The Fairy Tellers
Episode 72 - The Moon is Made of Cheese (and other Astronomical Folklore)

Episode 72 - The Moon is Made of Cheese (and other Astronomical Folklore)

April 23, 2022

Katrina and Geoff talk about the moon! This week we delve back into the world of astronomical folklore by telling stories about the moon. We finally get to the bottom of whether or not people actually believed that the moon was made of cheese, and what the moon is up to when we can't see it in the sky.

If you are enjoying the podcast and want to contribute while also getting more fairy tale content, check out our Patreon.

Episode 71 - Greek Geomythology

Episode 71 - Greek Geomythology

April 8, 2022

Katrina and Geoff talk Mr. G's Pizza and geomythology! While the term "geomythology" was coined fairly recently by a geologist, the ideas behind looking for the science within ancient stories is anything but recent. In this episode we discuss dragon teeth and Cadmus, primordial chaos monsters, and how the scientists have uncovered a mystery about the Oracle of Delphi.

If you are enjoying the podcast and want to contribute while also getting more fairy tale content, check out our Patreon.

Episode 70 - Slavic Vampires

Episode 70 - Slavic Vampires

March 29, 2022

Katrina and Geoff talk Vampires of Eastern Europe! This episode combines two listener requests. One for tales created around pandemic and plagues and another request for a tale from Ukraine. Katrina tells a quick history lesson of the Carpathian mountains before retelling the story of "The Vampire and St. Michael", were a young man is helped by an archangel to exorcise a vampire.

If you are enjoying the podcast and want to contribute while also getting more fairy tale content, check out our Patreon.

Episode 69 - Phikul Thong, Golden Flower

Episode 69 - Phikul Thong, Golden Flower

March 11, 2022

Geoff and Katrina take a request, from a long time listener of the podcast who inspired the 2022 fan lead project, and retell the Thai story Phikul Thong. A familiar tale type (ATU 480) to our podcast but with a twist we haven't discussed before that is more famous in a Charles Perrault tale, The Fairies. Geoff and Katrina take it a step further and retell another ATU 480 tale that stretches the boundaries of the tale type, with a Japanese tale of The Old Man Who Made Flowers Bloom.

If you want to support the podcast, we would love to have you as a Patron on our Patreon.

Episode 68 - Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Fair

Episode 68 - Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Fair

February 27, 2022

Katrina and Geoff wander into the Russian woods to talk about the most famous Slavic witch, Baba Yaga. After a fan request to discuss this cannibalistic character after her appearance in Netflix's The Witcher, Katrina knew exactly the tale that would lead our discussion. We also look at the Russian collector of tales, Aleksandr Afanasyev who's efforts to preserve folklore might be one of the reasons that we know as much about Baba Yaga as we do today.

Episode 67 - African Dilemma Tales

Episode 67 - African Dilemma Tales

February 12, 2022
Katrina and Geoff journey into African Dilemma Tales and note how important it is to record the context for tales when they are performed. The text of a song might stay the same, but the texture and context can change the experience completely. For instance, the tune of the Star-Spangled Banner may not change... But you wouldn't want it played on the kazoo by a circus clown at a presidential inauguration. And that's how it is with storytelling too.
Episode 66 – The Law of Surprise | Hans the Hedgehog

Episode 66 – The Law of Surprise | Hans the Hedgehog

January 28, 2022

Inspired by a listener request, and the debut of season two of The Witcher on Netflix, Katrina and Geoff get into The Law of Surprise. If you're anything like Geoff, the origins of this tradition may surprise you, as will its relationship to the story of "Hans the Hedgehog" as collected by the Grimm brothers. Come for the fun facts you can use to impress your friends, and stay for a delightfully strange story about the worlds second most famous hedgehog.

Remember to head over to Patreon for exclusive content!

