The Gothy Duff

Respect and heartfelt gratitude to the Wurrundjeri / Woiwurrung People of the Kulin Nation, on whose land I live and write.

Respect and gratitude to all Aboriginal people, all over Australia.

Simon McDonald in 1967, from Hugh Anderson's 'Time Out of Mind'

Simon McDonald in 1967, from Hugh Anderson’s ‘Time Out of Mind’

They go along the road a bit and there’s a bloke come along on a black horse. And he said, “Where’re you going?” … And Jack … said, “…We’re going to find that great horse called the Black Entire.” He said, “I’m just the man that can help you.” He said, “I’m the Gothy Duff.”

…So they all tramped along the road and they come into the dark woods and then they went down into deep gullies, one way and another, and they come into the Underworld…

Simon McDonald, from ‘The Black Entire from Bryan O’Ville in the Underworld’ (or ‘The Witch’s Tale’), told to Hugh Anderson in 1967
National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection, ORAL TRC 2105 (2093885)

The Australian Mythic Imagination?

Ned Kelly, painted by Sidney Nolan

Ned Kelly, painted by Sidney Nolan

I am a writer and storyteller, passionate about creating and telling Australian wonder tales and, in the fullness of time, epic fantasy set in a recognisably Australian imaginative landscape.

To anchor this fiction in Australian culture, as well as the Australian landscape, I have set out to serve an apprenticeship engaging with wonder tales that have been told by ordinary Australians at various stages of our history. This apprenticeship takes the form of listening to the distinctively Australian voices that tell the tales, learning from their storytelling techniques and language, researching the stories they tell, finding their relatives in folktales, legends and myths told in other countries, and respectfully retelling them in a way that is based on what I have learned from the narrative techniques of Australian oral storytellers.

Cover of Ron Edwards' 'The Australian Yarn'

Cover of Ron Edwards’ ‘The Australian Yarn’

I have also spent time with other narrative traditions of the Australian people, like bush yarns, oral history, historical narratives that have captured the Australian popular imagination, bush poetry, and traditional folk songs sung in Australia.

I have a background interest in comparative mythology, and so when looking into all of these sources for ‘the Australian Legend’, I cannot help but see mythological resonances as well. My work is about exploring these mythic resonances in Australian culture, and trying to help them live more vibrantly in the imaginations of Australians.

What’s This Blog About?

The posts on this blog will be either in narrative form or else scholarly (and sometimes slightly more speculative) discussion about myths and wonder tales. The narratives will be wonder tales – hopefully (if I get permission to publish them), obscure and neglected wonder tales collected from Australian oral tradition. I also post my own retellings of International wonder tales that could have come to Australia in the oral tradition of families who have migrated here from all over the world.

Jack TalesI am interested in how stories are changed by migration to the New World (including Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Americas). So I explore how the stories were told and written down in the ‘Old World’ (Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific). I also refer to oral märchen traditions from North America (‘Jack Tales’ and so on).

By ‘wonder tales’ I mean stories that have been called variously ‘fairy tales’, ‘contes de fées’, ‘contes merveilleux’, ‘zaubermärchen’, ‘Kinder- und Hausmärchen’, ‘seanscéalta’, ‘Jack, Will and Tom Tales’, ‘myths’, ‘folktales’, and just plain old ‘stories’. By and large they are stories with recognisable narrative structures (Aarne-Thompson-Uther International Tale Types, and perhaps Vladimir Propp’s morphological structures), containing motifs and archetypes that resonate strongly enough with the human psyche that they are retold and reworked over and over again from culture to culture, historical period to period. That is why one can read a story from Korea, Norway, or North America and recognise similar narrative structures and motifs to tales from France, Germany, China, even ancient Mesopotamia.

Some Australian Wonder Tales

Simon McDonald on the Wattle Recordings album cover

Simon McDonald on the Wattle Recordings album cover

The name of the blog, ‘The Gothy Duff’, comes from an Irish-Australian story told in 1967 by Simon McDonald of Creswick, Victoria. This story, along with an early encounter with Richard Chase’s The Jack Tales, set me off on my journey of discovery into the wonder tales of the New World and their Old World ancestors. Quite a few of the early posts are about Simon McDonald’s story, while others follow tangents related to the variants of the story found around the world.

Joseph Jacobs, collector of the Cornish-Australian version of 'Jack and the Beanstalk'

Joseph Jacobs, collector of the Cornish-Australian version of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

There are posts about other wonder tales collected from oral tradition in Australia, many of them from non-English language traditions. A few of the English language stories were remembered by nineteenth century folklorist Joseph Jacobs from his childhood in Australia, including one of the most frequently retold versions of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ (which most people assume is English). If anyone out there knows of any other wonder tales that have been told orally in Australia or New Zealand, I would be very interested in hearing from you.

Interpretation and Historical Context

I also indulge in some wonder tale interpretation, by way of comparative mythology, and some of the interpretive approaches of Carl Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz, Vladimir Propp, Mircea Eliade, Walter Burkert, Hilda Ellis Davidson, Joseph Campbell, Rudolf Meyer, and Max Lüthi. Psychology, comparative religion and anthropology all provide perspectives that I find useful in glimpsing the deeper currents running beneath the ‘bright trains of images’ on the surface of a wonder tale.

Australian history and culture, and the history and culture of the countries where New World wonder tales migrated from, will be used as a reference point to anchor the more buoyant approach of wonder tale interpretation.

Australian Traditional Folk Music

Frank 'The Darkie' Gardiner, 1860s bushranger, escaping from police

Frank ‘The Darkie’ Gardiner, 1860s bushranger, escaping from police

I am a singer and musician (pretty rough these days), and have listened to and played traditional music from Australia and around the world, which has given me a particular angle on Australian cultural history (bushrangers, brutal convict systems, the gold rush, swaggies, shearers, bush shanties, and so on), as well as a point of comparison with how culture migrates and is altered to suit its new home. The Australian musical tradition provides a wider field of exploration of the Australian popular imagination from a particular period of our history, as well as many more examples of songs and tunes that have migrated and been ‘naturalised’ in Australia. I discuss traditional music where it can shed some light on Australian wonder tales. Some of the character types and settings that recur in our musical folk tradition come into my retellings of wonder tales.

Australian Aboriginal Stories

As with any discussion of Australian history and culture, the elephant in the room is the shameful and heartbreaking history of the invasion of Aboriginal Australia, the massacres, rapes, enslavement, dispossession, disempowerment, forced alienation from land, family, culture and language, intergenerational scars on mental health, and all the other evils my ancestors and other colonising people inflicted upon the first Australians. Whether through deliberate actions and policies, neglect or ignorance, this litany of tragedies should be a source of deep shame for the descendants of the perpetrators, and represents a great unhealed wound in the national psyche of Australia. This must be addressed, and each Australian has to take their own steps, at their own pace, on the long journey of healing.

I have deliberately not included wonder tales collected from aboriginal people in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is because I do not have permission to discuss or retell these stories from the people to whom these tales belong. Some of the stories are sacred, and all of them are the cultural and intellectual property of particular aboriginal people who traditionally told these stories and passed them on from custodian to custodian. To retell such a story without permission and, ideally, collaboration from the story’s custodians is extremely disrespectful – insult added to the injuries inflicted by the men with guns and chains.

That said, I would dearly love to include wonder tales told by aboriginal people, whether they be traditional stories of Australian heritage or stories from European, Asian or Pacific Island tradition, retold by aboriginal people in a new way. But I will only do this with permission and ongoing consultation with the aboriginal people who have listened to and retold the story in their family.

The Quest for More Australian Wonder Tales

He hadn't gone far when he met an old swagman, who said to him: “Gooday, Jack.” “Gooday, yerself,” said Jack, and wondered how he knew his name.

He hadn’t gone far when he met an old swagman, who said to him: “Gooday, Jack.”
“Gooday, yerself,” said Jack, and wondered how he knew his name.

Anyone with anything to add to my very incomplete knowledge of the oral tradition of wonder tales in Australia and around the world is strongly encouraged to write in. I am putting these stories out in blog form to make them more accessible for storytellers, writers, illustrators and others to work with the raw material that makes up part of the Australian collective imagination. But the wonder tales I know of are only a small selection of the wonder tales that I’m sure have been told in Australia through our history. Perhaps some are still being told in Australia within families, even amidst the tidal wave of the mass media, or at least remembered by members of older generations from their own childhood. Perhaps some were written down or recorded, but now lie languishing in a library or in someone’s collection of family memorabilia.

Let’s make the world more aware of them, so that they can inspire our storytellers to work with narratives that have occupied the imaginations of Australians, and that have resonated strongly enough within the psyches of those Australians that they have remembered and repeated those stories. It doesn’t matter if the story has been in Australia for 50,000 years or migrated in the last few years. They are stories that have lived within the imaginations of people living here, and I think that makes them worth sharing with other Australians.

Tell us another one.

A Special Fairy Tale Edition of TEXT: CFP

Here’s a link to a post from Dr Belinda Calderone on the Australian Fairy Tale Society blog. It is a call for submissions to a special edition of the scholarly journal TEXT, which will be all about Australasian fairy tales. Submission deadline July 29, 2016.

