The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, May 16, 2016

Stories of Old Egypt, Dolch Folklore of the World

I stumbled across an old childhood nemesis of mine. The book Stories of Old Egypt from the Dolch Folklore of the World series, printed in 1964 by Garrard Publishing Company. I didn't read this book as a child because the image on the cover and to the story "The Sailor's Story" freaked me out. Remember, this was back in the 1960s when an articulated skeleton on a TV show or in a movie was scary business indeed, especially for an impressionable kid. The snake people with the human heads were nightmare fuel as far as I was concerned.

So, I've read some of the stories now, decades later. I'm sorry I didn't get past those images way back when. The stories, written for a grade 3 reading level but of interest for grades 2-8 according to the paper insert on this complimentary copy from the publisher, are pretty good. The first one, "Lady Doris," surprised me as it was a variant on the Cinderella story (well, at least the slipper, the beauty, and the prince). An eagle plays match maker, dropping off the lady's slipper, which remarkably will only fit one woman in all of Egypt--and that the most beautiful single woman of them all. "The Sailor's Story" is also a good tale in which the sailor washed up after a storm on the magical island of the Snake People is saved and sent home because of his storytelling abilities.

I highly recommend the two part story that is "The Prince" and "A Snake, a Crocodile, and a Dog." In this tale mortality is grappled with, along with how to live life well in spite of a dire circumstance in your life. It is an excellent morality tale.
Did not like the snake people as a kid!

Thanks to authors Edward W. & Marguerite P. Dolch for the compilation. Artist Gordon Laite provided all the imagery, including the scary snake people that kept me away for so long. 

No comments: