A German Folktale adapted by Allison Cox from the story - "Bundles of Troubles, Bundles of Blessings" in the book - A Piece Of The Wind, by Ruthilde Kronberg and Patricia McKissack, Harper, San Francisco, 1990.
Click to read Bundles
In Wales, foxglove was called Goblin's Gloves and was said to attract the hobgoblins who wore the long bells on their fingers as gloves that imparted magical properties. This story from my Welsh heritage is a favorite of mine and I will share with you today.
Click to read Goblin's Gloves
The Stolen Skin
Versions of this story are told in Iceland and Siberia, and amongst the Celts and the Native Americans of the northwest. It is the emotional abuse of women that sometimes takes the greatest toll on their lives. Those women that escape from abusive relationships, often are forced to leave their children behind. This tale echoes the painful choices that women have spoken of to me, as they attempted to reconstruct their shattered lives.
Click to read The Stolen Skin
A Bowl For You
I have found versions of this story originating in Rumania, Italy, Germany, Ireland, and Nepal. Respect for authority is initially modeled at home. This tale tells of a multi-generational family's struggle to deal with limited resources, a common experience today. This story emphasizes that in order for us all to move ahead, no one can be left behind.
Click to read A Bowl For You.
Why Bat Hangs Upside Down
My source for this tale is "The Party" in One Day We Had To Run by Sybella Wilkes, Brookfield, CT:Millbrook Press, 1994. In this book, refugee children tell their stories in words and paintings. Abraham Marial Kiol, an fourteen-year-old boy from the Dinka Bor Tribe of Sudan told Wilkes this tale. He ended with: "Tell the children of the world. We don't want to be bats. We want to find our place. To be either an animal or bird so that we can be happy."
Click to read Why Bat Hangs Upside Down
A personal story about returning to the home where my children were young.
Click to read Waving Back
Five Little Monkeys
About the health effects of using tobacco.
Click to read Five Little Monkeys
John the Rabbit
I have the audience chant in response "Oh no!" as I sing of John's horrible smoking habits and "Oh yes!" as John the Rabbit kicks the habit.
Click to read John the Rabbit
The Three Little Pigs of Hog Holler Swamp
I designed the following story to illustrate some of the causes of asthma and allergies in a format that was fun and would help people remember at least some of the common triggers (dust, mold, pollen, insect sting, poisonous plants, smoke, specific foods, poor ventilation, cosmetics, etc.).
Click to read The Three Little Pigs from Hog Holler Swamp
The Lady of the Lake Waters
There are multiple versions of this Celtic tale of a spirit woman appearing from a lake. The conditions of her agreement to marry and the occasions that cause her unexpected behavior and departure should provide womens' groups ample material for discussions of abuse.
Click to read The Lady of the Lake Waters
Versions of the tale motif of a person warming a frozen snake, only to then have it bite them, are found worldwide. An Apache variant of the story is currently used in drug and alcohol counseling with Native American children in the U.S..
I designed this telling of the old tale to lend itself to rap. Children can be invited, after the story, to draw parallels between the snake and drugs or alcohol by asking them questions like "What are some of the things that your parents and teachers tell you to stay away from?" or "Who or what are the snakes in your life?".
Click to read Snake's Jive
There are variations of this story throughout American and European folklore, as well as in China. Some versions will employ foot long spoons or chopsticks that make it impossible for people to feed themselves, but I prefer this American approach to the tale. I have changed the gender of the main character to female and made it a participation story. The theme underlines that without cooperation, dire results can occur.
Click to read Nan's Wish
Painting by Breean Cox