Journey into a World of Stories

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Mary of Egypt

This Sunday is the feast (in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches) of a most stunning figure in the history of spirituality, Mary of Egypt. I have retold the story here, set in the midst of the strife in the Middle East today, drawing on a tale told by Fyodor Dostoeyvsky in his epic novel, Crime and Punishment. The story is about ancient Egypt and the modern World. Listen here:

200+ Stories from the Peoples of the World Listen Here

Updated Stores listed first, on top:

Sancho Servant to the King Spain 053

Two Monks Walking China 120

The Spice Girl India 119

The Mustard Seed India 058

 Dismas, the Good Thief Coptic Egypt 200

Raven, Seagull, and the Coming of Light a story with added commentary from the Pacific Northwest 017

Boy Who Drew Cats Japan 012 

Fool Who Counted Sins Middle East 054 

A Wedding Overlooking the White House Washington DC 199

The Broadway of Sam Rabbinowitz New York City 198

The Original Hangtown Fry California 197  

The Man Who Had No Story Ireland 191

The Moon Mother a story with added commentary from the Pueblos of New Mexico 195

The Stories Below have not been updated with Soundcloud:

The Gifted Children of Cool Ireland 196

Diwali, A Festival of Light India 193

The Three Stringed Harp Ireland 192

Puss in Boots A Sleepytime Story for Young Children 190

A Box of Light A Sleepytime Story for Young Children 189

Momataro the Peach Boy A Sleepytime Story for Young Children 188

Rapunzel & Her Long, Long Hair A Sleepytime Story for Young Children 187

Chip, Chip, Tap, Tap A Sleepytime Story for Young Children 186

Jack & the Beanstalk A Sleepytime Story for Young Children 185

Odin Visits Mimir’s Well Iceland 184

The Grinding Mill is a litle known story by Washington Irving inspired by the Orkney folktale of “Swelkie” that his father — who was from Orkney -- told him

Askr and Embla Iceland 183

Ymir the Frost Giant Iceland 182

Ginnungagap Iceland 181

Wizards of the Westman Island Iceland 180

The Fisherman of Myrdal Iceland 179

Midwife to the Hidden People Iceland 178

The Grinding Mill Nieuw Amsterdam 177

The Rabbi’s Melody Hungary 176

Paula The Noblewoman of Rome Bethlehem 175

Father Death, Father Time Armenia 174

Godric’s Sheep England 173

Cadmon’s Song of Creation England 172


This is the story of how Cadmon, a lowly farm hand, came to be the first English poet in Anglo-Saxon times.

Martin the Cobbler Russia 171

Wise King Solomon’s Test Israel 170

The Star Maiden Native American 169

King David’s Harp Israel 168

The Poor Brahmin Trinidad 167

The Sweetest Sound India 166

Three Archangels Jewish Lithuania 165

Marc Chagall’s painting to complement the story from the Rabbi in Lithuania

The Robbers of Monte Casale Italy 164

Wise Woman of Connemara Ireland 163

Three Simple Hermits Russia 162

Martin of Tours France 161

Bread and Stones Sicily 160

The Spendthrift Wiseman Middle East 159

The Stonecutter Japan 158

Feeding the Many Italy 157

The Parable Maker Eastern Europe 156 

Four Night Visitors Russia 155

Juniper the Fool  Italy 154

The Fool has many guises...  This photo is in Bulgaria. The story of Juniper is from Italy.

Waters or Paradise Middle East 153

The Birchwood Icon Medieval Russia 152

Two Old Friends Czarist Russia 151

The Sparrows of Cannara Italy 150

Always the Winner Gubbio, Italy 149

Annual celebration of the story of Ubaldo in the City of Gubbio, Italy

At the Great Gate Ancient Rome 148

The Sun Juggler Egypt 147

The Road to Perfect Joy Italy 146

The Carpenter’s Twin India 145

Door of the Dead Italy 144

Romany Lazarus Sweden 143

Van Gogh’s painting of a Gypsy caravan in France. The story of Romany Lazarus is from Sweden.

The Light of Angels The Borders, Scotland 142

Patrick’s Three Wishes Story 141

Pahom’s Wish Russia 140

The Madman of Avila Spain 139

Dewi the Son of Non Wales 138

Mary of the Desert Egypt 137

The Fallen Archangel Russia 136

Brigid’s Cloak Ireland 135

Phocas the Seal Greece 134

Letter to an Emperor Germany 133

Slaughter of the Innocents Rhineland 132

Tree of Jesse Israel 131

The Great Blue Shark Hawai'i 130

Mauna Kea, highest mountain in the world measured fro m its base on the ocean floor

Giorgio and Elena Ottoman Greece 129

Climbing the Mountain Tuscany, Italy 128

Longinus Ancient Rome 127

Sharpening the Knife Poland 126

The Floppy-Eared Goat Israel 125

The Lamb Child Armenia 124

Elijah the Slave Libya 123

Lucy Light, Lucy Bright Sicily 122

December 13 is celebrated in Sweden and Sicily marking the shortest day of the year on the old calendar

Nicholas of Myra Greece 121

The Man Who Had No Story Irleand 118

True Thomas the Rhymer Scotland 117

A Window into Paradise Italy 116

The Pit & The Swing Hawai'i 115

Only Buried Treasure is Useful Burma/Myanmar 114

Only Buried Treasure is what a young man finds useful on his search for his good fortune 

