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Storytelling

Dr. Mike Lockett was a part-time storyteller for over 30 years.  Stories have always been an important part of his life.  He retired from 33 years as a teacher and school administrator in 2005 and took his storytelling full time.  He has been traveling all across the USA and in other countries to learn and tell stories with audiences of all types and all sizes.  Lockett has recorded audio storytelling CDs and has written bilingual books as a means of sharing his stories.  Audiences respond well to his tales and fill his schedule with many continuing storytelling adventures.

It is the desire of Lockett to preserve stories for future generations.  For this reason he spends time daily reading and collecting stories , crafting stories to retell to others and writing stories of his own.  Mike has become a children's author and enjoys sharing stories he has collected and stories he has written in schools, libraries, festivals and venues of all kinds.  He currently is very excited.  Christian Television and Radio in Taiwan is using one of his stories each month in their "Studio Classroom" magazine.  His works are being shared each month all over Taiwan. 

Lockett hopes that the visitors to this site will find it helpful in their search to find stories and storytelling connections.  Please come back and visit the site often.  It is Lockett's goal to continue adding links to the storytelling world and activities for story lovers to enjoy.

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  • The Armadillo's Song

    Published March 1, 2017

    Armadillo loves music and wants to play and sing with the other animals. The animals do not believe armadillo can be musical and do not give him a chance. A musician offers to help armadillo make music - but only when he dies. The musician makes a beautiful sounding instrument from the shell of the armadillo and makes beautiful music for the world to hear. Sometimes we are only appreciated the most once we are gone, and through others we live on.
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  • The Elephant's Friends

    Published February 24, 2017

    No one wants to be elephant's friend due to his large size. After elephant's size helps him save the other animals, they suddenly decide that his size is no monger a barrier to friendship. This is a nice story for encouraging students to be accepting of others.
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  • The Gourd and the Pine Tree

    Published February 24, 2017

    Fast growing gourd vine grows very quickly and brags to others about growing so fast. It does not sent down good roots, however and dies when winter comes. This is a good story for teaching about the importance of building a firm foundation for a variety of things in life.
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  • The Story of the Dandelion

    Published February 24, 2017

    Adapted from a 1906 story created for kindergarten students. An angel asks flowers where they want to grow and why. Their answers are nice, but self-serving. The dandelion wants to live near children to make them happy. The answer causes the dandelion to be granted a longer life and to grow almost everywhere that children play.
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  • The Tug of War

    Published February 24, 2017

    The Tug of War is an easy to understand and easy to tell story that is perfect for young and old alike. It is a good beginning story for new tellers. It can be acted out. Dr. Lockett tells the tale as an anti-bullying story.
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  • The Two Pine Cones

    Published February 24, 2017

    This is a delightful tale from Finland that resembles stories told in other countries. A wanderer (a wizard) looks for a place to stay the night on a cold winter eve and is harshly turned away by an old wealthy woman. The same man is taken in and shown kindness by s single mother (widow) who really cannot afford to give anything away. In a comedic way - the poor widow is rewarded - and the wealthy woman is given a less desirable reward for being unkind.
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  • Two Questions

    Published February 24, 2017

    Nasruddin was born in Azerbaijan in Western Iran, near Turkey. He became a religious leader and was reported to be among the wisest of men. Stories of both wisdom and foolishness are told about the Mullah all throughout the area often referred to as the middle east. The stories are usually short and often make the readers or listeners think carefully before they laugh at the humor in the tales.
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  • Why Possum Has a Bare Tail

    Published February 24, 2017

    Short story about how why opossum's tale is bare.
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  • Precious Lord - The Story Behind the SOng

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story behind the Christian Hymn - Precious Lord. Dr. Lockett freely gives permission for his adaptation of the story to be used for programs in churches and at events where religious hymns are appropriate. Please be considerate and give credit if you use Dr. Lockett's story.
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  • Spies in Canaan

    Published February 24, 2017

    Adapted from the Old Testament about Joshua sending spied into Jericho before invading the city.
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  • When the Roll is Called Up Yoder

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story behind the hymn When the Roll is Called Up Yonder by James Black. Permission is freely given by Dr. Lockett to use this story in churches and at programs where the singing of hymns is appropriate. Dr. Lockett respectfully requests that he be cited as the creator of this adaptation of the story if you use it.
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  • Overcoming Failure in Business

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story developed by Dr. Lockett for business presentations.
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  • Business Principles

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story developed by Dr. Mike Lockett for use in presentations to businesses. This story deals with principles of business.
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  • Persistence in Business

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story used in presentations to businesses by Dr. Mike Lockett on the topic of persistence.
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  • Seeking to Understand

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story developed by Dr. Mike Lockett for use in presentations for businesses on the topic of Seeking to Understand.
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  • Synergy in Business

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story developed by Dr. Mike Lockett on the topic of synergy for use in presentations to businesses.
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  • Win Win Strategies in Business

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story developed by Dr. Mike Lockett for presentations on win-win strategies for use in business presentations.
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  • Do You Hear What I Hear

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story behind the hymn Do You Hear What I Hear by Noel Regnwy
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  • How the Trees Kept Christmas

    Published February 24, 2017

    Story from unknown author about trees preparing for Christmas.
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  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

    Published February 24, 2017

    Another of Dr. Lockett's stories behind the hymns. Story how I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day by Longfellow was written during the time of the American War Between the States.
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  • Silent Night

    Published February 24, 2017

    Another of Dr. Lockett's stories behind the hymns. The story of how Silent Night was written.
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  • The Christmas Truce of 1914

    Published February 24, 2017

    Dr. Lockett has adapted the true story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 into a story that is easily understood by youths and adults. It is hard to stay enemies when you know the other side's story.
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  • I Love You Truly

    Published February 24, 2017

    One of Dr. Lockett's favorite songs, the story behind I Love You Truly by Carrie Jacobs.
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  • I'll Fly Away

    Published February 24, 2017

    Another of Dr. Lockett's stories behind the hymns - I'll Fly Away by Albert Brumley
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  • The Wise Deer and the Cowardly Tiger

    Published February 23, 2017

    Deer uses her brains to outsmart tiger and save herself and her young from being eaten.
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  • Build Bridges - Not Fences

    Published February 2, 2017

    Adapted from story by anonymous source. Neighbors (sometimes two brothers) were once friends - but have disagreements that lead to them becoming enemies. The two once lived happily next to each other... but one digs ditch/creek/divide between their properties. The other responds by asking a carpenter to build a fence on his side of the property. The carpenter builds a bridge instead, which leads to the neighbors getting along.
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  • The Brave Little Parrot

    Published October 15, 2016

    Parrot lives in the jungle among many friends. He sees a fire and could easily fly away. But, the parrot risks his life to save his friends and is rewarded with beautiful coloring on its feathers.
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  • A Little Drop of Honey

    Published September 27, 2016

    Adapted from a Burmese Folktale by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. The story is about how people should deal with problems while them are small before they develop into bigger problems.
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  • How Man Became Master of Fire Lesson Plan

    Published September 27, 2016

    American Folktale Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. Fiction story about how man got fire to use in his home and for cooking. Story tells facts about why animals fear fire and about how to care for fire.
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  • The Lion's Minister of State

    Published September 27, 2016

    African Tale as Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. The Lion's Minister of State is missing. Animals suspect they know why when they see the lion gaining weight. Animals apply for the job and are given tests. One fails because of rudeness. Another is fearful. The last used his head and his ability to communicate to get the job.
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  • The Lion in the Well

    Published September 27, 2016

    Traditional Indian Folktale as Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett. Weak animal overcomes powerful animal through cleverness. Lion hears his echo in the well and attacks his reflection and drowns. Folktale Motiff 1715.1
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  • The Singing Pumpkin

    Published September 27, 2016

    Iranian Folktale as Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. Old woman meets a djinn (genie) on the way to meet her daughter. The djinn threatens to eat her but promises to come back to be eaten later after she sees her daughter and fattens up. The old woman hides inside a giant pumpkin on the way back and tries to sneak past the djinn. The story is sometimes told with a wolf instead of a djinn because of the fear that djinns bring to young children in Iran.
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  • The Sly Old Cat

