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SOS-Searching Out Stories/Info - Patience
Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers,
Teachers and Librarians


Advice, Comments and References from Storytellers, Teachers and Librarians

(excerpts from Storytell posts plus original research)

Book titles and online links are in dark blue and underlined. Click on them to get more stories/information.
In performance, always credit your sources.
To retell these stories, get permission from the copyright holder if the material is not in the public domain.
Posts are listed chronologically as they are received by Story Lovers World.

1) Elisa Davy Pearmain's book Doorways to the Soul: 52 Wisdom Tales from Around the World contains an Osage Plains Indian story about patience called "How the Spider Symbol Came to the People."

"The Lion's Whisker, A Somali tale from Ethiopia" from Peace Tales by Margaret Read MacDonald, Linnet, 1992.

3) This may be one of the sites you are thinking about:
You need to click on the "site map" to find the parents' index of stories by topic which is copied below:
Creative Thinking
Regret & Recovery
Respect for Nature
I am certain there are other sites as well. This one appeals because children have illustrated the stories.

4) "Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success."
--Brian Adams

"All things pass ... Patience attains all it strives for."
--St. Theresa of Avila

"He who hurries cannot walk with dignity."
--Chinese Proverb

Here are two - the "Be Nice" story about the mother who stroked her pregnant-with-twins belly constantly saying, "Be nice." Nine months - no births, nine years - no births - finally when the woman is in her nineties and about to die, she gives birth to two old men who are arguing, "No, no. please, you go first."

Here's a lovely one that Lois Tzur sent awhile ago.

Baby girl is born with wings!
Neighbors think it's awful, tell parents that having the wings removed is best for the child.
Parents content to let be, send neighbors away.
Child grows, wings grow, neighbors return.
Neighbors suggest clipping wings--"in order not to hinder child's growth."
Parents still content, send neighbors away again.
Child grows, wings grow, neighbors return.
Neighbors want wings to be bound up, "we are only thinking of the child's welfare. What can you be thinking of?"
Parents answer, "We are thinking of teaching her to fly."

As far as "I'm" concerned, y'all are welcome to tell this story.
But I'd really like to give credit where credit is due. Can anyone help?


a) I kept reading this over and over, it reminded me of something and I just remembered! There is an African Folktale called The Foolish Boy. One of my students told a portion of it last year as it is quite long. The boy is indeed foolish and does some funny things. There is a refrain in the story about his parents, when they discover he has done something foolish. Once when they were planting bean seeds he was walking behind them picking them up and putting them in his calabash. A neighbor saw him and laughed. The first refrain is here, "They didn't get angry, they didn't get mad, they taught him how to plant the seeds." This continues throughout the story. Every time my student repeated the change she wrapped her arms around her and hugged herself. It was very effective.

b) A few of you have asked me for the source for "The Foolish Boy" off list. Thankfully, our school librarian is somewhat of a sleuth. (aren't they all :) I went in this morning and told her I needed to find an anthology of African folktales and voila! Here is the info. The story of "The Foolish Boy" appears on page in African Tales, Uh-Huh by Ashley Bryan ISBN 0-689-820762 Antheum Books for Young Readers copyright 1998. The story is VERY long. The boy, when he grows up, encounters Anansi and that is a whole other story! When Courtney was working on it for the festival last year we had to find a place to end the story and have it still make sense. We decided to stop the story at page 177 and it worked. The refrain is actually:

But they didn't get excited
They didn't get upset
They didn't howl or holler
And they didn't throw a fit

You probably don't need the one Milbre Birch tells about the Lindworm, either. How about the Ugly Duckling's mama? She had to sit on that special egg an extra long time, and look how well he . . . finally . . turned out!

How about the story of "The Lion's Whisker"? The stepmother learns a lesson in how to approach stepson by being patient. I bet there is something in Margaret Read MacDonald's book, Peace Tales. Come to think of it, there is a version of "The Lion's Whisker" in this book as well.