Shepherds & Thieves Umbria Italy 113

Dominic de Guzman Spain 112

The Ladies of Provence France 111

The Good Samaritan Stone Philippines 110

A Lamb Among Wolves Rome Italy 109

A Leaf fromParadise is a cautionary tale about Misplaced Wisdom

Nicodemus & His Son Samaria 108

A Leaf from Paradise Eastern Europe 107

Aroma of Food Uzbekistan 106

Knights of Satriano Umbria, Italy 105

The Bluebonnet Texas 104

Ezra & the Song Bird Middle East 103

Mungo My Darling Scotland 102

The Wolf of Gubbio Umbria, Italy 101

Godfather Death Haiti 100 

A Legend of Mount Athos Greece 099 

A Pilgrim stumbles into a hermitage on Mount Athos inhabited by four mystifying monks

The Stonemason Who Fell Down to Heaven England 098 

The Bells of Ys Brittany, France 097 

The Great Catch Armenia 096 

Magnus of Orkney Scotland 095 

The Nakedness of Rufino Italy 094 

Testing of Tristan & Iseult  Wales093 

Children of Healing Wales 092 

A Passionate Life Italy 091 

Camel Who Carried the Tent Arabia 090

Photograph of a young Bedouin Arab nomad woman wearing traditional black garment and Bedouin jewelry adorment

A Bedouin woman and her husband offer hospitality to three strangers in the desert

Waters of Rebirth Wales 089

Secret of the Heart Middle East 088

How to Sell Wisdom Middle East 087

To Walk in Freedom Spain & Asia 086

Three Houses Eastern Europe 085

Seabreeze & Shorewind Nova Scotia 084

Seabreeze & Shorewind, a Native Peoples tale from Nova Scotia on the Cinderella motif

John the Simple Italy 083

Forever & Forever Spain082

Two Caretakers New England 081

Guardian Spirits Eastern Europe 080

The Rabbi’s Lullaby story 079

The Empress Helen Greece 078

My Neighbor in Paradise Jewish077

Groping in the Dark Moorish Spain076

Crossing The Great River Ancient Rome075

Fool Who Gave Thanks Middle East 074

The Hands that Made the Bread Italy 073

Anna the Palestinian Girl Israel 072

Anna the Palestinian Girl - A tales of wonder and discovery among Jewish, Muslim & Christian playmates

The Hungarian Winged Horse Hungary 071

Butcher, Rabbi, Goose Girl, Soldier Hungary 070

The Storytelling Stone USA 069

Prince Boris & Prince Gleb Russia 068

Friar Good Luck Italy 067

The Goatherd’s Test Puerto Rico 066

What You Wish For Yourself India 065 

Bread in the City San Francisco 064

An Odyssey through San Francisco in the hippie heydays of Flower Power

Who Will Say Abba? Jewish 063

How Matthias Was Chosen Greece 062

Old Grandmother USA  061

Sky Father’s Blessing  USA 060

The Innkeeper’s Gift Italy 059

King Midas & the Leper Greece 057     

Love Always Endures Korea 056

Love Always Endures - A Korean tale of compassion

The Butterfly Widow Korea 055

Herald of Peace Estonia 052

Margery Kempe of Lynn England 051

Dame Julian of Norwich England 050

Guthlac, Hermit of the Fens England 049

Peddler of Swaffham England 048

Widow who carried Sticks Africa 047

Anastasia Martinique 046

A Creole tale from the West Indies about a Parrot who spoke wisdom and a woman who danced wickedly

The Limpet Bride Orkney 045

The Cowry Shell Hawaii 044

The Missing Sketch USA 043

The Firekeepers Hawaii 042

The Birdcatcher Hawaii 041

A Hawaiian bird catcher goes deep into the tropical forest where he is enchanted by a Menehune woman

The Mester Ship Orkney 040

Miriam’s Well Israel 039

South Mountain Magic USA 038

Walk with me as a Friend Hawaii 037

Jozsi the Fisher Lad Hungary 036

Hazan of Basra Iraq 035

Mergen the Archer Mongolia 034

Mergen the Archer, a creation myth from Mongolia

The Tempest Bermuda 033

Rainbow Canoe Hawaii 032

What Mockingbird Sang Nigeria 031

The Doppelganger USA 030

Bobok the Toad USA 029

Salmon of Wisdom Ireland 028

The Devil’s 9 Questions Hungary 027

Nine Questions asked at a Wedding Feast to Outwit the Devil - A tale from Hungary

Fatimah the Spinner Morocco 026

Little Friend Coyote USA 025

Madame Louise Bouvier  France 024

Coconut Moon Hawaii 023

Saint Anthony’s Fire Italy 022

The Ghostly Knight Germany 021

The Bedouin Princess Arabia 020

Magic Horse Whip Hungary 019

The Magic Horse Whip - a magician casts a spell — from Hungary

Christmas in Greccio Italy 018

Raven and Seagull USA 017

Winter Roses Mexico 016

1001st Prince Hungary 015

Where Angels Plow USA 014

The Moon Mother USA 013

Audun’s Polar Bear Iceland 011

With Eagle’s Eyes USA 010

Ivar’s Tale Iceland 009

The Crane Bride Japan 008

Unerbek Kazakhstan 007

Unnerbek - a Central Asian Tale about Shapeshifting and Shamanism

Fire on Cold Mountain Ethiopia 006

Devil’s Backbone USA 005

Blue Light of Dawn USA 004

Naina Bai India 003

In the City of Benzoin USA 002

The Alabaster Castle Hungary 001

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