Just received copies of the December HIGHLIGHTS with my story "Why Bears Sleep All Winter: A Tale from Lapland."
No, I have no ancestral family stories from Lapland. I found this charming story in a tattered second hand volume of Scandinavian folktales published decades ago. The moral of my discovery (ditto the folktale) is to do good works. I was volunteering at a church book sale when I pulled the volume from a dusty donation box.
I've always loved the how or why (pourquoi) stories. One of my favorites is the old African-American one called "Why Dogs Hate Cats." The story begins with dog and cat best of friends until the day they go to town and buy a big ham. On the hot, dusty road going home, they take turns carrying their prize dinner. When dog carries the ham, he always chants, "Our ham, our ham," but when cat carries the ham he always chants, "My ham, my ham." Well, you can see it coming - not far from home cat scrambles up a tree with the ham and eats it all. Dog declares, "I can't get you now, but when you come down out of that tree, I'm going to chase you 'til you drop."
What's your favorite folktale?