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Storytelling Future File

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  • 1. Storytelling Future File Fiona B. Griswold Last Updated: May 10, 2009
  • 2. Title of Story: “Teeny Tiny” Retold by Amy DouglasCitation: Keding, D., & Douglas, A. (2005). English folktales. World folklore series. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. pp 171-2. Old English jump tale that should be read aloud. An old teeny tiny woman finds a teeny tiny bone and brings it home with her to make soup. She startsSummary: hearing a voice that keeps insisting, in a louder and louder voice, “Give me back my bone!” At the end of the tale, the old woman gets her courage and shouts “Take It!” The scare comes from the contrast between the slow quiet telling of the last paragraph and the loudly shouted last line.Context for Not really scary tale, per se, the “fright” comes in the tension that builds fromStory: the repetition throughout the story.Target Suitable for young children (ages 5 - 8)Audience(s): Use voice and pacing to build tension throughout the story. For the lastPerformance paragraph, relate the story slowly and quietly to keep the children wonderingNotes: what the woman is going to do with the bone before shouting “Take IT!” Could be paired with “The Golden Arm”Related Stories: Halloween stories (or other times when scary stories are appropriate), JumpThemes: tales 1 Storytelling Future File
  • 3. Title of Story: “The Old Woman Who Lived in a Vinegar Bottle” retold by Dan KedingCitation: Keding, D., & Douglas, A. (2005). English folktales. World folklore series. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. p. 37-39. A fairy overhears and old woman living in a vinegar bottle talking to herself one day and bemoaning the fact that she lived in a little vinegar bottle when she’d really like a little cottage instead. The fairy grants this wish and a numberSummary: of other wishes more grand than the last, but each time the fairy returns to visit the old woman, she never receives thanks and the woman just asks for something more. Finally, after asking that she be made a queen and getting her wish, she asks that she be allowed to rule the entire world. The next day she wakes to find herself back in her old vinegar bottle just where she belonged. Story portrays a kind fairy and an ungrateful human. Similar themes can beContext for found in many other tales from various cultures. English version of theStory: Grimm’s tale, “The Fisherman and His Wife”Target Seems appropriate for children as young as 6 or 7.Audience(s): Fairly straightforward story--repetition should make it an easy one toPerformance memorize. Could be adapted to other types of wishes depending on theNotes: audience. Could be used with other “wishing” tales or fools talesRelated Stories: Fairies, ingratitude, misuse of wishes, the FoolThemes: 2 Storytelling Future File
  • 4. Title of Story: “Tattercoats” retold by Dan KedingCitation: Keding, D., & Douglas, A. (2005). English folktales. World folklore series. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. p. 105-107. Young girl, whom most people call “Tattercoats” for her shabby clothing lives with her grandfather, the Lord, who will not look at her because her birth caused the death of his favorite daughter. The young girl grows to be sweet and pretty but nobody realizes that she is a lady. One day, the king is set to visit the area where she lives, but she will not be allowed to go and see him. As she weeps, her friend, the little gooseherd boy comes and says that she shall go toSummary: see the king, and he plays such a song on his pipes that Tattercoats begins to dance. As they make their way to where the king is, a young noble rides up asking where he can find the king. He joins their party and the more he sees Tattercoats dance, the more he loves her until finally, he vows that he will marry her. Tattercoats does not believe this, but she comes later that night to the ball as instructed to dance with this stranger who turns out to be the King’s son. They are wed, but Tattercoats grandfather, the Lord, still keeps his promise of never looking on her face.Context forStory: Has the flavor of the “classic” fairy tale and would probably be appreciated by,Target perhaps, children as young as pre-school age. Could be compared to CinderellaAudience(s): as most children are probably familiar with this tale.Performance Again a straightforward tale that does not need much to express the storyNotes: except for voice and animated expressions. Version of the “Cinderella story”,Related Stories: Happily ever after, beauty and personality rising above appearance and statusThemes: 3 Storytelling Future File
  • 5. Title of Story: “Why Armadillos Are Funny” adapted by Barbara McBride-Smith from a Guyanese folktaleCitation: Holt, D., & Mooney, W. (2000). More ready-to-tell tales from around the world. Little Rock, Ark: August House. p. 20-25. Armadillos weren’t always nocturnal and shy, They were proud and friendly and loved by other animals, but they were also VERY ugly. One particular little armadillo found out that he could make other animals laugh by bugging out his eyes and waggling his tongue. Parents were very proud and even suggested that he use some props for enhanced effect (silly glasses, hat and tie).Summary: Every animal roared with laughter when the little armadillo did his act. But, up in the sky, Lightning was not pleased. The armadillo was stealing her thunder so she struck him with a bolt of lightning. He curled up so tight into a ball with fright, that when he finally got unstuck, his shell cracked in 6 places. In the end, even lightning had to laugh and the armadillo and the other animals learned that sometimes the best protection from an enemy is to make him laugh.Context for Story was based on a folk tale from Guyana, but McBride-Smith has reallyStory: expanded and developed it into its own tale.Target Works well for children in grades K-2, but could be used with almost any ageAudience(s): or in a family program. McBride-Smith has an armadillo puppet that she uses with this story, but it can be performed without. She also uses props such as joke glasses (with mustachePerformance attached) and an oversized hat and tie. May want to have a picture of anNotes: armadillo to show the audience (especially if they are young and may not have seen one before. She also sometimes closes with a song about armadillos and their unfortunate tangles with automobiles.Related Stories:Themes: Comic tale, animals, moral (kind of), 4 Storytelling Future File
  • 6. Title of Story: “The Three Wishes” A folktale from Sweeden, retold by Martha Hamilton and Mitch WeissCitation: Holt, D., & Mooney, W. (2000). More ready-to-tell tales from around the world. Little Rock, Ark: August House. p. Woodcutter (husband) is about to cut a tree when a tree spirit promises to grant the woodcutter and his wife three wishes for sparing his tree. No matter what they wish for, their next three wishes will come true. The spirit disappears and the woodcutter goes home to his wife who scoffs at his story. The two of them argue about what to wish for, and in discussing food, the husband wishes for a big juicy sausage--and a huge one appears. The wife now believes the story,Summary: but is also incensed that one of the wishes has been wasted on a sausage when they could have asked for something much grander. Again they bicker and the wife blurts out that she wishes the sausage were hanging from the end of her husband’s nose. Again, this wish is granted and the wife laughs at how funny her husband looks. Now two wishes are gone, and they cannot, no matter what they do, get the sausage off the man’s nose. Finally, they must use their last wish to remove the sausage, which they are then able to enjoy, but they have missed the opportunity to wish for a big house, rich jewels or a pot of gold.Context for Many versions of this tale found in cultures around the world. One folkloristStory: believes that it originated in India.Target Appropriate for children in grades K-5.Audience(s): Could be told by a pair of storytellers (one as the husband and one as the wife). If being told by a single teller, avoid use of “he said” and “she said” to denotePerformance changes in speaker. Instead, show the two speakers by change in body languageNotes: and/or voice. May also turn slightly for each character (as if the two are standing side by side and talking to one another).Related Stories: Comic tale, moral, foolishness,Themes: 5 Storytelling Future File
  • 7. Title of Story: “One Wish” A folktale from Ireland retold by Liz WeirCitation: Holt, D., & Mooney, W. (2000). More ready-to-tell tales from around the world. Little Rock, Ark: August House. p. 199-201. Young man, his wife and his parents live in poverty. His old mother has been blind for 10 years, and the young man and his wife had been married for five years but still did not have a child. The family usually managed to have enough to eat until a blight struck the potato crop and the young man is forced to go hunt for game on the landlord’s estate. He finds a white deer and is about to kill it when the deer promises him one wish to spare his life. The deer tells theSummary: young man to go home and think about it and come back the next day--he will still be there. When the young man returns home, every family member urges him to wish for something different: his father wants gold, his mother wants her eyesight back and his wife wants a child. The next day, the young man returns to where he left the deer, still unsure of what his wish should be. When asked for his wish, he slowly tells the deer that his one wish is for his mother to see his wife rocking their child in a golden cradle. And the wish was granted.Context for Irish version a tale that is found in many cultures.Story:Target Children age ten and up, adults, and, in particular, senior citizens.Audience(s):Performance Use simple relaxed style for the telling to create pictures in the minds of theNotes: audience. Often used in storytelling workshops and for beginners because of its simplicity.Related Stories: Could be paired with “The Three Wishes” for contrast.Themes: Good fortune, wisdom, 6 Storytelling Future File