    Published September 27, 2016

    Puerto Rican Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - An aging cat pretends to be dead. Foolish mice come to play on the dead body. Others come to be pallbearers and carry the dead cat away. The pretender comes to life and eats many of the foolish mice. Folktale Motif K827.4.1
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  • Lazy Jack

    Published September 27, 2016

    Appalachian tale as retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. One of many Jack Tales told in Grandfather Tales by Richard Chase. A foolish boy tries to do what he is told by his mother and messes up everything he tries. In the end, his foolish behavior makes the king's daughter laugh. He is rewarded by the king and marries the king's daughter. A Puerto Rican version of the story is called Juan Bobo - Foolish John.
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  • Soap - Soap - Soap

    Published September 27, 2016

    Appalachian tale retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. This story is about a boy named Jack who is sent to buy soap. He is told to repeat a phrase. He keeps being confused and says the wrong thing. Folktale Motif J2641.2.B
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  • The Journeycake Who Ran Away

    Published September 27, 2016

    Appalachian tale as retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Story follows pattern of the gingerbread man. A woman makes a pancake (called a journey cake by early American Pioneers). Various animals try to stop it. A pig (sometimes a fox) eats it in the end. Folktale Motif Z33.1
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  • Brother Goat Eats Rocks

    Published August 15, 2016

    Afro-American Folktale Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett - Goat avoids being eaten by lion by pretending to be brave.
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  • The Little Pine tree Who Wanted New Leaves

    Published August 15, 2016

    Little Evergreen tree is not happy with its needles. It wished for new leaves and is given them. Things go wrong with each kind of leaves until the tree realizes it was better to be its original self.
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  • Why the Sea is Salt

    Published August 15, 2016

    Traditional of two brothers - the elder is rich, and the younger is poor. The younger brother obtains a magic mill that can grind out food, money or anything. The older brother is jealous of the new fortune of his brother and obtains the mill. The mill is taken on a ship where the captain grinds salt to sell. He forgets the command to make it stop grinding. In the story - the grinder sits now on the bottom of the ocean. That is why the sea is salt..
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  • The Tiger's Teacher

    Published June 1, 2016

    Tiger is strong, but is not as skilled as his cousin the cat at hunting. Tiger asks for hunting lessons and promises to be Cat's protector. The smart cat does not teach all of his tricks to Tiger. Cats can climb trees. Tigers cannot. Storytelling Motif J1662.0.1
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  • Grandfather Bear Is Hungry

    Published February 24, 2016

    Lovely story for children about how Chipmunk got its stripes by helping Grandfather Bear. Good for audience participation. Teachers can use the story to talk about being good helpers.
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  • The Dog and His Shadow

    Published February 24, 2016

    Adapted from one of the Aesop's Fables. Dog does not want to share his bone. He sees his own reflection and aims to take a bone from another dog he sees. The other dog is his reflection, and his greed causes him to lose his own bone.
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  • The Magic of Friendship

    Published January 15, 2016

    Four animal friends work together to help each other escape being killed by a hunter. To the hunter - it seems like magic when animals help each other. The only magic is friendship.
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  • How Rabbit Got Wisdom

    Published September 15, 2015

    Rabbit seeks to become wise and demands the Sky God give him wisdom. Rabbit is given three seemingly impossible tasks to do to earn wisdom. Rabbit completes tasks and is given wisdom.
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  • Why Spiders Have Eight Skinny Legs

    Published January 15, 2015

    Adapted from African Folktales by Grandpa Mike Lockett. Spider (Anansi) is hungry as it greets many animal friends - each fixing food. With each animal - the foods are not ready to eat. Spider ties a web to its leg and to the spoon of the preparer with directions to pull when the food is done. Each animal pulls at the same time - stretching the spider's legs - long and skinny.
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  • The King and the Foolish Monkey

    Published September 15, 2014

    Panchatantra adapted by Grandpa Mike Lockett. King makes a pet of a wild monkey and refuses good advice to not let the monkey run loose in the palace. The King is injured by the monkey and begins to follow good advice by others, Sometimes - even the King does not know everything.
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  • Lizard's Duel with Leopard

    Published August 15, 2014

    Leopard wishes to eat lizard but is accused of picking on someone who is not his equal. Lizard is given time to prepare for the fight. The lizard cannot physically beat the leopard. So, it outsmarts Leopard. The story is a two-part tale where man observes the fight. Man is sworn to secrecy by Leopard but later tells his wife what happened. This folktale is Folktale Motif B264.3. - Leopard duels with lizard.  It is from Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon.
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  • Why Elephant Has a Long Nose

    Published August 15, 2014

    Bees save Elephant's life. Elephant repays bees by letting them live inside his head to save them from fire. After fire, bees refuse to come out of elephant's head. Elephant tries to suck up water and blow bees out its nose - causing its nose to grow long.
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  • The Mouse and the Elephant Lesson Plan

    Published August 15, 2014

    Mouse claims to be stronger than elephant and sets off to prove it. Mouse meets different animals who run away due to different reasons. Mouse thinks they ran away out of fear. Mouse finds elephant. Elephant drinks up water and blows mouse across the jungle and leaves. Mouse thinks elephant ran away in a rainstorm. Mouse continues telling everyone that elephants are afraid of mice.
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  • The Three Hares

    Published August 15, 2014

    Turkish Folktale gives advice of listening to Mother and Father is supported by story of the Hare family. Mother and Father say dig your home deep and build twists and turns to help you avoid danger. Little Hares that do not listen are eaten by the fox. Hares that listen are alive to appreciate the advice of their parents.
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  • Racing the Dinosaur

    Published August 1, 2014

    Original story by Dr. Mike Lockett - Written in 2014 for students in Taichung, Taiwan for the city-wide dinosaur exhibit. Big dinosaur comes to live in a small lake. The big dinosaur does not leave much room for the small fish to live. A school of fish work together to beat the dinosaur in a race around the lake in order to get it to move to another lake.
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  • The Turtle Who Could Not Stop Talking

    Published June 15, 2014

    East Indian Folktale as adapted by Grandpa Mike Lockett - Turtle cannot quit talking. Turtle wants to travel far away and gets the chance to travel - carried by two birds. Turtle bites on a stick carried by the birds - then falls when he opens his mouth to talk. Storytelling Motif - A2312.1.3
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  • Why Bats Fly at Night

    Published June 15, 2014

    Bush Rat is told by Bat how to flavor soup by soaking in the hot water. Bush rat jumps into boiling water and dies. Rat's wife demands revenge, and animals hunt for bat. Bat only comes out at night and cannot be seen in the daytime. Storytelling Motif - A2491.1.0.1
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  • The Goats in the Garden

    Published June 15, 2014

    Goats go into Grandma's garden and child cannot get them out. Rabbit, Fox, Dog and other animals cannot get them out. Bee gets them out. Child is happy. Everyone wonders how little bee could do what bigger animals could not.
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  • Trapping Rabbits in Taiwan

    Published June 15, 2014

    Farmer catches a rabbit by accident and wants to learn to catch them on purpose. He learns to use bait and traps to provide food for the table.
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  • The Cheese in the Well

    Published June 1, 2014

    Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. Based on an American Folktale. Rabbit is a trickster - and when in danger - saves himself by outwitting his enemy the fox.
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  • The Monkeys and the Dragonflies

    Published January 15, 2014

    A monkey is rude to a dragon fly and hurts it. The king of the dragon flies demands an apology. The monkey kind declares war on the dragon flies. The dragon flies out-smart the monkeys who end up beating each other up. Now they all get along.
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  • The Two Frogs

    Published December 1, 2013

    Two frogs wish to see the city where the other lives and climb the mountains to look at the other city. They help each other stand to look - but forget that their eyes are on the backs of their heads. So they see the city they came from instead of the city where they wanted to go. Storytelling Motif - B296.2
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  • The Hare of Inaba

