What has inspired all this gold?–The Golden Spike with the 150th Transcontinental Railroad and the Spike 150 Grant for this year’s Story Crossroads Festival.
Mark Twain made “The Golden Arm” story famous though it was around way before he grabbed hold of it. Now, my 9-year-old and 11-year-old boys share it whenever it gets dark or when they want a good scare.
Twain’s version – http://folktale.net/golden_arm.html
I want to marry you because you have a golden arm…and other wonderful qualities. Oh no, you have died. You’re buried with that golden arm. You’re dead anyway. Perhaps I should not have taken it. Hearing voices! You can have it back!
England version – https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/eng/eft/eft25.htm
Same as before, but easier to read. I want to marry you because you have a golden arm…and other wonderful qualities. Oh no, you have died. You’re buried with that golden arm. You’re dead anyway. Perhaps I should not have taken it. Hearing voices! You can have it back!
So many countries have featured golden apple(s). Here’s one you probably already know…and perhaps one not as familiar.
Greek – https://www.theoi.com/Olympios/JudgementParis.html
Let’s write “To the Fairest” on a golden apple and see what trouble is to be caused. Whoops! This caught the attention of three Greek Goddesses. Paris gets many wonderful offers, but who can top getting Helen of Troy? Another Whoops! We now have war.
Bulgarian – https://fairytalez.com/the-nine-pea-hens-and-golden-apples/
Who would want to steal golden apples? Perhaps we need to send the emperor’s son to check it out? Snore. By the third son, we finally figure it out. Oh, nine pea-hens. One stays behind. Young man falls in love. Watch out for the witch! Happiness.
It’s always good to be honest. No matter where you live. This tale has traveled across continents–Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Unknown Country –http://leverettfolktales.blogspot.com/2012/06/gold-ax-and-silver-axe.html
Man takes care of sick mother. Proves he is great guy. Man chops down tree for firewood. Splash! Ax fell down due to loose grip. Bummer. A holy ghost of the forest brings up golden ax. Nope. Silver ax. Nope. Iron ax. Yep. You deserve all of them.
Korea – http://folkency.nfm.go.kr/en/topic/detail/5747
Woodsman chops wood. Splash! Ax fell down due to loose grip despite experience. He cries. Mountain god wonders why the crying (or for peace). Woodsman explains. The mountain god brings up golden ax. Nope. Silver ax. Nope. Steel ax. Yep. Gave all. Man hears about it, drops ax. No ax.
Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 15, 2019 with free performances May 13-16, 2019 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2019-schedule/.
We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the Utah Department of Heritage and Arts (Spike 150), the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.)