K is for Knock-out-of-the-Park Kissing—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”?

Knock-out-of-the-Park Kissing—

From Italy-

When a spouse dies, can one think of remarrying? In the story “She-Bear,” a king faces this dilemma. He promises his dying wife to marry only someone as beautiful as her. After intense search, the only one is his daughter named Preziosa. Alarmed, she must flee.

50-word-or-less summary:

King promised to remarry as beautiful as first wife. Only Preziosa, daughter. Cried! Woman appeared. Gave Preziosa wooden block to place in mouth to transform as bear. Ran! Prince spied bear turn into woman and back again. Prince pale/sick with pining. Queen begged bear/woman to kiss son. Block dislodged. Marriage!

Version of She-Bear story: https://www.worldoftales.com/European_folktales/Italian_folktale_15.html

Compare to History:

Kissing a donkey—or any other animal with big teeth like rodents—was believed in German folklore to cure toothaches. A whole book was dedicated to this dental folklore written by Leo Kanner in 1923. From the She-Bear story, the prince was certainly cured of his aches! Now tooth pain? Having a wooden block dislodged and flying towards him? He better look for a donkey.

More on the History: https://bda.org/library/history/Documents/Featured%20folklore%202%20-%20Animals%20in%20Dental%20Folklore.pdf

From Germany-

How could we pass up a classic tale of Snow White when it came to knock-out-of-the-park kissing? Though this story came from real people and cultures as shared below.

50-word-or-less summary:

Miracle child. Queen died. New jealous queen. Snow White fled after hunter’s confession. Slept on seven tiny beds of dwarves. Intruder! No, I clean! Never mind then. Queen knows girl alive. Disguised. Three attempts to poison. Success on third time. Dwarves preserve girl. Prince kissed/resuscitated. Apple spit out. Married!

Finding the Story: Too many though… https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm053.html

Compare to History:

A gravestone exists for Snow White, Maria Sophia Von Erthal. The Diocesan Museum in Bamberg of southern Germany has exhibits and displays that feature facts and inspirations to the story we know today. There was a jealous queen. The land was close to inhabitants who were shorter in stature and specialized in making mirrors.

As for kissing itself, let’s jump topics and ponder the “kissing disease” known as Mono. This particular disease develops from the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Then, on April 16, 2018, it was published for the first time that this virus was linked and developed seven other major diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (JIA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes. This study will open more studies…and hopefully will lead to a vaccine for EBV. Right now, once EBV is in you, it is there for life. So those kisses…last forever, too? May they be healing kisses to resuscitate you for the eternities.

More on the History: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-europe-49234674 – on real Snow White, https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/news/release/2018/mono-virus – about Mono also known as “kissing disease”

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!

L is for Golden Lucky-Bird Huma’, Leg, Lamb, & Leaf–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019LWe 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 Golden…And All Things That Glimmer.  Each post highlights golden items from a folktale from around the world. Each time you have to wonder, is something that is golden a blessing, a curse, or both?

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.

Golden Lucky Bird Huma’-

Compassion and greed seem to go hand in hand. This reminds me of the Golden Elephant Tusks shared earlier.

Kashmir, India – https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/goldfowl.html#kashmir

50-word-or-less summary:

Lucky Bird Huma’ took pity on poor man. Gave golden egg while man slept. Shopkeeper promises more wealth for bird. Man pretends to sleep. Captures bird. Bird says burn feather to travel to his land, receive gold. Man prefers bird. Bird dies. Man burns feather. Bird revived. Man still poor.

Golden Leg-

So we have Golden Arm (America mainly), Golden Hand (England), and now Golden Leg (Germany). I enjoy the differences and similarities. So really…beware of any golden body parts!

Germany – https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0366.html#goldenleg

50-word-or-less summary:

Girl slips on ice and loses leg. Surgeon says best to have golden leg. Wrong! Death himself arrives and tells mother the girl must come with her. Perhaps Death and girl seen by gravedigger? Gravedigger steals golden leg. At midnight, girl-ghost demands golden leg for three nights. Finally returned. RIP.

Golden Lamb-

Several picture books have shared of this classic tale that is much like the Golden Goose. This Hungarian one is more delightful to me.

Hungary – https://www.amazon.com/Little-Golden-Lamb-Ellin-Greene/dp/0395715261

50-word-or-less summary:

Shepherd-boy plays flute and sheep dance. Farmer promised any wages asked. Golden lamb born-only that. Lamb given. Flute-playing causes lamb to dance. Boy stays at inn. Innkeeper’s daughter touches golden fleece. Stuck! More people. Stuck! Boy plays flute and all dance. Makes princess laugh. Three bags of gold…and marriage.

Golden Leaf-

This does not qualify as a folktale though has some of the qualities of one. Enjoy this original modern fable created by Kirsten Hall and beautifully illustrated by Matthew Forsythe.

Modern Fable – https://www.amazon.com/Gold-Leaf-Kirsten-Hall/dp/1592702147/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=golden+leaf+picture+book&qid=1555159003&s=books&sr=1-3

50-word-or-less summary:

Tree grows one golden leaf. All animals want it. Warbler snatches it for nest. Chipmunk steals from Warbler. More animals steal until golden leaf in tatters. Next spring comes. Golden leaf appears, but animals enjoy it from afar. Happiness is not in possession but knowledge that it is there.

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.