    Published September 15, 2013

    White Hare (pet of a Japanese princess) fools sea crocodiles and has its hair pulled off as a punishment. A kind prince helps the Hare and is accepted to be the husband of the princess. Storytelling Motif - K579.2.2
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  • The Candy Man

    Published August 15, 2013

    Typical of rich brother/poor brother plots, Poor brother becomes rich by interacting with Goblins. Rich brother repeats behaviors of younger brother and has plans backfire.
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  • The Hungry Wolf

    Published January 15, 2013

    Wolf wakes up hungry and tells COW/HORSE/PIG he will eat them. (Original tale had RAM. Dr. Lockett changed Ram to Cow for telling the story to Chinese and Spanish listeners where Ram is not used in their language.) Three animals fool wolf. Wolf is still hungry at end of story. Storytelling Motif K553.3.1 and K553.4.1
    View story » View story in Mandarin »
  • The Man with the Cocoanuts

    Published September 15, 2012

    Going Slow makes you faster. A man thinks a boy foolish when the boy tells him coconuts can be delivered today if you go slow or tomorrow if you hurry. The man finds that hurrying causes everything to go wrong - taking longer.
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  • How Mankind Got Wisdom

    Published September 1, 2012

    Anansi owns the world's wisdom but does not feel appreciated when he shares the wisdom. He puts all the wisdom in a jar an plans to hide it from the world. Anansi's son offers his dad advice. Anansi throws the jar to the ground, breaking it. Wisdom blows all over the world.
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  • David and Goliath

    Published October 1, 2011

    David was a shepherd. He takes good care of his sheep. His faith helps him be strong enough to kill wild animals who are after the sheep. He is called on to take food to his brothers who are fighting in a war. While at the war front, David sees a giant insulting God's people. David draws on his own faith to battle the giant and kill him.
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  • Being a Good Neighbor

    Published September 1, 2011

    Lesson of The Good Samaritan as told by Mike Lockett. New child in neighborhood is harassed by other children because he is new and different. They show "prejudice." Dr. Lockett weaves the parable of the Good Samaritan into the story and lets it influence a child's actions towards the new child.
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  • The Tiger and the Frog

    Published July 1, 2011

    Tiger enters forest and wants to eat frog, Frog uses brain to help fool the Tiger into thinking the Frog is stronger than the Tiger, Fox tells tiger that it has been tricked by the frog. Fox goes with tiger back to see frog. Frog thinks fast and thanks fox for bringing Tiger back. Tiger runs off.
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  • How Chipmunk Got its Stripes

    Published June 30, 2011

    Bear is caught bragging how it can do anything. Chipmunk challenges bear and says it cannot stop the sun from coming up. The sun comes up, and bear is ridiculed. Bear is angry and scratches chipmunk's back that later turn to stripes. Storytelling Motif A2217.2 Credit for story given to three Native American tribes (Iroquois, Nez Perce and the Creek)
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  • Why Bear Sleeps All Winter

    Published June 30, 2011

    Rabbit is always helping other animals, including bear. Then bear eats all of rabbit's food and goes to sleep in rabbits home - a hollow log. Other animals block bear into the log. It wakes up and always finds it is dark and goes back to sleep. When spring arrives the leaves and mud blocking the log wash away and bear wakes up. Bear feels so good that he hibernates every winter now. Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald lists the storytelling motif for the tale as 'A2481.1' Why Bears Hibernate. Animals stop up hollow tree to be rid of disliked bear. He sleeps all winter."
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  • The Haunted Tailor

    Published June 15, 2011

    Scottish Folk Tale that tells how Scottish Lord MacDonald asks a tailor to make his first par of trousers. The tailor is paid extra to sew the "trews" inside of a graveyard that is haunted by a Scottish ghost. Storytelling Motif H1412.2
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  • How the Tiger Got His Stripes

    Published May 30, 2011

    Tiger talks to Water Buffalo wanting to know why buffalo works for man. Buffalo tells Tiger Man has WISDOM. Wisdom lets man control animals. Tiger confronts man and demands man give hi wisdom. Man says he left his wisdom at home and will go get it. I will tie you to a tree so you do not eat my buffalo while I get wisdom. Man brings back hay and a torch. He sets the tree holding tiger on fire. Tiger escapes but is left with stripes where the burning ropes burned his fur.
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  • The Loyal Dog

    Published May 15, 2011

    Man owns very loyal dog and leaves dog to care for his baby. Man comes home to find baby missing from its crib and sees blood on the mouth of the dog. Man kills dog in anger before finding his baby safe and alive - sitting next to a wolf that had been killed by his hound. Man never jumps to conclusions for rest of his life.
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  • LONG, BROAD, AND SHARPSIGHT

    Published December 1, 2010

    As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Prince sets out to find and marry a princess. Along the way he gets help from three individuals with special powers who help him overcome an evil Wizard to save the princess.
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  • The Terrible Nung Guama - A Chinese Folktale

    Published December 1, 2010

    Chinese Folktale adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett - Chinese Ogre called the Terrible Nung Guama threatens to eat an old woman. She defends herself with gifts from local farmers including pins and needles. manure, snakes and more to defeat the monster. Folk Motif K1161.3.2 K1161.3.2
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  • Noah and the Great Flood

    Published October 10, 2010

    The story of Noah building the ark told in dialogue and odd humor by Mike Lockett
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  • Why Dogs Watch People Eat - An Anansi Tale

    Published September 15, 2010

    Anansi the spider cheats dog out of land that both had planned to share. Anansi suggested the land would produce very little food. Dog turns down the chance to co-own the land. The land actually is good soil nd produces much food. Dog watched as man eats food and remembers getting cheated by spider.
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  • The Girl in the Moon

    Published September 15, 2010

    Girl is rescues from Siberian cold by the lonely moon after the girl is mistreated by her cruel stepmother. The girl is caught in the freezing Siberian cold after being sent to fetch water by her step-mom. Storytelling Motif A751.7.2
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  • Feathers in the Wind

    Published September 15, 2010

    A student is trying to understand the Ten Commandments. The student asks why the commandment about not telling a lie or not slandering people was as important as the other commandments. The teacher asked the student to dump a sack of feathers on his porch and come back to get the answer. When the student returns the teacher tells the student to go back and get all the feathers. The feathers could not be gathered since the wind would have blown them all over. The teacher says that a lie is like the feathers. When something bad is said - it spreads all over and cannot be taken back.
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  • The Story of Esther

    Published August 15, 2010

    Esther was a beautiful girl. She was brought to the palace to live at the time when the king had sent his wife away for disobeying him. Esther's uncle saves the king's life and is owed a favor by the king. Esther brings to the king's attention how evil men are trying to hurt her people. The Jews are allowed to protect themselves. The date of the event is still a Jewish holiday.
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  • A Halloween Scare

    Published August 15, 2010

    Made up story about a boy who goes trick or treating. Mother gives him rules that he breaks. One is to not to walk through the cemetery. Something happens to scare the boy. Perfect for little ones because it ends in humor, not in fear.
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  • Why Fish Cannot Talk

    Published June 15, 2010

    Tells why fish do not speak. They cannot hear underwater and can only move their mouths to imitate what they see and what they think is being said when others move their mouths/ Folktale Motif number A2422.14
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  • The Story of the Tongue

    Published June 15, 2010

    King wants to sample the best food in the world and the worst food in the world. His cook brings him TONGUE both times. Words that come out of the mouth can be the sweetest or the worst. - Storytelling Motif H1305.2.1
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  • The Quarreling Quails

    Published June 15, 2010

    As Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett from the Jakarta Tails. Dr. Lockett has adapted this story for use in talks about working together to get things done, Storytelling Motif is J1024 - Quails caught in net rise up in a body with net and escape  
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  • Why there are No Tigers in Borneo

