Tell me if you have a topic you'd like to see. (Contact: LoiS-sez@LoiS-sez.com .)
Please also let others know about this site.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Hartwell/O'Brien - Night Fishing in the South Seas - Keeping the Public in Public Domain



With all the activity in May, I've been using stories from three of E.C. Hartwell's Story Hour Readings.  Today is from the Seventh Year book and originated in Frederick O'Brien's travel book, White Shadows in the South Seas.  I've never seen the 1928 classic silent film of the same name.  It was supposedly "loosely based" on the book, but it would have been a challenge to film this wild adventure O'Brien lived.   The Wikipedia article on Swordfish doesn't hint at the danger of this story, but in that article's footnotes we learn they can kill even sharks and ancient Hawaiians feared the swordfish for their attacking and piercing fishing canoes.  A CNN article talks about one killing an experienced fisherman in 2015.  All information talks about the swordfish and the related marlin as being the fastest fish using their agility to catch their prey.  

With all of that in mind, let's dive into this tale from the South Seas.



Obviously our grandparents or great grandparents classroom reading went far beyond "Dick and Jane."  It was meant for Seventh Year students.  My own Storytelling Cruise Around the World is often open to children too young for this story, but teens and adults might appreciate it.

*******************

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 the late 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!

Friday, May 20, 2022

Hartwell - An Adventure with a Shark - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Photo by Hunter Newton on Unsplash

 This second of three stories from Story Hour Readings in E.C.Hartwell's series for early 20th Century readers was published in 1921 for Fifth Year students.  It's anonymous, but filled with adventure!  

(It's also perfect for the Summer Reading theme of Oceans of Possibilities.)  I'll say a bit more about that and another shark story later.



I love that the readers are encouraged to briefly retell this story, bringing out the main incident and what leads up to it.  It's also worth noting the book was published in 1921 and the reader is asked to prove if the story took place near then or not.

I also mentioned another story about sharks.  Please look at the May of 2018 article I did about Padraic Colum's "Pu-nia and the Sharks."  It talks about a controversy when telling stories about sharks.  It's a great tale, but how you handle the ending can be tricky.

******************

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 the late 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!

Friday, May 13, 2022

Hartwell/Pyle - The Little Tadpole - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

This month is so busy I decided to do three inter-related stories early and schedule their publishing for the next three weeks.  One of my programs is as the One-Room School Teacher.  Along the way I show some of the books used as enrichment in those classrooms.  E.C. Hartwell or Ernest Clark Hartwell produced the Story Hour Readings, from fourth year through eighth.  He also wrote a teaching manual for the series and one other book, The Teaching of HistoryBeyond that, since he was primarily the editor and not the author, the only information I could find on him was he was born in 1883 and died in 1964 long after the popularity of One-Room Schools.  

Because this year's cooperative Summer Reading Program's theme is water-related, I decided to choose stories that might be useful.  Starting with the Fourth Year I found a non-oceanic story, but appropriate to this springtime when frogs are singing.  It also helped that the story's written by Katherine Pyle.  She's less well-known than her brother, Howard Pyle, who has appeared here in five postings before.  Her art and writing, however, deserve to be better known and she certainly was acclaimed in her lifetime.

She's a perfect introduction to this Story Hour Readings trilogy and fits the purpose of "Keeping the Public in Public Domain."   It opens with a simple illustration not as complex as some of her artwork, but conveys the whimsy she often revealed.  It may even have been by one of the miscellany of illustrators used in the series as it's unsigned.




May the story stick with you when you hear everything from the Spring Peepers all the way to a deep bass bullfrog.  They all started out as Tadpoles!

That simple story was an introduction to the next two weeks when stories of sharks and swordfish bring high adventure to the older students.

*******************

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 the late 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!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Zitkála-Šá - The Toad and the Boy - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

It's always great to learn articles here have been appreciated in some way.  I received an email from a family in Colorado this past week thanking me for an earlier article here.

If you don't mind I would like to send you a quick thank you from our family. My daughter Grace had to do a report for her social studies class for Womens History Month. She chose to write about the women's suffrage movement.  I let her use my computer for their homework stuff (while looking over the shoulder) which is how we discovered your helpful page, https://www.storytellingresearchlois.com/2019/04/the-19th-amendment.html

Since I am quite cautious it was tough getting sites for her to use on her own so you have my thanks! She had the wonderful idea to send a personal note so I asked if she had any questions or favorites to share for fun. She did print out this article that has a lot of fun facts about Women's Suffrage in America: https://wyomingllcattorney.com/Blog/Womens-Suffrage-and-Voting-Rights-in-Wyoming . We thought you might enjoy it too, and even thought it could be a good addition to your page- would you consider adding it maybe? I'd love to surprise her! If you have any more favorites or ideas feel free to share but only if it's no trouble. 