I just checked the thematic index of Elisa Davy Pearmain's book Doorways to the Soul - besides "The Lion's Whiskers," she lists an Osage story, "How the Spider Symbol Came to the People."

Just a personal story of our first pregnancy. We didn't want the doctor to tell us during the pregnancy which sex we were going to get. But we both really "hoped" it would be a girl. We trained for the birth using the Lamass (sp?) method. For four months I simulated labour pains by squeezing Karin's wrist really hard - and she practised her deep relaxation and deep breathing instead of cramping up. It was a lot of work but it worked well - one reason why I feel somehow justified in terming it "our" pregnancy. During the birth with this method the father also has an important role in ensuring that relaxation is maintained, breathing right, etc. So there I was, holding Karin's head, as the midwife said: "The baby's coming ..." And all the time, just secretly hoping it was going to be a girl. I can still recall (21 years later) that half-second of slight disappointment as she said, "It's a boy." And I recall even more strongly the wave of love which flooded over me immediately after that half second. It still brings tears to my eyes every time I tell the story (often do in school, actually). And I shall end this now to wipe them away! May your child bring as much happiness as Nicholas and Patrick have brought us!

10) Last summer we "helped" a baby chick get out of its shell because it seemed to be having a really hard time, and WE felt frustrated in watching it struggle. It never gained enough strength to lift its head and stand up, and I think it might be because we "helped" it too much--it didn't get the exercise necessary during its birth to gain needed strength. The poor little thing died after a couple of days, during which we cared for it carefully. Another little chick that hatched all by itself was fine.

All this talk of helping the chicks out of their eggs is making me think of my oldest daughter. She is a high school senior and we are in the process of making all those college and housing decisions. I keep vacillating between sitting back and watching her make her own way and reaching out and picking off a bit of the shell. It's so tempting! But there seems to be an epidemic in our country at least (USA) of youth that don't face up well to the trials of life, because they've had everything handled for them. We're always trying to make the way a little easier for our kids. Have we made it too easy?

Which reminds me of that other story about "helping" a butterfly out of its coccoon, thus crippling it because the struggle to get out is what develops the wings. The eggs in the library incubator this spring similarly produced really weak and sickly chicks, not because anyone did anything to them; they just all seemed sickly and weak and most of them died. . . . . very depressing.

This helping chicks out of the egg reminds me all too much of the baby ducklings my daughter's first grade class "hatched." One of them was crippled from the start, smaller, with a weak leg. He always got pushed away from the food by the four strong ones and pecked and, naturally, became the whole class's favorite. Kids got to take the ducklings home over the weekend. When weekends ran out they started on a single night. Our turn finally came, one night at our house, we fed them, let them play in water, kept them warm, took photos. My husband gets up really early. He came in and woke me to tell me one had died. My first respose was "That's not funny." But the crippled one had not made it through the night. Sorry to say one of my main reactions was "Why at my house?" I called the teacher at seven in the morning. Did she want me to bring in the body? "No, I'll tell them you buried it." But my daughter, always dramatic, was a different story. She insisted we take photos of her holding the dead baby duck (those are the saddest photos you have ever seen) to go with the photos of the live ones. We were to move to a different house in the neighborhood in a couple of weeks. She didn't want to leave the duckling. She said we could bury it in a big flower pot and bring it with us, I could just picture us hauling that flower pot around for the rest of our lives and said no. We had a nice funeral and into the ground it went. The photos we kept.

As a parent, I want to make life easier for my children, but I know that if I do that, they will never learn to fly on their own. My 59-year-old brother is STILL living off my father's money because my father, in the kindness of his heart, could never say "no" to my brother. It really crippled my brother's ability to stand on his own. My 16-year-old son lost his first job day before yesterday because he got the schedule mixed up two times, and was late to work another time. They have a strict rule of: three times you're fired. My impulse was to go to the manager and try to explain that Aaron really DID get the schedule mixed up somehow, but I know that Aaron must deal with this himself. Helping the chick out of its shell is a good metaphor.

Created 2004; last update 2/15/10

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