Belinda writes, “Good morning fairy tale enthusiasts! I’m so excited to announce that three members of the Australian Fairy Tale Society committee – Dr Nike Sulway, Dr Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario, and myself – are collaborating to produce a special edition of the scholarly journal TEXT. This edition is all about Australasian fairy tales…”

More details on the Australian Fairy Take Society blog:

Source: A Special Fairy Tale Edition of TEXT: CFP

Our 2016 Conference – Call for Presentations!

A conference dear to my heart.

Australian Fairy Tale Society

After months of discussion and preparation, the AFTS committee is delighted to announce the theme of our 2016 conference…

Into the Bush: Its Beauty and Its Terror

Bush

Here are the details:

When: Sunday, 26 June 2016

Where: We have chosen to hold our conference in Victoria this year! For our venue, we have chosen the Glen Eira Town Hall, Caulfield, VIC, 3162.

Our call for papers is now officially open, and will close at 5pm on Friday, 29 January 2016. See the call for papers below, or print off a PDF version here: AFTS 2016 Conference – CFP

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Australian Fairy Tale Society – 2016 Conference

Call for Presentations – Into the Bush: Its Beauty and Its Terror

‘Into the Woods,’ is a phrase that has become closely linked to the fairy tale genre. It conjures up all manner of fairy tale images, such as roguish wolves waiting behind trees…

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A MACEDONIAN-AUSTRALIAN VERSION OF ‘RAPUNZEL’ AND ‘THE MAGIC FLIGHT’

This is a Macedonian-Australian folktale, told by Anna and Rita Vasileva in Melbourne, Victoria in 1976. Gwenda Davey recorded them telling two versions in Macedonian (one telling from each sister) and one in English. The story is a version of ATU 310 (‘Rapunzel’) + ATU 313 (‘The Magic Flight’).

This is not a word-for-word transcription, but is largely based on my transcription of the Vasilevas’ telling in English. I don’t speak Macedonian, so I have not been able to include any details of plot or phraseology from the Vasilevas’ tellings in Macedonian, much as I would like to. I have, however, been able to include some plot details from a Macedonian version translated and published in the book 101 Macedonian Folk Tales by Danica Cvetanovska and Maja Miškovska (Bigoss, Skopje, 2003) where that version sheds light on and enhances the Vasilevas’ version.

The recordings of the Rita and Anna Vasileva are held in the National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection (Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/8-9 ; 679993 ; nla.oh-2632-0008-0000-m [the Macedonian telling is 9.00 minutes into the recording] and nla.oh-2632-0009-0000-m [Macedonian telling 0.00 minutes into the recording, English telling 3.50 minutes into the recording].)

Anna and Rita Vasileva are singers who led the Macedonian Womens’ Choir of Melbourne. Their music has been has been recorded by Peter Parkhill (NLA Oral History and Folklore Collection) and by the team from ABC Radio National’s ‘Music Deli’. Gwenda Davey’s recording also includes a number of Macedonian childrens’ songs, sung beautifully by the Vasileva sisters, as well as riddles and rhymes, and a number of other folktales, including a version of ATU 480 (‘The Kind and Unkind Girls’), a version of ATU 2044 (‘Pulling Up the Turnip’), some Nasreddin Hodja (Hoca) tales (often associated with Turkish tradition), some about Clever Peter (Nasreddin Hodja’s Macedonian equivalent and his occasional rival), and some animal tales – ‘The Horse and the Wolf’, ‘The Fisherman and the Fox’, ‘The Fox and the Grapes’ and ‘Grandmother Bear and Krushka’.

Tentelina and the Wolves

In a small village there lived a mother who had only one son and no daughters. They had all died. She became pregnant again. Every day she used to go to the well at the edge of the forest for a pail of water. One day, she took a different path coming back from the well, missed her turn and became lost. The path took her deeper into the forest. Carrying the heavy pail of water, she fell into a deep mud hole and couldn’t get out.

A wolf came along and the woman called out to him, “Wolf, wolf, turn around and back towards me so I can take hold of your tail and get out of this mud.”

“What will you give me if I let you take hold of my tail?” asked the wolf.

“I am a poor woman. I have nothing to give. If I did, I would happily give it.”

“Lady, you must give me that which you carry inside you. Promise me that,” said the wolf. “If you give birth to a boy you may keep him for yourself, but if you give birth to a girl she will be mine!”

The woman could think of no other way to get out of the mud to save her life and the life of her unborn baby, so at last she said, “Alright. I’ll give you my baby if it is a girl.”

Then the wolf turned his tail to the woman. She took hold and drew herself out of the mud and went home with her pail of water.

A year went by and the lady had a child, a beautiful little baby girl called Tentelina. Tentelina grew up and soon she was playing with the other children in the village. One day, she went further away from the house and she found herself deep in the forests and the wolf met her. He came up to Tentelina and said, “Tentelina, go to your mother and tell her she must give me that which she promised.” Tentelina hurriedly went home but forgot before she got there.

The next day when Tentelina was playing with the children the wolf met her again and said, “Tentelina, did you give your mother my message?”

“No. I forgot,” said Tentelina.

“Go home now and tell your mother that what she promised she must give me.”

This time Tentelina went straight home and told her mother what befell her. The mother began to worry and she said, “The next time you meet the wolf tell him that you forgot to tell me.”

When the wolf met Tentelina for the third time, he said, “Tentelina, did you tell your mother?”

“Oh no! I forgot again.”

“If you do not tell her this time,” said the wolf, “I will eat you up the next time we meet.”

The girl went home and told her mother what the wolf had said, and the mother saw that there was no way out of it. She hugged her daughter for a long time, kissed her and gave her an apple. Then she said, “Next time you see the wolf, tell him to take what I have promised to give him.”

Tentelina went back into the woods and was met by the wolf once more. “Did you ask your mother what I told you?”

“Yes,” said Tentelina.

And the wolf took little Tentelina away before she could realise what was happening. He took her deep into the forests. Deep and deeper and deeper they went until they reached a very, very tall tree. This was where Tentelina was to spend the rest of her time.

After a while, Tentelina’s brother became very worried and he asked his mother, “Where is my sister, mother?” His mother didn’t know what to say, but after many questions from her son she resolved to tell him. The brother was very, very angry and said, “I’m going out to find my sister.”

He walked for days and days, deep and deeper and deeper into the forest, until he reached a spring. Near the spring was a little cottage where a little old woman lived. She came out and said, “I know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the girl who lives in that very tall tree. The wolf keeps her there. When he wants to go up to the tree he says, ‘Tentelina, let down your long hair so that I may climb up.’ And that’s how the wolf climbs up. She has been there for a while. I can take you there and help you both escape from the wolf.”

The brother thanked the little old lady and together they set out for the tall tree. They came to it and Kostadin called out, “Tentelina, let down your long hair.” And Tentelina, without realising it was her brother, let down her long hair and her brother climbed up. When she saw him she was so excited, so happy to see him, they kissed each other, they hugged each other, but she was very worried because she knew that the wolf would come back. “I cannot get down without the wolf knowing where I have gone. Even the spoons talk, and they will tell the wolf.”

The brother said, “Don’t worry, Tentelina. I have come with someone who can help us.” And he called down to the old lady, “Granny, can you help us? How can we stop the spoons talking and telling the wolf where Tentelina has gone?”

“I’ll teach you,” said the old lady. “Knead some hard dough and stuff it into the spoons. That will keep them from telling the wolf.” So Tentelina stuffed the spoons, all except the one that she did not know was hidden in the wolf’s paw. Then they climbed down the long tree.

Just before they were about to go off, the little lady came out of her little cottage and said, “Here is a cake of soap, a cake of clay, and a comb. When the wolves come closer, throw the comb and a thick forest will appear. If they come close again, throw the clay and high mountains will appear. If they come close a third time throw the soap and a big river will appear, full of soap, and it will make it very hard for them to catch up.” The brother and Tentelina thanked the little lady very much and began to hurry off.

Meanwhile, the wolves came back to the tree. The wolf had invited his wolf friends to come to his house and have a special feast. Together they would eat Tentelina. The big wolf cried out, “Tentelina, let down your long hair.” But no Tentelina – the hair would not come down. “Tentelina! Let down your long hair.” But Tentelina was not there. The wolf grew angry. “She must have gone. What has happened?”

The spoon in his paw said in a tiny voice, “Tentelina’s brother took her.”

Then the little lady came out of her cottage and said, “Ha ha ha! You will never find Tentelina. Her brother came and took her far away. You will never catch her again.”

The wolves grew angry and started to run after Tentelina and her brother. They came very close and the brother threw the comb behind him and a thick forest appeared, full of thorn bushes and blackberries. While the wolves were trying to get through the forest, Tentelina and her brother had run much further away this time.

But the wolves came closer again and the brother threw behind him the clay. A great mountain range grew up where it landed. The wolves took a long time to get over the mountains, by which time Tentelina and her brother had nearly reached their old village.

But the wolves had got over the mountains and had almost caught up with Tentelina and her brother a third time when the brother threw behind him the soap, and before you could think twice a big river appeared, full of soap, very thick. The wolves had such a hard time to swim through the river, it was so slippery and they couldn’t get out.