  • 8. Title of Story: “A Whale of a Tale” MacDonald, M. R. (2005). Twenty tellable tales: Audience participationCitation: folktales for the beginning storyteller. Chicago: American Library Association. p. 1-9. A little boy lives in an igloo with his grandmother and is always hungry. One day the grandmother discovers that they have no food left and sends the little boy out to look for some. As he walks along the shore, he sees (and eats!) a codfish, a seal, an Oogluk (giant seal), a walrus, and a great white whale. Then he is finally full and waddles home. When he gets to the igloo, he finds that heSummary: cannot get in through the door, the window, or the smoke hole, but manages to come in through the eye of his grandmother’s needle. Once in the igloo he comes too close to the seal-oil lamp and goes pop! When the boy bursts, the igloo is washed away and the boy disappears and when his grandmother awakes she finds only a pool of water where the igloo had been and in the pool, a codfish, seal, oogluk, walrus and whale are swimming round and round.Context for An Eskimo tale that shares some common motifs with tales from otherStory: cultures--lying about eating, magic stomachs that can swallow anything.Target Primary-age children, though some of the youngest ones may not understandAudience(s): that the little boy explodes at the end of the story. Depending on the audience, may want to preface story with a little bit ofPerformance information about the Eskimo and their way of life. Format of story lends itselfNotes: to audience participation (repetition of the boy’s assertion that he’s still hungry). Sometimes, children, especially will chime in without much urging.Related Stories:Themes: Unsatisfied hunger, consequences of wanting more… 7 Storytelling Future File
  • 9. Title of Story: “Old One Eye” MacDonald, M. R. (2005). Twenty tellable tales: Audience participationCitation: folktales for the beginning storyteller. Chicago: American Library Association. p. 43-51. An old woman lives in cabin and spends her days in her rocking chair carding wool. She has been saving her money for so long that she is just about rich and keeps all this money in an old leather pouch tucked into a corner of the chimney. Every night after she yawns three times, she figures it’s time to go to bed. But, before she does, she goes over to the old dried fish she has hanging above the fireplace, takes out a big knife and cuts a chunk of it, chews it up and heads to bed. She calls the fish “Old One Eye” because it has only one eye.Summary: Three robbers come to the area and hear about her gold and decide to rob the old lady. The leader of this band of robbers is known as “Old One Eye” because he had the other one put out in a fight. Old One Eye the robber sends one of the other two men down to spy on the lady and then the other. Each time they look through a chink in the chimney and misunderstand what she is saying (about her yawning, getting her butcher knife and cutting a chunk out of “Old One Eye”). In the end, the robbers, believing that the old lady is on to them, take off without robbing her and she goes through her nightly routine of three yawns, a chunk of her fish and off to bed. This version adapted from Grandfather Tales and seems to have originated inContext for the South, but tales of this type not unique to America (most, however, do notStory: use a fish).Target Children as young as 8 or 9, in certain circumstances. I think younger and theyAudience(s): might be confused by the action of the story. Could make use of audience response. Through miming the rocking andPerformance carding motions, children often join in. Could benefit from some type of accentNotes: denoting sort of a down-homey or “simple folk” feel, but shouldn’t be forced.Related Stories: Unintentional detection of thieves, unintentional wisdom or trickeryThemes: 8 Storytelling Future File
  • 10. Title of Story: “How to Break a Bad Habit” MacDonald, M. R. (2005). Twenty tellable tales: Audience participationCitation: folktales for the beginning storyteller. Chicago: American Library Association. p. 75-78. Monkey and Rabbit are sitting together, talking and both of them keep twitching and itching and can’t sit still. Monkey tells Rabbit to sit still that all his twitching is a bad habit. Rabbit replies that Monkey’s itching is a bad habit as well. Both of them state that they can sit still and decide to have a contest.Summary: The first one to scratch or twitch will lose. They both try very hard to stay still and finally decide to tell stories to pass the time. Rabbit tells a story about how he was bitten by mosquitoes and twitches different parts to show where he was bitten. Monkey tells about a boy who threw rocks at him and scratches each part of his body that was hit. Finally, they both laugh and agree to call off the contest since it is very hard to break a bad habit. I saw this tale used once for a writing prompt on a State standardized testContext for (California 4th grade, I think). Versions of this story appear in African WonderStory: Tales and in Uncle Remus.Target Suitable for preschool and grade-school-aged children.Audience(s):Performance For preschoolers, could have them “practice” twitching and itching and thenNotes: join in with rabbit and monkey Would work well with other animal tales (Aesop’s fables? Native American,Related Stories: African or Asian tales). Trickster tales, Animal talesThemes: 9 Storytelling Future File
