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The Folktale Project

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Who says you're too old for a good fairy tale? Reading original versions of folktales and fairy tales from around the world every Monday through Friday, this podcast is for everyone who has a love of the mystery that surrounds us and the ways we try to explain it.

Who says you're too old for a good fairy tale? Reading original versions of folktales and fairy tales from around the world every Monday through Friday, this podcast is for everyone who has a love of the mystery that surrounds us and the ways we try to explain it.
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Who says you're too old for a good fairy tale? Reading original versions of folktales and fairy tales from around the world every Monday through Friday, this podcast is for everyone who has a love of the mystery that surrounds us and the ways we try to explain it.




The Fairy

Once upon a time there was a widow who had two daughters. The elder was so much like her, both in looks and character, that whoever saw the daughter saw the mother. They were both so disagreeable and so proud that there was no living with them. The younger, who was the very picture of her father for sweetness of temper and virtue, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother doted on her elder daughter, and at the same time...


Little Tuk

Little Tuk! An odd name, to be sure! However, it was not the little boy’s real name. His real name was Carl; but when he was so young that he could not speak plainly, he used to call himself Tuk. It would be hard to say why, for it is not at all like “Carl”; but the name does as well as any, if one only knows it. Little Tuk was left at home to take care of his sister Gustava, who was much younger than himself; and he had also to learn his lesson. Here were two things to be done at the same...


The Goblin and The Huckster

There was once a regular student, who lived in a garret and had no possessions. And there was also a regular huckster, to whom the house belonged, and who occupied the ground floor. A goblin lived with the huckster because at Christmas he always had a large dishful of jam, with a great piece of butter in the middle. The huckster could afford this, and therefore the goblin remained with him—which was very shrewd of the goblin. One evening the student came into the shop through the back door...


The Wicked Prince

There lived, once upon a time, a wicked prince whose heart and mind were set upon conquering all the countries of the world, and on frightening the people; he devastated their countries with fire and sword, and his soldiers trod down the crops in the fields and destroyed the peasants’ huts by fire, so that the flames licked the green leaves off the branches, and the fruit hung dried up on the singed black trees. Many a poor mother fled, her naked baby in her arms, behind the still smoking...


Sun, Moon and Talia

It is a well-known fact that the cruel man is generally his own hangman; and he who throws stones at Heaven frequently comes off with a broken head. But the reverse of the medal shows us that innocence is a shield of fig-tree wood, upon which the sword of malice is broken, or blunts its point; so that, when a poor man fancies himself already dead and buried, he revives again in bone and flesh, as you shall hear in the story which I am going to draw from the cask of memory with the tap of...



There was once a father who had thirteen sons, the youngest of whom was named Thirteenth. The father had hard work to support his children, but made what he could gathering herbs. The mother, to make the children quick, said to them: “The one who comes home first shall have herb soup.” Thirteenth always returned the first, and the soup always fell to his share, on which account his brothers hated him and sought to get rid of him. The king issued a proclamation in the city that he who was...



I once heard say that Juno went to Candia to find Falsehood. But if any one were to ask me where fraud and hypocrisy might truly be found, I should know of no other place to name than the Court, where detraction always wears the mask of amusement; where, at the same time, people cut and sew up, wound and heal, break and glue together—of which I will give you one instance in the story that I am going to tell you. Host Dan Scholz Subscribe to The Folktale Project at...


The Daughter of The Rose

In days gone by, there dwelt a King and a Queen in Jassy, who, to keep their only son at home with them, were always making him fine promises, which they never fulfilled. One day this young Prince, Marin by name, went to his mother's apartments, and announced to her, that if she did not speedily bring to him the beautiful Princess from foreign parts which she had promised him to wife, he should set off in search of her himself. After waiting some weeks, finding that this promise was not...


The Gentle Shepherd

On the edge of a mountain, lovely as the entrance to paradise, see, coming along, and descending toward the valley, three flocks of young lambs, driven by three young shepherds; one is an inhabitant of the plains of Moldau, the other is Hungarian, the third is from the Vrantcha Mountain. The Hungarian and the Vranchian have held counsel together, and have resolved that at sunset they will kill their companion, on account of his riches, for he owns more horned sheep than they do, his horses...


The Ungrateful Woodcutter

Once on a time there lived in a village, a Woodcutter, so poor, so poor, that he had only his hatchet with which to gain bread for his wife and children. With difficulty could he earn six-pence a day, and it needed his wife and himself to rise early and go late to bed, so as to ensure them the coarsest food. Repose they had none. "What am I to do?" said he, one day, "I am worn out with fatigue, my wife and children have nothing to eat, and I have no longer strength to hold my hatchet, to...