By this time Tentelina and her brother had arrived safely back to their mother’s arms. Their mother was so happy to see her children again that she threw a great big feast and invited all the villagers. They had wonderful food – cakes, lemonades. I got some lemonade too, but my moustache was so long that it all flowed down my whiskers and none got into my mouth.

I had such a wonderful time that I forgot to tell you what happened to the big bad wolf. Well, the other wolves got so angry with him, they thought that he had tricked them. So they all got together round him and tore him to pieces and had their own feast.

An Australian Version of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

This is my own version of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, more or less transcribed from the way I tell it when storytelling (I have edited it to make it read better). My telling was originally based on Joseph Jacobs’ version (Tale 13 in English Fairy Tales [1890]. Jacobs, who grew up in Sydney, says in his endnotes, “I tell this as it was told me in Australia, somewhere about the year 1860.”). Much of the language of Jacobs’ version remains in my version. It is possible to read his text with either an English or Australian accent. Both fit the language he uses. Over successive oral retellings, I found myself bringing out the Australian reading with the addition of a few distinctively Aussie expressions and imagery drawn from the Australian bush yarn tradition. Then one day, during a long car trip with children in the back seat, my telling extended to include a drought that was afflicting Jack and his mother, a rich squatter who dammed the creek upstream of their selection, and an ogre who used his magic harp to stop the rain falling. My children then continued to request repeats of this version, so some of the drought theme has remained in successive versions. I have included some of the physical gestures and non-verbal sounds that I make while telling the story to an audience. These are written in italics, usually inside square brackets.

Jack and the Beanstalk

There was once upon a time a poor widow who had an only son named Jack, and a cow named Milky-white, and all they had to live on was the milk the cow gave every morning. They lived in an old bark hut, out in the bush where the tall gum trees stand.

Every morning, Jack was up with the kookaburras, bright and early, and he’d pull on his strides and pull on his coat [mimes pulling on trousers and coat], and he’s out to the paddocks to find Milky-white and bring her in for milking. He’d milk her into an old tin billy can (squirt, squirt, squirt, squirt [milking gesture with hands]) and then bring it inside, usually with a couple of ticks and a grasshopper floating in it. (“Strain ’em out with yer teeth,” says his mother. “They won’t hurt yer.”) While Jack was out with the cow, his mother would have got the fire going and walloped up a damper or some johnnie-cakes for breakfast. Jack’d set the billy on the fire to scald the milk, and all the cream’d rise to the top. They’d scrape that off and that’d do them for butter for their bread. The milk they didn’t drink in their tea they’d haul into town to sell, and that was what they lived on.

But it had been a very dry year and even the spring rains had failed, and Milky-white’s pasture was looking pretty dry and dusty. It wasn’t long before there was no feed left for Milky-white, and one morning she gave no milk at all. Then they knew they were in trouble.

“What shall we do, what shall we do?” said the widow, wringing her hands.

“Cheer up, mother, I’ll go and get work somewhere,” said Jack.

“We’ve tried that before, and nobody would take you,” said the widow; “They said you were too young to be doing a man’s work. There’s nothing else for it – we must sell Milky-white.”

“All right, mother,” says Jack; “there’s an auction down at the sale yards today. I’ll sell Milky-white, and then we’ll see what we can do.”

So he took the cow’s halter in his hand, and off he started. He hadn’t gone far when he met an old swagman, who said to him: “Gooday, Jack.”

“Gooday, yerself,” said Jack, and wondered how he knew his name.

“Well, Jack, and where are you off to?” said the swaggie.

“I’m off to the sale yards to sell our cow there.”

“Oh, you look the proper sort of fella to sell cows,” said the man; “Bet you don’t know how many beans make five.”

“Two in each hand and one in your mouth,” says Jack, as sharp as a needle.

“Right you are,” says the man, “and here they are, the very beans themselves,” he went on, pulling out of his pocket a number of strange-looking beans. “As you are so sharp,” says he, “I don’t mind doing a swap with you – your cow for these beans.”

“Go along,” says Jack; “wouldn’t you like that?”

“Ah! you don’t know what these beans are,” said the man; “if you plant them overnight, by morning they grow right up to the sky.”

“Really?” said Jack; “you don’t say so.”

“Too right! And if it doesn’t turn out to be true you can have yer cow back.”

“Alright,” says Jack, and hands him over Milky-white’s halter and pockets the beans.

Back goes Jack home, whistling a tune and rattling the beans in his pocket. [whistles ‘The Black Cat Piddled in the White Cat’s Eye’ and mimes wiggling hands in pockets].

“Back already, Jack?” says the widow. “How much d’you get for old Milky-white?”

“You’ll never guess, mother,” says Jack.

“Oh, you don’t say. You must have done well,” says the widow, getting all excited “What was it? Five pounds? Ten? Fifteen? It couldn’t have been twenty, could it?”

“Told you you couldn’t guess. Have a look at these beans,” and he pulls them out of his pocket and puts them into the widow’s hand. She stared at them with her mouth getting wider and wider. “They’re magical,” he says. “Plant them one night and next mornin’…”

“What?” says the widow. “You gave away Milky-white, the best milker in this part of the country, and prime beef at that, for a useless set of beans?” And she grabbed the wooden spoon by the stove and started laying into the back of Jack’s legs with all her might. “Take that! Take that! Take that! That should knock some sense into you. And as for your blummin’ beans…” and she threw them out the door as far as she could. “Now get out of my sight. Get to bed. It’ll be the hungry gut for you tonight, and that’s more than you deserve.”

So Jack trudged off to his little bed of straw in one corner of the hut, grumbling to himself, both with his hollow belly and with his wounded feelings, hurt that his mother had not given the beans a fair go, until at last he dropped off to sleep.

When he woke up, the hut looked different from usual. The sun was shining into part of it, and yet all the rest was quite dark and shady. Jack jumped up, pulled on his strides and pulled on his coat [mimes pulling on clothes], and stepped out of the door of the hut to see what was doing. And what do you reckon he saw? Well, the beans his mother had thrown out the door the night before had come good. And I don’t mean just normal-sized bean plants. This beanstalk was as big around as a Murray River red gum, and taller than the mightiest mountain ash in the Highlands of Victoria. Jack looked up and up [looks up] until he just about cricked his neck, and still he couldn’t see the top.

“Well,” he thinks, “I’d better see if the swaggie was telling the truth about it getting up to the sky.” So he took hold of one of the leaf stalks, set his foot on another, and he climbed that beanstalk like you’d climb a ladder [mimes climbing]. And he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed, till at last he reached the sky.

And when he got there he saw a long straight track going off into the far distance. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” thinks Jack, and he set one foot in front of the other and started off tramping down the track. And he tramped and he tramped and he tramped till he came to a big tall homestead, with a big wide verandah, and a big tall door at the back of that verandah. And coming through that big tall door was a big tall woman.

Jack steps up to her, bold as brass. “Goodday, mum,” he says, polite as you like. “You couldn’t spare me a bite to eat, could you?” ‘Cause you’ll remember he hadn’t had any tea the night before, and he was hungry as a hunter.

“It’s breakfast you want, is it?” says the great big tall woman. “It’s breakfast you’ll be if you don’t move on from here. My old man’s an ogre, and there’s nothing he likes better than boys broiled on toast for his breakfast. You’d better hightail it out of here before he gets back from the paddocks.”

“Oh, please, mum, give us just a little bit, mum. I’ve had nothing to eat since yesterday morning, fair dinkum, mum,” says Jack. “I may as well be broiled as die of hunger.”

Well, the ogre’s missus wasn’t so hard-hearted after all. Looks like the custom of giving rations out to hungry travelers was known even up the beanstalk. So she took Jack into the kitchen and gave him a hunk of bread and some dripping to spread on it, and some tea to wash it down with. But Jack was only half way through his tucker when…           Thump!          Thump!          Thump!          [The “Thumps” are spoken in a sing-song voice, rising to the fourth note on the middle “Thump”, then back down to the tonic for the last.] The ground shook and the house shook to the sound of giant footsteps coming closer.

“Heaven help us! It’s my old man,” said the ogre’s wife. “What on earth shall I do? Come along quick and jump in here,” and she bundled Jack into the oven just as the ogre came in.

He was a big bastard, no question. He was carrying a whole bullock under his arm, and he slung this down on the kitchen floor and said, “Here, wife, cook this up for me breakfast.” Then he stopped stock still and sniffed the air.

[Sniff] “Fee [sniff] Fie [sniff] Foe [sniff] Fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive, or be he dead,

I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.”

“Do you, dearie?” says the big tall woman. “It must be the leftovers of that little boy you had for tea last night. They’re still in the chook bucket, y’know. Now you sit down and I’ll cook up yer breakfast.”

So the ogre sat down and before long his wife plonked a whole roast bullock on the table in front of him and he ate it up in one sitting.

Then he sung out, “Wife. Bring me one of my sacks of gold.” And she brought a sack that jingled when she plonked it onto the table. The ogre tips it out onto the table and out poured a whole lot of gold nuggets as big and bright as any of the nuggets from the mines at Ballarat. Then the ogre started counting them back into the sack. “One, two, three, four…” [mimes lifting and placing the gold from table to sack]. But soon his eyelids started to droop, and his head started to nod [nods head], and before too long he was stretched back in his chair [leans back in chair] and snoring so loud that the whole house shook.