    Published June 15, 2010

    Tiger sends one of his whiskers to the animals in Indonesia to let them know how big he is and create fear. Little Mousedeer asks porcupine for a long quill. Mousedeer sends quill to Tiger with word that the King of Borneo has a longer whisker than Tiger. Tiger does not come to the island of Borneo. Storytelling Motif - K1711.1
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  • The King Who Hated Old People

    Published June 15, 2010

    A prince does not respect his father's opinion that old people are valuable. He does not like old people. During a hard time in the kingdom all old people are ordered banished from the kingdom to save food. One man disobeyed the law and hides his father. The wisdom of the father ends up saving the kingdom. Young ruler changes law and respects seniors because of their wisdom. Storytelling Motif J151.1
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  • The Gertrude Bird

    Published June 15, 2010

    A woman is a gifted baker. She makes wonderful cakes but refuses to share them. Tap, tap, tap - she bangs her spoon to chase away anyone wanting free cake. She is given three chances to share and fails. She is turned into a woodpecker. The ta,p tap, tap - now is her tapping on trees to get bugs to eat. This story fits storytelling motif A1958.0.1 where an unkind person is turned into an animal.  Versions of the story are told in Scandinavia and in England
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  • Why Dogs Chase Cats

    Published May 15, 2010

    Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett. Dog and cat used to be friends until they buy a ham together, and the cat climbs a tree and eats it all. Storytelling Motif - A2494.1.2.3
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  • God is Good

    Published February 20, 2010

    Yiddish Folktale - Two men are good friends. One had faith that God has a purpose in everything and that God is good all of the time. There is no room for the two in town and they must sleep in the word. Their donkey is eaten by a lion. Their rooster is eaten by a wildcat. Their torch will not light, and they must sleep in the dark woods without a fire. These seem like bad things. But the man of faith explained God's purpose for each happening and shows God's love.
    View story » View story in Mandarin »
  • The Elephants and the King of Mice

    Published January 15, 2010

    Adapted from the Panchatantra by Grandpa Mike Lockett. Elephants change their route to the River to spare the lives of mice on the path. The mice promise to help the elephants some day. The elephants think they are too big to ever need help by the mice. When hunters catch the elephants, the mice save them.
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  • Anders' New Cap

    Published December 15, 2009

    Boy is given special hat by his mother. He is offered gifts from friends, a kiss by a princess, the crown of the king all for his hat and refuses. Nothing could be better than the hat made with love by his mother.
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  • The Boy and the Water-Sprite

    Published December 15, 2009

    As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller
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  • How The Moon And The Sun, Came To Dwell In The Sky

    Published December 1, 2009

    A Senegalese Folk Tale that tells how the floods of water push Sun and Moon into the sky.
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  • Grandmother Spider

    Published November 10, 2009

    Native American Tale from the Hopi Tribe - The sky is lifting up and going high into the sky. Moose, Bear and other animals try unsuccessfully to hold the sky to the earth. Grandmother Spider wants to help the other animals and is turned down. On her own, she catches the sky with a web - then climbs up and down using webs to hold the sky to the earth. Sometimes when you see sunbeams, you might be seeing Grandmother Spider's webbing that still holds the sky to the earth.
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  • Half a Blanket

    Published September 15, 2009

    As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. A King gives all he has to his son. The wife of the son convinces husband to banish the kind to a space under the stairs where he cannot be seen or heard, The grandson of the king brings the grandfather's plight to be known to the new king. "How you treat your father is how you will be treated...
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  • The Monkey and the Crocodile

    Published September 15, 2009

    Crocodile pretends to befriend monkey to eat its heart. Monkey pretends he left his heart at home. Crocodile returns monkey home and hears he has been fooled by monkey. Monkey tricks crocodile into opening its mouth and shutting its eyes and escapes again. Storytelling Motif - K607.2.3
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  • The Bat and the Weasel

    Published September 1, 2009

    Aesop Fable as Retold by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Weasel catches bat, says he never releases a bird. Bat claims to be an animal. Second weasel catches bat... says he never releases and animal. Bat claims to be a bird. Folktale Motif B261.1.0.4
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  • How the Bee Got His Bumble

    Published August 15, 2009

    Bee is told be a giant to taste every creature of earth to see who is the sweetest. Man tasted sweet. Bee is going to tell the giant. Man pulls out bee's tongue to keep the giant from finding out how sweet man is. Bee cannot talk. Bee can only buzz and bumble.
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  • The Frog In the Well

    Published July 25, 2009

    Frog lives in a small well where all of its needs are met. It believes it lives in the greatest place possible. Other animals try to tell Frog that the world is bigger. But Frog does not believe them. Like humans - Frog can only see the world from its own personal experiences. A bird takes Frog out of its small world and widens Frog's viewpoint.
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  • Two Rabbits and a Bear

    Published July 1, 2009

    Two rabbits are friends. The agree to help one another in all circumstances. Yet - when rabbits are faces by a bear - one runs away and leaves the other behind. Bear tells rabbit not trust the friend that ran away.
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  • The Man and the Snake

    Published June 15, 2009

    Man saves snake by taking a rock off its back. The snake wants to bite the man. The man wants to ask other creatures about the fairness of getting bitten after saving the snake. Jackal pretend to be stupid and says it has to see how the man saved the snake to determine the issue of fairness. Snake lays down and lets man put the rock back on it. Jackal tells man to leave snake under the rock and thus saves man.
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  • Joshua and the Battle of Jericho

    Published March 10, 2009

    Story of Joshua as a follower of Moses. It tells of how he spied in the land of Canaan for God's people and yet had to live 40 years in the wilderness because of the fear of other spies. He is chosen to replace Moses when Moses dies. He leads his people across the Jordon River and leads God's people to destroy Jericho.
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  • Why Chickens Scratch the Ground

    Published January 15, 2009

    Hawk loves chicken and gives her a ring. Jealous rooster makes chicken through the ring away. Hawk comes back and sees ring is missing and demands ring. The angry hawk became an enemy of all chickens until the ring is found. Every chicken scratches the ground searching for the ring.
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  • Raven and the Star Fruit Tree

    Published January 10, 2009

    Familiar plot of two brothers. The elder was rich. The younger was poor. The younger gets money magically with help of a raven who pays for eating fruits from a starfruit tree. Jealous older brother is greedy and loses life trying to get more money than his brother.
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  • The Lion Makers

    Published September 15, 2008

    Four Brahmin travel together. Three have gone to school to get their education. The other had no money to go to school but had common sense. The well-schooled men ridiculed their uneducated friend and tried to show off by bringing a lion back to life. One puts the bones together. The second puts back on the skin and restores the blood. The third breathes life into the lion. The common sense of the less educated man told him to climb a tree to safety. The educated men did not have common sense and were eaten by the lion. Sometimes common sense is more important than anything else.
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  • The Poor Man's Ruble

    Published September 15, 2008

    Tale ale of Faith, where Jewish man finds a treasure - but follows his faith and refuses to work on a holy day to dig it up. He loses the treasure and gets only one coin - a ruble. His wife invests the coin with a ship's captain who buys cats with the coin. The cats save the crew from a plague of rats and are sold for a treasure. The man who lost a treasure gets a bigger treasure from being faithful.
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  • The Sword of Gideon

    Published September 5, 2008

    Gideon is called on by an angel of God to fight an enemy of his people. He tests the man to see if he really was an angel. The angel passes the test. Gideon is told how to get the people to follow him. Gideon is told how to choose 300 men to fight the enemies. His army is small so God will get the credit for the win. Gideon becomes king after his victory.
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  • The Flies Who Paid a Debt of Gratitude

    Published August 15, 2008

    A good man in Taiwan is so kind that he will even save the lives of flies that fall into drink he is making. The man is falsely accused of a crime and sentenced to be executed. Flies will not allow the government official to sign the notice of execution. Officials investigate the crime that was charged and finds the charges to be false. The man's kindness had been repaid by the flies with kindness of their own.
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  • The Cricket's Supper - Texas Folktale Lesson Plan

