tro Storytelling for Leaders - Pleasant DeSpain
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The Dancing Turtle 
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: David Boston

Product Code: 502X
ISBN: 0-87483-502-X
Size: 11" Inches x 8.5"
Pages: 32
Color: Four color
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 4 to 7
Grade Range: PreK to 2

Turtle loves to dance and play the flute. But her exuberance puts her at risk when her music attracts the attention of a hunter who brings her home for turtle stew. After she is caught, her only hope for escape is the hunter's children ... and her own wit. This folktale, first told by the indigenous people of Brazil, is now told throughout Latin America. The versions are as different as the cultures that contain them, but all of them celebrate Turtle, who carries the world and its wisdom on her back. Like the people of Latin America, Turtle always seems to survive through courage and wit. In watercolors radiant with foliage and wildlife, David Boston guides the reader through the dense and fertile Amazon rain forest.

AWARDS 
Bank Street College: Best Children's Books of the Year
Selected as Outstanding by the Parent Council
Selected for the Elementary School Library Collection

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Eleven Nature Tales
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Joe Shlichta

Product Code: 4589
ISBN: 0-87483-458-9
Size: 8.5" Inches x 5.5"
Pages: 96
Binding: Paperback
Age Range: 7 to 10

In this new millennium, we are faced with a critical question: are we willing to work together to ensure the survival of the planet as well as each other? In his fifth collection of tellable folktales—and his third collaboration with illustrator Joe Shlichta—DeSpain provides eleven ancient stories that address natural elements such as Sun, Moon, Stars, Ocean, Wind, Fire, Mammals, Reptiles, Birds, Insects, Rocks, Trees, and Humans.

This useful resource can be enjoyed by young readers for pleasure or can be used in the classroom to enhance the science curriculum. For the reader who wants to explore these tales further, DeSpain provides notes citing written sources and folklore motifs. Includes stories from Zaire, Fiji, Central Asia, Australia, China, Portugal, and the Algonquin, Cherokee, Quinault, and Tlingit native peoples.

AWARDS 
PLA/ALLS Best New Books for New Adult Readers
Selected for the Elementary School Library Collection

REVIEWS
The Booklist
"Each tale is presented in simple, direct language that will be easily accessible for young readers or listeners. Joe Schlichta's scratch board illustrations add a decorative touch and help break up the text. A great collection for primary story hours; raconteurs will appreciate DeSpain's appended source notes and performance suggestions."

School Library Journal

"The reteller's notes describe where he first heard or found each tale and list print sources for other versions. In a few cases, he includes hints for storytelling. He also keys each story to the motif-index in Margaret Read MacDonald's The Storyteller's Sourcebook. The stories themselves are short and easy to read."

Library Talk

"The oral tradition is apparent in these well-paced stories. All support ecological awareness, and many have not been frequently retold."

Northern Virginia Storyteller Newsletter

"These tales sparkle!"

Tale Trader

"...a collection that inspires..."

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Eleven Turtle Tales
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Joe Shlichta

Product Code: 3884
ISBN: 0-87483-388-4
Size: 8.5" Inches x 5.5"
Pages: 106
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 7 to 10
Grade Range: 2 to 5
Available in Audio Book:
Product Code: 4252
ISBN: 0-87483-425-2
Binding: Audiobook

Turtle carries the world on her back: this story has been told by different cultures around the world for generations. Like Mother Nature, Turtle is unhurried, wise, and enduring. She walks on land, swims in water, and breathes the air—and so embodies three of the four elements of creation. We have much to learn from Turtle.

The eleven stories in this collection come from Africa, India, Japan, Australis, and the Americas. "The Courting of Miss Python" tells how Turtle outwits the brutual King Python; "The Monkey's Liver" explains why Monkey never rides on Turtlle's back and why Jellyfish has no spine; and "The Talkative King" tells how a chatty ruler learns from Turtle why it is often wiser to listen than to talk.

AWARDS 
Selected as Outstanding by the Parent Council

REVIEWS
Library Talk
"All [the stories] are well told, and printed in large type for easy reading. Most are not familiar. Joe Schlichta's scratchy, full-page (one per story) and vignette drawings tend to emphasize the humorous qualities in their depictions of turtle. Both universal motifs and sources are given for all stories."