Episode 65 - These Stories Are (not) for Children | King Thrushbeard, The Three Snake-Leaves

Episode 65 - These Stories Are (not) for Children | King Thrushbeard, The Three Snake-Leaves

January 16, 2022

Katrina and Geoff get sent questions about fairy tales and folklore fairly frequently and this year we want to focus on answering those questions. We're starting off the year by answering the question, "Are fairy tales for children? And what are the most important fairy tales to tell my children?" It isn't a quick answer, but using Katrina's background in Early Childhood Development and Geoff's unsuspecting son, we examine two stories from the Grimm Brothers' collection to examine this question.

Note: In this episode, Geoff says that Tuesday, February 2nd, 2022 has been declared as "Twosday." However, February 2nd is, in fact, a Wednesday. The good news is he misunderstood. Twosday is on February 22nd which IS a Tuesday. So not only does the pun stand but it is 25% more two to celebrate!

Episode 64 - The Grande Finale of The Thousand and One Nights

Episode 64 - The Grande Finale of The Thousand and One Nights

December 24, 2021

Katrina and Geoff finally get to the end of the 1001 Nights! Well, sort of. It's kind of a long story. Literally. But we finally finish out our year of tales from this incredible ever changing collection of stories. It all culminates with the tale of Ma'rouf the Cobbler (whose story might share common details with a tale we never discussed by most people know). Katrina and Geoff finish off the project by getting extremely meta about the framed narrative and discuss why these tales are still relevant today.

Episode 63 -Yuletide and the Tomte

Episode 63 -Yuletide and the Tomte

December 10, 2021

Katrina and Geoff talk Tomte!  In a personal quest to reconnect with her cultural roots, Katrina started to explore Scandinavian folklore and was delighted to find Tomte eating her family's rice porridge. But what are Tomte and where do they come from? And what are they willing to do for a bowl of rice porridge with butter on top? Enjoy this winter time episode while Katrina and Geoff tell and retell you some things!

Episode 62 - Dream Divination | The Thousand and One Nights

Episode 62 - Dream Divination | The Thousand and One Nights

November 26, 2021

Katrina and Geoff talk about dreams! This week we learn a new word, oneiromancy, the use of dreams to fortell the future, and use it as a vehicle to explore the difference between folk belief and religious mythology (and the very specific definition of myth used in the study of folklore). We cover a bunch of quick stories in this episode all related to dreams. First Katrina walks us through the Biblical story of Joseph who used the ability to interpret dreams to win the favor of the pharaoh. Then Geoff retells the (surprisingly kind of historical?) love story of "al-Mutawakkil and Mahbuba," from The Thousand and One Nights. And finally Katrina ends the episode with another tale from The Nights, "The Rich Man Who Lost and then Regained His Money." 

Episode 61 - Middle Eastern Cinderella Tales

Episode 61 - Middle Eastern Cinderella Tales

November 12, 2021

Geoff and Katrina have been podcasting for two years! In this, slightly delayed, two year anniversary episode, Katrina and Geoff retell some more Cinderella tales. This time from the Middle East! In the process, we get a chance to look back on familiar themes and story elements from other tale types besides ATU 510A (the common grouping of "Cinderella" tales from cultures around the world). 

And here is a link to our interview with Folkwise's Dom and Daisy!

Episode 60 - Sindbad the Sailor | The Thousand and One Nights

Episode 60 - Sindbad the Sailor | The Thousand and One Nights

October 22, 2021

Katrina and Geoff go sailing... seven times! That's right, we're getting into the Sindbad the Sailor cycles of stories from The Thousand and One Nights. Sindbad is one of those characters with massive name recognition throughout the western world but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who could actually tell you anything about his travels. Well after today YOU can be that someone. Also hear the surprisingly convoluted way that this ancient set of tales was added to The Thousand and One Nights surprisingly recently. Spoiler alert: It involves Fairy Tellers Frenemy #1, Antoine Galland. Because of course it does...

Episode 59 - Haunted Japan

Episode 59 - Haunted Japan

October 8, 2021

Katrina and Geoff ain't afraid of no ghosts! In this episode, we kick off spooky season by diving into the world of Japanese ghosts. We explore what different types of ghost stories we tell say about us and our culture. And we learn that stories of ghosts hitching a ride in taxis are so common that basically every taxi driver in Japan expects to experience it for  themselves at least once.