    Published August 15, 2008

    Adaptation of West Texas Folktale. Grandpa Mike Lockett uses the story to teach facts about the ecosystem and the food chain. Cricket is caught by frog who is caught by lizard who is caught by snake who is caught by... Recorded on DVD by Lockett in 2009
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  • The Coyote and The Turtle

    Published August 15, 2008

    Coyote likes Turtle's song but is angered when Turtle will not share the song. Coyote threatens Turtle. Turtle begs to not be thrown into the river, so Coyote throws Turtle in the river. Turtle is happy at end because it fooled Coyote.
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  • The Dark Dark Night

    Published August 15, 2008

    Audience participation story - call and response story that takes listeners on a walk though the woods, down a dark road, into a house, down the hall, up the stairs, into the closet... Then, BOO - the teller scares the listeners. Original Source is anonymous.
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  • The Button Factory

    Published June 15, 2008

    Audience Participation Story as adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller
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  • The Monkey's Drum

    Published June 15, 2008

    As Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Poor, but hard working, Chinese man is caught napping by Monkeys. He remains motionless to see what happens. The monkey's think he is a statue and a drum. They decorate him with jewels. He escapes. He tells his story to a greedy man. The man lets himself be caught but gets thrown into a river by the monkeys.
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  • How Brazilian Beetles Got Their Coats

    Published June 1, 2008

    Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Story shares the origin of the color of the Brazilian Beetles. Beetle wins a race with rat and earns a green and gold coat - the color of the Brazilian flag. Folktale Motif A2411.3.3
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  • The Lion and the Buffalos

    Published February 22, 2008

    Aesop's Fable as Adapted by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Lion looks for a way to defeat Buffalo and eat it. Buffalo's strength is working together with other buffalos to protect each other. Lion uses false praise to make buffalo leave the protection of his friends. Then lion eats buffalo.
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  • I'm Gonna Tell

    Published February 15, 2008

    *As recorded by Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Humorous children's song - first recorded by Rosalie Sorrels with added lyrics by Mike Anderson. I'm gonna tell that your suck your thumb. I'm gonna tell where you stuck your gum. I'm gonna tell about the cat and the glue. I'm gonna tell on you. GREAT SONG for Storytelling Programs.
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  • Androcles and the Lion

    Published February 15, 2008

    Aesop Fable as retold by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - A run away slave pulls a thorn out of a lion's foot. The lion later saves the slave's life.
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  • The Ant and the Pigeon (Friends Come in all Sizes)

    Published February 15, 2008

    Adapted by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Ant and pigeon are neighbors - but are not friends because they are very different. Little Ant saves the life of Big Pigeon. The two realize that they can be friends even though they are different.
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  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf

    Published February 15, 2008

    Aesop Fable - as Retold by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Boy plays tricks on villagers calling for help, pretending a wolf was after the sheep. When the wolf arrived, the villagers do not believe the boy. No one believes a liar even when he is telling the truth.
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  • The Cat, the Rooster and the Young Mouse

    Published February 15, 2008

    Aesop's Fable as Adapted by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller
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  • The Dove and the Ant

    Published February 15, 2008

    Aesop Fable as Retold by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. Dove saves the life of Ant and later has the favor returned. Folktale Motif B 362.2
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  • The Farmer and the Stork

    Published February 15, 2008

    Aesop Fable as Retold by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Birds eat farmer's seeds. Stork is caught by farmer and claims innocence. Farmer kills story along with other birds. One is judged by the friends one keeps.
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  • The Frog in the Milk Pail

    Published February 15, 2008

    Adapted by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Based on an Aesop's fable. Frog falls into a milk pail but refuses to give up and drown. His struggles churn the cream in the milk and turn the milk into butter.
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  • The North Wind and the Sun Lesson Plan

    Published February 15, 2008

    Adapted from Aesop's Fables by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Contest of wind and sun to see who can make traveler remove his coat the fastest. Sun uses warmth to cause traveler to remove coat. Violent blowing wind causes traveler to pull the coat tighter.
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  • The Ox and the Frog

    Published February 15, 2008

    Aesop Fable as Retold by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Frog tries to swell up as big as an ox and bursts. Folktale Motif J955.1
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  • The Panther and the Villagers

    Published February 15, 2008

    Fable as Retold by Grandpa Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Panther is mistreated and takes revenge on those who hurt him by eating their animals. Panther does not harm those who befriended him.
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  • The Tortoise and the Hare

    Published February 15, 2008

    Aesop Fable - as Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Overconfident hare loses a race with slow but steady tortoise. Folktale Motif - K11.3
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  • Ow and Ouch - a Chinese folktale

    Published February 15, 2008

    As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Wealthy master becomes from a magic bird. He becomes greedy and cheats his workers. Boy is clever and outsmarts master and makes things right. Boy ends up with magic bird.
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  • The Baker's Daughter

    Published January 15, 2008

    Greedy girl works at a bakery. Girl is tested by a fairy pretending to be an old woman. Girl refuses to change her bad ways and is turned into an owl.
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  • The Wooden Shoe Christmas

    Published December 15, 2007

    Adapted from Francois Coppee's French Folktale "The Wooden Shoes of Little Wolff" (a story written in the 1800's). The story tells how a young child is rewarded for his faith and kindness at Christmas time.
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  • I Heard the Bells of Christmas Day

    Published December 15, 2007

    True story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his writing of the song I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.
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  • The Christmas Rose

    Published December 15, 2007

    A Christmas Legend about a shepherd girl at the Nativity. The girl wishes to give a gift nut has none. Her tears water the Christmas Rose and help it to bloom.
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  • The Christmas Truce of 1914

    Published December 15, 2007

    True story about a Christmas Truce that breaks out up and down the trenches during World War I.
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  • The Gift of Stories - The Caliph of Bagdad

    Published December 1, 2007

    As told by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller, 2007 in his book The Basics of Storytelling (Taiwan). Based on historical story of Aaron the Great.
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  • A Live Christmas - The Story of Francis of Assisi

    Published December 1, 2007

    Story of St. Francis of Assisi and the story of the Nativity as told by Mike Lockett
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  • Candy from Heaven?

    Published December 1, 2007

    Thoughts on Christmas Sweets by Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Mike Lockett explains the background information about Christmas candies.
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  • The Jackal and the Alligator

    Published September 15, 2007

    Jackal Is caught by alligator while hunting for shellfish. Jackal tricks alligator to get free. Alligator keeps trying to catch jackal. Jackal tricks alligator time after time until Alligator goes into Jackal's home. Then Jackal tricks alligator a final time and cooks alligator. Storytelling Motif - K7607.2.0.1
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  • Nancy Mason's Baby Fold

    Published September 15, 2007

    True, documented, story about Nancy Mason who started The Baby Fold in Normal, IL. The Baby Fold is an agency that helps families with obtaining adoptions and in caring for orphans and children with extreme behavior problems.
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  • The Ghost of Angie Milner

    Published September 1, 2007

    A true ghost story written by Vivian Carter, with added research and input from Dr. Mike Lockett. Angie Milner was the first librarian and the most memorable librarian at Illinois State University (then Illinois State Normal Teachers' College). Vivian researched and told this story as a part of a special grant with the Twin City Tale Spinners.
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  • The Calling of the Bells

    Published August 15, 2007

    True story about Dr. Lockett being hungry during his first tour or Taiwan and a humorous surprise he found when trying to chase down an ice cream truck.
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  • Why Clouds Are in the Sky Lesson Plan

    Published August 15, 2007

    The creator makes the earth and sky. Creator puts food in the sky for people to eat. People can take small pieces. Dr. Lockett's adaptation lets him play with audiences to imagine how they made "sky food". The people take more than they need and waste the food and are warned not to do so. When they continue to waste food, the sky is lifted high above the earth. Storytelling Motif - A625.2.8
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  • Why Evergreen Trees Keep Their Leaves Lesson Plan

    Published August 15, 2007

    Trees are asked for help by a little bird. All refuse except for the Evergreen Tree. The evergreen treats the bird with kindness and is rewarded by being able to keep its green leaves all winter.
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  • Spilled Milk