Then Jack opened the door of the oven just a crack, and he saw that the coast was clear. So he snuck out of the oven as quiet as a mouse and crept across the kitchen floor up to the table. As quiet as he could, he lifted the sack of gold and tucked it under his arm [mimes lifting sack and tucking it under arm], and he was off and away out of the door before you could say “Jack Robinson.”

Then he bolted down the track as fast as his legs’d carry him, swung down onto the beanstalk, and he climbed down that beanstalk as fast as a possum down a gumtree. And he climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down [mimes climbing down], until he could see down below him the big sheet of bark that did for the roof of his mother’s hut. He jumped off the beanstalk onto the hard, dry earth and called out, “Mother, Mother. Come and have a look at this.” And he showed his mother the sack of gold. “Now I’ll be able to buy us a new cow and a new house and maybe a horse and gig for getting into town…”

But the widow said, “Steady on, Jack. We don’t want to blow this all at once. We’ve got to make it last, ‘cause we don’t know where the next one’s coming from.” So they lived carefully, taking one nugget to the bank at a time when they needed money. But before too long there were only four nuggets left, then there were only three, then two and then one. Then Jack knew he’d have to try his luck up the beanstalk again.

So the next morning, he was up with the kookaburras, bright and early. He pulled on his strides and pulled on his coat [mimes pulling on trousers and coat].and stepped out of the door of the hut into the morning light. He took hold of one of the leaf stems of the beanstalk, set his foot on another, and he climbed up that beanstalk like you’d climb a ladder. [mimes climbing] And he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed, until he reached the sky. And there was the long straight track stretching away into the distance. So Jack set one foot in front of the other and he started off tramping. And he tramped and he tramped and he tramped, until he came to the big tall house with the big wide verandahs and the big tall door at the back of the verandah. And coming through the door just at that moment was the big tall woman.

Up steps Jack, bold as brass. “Good morning, mum,” he says, same as before. “You couldn’t spare us a bite to eat, could you?”

“Go away, young fella,” says the big tall woman, “or else my old man will eat you up for breakfast.” Then she looks at him with narrowed eyes. “Hold your horses – aren’t you the young fella who came here a few months back? Y’know, last time you was here, one of my old man’s bags of gold went missing.”

“Is that so, mum?” says Jack. “I might be able to tell you a bit about that, but I’m that hungry, I can hardly speak unless you can spare us a bite to eat.”

Well that got her attention, and she was so curious that she took him in and gave him some bread and dripping to eat. But he had only had a couple of bites, munching as slow as he could, when… Thump!          Thump!             Thump!     The ground shook and the house shook, and the big tall woman bundled Jack into the oven as quick as she could.

In came the ogre and slung a whole bullock down on the kitchen floor same as last time, saying, “Here wife. Cook this up for me breakfast.” But it wasn’t long before he got a whiff of Jack, and he started in sniffing the air again:

“[Sniff] Fee [sniff] fi [sniff] fo [sniff] fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive, or be he dead,

I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.”

“Do you, dearie?” says his wife. “Must be the leftovers from that child you had for tea the other night. Come on. Sit down and I’ll get you a feed.” So the ogre sat down and it before too long, the big tall woman had the bullock cooked for him, put it down in front of him, and he ate the whole animal at a single sitting.

Then he called out, “Wife, bring me the chook that lays the golden eggs.” And the big tall woman came in with a chook under her arm and plonked it onto the table in front of the ogre. He pointed his finger at the chook [points finger]. “Lay,” he said, and the chook laid a golden egg, that shone like the biggest nugget that ever came out of the Ballarat gold mines. The ogre rolled that egg around and around the table with his fingers [mimes rolling egg around on tabletop], until his eyelids started drooping and his head started nodding [nods head] and before long he was leant back in his chair [leans back in chair] and snoring so loud that the whole house shook.

Then Jack peeped out of the oven and he saw that the coast was clear. So he snuck out of the oven and crept across the kitchen floor as quiet as a mouse till he came to the ogre’s table. Then, quiet as he could, he lifted the chook and tucked it under his arm [mimes picking up chook and tucking it under arm], and he’s off and away out of the door as quick as you could “Jack Robinson.” But just as he was slipping out the door, the chook gave a cackle and the ogre woke up with a snort. And as he legged it down the track, Jack heard him singing out, “Wife! Wife! Where’s me chook gone?” But Jack was running as fast as his legs could carry him, and he didn’t hear any more. Then he reached the beanstalk, and swung down onto it, and he climbed down that beanstalk like a possum down a gumtree. And he climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down and climbed down, until he could see the bark roof of his mother’s hut below him. And he jumped off the beanstalk onto the solid earth and sung out, “Mother, mother. Come and have a look at this.” And he showed her the chook.

“That’s a nice fat Isa Brown,” she said. “She should be a good layer.”

“She is. Have a look at this,” says Jack, and he pointed at the chook and said, “Lay!” And the chook laid a golden egg. His mother couldn’t believe her eyes. She was very pleased with Jack.

Well they lived very comfortably on the money they got from taking those golden eggs to the bank, but Jack couldn’t stop thinking about what else he would find at the top of the beanstalk. He thought he’d try his luck one more time. So one morning, he got up with the kookaburras, bright and early, and pulled on his strides and pulled on his coat [mimes pulling on trousers and coat], and stepped out of the door and up to the beanstalk. He took hold of one leaf stalk and set his foot on another, and he climbed that beanstalk like you’d climb a ladder [mimes climbing ladder]. And he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed and he climbed, until he reached the sky. And there was the long straight track in front of him, so he set one foot in front of the other and got walking down it. And he tramped along and tramped along and tramped along, until he came to the big tall house with the big wide verandahs and the big tall door at the back of the verandah. But this time, Jack didn’t wait for the big tall woman to come out of the big tall door. He hid in the scrub until he saw the big tall woman come out and carry the chook bucket round the corner of the house.

Then Jack nipped up the steps and in through the kitchen door and hid himself as quick as he could. But he didn’t hide in the oven this time. He looked around and saw the copper, a big tub people used to use for boiling up the clothes on washing day, sitting upside-down in the corner of the kitchen. It was big enough for Jack to fit in it, so he lifted up the edge and climbed underneath. He was just in time, too, cause that minute, the door opened and the big tall woman came in, and not long after…      Thump!          Thump!          Thump!   … the ground shook and the house shook, and in came the ogre carrying a bullock by the tail. He slung it down on the kitchen floor and said, “Wife, cook me this up for my breakfast. [Sniff] Hold your horses…

“[Sniff] Fee [sniff] fi [sniff] fo [sniff] fum,

I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive, or be he dead,

I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.”

“Do you dearie,” says the big tall woman. “Well if it’s that little beggar who was here last time, he’ll be hiding in the oven.” And they both rushed over to the oven and opened the door, but Jack wasn’t there. Then they looked under the table – no Jack – behind the chair – no Jack – in the pantry – no Jack. They looked everywhere they could think he’d be hiding, but they didn’t think of looking under the copper. Jack thanked his lucky stars.

“There you go again with your fee-fi-fo-fum,” she said. “You’re probably just smelling the leftovers of the boy you had for tea last night. Sit down and I’ll cook you yer breakfast.”

So the ogre sat down and it wasn’t long before the big tall woman brought out that whole roast bullock and plonked it down in front of him, and he ate at a single sitting. Then he sung out, “Wife! Wife! Bring me my magic autoharp. Those clouds out there are holding a lot of water and we’d better make sure that none of it falls to earth.”

Well Jack heard that, and his ears pricked up. Then the big tall woman brought out an autoharp that shone like solid gold and plonked it down in front of the ogre. He pointed at it and said, “Sing them songs to stop the rains.”

“Oho!” thinks Jack to himself. “So that’s why it’s been so dry down our way lately.”

Then the autoharp started to play all by itself, the strings strumming with no one touching ‘em and the keys going up and down like an invisible hand was working ‘em. And the most beautiful clear chords rang out, like the singing of the stars on a still clear night in the desert. And before too long the ogre’s eyelids start drooping, his head starts nodding, and he leant back in his chair snoring so loud that the whole house shook.

Then Jack peeps out from under the copper and saw that the coast was clear, and out he comes, quiet as a mouse, and snuck across the kitchen floor to the ogre’s table. The autoharp was still strumming away, and Jack thought, “I can’t let the ogre keep this weather magic and stop us from getting our rain like this.” So, as carefully as he could, he lifted the autoharp and tucked it under his arm. And he was off and away before you could say, “Jack Robinson.” But just as he was going through the door, the autoharp sings out, “Master! Master!”

The ogre wakes up with a snort and jumps to his feet. Then Jack knew the chase was on and he bolted as fast as his legs would carry him. Jack had the head-start on the ogre, but the ogre’s legs were longer, and he would have caught Jack if Jack hadn’t been ducking and dodging into the bush on either side of the track. The ogre couldn’t get his big body through the trees and bushes as fast as Jack, so Jack managed to stay just out of his reach. Even so, the ogre got closer and closer to Jack, and he was just reaching out to grab Jack by the back of his collar, when Jack suddenly dropped down and out of sight.

