Saturday, April 20, 2013

Folktale and Fairy Tale illustrations

Virginia Francis Sterrett

The Lark and the Toad, as reinterpreted by Real Toads member, Kay L. Davies

the lark and the toad
were out one night
when the sky was dark
and the moon was bright.
when the lark said “hark!”
and the toad said “hush!”
as a maiden appeared
with a white mule deer
and a big white cat
who wore no hat.
“that’s a cat,” said the lark
“I knowed,” said the toad
“as soon as I heard it mewl.
 but what of the deer?
 is it true what I hear?
 that deer eat toads for lunch?”

Virginia Francis Sterrett
"Europa and the Bull"

at this point in the tale
they reached the sea
where a big white bull
was carrying She
upon its back through the waves.
“ahoy,” cried the toad,
“you’re the loveliest load
 I’ve ever seen on a bull.
 please come to the land,
 or at least to the sand,
 and have a wee chat with we.”
so She dismounted
and floated ashore
while the bull carried on to see
and She sat on the sand
just as if it were land
and talked to the lark and the toad.

For the 20th day of our April poem-a-day challenge at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kerry has introduced us to the charming and enchanting art of American illustrator Virginia Francis Sterrett. I have seen her work often, but have never known anything about her until now. Hers was a short and tragic life in the early 20th century. Most widely known for illustrating folktales and fairy tales, she died of tuberculosis when she was only 30.
The folktale is a story, passed down verbally from generation to generation. Each storyteller told the stories a little differently, making them more interesting and fascinating as the ages passed. Different folktales bear the characteristics of the culture, folklore and customs of the people from which they originated.
The fairy tale has its roots way back in ancient times. A very significant literature genre, fairy tales are present in all cultures worldwide. In contrast to folktales, which are spread form mouth to mouth and have no author, the author of fairy tales is known and they are written down.


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
This is beautiful Kay - and the first I have seen/heard of the artist. Love it!

(Just an addendum to yesterday's comment - have reversed my decision re the Google comments on Blogger as it turns out some of my readers couldn't join in the fun... It will be forced eventually I suppose, but for now have reverted to the standard blogger commentary box. And still it all remains a hazy maze!)

Have a super weekend. YAM

Kerry O'Connor said...

Somehow I knew you would go with the lark and toad, and I have not been disappointed. This is a tale of friendship, humorously told. delightful!

Charleen said...

Charming, really.

Helen said...

Beautiful story telling, Kay!

hedgewitch said...

Reminds me of Edmund Lear--lovely rhymes and silly stories--perfect fare to go with the illustrations and in a children's book of never-ending tales. Loved it, Kay.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You are much fun and a wiz with words! said...

Kay, this is priceless. There's a whimsy ("I knowed, said the toad") along with a rhythm that, when I read it aloud, well, the whole thing melted in my mouth.

Magical, wonderful. A true folk tale from these lovely illustrations. I took one from Blondine, too. Grateful for this prompt, which has brought magic from all our hearts. Amy

Emma Major said...

oh Kay, you're a genius, wonderful work

Mama Zen said...

Delightful! I just adore:

I knowed, said the toad.

Ellecee said...

I love this whimsical folk tale,,,the lark and the toad made me smile and the addition of "She". "you're the loveliest load I've ever seen on a bull" just as if you see a bull every day in the sea :-) Such fun,,

Susie Clevenger said...

What fun! Only you could take the Lark and the Toad on such an it!

Rune said...

I like this part best:

when the lark said “hark!”
and the toad said “hush!”


Susan said...

How very silly and fun!
(Which sea do you want four lines from the end?)

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Susan
It was supposed to be "carried on to see" but I accidentally typed "sea" and posted it that way. But I changed it to "see" almost immediately.

Mara said...

Well, your poem fitted the art perfectly. Good enough to publish as one of the stories I felt!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

So clever to use more than one picture and fun to read!

Cad said...

You are a lady after my own heart - if that is possible! LOL

Marian said...

Kay, i *love* this and it also meets the approval of my little one (my 7-year-old daughter) who says "that IS a really nice poem!"

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Marian
The approval of your 7-year-old is high praise indeed when it comes to a poem like this, written with fairy tales in mind. This is my favorite comment!

ros@dimaggio63 said...

Hello Kay :))
mi piace molto il quadro "Europa and the Bull".
Un augurio che questa sia una settimana serena.
Lindy cosa fà ?
Baci Myriam