This episode is also in partnership with Aloreing, who has created a podcast play list on Spotify that you can find here with other podcasts sharing spooky content for October.

Episode 58 - Harun al Rashid: Thousand and One Nights

Episode 58 - Harun al Rashid: Thousand and One Nights

September 24, 2021

Katrina and Geoff talk caliphs, real and imagined! In this episode, Katrina and Geoff retell the tale "Harun al-Rashid and the Second Caliph" from The Thousand and One Nights. But first Katrina tells us who Harun al-Rashid was in real life (along with a cast full of real characters). The Thousand and One Nights is filled with stories featuring Harun al-Rashid and looking back to the 8th and 9th centuries gives us a clearer understanding of why this Abbasid ruler is so important in the folk culture.

Episode 57 – Chu Cuoi the Moon Boy

Episode 57 – Chu Cuoi the Moon Boy

September 10, 2021

Katrina and Geoff kick off the holiday season! That's right, the holidays are just around the corner, starting with the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, an immensely important holiday throughout eastern Asia. In celebration, Katrina retells a Vietnamese folktale brought to our attention by a listener suggestion. We also discuss another tale from Vietnam about why some people believe that they see the image of a very important rabbit on the moon.

Episode 56 - Wiles of Women | The Thousand and One Nights

Episode 56 - Wiles of Women | The Thousand and One Nights

August 27, 2021

Katrina and Geoff talk wily women (and vile viziers)! In this complex and in no way controversial cycle of tales within tales a king's seven viziers engage in a high stakes storytelling battle for the ages. On one side the viziers are trying to save the king's son from execution by convincing the king that women are not to be trusted. Meanwhile, a singing girl who has wrongly accused the king's son of making moves on her tries to get him killed with her own tales of cruel and distrustful men, especially scheming vizier. And boy oh boy do we get into the layers upon layers upon layers of meaning that can be taken by the way these tales interact with the overall frame story of The Nights.

Episode 55 - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Episode 55 - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

August 13, 2021

Spoiler Alert: If you don't want to have the end of The Green Knight spoiled for you, wait on this episode.

Katrina and Geoff get medieval! Many have wondered how Hollywood could take the 50 page poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and turn it into a 2 hour movie. Well buckle up, because we've taken that same poem and turned it into a 2 hour podcast! To start this episode, Katrina gives us a quick and dirty rundown of European history, and introduces us to the world of Arthurian legend (or as Geoff likes to call it, The Arthurian Literary Universe). Katrina then regales us with a retelling based on the absolutely BEAUTIFUL translation by none other than J.R.R. Tolkien. Afterwards, Geoff gives us a run down of differences between the poem and the recently released film, The Green Knight, starring Dev Patel. And our intrepid hosts discuss what these differences say about the cultural values of the 14th and 21st centuries respectively.

Episode 54 - The City of Brass | The Thousand and One Nights

Episode 54 - The City of Brass | The Thousand and One Nights

July 24, 2021

Katrina and Geoff discuss death (again)! In this super-sized edition of our Thousand and One Nights series we dive deep into The City of Brass. What starts off as a quest to bring the caliph his very own jinni in a bottle takes a hard turn for the philosophical when the squad decides to detour through three increasingly creepy ruins of lost civilizations.

Episode 53 - The Taming of the Shrew

Episode 53 - The Taming of the Shrew

July 9, 2021

Katrina and Geoff talk Shakespeare! In this episode Katrina educates us on the tale type that was the basis of The Taming of the Shrew. Even though the tale type far predates Shakespeare's play, scholars straight up retconned the name to match his title because it was just that big of a deal! We discuss what Shakespeare changed and why and how the tradition of folklore adaptation continues to this day (or at least until the release of 10 Things I Hate About You in 1999).

Content Warning: Domestic and Psychological Abuse

Note: Katrina was recording in a different environment for this week so there is quite a bit of echo. I'll make sure she doesn't record while on the toilet going forward so it doesn't happen again!

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