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Folk Tales

Two Ghosts

Two Ghosts

    There lived a hunter in the north who had a wife and one child. His lodge stood far off in the forest, several days’ journey from any other. He spent his days in hunting, and his evenings in relating to his wife the incidents that had befallen him. As game was very abundant, he found no difficulty in killing as much as they wanted. Just in all his acts, he lived a peaceful and happy life.

    Osseo, Son of the Evening Star

    Osseo, Son of the Evening Star

      There once lived a man in the north, who had ten daughters, all of whom grew up to womanhood. They were noted for their beauty, but especially Oweenee, the youngest, who was very independent in her way of thinking. She was a great admirer of romantic places, and paid very little attention to the numerous young men who came to her father’s lodge for the purpose of seeing her. Her elder sisters were all solicited in marriage from their parents, and one after another, went off to dwell in the lodges of their husbands, or mothers-in-law, but she would listen to no proposals of the kind. At last she married an old man called Osseo, who was scarcely able to walk, and was too poor to have things like others. They jeered and laughed at her, on all sides, but she seemed to be quite happy, and said to them, “It is my choice, and you will see in the end, who has acted the wisest.”

      Origin of Corn

      The Origin of Corn

        In times past, a poor man was living with his wife and children in a beautiful part of the country. He was not only poor, but inexpert in procuring food for his family, and his children were all too young to give him assistance. Although poor, he was a man of a kind and contented disposition. He was always thankful to the Great Spirit for everything he received. The same disposition was inherited by his eldest son, who had now arrived at the proper age to undertake the ceremony of the Ke-ig-uish-im-o-win, or fast, to see what kind of a spirit would guide him through life

        The King of Sharks

          One day, the King of Sharks saw a beautiful girl swimming near the shore. He immediately fell in love with the girl. Transforming himself into a handsome man, he dressed himself in the feathered cape of a chief and followed her to her village…

          White Lady of Durand Eastman

          White Lady of Durand Eastman

            In the early 1800s, the White Lady and her daughter were supposed to have lived on the land where the Durand Eastman Park — part of Irondequoit and Rochester — now stands. One day, the daughter disappeared. Convinced that the girl had been raped and murdered by a local farmer, the mother searched the marshy lands day after day, trying to discover where her child’s body was buried…

            Piece By Piece

              There once was a crazy ghost over Poughkeepsie way that got folks so plumb scared that nobody would stay more than one night in its house. It was a nice old place, or was, until the ghost began making its presence known. It got so no one would enter the house, not even kids on a dare, and you know what they are like!…

              You Can’t Get Out

                One dark, windy night, the town drunk was meandering his way home after the bar closed. Somehow he got turned around and ended up walking through the churchyard instead of taking the road home…

                The Birth of Pecos Bill

                  Well now Pecos Bill was born in the usual way to a real nice cowpoke and his wife who were journeying west with their eighteen children. Bill’s Ma knew right from the start that he was something else. He started talkin’ before he was a month old, did his teething on his Pa’s bowie knife and rode his first horse jest as soon as he learned to sit up on his own. When he started to crawl, Pecos Bill would slither out of the wagon while his Mama was cookin’ supper and wrestle with the bear cubs and other wild animals that roamed the prairies….

                  Pecos Bill finds a Hard Outfit

                    Well now, Texas jest became too tame for Pecos Bill once he killed off all the bad men, so he struck out for New Mexico, looking for a hard outfit. He asked an old trapper he met on the way where he could find a hard outfit, and the trapper directed Bill to a place where the fellers bit nails in half for fun. It sounded like a promisin’ place to Bill, so he set off. But his durned fool hoss got its neck broke on the way, and Bill found himself afoot…

                    Pecos Bill and Slue-foot Sue

                      Now, Pecos Bill had a way with wimmen. No doubt. He had dozens of wives during his time. But his one true love was Slue-foot Sue. She was his first wife – and she could ride almost as good as Bill himself…

                      The Death of Pecos Bill

                        Now, Pecos Bill didn’t live forever. Nope, not even Bill could figure out how to do that. Here’s how he died…

                        The Skeleton’s Lantern

                          We were on our way back to Yuma following a futile attempt to find Pegleg’s lost gold mine out in the heat and dust of the desert. We stopped to make camp for the night between a rock and a hard place, and soon my friend Eddie was snoring loud enough to wake the dead. I drifted off myself, and started dreaming about the pretty girl I was engaged to marry…

                          The Crystal Mountain

                            According to the latest reports, there is a crystal mountain residing somewhere in Wyoming. You can’t see nothing of it, it being clear straight through. But folks hereabouts reckon its about three miles around at the base, on account of all the bones of birds which killed themselves crashing into the danged thing…

