The Legend of the Bluebonnet

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The Legend of the Bluebonnet

A Comanche Legend

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Long ago in the land we now call Texas there was a drought.  It had not rained for a long, long time.  The ground was so dry and parched that nothing grew and the animals and the Comanche Indian people who lived there were dying of hunger. The people had danced and drummed and prayed […]

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. […]

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 […]

The Man Who Had No Story

a tale from Ireland

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Once there was a man who lived in Barr an Ghaoith long ago, his name was Brian Ó Braonachain. He would cut rods, make them into baskets, and sell them. One day there wasn’t a rod he hadn’t already cut, made into a basket, and sold; Brian didn’t know what to do. There was a […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Sang Kancil, the Clever Mouse Deer

A Tale from Malaysia and Indonesia

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As retold by Duniya Ku Long, long ago, deep in the forest in the Malay Peninsula, there lived a tiny mouse-deer named Sang Kancil. Despite his size, he was spunky and clever, and all the other animals respected him. Sang Kancil loved to eat tropical fruits ~ Rambutan, Durian, Mangosteen, and his favorite one of […]

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 […]

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 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 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 […]

Why the Evergreen Trees Keep Their Leaves in Winter

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

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One day, a long, long time ago, it was very cold; winter was coming and all the birds had flown south to wait for spring. But there was one little bird who had a broken wing and could not fly. He just did not know what to do. He looked all around to see if […]

Getting Untangled

Reported in the San Francisco Chronicle on December 14, 2005

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Once upon a time, an actual sunny Sunday morning in December 2005, a man was fishing for crabs in open waters about 18 miles off the coast of San Francisco. A humpback whale that appeared to be in distress captured the fisherman’s attention. He was experienced enough to know that the whale was probably 50 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 Enchanted Camel

as told by Syrian refugee Mahmoud Fares, 30 years old, from Khan el Sheikh Camp 7 who currently resides in Sidon, Lebanon

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Once upon a time there was a woodcutter who made a living from cutting wood in the forest. One day he went there to collect wood and found a big log too heavy for him to carry on his own. He looked to the right and then to the left and saw a camel who […]

The Legend of Saint Valentine

One of our favorite versions of the legend of this saint

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(There are many versions of the legend of St. Valentine. The following is one of our favorites.) Valentine was a physician and a priest in 3rd century Rome in the realm of Claudius II (Claudius the Cruel). Claudius felt threatened by Christians and threw them into jail on any pretext he could find. Claudius was […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

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. […]


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