The ogre stopped running in surprise and looked down to see where Jack had gone, and there he saw Jack climbing down that beanstalk like a possum down a gumtree. Well, the ogre didn’t like to trust his weight to such a ladder, so he stood up the top for long enough to give Jack another head-start. But then the blessèd old autoharp sings out, “Master! Master!” again, and the ogre swung his legs over the edge and onto the beanstalk. Jack felt the beanstalk shiver and shake, and looked up to see the ogre’s great hobnailed boots coming down fast over his head. So he got a wriggle on.

Well, Jack climbed down, and the ogre climbed down, and Jack climbed down, and the ogre climbed down, and Jack climbed down, and the ogre climbed down, and Jack climbed down, and the ogre climbed down, and Jack climbed down, and the ogre climbed down, and Jack climbed down, and the ogre climbed down, and Jack climbed down, and the ogre climbed down, until he could see the roof of his mother’s hut below him. “Mother! Mother!” he sung out at the top of his lungs. “Bring out the axe. Bring out the axe.”

His mother come out of the hut with the axe, but when she looked up and saw the legs of the giant climbing down through the clouds she stopped stock still in fright. But Jack was close enough to the ground, and he jumped off the beanstalk and grabbed the axe from his mother. He swung it at the beanstalk as hard as he could and chopped it half way through. The ogre felt the beanstalk shiver and shake, and looked down to see Jack with the axe swung back for the second stroke. “Stop! Stop!” he yelled, but Jack didn’t stop, and the next stroke he struck chopped that beanstalk clean in two. Down it came with an almighty crash, and the ogre came tumbling after. And he hit the ground that hard that the dust came up like a Darling River dust storm. But he’d broken his crown, and never got up again, and Jack and his mother breathed a sigh of relief.

Then Jack showed his mother the golden autoharp, and told her about it singing the song that stopped the rains. “I wonder if it plays songs that’ll bring the rains,” said the widow. So Jack said to the autoharp, “I’m your new master now. Sing a song to make it rain.” And the autoharp started playing by itself again, but this time the song it sang sounded like the dinging and danging of fat drops of rain on a tin roof after a baking hot day at the end of a long dry spell, the sort of sound that’ll make country people look up in wonder from whatever they’re doing and sing out, “You little ripper! Send ’er down, Hughie!” And sure enough, the clouds burst and the rain came down in sheets, and Jack and his mother put their heads down and bolted for the hut. And they stood there looking out the door at the rain pouring down like a waterfall, with the steam rising off their clothes, laughing.

After that, they didn’t want for rain, or for just the right amount of sunshine, and the pasture and crops grew like billy-o. And with the money they made from selling the golden eggs they soon bought another milk cow, and though she never gave as much milk as Milky-white, they had plenty of other ways to put food on the table. And the golden autoharp, when it wasn’t singing weather songs, played some good old-time tunes whenever they felt like having a bit of a knees-up or a sing-song of an evening. So they never wanted for anything again, and both of ’em lived happy ever after.

A List of Australian Wonder Tales

Here are a few wonder tales and other folk narratives that have been collected in Australia. These are just some of the ones I have come across in my travels. I have more stories to add to this list, and I expect there will turn out to be many more that I don’t yet know of, buried in obscure publications, recordings, private collections of family memorabilia, people’s memories and so on.

Teller: Unknown Cultural Background: Anglo-/Cornish-Australian Name of Story: ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’        Location and Date of Telling: Australia, 1860s        Collector: Joseph Jacobs      Publication: Joseph Jacobs, English Fairy Tales, David Nutt, London, 1890, Tale 13         Website: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0328jack.html Notes: This is one of the best known and most often republished versions of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’, usually assumed to be English in origin. However, Jacobs says in his endnotes, “I tell this as it was told me in Australia, somewhere about the year 1860”. Mabel Kaplan (Transmissions: Journal of The Australian Folklore Network, December, 2003) says, “At the age of six, according to Professor Graham Seal (1986), Director Australian Folklore Research Unit at Curtin University, WA, Jacobs was told the tales of ‘Henny Penny’ and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ on a visit to the Cornish Community in South Australia.” I haven’t yet been able to track down Graham Seal’s source for this claim in online searches, so I will try to contact him directly to find out more. Stay tuned….

Teller: Unknown Cultural Background: Anglo-/Cornish-Australian Name of Story: ‘Henny Penny’     Location and Date of Telling: 1860s      Collector: Joseph Jacobs          Publication: Joseph Jacobs, English Fairy Tales, David Nutt, London, 1890, Tale 20          Website: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type2033.html#jacobs      Notes: Not strictly speaking a wonder tale. Instead, it is classified, somewhat confusingly, both as an Animal Tale (ATU Type 20C – ‘The animals flee in fear of the end of the world’) and as a Cumulative Formula Tale, (Aarne-Thompson Type 2033 – ‘The Sky is Falling’). Jacobs says in his endnotes: “SOURCE: I give this as it was told to me in Australia in 1860.” See note for ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

Note: Joseph Jacobs also mentions two stories he remembers hearing told in Australia, ‘The Rose Tree’ (ATU Type 720 – ‘My Mother Slew Me, My Father Ate Me’ [‘The Juniper Tree’]), and ‘The Old Witch’ (ATU Type 480 – ‘The Kind and Unkind Girls’, an example of a variant of this type common in English-speaking countries called ‘The Long Leather Bag’ Group). Unfortunately for Australian wonder tale explorers, Jacobs ended up publishing English versions of these stories, so we have no idea how the Australian versions may have differed. The English version of ‘The Rose Tree’ is Tale 3 in English Fairy Tales (see http://www.authorama.com/english-fairy-tales-5.html ), while ‘The Old Witch’ is in More English Fairy Tales (David Nutt, London, 1894, Tale 21 – see http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14241/14241-h/14241-h.htm#The_Old_Witch ).

Teller: Unknown Cultural Background: Australian Name of Story: ‘Galah on the Gallows’      Location and Date of Recording: Unknown  Collector: Bill Wannan          Publication or Recording Location: Bill Wannan, Bullockies Beauts and Bandicoots: Australia’s Greatest Yarns, Currey O’Neil, 1960, pp. 45 ff.. Website:   Notes: This is a humorous yarn retold by Wannan from an unknown source or sources. The story is about a bushranger due to be hanged who is left standing with his head in the noose, blindfold on, when the hangman knocks off for lunchtime. A simpleton comes to sweep the prison yard and the bushranger manages to trick him into changing places with him, saying that he gets paid more for his job than the simpleton does for the sweeping. This is a version of ATU 1332 (‘Lazy Numskull Takes Place of Man on Gallows’), or ATU 1538 (‘The Youth Cheated in Selling Oxen’) – there is some confusion as to the Type, depending on which folklorist is discussing it. The Motif is K841 (‘Substitute for execution obtained by trickery’). There are some examples of the Type that were collected in North America. One such was told by Delbert McDaniel of Perry County in the Kentucky hills, called ‘The Lazy Irishman’, recorded by Leonard Roberts and published in his book South from Hell-fer-Sartin: Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales (1955).[i] Another is ‘Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear’, tale 23 in Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus.[ii]

A closely-related motif is K842 (‘Dupe persuaded to take prisoner’s place in the sack’), a motif often found in stories of ATU Type 1535 (‘The Rich Peasant and the Poor Peasant’) and occasionally in ATU Type 1525 (‘The Master Theif’). International examples of stories containing this motif include an Irish version of ATU 1535 called ‘Hudden and Dudden and Donald O’Neary’, told by D. W. Logie to Alfred Nutt and published in Joseph Jacobs’ Celtic Fairy Tales[iii], an English version of ATU 1525 called ‘Jack the Robber’ or ‘Jack and his Master’ (told in 1897 by Cornelius Price to John Sampson and published in the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society[iv]), another English Gypsy story ‘Sheep for the Asking’ (ATU 1535 – told by Durham Lees in 1914[v]), ‘The Little Peasant’ (ATU 1535 – Number 61 in the Grimms’ Kinder- und Hausmärchen), and several versions from America, including ‘Snick and Snack’ (ATU 1535 – told by Sally Corder and Zora S. Lovitt of Williamsburg, Kentucky in 1955[vi]).

Amongst the many yarns published by Wannan, a number could be classified using the Aarne-Thompson-Uther index, though most would be classified as ‘Jokes and Anecdotes’ (ATU 1200 – 1999), rather than ‘Ordinary Folktales’ (ATU 300 – 1199), where Wonder Tales tend to be found. Often there may be recognisable motifs that could be found in the ATU Motif Index. This would be a worthwhile study, showing the relationships between Australian and international forms of humour. From 1955 until 1980, Wannan published a weekly column on Australian folklore, including tall tales and jokes, in Australasian Post magazine. Wannan’s sources for much of his material came from his extensive reading of Australian literature, memoirs and history, and sometimes from readers writing in with stories. These stories were then written up, usually in Wannan’s own words, though occasionally he would quote from a relevant text or bush poem. A number of these stories were republished in Wannan’s many books of Australian folklore and history. In his Foreword to an omnibus edition of three of his books, including Bullockies, Beauts and Bandicoots, republished as The Bill Wannan Book of Australian Yarns (Lansdowne, 1974), Wannan describes his weekly column as being “sustained by many thousands of contributions from interested readers. It was from the earlier years of that column’s life that the articles which make up the three volumes here represented were originally selected.” Many of Wannan’s letters and papers are held in the National Library of Australia (see http://nla.gov.au/nla.ms-ms9924 ). It may be possible for a researcher to explore Wannan’s correspondence from contributors to the column and track down some of the sources and informants of these often anonymously-published stories.