                            Cowboys in Heaven

                              After cow punching for nigh on fifty years, a Texas cowboy went on to his reward. There was considerable excitement in heaven when he reached the pearly gates…

                              The Talking Mule

                                A farmer owned a mule which he used for work all week. But being a Church-going man, he let the mule rest on Sunday.
                                One Sunday, the farmer had to go to a funeral. So he sent his son to saddle the mule.
                                “Since when do I have to work on Sunday?” asked the mule…

                                Palatine

                                  The Palatine gleamed in the sunlight as she set out with a full crew, a long list of passengers, and a hull full of merchandise for the American Colonies the winter of 1750-1751. Certainly, there was no indication that morning of the destiny fate had in store for her…

                                  Phantom Drummer

                                    Now when Colonel Howell of the British Army chanced to meet the daughter of the wealthy farmer Jarrett, who owned land near Valley Forge, he fell head-over-heels in love. Howell had a bit of a reputation as a womanizer, but it faded away after he met Ruth. The girl had a brother serving under Washington and none of her family liked the red coats, but so overwhelming was Howell’s love for her that it conquered the reluctant maiden’s heart…

                                    Adventure On the Rogue

                                      We were up-river with a tour group looking at all the natural beauties here on the Rogue River when I spied a young sasquatch hiding in the shadow of a tree near a gravel bank. I swung the tour-boat around so we could get a better look, and all the tourists exclaimed and took pictures. It’s not too unusual to see a sasquatch in the spring. That’s the time they migrate through here to their summer stomping grounds up North…

                                      Phantom Train Wreck

                                        The passengers were grumpy and heavy-eyed as they boarded the train in Salisbury during the early morning of August 27, 1891. The train was headed to Asheville, and the riders settled into their seats and tried to catch a few more minutes of sleep…

                                        Spuyten Duyvil

                                          Once in old New Amsterdam, there was a brave trumpeter named Anthony Van Corlaer who would blow his trumpet when Peter Stuyvesant wanted to call the people together…

                                          Lincoln Death Train

                                            I’d been transferred to the Hudson Division of the New York Central system, and was working the rails on the main line between New York and Albany. I was on the late shift to start with, since I was a bit of a night owl. After six weeks of stomping the tracks and mending the rails, I was feeling right at home in my new job…

                                            Moll DeGrow

                                              Moll DeGrow was a wicked witch who once lived on Gully Road in what is now Newark, New Jersey. She took delight in the misery of others, and made things miserable for the folks living near her. If a neighbor slighted her, she would sour their milk. If anyone called her a witch, she made their dogs turn vicious. People were very cautious around Moll De Grow…

                                              Ocean-Born Mary

                                                Elizabeth and James Wilson were Irish immigrants from Londonderry, Ireland. In 1720 they set sail for America. They had been granted some land in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and were hoping to start a new life there…

                                                Old Man Moses

                                                  It’s not hard to catch a meal in New Hampshire, no sir. Take my neighbor, Old Man Moses, who lives down a piece from me. One morning, Old Man Moses went out his kitchen door and found twelve turkeys on his fence…

                                                  Sinks

                                                    Nevada rivers empty into a series of small lakes which have no visible outlets. These lakes are called sinks because the water just sinks away…

                                                    Echoes

                                                      Following the Homestead Act of 1862, many Scandinavians pioneered the lands of the mid-West. These frontier settlers worked hard, and were justly proud of their new home in America. They were not above boasting about their new country, especially to settlers who came from the old…

                                                      Telltale Seaweed

                                                        Two sisters were motoring through Cape Cod late one stormy night in the early 1900’s when their car broke down in an unpopulated area. Seeing an old, neglected house nearby, they went to the door and tugged on the bell-pull. When no one answered, they looked through a nearby window whose shutter was banging in the bitter wind. The window was broken. Through the window, they could see a library. The dust lay heavy over everything…

                                                        The Shaggy Dog

                                                          There once was a woman traveling home from England who lost her pooch somewhere between Salem and Springfield. He was just about the shaggiest dog in the entire world; so shaggy you couldn’t tell which end was which until his tail started wagging…

                                                          The Twist-Mouth Family

                                                            A while back there was a family I know of – a mother, a father, and several children. Four of them had mouths that were twisted into strange shapes. The mother’s mouth twisted up while the father’s mouth twisted down. The sister’s mouth twisted left while the younger brother’s mouth twisted right. The eldest son John’s mouth was perfectly normal…

                                                            The Cursing of Colonel Buck

                                                              Now Colonel Buck was not what you’d call the most virtuous man in town. No sir! He had an eye for the ladies, did Colonel Buck, and he would chase them ’til he got what he wanted. Then he would drop them like a hot brick…