Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monsters Online: Thirteen for Luck

After yesterday's post about monsters, I did a little online searching for monsters. They are all over the world--in story, anyway. Here are 13 tales to tickle your spine or fascinate your mind:

The Bear Lake Monster--a tale from Utah--an American monster tale. Think we only had Bigfoot and his kind? Think again. (Matthew, Pendleton County can rival anything any place cooks up when it comes to monsters!)

Beowulf (European)--the classic, retold online. Still a chilling tale.

Beauty and the Beast (European)--so many, many versions of this motif exist in stories. But this is probably the one we know best (not counting Disney, which doesn't count anyway).

The Monster Who Had Fire (African)--Stories on this site are retold by the website's author who grew up in Nigeria and remembers the stories being told. This one sounds a lot like Mr. Skinnyhead. Serendipity of a strange sort?

The Princess Lily (Chinese)--a vivid story, not scary but well-told by a young artist who puts art and story together on her blog. Although she's not posted in some time, her posts are well-written and include source notes and many details that storytellers love. Beekeepers will like this story too.

The Killing of Old Men: A Story from the Time of the Romans--an old story dating collected by a German folklorist in 1845, the motif of this story (killing off older people instead of allowing them to grow old and be cared for) is found in many cultures. In some of the stories, the wisdom of the elder becomes valued by the younger generations, and thus they are saved; in other versions, the wisdom of a child, who innocently points out to his parents that they too will see the same fate, causes a change of heart and saves the old one's life. From the Pitt public domain collection.

Dog's Repay; or, The Monster Centipede (Korea)--a strange story, but again a familiar motif: a dog risks its own life to save its master but is rewarded with abuse.

How Olomuroro Made Children Thin (Africa)--another story from the All Folktales site, this story also has a chant included in the story. Now if I knew how to pronounce the words!

The Strange Creature (Zimbabwe)--a tale retold by one of my favorite storytellers, Michael McCarty of California.

The Boy Who Drew Cats (Japan)--Aaron Sheperd's website has many good stories for telling or for reader's theatre. I first saw this classic tale as a children's picture book.

Lord Bag of Rice (Japan)--The Sacred Texts site is home to a wealth of stories. And yet another monster centipede!

The Ogre's Feather (Italy)--an ogre, a princess and deception combine in a clever story that has all the elements of a good fairy tale. From the Whootie Owl site.

The Golem: A Jewish Legend--When I hear Golem, I think immediately of the slippery creature in The Hobbit. But Golem was around long before Tolkien time.

Do you have a favorite monster story or book? Did you have a made-up creature that scared you as a child? Please share with us!


Deborah Wilson said...

I haven't read many of these - guess I'd better get busy! I'll link to them tomorrow..

Matthew Burns said...

Oh, yes, Pendleton can rival just about anything. I always tell Shirley, nothing can scare the bejabbers out of you like a good German haint story (and most of those in Pendleton have origins in Germany).

Anyway, I have a whole sack full of ghost, monster and spooky stories coming up soon on my blog. I'm trying to wait for October 1 before I go to telling those tales.

I can't wait to see what everyone thinks of the Snollygaster!!!

Of course, those tales would be better if they were told around a big bonfire...at your house???lol.

How's that for a hint?

Granny Sue said...

Oh yeah, at my house! Let's plan that, Matthew. My weekends are filling up, but I'll find one that's open, invite a few folks and we'll get a good scare going.

Matthew Burns said...

I mentioned this to Shirley and she's reminded me that nearly every weekend from now until the end of the year is booked for us!! Bummer. Now, I'm depressed!

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