Thanks again for the information and have a great day!

Best wishes,
Julie (and Grace)

Zitkála-Šá, by Gertrude Käsebier, 1898

That other article Julie and Grace listed called to me.  It was actually a webliography of articles and the link, "Not all women gained right to vote in 1920" , took me even further.  That article is a discussion of how minority women had to continue to fight beyond the national women's suffrage amendment.  What really caught my attention was seeing Zitkála-Šá (Lakota for Red Bird)!  I have her book Old Indian Legends, but was surprised to see her described as an activist.  (I also was perturbed with WGBH-TV  covering up part of her write-up to promote their series, "She Resisted; Strategies of Suffrage.")  It always is worthwhile reading an overview of any topic and the Wikipedia article on her shows how much she achieved in her life.  

Yes, she was an activist achieving Native American citizenship and women's suffrage, although her campaign for voting rights was still incomplete upon her death in 1938.  Her occupations are listed as

  • Writer
  • editor
  • musician
  • teacher
  • Native American activist
Her musical talents started with the violin, culminating in her writing the libretto and songs for the first Native American opera, The Sun Dance Opera, in collaboration with composer William F. Hanson.  The Wikipedia article summarized her achievements:
Zitkála-Šá's legacy lives on as one of the most influential Native American activists of the 20th century.[46] She left an influential theory of Indian resistance and a crucial model for reform. Through her activism, Zitkála-Šá was able to make crucial changes to education, health care, and legal standing for Native American people and the preservation of Indian culture.[47]
I've been using Project Gutenberg copies whenever possible to produce a good copy here, at the same time avoiding hurting my own books.  I went there for Old Indian Legends, but also found her autobiography, American Indian Stories, written in 1921.  Her autobiography explains her activism and efforts for Native American culture.
 
For retelling, however, there are wonderful stories in Old Indian Legends.  Many of the stories are about the trickster character, Iktomi, and seven were made into picture books by Paul Goble.  The Caldecott-winning illustrator's obituary from 2017 gives a fuller picture of his work.  While Goble helped visualize Iktomi, Zitkála-Šá opens her book with a wonderful description of the trickster.  Rather than repeat the stories Goble offered, and he didn't cover all of the Iktomi stories, there also are five stories in the book not about Iktomi.  
 
For Mother's Day Zitkála-Šá offers a tale of the kidnapping of a boy, with views of the love and emotions of both mothers.

THE TOAD AND THE BOY

THE water-fowls were flying over the marshy lakes. It was now the hunting season. Indian men, with bows and arrows, were wading waist deep amid the wild rice. Near by, within their wigwams, the wives were roasting wild duck and making down pillows.

In the largest teepee sat a young mother wrapping red porcupine quills about the long fringes of a buckskin cushion. Beside her lay a black-eyed baby boy cooing and laughing. Reaching and kicking upward with his tiny hands and feet, he played with the dangling strings of his heavy-beaded bonnet hanging empty on a tent pole above him.

At length the mother laid aside her red quills and white sinew-threads. The babe fell fast asleep. Leaning on one hand and softly whispering a little lullaby, she threw a light cover over her baby. It was almost time for the return of her husband.

Remembering there were no willow sticks for the fire, she quickly girdled her blanket tight about her waist, and with a short-handled ax slipped through her belt, she hurried away toward the wooded ravine. She was strong and swung an ax as skillfully as any man. Her loose buckskin dress was made for such freedom. Soon carrying easily a bundle of long willows on her back, with a loop of rope over both her shoulders, she came striding homeward.

Near the entrance way she stooped low, at once shifting the bundle to the right and with both hands lifting the noose from over her head. Having thus dropped the wood to the ground, she disappeared into her teepee. In a moment she came running out again, crying, “My son! My little son is gone!” Her keen eyes swept east and west and all around her. There was nowhere any sign of the child.

Running with clinched fists to the nearest teepees, she called: “Has any one seen my baby? He is gone! My little son is gone!”

“Hinnu! Hinnu!” exclaimed the women, rising to their feet and rushing out of their wigwams.

“We have not seen your child! What has happened?” queried the women.

With great tears in her eyes the mother told her story.

“We will search with you,” they said to her as she started off.

They met the returning husbands, who turned about and joined in the hunt for the missing child. Along the shore of the lakes, among the high-grown reeds, they looked in vain. He was nowhere to be found. After many days and nights the search was given up. It was sad, indeed, to hear the mother wailing aloud for her little son.

It was growing late in the autumn. The birds were flying high toward the south. The teepees around the lakes were gone, save one lonely dwelling.

Till the winter snow covered the ground and ice covered the lakes, the wailing woman's voice was heard from that solitary wigwam. From some far distance was also the sound of the father's voice singing a sad song.

Thus ten summers and as many winters have come and gone since the strange disappearance of the little child. Every autumn with the hunters came the unhappy parents of the lost baby to search again for him.