  • 11. Title of Story: “The Golden Arm”Citation: Hamilton, M., Weiss, M., & Campbell, A. (1996). Stories in my pocket: Tales kids can tell. Golden, Colo: Fulcrum Pub. p. 93-96. Man marries a woman with a solid gold arm, but the woman suspects that her husband might love the arm more than he does her. Every night, she makes him promise that if she dies before him, he must bury her with her golden arm. He always promises to do so. The woman does die first, and her husband puts on his best show of mourning, but he can’t stop thinking about the arm. Finally, heSummary: trudges to the cemetery, digs up the body, grabs the arm and heads home. He’s frozen by the time he gets home and jumps into bed to warm himself with the arm tucked in next to him. He then hears the sounds of someone in the house and a voice asking, “Who’s got my golden arm?” over and over and coming closer until finally the wife’s ghost is right upon him. The story ends with the “jump” of the reply “You’ve got it!”Context for English jump tale based on the version collected by Joseph Jacobs.Story:Target Probably would work best for kids in grades K-5 or for family programs.Audience(s):Performance Can have a lot of fun with this one through voice and face. Again, want to buildNotes: tension to the final “jump” of “You’ve Got It!” Teeny Tiny WomanRelated Stories: Jump tale, scary stories, HalloweenThemes: 10 Storytelling Future File
  • 12. Title of Story: “The Fly” A tale from VietnamCitation: Yolen, J. (1986). Favorite folktales from around the world. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 55-57. A moneylender comes to collect the debts owed to him by a peasant couple, but arriving at their house, he finds nobody but a young boy at home. When the moneylender asks where to find the boy’s parents, for he has come to collect the money owed to him, the boy replies with a kind of riddle. The moneylender demands to know the meaning of the boy’s answer, saying he will forgive theSummary: debt and the two agree that a fly that has landed on the housepole will be the witness. The boy explains himself and the moneylender leaves. When he returns a few days later, the parents are home and he demands the money owed him. When the boy protests that they had a deal, the moneylender denies this and the case is brought before a Mandarin for a decision. During the hearing, the boy tricks the moneylender into admitting that there was such a deal and the Mandarin orders the family’s debt to be forgiven.Context forStory:Target Teen to adultAudience(s):Performance Fairly straightforward tale--teller should emphasize the trickery and theNotes: wisdom of the youth.Related Stories: Trickery, youth versus age, wise childrenThemes: 11 Storytelling Future File
  • 13. Title of Story: “The Three Sillies” A tale from England.Citation: Yolen, J. (1986). Favorite folktales from around the world. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 170-73. Man has been courting a young woman. One day, as he’s visiting her house, she, and her parents, separately, disappear into the cellar to draw some veer. When the man goes to see what has happened, he finds all three of the sitting crying and beer running all over the floor. They tell him they are crying because there is a large mallet stuck in a ceiling beam and they are worried that it might fall and strike and kill the grown son of this man and the girl (who aren’t even married yet!) The man tells them that they are the three biggest sillies he has ever met and if and when he meets three sillier people, he willSummary: return and marry the girl. The first silly he finds is a woman trying to urge her cow up a ladder to eat the grass on the roof. She finally manages it, and ties a string to her wrist with the other end around the cows neck and threaded down through the chimney to where the woman is working.. After a while, the cow falls off the roof and is strangled by the rope and the woman is pulled into the chimney and smothered. The second silly is a man who hangs his trousers from a dresser knob and tries to jump into them from across the room. The third group of sillies he finds are circled round a pond with rakes and pitchforks trying to get the moon out of the pond. So the man returns and marries the young woman. One of the classic fools tales, versions of which can be found throughout theContext for world. This version is English, but another well known version, “Clever Elsie”Story: can be found in Grimms’ Fairy Tales. “Moon in the Well/Water” tales also fairly common.Target Children ages 8 and up.Audience(s):Performance During the telling of the tale, should use voice/face to convey the absurdity ofNotes: the actions of the sillies in the tale. “Lazy Jack” is similar in the ridiculous acts carried out by the main character.Related Stories: The foolThemes: 12 Storytelling Future File
