“Once upon a time…” families and communities passed on their beliefs through storytelling. Many (but not all) of these oral stories eventually got written down and became the folk tales, fables, myths and legends that we know today.
I love folk tales and over the years have collected stories from all over the world; Japan, Africa, Russia, Germany, Australia and many other places. I also like collecting the many ‘on film’ versions, whether animated or with real live actors. Some excellent movies are ‘Ever After’ (Cinderella), ‘Tangled’ (Rapunzel), ‘Hoodwinked’ (a unique combination of several tales including Little Red Riding Hood), and my personal favourite ‘Princess and the Pea’ – but the version I have is in Russian with english sub titles and actually incorporates four different tales into the story.
While each country may have their own tales and legends, they often have similar morals and themes. Like three brothers who set out to seek their fortune… and it is usually the youngest who succeeds where the older brothers fail. Or the pretty young girl, who ends up succeeding where her ugly older sisters (or step-sisters) fail.
World Folk Tales and Fables week, Mar. 17 to 23, is an opportunity to explore some of these stories and the lessons that they provide. Why not drop by the Barriere Library and see what books and movies they have on hand?