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New Folklore Stories

Pull up a chair or gather round the campfire and get ready to read the latest folk tales, creepy ghost stories, and extremely tall tales from AmericanFolklore.net

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.

          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.

              Der Belznickel

              Der Belznickel

                My sisters and my baby brother danced about the house, whispering to each other excitedly about the coming of der Belznickel on that snowy December 5th evening, the day before the Feast of Saint Nicholas. According to the stories, the good Saint Nicholas chains up the Devil on the eve of his Birthday – December 6th — and makes him visit all of the children in the village to see if they have been behaving themselves and deserved the attention of Kirstkindel.

                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 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.

                        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.

                          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.

                              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.

                                    The Peaches: A Fable

                                    The Peaches

                                      A Farmer went to town, on a market day, and bought five peaches. He gave one to his wife, and one to each of his four sons. The next day he said to his sons, “Well, what have you done with your peaches?”

                                      Don't you Fish on Sunday

                                      Don’t You Fish on Sunday

                                        Jonah was a big strong man who worked as a carpenter. Most everyone in town liked him, but they all knew that his weakness was fishing. Jonah would go fishing every chance he got; even on Sundays when everyone else was in church. And that got folks in town riled up. There was a rumor – started so long ago no one could remember the details – that bad luck would come to anyone who fished that part of the river on a Sunday. For decades, pious folks had avoided the river on the Lord’s Day, just to be safe.

                                        Scraping the Clouds: An Inuit Legend

                                        Scraping the Clouds

                                          Long ago, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, two Inuit boys were walking from their own home to a far-away village. While they were going along, a terrible storm overtook them, and they had to hold each other by the hand to keep from falling.

                                          Ghost of Sunrise Rock

                                          The Ghost of Sunrise Rock

                                            Some years before the outbreak of the Civil War, a man with his wife and daughter took up their residence in a log cabin at the foot of Sunrise Rock, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. It seemed probable that they had known better days, for the head of the household was believed to get his living through “writin’ or book-larnin’,” but was fairly useless at hunting and farming.

                                            Strangers

                                            Strangers

                                              Wallen’s Ridge, a rough eminence about a dozen miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was once an abiding place of Cherokee Indians, among whom lived Arinook, their medicine-man, and his daughter. The girl was pure and fair, and when a passing hunter from another tribe saw her one day at the door of her father’s home he was so struck with her charm of person and her engaging manner that he resolved not to return to his people until he had won her for his wife.

                                              The drummer--Nunivak. Nunivak native playing a very large drum.

                                              The Giant’s Drum

                                                Long ago, in a village in Alaska, there lived a man with his wife and five sons, of whom they were very proud.
                                                One day the oldest son came to his father and said, “Father we have always been in the same place, and seen the same kind of people. I think it is time for me to go in search of another village and see something of the world.”

                                                The Giant's Cave

                                                The Giant’s Cave

                                                  Long ago, near the mouth of the Copper Mine River, which flows into the Arctic River, there lived an enormous giant. His cave was not far from an Inuit village, and he kept the people of that village in constant terror because when he could not get enough whale meat, or seal to eat, he would capture the little children and eat them up.

                                                  Why Crow's Feathers are Black

                                                  Why Crow’s Feathers are Black

                                                    Long ago, when crows were white, a crow and an owl sat on a log, talking together.

                                                    The crow said he did not like his color, and the owl said, “I wish I had some pretty spots on my back.”

                                                    “So do I,” said the crow. “Let us paint each other with black oil from the lamp.”

                                                    Why Sis Pig Can See the Wind

                                                    Why Sis Pig Can See the Wind

                                                      Did you hear how come that old Sis Pig can see the wind? You never heard that? Well, maybe you have noticed, many and many a time, how unrestful, and distracted-like the pigs are, when the wind blows, and how they squeal, and run this way and that way? Well, sir, all that is going on because pigs can see the wind.

                                                      A Cave of Skulls

                                                      A Cave of Skulls

                                                        Near the upper Hiawassee is a cave where a pile of human skulls was found by a man who had put up his cabin near the entrance. For some reason, which he says he never understood, this farmer gathered up the old, bleached bones and dumped them into his shed.

                                                        How Brother Terrapin Rode in the Clouds

                                                        How Brother Terrapin Rode in the Clouds

                                                          One day, old Brother Terrapin was a-grumbling and a-fussing, because he had to creep on the ground. When he met Brother Rabbit, he grumbled because he can’t run like Brother Rabbit, and when he met Brother Buzzard, he grumbled because he can’t fly in the clouds like Brother Buzzard, and so on. Grumble, grumble, grumble. That was Brother Terrapin.

                                                          How Mr. Coon's Daughter Came to Marry Brother Terrapin

                                                          How Mr. Coon’s Daughter Came to Marry Brother Terrapin

                                                            Well now, Brother Deer and Brother Terrapin were both courting of Mr. Coon’s daughter. Brother Deer was right sure enough a gentleman, that he was, while old Brother Terrapin was a poor, slow, old man. All the creatures wondered how the girl could smile on Brother Terrapin with Brother Deer around, but I tell you old man Terrapin had a real taking way with the girls when he put his mind to it.

                                                            Mrs. Crockett Saves the Day

                                                              Shortly after I got married, I went to settle on the north side of the Big Muddy with my new wife, Mrs. Davy Crockett. Now a cousin of my wife’s packed his bags and came along with us. He had been to Cincinnati and had got a great education for them days. He could grammar-itize and geography-itize and philosophize.