Toward the latter part of the tenth season when, one by one, the teepees were folded and the families went away from the lake region, the mother walked again along the lake shore weeping. One evening, across the lake from where the crying woman stood, a pair of bright black eyes peered at her through the tall reeds and wild rice. A little wild boy stopped his play among the tall grasses. His long, loose hair hanging down his brown back and shoulders was carelessly tossed from his round face. He wore a loin cloth of woven sweet grass. Crouching low to the marshy ground, he listened to the wailing voice. As the voice grew hoarse and only sobs shook the slender figure of the woman, the eyes of the wild boy grew dim and wet.

At length, when the moaning ceased, he sprang to his feet and ran like a nymph with swift outstretched toes. He rushed into a small hut of reeds and grasses.

“Mother! Mother! Tell me what voice it was I heard which pleased my ears, but made my eyes grow wet!” said he, breathless.

“Han, my son,” grunted a big, ugly toad. “It was the voice of a weeping woman you heard. My son, do not say you like it. Do not tell me it brought tears to your eyes. You have never heard me weep. I can please your ear and break your heart. Listen!” replied the great old toad.

Stepping outside, she stood by the entrance way. She was old and badly puffed out. She had reared a large family of little toads, but none of them had aroused her love, nor ever grieved her. She had heard the wailing human voice and marveled at the throat which produced the strange sound. Now, in her great desire to keep the stolen boy awhile longer, she ventured to cry as the Dakota woman does. In a gruff, coarse voice she broke forth:

“Hin-hin, doe-skin! Hin-hin, Ermine, Ermine! Hin-hin, red blanket, with white border!”

Not knowing that the syllables of a Dakota's cry are the names of loved ones gone, the ugly toad mother sought to please the boy's ear with the names of valuable articles. Having shrieked in a torturing voice and mouthed extravagant names, the old toad rolled her tearless eyes with great satisfaction. Hopping back into her dwelling, she asked:

“My son, did my voice bring tears to your eyes? Did my words bring gladness to your ears? Do you not like my wailing better?”

“No, no!” pouted the boy with some impatience. “I want to hear the woman's voice! Tell me, mother, why the human voice stirs all my feelings!”

The toad mother said within her breast, “The human child has heard and seen his real mother. I cannot keep him longer, I fear. Oh, no, I cannot give away the pretty creature I have taught to call me 'mother' all these many winters.”

“Mother,” went on the child voice, “tell me one thing. Tell me why my little brothers and sisters are all unlike me.”

The big, ugly toad, looking at her pudgy children, said: “The eldest is always best.”

This reply quieted the boy for a while. Very closely watched the old toad mother her stolen human son. When by chance he started off alone, she shoved out one of her own children after him, saying: “Do not come back without your big brother.”

Thus the wild boy with the long, loose hair sits every day on a marshy island hid among the tall reeds. But he is not alone. Always at his feet hops a little toad brother. One day an Indian hunter, wading in the deep waters, spied the boy. He had heard of the baby stolen long ago.

“This is he!” murmured the hunter to himself as he ran to his wigwam. “I saw among the tall reeds a black-haired boy at play!” shouted he to the people.

At once the unhappy father and mother cried out, “'Tis he, our boy!” Quickly he led them to the lake. Peeping through the wild rice, he pointed with unsteady finger toward the boy playing all unawares.

“'Tis he! 'tis he!” cried the mother, for she knew him.

In silence the hunter stood aside, while the happy father and mother caressed their baby boy grown tall. 

***

The emotions of both mothers and the boy remind us not everyone has a happy Mother's Day.  Its "ending" seems to shout out for a continuation to the story.  Similarly news stories of rare reunions can leave us wondering if it's truly  a case of "happily ever after" for all.  Possibly this is an allegory of the way Native American children were sent away and removed from their culture.  Her autobiography and the Wikipedia article would certainly make this seem likely.
*********************
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 the late 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!



Friday, April 29, 2022

As Baby Boomers Age This Becomes Epidemic!

This doesn't start out being related to storytelling. . . please stay with it as it definitely will.

If Alzheimer's or Dementia hasn't yet touched someone you know, it will.  While I've seen people I love experience it, one very recently, they were born before the so-called Baby Boom when after World War II people created families and, yes, they had children.  Those children are now either retired or nearly that age.  The size of Boomers is only slightly less than their children if they are Millennials.  (Gen X is in between the two generations and definitely lower in numbers than either.)  For a quick overview with characteristics, first here's a graphic

That's only part of an article, "Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z, and Gen A Explained" from the Kasasa Exchange.  After explaining each group, it also analyzes use of technology, consumer behavior, and banking.  Until it became clear that Gen X wasn't the full picture of support going into Social Security and medical insurance, it looked as if the sheer size of the Boomers would bankrupt support for them.  Let's face it, the large number of Boomers was reminiscent of a snake swallowing something bigger than itself!  Fortunately for that generation, both the next two generations combine to be large enough.    

