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<v Man 1>There's a reason the hills are steep in Vermont, the old timers figured that if you <v Man 1>tilted the land on edge, you could ?have? <v Man 1>both sides of it, you see. <v Helen Hartness Flanders>[singing] Amos Eaton of South Royalton Vermont now sings for the Flanders Ballad Collection, Middlebury College, Middlebury Vermont. The Vermont Farmer's Song. <v Amos Eaton>This here the tall and manly Green Mountain Boys I seen <v Amos Eaton>so called because the mountains are not, the boys are green. <v Amos Eaton>They always fight to win the right and to resist the wrong. <v Amos Eaton>?inaudible? My dear light, on a summer's night to sing the farmer's <v Amos Eaton>song. Tra la la la <v Amos Eaton>la tra la la la la, tra la, la, la, la <v Amos Eaton>la la. <v Betty Smith>In the 1930s, 40s and early 50s. <v Betty Smith>Helen Hartness Flanders collected thousands of ballads and songs and <v Betty Smith>other examples of New England folklore. <v Betty Smith>Several of the songs in the collection are humorous and humor is even more common <v Betty Smith>in the traditional stories still told by present day Vermonters.
<v Man 1>When I was up in Hanksville, I should explain the geography of that place a little <v Man 1>tiny bit. It's rather rocky and hilly land, basically it's it's glacial <v Man 1>till I guess you could call it. <v Man 1>This is in the Green Mountains. <v Man 1>It's right next to Burnt Rock Mountain and it's, oh, maybe five miles south <v Man 1>of Camel's Hump. <v Man 1>Um anyways, I had a next door neighbor there, Archie and he wanted to know if I'd plow <v Man 1>him up a garden down near his place. <v Man 1>So I went down. I plowed this piece of farm and course I turned up a couple <v Man 1>of huge rocks. And I realize before I ?inaudible? <v Man 1>exposed it out and stuff enough to get those rocks out. <v Man 1>So I'm down there struggling away, rolling these rocks way when this car comes up. <v Man 1>Now the long trail goes up there. So there's quite a bit of traffic, you see. <v Man 1>And so this car ?inaudible? folks from away comes up and the <v Man 1>guy sees me struggling with this rock. And he says, whatcha doin'? <v Man 1>Pickin' stone, I say, without lookin' up. <v Man 1>Where'd that come from? He says.
<v Man 1>Glacier brought it, I say. And I'm pushin' the stone head all the time. <v Man 1>He says, Well, where's the glacier now? <v Man 1>I stood up and looked down and I says, If you must know, it went back for more stone. <v Man 2>Most outsiders have a hard time and they get here, but they don't understand <v Man 2>the way things are here. <v Man 2>Like the time that a guy came with a Model T Ford way back in <v Man 2>the days when roads weren't all that good. <v Man 2>And ?Mark? was doin' some milkin' there in the barn, and the <v Man 2>guy came in and said, Hey, he said you own that pig down the road, <v Man 2>?inaudible? I said probably I said, I own most of 'em around here. <v Man 2>Well, he says, you're right in the middle ?inaudible?. <v Man 2>Well, my uncle said, that's good. And I says I want to have ?inaudible?. <v Man 2>Well, he says it's not good I can't get by her. Well, uncle says when I get done milking, <v Man 2>he says I'll go down and help ya, he says I can't wait. <v Man 2>Well he says I know you'll have to, he says I'm not gonna leave my milk and to go down <v Man 2>there and help some of your foreigners out, he said.
