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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Jacobs - The Buried Moon - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

When I do spooky storytelling I love using my hooded cape and it's especially needed when telling The Buried Moon.  You'll see why as you get into this story I love to tell from Joseph Jacobs' More English Fairy Tales.  The full-length cape also flows well for movement.

By the way, my picture above was taken at the fence railing outside a cemetery crypt here in Clarkston.  Notice the one bent spike?

My telling of the story nowadays isn't the same as folklorist Jacobs.  I don't use all the same wording (my memory doesn't work that way, for one thing!) He admitted using the archaic dialect, but he believed this added to the fun of it.  Here in Keeping the Public in Public Domain segments I let you judge from the original.  However ages ago I must have made a few minor alterations in writing.  As needed I'll insert them if they seem unclear.  For a variety of reasons I was playing up the Bogles in the story.  I love that Scottish or Northumbrian term and give the Wikipedia link for you to start learning a bit more about them.

My first introduction to the story came from Susan Jeffers' illustrations of it for the book using Jacobs' text.  Go to Rivka Stein's Book Artists and Their Illustrations to see it all.  That's also a site many will enjoy prowling for its coverage of illustrators.  The Jeffers page on her illustrations for The Buried Moon will not only give you her complete work on the story, but also take you to another Jeffers illustrated tale, Thumbelina, and yet a different illustrated version of The Buried Moon.

This is one of those stories where I urge you to form your own visions of the action first.  Yes, Jacobs' book, as always, has an illustration from John D. Batten, but fortunately it's the third page in, so try to create your own image first.  When done with the story, you might want to prowl Google Images for Buried Moon images .  You'll see a few more books and it inspired theater productions, lyrics, a YouTube video of the musical version by the French symphonic metal band, Wildpath, and even a book called Buried Moon combining "stories and yoga for children during difficult times" which might give you additional ideas for the value of this story for dealing with fears and anxiety.

Save all that for later.  Let's make our own images.  (A few pages are a bit fuzzy on the edges due to the tight binding, but legible enough.  I'll insert text clarification as needed.)
Next I substituted "frightened" for "feared", which sounds like a mistake to modern ears.
(my changes from here on still show the original)
Haunting isn't it?  I always think of this story on nights when I'm out and the moon is missing.  May it haunt you in only the best way and Happy Halloween to you this coming week.

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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