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Friday, May 31, 2024

Ticks and a Pair of Native American Legends

The above illustration is one of nine tick species here in the United States, but Wikipedia tells us "Tick species are widely distributed around the world."  Talking with a friend in Britain I was surprised by both of us having similar experiences with them.  Of course this sent me looking for stories about Ticks.  Showed two but my computer refused to go to the two stories.  I believe this is because the site is barely up.  It was from, which was a very large site that became very expensive to maintain.  Fortunately the Wayback Machine or still let me find them.  Again and again I hear people talk of the difficulty finding material there.  Consider this my personal willingness to help people search this wonderful means of finding internet information no longer accessible other than through its "snapshots."

Here are the two stories and both are about that favorite figure of Native American folklore, COYOTE!

Since most ticks I seem to run into are the deer tick, I will open with this story from the Sanpoil or you may identify them as one of the Salish peoples.  While the Salish are "indigenous peoples of the American and Canadian Pacific Northwest", those blasted ticks are definitely here too and I can just picture it happening here.

My other Coyote story with a tick is definitely my favorite.  It's just yucky enough I can already picture the reaction of my listeners.  Unfortunately you have my apologies that it reproduced so poorly.  I would love to find it in a book, but these both came off that Wayback site with only limited ability to edit it.  Wish I could add a bold typeface to it.  If you use your Zoom feature it becomes more legible.  Trust me, the story is definitely worth it!

Beyond the stories, an internet search will take you to factual information.  Here are a few:

You've certainly been warned!  Until my next story in Keeping the Public in Public Domain, I am LoiS(earching for ticks on myself and my dog after we hike).


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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