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Folk Tales

The Lark and her Chicks

The Lark and her Chicks

    A Lark made her nest in a field of young wheat. As the days passed, the wheat stalks grew tall and the chicks, too, grew in strength.

    The Crow and the Pitcher

      In a spell of dry weather, when the Birds could find very little to drink, a thirsty Crow found a pitcher with a little water in it.

      The Goose that Laid Golden Eggs

      The Goose That Laid Golden Eggs

        There was once a countryman who possessed the most wonderful goose you can imagine, for every day when he visited the nest, the goose had laid a beautiful, glittering egg of pure gold.

        The Fox and the Grapes

        The Fox and the Grapes

          A Fox one day spied a beautiful bunch of ripe grapes hanging from a vine trained along the branches of a tree. The grapes seemed ready to burst with juice, and the Fox’s mouth watered as he gazed longingly at them.

          The Lion and the Mouse

            A Lion lay asleep in the forest, his great head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse came upon him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose.

            The Ants and the Grasshopper

              One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and begged for a bite to eat.

              The Tortoise and the Hare

              The Tortoise and the Hare

                A Hare was making fun of the Tortoise one day for being so slow.

                “Do you ever get anywhere?” he asked with a mocking laugh.

                No Room: A Christmas Legend

                No Room

                  Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, on the night before Christmas, a little child was wandering all alone through the streets of a great city. There were many people on the street, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, uncles and aunts, and even gray-haired grandfathers and grandmothers, all of whom were hurrying home with bundles of presents for each other and for their little ones. Fine carriages rolled by, express wagons rattled past, even old carts were pressed into service, and all things seemed in a hurry and glad with expectation of the coming Christmas morning

                  The Street of the Jewel

                  The Street of the Jewel

                    What this street was called, in very old times, Señor, no one knows: because the dreadful thing that gave to it the name of the Street of the Jewel happened on a long ago Christmas Eve.

                    I'm All Right

                    I’m All Right

                      We knew right from the start that Johnny was going to be a soldier. Even as a child, all his concentration was on the military. So we weren’t surprised when he joined the Marines right out of high school…

                      Wait Until Emmet comes

                      Wait Until Emmett Comes

                        A preacher was riding to one of the churches on his circuit when darkness fell. It was about to storm, and the only house nearby was an old mansion which was reputed to be haunted. The preacher clutched his Bible and said: “The Lawd will take care o’ me”…

                        The Devil's Christmas Gift

                        The Devil’s Christmas Gift

                          Away down South, an old custom dictates that if someone comes up to you on Christmas Day and says “Christmas gift” before y’all do, why y’all are obliged to give that person a present. Mind you, the custom does not say what sort of present y’all should give! But those of us who hail from the South consider ourselves to be gentlefolk. The gifts given and received in this manner are good enough to keep the custom alive and well…

                          Cow's Head

                          Cow’s Head

                            Oksana lived in a small house on the edge of town with her father, her stepmother and her stepsister. Oksana’s stepmother disliked Oksana, favoring her true daughter, Olena.
                            Soon after her father’s remarriage, Oksana found that all the housework fell to her while Olena idled her days away

                            Rising of Gouverneur Morris

                            The Rising of Gouverneur Morris

                              Gouverneur Morris, American minister to the court of Louis XVI, was considerably enriched, at the close of the reign of terror, by plate, jewels, furniture, paintings, coaches, and so on, left in his charge by members of the French nobility, that they might not be confiscated in the sack of the city.

                              A Gift from St. Nicholas

                              A Gift from Saint Nicholas

                                Claas Schlaschenschlinger was a wealthy cobbler living on New Street in New Amsterdam. He was a contented bachelor who could afford eight – eight mind you! – pairs of breeches and he had a little side business selling geese. He cut quite a figure in New Amsterdam society, and was happy being single, until he met the fair Anitje! She was as pretty as a picture, and Claas fell head over heels for her. He was not her only suitor, by any means. The local burgomaster was also courting the fair Anitje. But the burgomaster was a stingy, hard man, and in the end, Anitje gave her heart and hand to Claas…