    Published August 15, 2007

    Adapted from fable about crying over spilled milk. Do not count your money before you get it.
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  • Fox's Sack

    Published August 15, 2007

    The usually clever fox tries to get a free meal by trading a bee for a rooster, the rooster for a pig and so on - until the fox finds a human mother who out-smarts the fox. This is a great story to act out with young listeners.
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  • Aiken Drum

    Published August 1, 2007

    Adaptation of ancient Scottish story a mystical elf-like creature called a Brownie. Story incorporates the legend and tells how working happily together makes the work easier and gets it done faster. Story is often told to accompany the song of Aiken Drum.
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  • "Private Joe" Fifer

    Published July 5, 2007

    True story about Joe Fifer from McLean County, Illinois. Tells about youth of Fifer and how he enlisted and served during the American Civil War or War Between the States. Included Fifer as Governor of Illinois and about his service as the Grand Old Man of the Republican Party.
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  • Monkey and Rabbit Together

    Published June 16, 2007

    Monkey and Rabbit have bad habits. Monkey scratches. Rabbit twitches. They have a contest to see who can sit still and not use their bad habits. They tell each other stories and use their habits as gestures in their stories. Folk Tale Motif K263.1
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  • The Three Little Pigs

    Published June 15, 2007

    Little Pigs leave mother to built houses of their own. They build houses of Straw, Sticks and Bricks. Big Bad Wolf comes and blows down straw and stick houses. Wolf cannot blow down brick house, and pigs are saved. Folktale Motif number - K891.1.1
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  • The Ox Who Won a Bet

    Published June 15, 2007

    Happy and contented ox helps pull a heavy load to help its master. Storytelling Motif B587.3
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  • How Lizard Beat Big Deer

    Published June 15, 2007

    A retelling of How Lizard Beat Deer in a race and got its beautiful coloring. Lizard bit deer on the tail and let deer do the racing. When deer reached the finish - lizard let go and got there first. Dr. Lockett tried to use Spanish during the telling.
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  • How Bear Lost His Tail

    Published June 15, 2007

    Fox tricks bear into using his tail in icy water to catch fish. The bear puts tail in water. Water freezes. Bear stands up fast as advised by fix and loses tail. Storytelling Motif - K1021
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  • Two Goats on the Bridge

    Published June 15, 2007

    Two goats live on two mountains connected by a single bridge. They both want to eat grass of the opposite mountain. They choose to fight about crossing the bridge instead of acting peacefully. They find that conflict causes them both to lose.
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  • The Magic Moneybag

    Published January 15, 2007

    A couple is given a magic moneybag with instructions to not take more than one coin per day. The bag always has one coin inside of it to replace the one that was taken out. The husband is impatient and takes all the money out at one time - causing all the money to disappear and the bag to remain empty. They lose all their magical gains and must go back to working hard to live.
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  • The Pumpkin Seeds

    Published January 15, 2007

    Poor brother is rewarded for good behavior to bird. Jealous rich brother is punished for bad behavior.
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  • The Most Precious Thing

    Published October 10, 2006

    Fallen angel tries to regain her place in heaven and is assigned by God to find the most important thing on earth. She finds a newborn baby, first love and much more. Only when she sees someone about to do something very wrong and changes his way was she on the right track. She takes God the tear of a repentant sinner.
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  • The Wonderful Pot

    Published July 15, 2006

    Starts with familiar plot where poor couple loses everything. Man sells milk cow. Instead of magic beans, he gets a magic pot. When cleaned and put on the fire, the pot runs out of the house to get what the family needs and makes things right for the couple.
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  • Saving the Moon - a Filipino Folktale Lesson Plan

    Published June 15, 2006

    Story about giant ocean crab that tries to eat the moon. Island princess stops the crab.
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  • Samuel, a Messenger of God

    Published June 1, 2006

    A retelling of the birth of Samuel and how he grows up in the church to become a servant of God.
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  • How Normal Became NORMAL

    Published April 23, 2006

    Factual and documented story of how Normal, Illinois became a town and later became a city. Story includes how Illinois State University came into existence as the first teachers' college in the state.
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  • The Musical Waters

    Published February 18, 2006

    The Pueblo people needed a good leader. Fox wanted to be that leader. Everyone thought the nearby lake played magical music. Fox discovered reeds with holes chewed by little creatures that the wind and water came through to make musical notes. Fox made flutes and used the music like it was magic to convince the people to follow him.
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  • The Three Bears

    Published September 15, 2005

    Three bears step out of their house to let their porridge cool. Little girl named goldilocks enters house without permission and eats porridge, tests furniture and sleeps in beds all without permission...Bears come home, find house in disarray, find girl and chase girl away. Folktale Motif N 831.1.2
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  • The Porridge Pot

    Published September 15, 2005

    A Grimm Tale Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. After a kind deed a poor girl is given a magic pot. The right words cause it to start making porridge and to quit making porridge. Mother knows how to start the pot, but not how to stop it. It creates river of porridge that floods the village. Storytelling Motif - C916.3
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  • Why Beans Have a Split Side

    Published September 15, 2005

    Adapted from the Brothers' Grimm by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. Tale of how a straw, a coal and bean work together to escape being cooked. The straw and the coal have a mishap that makes the beans laugh until it splits its sides. Storytelling Motif - A2741.1
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  • God Loves Little Servant Girls Too!

    Published August 15, 2005

    A Bible story about a lesser known girl in the New Testament in the Bible. The girl is praying for Peter an the time God helped him escape from prison.
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  • A Thanksgiving Special - The Story of Ruth

    Published August 15, 2005

    Bible story of how a woman named Ruth becomes a good friend with a woman named Naomi. Ruth was married to Naomi's son. Both sons of Naomi and her husband died. Ruth's love of Naomi causes her to travel to Israel with her. Naomi's advice to Ruth to find and marry a man named Boaz. The two have a child. The child is in the lineage of Kind David and in the lineage of Christ.
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  • Timothy's Head Start to Salvation

    Published August 15, 2005

    Dr. Lockett tells about the youth of Timothy and how Timothy became a friend of Paul to help share their faith in Christ.
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  • Jack and the Goblins

    Published August 15, 2005

    As Adapted by Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller (Appalachian Version of Brothers' Grimm story of the Brehmentown Musicians) Jack leaves home to find his fortune so he can get married. He finds helpers who want to come with him. Jack and the helpers find a house owned by Goblins. He and his helpers chase away the Goblins, so Jack can keep the Goblins' gold and marry to live happily ever after.
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  • Slimy Green Fingers

    Published August 15, 2005

    A woman has car problems and has to stay in a strange hotel in a strange room in a strange town. She is told the room is haunted but stays there regardless. At midnight a creature appears. "Guess what I can do with my slimy green fingers and slimy green lips?" it asks. She runs out screaming. This repeats few times. The last time - the woman is tired and angry and asks, "WHAT?" The story ends with silly behavior and laughter.
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  • The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

    Published June 15, 2005

    Performance Version of Story/Song - as adapted by Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller
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  • The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

    Published June 15, 2005

    Traditional American Story/Song - recorded by Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Cumulative audience participation song.
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  • The Wedding of Jack and Jill

    Published June 15, 2005

    Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Song from early 1900's, Origin unknown. Song incorporates Mother Goose characters into the Wedding of Jack and Jill.
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  • Did You Feed My Cow?