<v Man 2>And the guy began to stew. I'm gonna show em, and I don't know what I was gonna do. <v Man 2>?inaudible? says, you won't be able to do that until you get by, will ya. <v Man 2>He says if you're gonna do that, let's make you go back. <v Man 2>Says I'm not going down like it on milking. <v Man 2>So when he get done milkin' and he took the wheelbarrow and he went down, and loaded the <v Man 2>pigs into it, started up the hill and the ol' ?inaudible? <v Man 2>horse followed him up there with the little pigs in the wheelbarrow squealin' away. <v Man 2>He told him he says now you be careful. You ought to take a shovel ?inaudible? <v Man 2>you get stuck. And then fellow says I know more about driving cars than you do. <v Man 2>Well, that's all right. He says I feel, if you feel that way about it, you'll go ahead. <v Man 2>Course it got stuck. So then he come up and tried to hire ?inaudible? <v Man 2>off and go down to the auction and pull it out. <v Man 2>And so my uncle told him he would for a slight favor he says, is your pig? <v Man 2>It plowed up the road. He says all right if you wanna stay there. <v Man 2>You say you're gonna sue me, he says. <v Man 2>But finally, the guy pulled out five dollars an- and give it to him and he went down and <v Man 2>pulled him out. <v Man 3>Those ?inaudible?
<v Man 3>clergymen might come up from down south. <v Man 3>You just substitute for church up here in the northern country. <v Man 3>You come up through and you come to the churches clear near the little white church <v Man 3>in the center of it. Come Sunday decide well you- go <v Man 3>there. ?inaudible?. <v Man 3>He did, but only one person showed up.Oh he <v Man 3>would only spoke to him and they ?inaudible?, ask him different things <v Man 3>?inaudible? I think that it oughtta go on to the sermon. <v Man 3>The farmer said, well, you know, he says, I'm a farmer you know, <v Man 3>don't have a good education. <v Man 3>He says if I took the wagon went down the back bashin' and feed the cows. <v Man 3>Only one of 'em showed up I'd feed 'em. <v Man 3>We went on with the idea and he went through the whole sermon <v Man 3>and 'bout an hour, hour and a half later he asked ?inaudible?
<v Man 3>what he thought of it. Well, he says, I told ya I'm only a poor farmer. <v Man 3>But he says if I put a load of hay on the wagon and I <v Man 3>go down to the back pasture to feed the cows, and only one of them showed up, <v Man 3>I ?don't? give 'em the whole damn load. <v Beatrice Le Duke>[singing] My grandmother, she at the age of 83, one day in May was taken ill and died. <v Beatrice Le Duke>And after she was dead, the will, of course, was read by a lawyer as he ordered by the <v Beatrice Le Duke>side. To my brother it was found he had ?inaudible? <v Beatrice Le Duke>a hundred pounds and the same is to my sister, I declare. <v Beatrice Le Duke>But when it came to me the lawyer said ya see, your granny's only left to you her <v Beatrice Le Duke>old arm chair. How the ?inaudible? and how the ?inaudible?, <v Beatrice Le Duke>how my brother and my sister laughed. <v Beatrice Le Duke>When they heard that all you declare, granny's only left to you her old <v Beatrice Le Duke>arm chair. I thought that her ?inaudible? <v Beatrice Le Duke>and yet it didn't cash. In the evening I took the chair away. <v Beatrice Le Duke>My brother had to laugh my sister at the time said it will come useful, John, <v Beatrice Le Duke>someday. When you settle down in life, find some girl to be your wife, you will find
<v Beatrice Le Duke>it very handy I declare. <v Beatrice Le Duke>On a cold, stormy night when the fire is burning bright. <v Beatrice Le Duke>You may sit down in the old arm chair. <v Beatrice Le Duke>?Now I heard? how the child, how my brother and my sister <v Beatrice Le Duke>laughed when they heard the lawyer declare Granny's only left to <v Beatrice Le Duke>you, her old arm chair. <v Beatrice Le Duke>What my brother said was true for in a year or two ?inaudible? <v Beatrice Le Duke>to say I settled down and married life. <v Beatrice Le Duke>I first ?inaudible? in court, and then the ring above took her to the church and then <v Beatrice Le Duke>she was my wife. The old girl and me, were as happy as could be and when the <v Beatrice Le Duke>work was over, I declare. I'd hear about the ?inaudible?, but each night would stay <v Beatrice Le Duke>at home and be sitted in my old armchair. <v Beatrice Le Duke>How the ?inaudible?, how the chap, how my brother and my <v Beatrice Le Duke>sister laughed when they heard the lawyer declare <v Beatrice Le Duke>granny's only left to you her old arm chair. <v Beatrice Le Duke>One day the chair fell down. I picked it up and found the seat had fallen out upon
<v Beatrice Le Duke>the floor, and that, to my surprise, I saw before my eyes a lot of <v Beatrice Le Duke>notes, a thousand pounds or more. <v Beatrice Le Duke>When my brother heard of this the fellow, I confess, went really mad with rage and tore <v Beatrice Le Duke>his hair. I only laughed at him, and said to him, Jim, don't you wish you <v Beatrice Le Duke>had the old arm chair? <v Beatrice Le Duke>How they twittered, how they chapped. How my brother and my sister laughed, when they <v Beatrice Le Duke>heard the lawyer declare granny's only left to you her old arm chair [laughs]. <v Man 2>Well, ?Aldine? was always telling about the time that they went <v Man 2>to Berrien, and uh the bear came down and <v Man 2>got into their bucket that they had and <v Man 2>uh couldn't get his head out and started to run around. <v Man 2>Couldn't catch the bear and the bear went right over the mountain. <v Man 2>And the next bear season, this old bear had a lot of little bears that had <v Man 2>pails over their heads.
