Plowing the Road


Plowing the Road

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A tale of elder wisdom from Romania In olden times in some distant country the young folk had come together and decided to get rid of the old men. They did not want their wisdom and their advice, for they were just as clever. They had lived their lives, and that was an end of […]

An American South story as told by Harris Tobias and with thanks to 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 […]

An African tale as retold by Eshu Bumps When Anansi’s first son was born and Anansi and his wife, Aso were ready to name the child, the baby spoke up and said, “I have brought my own name with me. It is See Trouble.” Their second son also announced his name in this way. He […]

A Jewish Folktale Long ago people often lived in walled cities that were one or two days apart by foot. People often spent their entire lives within the walls of one city. To venture outside the walls was considered frightening and dangerous. Our story is about a man who lived within one of those cities […]

The Legend of the Dipper

if you have information about the origin of this tale, please let us know

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There was once a little girl who had a dear mother, and they lived, quite alone, in a little house in the woods. They were always very happy, but one day the mother grew so ill that it seemed as if she could never be strong and well again. “I must have a drink of […]

The Wave

This is Germaine Dietsch's adaptation of an old Japanese folk tale.

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Long ago in Japan, high on a mountain by the sea there lived an old farmer named Hamaguchi. With him lived his grandson, Tada, who called him Oji-san, which means grandfather in Japanese. Tada loved his grandfather dearly and revered him for he knew he was old and very wise. At the base of the […]

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 by Fanny Hagin Mayer in her book Ancient Tales in Modern Japan. (Definitions in this story.  A Jizo is a popular icon in Japan that is a protector of children and travelers. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape.) Once upon a time […]

A Greek Myth as retold by Marlin Cwach, based upon the retelling in The Book of Virtues ed. W. J. Bennett; Thirty-three Multicultural Tales to Tell, P. DeSpain The story that even today sets the standard of absolute friendship took place long ago in the fourth century BC, in the Greek island-state of Sicily. Damon […]

The Story of Lightning and Thunder

A Nigerian Folktale

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In the olden days the thunder and lightning lived on the earth amongst all the other people, but the king made them live at the far end of the town, as far as possible from other people’s houses. The thunder was an old mother sheep, and the lightning was her son, a ram. Whenever the […]

The King’s Apple

An Ethiopian Folktale

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Once upon a time a farmer named Yonas was picking fruit in his orchards when he came upon the most exquisite apple he had ever seen. It was perfectly round, exquisitely red, and it smelled heavenly. Surely it was heaven sent, and it deserved to be admired and loved. Before long he came to the […]

The Sticky Sticky Pine

A Japanese tale

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Once there was a woodcutter. He was very poor but very kind. Never would he tear off the living branches of a tree to make firewood.  Instead he would gather only the dead branches on the ground.  He knew what happened when you tore a branch off a tree. The sap, which is the blood […]

A Tale from Ukraine Once upon a time an old man and his wife lived together in a little village. They might have been happy if only the old woman had had the sense to hold her tongue at proper times. But anything which might happen indoors, or any bit of news which her husband […]

The Sheep, the Lamb, the Wolf, and the Hare

A tale from Tibet

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Once upon a time there lived an old sheep in a low-lying valley of Tibet, and every year she, with her lamb, were in the habit of leaving the valley during the early months of summer, and going up on to the great northern plateau, where grass is plentiful, and where many sheep and goats […]

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 […]

Why the Leaves Have Many Colors in Autumn

A Wyandot (Huron) Legend

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Bear was selfish and proud. He often made trouble among the Animals of the Great Council. When he heard that Deer had walked over the Rainbow Bridge into the sky land he was angry. “I will punish the deer,” he said. Bear went to the Rainbow Bridge. He leaped along its beautiful way of glowing […]

Adapted from Thanksgiving at the Tappletons, by Eileen Spinelli 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 […]

The Strange Visitor

From When The Lights Go Out: Twenty Scary Tales To Tell by Margaret Read MacDonald

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There was an old woman sat all alone in her cabin one night spinning her wool. And so she sat, and so she spun, and so she waited for someone to come. Then there came a knocking on the door. Come in! Called the old woman. Screeeeak went the door. And in came a pair […]

A Lenni Lenape tale as retold by S. E. Schlosser It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were […]

The Twelve Months

A Slav Fairy Tale as retold by Alexander Chodsvko

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There was once a widow who had two daughters, Helen, her own child by her dead husband, and Marouckla, his daughter by his first wife. She loved Helen, but hated the poor orphan because she was far prettier than her own daughter. Marouckla did not think about her good looks, and could not understand why […]

The King with Horse’s Ears

A Tale from Ireland

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The story I’m going to tell you is not to be met every day. I heard little Tom Kennedy, the great schoolmaster of Rossard, say that he read it in the history of Ireland, and that it happened before the people were Christian. It is about a king who had his hair cut only once […]

Molly’s Pilgrim

by Barbara Cohen as adapted by Germaine Dietsch

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  Molly was miserable at the school in Winter Hill. In Winter Hill her classmates laughed at her… they laughed at the way she talked and the way she dressed. Elizabeth laughed most of all which was so embarrassing to Molly that she never raised her hand to answer a question.  But sometimes the teacher, […]

Why Dogs Chase Cats

A Virginia Folktale as retold by S.E. Schlosser on

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Once long ago, Dog was married to Cat. They were happy together, but every night when Dog came home from work, Cat said she was too sick to make him dinner. Dog was patient with this talk for a while, but he soon got mighty tired of fixing dinner for them both after a hard […]

Anansi Goes Fishing

 An African Folk Tale

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There was a year when it didn’t rain.  Because it didn’t rain, the gardens didn’t grow, and nobody had any food to eat.  Everybody was hungry.  Anansi had a lot of spider children.  He had big spider children, middle-sized spider children, little spider children, even baby spider children, but they were all hungry.  And they […]

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