                                Eavesdropper

                                Eavesdropper

                                  There is an old tale which claims that at midnight, on Christmas Eve, the cattle will kneel in the barn and speak with one another. Once an old Maryland man decided to test the tale by hiding in the barn at midnight to listen. So he climbed a rope to the window in the hayloft. He lay down on the rough gray boards, covered himself with hay and waited…

                                  Saint Nicholas and the Children

                                  St. Nicholas and the Children

                                    Two little children lived with their old grandmother in a remote place in the Canadian forest. They were twin children—a boy and a girl, Pierre and Estelle by name—and except for their dress it was not easy to tell them apart. Their father and mother had died in the springtime, and in the summer, they had left their old home because of its many sad memories and had gone to live with their old grandmother in a new home elsewhere.

                                    Ghosts of Red Creek

                                    The Ghosts of Red Creek

                                      A small party of gentlemen on the day before a crisp, cold Christmas, started from Gulfport in a large four-wheeled wagon for a thirty-mile drive into the wilderness of pine and a week’s sport after the deer. The tract of pine forest extended for miles with only a few habitations scattered through it. Red Creek drained this region into the Pascagoula River to the eastward.

                                      The First Christmas Tree

                                      The First Christmas Tree

                                        At the time when the Christ Child was born all the people, the animals, and the trees, and plants were very happy. The Child was born to bring peace and happiness to the whole world. People came daily to see the little One, and they always brought gifts with them.

                                        The Ice King

                                        The Ice King

                                          Once upon a time there was a village built on the bank of a wide river. During the spring, summer, and autumn the people were very happy. There was plenty of fuel and game in the deep woods; the river afforded excellent fish. But the Passamaquoddy dreaded the months when the Ice King reigned.

                                          The Snow Maiden

                                          The Snow Maiden

                                            Once upon a time there lived a peasant named Ivan and his wife, Marie. They were very sad because they had no children. One cold winter day the peasant and his wife sat near a window in their cottage and watched the village children playing in the snow. The little ones were busily at work making a beautiful snow maiden.

                                            No Fear

                                            No Fear

                                              He had just passed an abandoned missionary Baptist church when the forest grew quiet around him. The cicadas stopped singing, the night creatures went silent, and the breeze died to a whisper. In the silence, he heard something sliding through the trees on his right.

                                              The Soldier

                                              The Soldier’s Ghost

                                                I’d just reached the old the hunting trail that led to the other side of the low gap. It was a short cut that sliced nearly two miles off my trip, which sounded good to me. But I never used the trail at night, because it was reputed to be haunted.

                                                Bloody Mary Returns

                                                Bloody Mary Returns

                                                  My stepmother was vile. I guess most kids think that when their father remarries. But in this case, it was true. She only married Father because he was rich, and she hated children. There were three of us – me (Marie), my middle brother Richard and my youngest brother Charles. We were the price my stepmother Gerta paid for being rich. And we were all that stood between her and inheriting Father’s money when he died. So she took steps against us.

                                                  Phantom lovers of Dismal Swamp

                                                  Phantom Lovers of Dismal Swamp

                                                    He couldn’t believe it when she fell ill just a few short weeks before their marriage. His betrothed was beautiful, strong, and healthy, but she just faded away before his eyes. He held her in his arms as she gasped out her last breathe, and was inconsolable long after her body lay buried beside the Dismal Swamp…

                                                    The Fox's Tail: A Fable

                                                    The Fox’s Tail

                                                      A Man caught a Fox, and asked her: “Who has taught you Foxes how to cheat the dogs?”

                                                      The Water Sprite: A Fable

                                                      The Water Sprite

                                                        Once upon a time, a man lost his favorite axe in the river. After much searching, he sat down on the bank in grief and began to weep.
                                                        The Water-sprite heard the man crying and took pity on him. He brought a gold axe out of the river, and said: “Is this your axe?”

                                                        The Canary and the Wasp: A Fable

                                                        The Canary and the Wasp

                                                          “Why do people not treat me as they treat you?” said a Wasp to a Canary on bright summer morning. “What do you mean?” asked the Canary as he preened his bright feathers.