    Published June 15, 2005

    Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett from "Did you Feed My Cow?" by Margaret Taylor (Thomas Y Crowell, New York) published in A Second Storyteller's Choice by Eileen Colwell, 1967 - original source unknown.  Dr. Mike Lockett (2005) altered the entire second half of the poem.  In the original version, the cow dies and buzzards pick at the bones.  Lockett prefers a less violent version with today's children. 
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  • Farm Vacation

    Published June 15, 2005

    Audience Participation Activity written by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. - Based on pattern in The Button Factory learned from storyteller Michael Parent.
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  • The Man Who Saw a Crocodile

    Published June 15, 2005

    As adapted by Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Call and Response Audience Participation Activity - Pretend adventure of a man who goes for a walk, sees a crocodile and runs back home.
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  • The Turkey Hunt

    Published June 15, 2005

    As Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Audience participation activity - with three main responses. Loved by children. Wonderful classroom activity for Thanksgiving
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  • Full of Bologna

    Published June 15, 2005

    As Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller, Uses two American idioms to tell a humorous story - Flying off the Handle - (acting impulsively) and Full of Bologna (saying things that cannot possibly be true_
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  • Why Man Lives Eighty Years

    Published June 15, 2005

    Balkan Tale - As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Man and all animals were supposed to have an equal number of years to live. The animals give man part of their years to live - giving him 80 years in all to live.
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  • Anansi and the Python

    Published June 15, 2005

    Anansi Story as adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Based on Folk Motif A1481.2.1 Anansi is looking for fun on the island and is stopped because of peoples' fear of the Snake. Anansi stops snake's evil ways and is rewarded by the sky god for his efforts. In this version - he is rewarded with wisdom. When Dr. Lockett tells the story, Anansi is rewarded with all the world's stories.
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  • The Chinese Nightingale

    Published June 15, 2005

    Originally by Danish Storyteller Hans Christian Anderson, Adapted by Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller -Chinese Emperor hears of beautiful music sung by bird. Bird is brought to the palace to sing. Bird is caged and refuses to sing. Emperor is saddened and becomes ill. Bird sings and makes emperor well. Bird is given freedom.
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  • The Little Red Hen

    Published June 15, 2005

    Little Red Hen wants help making bread. Her friends do not want to help plant, water, weed, harvest, make the bread... yet they all want to eat the bread. The hen eats the breat alone without sharing. Folk Tale Motif - W111.6
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  • The Pot that Would Not Walk

    Published June 15, 2005

    Man buys heavy three-legged cooking pot for his wife. Pot is heavy. Foolish man leaves it to walk home by itself since it has three legs, and he has only two. Storytelling/Folktale Motif Number - J1881.1.3
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  • The Blind Men and the Elephant

    Published June 15, 2005

    Based on a poem by John Godfrey Saxe . "The Blind Man and the Elephant was written in the 1800's and became famous.   It is based on Indian and Chinese folktales
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  • The Hare That Ran Away

    Published June 15, 2005

    Hare hears fruit fall from tree and thinks the sky is falling. Hare starts rumor that spreads from animal to animal and causes a stampede. Lion stops the stampede and investigates to prove the sky is NOT falling.- Storytelling Motif - Z43.3.1
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  • The Hare That Ran Away - Teller's Notes

    Published June 15, 2005

    Storytelling Notes for The Hare that Ran Away
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  • The Seven Happy Villagers

    Published June 15, 2005

    Filipino Folktale As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett. Seven friends take a day trip. They count each other to make certain all are present before returning home. Each time - the counter forgets to count himself/herself. So they believe someone is missing. Only when a stranger counts them everyone is found, and they can celebrate. Another version of the same plot can be found among tales of the Wise Men of Gotham.
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  • The Mitten

    Published June 15, 2005

    Grandma makes a pair of mittens for a young child. The child loses one mitten. A series of animals decide to make a home of the mitten until it bursts and throws them all out. The bow gets his mitten back. Dr. Lockett's adaptation allows teachers to teach color words, body parts (nose, ears, head) and more. Storytelling Motif - J2199.5
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  • Little Half-Chick (Medio Pollito)

    Published June 15, 2005

    Half chick treats everyone badly. It refuses to unclog the stream. It refused to help the dying fire or help the wind caught in branches. At Madrid, the half chick is caught and put into a pot to cook. Water and Fire refuse to help half chick, and it is burned and turns black. The wind carries half chick up to the top of a church steeple where it becomes a weather vane. Storytelling Motif B171.1.2
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  • Fox's Warm Bargain

    Published June 1, 2005

    Argentine Folk Tale Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller
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  • Just Get His Attention

    Published June 1, 2005

    Short story about getting the horse's attention. An old joke about needing a 2 X 4 to get someone's attention before talking to them.
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  • Why Male Mosquitoes Do Not Bite

    Published April 15, 2005

    Cumulative story from Philippines about why male mosquitos do not buzz or sting as retold by Dr. Mike Lockett. - Frog blames croak that keeps bird from sleeping on turtle who carries house on his back. Turtle carried house because afraid of firefly. Firefly afraid of mosquito and his sharp knife. Male mosquito is punished for threatening others and no longer buzzes and does not bite. Storytelling Motif - A2426.3.5.1
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  • The King of the Birds

    Published April 15, 2005

    Lion is tired of being King of Land and the Air and asks birds to select their own king. The birds hold a contest to see who can fly the highest. However, the agreed upon words are not who can FLY the highest, but who can GO the highest. Little Bird hides in falcon's wings. Falcon FLIES the highest and expects to become king of the birds. Then LITTLE BIRD flies up from falcon's back after falcon lands - proving Little Bird WENT the highest. Brains win out again.
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  • The Magic Pillow

    Published February 12, 2005

    As Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller Fortune telling dream... Unhappy farmer is allowed to see an alternate future while sleeping on a magic pillow. He is happier when he regains his own future. Folktale Motif D1812.3.3.5.1
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  • The Love of Two Brothers

    Published January 14, 2005

    Two brothers in Israel loved each other very much. They were farmers and wanted to help each other. In the night, each carried grain in the cover of darkness to fill his brother's barn. On one moon-lit night they see each other and run to embrace in brotherly love. where they met is where the Temple in Jerusalem was built.
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  • Why Spiders Hide in Corners

    Published April 23, 2004

    Anansi and his family have a good harvest. Anansi does not want to share his food with anyone including his family. His greed causes him to behave in ways embarrassing to his family. In humiliation he often takes the shape of a spider and hides in corners.
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  • The Legend of Babushka

    Published December 15, 2000

    Babushka was an old Russian woman. While living on her country farm, she met the magi - three Asian Kings who were searching for the Christ Child. She had the chance to travel with them and did not go right away. She missed the chance to see the child and followed in the path of the magi later. The legend tells how she still searches for the child today.
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  • The Legend of the Poinsettia

    Published December 15, 2000

    Mexican girl brings a flower to the Christmas Eve service and lays it on the alter. The flower opens and blooms before the congregation and is considered to be holy.
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  • The Legend of the Robin

    Published December 15, 2000

    A French legend about how a robin fanned embers with its wings to kindle a fire to keep Mary and the baby Jesus warm.
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  • The Story of Silent Night

    Published December 15, 2000

    The church organ was broken at the Church of St. Nicholas in Obendorf, Austria in 1818. Father Joseph Mohr wrote a poem about the first Christmas night that was set to music by a teacher, Franz Gruber.
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  • THE THREE PURSES - The Story of St. Nicholas

    Published December 15, 2000

    Legend of how the Greek Bishop Nicholas gave gold coins to help three maidens get a dowry so they could get married. It is believed by many that this is how the idea of hanging Christmas stockings started.
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  • Live Your Life Wisely?