Teller: Unknown Cultural Background: Australian Name of Story: ‘The Big Murray Cod’          Location and Date of Recording: Unknown  Collector: Bill Wannan          Publication or Recording Location: Bill Wannan, Bullockies Beauts and Bandicoots: Australia’s Greatest Yarns, Currey O’Neil, 1960, pp. 49 ff.. Website:   Notes: This tall tale, involving a huge Murray Cod being caught with a giant fishhook made out of a bent crowbar, baited with a bull’s head, fastened to a big grey gum with chains from a bullock wagon. When the fish takes the bait it uproots the gum tree and almost drags a bullock team into the river. It takes three bullock teams nearly twenty-four hours to land it and in the process they drag the river three miles out of its original course. When they open up its mouth, two swagmen walk out from the fish’s belly.

This is a Tall Tale rather than a Wonder Tale in the strict sense (ATU Type 1960B – ‘The Great Fish’ and also 1889G – ‘Man Swallowed by Fish’), but it has motifs that can be found in wonder tales (Motif X1723.1 – ‘Swallowed person is discovered in animal’s stomach still alive’). This is most famously found in Biblical mythology with the story of Jonah, but also in the Munchausen stories, and in ‘Assipattle and the Mester Stoorworm’, a story told by Mr. W. Traill Dennison of West Brough, Sanday in the Orkney Islands[vii]. The motif also appears in a traditional song called ‘The Wonderful Crocodile’, collected by John Meredith circa 1956 from Sid Heather of Hurstville, New South Wales[viii]. In this humorous song the narrator is swept into the mouth of an enormous crocodile, and after ‘popping down his throat’ finds rum kegs and bullocks in its stomach, and proceeds to live inside the crocodile’s belly for a number of years. In the end the croc dies of old age and the narrator has to hack his way out.

There are American parallels to this. Leonard Roberts published ‘The Tale of the Big Turkle’, told by Mrs. Euphemia Epperson of Harlan County, Kentucky in 1955, which features a fishhook made from an iron bar which catches a turtle so big that it shakes the big sycamore tree the fishhook is tied to and drags an ox into the river. I’m sure I have read a story in which Babe, Paul Bunyan’s blue ox, pulls a river off course, but I can only locate references to Babe pulling crooked logging roads straight (Motifs X1237.2.6*(e)[ix]).

Another Australian version of this story was recorded in 1973 by Ron Edwards from J.K. of Laura, North Queensland, who says he heard the story told by Bill Kynuna. It involves an elaborate description of the making of a greenhide rope for the fishing line, the forging of a fishhook out of three crowbars, dragging a stretch of the Normanby River into a big bend and the formation of the Jack lakes as a result of the fish’s struggles.[x] See listing below.

Teller: Simon McDonald Cultural Background: Irish-Australian Name of Story: ‘The Black Entire from Bryan O’Ville in the Underworld’ or ‘The Witch’s Tale’      Location and Date of Recording: Springmount/Creswick, Victoria, 1967         Collector: Hugh Anderson   Publication or Recording Location: Hugh Anderson, Time Out of Mind: Simon McDonald of Creswick, National Press, Melbourne, 1974, Appendix 1, pp. 136 ff.; recording is in The National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2105 ; 2093885 ; nla.oh-2105-0000-0002-s2-m [8:40 – 30:40], nla.oh-2105-0000-0003-s1-m [25:25 – 29:00]    Website: http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2093885    Notes: ATU Tale Type 953 (‘The Old Robber Relates Three Adventures’) + ATU 303 (‘The Blood Brothers’). Both elements of McDonald’s story have their closest relatives in Ireland. Across Ireland as whole, 182 versions of ATU 953 were collected. Some are in English and some are in Gaelic. The earliest published version we know of from Ireland appeared sometime before 1825 in a chapbook called The Royal Hibernian Tales. The story in that is called ‘The Black Thief and Knight of the Glen’ and was republished by Andrew Lang in The Red Fairy Book (available online – http://www.mythfolklore.net/andrewlang/116.htm ). At least three other Irish versions have been published.[xi] The remainder are cared for in the Irish Folklore Collection (formerly the Irish Folklore Commission), now part of the Department of Irish Folklore of University College, Dublin. A wonderful version of ATU 303 (the section of McDonald’s story involving horses, hawks and hounds) was told in 1930 by an Irish Traveller or Tinker called John Power, and published in Gmelch and Kroup’s To Shorten the Road: Traveller Folktales from Ireland.[xii] The tale’s immediate ancestry may be from Ireland, but McDonald’s ancestors had been in Australia since the 1850s and he tells the story in broad rural Australian vernacular.

Teller: Edna Mark        Cultural Background: Solomon Islander-Australian Name of Story: ‘Legend of the Coconut’       Location and Date of Recording: Bamaga Mission, Holloway Beach, Queensland, 1972 Collector: Ron Edwards        Publication: Ron Edwards, The Australian Yarn, Rigby, 1977, pp. 226.  Website: http://www.uqp.com.au/book.aspx/323/The%20Australian%20Yarn   Notes: This is a myth told in parts of the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, about a snake-like creator spirit/god called Hatuibwari in parts of the Solomons, and Tangalua or Tangaroa in parts of Vanuatu. I have read a few retellings of related stories told by people from the Solomons and Vanuatu. They tend to share many motifs in common with Edna Mark’s telling, including “the snake whose human daughter marries a man who later kills the snake when he sees it coiled round their child”.[xiii] However, Edna Mark’s version has many motifs in it that are commonly found in ATU 510A (‘Persecuted Heroine’ or ‘Cinderella’) – the transformed mother, attending three nights of dancing incognito, the “prince… – the chief’s son” falling in love with her, the tree growing from the mother’s grave. In my research thus far, I have not come across these motifs, with the exception of the last one, in other versions of the Hatuibwari/Tangalua/Tangaroa story. If it is true that these ‘Cinderella’ motifs are only found in the Australian version of this story, it seems possible that they were introduced into the traditional story by Edna Mark or her mother (or some other teller in the chain of transmission), perhaps after exposure to a European version of ATU 510A. It may yet turn out that some or all of these motifs can be found in other versions of the Hatuibwari/Tangalua/Tangaroa story.

Teller: “Two American Children” Cultural Background: American, living in Australia Name of Story: ‘Caramel Candy’    Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1972       Collector: Students at the Institute of Early Childhood Development / Gwenda Davey.   Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/15 ; 702303 ; nla.oh-2632-0015-0000-s3-m [13.45 minutes into the recording]     Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/43571589          Notes: ‘Caramel Candy’ is a parody of ‘The Three Bears’ (ATU 171), lasting all of 45 seconds, told as a joke for the sound effects punchline.

Teller: J.K. Cultural Background: Australian, unknown ancestry Name of Story: ‘A Big Fish’  Location and Date of Recording: Laura, Queensland, 1973       Collector: Ron Edwards     Publication or Recording Location: Ron Edwards, Yarns and Ballads of the Australian Bush, Rigby, 1981, pp. 51 ff..    Website:    Notes: 1960B – ‘The Great Fish’

Teller: Antoine Hambalian   Cultural Background: Lebanese-Australian             Name of Story: ‘The Son of the Thief’ Location and Date of Recording: North Carlton, Victoria, 1975 Collector: Peter Parkhill         Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2525/86 ; 3311835 ; nla.oh-2525-0086-0001    Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/9280156?selectedversion=NBD26649166            Notes: This is a version of ATU 950 (‘Rhampsinitus’), with the parson-stealing episode from ATU 1525A, ‘The Master Thief’ (subtype – ‘Stealing the Count’s Horse, Sheet, and Parson’), though in this story it is the king of India who gets ‘stolen’. ATU 950 and ATU 1525 often appear together, both in the Arab world and beyond. There is a Scottish version called ‘The Tale of the Shifty Lad, The Widow’s Son’, told by John Dewar of Arrochar, June, 1860 (Tale XVIId in J.F.Campbell, PopularTales of the West Highlands, Vol 1, p. 330), which also combines these types. ‘Ali Baba’ contains a number of similar motifs, and Aboubakr Chraïbi argues that Galland’s 1717 version of ‘Ali Baba’ (which he based on a story told to him in 1709 by Hannâ, a Maronite monk from Aleppo, Syria), usually classified as ATU 954 (‘The Forty Thieves’), is also a combination of ATU 676 (‘Open Sesame’) and ATU 950 (‘Rhampsinitus’)[xiv]. On Parkhill’s recording, Antoine Hambalian tells the story in Arabic, but there is also the transcript of a recording of Hamabalian telling the story in English available from the National Library of Australia. His English is that of a fairly recent migrant, but one can hear elements of the Australian vernacular language in his telling.

