L is for Loving Laughter—A to Z Blog Challenge

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Hope & Healing…folktales around the world that beat back viruses. Each post highlights one or more balms to soothe and cure our struggles of today with oral tradition and lore of the past. At times, a post will make a connection to history. You can guess what inspired this theme. Yes, the COVID-19. What better time to delve into tales where things can and do turn out “happily ever after”?

Loving Laughter

From Norway-

There really is the phrase “clergyman’s throat” and I am positive it came from this story. Now you will have to look it up.

50-word-or-less summary:

Clergyman taught student certain healing through magic. Clergyman has sore throat. Dying!Despite his wisdom, he cannot save himself. Student attempted magical means and looked like fool. Clergyman laughed and fishbone dislodged. Saved by laughter!

Finding the Story: Hodne, Ørnulf. The Types of the Norwegian Folktale. Bergen: Universitetsforlaget, 1984. https://www.amazon.com/Types-Norwegian-Folktale-Serie-B-Skrifter/dp/8200068498/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=Hodne%2C+%C3%98rnulf.+The+Types+of+the+Norwegian+Folktale.+Bergen%3A+Universitetsforlaget%2C+1984.&qid=1585810014&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Compare to History:

“Laughing gas” could be considered a type of magic. Nitrous oxide was discovered in 1772 by Joseph Priestly though wasn’t used for anaesthesia until 1844. Yet, we need to thank Stephen Hales in the early 1700s to create some kind of device to even contain the future “laughing gas.”

More on the History: https://edu.rsc.org/feature/nitrous-oxide-are-you-having-a-laugh/2020202.article

From England-

This story is a Jack tale—as in “the” Jack and the beanstalk—and his stories have travelled to America. There are tons of versions and variants of this one.

50-word-or-less summary:

Mother sent Jack to get job. At end of day, Jack was paid. Each time was random item from butter to ham to kitten. Jack carried items back wrong. Always promised to remember previous way to future way…led to carrying donkey. Princess cannot laugh/depressed. Sees Jack/donkey. Laughed! Cured!

Finding the Story: https://books.google.com/books?id=hI8C15_nFNIC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=jack+laughing+princess&source=bl&ots=N29_8yG7hT&sig=ACfU3U0Aoi3MipwPYstA8kjCRIzevrVuYA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwirtOL_3unoAhXPGM0KHX6zBlIQ6AEwDnoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=jack%20laughing%20princess&f=false

Compare to History:

Laughter is truly the best medicine. I did a research paper in high school on it. You increase endorphins when you swallow saliva after laughing. Ten seconds of rigorous laughter equals ten minutes of rowing. The article linked below shares 11 benefits.

More on the History: https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/539632/scientific-benefits-having-laugh

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings in process of being adapted due to COVID-19.

Our 2020 Festival has been transformed into Story Crossroads Spectacular, a virtual experience. See here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/spectacular on May 13, 2020 starting at 9am MDT with events all day.

We thank our funders such as National Endowment for the Arts, Utah Division of Arts and Museums, Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, Zoo, Arts & the Parks of Salt Lake County (ZAP), City of Murray, Salt Lake City Arts Council, and many other businesses and individuals. Join us in the support by donating today!

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