This is how Alexander Pushkin introduces his magic tale in verse, Ruslan and Ludmila. It is also the spirit of all tales and legends that begin with a magic introduction that takes by the hand and helps us suspend disbelief: in a kingdom long forgotten… Once upon a time… In a galaxy far, far away…
They’re also the words that dance in my head as I work on my Wee Folk and their Wee Props.
Sometimes I know where I’m going and sometimes the story knows me.
The thing is, I’ve heard (and listened to) or read, or told, these tales since I was little. They’re what made up my imagination. The colorful illustrations are what inspired my own images, and by extension my crafts.
Oh, and they appear in my teaching, too. Where I hope they prove entertaining. Or at least intriguing.
There are translations available, both scholarly and amateur, in book form and on the web, sponsored by universities, and put up by readers of tales who want to share them with you.
There are Russian texts, too, available in all the variants above — and in variants of their own. Because folk tales and legends, like jokes, come in many flavors. As long as the punchline (or basic story) is delivered right, the joke works, and the story is well told.
There are tales with animals (that talk), and tales of heroes that set off on quests, and about soldiers coming home who cook soup out of old axes (rather than stones).
I have some translations of my own available, and I plan to add more as I create more Wee Characters.
Now if you want first look at the upcoming tales, or maybe a first read long before they go up, why don’t you sign up for the mailing list.
I made a pledge to myself. As soon as I have 10 subscribers, I’ll send a special inaugural issue. And I’ll never innundate you with emails! (That would be too much work). Go ahead, get the newsletter!