Buzzard and Wren Have a Race


A Trickster Tale with Roots in America, the West Indies and Africa Was a time, these two breathed the same air. Only, Wren sat his chattering self on the fence rail. And Bruh Buzzard, he soared way high in the sky. Each could see the other. Wren could look up and see the buzzard shape […]

The Cracked Pot

An Indian Folktale

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A water-bearer fills two large clay pots with water from the river many times every day to bring water to the house of his master.  The pots hang by a rope from either side of a wooden yoke across his shoulders.  The pot on one side of the yoke has a crack in it that […]

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. […]

The Toy Maker – A December Tale for Tandem Telling

Written by Grandbear of Jeffco Spellbinders

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PEARL: Grandbear, will you tell me another story? GB: Sure, How about one from the Winter Solstice celebrations of the animals that live around my cousin’s ranch in Montana? The deer, for example, like to tell stories for eight nights in a row. One story is about their distant cousins, the reindeer, who lived way […]

The Lord of the Cranes

A folktale of giving from China is retold by Kerstin Chen

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There are places in China where the mountains reach all the way up to the clouds. High up on one of these mountains lived a wise old man. His name was Tian, which means “heaven.” There among the clouds lived Tian’s friends, the cranes. Tian fed them and cared for them. The birds told Tian […]

The Sun and the Moon

A folktale from the Philippines

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The Sun and the Moon were married, but the Sun was very ugly and quarrelsome. One day he became angry at the Moon and started to chase her. She ran very fast until she was some distance ahead of him, when she grew tired and he almost caught her. Ever since he has been chasing […]

Guyo’s Feast

An Indonesian folk tale as retold by Sydney Solis

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Once there was a man named Guyo who lived in a little wooden hut by a river. One day he heard that a rich neighbor was having a big feast and had invited everyone in the countryside to attend. Guyo dressed himself in his finest clothing. Then he set out in his canoe and began […]

Martha and the Meadowlark

Lev Ropes

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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 […]

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 […]

This old folktale is told in many cultures in a variety of versions but always with the same message.  This version is based on one from New Mexico. There was once a time when a very old grandfather came to live with his son and his son’s wife and their son.  The grandfather was too […]

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 […]

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 Tiger’s Whisker

An adaptation of an old Asian folktale that has many versions as retold by Germaine Dietsch

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Once long ago the mother of a young boy died. He was deeply saddened and lonely for he was an only child. His father was a rice farmer who worked in the fields every day. He believed it was important to find a new mother for his son as soon as possible so he went […]

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 […]

A tale from the Seneca Tribe of the Northeast Woodlands When the world was new, long ago, an old man wandered about the earth. He had long white hair and wherever he stepped the ground froze and became hard as stone. When he breathed the river stopped flowing and the ponds became ice. Plants dried […]

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 King Who Was Fried

from the Punjab

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Once upon a time, a very long time ago indeed, there lived a King who had made a vow never to eat bread or break his fast until he had given away a hundredweight of gold in charity. So, every day, before King Karan–for that was his name–had his breakfast, the palace servants would come […]

The Girl Who Conquered the Winter Witch

A tale from Bulgaria

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One year, the wicked Winter Witch decided to stop spring from coming on time and make winter the only season on Earth. She hid the Sun behind dark clouds and covered the Earth with heavy snow. So one morning the people from a small mountain village woke up and found their houses buried under the […]

The Spirit of the Corn

An Iroquois Legend

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There was a time, says the Iroquois grandmother, when it was not needful to plant the corn seed nor to hoe the fields, for the corn sprang up of itself, and filled the broad meadows. Its stalks grew strong and tall, and were covered with leaves like waving banners, and filled with ears of pearly […]

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 Brazilian Folktale Years and years ago at the very beginning of time, when the world had just been made, there was no night. It was day all the time. No one had ever heard of sunrise or sunset, starlight or moonbeams. There were no night birds, nor night beasts, nor night flowers. There were […]

The Origin of the Night Sky

a tale from the Cochiti Pueblo in northern New Mexico

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A long time ago, after the great flood, the people emerged from the Underworld. The woman who was called Our Mother gathered the people together and instructed them on where they should go to make their new home. This woman was called Our Mother because no one knew of anyone who was older than her. […]

The Six Swans

A Grimm’s Fairy Tale

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A king was once hunting in a great forest, and he chased his prey so eagerly that none of his men could follow him. As evening approached he stopped and looked around, and saw that he was lost. He looked for a way out of the woods, but he could not find one. Then he […]

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