Teller: Anna and Rita Vasileva Cultural Background: Macedonian-Australian Name of Story: ‘Tentelina and the Wolves’   Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976       Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/8-9 ; 679993 ; nla.oh-2632-0008-0000-m [Macedonian telling 9.00 minutes into the recording] and nla.oh-2632-0009-0000-m [Macedonian telling 0.00 minutes into the recording, English telling 3.50 minutes into the recording]    Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34996661?selectedversion=NBD9219280 Notes: This story is a version of ATU 310 (‘Rapunzel’) + ATU 313 (‘The Magic Flight’). In this story, the female protagonist is promised to a wolf before birth, and when the wolf takes her away, she is kept high up in a tree. She and her brother flee from the wolf and his pack with the help of the magical gifts given by an old woman helper and thrown behind them to transform into obstacles for the pursuing wolf pack. There are two tellings in Macedonian on the recording, and one in English. The recordings of the Vasilevas go over two tapes (which are then put onto two tracks on the CD the NLA sends out). One of the Macedonian tellings is about 9 minutes into the first track (9.00 – 18.20), and another Macedonian telling is at the very start of the second track, with a telling in English at 3 minutes and 50 seconds into the second track (3.53 – 10.47). On the NLA website the title is spelled ‘Tentalina’. I believe ‘Tentelina’ is the correct spelling (though it should be written in Cyrillic). There are a number of other folk stories on the same recording. A Macedonian version of the story has been published and translated into English in the book 101 Macedonian Folk Tales by Danica Cvetanovska and Maja Miškovska (Bigoss, Skopje, 2003 – http://books.google.com.au/books/about/101_Macedonian_Folk_Tales.html?id=HSzaAAAAMAAJ&redir_esc=y ). ‘Tentelina and the Wolves’ is on page 191. It is fairly similar to Rita and Anna Vasileva’s version, with a few interesting differences.

Teller: Anna and Rita Vasileva Cultural Background: Macedonian-Australian Name of Story: ‘Mara and the Chicks’ Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976          Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/9 ; 679993 ; nla.oh-2632-0009-0000-m [Macedonian telling 24.55 minutes into the recording, English summary at 31.15]      Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34996661?selectedversion=NBD9219280          Notes: This is a version of ATU 480 (‘The Kind and Unkind Girls’). From the English summary the informant gives, this version seems not to have the magic or otherworldly elements of other versions of this tale (like ‘Mother Hollë’ or ‘The Three Heads in the Well’), though there may well be details in the Macedonian telling that are not included in the brief English summary. The recordings of the Vasilevas go over two tapes (which are then put onto two tracks on the CD the NLA sends out). The Macedonian version of ‘Mara and the Chicks’ is at 24.55 – 31.15 on the second track (nla.oh-2632-0009-0000-m). The English summary is at 31.15 – 33.15.

Teller: Anna and Rita Vasileva Cultural Background: Macedonian-Australian Name of Story: ‘Grandmother Bear and Krushka’  Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976       Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/8-9 ; 679993 ; nla.oh-2632-0008-0000-m [Macedonian telling 0.00 minutes into the recording, English telling 31.35 minutes into the recording]     Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34996661?selectedversion=NBD9219280 Notes: This story seems to me to be loosely related to the broader family of ATU 333 (‘The Glutton’ or ‘Little Red Riding Hood’). In this version, however, the little girl character only exists as a fiction told by the grandmother character to escape the bear who wants to eat her. The old woman is picking pears from a pear tree when a bear (called ‘Grandmother Bear’ in Macedonian and Bulgarian tradition) comes along wanting to eat her. The woman tells the bear she should eat her niece Krushka instead and gives the bear long-way-round directions to her house. She gets home before the bear does and when the bear comes knocking, makes an excuse as to why the fictional Krushka can’t come out to be eaten. The bear comes knocking again (each time the bear comes to the cottage she calls out “Babohhhh!” in a deep, booming voice, dramatically delivered in Vasileva’s Macedonian telling) and the woman makes another excuse for her imaginary niece. The third time the bear comes calling, the bear breaks the door down, but hunters are waiting inside the cottage and kill the bear. Calling the bear ‘Grandmother Bear’ (‘Baba Metsa’) reminds me of the North-East Asian versions of ATU 333, ‘Grandaunt/Grandmother Tiger’[xv], though the plot is quite different. The Macedonian telling is at the very start of the recording (0.00 – 4.24), while the English telling is sometime later on the recording (31.35 – 37.16).

Teller: Anna and Rita Vasileva Cultural Background: Macedonian-Australian Name of Story: ‘The Carrot’        Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976          Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/9 ; 679993 ; nla.oh-2632-0009-0000-m [51.50 – 55.40 minutes into the recording]          Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34996661?selectedversion=NBD9219280           Notes: This is a version of ATU 2044 (‘Pulling Up the Turnip’), a Cumulative Formula Tale, pulling up a carrot.

Note: There are a number of other traditional stories the Vasilevas tell, including some Nasreddin Hodja (Hoca) tales (often associated with Turkish tradition), some about Clever Peter (Nasreddin Hodja’s Macedonian equivalent and his occasional rival), and some animal tales – ‘The Horse and the Wolf’, ‘The Fisherman and the Fox’, ‘The Fox and the Grapes’ – as well as some riddles, rhymes and songs.

Teller: Mrs. Hegedich Cultural Background: Croatian-Australian Name of Story: ‘Pepelluga’  Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976     Collector: Gwenda Davey    Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/18 ; 2194441 ; nla.oh- [Croatian telling: 0.44 – 5.17 minutes into the recording; discussion in English: 0.00 – 0.43 and 5.18 – 6.44]   Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/35115720?selectedversion=NBD9288993         Notes: This is a version of ATU 510A (‘Persecuted Heroine’ or ‘Cinderella’). Mrs. Hegedich tells the story in Croatian and gives a brief summary in English. As the English summary is quite probably incomplete, it is hard to work out how similar or different Mrs. Hegedich’s version is to other versions of this story (that is, until I can afford the services of a translator). There are two Serbian versions that have been translated into English: one in Denton, Rev. W., editor. Serbian Folk-lore: Popular Tales selected and translated by Madame Csedomille Mijatovics. London, 1874. pp. 59-66. (Reprinted New York: Benjamin Blom, 1968); the other in Petrovitch, Woislav M. Hero Tales and Legends of the Serbians. London: George G. Harrap and Company, 1917. Both can be read on Heidi Anne Heiner’s ‘Sur La Lune Fairytales’ website : http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/stories/papalluga.html and http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/stories/pepe.html .

Teller: Helena Berar Cultural Background: Serbian-Australian Name of Story: ‘Little Red Riding Hood’         Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976          Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/18 ; 671865 ; [0.00 – 3.22]  Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/35116249?selectedversion=NBD9289232         Notes: ATU Type 333. It is told in Serbian, with no English telling or summary, so until I get Berar’s telling translated I do not know how much it differs from other versions (Perrault, Grimm, etc.). Later in the recording, talking about her telling of ‘The Frog Prince’, Berar says that she learnt that story from a book, probably a translation or retelling of the Grimms’ version. It is possible that ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ came from a book as well.

Teller: Helena Berar Cultural Background: Serbian-Australian Name of Story: ‘The Teddy Bear and the Little Rooster’ Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976       Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/18 ; 671865 ; [English Summary: 21.33 – 24.04; Serbian telling: 24.05 – 27.43]          Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/35116249?selectedversion=NBD9289232           Notes: This is a version of ATU Type 61B (‘Cat, Cock and Fox Live Together’, a subtype of ATU 61 – ‘The Fox Persuades the Cock to Crow with Closed Eyes’), another version of which is in Alexander Afanasyev’s Russian Fairy Tales (Tale 29, p. 86 in the Routledge edition). Berar tells it with many rhythmically chanted rhymes – what the fox said to the rooster and so on – with a child’s voice sometimes joining in with the rhymes on the recording (a daughter or granddaughter, perhaps, who has heard the story told often enough to know the thrice-repeated rhymes herself).

Teller: Helena Berar Cultural Background: Serbian-Australian Name of Story: ‘Tom Thumb’      Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976     Collector: Gwenda Davey    Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/18 ; 671865 ; [7.25 – 9.30] Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/35116249?selectedversion=NBD9289232           Notes: The telling seems to end abruptly. The recording may have been cut short by a tape running out or some other glitch in the recording process. There is no English summary, so those of us who don’t speak Serbian will have to wait until we have a translation before we can research Berar’s version further.

Teller: Helena Berar Cultural Background: Serbian-Australian Name of Story: ‘The Princess and the Frog’  Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976          Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/18 ; 671865 ; [English Summary: 9.35 – 11.10; Serbian telling: 11.10 – 13.57]   Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/35116249?selectedversion=NBD9289232 Notes: After summarising the story in English, Berar says,“I know that story because I read that book when I was… you know… but I have… when I was a child, but I have now that in English…”. The story in the book may have been the Grimms’ version, or based on it, as Berar’s story seems very similar. In her English telling, the Princess hits the frog with a stick after taking him to her bedchamber. The Grimms’ version has her throwing him against the wall. It is ATU Type 440.