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Emerald Lizard
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Translator: Mario Lamo-Jiménez   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 5526
ISBN: 0-87483-552-6
Size: 8.5" Inches x 5.5"
Pages: 192
Binding: Paperback

For the past three decades, Pleasant DeSpain has explored Latin America–its countries, countrysides, customs, cultures, and especially, its stories. While his repertoire of traditional world folktales includes narratives from almost every culture around the globe, DeSpain's talent shines even brighter when relating the legends from Latin America. His exploration of the heart and soul of this enormous region demonstrates his passion for Latin America and its people and their stories. The fifteen tales included here are full of compassionate souls, tricks and humor, explanations of nature and geography–and always, fine storytelling. Mario Lamo-Jiménez's Spanish translation reverberates with the rich, vibrant quality for which Latin tales are known.


AWARDS 
NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
Bank Street College: Best Children's Books of the Year
Selected for The Elementary School Library Collection
Parent's Guide to Children's Media
Young Adults' Choice Award

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The Magic Pot
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Tom Wrenn

Product Code: 8274
ISBN: 0-87483-827-4
Size: 8" Inches x 8"
Pages: 32
Color: Four color
Age Range: 4 to 8
Grade Range: PreK to 3

In this story from China, when a woodcutter finds a magic pot that makes two of everything that he puts inside of it, he thinks all of his troubles have disappeared! Or have they just doubled?

REVIEWS
Children's Bookwatch of the Midwest Book Review
" Story Cove' is a series of very highly recommended stories and folk tales from around the world for beginning readers that combines charming and colorful artwork with simple, easy-reader texts ideal for children ages 4 to 8. These 32-page picturebooks emphasize different character traits and values such as courage, sharing, citizenship, fairness, and resourcefulness, and are further enhanced with a Story Cove website offering series related movies, games, and more. The series titles would make particularly good choices as school and community library reading program incentive prizes."

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Thirty-Three Multicultural Tales to Tell
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Joe Shlichta

Product Code: 2667
ISBN: 0-87483-266-7
Size: 11 x 8.5
Pages: 128
Binding: Paperback
Age Range: 7 to 10
Grade Range: 2 to 5

Available in Audio Book:
Product Code: 3450
ISBN: 0-87483-345-0
Binding: Audiobook

People just can't live together without telling stories. We tell stories that are funny, ironic, insightful, or just simply pleasing to the tongue and ear. Stories just seem to happen. When a story happens with the force of universality, it finds its way into that pantheon of tales that is the common denominator of cultural exchange. Here are 33 such tales, collected from Brazil, China, Korea, Russia, Tibet, Africa, from America's native peoples, and other lands, and chosen for the universality of their message. Celebrating the interconnectedness of people, animals, and cultures, each tale is presented in concise "retellable" form, suitable for all ages. Illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings.

REVIEWS
Kirkus Reviews
"Presented in easy-to-learn versions enlivened with unforced humor and clear, fluent language; most would take ten minutes or less to tell. Their readers will bring away a stronger impression of human culture's unity than its diversity."

Baton Rouge Morning Times and Advocate Magazine

"Wonderful folk tales from 20 or more nations will delight children of all ages and offer insight into many cultures in the process. Ages 6-10, and great for adults to read aloud."

Provident Book Finder

"Here is a wonderful cross-cultural collection of folk tales and stories--funny, enlightening, educational and fascinating. A great gift to share with a youngster."

The Virginian-Pilot & The Ledger Star

"Pleasant DeSpain, a leader in the American Storytelling renaissance, has chosen short tales to ensure that they will be read and reread. Joe Shlicta' pen-and-ink illustrations fuel the imagination. The possibilities are endless."

The Ithaca Times

"a must-have for parents, teachers, children, and story lovers."

Children's Book Watch

"These tales emphasize the interconnectedness of peoples and cultures, gathering and retelling tales from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the West."

The Witchita Eagle

"These are stories about tricksters, clever animals, and witty, masterful adults and children. There is excitement, adventure, danger and fun in the stories. Collected from world folklore, the stories are entertaining and are presented in concise form."

Booklist

"His bare-bones approach results in tales no longer than two and one-half pages, which makes them ideal for use as fillers for those stray, unscheduled minutes in the library or classroom."

School Library Journal

"DeSpain has included something for everyone--trickster stories about Coyote and Anansi, Creation stories and tales of fools."

The Orlando Sentinel
"Each story, accompanied by full-page pen-and-ink illustrations by Joe Shlichta, celebrates the interconnectedness of people, animals, cultures, and countries."

