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94 stories

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A Legend of Flowers

By

The children cried for honey, and the mothers took little bark baskets into the woods to search for the sweet food. But they returned with empty baskets.

OceaniaAustralia

A Mine of Frogs

Unknown writer

There are several accounts in natural history of toads being found in the hearts of trees, and in solid rocks, wholly enclosed and shut up from the air and all appearance of food, and being taken alive out of such situations.

EuropeEngland

Adzanumee and her Mother

By and

The woman thought, ‘if only this fine yam were a daughter, how happy I should be.’ To her astonishment the yam answered, ‘If I were to become your daughter, would you promise never to reproach me with having been a yam?’

AfricaEast Africa

Anansi and Nothing

By and

This is why, if you find a child crying and ask the cause, you will often be told he is ‘crying for nothing.’

AfricaEast Africa

Anansi the Blind Fisherman

By and

Anansi continued his fishing with the help of two men. The latter were exceedingly kind to him, and aided him in every possible way. But instead of being grateful to them, Anansi behaved very badly.

AfricaEast Africa

Bluebeard

By

‘This small key belongs to one small room on the ground‑floor, and this you must not open, or you will repent it sore.’

EuropeEngland

Devapala

By

Devapala came to a river swollen by the flood and very hard to ford. On the other side of the river he saw floating an image of Jina. Now no good Hindu would let an image of Jina be tossed about in the rushing river.

South AsiaIndia

Dimian the Peasant

By

He was harsh by nature, this Dimian, and wanted everything to go his own way. If any one talked or acted against him, Dimian's fists were soon prepared for answer.

EuropeRussia

Elidor, or the Golden Ball

By

There appeared to the boy two little men, saying: ‘If thou wilt come with us, we will lead thee into a land full of sports and delights.’

EuropeWales

Elves in Scotland: Changelings

By

One night John Roy was going over the mountains, when he fell in with a company of Elves, whose mode of travelling clearly indicated that they were carrying a person off with them.

EuropeScotland

Elves in Scotland: Spiteful Tricks

By

A thick fog concealed the road, and confused his senses. Every stone was, in the farmer's eyes, as large as a mountain; every little brook seemed to flow in an opposite direction.

EuropeScotland

Elves in Scotland: the Brownie

By

So cheap and useful a servant is naturally very valuable, but cannot be obtained with money. He continues in a family so long as a member of it survives.

EuropeScotland

Father Frost

By

The Frost knew all about the weakness of human beings; he knew very well that few of them are really good and kind.

EuropeRussia

Frolic of the Wild Things

By and

Lean Gray Wolf comes creeping, creeping, creeping up. He smells in the snow the tracks of the little white rabbits. He sniffs, and sniffs, and sniffs.

North AmericaNative American Tribes

How Manabozho Made the Land

By

Once there was a flood over all the world. ‘Save us, Manabozho,’ cried the Ox. The Beaver and the Moose and the tricky Raccoon cried for help; so did the Elk and the Wolf, the Fox and the Hopper, and all the rest.

North AmericaNative American Tribes

How Manabozho Went Fishing

By

Manabozho heard how the king of the fishes was treating the little fishes. He sent him word that he was to stop, but Me-she-nah-ma-gwai did not obey. ‘Very well,’ said Manabozho; ‘I shall punish this ruler.’

North AmericaNative American Tribes

How Summer Conquered Winter

By

There was silence for several moments, then the Winter Manito laid aside his scepter of ice and said, ‘Thou art welcome.’

North AmericaNative American TribesIroquois

How the Cobbler cheated the Devil

By

In the days when strange things used to happen in the world, and the devil himself used sometimes to walk about in it in a bare-faced fashion, he came to a very small town where he resolved to stay a while to play some of his tricks.

EuropeEngland

How the Moon became Beautiful

By

The Moon was sad. So one evening he went to see the beautiful maiden Tseh-N’io. And when he saw her he loved her at once.

East AsiaChina

How we got the Name ‘Spider Tales’

By and

Nyankupon was amazed at Spider's cleverness in fulfilling the three conditions. He immediately gave him permission for the future to call all the old tales Anansi tales.

AfricaEast Africa

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