Teller: Sonia Orzecko Cultural Background: Chilean-Australia Name of Story: ‘The Fox and the Crow’      Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1976          Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/4 ; 670164 ; [0.00 – 3.01]     Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34981043?q&versionId=43419710 Notes: This story is told in Spanish, and there is no English summary or telling on this recording. I assume the telling is a version of the fable usually ascribed to Aesop. It is Number 124 in the Perry Index of ‘Aesopica’.

Teller: Sonia Orzecko Cultural Background: Peruvian/Chilean-Australia Name of Story: ‘El Toro Negro’ (‘The Black Bull’)    Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1977       Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/3 ; 2192710 ; [Spanish telling: 0.00 – 6.30; summary in English: 6.40]           Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34980738?q&versionId=43419284     Notes: This story is about a boy who hears about a bull that lives on a mountaintop in the Andes from his South American aboriginal grandparents. He treks up to the mountaintop in summer and finds a beautiful lake but does not see the bull. Then he climbs the mountain in winter and sees that the lake up there is about to flood as a result of an avalanche. He rushes down the mountain in time to warn the other people in his village and they escape before the flood arrives. He doesn’t ever encounter a literal bull, but when the boy is shouting his warning of the impending flood to the villagers, he shouts, “The bull! The bull!” in the local aboriginal language.

Orzecko says that this story is from Peru. I have not yet been able to track down any published South American versions of this tale. However, there are some interesting points made by Evelio Echevarría in an article called ‘Legends of the High Andes’, particularly on the adoption of the bull as a mythological or legendary motif by Indians from the Andes. There are several legends, he says, about Inca treasure that was thrown into mountain lakes when the Incas fled after the Spaniards executed the Inca king. “Tradition has in time posted a guardian by the sacred lakes, and that guardian is usually a bull with golden horns. In time, too, the legendary bull became a de facto defender of Indian tradition, since the Indians of the Andes hope that their buried treasures will some day be recovered to aid the redemption of their oppressed race.

“The surprising side of this very common Andean legend is that it is the bull, most Spanish of animals, that defends the Indian tradition against the very descendants of the Spaniards. This has however an explanation, supplied by the Peruvian novelist José María Arguedas. Contrary to popular belief it was not the horse among European animals but the very Spanish bull that impressed the Andean Indians most. The Indians had in their mythology a ferocious dragon, the amaru. To their astonishment, they saw all the fearful characteristics of an amaru fully materialized in the Spanish bull and they adopted this animal as theirs. The amaru in time fell into oblivion. Today, the now Indian bull lives near lakes, tarns and even craters and mountain tops and the awesome sounds of the mountains at night are caused by those guardians of Inca treasures. It might also be added that legends of this type carry a clearly revindicationist political message in favour of an oppressed race. (Reference: José María Arguedas, Mitos, leyendas y cuentos peruanos (Lima, 1976), pp 49-52.)”

Echevarría also notes that there is a “very common notion among most of the Andeans about the deluge or flood” as a Genesis of earth and mountains myth. He later describes one such flood story from Arauco in southern Chile, involving the malevolent serpent, Cai Cai, who caused a flood to wipe out humankind. (Reference: Saint-Loup, Monts Pacifiques (Paris, 1951), pp 171-3).[xvi] Was Cai Cai related to the amaru dragons who later transformed into the bulls of the mountain-top lakes? Is Orzecko’s mountain-top lake bull related to this tradition?

Teller: Sonia Orzecko Cultural Background: Chilean-Australia Name of Story: ‘The Story of the Three Bears’        Location and Date of Recording: Melbourne, Victoria, 1977          Collector: Gwenda Davey     Publication or Recording Location: National Library of Australia Oral History and Folklore Collection Library Call Number: Oral TRC 2632/3 ; 2192710 ; [Spanish telling: 11.00 – 16.40]    Website: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/34980738?q&versionId=43419284   Notes: This is a magnificently-told Spanish rendition of ‘The Three Bears’ (ATU 171). There is no English summary. From listening with my extremely rusty knowledge of Castellano (Spanish), it seems that the porridge thief is a young girl, similar to Goldilocks (though I am open to correction from more fluent Spanish speakers). The bears are definitely a Father Bear, Mother Bear and Little Bear. Earlier English versions of the story featured an old woman and three male bears, and the porridge thief does not appear as a young girl in published versions of the story until 1849, and she is not named Goldilocks until 1904. The bears only become a father, mother and child around 1860.

Notes

[i] Leonard W. Roberts, South from Hell-fer-Sartin: Kentucky Mountain Folk Tales, The University Press of Kentucky, 1955, pp. 127 ff..

[ii] Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus: His Songs and Sayings, Grosset and Dunlap, 1880, pp. 113 ff..

[iii] Joseph Jacobs, Celtic Fairy Tales, David Nutt, London, 1892, Another Irish version, called ‘Donald and his Neighbours’, first appeared in print in the pre-1825 chapbook The Royal Hibernian Tales (see Séamus Ó Duilearga, Béaloideas 10 (1940), 148-203)

[iv] Journal of Gypsy Lore Society, 3rd series, IX, pp. 51-6; republished in the F. J. Norton Collection, V, pp. 64-8; and Katharine M. Briggs, A Dictionary of British Folk-tales in the English Language, Part A: Folk Narratives, pp. 413 ff.

[v] T.W. Thompson, Thompson Notebooks, MS, awaiting publication; published in Katharine M. Briggs, A Dictionary of British Folk-tales in the English Language, Part A: Folk Narratives, pp. 262 ff.

[vi] Leonard W. Roberts, Old Greasybeard: Tales from the Cumberland Gap, Folklore Associates, 1969, pp. 154 ff..

[vii] ‘Assipattle and the Mester Stoorworm’, written down as a MS. by Mr. W. Traill Dennison from his memories of stories told in the Orkneys, published in Sir George Douglas, Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales, Walter Scott Publishing Company, London, c. 1892, republished by Lomond, 2003, pp.58 ff..

[viii] First published in Singabout 1/3/10 1956: title ‘The Crocodile’; reprinted Authentic Australian Bush Ballads 10 1960 with title ‘The Wonderful Crocodile’; in Folk Songs of Australia Vol. 1, 134 as ‘Wonderful Crocodile’; and in The Second Penguin Australian Songbook 112 1980, title ‘The Crocodile’. For John Meredith’s field recording, stored in the National Library of Australia (ORAL TRC 4/8B ; 57533) see http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/43015442 and http://nla.gov.au/nla.oh-vn57533 . The song was published as a broadside (in Ireland, possibly) at some stage before 1888. A copy is in the collection of the National Library, Dublin, volume C.

[ix] Ernest W. Baughman, Type and Motif-Index of the Folktales of England and North America, Folklore Institute of Indiana University, 1966, pp. 496.

[x] ‘A Big Fish’, J.K., Laura, 1973, published in Ron Edwards, Yarns and Ballads of the Australian Bush, Rigby, 1981, pp. 51 ff..

[xi] One by Jeremiah Curtin in Hero Tales of Ireland (1894) told by Thomas Brady of Teelin, County Donegal; one by Seumas MacManus, The Donegal Wonder Book (1926); and one in Gaelic told in 1943-4 by Amhlaoibh Ó Luínse (Humphrey Ó Lynch) of Coolea, County Cork, published by Seán and Donncha Ó Cróinín in Scéalaíocht Amhlaoibh Í Luínse (Dublin, 1971). An analysis of this version, along with a detailed list of different versions of the folktale that have appeared in print, can be found in Séamus Ó Duilearga, ‘The Royal Hibernian Tales‘, Béaloideas 10 (1940), 148-203: 200.. You can hear a recording of the opening scene told in Gaelic by Pádraig Ó hAllmhuráin (O’Halloran) on The Doegen Records Web Project – http://doegen.ie/LA_1171g1 .

[xii] George Gmelch and Ben Kroup, To Shorten the Road: Traveller Folktales from Ireland, Macmillan, Toronto, 1978 (first published by The O’Brien Press, Dublin, 1978), pp. 125 for John Power’s biography, pp. 138 ff. for ‘Horse, Hound and Hawk’. This was collected between 1930 and 1932 from an Irish Traveller or Tinker called John Power, from Longford and Westmeath (he lived for a time in Ballymahon).

[xiii] Alphonse Riesenfeld, The Megalithic Culture of Melanesia, Brill Archive, 1950, pp. 151 – http://books.google.com.au/books/about/The_Megalithic_Culture_of_Melanesia.html?id=PdgUAAAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y

[xiv] Aboubakr Chraïbi, ‘Galland’s “Ali Baba” and Other Arabic Versions’, in The Arabian Nights in Transnational Perspective, edited by Ulrich Marzolph, Wayne State University Press, 2007, Page 3 ff.

[xv] See Wolfram Eberhard, ‘The Story of Grandaunt Tiger’, in Alan Dundes, Little Red Riding Hood: A Casebook, University of Wisconsin Press, 1989, pp.21 ff.; and H. Chih-chun, ‘The Earliest Version of the Chinese “Little Red Riding Hood”’, 1993

[xvi] Evelio Echevarría, ‘Legends of the High Andes’, Alpine Journal, 1983, pp. 85 – 91. http://www.alpinejournal.org.uk/Contents/Contents_1983_files/AJ%201983%2085-91%20Echevarria%20Legends.pdf