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Strongheart Jack and the Beanstalk
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Joe Shlichta

Product Code: 4147
ISBN: 0-87483-414-7
Size: 11 x 8.5
Pages: 32
Color: Four color
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 5 to 8
Grade Range: K to 3

“Love is stronger than might, stronger than fear. Keep your heart as strong as your sword, and right will triumph.” Following this instruction, Jack the lad becomes Jack the strong of heart, embracing his father's silver sword as he sets forth. In Pleasant DeSpain's able hands, and with the help of a maiden named Elinor, an ancient tortoise, and a cat named Octavia, Jack and the Beanstalk becomes a tale of action, fun, and justice. Joe Shlichta's vibrant oil paintings, reminiscent of its medieval origins, convey the challenge, fear, and triumph of this timeless tale.

AWARDS 
Selected for The Elementary School Library Collection

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Sweet Land of Story
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 5690
ISBN: 0-87483-569-0
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Pages: 176
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 12
Grade Range: 3 to 6

Here is a compilation of stories from every part of the nation—from the frozen tundra of Alaska to the lush green hills of Virginia; from the sweltering bayous of Louisiana to the windswept prairies of South Dakota. Each story is told in DeSpain's signature gentle, simple style, ensuring this collection's roles as a handy classroom tool and an “on-my-own” read for children in upper elementary and middle grades.

Every reader will find something of interest—the stories range from practical and wise ones such as “Pulling the Rope” to silly and scary ones such as “The Haint that Roared” and “The Big, Smelly, Hairy Toe.” The stories' variety represents not only the geographic diversity of the United States, but offer a portrait of our nation's character: our various values, beliefs, and customs that differ from region to region yet retain a fundamental allegiance to the importance of passing that culture on through story.

AWARDS 
NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

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Tales of Cats
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 7138
ISBN: 0-87483-713-8
Size: 7.5" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6

Here are cat tales especially worth sharing. You will find stories that explain why cats choose women over men, how cats trick other (in cat's view, lesser) animals, how cats outwit humans, and how cats wait patiently for their time in the sun.

Cat lovers of all ages will enjoy these timeless stories. Our editors and designers have created a book especially for children (and those who read to them). The stories are short enough to read at bedtime and fascinating enough for a third-grader to read independently.

REVIEWS
Territorial Tattler — Fran Stallings
"Number 9 in "The Books of Nine Lives Series," this slim book contains nine stories with feline protagonists. They are short and simply told, easy reading for grade school students or prime material for beginning storytellers. Only one of these has appeared previously in DeSpain's collections (a "Puss In Boots" variant from Germany). The others, from Europe, Africa, and Asia, range from the often-anthologized "Boy Who Painted Cats" (in DeSpain's original version) to an unusual trickster tale from Finland.

DeSpain has done a nice job retelling these stories in his own fresh voice, without adding literary embellishments beyond the comfort zone of the folktale. In contrast to some of his earlier collections, these "Nine Lives" books have frank and useful source citations which will be useful to more advanced tellers.

I can recommend this book to story lovers and cat lovers alike!"

Top of Texas Reviews
— Dana Wood
"...anyone, child or adult, who has an interest in folklore will find these stories charming..."

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Tales of Enchantment
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 7111
ISBN: 0-87483-711-1
Size: 7.5" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6

"One story always leads to the next," says DeSpain in his preface. And he should know. For nearly a generation and a half, DeSpain has been traversing the country telling stories to teachers, librarians, and especially to children of all ages. Nine of his all-time favorite stories are included here:

-  A Russian soldier inherits a musty old book that changes his life.
-  An orphan girl finds that her beauty can be a curse and begins to feel that life is just one test after another.
-  A stingy old Irishman meets his match in a very little fellow.
-  In Spain, a girl discovers enchanted ways to be helpful around the house, and is rewarded beyond her dreams.

Stories from the Cherokee people, Japan, Germany, and Holland give this book DeSpain's trademark round-the-world feel. The stories are short enough to read at bedtime and fascinating enough for a third-grader to read independently.

REVIEWS
The Story Bag
"This is the seventh volume of Pleasant DeSpain's "Books of Nine Lives" series. DeSpain has long been a favorite of kids, teachers and storytellers for retelling and publishing well-known and well-loved stories from many cultures in a kid-friendly, easy-read format. Now he has taken those tales from his other volumes, added some new ones, and repackaged them in several slim books, each containing nine stories on a central theme. The books themselves are small in size, easily taken along in a backpack or tote, inviting casual reading and sharing. The stories range from four to six pages, just right for a bite-sized story experience. This collection contains stories from Holland, Germany, Russia, Norway, Ireland, Japan, Spain, Denmark and the Cree Nation. All of the stories have magic, spells and enchantments of some sort, and all have a moral (not heavy-handed, but present all the same). Leprechauns, elves, magic spinners, demons, star boys, storm spirits, angels and dwarfs inhabit these enchanting tales. Pen-and-ink illustrations by Don Bell are just right."

