20 year delay U.S. copyrights endured to keep the works alive for the public, I cheer! Maybe that's why this year the book Nick by Michael Farris Smith has just been published. It looks at the narrator of The Great Gatsby before meeting Gatsby. Having the freedom to now consider F. Scott Fitzgerald's work freely, I find myself hoping Smith goes on to consider a bit further, offering us a look beyond Fitzgerald. This is a perfect example of how permitting works into the Public Domain enriches our world.
- 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!"
- 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!