<v Man 1>One type of folklore that is extremely popular in the United States is the tall tale, <v Man 1>it's the exaggerated story, usually works this way. <v Man 1>The story begins very believable. <v Man 1>Slowly, though, the teller begins to exaggerate what's going on in it. <v Man 1>The listener doesn't know what to believe. <v Man 1>The story is getting more outlandish, but yet it's being told <v Man 1>straight face. <v Man 1>Part of the nature of the tall tale is to exaggerate, to see how <v Man 1>long you can drag out your listeners belief <v Man 1>until the listener finally realizes they're being had. <v Mike>I was trapped in Muskrat in the spring I guess would be about, oh 5th of April, somewhere <v Mike>around there uh, up on Lake Iroquois ?inaudible?. <v Mike>I have a little John boat, about twelve foot boat and it was raining quite some. <v Mike>I had a hard time getting in there. Anyways, I was running my trap line and <v Mike>water kept risin' and risin' and risin'. <v Mike>And I noticed it because cattail mass and stuff, they float, but but
<v Mike>some things that are on hard ground underneath the water, they don't float. <v Mike>And I noticed it was getting harder and harder to reach my ?inaudible?. <v Mike>Well, I ?inaudible? out my catch as I went along. <v Mike>I didn't have much of a catch and I figured, go back to the fishing access and walk home. <v Mike>Well I got back to the fishing access, and it was under about four and a half, five feet <v Mike>of water. So I just pulled my boat right on by the fishing access. <v Mike>I got to Martel's Heyfield. <v Mike>Martel's Heyfield being right next to fishing access. <v Mike>Well the water's a bit shallower there. Maybe a foot, foot and a half, understand this is <v Mike>normally dry ground. This is Vermont spring. <v Mike>And I pull my boat right up to the edge of Martel's dairy barn and I tied my boat there. <v Mike>Well, now there's about six inches of water around the barn. <v Mike>So I just sort of walk there. But the mud was deep, so I sort of had to hang on to the <v Mike>barn. I made it up to the top of the hill. <v Mike>And I realize there is no way I was going to make it across the road because the mud was <v Mike>deeper. So I jumped from the barn on to the nearest maple tree I could. <v Mike>You know the round the roots is pretty solid and I jumped from that one to the next <v Mike>one. 'Til I finally got up to the crest of the hill.
