T is for Tending & Telling Tales—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”?

Tending & Telling Tales-

From Armenia-

Nourie Hadig feels like part Snow White and part Sleeping Beauty. However, instead of a woman asking a mirror, it is the moon. As for a sleeping princess, this time it is a sleeping prince.

50-word-or-less summary:

Woman asked moon who’s most beautiful. Woman. When daughter was 15, moon answered girl. Jealous! Asked husband to kill her. Pretended. Escaped! Girl comes upon sleeping prince. Must tend for 7 years to heal/break curse. Awake! Prince proposed. Asked for Stone of Patience. Tells her tale. Broke stone. Married!

Version of Story: https://www.uexpress.com/tell-me-a-story/2013/6/2/nourie-hadig-an-armenian-folktale

Compare to History:

The Parkinson’s Story Exchange was founded by Johanna O’day after enjoying NPR’s StoryCorps and how they collected stories from around the nation. Johanna partnered with StoryCorps so that researchers for Parkinson’s could understand the patients and the patients could understand the medical people. They inform each other through the stories shared and archived. Healing and medical progress come as a result—like being awakened from a 7-year sleep.

More on the History: https://www.davisphinneyfoundation.org/blog/the-parkinsons-story-exchange-inspiring-stories-from-people-living-with-parkinsons/ and http://healthlibrary.stanford.edu/story-exchange.html

From India-

Princess Savitri, named after the goddess Savitri with her miracle birth, later grew up and married happily to Prince Satyavan. Then, she tended to her husband doomed to die in one year. Yama, the god of death, arrived on time. She must rescue her love from death somehow.

50-word-or-less summary:

Princess chose husband prophesied to die in one year. Happy year. Tended. Princess starved/insomnia three days before prediction. Saw Yama/god of death due to fasting/praying. Chased after Yama. He admired loyalty. Three chases, three wishes (can’t ask for husband’s life). Last wish-children with prince as father. Wit! Lived!

Finding the Story: http://www.aaronshep.com/storytelling/GOS03.html

Compare to History:

Many nurses have tended to the sick and dying. Florence Nightingale brought hope on the battlefield during Crimean War of 1854z After her, professional nursing was seen alongside soldiers. During the American Civil War, Clara Burton saw the need of more trained nurses and had nursing schools established. Clara traveled to Switzerland, witnessed the International Committee of the Red Cross, and eventually founded the American Red Cross in 1882. Then, in 1888, some American Red Cross nurses jumped off moving trains to reach people in need. Remind you of the tenacity of Princess Savitri?

More on the History: https://www.workingnurse.com/articles/Nursing-with-the-American-Red-Cross

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!

O is for Omnipotent Ointment—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”?

Omnipotent Ointment

From Zimbabwe-

Princess Lebou is thrown into a strange situation. She was forced into a marriage with a prince…who is an egg. Talk about “scrambling” for a cure.

50-word-or-less summary:

King promised dying wife to care for egg as son. When egg/prince older, king created engagement. Princess lived in betrothed’s village and no one said prince was egg. When discovered, snuck home and asked advice. Father taught her charm and gave ointment. Egg/prince became human!

Find the Story: https://www.amazon.com/Starlight-Princess-Other-Stories/dp/0789426323

Compare to History:

That father had a special ointment, and he could have created a patent. Or he could have considered it “over-the-counter” as the father was not a doctor. Patent medicines (pre-packaged medicines) surged in the 1700s in England and then boosted in popularity in the American colonies. One patent was even named “Balm of America.”

More on the History: https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/balm-of-america-patent-medicine-collection/history

From Norway-

This story has inspired animated features and movies. A youngest sister not only needs to heal her mother, but she also needs to revive her two sisters that have been turned to stone.

50-word-or-less summary:

Sick mother scared hen. Girls sought hen. Fell in troll’s lair. Troll proposed. First/second girls refused. Girls turned to stone. Youngest sister agreed to be troll’s sweetheart. Hid statues in bag. Asked troll to take “food” to mother. Troll does. Girl takes troll’s ointment. Escaped! Revived sisters, healed mother.

