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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Wiggins - How the Sun, the Moon, and the Wind Went Out to Dinner - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

The term "once in a blue moon" comes true next week on January 31.  Blue moons happen on average every two and a half years.  To add to my attention, both the earlier full moon on January 1 and this moon will be "supermoons" and I've always noticed the weather tends to get worse after a full moon.  I presume this is due to tidal disturbances and we certainly had that at the start of this month across the country, with dangerous rains causing mudslides, snow, ice, and cold even in the normally warm south, possibly due to those so-called super-moons.    The Old Farmer's Almanac can tell you more and I recommend both of their articles on that link and also their article on Supermoons.  While their astronomer-blogger, Bob Berman, points out they are only 14% bigger, which is hard to tell visually, the closer the moon gets to our tides, the more they seem to be affected.

Now that you may be worried, here's a story concluding people love the moon.  The story is also well loved enough it's included in many anthologies.  I chose the Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora Archibald Smith version the sisters edited because it comes with illustrations by Elizabeth MacKinstry.  Like the blogger at Enchanted Conversation, I wasn't familiar with her work, but loved the way she personified in a humorous way the three characters.  Both Tulane and Yale have collections of her work, but to see it online, treat yourself by going to Google Images!

May all my worries about the weather after this moon be unnecessary, but trust you will enjoy knowing this story.  I believe it is from India because Joseph Jacobs included it in his volume of Indian Fairy Tales.
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 .  It's not easy, but go to 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 - 
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 -  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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