  • 14. Title of Story: “It Could Always Be Worse” A Jewish taleCitation: Yolen, J. (1986). Favorite folktales from around the world. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 408-09. A man goes to a rabbi complaining about how difficult his life is with his in- laws and wife and six children all living in one room quarreling. Rabbi tells him to go home and bring his cow, goat and chickens into the house with the rest of his family. The man does what he is told, then returns to the Rabbi a fewSummary: days later to complain again that his life is worse than before. The Rabbi tells him to take the chickens out of the house, then later, the goat, and then a few days later, the cow. Once all the animals have been removed from the house, the man is so happy with how quiet his house now seems and how roomy and clean that he is happy and satisfied.Context for Popular Jewish tale, versions of which have been adapted to picture books.Story:Target With some alteration, could be suitable for younger audiences, but in currentAudience(s): form, it might go over the heads of preschoolers. Should alter voice between the two characters, with the Rabbi sounding veryPerformance grave and giving careful consideration to the man’s problems, and the manNotes: sounding increasingly frustrated/panicked. Would pair with tales of fools--portrays a fool of a different sort.Related Stories: Gaining wisdom,Themes: 13 Storytelling Future File
  • 15. Title of Story: “The Man Who Had No Story”Citation: Yolen, J. (1986). Favorite folktales from around the world. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 20-23. A man is forced to seek shelter after being out all day working. He is given shelter, but then asked to tell a fairy tell. The man replies that this is something that he has never done and cannot do. So the woman asks him to go to the well for some water instead. He gets lost and stumbles upon a wake where he is asked to play the fiddle, which he has never done, but he soon finds that he is playing the fiddle as well as anyone ever could. Then, at the wake, there is a call for a priest, and the man is asked to act in this role, which he never hasSummary: done, but soon finds himself saying the Mass. When they try to put the corpse in the coffin, they find that he is too tall and part of his legs must be cut off by a doctor to fit him in the coffin. The man is asked to do this and soon finds himself taking care of this task as well as any doctor. On the way to the cemetery, the man is blown off course and soon finds himself outside the house where he sought shelter. He picks up the bucket of water and heads into the house. The woman again asks him to tell a fairy tale and this time he responds that he is a storyteller.Context for Seems to have originated in Ireland--reinforces the value/importance ofStory: storytelling.Target Because this is somewhat grim, probably would be best for teens and adults.Audience(s):Performance Serious tale, should be delivered at a measured pace/voiceNotes: Some versions of this tale can be quite scary/graphic. Story of Pat Diver fromRelated Stories: the More Bones collection of stories, for example. Storytellers and storytelling.Themes: 14 Storytelling Future File
  • 16. Title of Story: “Which is Best--Honey, Sugar, Salt?” attributed to GreeceCitation: Livo, N. J. (1999). Moon cakes to maize: Delicious world folktales. Golden, Colo: Fulcrum Resources. A king sends for his three daughters to ask each of them, in turn, “How much do you love me?” The first daughter responds that she loves him like sugar. The second daughter responds that she loves him like honey. The third daughter replies that she love him like meat loves salt. The king is offended and outraged at this answer and as punishment, marries her off to the first poor man he finds outside the castle. They live happily, but in poverty until the man is lucky to fall into some fortune through some magical pomegranates given to him by a water sprite. They use their fortune to build a palace and liveSummary: comfortably, but they also give freely to the poor. The king, hearing of their generosity, decides to visit the couple, but does not recognize his daughter. That night she orders a special meal to be prepared for the king. Half of the dishes would be cooked without salt and the other half, with. At dinner, the dishes without salt were served first and the king and all his courtiers gagged on the food. Then the dishes with salt are brought out and served, and the king and his company eat these hungrily. The daughter asks the king how he liked his meal and he apologizes for not being able to eat the dishes without salt--for they were not very good. At this point, the princess reveals who she is to the king and he realizes that her answer was the best one all along. Similar (almost identical tale) from India, Germany and England, all involvingContext for fathers and daughters and comparison of love to sugar and salt. The addition ofStory: the details about the daughter’s marriage and coming back into wealth make the story considerably longer.Target Probably older grade school and up. Very young children likely won’tAudience(s): understand the comparisons and the necessity of salt to add flavor.Performance Straightforward telling with a fairy-tale like quality (Cinderella and the like)Notes: and a happy ending. Dear as Salt is another version of the tale.Related Stories: Love like salt, princesses in exile,Themes: 15 Storytelling Future File
  • 17. Title of Story:Citation:Summary:Context forStory:TargetAudience(s):PerformanceNotes:Related Stories:Themes: 16 Storytelling Future File

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