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Tales of Heroes
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 6662
ISBN: 0-87483-666-2
Size: 7.2" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6


REVIEWS
Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media — Teresa Bateman
"The "Books of Nine Lives" series is a collection of folktale books containing traditional stories from many countries, retold in a tellable style by master storyteller Pleasant DeSpain. The stories have appeared in previous collections by the author, and include a few black & white illustration. Notes at the end of the book give more information about the stories' sources and motifs (based on "The Storyteller's Sourcebook" by Margaret Read MacDonald), and sometimes include storytelling suggestions. The books have paper over board covers, but good binding. This collection contains 9 hero stories including "William Tell" from Switzerland, "Stan Bolovan and the Dragon" from Rumania, and "Burniing the Rice Fields" from Japan. All are suitable for telling, making this a good resource for storytellers."

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Tales of Holidays
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 6670
ISBN: 0-87483-667-0
Size: 7.5" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 88
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6

 

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Tales of Insects
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 6689
ISBN: 0-87483-668-9
Size: 7.5" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6

REVIEWS
Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media — Teresa Bateman
"The "Books of Nine Lives" series is a collection of folktale books containing traditional stories from many countries, retold in a tellable style by master storyteller Pleasant DeSpain. The stories have appeared in previous collections by the author, and include a few black & white illustration. Notes at the end of the book give more information about the stories' sources and motifs (based on "The Storyteller's Sourcebook" by Margaret Read MacDonald), and sometimes include storytelling suggestions. The books have paper over board covers, but good binding. This collection contains nine stories featuring insects including "The First Fire" from Cherokee tradition, "Ants Live Everywhere" from Burma, and "Why Ants Carry Heavy Loads" from West Africa. All are suitable for telling, making this a good resource for storytellers."

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Tales of Nonsense & Tomfoolery
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 6700
ISBN: 0-87483-670-0
Size: 7.5" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6

"Ten stories from Russia, Ethiopia, Switzerland, China, Norway, India, Finland, Sweden, and the United States. Folktales are among the most resilient types of lore one generation passes to another. Tales we tell today—whether they are cautionary, humorous, or embedded with moral instruction—date back to ancient civilizations. Storyteller, writer, and folktale enthusiast Pleasant DeSpain has an uncanny ear for those tales that transcend particular eras or cultures and have passed into the universal frame of reference. A pioneer of the storytelling renaissance, DeSpain first published some of the tales in these in the two volume Pleasant Journeys, later repackaged as the two-volume Twenty-Two Splendid Tales to Tell from Around the World. Now DeSpain has thematically arranged selections from the original collection (nine stories are included in each of The Books of Nine Lives) and updated the source notes and bibliographies. Like any species with extraordinary survival skills, folktales thrive because they are adaptive. DeSpain's adaptations carry his trademark elegance and succinct style."

REVIEWS
Children's Services, Upper Perkiomen Valley Library — Kristin Pedemonti
"This collection of tales from around the world teaches us how to avoid being a fool...The tales are well written and introduce a sense of fairness to children of all ages."

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media — Teresa Bateman
"The "Books of Nine Lives" series is a collection of folktale books containing traditional stories from many countries, retold in a tellable style by master storyteller Pleasant DeSpain. The stories have appeared in previous collections by the author, and include a few black & white illustration. Notes at the end of the book give more information about the stories' sources and motifs (based on "The Storyteller's Sourcebook" by Margaret Read MacDonald), and sometimes include storytelling suggestions. The books have paper over board covers, but good binding. This collection contains ten nonsense stories including "The Turnip" from Russia, "Close the Door!" from the United States, and "Three Wishes" from Sweden. All are suitable for telling, making this a good resource for storytellers."

