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Saturday, June 2, 2018

Wiggin - The Three Sluggards - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

My Malamutt (Husky/Malamute mix) has been laying around panting in misery because we barely nodded at spring, then jumped into summer.  It was the second warmest and fifth wettest in record.  By the time this appears we are predicted to be back to temperatures more normal for May and the start of June.  (Yes, I know, with the early start of Tropical and Sub-Tropical Storms even this could be worse...hmmm, the story of It Could Be Worse could have been posted.  Maybe another day.)  In the meantime this came in a week with errands and appointments, but otherwise no required work.  Even my school residencies were off until a very busy next week of wrapping them up.

All this has given me a very uncharacteristic week when I haven't felt like nor done much!  This is so unlike me -- just ask my family -- that I went looking to find a story with a contest for laziness.

Found it!  This comes from the classic Tales of Laughter that Kate Douglas Wiggin put together back in 1908 and has been a rich resource ever since.
Well, that's certainly a novel way to choose the next king.  After all the hubbub and attention to the British royals and their wedding this past month, I can just picture somebody long ago sitting in a cottage creating the story about how their own royals live!

As for me, I've had my week off and next week promises to be a ZOO!  I will be finishing up six school residencies, complete with final rehearsal and next day performance by one class of their puppet show, then hitting the road for a few days of intense music workshops on my mountain dulcimer.  Guess this week of being a sluggard could be appropriate after all.

Now for the "fine print" about Keeping the Public in Public Domain segments here.
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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