ONCE upon a time, ever so many years ago, Truth suddenly vanished from out of the world. When people perceived this, they were greatly alarmed and at once sent five wise men in search of Truth. They set out, one in this direction and one in that, all plentifully equipped with traveling expenses and good intentions. They sought for ten long years.
In a time long ago, in a place of fields and pastures, lived a farmer who had three sons. To any farmer, having one son was considered a great boon. But having three, well… that was a blessing for which he would thank every star in the heavens above. But not this farmer. He had given up thanking his lucky stars some time ago because these three sons of his were as lazy as ever could be.
The time of year when the nights grow steadily longer has arrived. Here in the Northeast at least, it seems that the long hot days of summer passed by quickly, and the brilliant array of colorful Autumn foliage has also swiftly come and gone. Suddenly, it is November. On a particularly cold and windy night about 1700 years ago, a young Roman horse soldier by the name of Martin came across a beggar at the city gates of Amiens, France.
In the ancient days of Japan, there lived an old couple who had an only child. She was a girl of remarkable charm and beauty and was much loved and well cared for by the couple. It came to pass that the old man fell sick and passed away. His widow was now left to care for their daughter and became more and more concerned for her future well-being.
In a long-ago time when people lived in close connection with the earth and all its creatures, a tribe of Indian people living in a village near the sea. Among them was a wise and kind old warrior who at his birth had been given great power. And with this power, he could perform many wonderful deeds. Nothing was beyond his understanding, for he knew all things. His wife had long passed on, but he had one daughter. She was very beautiful and gentle and took no interest in frivolous things. She lived a very quiet life and all the people liked her well. She was always welcome wherever she went.
High on a hill in the land of Phrygia, in a little house of tumble-down stones lived an aged couple, Philemon and Baucis. Long had they had loved one another, from the days when they were children. Their love never waned throughout the many years they lived but grew over the course of time, into ever deeper compassion.
In distant ages of ice and stone, when the long, high glaciers of Norway poked their cold noses into Friesland, the shrine of Stavo the storm-god stood, in the city of Stavoren. These were poor times for the people of Stavoren. But many pilgrims came to worship at Stavo’s alters and new religion entered the land, and in time trade paths opened, to the warm lands of the south. Ships sailed out and brought back wealth, and a great, prosperous city sprang up to which the counts of Holland granted privileges, second to none. And the city glistened on the banks of the Zuider Zee for quite some time - but not forever.
A Folktale from Korea - Yun Ok and her husband lived in the country of Korea, where much of the land was used to cultivate rice. The rice paddies stretched in long, curving, bands from behind their neighboring villages like ribbons in multiple shades of green and gold, to where they reached to the base of the mountains beyond them.
Mio Strand is in the Province of Suruga. Its sand is yellow and fine, strewn with rose shells at the ebb tide. Its pine trees are ancient and they lean all one way, which is the way that the wild wind wills. Before Mio rolls the deep sea, and behind Mio rises Fuji, the most sacred, the mountain of mountains. Small marvel that the Strange People should come to Mio.
The story you are about you are about to hear comes to us from the First Nations people of Canada. In the culture of these indigenous peoples, written language was not used to record history.Instead, they relied on strong oral tradition to pass on their histories, which became even more important when over 150 years ago, other nationalities arrived and began to settle in North America, forcibly displacing them from their lands.
In a far off land long ago, there lived a king who received a gift of two magnificent peregrine falcons. They were the most beautiful birds he had ever seen, and believed to be the fastest birds in the world. Their backs were blue-grey, and under their powerful wings, the feathers of their bodies were barred in black and white. Brilliant, glistening eyes shone out from the smooth, obsidian-colored feathers on their heads.
Once, somewhere in a beautiful & simple part of the world, there were two brothers, who were born only a few years apart. Their father was a farmer, as his father had been before him, and his father's father, before that. When the boys were young they often took care of each other while he worked the farm, which was quite large.