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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Talk Like a Pirate / Pyle - "The Pirate Avary" - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Seen last weekend while storytelling in South Haven...Piracy on the Great Lakes?!?
AAARGH!  Facebook's International Talk Like A Pirate Day says Krispy Kreme after 4 years isn't giving out free donuts on September 19, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, BUT Long John Silver's is upping the ante with a "bar of gold"... a Deep Fried Twinkie.  (With pirates you expected health food?!?)

For a great Public Domain book on Pirates, you really must see Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates or as the title page explains: Fiction, Fact & Fancy concerning the Buccaneers & Marooners of the Spanish Main.  (I challenge you to read the first chapter to learn how they came to be known as "buccaneers" and also about the practice of marooning.) Howard Pyle was both illustrator and author.  I value his anthologies and no less than Vincent Van Gogh said Pyle's artwork "struck me dumb with admiration."  The pirate book just comes in under the wire as Public Domain and was compiled by his publisher, Harper, and Merle Johnson, after his death.

To challenge you to hunt up the book brimming with pirate pictures, I won't give more than the book's traditional cover and this brief story about a pirate fun to tell.  Avast, maties!
No picture of the Captain is known, but the Avarians are an ethnic subgroup within the Russian Caucasus known for their warlike origins.  Prior to invading the Caucasus they were in the mix of Eastern Europe known as Pannonia in the late 8th and early to mid-9th century
Source: The forum at Paradox Interactive - specifically
It's the perfect background for an early Pirate.  It's enough to Shiver me timbers!
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.
  • 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 -
         - Richard Martin -
         - Spirit of Trees -
         - Story-Lovers - 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 and put in in the search box.  I recommend using the latest "snapshot" on November 2016
       - World of Tales - 
    You're going to find many of the links on these sites have gone down, BUT go to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to find some of these old links.  Tim's site, for example, is so huge probably updating it would be a full-time job.  In the case of Story-Lovers, it's great that Jackie Baldwin set it up to stay online as long as it did after she could no longer maintain it.  For an example of using the "Wayback Machine", list member, Papa Joe is on both Tim Sheppard's site and Story-Lovers, but he no longer maintains his old Papa Joe's Traveling Storytelling Show website and his Library (something you want to see!) is gone, but using the Wayback Machine you can still see it.  At the Wayback Machine I put in his site's address, then chose 2006 since it was a later year and clicked until I reached the Library at  
    Somebody as of this writing whose stories can still be found by his website is the late Chuck Larkin -  I prefer to list these sites by their complete address so they can be found by the Wayback Machine, a.k.a., when that becomes the only way to find them.
You can see why I recommend these to you. Have fun discovering even more stories!

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