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:

Ancient medicine have used many strange techniques including can-do-anything-ointment such as animal dung…and human waste. The Egyptians valued the donkey, gazelle, dog, and fly dung. They all could keep away bad spirits. Though, how would you find fly dung exactly?

More on the History: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/news/7-unusual-ancient-medical-techniques

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 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!

J is for Joyful Journeys—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”?

Joyful Journeys-

From Portugal-

Princess Gilda journeyed from her home of Norway to marry Prince Ibn in Portugal. Now, a story is passed along of how this marriage brought about the almond trees that grow everywhere in the Algarve (used to be Al Gharb). When people travel to Portugal today in the spring, it will feel like winter with the millions of almond blossoms. Perhaps you will feel at peace.

50-word-or-less summary:

Princess from Norway thrilled to marry Prince from Portugal. Journeyed with joy. After marriage, Princess became ill/pale. Doctors sought. Homesick! Missed snow! One doctor said to plant thousands of almond trees. White almond blossoms looked like snow. Princess recovered. Mental journey to Norway.

Versions of Gilda and the Almond Trees story: https://www.aportugueseaffair.com/algarve-almond-trees/ as well as podcast https://www.theguardian.com/books/audio/2017/jun/09/the-legend-of-the-almond-trees-read-by-andrew-scott-travel-folktales-for-kids-podcast

Compare to History:

Usually homesickness is considered nothing to worry about. Yet, at one time, it was labeled “hypochondria of the heart.” From Swiss soldiers in the 17th century to Greek soldiers during the Trojan War, homesickness could have them waste away with some as serious as dying. Philosopher Tiffany Watt Smith reported that these soldiers experienced “lesions heart palpitations and from there a ‘stupidity of mind..’” We can take mental journeys when we are unable to physically journey. We can connect to those memories until we are sick of them…and can move forward.

More on the History: https://www.thecut.com/2016/02/homesickness-was-once-considered-a-medical-diagnosis.html

From India-

This is more a cautionary tale, yet the result brought over 7,000 years of wisdom. Thus, the humans fare better than the tortoise. This story is part of the Jataka Tales that involves previous births of Gautama Buddha. Now we can ponder the importance of home as well as the ability to move so anywhere could be home.

50-word-or-less summary:

Tortoise refused to leave lake for river despite drought. Declared lake as birthplace, where parents born. Sun dried tortoise’s spot until became clay. Bodhisatta hit tortoise’s with spade accidentally. Thought tortoise was lump of clay. Died. Bodhisatta showed tortoise to warn people of extreme fondness of home. Journey and do good.

Finding the Story: https://www.pitt.edu/~dash/traveltales.html#tortoiserefused

Compare to History:

No matter our feelings for home, many are staying at home during COVID-19 to protect others. We can still mentally journey and do good though online chats, telephone calls, or drop-off service. Meanwhile, there can be patients who refuse to leave the hospital. What then? Malingering is more commonly known for psychiatric patients than general hospital patients. Reasons are varied and countless though could be from attention of being sick; “secondary gain” or food, shelter; psychological stress, or seasonal depression. Let us reach out to each other so—whether at home or the hospital—we are free to go where we need to be and not where we think we must be.

More on the History: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3067985/

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 postponed Festival is now scheduled for May 12, 2021 with other plans that can be seen here: https://storycrossroads.org/contingency-plans-covid-19/ and http://www.storycrossroads.org/virtual.

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!

Q is for Golden Qilin (mythical hooved Chinese chimerical)–A to Z Blog Challenge

AtoZ2019QWe 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 Qilin-

Is “Qilin” in your vocabulary? What some people nickname the Chinese unicorn? It wasn’t until this A to Z Blog Challenge. So besides being a mythical hooved Chinese chimerical, it also arrives when there is someone wise to behold. Perhaps there is one near the one who has inspired you most.

China – http://chinesefolktales.blogspot.com/2009/10/golden-qilin-fujian.html

50-word-or-less summary:

Couple has no kids. Person’s body with Golden Qilin head becomes their child. Happiness. Couple dies (old age). Princess can be married once war is won. Qilin leads and wins war. Emperor dislikes Qilin’s look. Trickery to be in sealed for 7,749 days. Mad princess. She saves him. Marriage. Banishment. Happiness.

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.