Beautiful Fanta-Ghiro


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, […]

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, […]

Conquering Fear

A folk tale found in many parts of the world

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Once upon a time, there lived a boy who was so shy and fearful of the world around him that his family called him Miobe, frightened one. “Why do you call me that?” the boy asked his grandfather. The old man laughed. “Because you are afraid,” he answered. The boy’s grandmother, his mother, his father […]

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 […]

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 […]

Truth & Story

Retold by Germaine Dietsch, with permission of Bobby Norfolk, from his book, The Moral of the Story

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At the beginning of time, Truth walked naked upon the earth. His body was strong and muscular. His skin was smooth and shining. He was beautiful. Whenever he walked into a village, he would call out, “I am Truth! Come gather around and listen to what I have to teach you.” But no one would […]

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 […]

Stone Flower

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A tale from Russia A long time ago in one Urals village there lived a famous craftsman named Prokopyich. He made jewelry and other things from malachite and was renowned as the best gem carver in the Urals. The rulers ordered him to teach some boys his profession, but none of them was talented enough. […]

How Night Came Into Being

A Hindu Tale told by D.M. Kartha ©2001

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Long, long ago, at the beginning of the world, when the world and all that was yet to be upon it was not yet finished, a twin brother and sister were the only human beings upon the earth. Their names were Yama and Yami and they loved each other dearly. They roamed the earth enjoying […]

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 […]

The Happy Mirror

A tale from Japan

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A long, long time ago there lived in a quiet spot a young man and his wife. They had one child, a little daughter, whom they both loved with all their hearts. I cannot tell you their names, for they have long since been forgotten; but the name of the place where they lived was […]

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 […]


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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 […]

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 Proud Little Apple Blossom

By Hans Christian Andersen (adapted)

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It was the month of May, but the wind still blew cool, for the sun was not yet ready to shed his warmest rays on the waiting earth. Yet some of the birds had come, and more were on their way, and many beautiful blossoms were already showing their pink and white blooms, so that […]

A Native American Folktale Mahto was a very small bear when he came into this world. He was born in a cave deep within the earth and was not big enough to harm anybody. His mother called him Mahtociqala in the language of the people. When his mother awoke from her long sleep, she took […]

Thanks to drummer Stephen Sharpe and Laurie Loeb for passing on this African folktale Once upon a time, in Africa, the rains didn’t fall one year. So the plants and trees didn’t grow food, so all the animals were very hungry. Now there were four animal friends who remembered there was a magic tree in […]

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 […]

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 Tiger and the Frog

A Tale From Tibet

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Once upon a time, in the days when the world was young and all animals understood each other’s languages, an old tiger named Tsuden went out hunting for some food. As he was creeping quietly along the banks of a stream a frog saw him and was badly scared. He thought, “This tiger is coming […]

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 […]

Big Turtle

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A Native American (Huron) story Many years ago the world had two parts. Animals lived in the lower part, which was completely covered in water and had no land or soil. Above was the Sky World, where the sky people lived. The Sky World had lots of soil, with beautiful mountains and valleys. One day […]

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 […]


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Cherokee legend of love retold by Gayle Ross in Homespun Tales from America’s Favorite Storytellers, edited by Jimmy Neil Smith retold again by Beverly Brayden, a Spellbinders storyteller Long ago, in the first days of the world, there lived 1st Man and 1st Woman. They lived together as husband and wife in happiness and harmony. […]

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