The Origin of The Narwhal

A long, long time ago a widow lived with her young son and daughter in a small hut. They had a hard time to get enough to eat. But the boy was anxious to do all he could, and while he was still quite small he made a bow and arrows of walrus tusks which he found under the snow. With these weapons he shot birds for their food. He had no snow goggles and one day when the sun shone bright and he was hunting, he became utterly blind. He had a hard time finding his way back to the hut and when...


Iya, The Camp Eater

From the tall grass came the voice of a crying babe. The huntsmen who were passing nigh heard and halted. The tallest one among them hastened toward the high grass with long, cautious strides. He waded through the growth of green with just a head above it all. Suddenly exclaiming “Hunhe!” he dropped out of sight. In another instant he held up in both his hands a tiny little baby, wrapped in soft brown buckskins. “Oh ho, a wood-child!” cried the men, for they were hunting along the wooded...


Raven Makes an Ocean Voyage

One day Raven was sitting on a cliff near the sea when he saw a large whale passing close along the shore. “I have an idea!” said he. “I’m going to try something new.” Then he called out to the whale, “When you come up again, shut your eyes and open your mouth wide, and I’ll put something in it.” Then he drew down his mask, put his drill for making fire under his wing, and flew out over the water. Very soon the whale came up again and did as he had been told. Raven, seeing the wide open...


The Princess Who Lost Her Rings

Long ago there lived a lovely princess who owned the most beautiful rings in the whole world. She had rings set with diamonds and rings set with pearls. She had rings set with rubies and rings set with sapphires. She had rings set with emeralds and turquoises and amethysts and every other kind of precious stone. She had rings which had no precious stones in them, but which were wonderfully decorated with fine and delicate carving, wrought with great skill. This princess lived in a...


The Magic Mirror

It was proclaimed throughout the kingdom of Granada that the king had decided on marrying. The news was first told to the court barber, then to the night watchmen, and, in the third place, to the oldest woman in the city of Granada. The barber told all his customers, who again told all their friends. The night watchmen in crying the hour proclaimed the news in a loud voice, so that all the maidens were kept awake by thinking of the news, and by day they were being constantly reminded by...


Peter of the Pigs

Long ago there lived a man who employed a boy to take care of his pigs. The lad’s name was Peter and he was commonly called by every one in the countryside Peter-of-the-pigs. One day a man came up to him and said: “Sell me these seven pigs.” “I can’t sell but six of them,” said Peter. “I must keep one, but you may buy the other six if you will cut off their tails and ears and leave them for me.” The man promised to do this, and the boy pocketed the money. The six pigs looked sad enough...


The Monks at The Ferry

From time immemorial a ferry has existed from Andernach to the opposite side of the Rhine. Formerly it was more in use than at present, there being then a greater intercourse between the two shores of the river, much of which might be traced to the Convent of St. Thomas, once the most important and flourishing nunnery on the river. Close by this ferry, on the margin of the Rhine, but elevated somewhat above the level of the water, stands a long, roofless, ruinous building, the remains of...


Master Pfreim

Master Pfreim was a short, thin, but lively man, who never rested a moment. His face, of which his turned-up nose was the only prominent feature, was marked with small-pox and pale as death, his hair was gray and shaggy, his eyes small, but they glanced perpetually about on all sides. He saw everything, criticised everything, knew everything best, and was always in the right. When he went into the streets, he moved his arms about as if he were rowing; and once he struck the pail of a...


Our Lady's Child

Near a great forest dwelt a wood-cutter with his wife, who had an only child, a little girl three years old. They were, however, so poor that they no longer had daily bread, and did not know how to get food for her. One morning the wood-cutter went out sorrowfully to his work in the forest, and while he was cutting wood, suddenly there stood before him a tall and beautiful woman with a crown of shining stars on her head, who said to him, “I am the Virgin Mary, mother of the child Jesus....



The seizure by England of the country that soon afterward was rechristened Nova Scotia was one of the cruellest events in history. The land was occupied by a good and happy people who had much faith and few laws, plenty to eat and drink, no tax collectors nor magistrates, in brief, a people who were entitled to call themselves Acadians, for they made their land an Arcady. Upon them swooped the British ships, took them unarmed and unoffending, crowded them aboard their transports,—often...


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