The Ogre Who Played Pick-up Sticks

The Ogre Who Played Pick-up Sticks

Mary Ann Janson

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Enjoy listening to this great audio recording by Mesa County Spellbinders storyteller Mary Ann Janson.

Mesa County Spellbinders was founded on a spirit that came from several different points of light to create something that has proven to be extremely special for so many children and so many Tellers. One point of light came from a chance meeting I had with Germaine at the El Pomar Foundation meeting where I […]

The Frog Princess

Unknown Author

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Once long ago there was a peasant woman who had three sons. Though they were peasants they were well off, for the soil on which they lived was fruitful, and yielded rich crops. One day the sons told their mother they wished to get married. “Do as you like”, said their mother, “but see that […]

Why the Sun and Moon Live in the Sky

A folktale from Africa

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Many years ago, the sun and water were great friends, and they both lived on the earth together. The sun very often used to visit the water, but the water never returned the visits. At last the sun asked the water why he never visited. The water replied that the sun’s house was not big […]

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 […]

Why the Evergreen Trees Keep Their Leaves in Winter

Florence Holbrook, an activist in the peace movement during the early years of the 20th century. She attended the 1913 International Conference of Women at The Hague and participated in the Ford Peace Expedition of 1915.

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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 […]

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 […]

Why Butterflies Can’t Fly Straight

Retold from a Tewa Indian Legend

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One day Coyote’s wife wanted to do some cooking. She needed salt for the food she was making. She asked coyote, her husband, who was taking one of his many naps to go to the salty lake and fill a bag with some salt crystals from the shore. The lake was a long walk from […]

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 […]

Two Friends and One Horse

An Israeli Tale rewritten by Yoel Perez copyright 2001 and adapted by Laura Simms

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Two men, neighbors and friends, named Nabek and Dagar, lived near a great desert. Nabek had an incomparable horse. It was beautiful and as graceful as a deer. Dagar dreamed of having his friend’s horse. Day and night, he could not stop thinking about the horse. Finally, he went to Nabek and asked him to […]

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