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Tales of Tricksters
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 6697
ISBN: 0-87483-669-7
Size: 7.5" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6


"Nine stories from France, Persia, the United States, Sweden, India, Switzerland, Poland, and the Cherokee and Creek Peoples. Folktales are among the most resilient types of lore one generation passes to another. Tales we tell today—whether they are cautionary, humorous, or embedded with moral instruction—date back to ancient civilizations. Storyteller, writer, and folktale enthusiast Pleasant DeSpain has an uncanny ear for those tales that transcend particular eras or cultures and have passed into the universal frame of reference. A pioneer of the storytelling renaissance, DeSpain first published some of the tales in these in the two volume Pleasant Journeys, later repackaged as the two-volume Twenty-Two Splendid Tales to Tell from Around the World. Now DeSpain has thematically arranged selections from the original collection (nine stories are included in each of The Books of Nine Lives) and updated the source notes and bibliographies. Like any species with extraordinary survival skills, folktales thrive because they are adaptive. DeSpain's adaptations carry his trademark elegance and succinct style."

REVIEWS
Children's Services, Upper Perkiomen Valley Library — Kristin Pedemonti
"This collection of tales from around the world teaches us how to avoid being a fool...The tales are well written and introduce a sense of fairness to children of all ages."

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media — D Kersley
"This is a collection of folktales from around the world featuring tricksters. These stories were gathered by the author from written and oral sources. This is one book in a series of nine books of tales. These would make good storytelling, all showing how clever the trickster can be from the fox to the rabbit to the wolf. A good set to have in the 398.2 section."

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Tales of Wisdom and Justice
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 6719
ISBN: 0-87483-671-9
Size: 7.5 x 5.25
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6

"Ten stories from Ancient Greece, Mexico, Peru, Israel, France, Persia, Poland, Mongolia, the United States, and Ireland. Folktales are among the most resilient types of lore one generation passes to another. Tales we tell today—whether they are cautionary, humorous, or embedded with moral instruction—date back to ancient civilizations. Storyteller, writer, and folktale enthusiast Pleasant DeSpain has an uncanny ear for those tales that transcend particular eras or cultures and have passed into the universal frame of reference. A pioneer of the storytelling renaissance, DeSpain first published some of the tales in these in the two volume Pleasant Journeys, later repackaged as the two-volume Twenty-Two Splendid Tales to Tell from Around the World. Now DeSpain has thematically arranged selections from the original collection (nine stories are included in each of The Books of Nine Lives) and updated the source notes and bibliographies. Like any species with extraordinary survival skills, folktales thrive because they are adaptive. DeSpain's adaptations carry his trademark elegance and succinct style."

REVIEWS
Children's Services, Upper Perkiomen Valley Library — Kristin Pedemonti
"This collection of tales from around the world teaches us how to avoid being a fool...The tales are well written and introduce a sense of fairness to children of all ages."

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Media — Teresa Bateman
"The "Books of Nine Lives" series is a collection of folktale books containing traditional stories from many countries, retold in a tellable style by master storyteller Pleasant DeSpain. The stories have appeared in previous collections by the author, and include a few black & white illustration. Notes at the end of the book give more information about the stories' sources and motifs (based on "The Storyteller's Sourcebook" by Margaret Read MacDonald), and sometimes include storytelling suggestions. The books have paper over board covers, but good binding. This collection contains ten stories showing wisdom and justice including "Pandor's Box," "Toads and Diamonds," and "The Astrologer and the Forty Thieves." All are suitable for telling, making this a good resource for storytellers."

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Tales to Frighten and Delight
Author: Pleasant DeSpain   Illustrator: Don Bell

Product Code: 712X
ISBN: 0-87483-712-X
Size: 7.5" Inches x 5.25"
Pages: 80
Binding: Hardcover
Age Range: 8 to 11
Grade Range: 3 to 6


REVIEWS
Territorial Tattler — Margaret Patterson
"This is the eighth book in a series of nine called "The Books of Nine Lives Series" It contains 9 stories from different countries. The stories all tell a moral and end up with the wronged party getting the last word, so that wrong does not prevail and the evil person or persons in the story all get their comeuppance. The common thread in most stories seems to be that the bad person was outwitted and outsmarted. Also the stories illustrate that lying is bad and that one must keep a promise.

For example, "The Ghost Wife" (Sioux) tells of a young man grieving because the chief"s beautiful daughter had died the previous week. He dreams of her and she appears and becomes his ghostwife, with only one promise he must live up to. The story tells of how you must be careful of what you promise, or suffer the consequences. "Godfather Death" (Germany) tells of a boy who receives Death as his Godfather. The story involves a promise made by the boy with Death in which he could cure sick people, but he was not to defy Death. If Death appeared at the foot of the bed the patient was his. He got along fine until a beautiful young girl was selected by Death. The boy attempted to defy death and learned that a promise is a promise."