Mussa and Najib


Mussa and Najib

while this version is as retold by Sarah Malone, we would like more information on its origin if yo have an idea

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Mussa and Najib were friends.  Mussa was the wealthy one, but Najib was his faithful partner. One day Mussa needed to go on a great long journey across the desert.  He prepared well for the journey bringing his servants and his camels, and he invited Najib to go along. The two men decided this was […]

When Eulenspiegel Baked Owls and Monkeys

A tale from Germany

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On one of his travels, Till came to the city of Braunschweig and looked for an inn that he’d heard about. Not finding it, he stopped at a bakery and asked the baker how he might locate it and the baker gave him very good and clear directions. However, when done, the baker asked, “By […]

Jabu and the Lion

A Traditional Zulu Story

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“Kwasuka sukela…” There was a young herdboy named Jabu (jah’-boo). He took great pride in the way in which he cared for his father’s cattle. And his father had many cows – over 25! It was quite a task to keep these silly creatures out of trouble, away from the farmers mealies (corn) and out […]


A Grimm's Fairy Tale

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Once upon a time there was a peasant who had plenty of money and land. But, as rich as he was, there was still something missing from his happiness: he and his wife had no children. Often when he went to the city with the other peasants they would mock him and ask him why […]

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 […]

Tortoise, the Birds, and the Feasts

A Tale from West Africa

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There was a famine one time that went on for months. Even Tortoise, who was slow but cunning and full of tricks, had not had a good meal for two months. He could walk a little faster because his body had shrunken so, but that was of no use if he was weak from hunger […]

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 […]

Screen of Frogs

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A Japanese Folk Tale as retold by Sheila Hamanaka LONG AGO in Japan there lived a wealthy boy named Koji. For as far as the eye could see, the fields and lakes and mountains belonged to Koji’s family.  From his great house he saw the peasants working from sunup to sundown.  They gave all the […]

An African tale as retold by Eshu Bumps When Anansi’s first son was born and Anansi and his wife, Aso were ready to name the child, the baby spoke up and said, “I have brought my own name with me. It is See Trouble.” Their second son also announced his name in this way. He […]

Molly’s Pilgrim

by Barbara Cohen as adapted by Germaine Dietsch

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  Molly was miserable at the school in Winter Hill. In Winter Hill her classmates laughed at her… they laughed at the way she talked and the way she dressed. Elizabeth laughed most of all which was so embarrassing to Molly that she never raised her hand to answer a question.  But sometimes the teacher, […]


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  A Greek Myth Arachne was a beautiful maiden and the most wonderful weaver that ever lived.  Her father was well known throughout the land for his great skill in coloring.  He dyed Arachne’s wools in all the colors of the rainbow.  Since Arachne and her father lived far out in the countryside, she set her […]

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 Irish version of Cinderella King Aedh Cúrucha lived in Tir Conal, and he had three daughters, whose names were Fair, Brown, and Trembling. Fair and Brown had new dresses, and went to church every Sunday. Trembling was kept at home to do the cooking and work. They would not let her go out of […]

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, […]

The Aged Mother

A Japanese folk tale

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Long, long ago there lived at the foot of the mountain a poor farmer and his aged, widowed mother. They owned a bit of land which supplied them with food. They were humble, peaceful and happy. Shinano was governed by a despotic leader who, though a warrior, had a great and cowardly shrinking from anything suggestive […]

Excerpts from an Ojibwa Legend told to Henry R. Schoolcraft  Long, long ago, in a beautiful part of this country, there lived an Indian with his wife and children. He was poor and found it hard to provide food enough for his family. But though needy, he was kind and contented and always gave thanks […]

An African-American Folktale as Retold by  S. E. Schlosser One day, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox and Brer Coon and Brer Bear and a lot of other animals decided to work together to plant a garden full of corn for roasting. They started early in the morning and raked and dug and raked some more, […]

Tough, Smart, and the Water Jug

Lev Ropes

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The Two Travelers and The Farmer

A Tale From North America

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A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment. “What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger. “What were the people like where […]

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 […]

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 Apples of Youth and the Living Water

A warrior adventure tale from Russia

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In a certain kingdom, in a certain land, there lived a Tsar, and he had three sons. The eldest was named Fedor, he second was named Vasilli, and the youngest was named Ivan. This Tsar was in his old age, and his eyesight was poor. And he heard that beyond three-nine lands, into the three-tenth […]

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 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 […]

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