Y is for Youngest Youth & You-Bet-On-Luck—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”?

Youngest Youth & You-Bet-On-Luck—A to Z Blog Challenge-

From Hungary-

Ferko has jealous brothers to scheme to take his life…twice. They are poor so it is an awful way to find a solution. Though, focus on Ferko, the youngest of the three brothers, and his kindness despite his adversity. Though have you noticed that the youngest in folktales tend to have the best luck?

50-word-or-less summary:

Jealous brothers falsely accuse Ferko for gluttony. Ferko must trade eye and break leg for bread. Repeat for more. Abandoned. Overheard ravens of magic lake/dew. Healed! Helped wolf, mouse, bee be healed. Brothers lie to king that Ferko is evil. Complete tasks to prove goodness. Animals assisted. Ferko crowned king.

Finding the Story: https://folklore.greenwood.com/wff.aspx?k=6&x=GR3786&bc=DBFL1632&p=GR3786-1281&tab=ft&id=1&u=#hit – May need user name/password to access and cannot share…but can also be found here- https://www.ebay.com/i/402243071343?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=402243071343&targetid=883115548502&device=m&mktype=pla&googleloc=9029749&poi=&campaignid=6470049731&mkgroupid=84221218450&rlsatarget=pla-883115548502&abcId=1141176&merchantid=101491854&gclid=Cj0KCQjwy6T1BRDXARIsAIqCTXqNxPG3auwAV8h40A4g7v7DPlsC6m4CtgMjasHayYHFVYupI9jRzkcaAvJyEALw_wcB

Compare to History:

Youth today need many skills before they are adults. Finances and cooking are obvious though many parents are forgetting to teach how to schedule doctor appointments or regular health check-ups. If only magic lakes or deed upon hills were everywhere…though knowing this now will make the difference for any youth you know. Dr. Burgert said that youth experience anxiety when working out their healthcare. Youth tend to be healthier—that we are seeing also with COVID-19—but we need youth to remain calm when medical emergency and non-emergency situations occur.

More on the History: https://www.parenttoolkit.com/health-and-wellness/advice/physical-health/transferring-health-care-responsibility-to-young-adults

From Finland-

The Kalevala is a 19th century epic poem that has many episodes. The Kalevala was compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology, and it involves more than 18 characters including the Nine Diseases, the sons of Loviatar who was blind and impregnated by the wind. Väinämöinen is the main character and demigod with a powerful singing voice to the point of winning battles or healing wounds. He was not a youth. In fact, he was an old and wise man…but perhaps the youngest born in his family. I don’t know. Though he had a lot of You-Bet-On-Luck! Lemminkäinen is another hero who must be healed, and the diligent search by his mother makes it possible to rise from the dead. He is young…so there you go for “youngest youth” and he certainly had luck. It would be impossible to summarize in 50 words or less so I will only focus on one of the moments within the eight cycles.

50-word-or-less summary:

Lemminkäinen drowned in underworld river while attempting to capture black swan to impress potential wife. Body parts scattered. Mother raked parts from river. Prayed. Sewed. Nothing. Convinced bee for honey from Ukko/sky god as ointment. Revived!

Finding the Story: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7000

Compare to History:

There is the debate on who is healthier—the grandparents who ate pure foods and went outdoors all the time or the youth of today with technology that beckons them indoors (or because there is distancing and stay-at-home orders). People do live longer than 100 years ago. In 1918, the average life expectancy was about 60 and now it is closer to 80+. Older people today are more likely to die of a chronic condition than an infection with improved healthcare.

More on the History: https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-07-05/were-our-grandparents-really-healthier-than-us-probably-not/9934910

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.