The Woman and the Stone

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The Woman and the Stone

Unknown Author

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An old woman was traveling from her village to her sister’s village, a day’s journey she made every month. As she stepped across the stream on the way there, she noticed something shining in the water. She stooped and picked up a magnificent stone. She knew it must be a jewel of some kind. Perhaps […]

Fin M’Coul

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an Irish tale from the retelling by Tomie De Paola In olden times, when Ireland’s glens and woods were still filled with fairies and leprechauns, giants, too, lived on that fair Emerald Isle.   One of the finest of those big folk was Fin M’Coul, who was wed to the lovely great lass, Oonagh.  They made […]

Hab el Loz

as told by Syrian refugee Samir Amer, aged 47 from Soueidaa, Sweimry, currently residing in Al Maslakh

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A woman had two daughters who were not particularly good looking, and one day as she was sitting on the front porch breaking almond shells she prayed to God, “If you bless me with a third daughter please make her beautiful and I promise to call her Hab el Loz, like these wonderful almonds.” After […]

The Flood Story

A Philippine Folktale

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Once upon a time, when the world was flat and there were no mountains, there lived two brothers, sons of Lumawig, the Great Spirit. The brothers were fond of hunting, and since no mountains had formed there was no good place to catch wild pig and deer, and the older brother said: “Let us cause […]

The Trolls and the Great Big Cat

A Norwegian Tale

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Once upon a time in a village in the snowy Norwegian mountains, there lived a tailor and his family. They were known throughout the village as being the kindest of families, always willing to help out when a neighbor was down on his luck. And yet, their own luck was not so good. Every year […]

The Ogre Who Played Pick-up Sticks

Mary Ann Janson

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Enjoy listening to this great audio recording by Mesa County Spellbinders storyteller Mary Ann Janson.

The Two Travelers and The Farmer

A Tale From North America

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A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. “What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger. “What were the people like where […]

Beautiful Fanta-Ghiro

This story was retold by Jesterbear from a Tuscan folktale collected by Italo Calvino Italian Folktales (1956), translated into English by George Martin (1980)

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In olden times, there was a king who had no sons, but only two beautiful daughters. The oldest was named Assuntina, and the youngest was Fanta-Ghiro. The king, who was always sick and irritable, and stayed shut up in his room the whole day long. He had three chairs–a sky blue chair, a black chair, […]

Like Good Salt

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The original origins of many folk tales is lost.  Some say this ancient tale originated in Italy while others claim it comes from the Punjab. Once upon a time there was a king, and this king had three daughters. One fine day he took it into his head to call these three daughters, and to […]

The Magic Pomegranate

As retold by Peninnah Schram in the book Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another

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Once there were three brothers who loved adventure. One day they decided to go on a journey, each one to a different country, and to meet again on a certain day ten years later. Each brother was to bring back with him an unusual gift. The oldest brother decided to go to the East. When […]

A Purse of Gold

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Author Unknown A beggar found a leather purse that someone had dropped in the marketplace. Opening it, he discovered that it contained 100 pieces of gold. Then he heard a merchant shout, “A reward! A reward to the one who finds my leather purse!” Being an honest man, the beggar came forward and handed the […]

The Three Dolls

A Persian folk tale as retold by David Heathfield

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The Sultan of Persia was a clever man – well read. And there was nothing he loved more than solving problems, puzzles, riddles. One day, he received a parcel; he knew not from whom. He opened that package and found a box. And when he opened the lid of the box, inside were the three […]

The Leprechaun’s Gold

This classic Irish tale goes by many names including The Leprechaun and the Red Scarf

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A story for St. Patrick’s Day as retold by Dale Pepin ‘TWAS a fine sunny day at harvest time when young Seamus O’Donnell, walking along the road, heard a tapping sound.  Peering over the hedge, he saw a tiny man in a little leather apron, mending a little shoe. “Well, well, well!” said Seamus to […]

The Ghost Who Was Afraid of Being Bagged

A humorous ghost story from Bengal

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Once on a time there lived a barber who had a wife. They did not live happily together, as the wife always complained that she had not enough to eat. Many were the curtain lectures which were inflicted upon the poor barber. The wife used often to say to her mate, “If you had not […]

A Tale from Africa A hunter went out in the bush. He met an antelope. He killed the antelope. Boaji (the civet or mongoose) passed by. Boaji said: “Give me some of that meat. I am hungry. I beg you for it. I’ll do you a favor some other time.” The hunter gave Boaji some […]

Till Eulenspiegel Finds a Cure

A tale from Germany

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Till Eulenspiegel was a cunning fellow. The son of a peasant, people say he was born in Brunswick, Germany, and they tell tales of the day of his birth. It was clear from the start, people say, that Till would be a mischief maker. After all, he had three baptisms. First, he was baptized in […]

The Magic Paint Brush

A Chinese folk tale

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Once upon a time, there was a young man called Ma Liang. He was poor and kind and liked drawing so much that he drew pictures everywhere. One night, he dreamed that an old man gave him a magic paintbrush and asked him to use it to help poor people. When he woke up, he […]

The Smell of Baking Bread

A version of this folk tale exists in just about every European, Middle Eastern and Asian folk tradition.

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Once upon a time, in a time long ago in a land far away, a poor man walked down the streets of a village, weak with hunger. As he passed the village’s bakery, he paused to smell the aroma of baking bread. Hmmmm, it was delicious. He took another deep breath. “Ahhhh. Wonderful.” Then he […]

Silver Hoof

A tale from Russia

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A long time ago, there was an old widowed hunter named Kokovanya. He was lonely so he adopted Daryonka, a poor little orphan girl. When he took Daryonka into his home with him, he also let her bring her scrawny kitten. Kokovanya, Daryonka, and the kitten were not rich but they had a good life. […]

Juan Bobo and the Robbers

A tale from Puerto Rico

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Once upon a time many years ago, there was a boy who was so lazy that he seemed stupid. Although he really tried to behave himself, he did nothing but say and do silly things. That is why the whole world, except his intelligent and hard-working mother, called him Juan Bobo. “Go to the market […]

How the Monkey Became a Trickster

A Brazilian fairy tale

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Once upon a time there was a beautiful garden in which grew all sorts of fruits. Many beasts lived in the garden and they were permitted to eat of the fruits whenever they wished. But they were asked to observe one rule. They must make a low, polite bow to the fruit tree, call it […]

Gold Tree and Silver Tree

Scottish fairy tale collected by Joseph Jacobs in his Celtic Fairy Tales. It is Aarne-Thompson type to Snow White.

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Once upon a time there was a king who had a wife, whose name was Silver-tree, and a daughter, whose name was Gold-tree. On a certain day of the days, Gold-tree and Silver-tree went to a glen, where there was a well, and in it there was a trout. Said Silver-tree, “Troutie, bonny little fellow, […]

Any Day Can Be Thanksgiving

From Thanksgiving at the Tappletons, by Eileen Spinelli, and adapted by Germaine Dietsch for oral telling

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It was Thanksgiving morning. Mother had just finished stuffing the turkey when the phone rang. It was Aunt Mary. She and grandmother were planning to drive from their house, which was over an hour away, to have dinner with the family, but their car wouldn’t start so she said they couldn’t come. “But it won’t […]

An American South story as told by Harris Tobias and with thanks to themoonlitroad.com In the town of Blakeslee, Arkansas, there was a house that everyone knew was haunted. It was an old neglected house on a side street in the oldest part of town. Sometimes, the most wonderful smells issued from the house and […]


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