SYNOPSES of FOLKTALE
a Korean foiktale told by Mrs. Yoo
and In Wook Yoo
from GETTING THE WHOLE WORLD
BY THE TALE, Lucy De Vries Duffy, ed
A bridegroom has spent years filling a box
with tales. The tales plan to escape on his wedding day. Hearing
the plan, the bridegroom agrees to open the box a tiny bit, letting
one tale out at a time. He opens the box such a small crack, however,
that at first only fragments of nursery rhymes escape. Hear a sound
slip of the opening by clicking here.
(Performance by third and fourth grade students of Worthington Hooker
Elementary School with Timothy Bingham, narrator)
2. GOOSE RHYME MEDLEY
Fragments of rhymes many English-speaking children have
3. MICE CONSULATATION
an Indian folktale told by Pinky Chakrabarty
A man is troubled by mice and acquires
a cat. The mice discuss how to get rid of the cat, but no plan seems
just right. Putting a bell around the cats neck seems the
best idea. But putting a bell around a cats neck is
not so easy.
4. THE TOAD AND THE FLY
a Philippine folktale told by
A fly, caught by a toad1 confuses
him by begging him to eat her. He does not want to fulifll her wish,
so he lets her go. The toad is proud and never and never realizes
he has been tricked.
5. MOON CAKE DAY
a Chinese folktale told by Yi
It is long ago in China. A man gives his
wife a cake, telling her to wait until he returns from a long trip
before she eats it. She cannot wait. As soon as she has taken one
bite, she flies to the moon. The husband invents Moon Cake Day in
memoty of her.
6. APPLE HARVEST
an Irish folktale told by Gary
Two men argue about whether it had been
a good year for apples. A third man enters and takes sides for a
7. THE SPARROWS PROBLEM
an original Chinese folktaleby Tian
Hawks threaten a flock of spariows. The sparrows
invent a special way of saving themselves.
8. FIERCE CREATURE
a Kenyan folkiale submitted by Margaret
A caterpillar sneaks into hares house
to rest. Hare and many others fear that the caterpillar is a terrible
beast until frog enters and sets things straight.
9. LITTLE WALKING TREE
a Venezuelan foIktale told by Eileen
Rabbit and Monkey play a trick on Tiger. On
seeing how angry Tiger becomes, Rabbit disguises himself as a little
tree. Little Walking Tree gets so thirsty that he has to go to the
water. Tiger finds him there and learns who tricked him.
10. CLEONA AND THE EVIL BABD
an Irish folkiale told by Colleen
Evil Babd kidnaps the newborn prince and exiles
the princes mother on a rock in the sea. Years later, fairies
and horses find them. Babd turns herself into a crow and flies over
the sea to get them back, but the noe-grown prince, with his new
powers, makes Babd remain a crow forever before returning to his
11. THE FOOLISH MAN
a Korean folktale by Ah Reum Kim
A foolish man leaves his precious silks with
the Buddha, planning to collect payment the following day. In the
night, bandits come and take the cloth. The foolish man returns
expecting his money. In anger, he pushes over the Buddha and discovers
treasure the bandits have left there.
an original American folktale by
A turtle walks on a beach. A giant crab jumps
on his back. The turtle tries to shake him off but does not
succeed. This is how the turtle got his shell.
13. THE TRIAL OF THE EGG
an Israeli folktale told by Amos
Two shepards eat lunch. One, still hungry,
asks the other for his boiled egg and promises to replace it after
a time. When the egg is not replaced, the angry shepherd demands
money in return, saying that the egg would have hatched by now into
hens who in turn would have hatched more eggs. The matter is taken
to King David, who rules in favor of the angry shepherd. Prince
Solomon, then only a child, does not agree and makes an ingenious
plan to prove the kind wrong.
14. AN OLD MAN WHO MAKES FLOWERS BLOOM
a Japanese folktale by Meriko Iwai
A kind old couple find gold on a mountain.
Ajealous old neighbor tries to find gold the same way and fails.
In his rage, he kills the couples dog. A tree grows where
the dog is buried, and from the tree the kind old man makes a wooden
bowl and places rice in it which turns to gold. The nasty neighbor
sees the bowl, puts rice in it, but gets stones instead of gold.
In his rage he burns the bow. The kind old couple scatter the ashes
of the bowl all around, and flowers begin blooming in winter. Hearing
the story, the emperor gives the couple more gold as a gift.
15. THE THREE HUNTERS
a funny folkiale from Yugoslavia
told by Sasa Durasevik
This story is told in Mr. Duraseviks
Once upon a time there were three friends,
well known hunters. Two were without their weapons and the third
one didnt have a gun. One day they went hunting for rabbits.
After half a day walking through woods and chasing rabbits, they
suddenly did not see anyone. Two rabbits ran away and the hunters
didnt catch the third one. So they took the rabbit they didnt
catch and brought it to the neavby house that didnt have roof,
walls or windows. They asked the housekeeper that wasnt there
to lend them a pot so they could cook the rabbit they didnt
catch. He said that he had three pots, two broken and one without
a bottom. The hunters were very happy, took one without bottom and
cooked the rabbit they didnt catch. They enjoyed the food
that wasnt there and happily went back to their village.
16. THE HARE AND THE TURTLE
an original Chinese folktale told
by Michelle Liu
Hare and turtle brag ahout who is stronger
and can win a race. They choose a large rock to drag. The race begins.
Turtles tail breaks and he yells for the race to stop. The
moral Of the stoty: do not tease, for there are reasons why things
are the way they are.
17. HOW PIZZA WAS INVENTED
an original North American folktale
by Rollin Hutner~OBrien
Dairy, vegetable and bakery markets ply their
separate trades. One day they discover that their ads have been
placed side by side in the newspaper. They get into a food fight.
The resulting mess on the sidewalk is tasted; pizza.
18. THE BLUEFISH STORY
an original international* folktale
by Taylor Jones storytellers
narration by Ms. Jones.
Macintosh, the Bluefish, has a school of fish
which is threatened by a huge fishermans net. Macintos saves
them all by leaping into the fishermens boat. As he dies,
he finds himself in fresh, green water. His beloved school appears,
and he sees that families of fish are reproducing and happy. He
realizes that everything is going to be all right. ("He has
entered fish heaven," said Taylor.)
*The tale is "international" because
it takes place in international waters.
19. FINALE: PEACE BE WITH YOU
(with regrets that
we could not use many more languages)
FOLKTALE OPERAS is the culminating
project of an Arts-in-Education Residency program funded by a grant
from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, a state agency whose
funds arerecommended by the governor and appropriated by the state
legislature, and by a grant from the New Haven Public Education