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Friday, January 19, 2024

Lindsay - How to See a Wind - Keeping the Public in Public Domain

Weather all over the United States and much of Europe has been atrocious.  I recall reading earlier this past week every state had a Watch, Warning, or Advisory.  The saying "Everybody talks about the weather..." certainly has come true.  Here on my "bunny slope" of a hill the snow keeps adding another inch or three to the 8.5" dumping from last week.  The cold has definitely been below normal, but the real killer with extra frostbite warnings, has been the Wind Chill.  Brrrrrr!  That wind makes even the simplest time outdoors awful, including causing power failures.

I went looking for wind stories in the newest (1928) Public Domain books I have.  Today's story is from an author, Maud Lindsay, whose stories have appeared here many times before this, but The Choosing Book has just appeared in Public Domain.  Wikipedia gives far less information than the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame and the Encyclopedia of Alabama, but it does say she published over 18 children's book.  Project Gutenberg has four of them so far and others, including The Choosing Book, are available through the Internet Archive.  In looking back here at earlier information and stories by Lindsay I see her photograph was removed.  It's on both of the Alabama sites and I presume they hold the copyright.  

If you're wondering why it's called The Choosing Book, it's perfect for the week when voting first begins for the coming presidential campaign.  Lindsay presents two storytellers, the wandering Tintil and the stay-at-home Dicomill. Their stories alternate throughout the book and the reader is asked to vote on which storyteller you prefer.  The reader can then tell it to everybody or write their vote "on a bit of paper and give it to the wind.  Yes, the wind is the only postman you can trust in such an important matter."

How appropriate for this story.

Be careful with that suggestion in the current temperatures...your eyes could get frozen shut!


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 the late 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 December 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 - 

           - Zalka Csenge Virag - 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 -  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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