Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Robert is an impovising kinda guy. Here is a short sample of his work.

Monday, March 10, 2008

More on Freedom Stories from Tim Van E.

Tim sent an email full of good info:

"A man captures a bird, and it asks him to tell its friends and relatives what became of it. When he does so, they fall to the ground apparently lifeless. Heart-stricken, the man returns home and reports this to the bird. The bird immediately falls to the floor of the cage and lies still. The man sorrowfully takes the body outside to dispose of it, but as soon as he lays it down the bird spreads its wings and flies away. The version I remember hearing from Gioia Timpanelli ends with the bird saying "I knew I could get good advice from my friends and relatives!" I saw a speaker on PBS talking about Taoism who told this tale as a parable, with the bird telling the man that what his friends and relatives taught him was that to be free in life, you have to "die" first.

You can find my "First Takes" recording at

Angela Klingler looked through her collection when I later told her I was trying to track down this story, and found it as a fable attributed to Rumi, "The Indian Bird," in Tales of the Dervishes, Teaching Stories of the Sufi by Idries Shah, Penguin Books, 1967, ISBN 0-14-019358-8.

Also, I looked up "Freedom" in the Storytellers' Sourcebook, and the one entry is an Aesop's Fable: Wolf prefers liberty and hunger to dog's servitude and plenty." Various books are cited including Aesop's Fables pub. by Grosset & Dunlap, 1947 pp 22-24, Aesop's Fables retod by Anne Terry White, Random, 1964, pp 75-74, & the Fables of Aesop, Joseph Jacobs. Macmillan, 1950, p.55.

Good luck with your program!"


Friday, March 7, 2008

Freedom stories - help from LANES-listserv

Thanks all who sent information to LANES listserv! I wish we had a blog for our organization. A blog would be perfect for this kind of woolgathering and all would benefit.
Here is what some people said [ If you'd rather not be referenced here, tell me and I will remove]Most people referenced David Holt's version of Freedom Bird which can be found here:
Perhaps the Freedom Bird? I'm convinced that the story was one of those created in a society were people were not aloud to speak out and or speak out for freedom so they hid the message in the story --- i.e. you can kill one of us but hundreds more will rise up.
-- Johnny Porcino

You can look at the NSN American History story book - lots of not well known stories from US history- many are about freedom- also has workbook with exercises.
Of course there are books like Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope
and Peace Tales
that have freedom themed stories in them. There are Julius Lester's versions of Brer' Rabbit stories, which are always fun and Stanfield's book on High John the Conqueror. Also the People Could Fly book. Also, Stories of the Spirit, Stories of the Heart. Freedom can be a very broad subject!
-- Stu Mendelsohn

Another freedom story is ‘Fly Eagle, Fly’ from Africa. ‘The Cat Who Came Indoors’, another from Africa (also a great woman story and VERY funny – I bet you LOVE it).,M1
Another Moe/Asbjornsen story: ‘The White Cat in the Dovre Mountains’ freedom from Trolls – you can really have a lot of fun with this one. It is a laid back tale, as I tell it!
-- Simon Brooks

My freedom story ideas would include Exodus stories.
--Cindy Rivka

The People Could Fly
was originally released in 1985 as the title story of a set of folktales collected by Virginia Hamilton, and illustrated in black and white by Leo and Diane Dillon. This time, the story appears in picture book format, once again illustrated by the Dillons, but this time in magnificent color.
--Laura Packer, Judith Black, Mike Lockett, Rona Leventhal, Katie Green and others I may have forgotten.

Thanks All!