Finders Keepers


Finders Keepers

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A Story of work and greed from Ghana One day the squirrel was looking for new places to farm. The squirrel had farmed so much on his current farm that the land was not fertile anymore. The squirrel went to the tops of the trees so that he could see all the land around and […]

We Are All One

A Chinese Tale

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Long ago, there was a rich man with a disease in his eyes. For many years, the pain was so great that he could not sleep at night. He saw every doctor he could, but none of them could help him. “What good is all my money?” he groaned. Finally, he became so desperate that […]

The Collared Crow

A tale from Africa

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Once upon a time there were a man and his wife who had lived together for years, but they had no children to look after them in their old age. This was very sad for them, but they had no idea what to do about it. You can neither make nor order children, nor do […]

Martha and the Meadowlark

Lev Ropes

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The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit

A Panchatantra Story from India

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The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit Once upon a time, there lived a cruel lion by the name of Bhasuraka, in a dense forest. He was very powerful, ferocious and arrogant. He used to kill the animals of the forest to gratify his hunger. This action of the lion became the cause of worry […]

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 […]

Not Our Problem

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Adapted from “Peace Tales” by Margaret Read MacDonald Once upon a time in Persia, a Caliph sat in his palace with his advisor eating rice cakes and honey.  They were leaning out the palace window overlooking the busy marketplace below.  They watched the vendors and shoppers and animals as they moved about. “Come,” said the […]

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 […]

The Legend of Chrstmas Tinsel

This story is a retelling of an old German legend about the origin of Christmas tree tinsel, based on a version by Shirley Climo titled Cobweb Christmas

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Long ago in Germany there lived a little old lady whom everyone called Tante. That means “auntie” in German. Tante lived in a tiny cottage at the edge of the forest with her animals to keep her company. There was her canary for singing, her cat for purring and a dog who slept by the […]

The God of Thunder

A Tale from Taiwan

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Long, long ago, in ancient times, the gods watched closely over the land and its people. One god, Lei Kung, paid special attention to anyone who committed a crime. Lei Kung traveled across the land, visiting every village, town and hamlet. He was watching out for those who did evil. People feared Lei Kung. He […]

This Greek Myth was included in Ovid’s moralizing fable (Metamorphoses VIII) In the hilly countryside of Phrygia there grew two trees which were cause for much amazement to anyone who saw them. You see, one was an oak tree and the other was a linden, yet the two grew from a single trunk. How did […]

The Red Silk Handkerchief

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

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There was a young girl named Joanna who fell in love with a handsome young man. When they were engaged to be married he gave her a red silk handkerchief as a token of their love. Before the marriage could take place, however, the young man died. After some time had passed Joanna agreed to […]

A Tale for Earth Day Students in a high school class who had been discussing environmental challenges said to their teacher, “It’s such a worldwide problem, what can we do about it?”  In response their teacher told them this old tale: Once there was a wise old man. He was so wise he could answer […]

A folk tale from Africa Long, long ago there lived, in a village called Keejee′jee, a woman whose husband died, leaving her with a little baby boy. She worked hard all day to get food for herself and child, but they lived very poorly and were most of the time half-starved. When the boy, whose […]

The Red Fish

A Tale from Turkey, Adapted by Laura Simms copyright 2001

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A kind fisherman once caught a bright shining red fish. It was so lovely, he took pity on it and instead of cooking it or selling it, he decided to take the fish home as a pet. He dug a hole in the floor of his house, filled it with water, and put the fish […]

The Monkey and the Crocodile

An Indian tale as retold from the Panchatantram by Rohini Chowdhury

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Once there lived a monkey in a jamun tree by a river. The monkey was alone – he had no friends, no family, but he was happy and content. The jamun tree gave him plenty of sweet fruit to eat, and shade from the sun and shelter from the rain. One day a crocodile came […]

The Stars in the Cottonwood Trees

Plains Indians: Cheyenne and Arapaho

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All things come from Mother-earth. Stars are no exception. They form secretly in the earth and then drift along just under the surface until they find the roots of the magical Cottonwood tree. They enter the roots and slowly work their way up through the tree. Finally they come to rest in the small twigs […]

The Apple Tree

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A Folk Tale from India Once there lived a farmer in a village. He had a big garden which was full of trees, plants and beautiful flowers. There was also a huge, old apple tree in the garden. The tree was very old and had stopped bearing fruit long ago. The tree, however, was of […]


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A Japanese Folktale A long time ago, there was a young man who lived in a small village. One day as he was on his way home from working in the fields, he discovered something amazing: the most beautiful clothes he had ever seen. He wanted the clothes very badly, so he quietly put them […]

The Lion and the Beetle

As retold by S.E. Schlosser

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Lion was very proud and very vain.  He loved to stomp around the savannah, roaring and growling whenever he saw his animal subjects – Giraffe or Hyena or Elephant or Gazelle or Ape – to show what a mighty Lion he was. “I am a Very Mighty King!” he roared.  And his subjects all bowed low […]

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 […]

Great Joy

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A Buddhist Tale from India Once, long ago, a poor brahmin was given an ox calf in repayment for a debt. The calf was the Buddha in an earlier birth. The brahmin delighted in the tiny creature and cared for it well. And the ox, with the man’s care, grew and grew. When fully grown […]

Anansi’s and Turtle’s Feast

A West African Folktale

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One day during the holidays the spider everyone knows as Anansi, the famous trickster, was just about to sit down to enjoy a meal when Turtle crawled past his house. Turtle had been traveling all day long, and he was terribly hungry. When he smelled Anansi’s cooking, his mouth began to water, and he imagined […]

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 […]

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