A Purse of Gold


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 Three Dolls

A Persian folk tale as retold by David Heathfield

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The Sultan of Persia was a clever man – well read. And there was nothing he loved more than solving problems, puzzles, riddles. One day, he received a parcel; he knew not from whom. He opened that package and found a box. And when he opened the lid of the box, inside were the three […]

Darby the Tailor – A Story of Luck and Leprechauns

This gift of a story comes from Marilyn Kinsella, a professional storyteller with more than 25 years of experience.  You may visit her at www.marilynkinsella.org

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Darby the tailor lived in faraway Ireland, he did. He was a tailor known far and wide for his ability to make the finest of clothes. But, for all the fine clothes Darby made for others, he never seemed to have enough money to make suitable clothes for himself. Others would laugh and shake their […]


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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 […]

The Long Winter

An Inuit/Canadian Folktale

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Before humans walked the earth, when the world was the land of the animals, a very long winter set in. The sun did not come out for three years. It snowed all the time. The animals were suffering very much from this long winter. The lack of food bad enough, but the lack of heat […]

A tale from England St. George, a knight from England, traveled for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. There he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country. “Every day,” said the old man, […]

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 […]

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 […]

How the Monkey Became a Trickster

A Brazilian fairy tale

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Once upon a time there was a beautiful garden in which grew all sorts of fruits. Many beasts lived in the garden and they were permitted to eat of the fruits whenever they wished. But they were asked to observe one rule. They must make a low, polite bow to the fruit tree, call it […]

The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit

A Panchatantra Story from India

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The Foolish Lion and the Clever Rabbit Once upon a time, there lived a cruel lion by the name of Bhasuraka, in a dense forest. He was very powerful, ferocious and arrogant. He used to kill the animals of the forest to gratify his hunger. This action of the lion became the cause of worry […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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. […]

The Giant’s Stairs

An Irish Legend

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Near the cliff of Carrigmahon on the Irish coast are huge rocks piled up one above another which are known as the Giant’s Stairs, because that is what they look like. The story runs that the giant Mahon MacMahon lived in a cave somewhere hidden among the rocks, that he had climbed up there when […]

The Good Thunder

A tale from Japan

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Folks say that Rai-den, the Thunder, is an unloving spirit, fearful and revengeful, cruel to man. These are folks who are mortally afraid of the storm, and who hate lightning and tempest; they speak all the evil they can of Rai-den and of Rai-Taro, his son. But they are wrong. Rai-den Sama lived in a […]

The Red Silk Handkerchief

From When The Lights Go Out: Twenty Scary Tales To Tell by Margaret Read MacDonald

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There was a young girl named Joanna who fell in love with a handsome young man. When they were engaged to be married he gave her a red silk handkerchief as a token of their love. Before the marriage could take place, however, the young man died. After some time had passed Joanna agreed to […]

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 […]

An Aesop Fable A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled to the forest. As he was wandering about there he came upon a lion lying down moaning and groaning. At first he turned to flee, but finding that the lion did not pursue him, he turned back and went up to […]

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 […]

The Dog and the Pig

A tale from India as retold from 'When the World was Young', by Verrier Elwin.

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A man kept two animals — a dog and a pig. He kept them in the hope that they would help him in his work. But he was sorely disappointed. All they did was eat and eat and eat. They did nothing else. Finally, the man decided to get strict. He told the animals to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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