A is for Against Apollo – 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 Beating the Odds…Lucky Folktales Around the World to Brighten Your Day. Each post highlights that the stars aligned and what would have normally been…bad…turned out after all. Considering what we – as humankind – have experienced the past year, how nice is it to remember that all of us can “beat the odds” to some level in our lives.

And we’ll admit now…some are actually myths, legends, or epics rather than only limited to folktales. So is that a type of “loading the dice”? Ah, but the stories were too wonderful to pass by.

To understand the “odds,” we will tell you how or why someone or something is dangerous.


From Greece-

Apollo, known as the Sun god, can be nice when he wants to be. Though, any of the Greek gods and goddesses are dangerous to some degree including the more even-tempered Athena, the Wisdom goddess. It’s more fun when the gods play tricks on each other to the point of benefiting humankind forever after.

So how dangerous are we talking for Apollo?

Well, he did kill the six sons of Niobe while his twin sister, Artemis, killed the six daughters of Niobe. Never brag about how many kids you have as this was an argument between Niobe and Leto – mother of Apollo and Artemis. Then, in all of Niobe’s grief, she was eventually turned into a stone to over see her homeland and remain in her sorrows. That stone part – that was Zeus. Many times things get dangerous whenever Apollo feels the need to avenge his mother. Yet, Apollo was terrible around women. Plenty ran from him – and not all escaped. You heard of Daphne calling to the gods to save her? She wasn’t worried about her life. So, yeah, dangerous.

50-word-or-less summary:

Baby Hermes created first lyre-tortoise shell/sheep guts. Music! Stole 50 cows from Apollo. Made cows walk backwards (trickery). Apollo found Hermes. Apollo enchanted by lyre. Traded cows for lyre. Hermes made first reed-pipe. Apollo traded with golden staff/ability to see future. Hermes becomes messenger god. Zeus gives helmet, swift shoes.

Hermes got lucky. And…lucky us! Between the lyre and the reed-pipe, music flourished in the world.

Finding the Story: 


“The Robber Baby: Stories from the Greek Myths” by by Anne Rockwell

Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings with virtual as well as proper-distanced/masked/outdoors. We are excited for the monthly All Things Story virtual workshop series as well as Story Crossroads Festival on May 10-13, 2021 (then viewing beyond the event to June 15, 2021). Interested in deeper articles and e-workbooks plus stories, activities, and recipes? Then pursue Story Crossroads Memberships.

As we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can also support by donating today!

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!