(Personal Political Opinion: Social Security would be helped by removing the ceiling on income taxable for it -- wages and self-employment income over $147,000 is now exempt.)

That's financial assistance, but the real concern should be the start of an epidemic bigger than Covid!  I like to say "Nobody gets out alive!", meaning we all die. That's certainly true, but what will be the condition of our brains before we go?  

There are all manner of myths accepted about Alzheimer's and dementia including 62% of healthcare practitioners believe dementia is a part of normal aging!  That came from an international study of "Attitudes about Alzheimer's and Dementia" which also points out the stigma and isolation coming from the diagnosis.  While nothing yet cures it, early diagnosis can lead to medications and other treatment aiding in controlling it.  That came from an issue of The Osborn Blog, published on the first and 15th of each month about health and welfare issues, often, but not just related to seniors. The Alzheimer's Association is well-known for its support on this topic and funding for research.  They often have fund drives with matching funds multiplying your donations.

Back in September of 2013 I wrote here about my own work I called Elder Stories.  At that time I had been using resources I first learned about from Liz Nichols.  I had been closely involved with her presentation about the TimeSlips method.  If you go to that link for TimeSlips you have a choice of learning how you can practice it whether you're (a) part of an organization, (b) a teacher or student, or (c) a family member or friend.  You can, as Liz says, "Forget Memory, Try Imagination."  Her page and the TimeSlips section for family members and friends, and even the article I wrote on Elder Stories give an easy introduction to this improvisational storytelling method that replaces the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine. 

Back in 2013 when I approached local assisted living and memory care providers they all wanted me to train their workers.  At the time I said I preferred to work specifically with their residents.  Covid has made that much less possible due to the vulnerability of their residents.  <SIGH!>  Maybe it's time I consider training their workers to make this more widely available .

As the United Negro College Fund's slogan reminds us: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

My friend I mentioned at the start of this was recognized as being highly creative. For exactly that reason I suggested TimeSlips to the family member who is now becoming a caregiver.

This is one of many artworks, using "found items" made by this person.

Beyond that, it's time we all do as much memoir writing and gathering of stories before those stories disappear.  I can offer that sort of workshop, too.  

LoiS(o this is as much a call to action for me as it is for you!)




 


Friday, April 22, 2022

Shannon - The Last of the Leprechauns - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

With Earth Day this year on Friday, April 22, spilling over into the weekend, today's title sounds like it belongs nearer Saint Patrick's Day.  I'll add a bit about the author, Monica Shannon, later, but first the story and then its connection to Earth Day.










This story comes from a book that just entered the Public Domain with the unlikely title of California Fairy Tales, but with no explanation of sources.  Face it, in 1926 unless an author wanted to stress their sources, that information wasn't given.  If we understand the author, Monica Shannon, we can see her own family roots in Ireland combined with a love of California, as explained in the link to Encyclopedia.com in this article's opening:

 In these tales, elements of several cultures—California Spanish, Irish, Native American—are combined in original fairy tales taking place in a land of bean fields, redwood forests, deserts, and droughts. Eyes for the Dark (1928) and More Tales from California (1935) are collections similar to California Fairy Tales in tone and subject.

I list in my labels "Irish folklore" just to catch the Irish elements, but these are "original fairy tales."  Whether you snub them as "fakelore" or "literary", they still are true to their California roots.  

For those not in California, you might read about Eucalyptus and have your doubts.  I know I thought first about Australia, but this KQED news article, "Eucalyptus: How California's Most Hated Tree Took Root" tells they do indeed grow in eucalyptus forests, are tall (100 feet) and early 20th century U.S. Forest Service worries that there would be a timber famine led to investors choosing the fast growing trees for plantations.  Today this non-native plant is considered "moderately invasive" and possibly plays a role in California's wildfire damage.  

In contrast the sequoia and the redwood are California giants which some say are threatened by global warming.  The redwoods live in the foggy coastal areas while the sequoias are more at risk if these mountain trees depend on melting snow and rain.  There are some who predict both species will eventually require watering to keep them alive.  For those of us unfamiliar with either, redwoods are the younger upstarts compared to sequoias.  The tallest redwood is 379 feet and "only" live 2,200 years, while the tallest giant sequoia is 311 feet, but they tend to live about 3,200 years.  

For now both the redwoods and the sequoias are protected at least from logging.  The California state flag features a Golden Grizzly.  The California golden bear or California grizzly (Ursus arctos californicus) is an extinct subspecies of the brown bear.  It disappeared from the state of California in 1922 when the last one was shot in Tulare County.  One of the important things to remember about Earth Day is Extinct means there are no more.  

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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!"
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 the late 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!