Carol's Blog

The Problem with Cultural Tales

I am often asked if a teller should tell tales from other cultures. My rule of thumb for cultural tales is: What does the story have to do with my life? 

The Little Engine That Could

Childhood stories shape us. We naturally gravitate to themes and storylines that appeal to what we need to learn or what we enjoy learning most. When I look back on the stories that shaped my personality, it is apparent that The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper represents a life lesson for me.

The Lion's Whisker

Oftentimes a story will capture my heart as if it created just for me to tell. That is how I feel about The Lion’s Whisker. This story has come to me in various forms as my life has changed. When struggling with a new marriage, the Ethiopian version came to me. As I adapted to having a stepdaughter, the Korean version of stepmother and stepson found me. I find comfort in the telling of whatever version I opt to tell as if by telling the story, I heal a little bit more.

The King, The Mice, and the Cheese

A favorite children’s book of mine is The King, the Mice, and the Cheese by Nancy and Eric Gurney. I remember loving how the king had the most wonderful cheese in the kingdom only to discover mice were devouring all of it. To rid the kingdom of the mice, the wise men brought in cats which upset the king even more. Progressively, the wise men scared away the cats with dogs, the dogs with lions, the lions with elephants, and finally brought back the mice to eliminate the elephants. In the end, the king said, “I will learn how to get along with you (if yo

Giving Thanks for Veterans

My father Richard H. Knarr is a World War II Veteran, having served three years in Europe with the Army. Growing up I rarely thought about my dad as a veteran. He didn’t look like a veteran. My dad didn’t dress in uniform or wear metals of honor at memorial services. My dad spoke peace from the pulpit and rarely talked about the war unless pressed. He wrote poetry and taught school. Dad had a rifle, all farmers did. The one picture I have of my father holding a military weapon shows camaraderie rather than military might.

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