    Published December 15, 2000

    Short story/Joke about how people can falsely think others are dumb since they do not have a formal education. The story recognizes the importance of common sense and things that can be learned out of school.
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  • Pets at the Library

    Published December 15, 2000

    Short story/joke from anonymous source about a chicken at the library. Dr. Lockett uses his animal invitations to make chicken and frog sounds that fit the story. The girl in the story likes to check out books to read to her animals. When hurt, she sends the chicken to get books. Later, she sends her frog to say she had already read a book.
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  • The Apple Star

    Published December 15, 2000

    Short story from anonymous source about a child seeing a falling star. The child wants to know where it landed. The teller can make up a version that ends with the star falling in a local orchard. To prove the story - the teller cuts an apple in half from top to bottom and shows a star. If done properly, one can see a star in every apple.
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  • The Pig's Brother

    Published December 15, 2000

    Little boy is so dirty he is accused of being the brother of a pig. Adapted from How to Tell Stories to Children by Sara Cone Bryant, The Pig Brother, Houghton Mifflin, 1905.  (Originally in "The Golden Window" by Laura E. Richards, 1903, Little, Brown and Co.)
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  • Why Roses Come in Pink

    Published December 15, 2000

    White roses are complimented by the sun and become embarrassed and turn pink. Literary story by Sarah Cone Bryant.
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  • Dividing the Oxen

    Published December 15, 2000

    Three sons inherit 17 oxen. They go to a judge for help dividing them using a formula their father created. Good story for Math Teachers who are teaching problem solving. Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett. Storytelling Motif - J1249.5 (One son is to inherit 1/2, the second 1/3, the last 1/9)
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  • The New Shoes

    Published December 15, 2000

    A man goes to the market to buy shoes and forgets his measurements at home. He is foolish and does not think to ask the shoemaker to take new measurements of his feet. Useful for math teachers when teaching problem solving - about looking for multiple ways to solve problems. (A Taoist Tale from China)
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  • The Starfish

    Published December 15, 2000

    Man finds boy on beach. Boy is throwing starfish into the ocean. When asked why, the boy says he is saving their lives, one at a time.
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  • Christmas Cards Remembered

    Published December 1, 2000

    Essay by Mike Lockett telling the history of sending Christmas Cards
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  • A Leader Lends a Hand

    Published September 15, 2000

    Lesser known, but undocumented, story of George Washington and an example of good leadership.
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  • The Story of Taps

    Published September 15, 2000

    Two stories of how the song Taps began. One is a long told story that was not backed by research. The other had ben supported by documentation.
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  • The Fortunate Mistake

    Published September 15, 2000

    Story of Major James Donaldson's quest to acquire mules for the invasion of the south by the north as part of the Tennessee River Plan.
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  • The Boy and the Book

    Published September 15, 2000

    Historical story about an event in the youth of Abraham Lincoln. The event was a character building event where Lincoln took responsibility for a borrowed book that had been ruined by accident.
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  • The Warrior Who Hated War - Ulysses S. Grant

    Published September 15, 2000

    True Story about Ulysses S. Grant, Union General in the American Civil War. Documented story of Grant's youth, events that led him to become a Civil War General and about his life as President of the United States.
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  • How the Finch Got its Colors Lesson Plan

    Published September 1, 2000

    Adapted from a Flemish folktale by Dr. Mike Lockett Tells how the creator took colors from the rainbow to give colors to the birds. All the birds pushed and shoved to get the colors they wanted. The finch politely waited to get its color - and all the colors were used up. All the birds gave small parts of their colors to the finch - making it multi-colored.
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  • Want to Know More about Your Easter Eggs and Bunny

    Published April 1, 2000

    More about Easter by Dr. Mike Lockett. An essay on the history of Easter and Easter customs.
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  • Why Spiders Have Big Bottoms

    Published September 1, 1993

    Many people recognize the name Anansi and associate it with the continent of Africa.  Many folktales are told about this popular character.  For those who don't know him, Anansi is favorite hero, especially in the country of Ghana.    Anansi is sometimes perceived as a man.  Other times, he appears in the shape of a spider.  Whatever his shape, all Anansi stories describe Anansi as greedy and lazy - but also terribly clever.  The problem with Anansi is that his cleverness sometimes backfires and causes him problems. This story tells why his bottom is bigger than his head. Storytelling Motif - A2320.1.2
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  • The Cat and the Mouse

    Published June 15, 1992

    Cumulative Story from England based on a Mother-Goose Poem.  Cat bites off mouse's tail. Cat will not give back tail until mouse gets milk from cow. Cow says no milk until mouse gets hay from the farmer. Mouse has adventure going to cow, farmer, butcher and baker before getting tail back from Cat.
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  • The King Who Changed His Ways

    Published October 1, 1975

    A King is cruel and over taxes everyone. In a test, the king offers the hand in marriage of a beautiful maiden to see if anyone has a single coin to pay for her. A young man desires the maiden and robs the dead to get a coin. The king becomes ashamed that his harsh ways have caused someone to resort to robbing the dead and changes his ways.
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  • Creative Division (The Peasant and the Geese)

    Published September 15, 1975

    Poor farmer gives a single goose to a wealthy neighbor and demonstrates how to divide it equally among six family members and is rewarded, The story includes a poor man receiving money and a jealous wealthy man losing money. Story is wonderful for math teachers when teaching division. Storytelling Motif 601
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  • Gingerbread Man

    Published September 15, 1973

    As Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Old woman makes a man (boy) out of gingerbread and puts it in the oven. The man comes to life then runs away to keep from being eaten. It escapes the man and the woman, men threshing wheat by the fields, the big black horse, the big black cow then gets eaten by the sly fox.
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  • Gettin' the Mule's Attention

    Published September 15, 1973

    Short story telling how to teach a mule to listen to directions. (In the real world mules are highly intelligent and easily trainable. ) In this story the trainer hits the mule to get its attention before giving directions.
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  • Horse Sense

    Published September 15, 1973

    Short story/joke poking fun of two men who cannot tell their hordes apart even though they are different colors and one is a boy and the other is a girl.
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  • The Cat's Tale

    Published September 1, 1973

    As Adapted by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - Why Cat's Wash After They Eat - Dr. Lockett tells the story as a participation story - Folktale Motif A2545.2 North Carolina in the USA,
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  • The Boy and the North Wind

    Published September 1, 1973

    North wind blows away flour from poor boy and his mother. Boy travels to find wind and asks it to make things right. Wind gives magic cloth that when spread gives food. Inn keeper steals cloth. Wind gives goat that coughs up money. Inn keeper steals goat. Wind gives magic stick. Inn keeper tries to steak stick and gets beaten until boy is given everything back. Storytelling Motif 861.1
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  • The Elves and the Shoemaker

    Published September 1, 1973

    Little elves help make shoes for a shoemaker so the man and his wife can make enough money to make a living. The couple stays up late and seed the elves. The wife makes clothes for the elves who disappear after getting the clothes. But the man and woman live happily/ Originally Written by Hans Christian Anderson. Adapted and Retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller.
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  • Full of Bologna

    Published September 1, 1973

    A corny joke or story using idioms - flying off the handle - which often means doing things without thinking them through clearly and full of bologna - which means saying things you think are true that are really wrong (not knowing what you are talking about).
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  • The Squeaky Door

    Published September 1, 1973

    A Boy lives with his grandma in a room that has a squeaky door. The door squeaks, the boy screams, and grandma cannot sleep. Grandma cannot sleep and gets mad (angry). Grandma gives the boy animals to sleep with - one a night. Still the door squeaks, the boy screams, and the animals make noises. There are variations to the end. This story ends in the house collapsing. Grandma's friends help her repair the house. Grandma makes sure the door does not squeak any more.
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  • The Gunny Wolf Lesson Plan

    Published August 29, 1973

    Appalachian Tale as retold by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller - The Gunny Wolf is an American Folktale handed down through the generations in the Appalachians.  The actual origin is unknown.  It was made popular by American librarian/folklorist Wilhemina Harper in her 1967 re-telling as "The Gunniwolf." A Little Girl disobeys her mother and enters the woods. She is forced by a Gunny Wolf to sing for him. She escapes and never goes into the woods again. Folktale Motif G555.1.4
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  • The Three Sillies

    Published June 15, 1973

    Quest to find three people as silly (stupid) as his fiancé. Folktale Motif number H312.1
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  • The Frog Prince - or - A Promise is a Promise

    Published June 15, 1973

    Adapted from the Brothers Grimm by Dr. Mike Lockett, The Normal Storyteller. Self-Centered Princess loses her golden ball. She makes promises to a frog to get her ball back and does not want to honor the promises which include eating off her plate, sleeping in her bed and the frog being kissed by the princess. The princess is forced by her father to keep her promises. The enchanted frog is turned back into a prince. They marry and live happily ever after.
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