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American Folk Tales, Myths & Legends: A to Z

Click on a letter to read a summary of the American folk tales beginning with that letter.
AB CD EF GH IJ KL MN OP QR ST UV WX YZ

A

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B

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C

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D

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E

  • Eavesdropper
    A Maryland man learns a hard lesson about eavesdropping.

  • Echoes
    A Minnesota settler longs for the echoing mountains of home.

  • Ethan Allen
    Ethan Allen gets a toothache.

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F

  • The Fisherman and the Bear
    An old fisherman meets his match. (Maine)

  • The First Tears
    Eskimo tale about the origins of tears. (Alaska)

  • The Fifty-cent Piece
    A couple spend a night at a haunted house. (New York)

  • The Flying Canoe
    A group of lonely lumberjacks pay a bitter price when they go home for New Years. (Quebec)
  • Fog
    If you thought England's fogs were thick, you should see a fog in Maine.

  • Frozen Flames
    What do you do when the lanterns freeze? Call Paul Bunyan. (Michigan)

  • Fur-Bearing Trout
    Colorado Fisherman developed a new trout catching technique following the visit of a hair tonic salesman.

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G

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H

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I

  • Invisible hands
    A couple of Comstock miners meet a couple of bucca working the late shift.

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J

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K

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L

  • La Llorona
    The ghost of a woman searches the river banks for her sons.

  • La Mala Hora
    A woman meets a spectre on her way to a friend's house.

  • The Lady in Lace
    A beautiful ghost walks the shores near Pebble Beach, California.

  • The Log Jam
    Paul Bunyan and Babe clear a log jam in Wisconsin.

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M

  • The Maid of the Mist
    The tale of the maiden who lived behind the falls of Niagara and the origin of the famous horseshoe falls.
  • Milk bottles
    Day after day, a woman comes to the store for milk and leaves without paying.

  • Mississippi Mosquitoes
    And you thought your mosquitoes were bad!

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N

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O

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P

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Q

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R

  • Rabbit Plays Tug-of-War
    Rabbit tricks two water Snakes into playing tug-of-war.

  • Rainbow Crow
    The snow has come to Earth and all the animals are freezing. Can Rainbow Crow save them?

  • Riverboat Racing
    An old woman is afraid of racing, until her riverboat is challenged by a rival. (Kentucky)

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S

  • Sam Hyde
    Old Sam Hyde tells a tall tale and earns himself a glass of cider.

  • Sangamon County
    Where is the most beautiful place in the world? (Illinois)

  • The Sheep Herder's Lawsuit
    A sheep herder bleats himself out of a heavy fine in the "baa"-verlous story!

  • Sinks
    Nevada rivers flow into a series of lakes with no outlets. So what happens to all that water? It sinks!

  • The Skeleton's Lantern
    An eight-foot skeleton roams the Arizona desert near Yuma.

  • Slide-Rock Bolters
    Tourists, beware! Deep in the mountains of Colorado lurk the slide-rock bolters.

  • Spuyten Duyvil
    New Amsterdam is under attack. Can a brave trumpeter warn the people in time? (New York)

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T

  • The Talking Mule
    Even mules deserve a day off now and then. (South Carolina)

  • Taming the Whistling River
    Paul Bunyan gets tired of being mocked by the Whistling River and decides to do something about it. (Minnesota)

  • The Telltale Seaweed
    An overnight stay in an abandoned Cape Cod house reveals a ghost. (Massachusetts)

  • Teething Toy
    What would you give your baby to teeth on if you lived in Deadwood, South Dakota?

  • Tommy Knockers
    The spirits of departed miners help miners find ore and knock on the walls right before a cave-in.

  • The Trickster Tricked
    (In which Terrapin the Turtle outwits the Trickster Rabbit)
    Turtle and Rabbit decide to run a race. Guess who wins?

  • The Twist-Mouth Family
    Find out what a college education is good for.

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U

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V

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W

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X

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Y

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Z

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