Remembering the Forgotten: Top 3 Folktales From Around The World

From toy trains to barbies, the nursery rhymes to bedtime stories of enchanting folk tales, our childhood is a mix of everything, . It is true that we learn from what we hear, what we see and what we touch. And there is no denying on how much we learn from stories, the ones we grow up listening to.

This very desire set me out to look for folktales from around the world. The world host over nine thousand cultures, there must surely be hundreds of folk tales that have a lesson learnt for each of us. My first instinct was to look up on social media. And here is an informative piece that I found on Pinterest, about the common themes in Folktales:

Screen shot 2013-04-28 at 4.14.35 PM

Social media can be a menace. Apart from book pages, and news on new folktales book release, I was hitting a dead end. That’s when I turned to Google.

It’s amazing how you can get so many hits on a single keyword? The Importance of SEO is definitely seen here. As I Googled up the folktales from around the globe, I got many hits topped by (they must have hired a really good copy writer to run their SEO). I found a website that had an intriguing list of folktales about Widows in (short-lived) Mourning.

After sifting through the search results, I shortlisted the three best folktales that I feel is worth retelling:

  • The Piece of Chuang Brocade. A tale from China
  • Why The Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky. A tale from Africa
  • The Wings of the Butterfly. A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest. 

Here is their Quick summary, and the link to where you can finish reading them:

  1. The Piece of Chaung Brocade | (A story about a son’s love for this mother)
    A woman’s son set out in search of the cherish silk brocade she has woven. A brocade that took her months to complete. The son recovers the brocade from the sun palace after overcoming a frightful feat, yet unknown to him, his widow mother was dying in her hut. The story shows a son’s love for his mother, and how it brought upon the duos a fortune unexpected. Read the complete story retold by Aaron Shepard.
  1. Why The Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky | (A story of Friendship)
    The sun and the water once lived together on earth as friends. The sun would visit  water, but water never visited sun at his house. One day, the sun asked water why he never came to see him. The water replied that his house was not big enough and if he came with his people there would not be enough room. The sun promised that he would build a house large enough for water and his people to visit. Once the house was completed, sun and his wife, moon, told water and his people to come in. They kept inviting water’s people into the house even though the water was very deep. The water overflowed the top of the roof, and the sun and moon were forced to go up into the sky, where they have remained. A must read of a brilliant version of the story.
  1. The Wings of the Butterfly | (A story for going beyond)
    Chimidyue was making a basket and spotted a butterfly so she chased it in the forest on accident. She didn’t realize she went that far. She gets scared and asked the animals for help but none of them want to help her. She finds a group of “people monkeys” and stays with them. She notices the monkey leader was actually a leopard and wanted to eat Chimidyue so she runs away. She starts to cry when a butterfly sees her and asks what’s wrong. The butterfly changes Chimidyue into a butterfly so she can fly back home. Then, she changes back into a human and everything turns out okay. Read the complete story retold by Aaron Shepard.

Mildred Owens

A story wrangler who still believe Cinderella’s glass slipper is around, Mildred Owens will tell you everything and anything magical. She is fascinated by ancient folktales, the world of magic and the obscurity in modernity. From the unicorn that walked past her house to criticizing movies that went so bad, of witch and wizards, no one narrates it better than her!

Leave a Reply