WHAT IS A FOLKTALE?
- A story passed on from generation to generation.
- Shared orally.
- No known author. Over time the tale probably was:
- Added to
- Subtracted from
- Particular to the culture of its place of origin.
- General because the issues dealt with — food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, are the same everywhere.
- The vehicle for carrying forward the traditions and values of a people.
- So, folktales are universal stories affording us glimpses of other lives, moving us to a reflection on the similarity between these other lives and ours.
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Rama lived in a sleepy coastal village. Some villagers farmed, others fished. Rama read.
Rama’s hut was filled with books from floor to ceiling. Rama-Nose-In-Book the villagers called him.
One night a cobra came slithering, with a blood-curdling hiss that shattered the stillness of the night. Next morning four hens were missing.
The day after a clutch of eggs and two rabbits could not be accounted for. “A snake,” whispered the villagers. They armed themselves for battle, but could find no trace of the snake’s coming and going. Read the rest of this entry
There was once, a very long time ago, a dragon that came to live in the town of Utrecht. Where he came from nobody knew. One day there wasn’t, and the next day there was a dragon in Utrecht.
According to legends dragons come from eggs. But not dragon eggs! When a hen lays an egg without a yolk, and a turtle hatches it, then magically a dragon is born.
Oh, a terrible creature is the dragon. It has a poisonous poky spine. It’s eyes shoot forth flames. One look into those dreadful eyes: you fall down dead. Read the rest of this entry
Truth trudged sadly down the road. His shoulders sagged, a frown creased his brow. Multi-hued fable danced by his side.
“Why is it,” truth asked his friend, “that people don’t listen to me? We say the same things — you and I.”
“Let me tell you a story ,” replied fable. Read the rest of this entry