<v Mike>Well I could almost walk from tree to tree there and nothing happened really bad. <v Mike>Then I got over the crest of the hill and I jumped from tree to tree, and finally I took <v Mike>on a jump from one tree onto the next and my God, just my weight started that maple tree <v Mike>to like to sag. I realized by jumping the one next one, I was just gonna take and capsize <v Mike>the tree and all. I looked at the road. <v Mike>It was nothing but a solid ooze of mud, just oozing and undulating down the hill. <v Mike>[sighs] Boy. I didn't know what I was gonna do here, except maybe wait. <v Mike>All the while it was rainin' and gettin' muddier. <v Mike>I was sunk up to my ankles and hanging onto this tree. <v Mike>By and by I see this hat floatin' down. <v Mike>As it gets closer I recognize it. I recognize it as being Howard Russel's hat. <v Mike>Howard, that you? I say. <v Mike>And I hear bubblin' up from below. Sure is, Mike. <v Mike>I says, you in trouble? Can I throw you a line or somethin'? <v Mike>No. I still got my horse under me. <v Mike>[music playing] <v Man 2>Well the one that they told way back before my time in there was when they were freezin'
<v Man 2>up old people who ?inaudible? <v Man 2>in the fall. <v Man 2>Old people were underfoot because they couldn't get out and work too much. <v Man 2>So they just simply take 'em and put 'em in a uh ?Roman? <v Man 2>and strip 'em and let 'em freeze up and they take 'em out <v Man 2>and put 'em uh in uh hollow and woods <v Man 2>and cover 'em up with a blanket under 'em and a blanket over them and and spruce <v Man 2>bells on top of 'em so they'd be- remain froze all winter. <v Man 2>And then come spring, when the snow started to go off <v Man 2>and it got to warm up, then they'd uncover 'em and take 'em out and <v Man 2>put 'em in cold water and then tepid water and then wa- and real warm water to get 'em <v Man 2>thawed out. And they were good for all summer to work. <v Man 2>Of course uh, I get called once in a while, and now and then a letter <v Man 2>from somebody to ask me if they still do it. But of course I I have never seen <v Man 2>it, so I don't know. But it could be they do because a lot of time you don't see
<v Man 2>the old folks from spring till fall till spring whether they're froze <v Man 2>up or not, I don't know, but it could be. <v Man 1>Myrt Sage tells the story of human hibernation. <v Man 1>And then at the end of the story, he kind of philosophizes and says, well, <v Man 1>I don't know if they do that or not uh, it's hard to tell what goes on up in those hills <v Man 1>some time. This is typical of the tall tale. <v Man 1>We know from research that the story devel- developed first part of this <v Man 1>century and appeared in a newspaper in Berry and then subsequently was reprinted in other <v Man 1>newspapers and then the late 1930s, a <v Man 1>writer for The Boston Globe got a hold of the story and wrote up a big piece on <v Man 1>it for The Globe, and that was reprinted in papers all over the United States. <v Man 1>The tall tale was an extremely popular form of storytelling in United States in the 19th <v Man 1>century and it survives into the 20th century. <v Man 1>Very popular form of storytelling [inaudible speaking] the tall tale.
<v Man 2>A lot of interesting names like Mount Mansfield is claimed to have <v Man 2>been uh some Duke or something or other from England, <v Man 2>came over riding on a camel, and when the camel stopped <v Man 2>to drink in the ?inaudible? river, he kneeled down with his <v Man 2>front legs. And when he did throwed the Duke over <v Man 2>on his back. <v Man 2>And that became Mount Mansfield and his consort, who was with him, went <v Man 2>over his head. And they call her uh Mount Manseal. <v Man 2>And the next mountain, Madonna Mountain, you see, that's the <v Man 2>next mountain with the ski area. <v Man 2>And the camel remained on the other side and that's Camel's Hump. <v Betty Smith>Sometimes stories about how places got their names are tall tales, <v Betty Smith>but sometimes they're not. <v Woman 3>It was a year 18 [pause] 16 when <v Woman 3>we got snow every month of the year. <v Woman 3>And most of it was not just a little bit of snow.
<v Woman 3>We got quite a lot of snow each month of the year, and it froze every night <v Woman 3>so that all the farmer's corn crops which they had planted for the cattle froze. <v Woman 3>They said over in ?inaudible? <v Woman 3>one or two farmers had planted their corn along together, and it was surrounded <v Woman 3>by stone walls along which grew a lot of bushes. <v Woman 3>So the farmers spent all night cuttin' the bushes <v Woman 3>and buildin' fires around the corn fields. <v Woman 3>And so they were the only ones in the fall who had corn which had not frozen. <v Woman 3>And in the spring, the followin' spring, they gave out <v Woman 3>corn to a different farmer to plant for their crops. <v Woman 3>And so it became known as ?Egypt?. <v Woman 3>The land of Plenty. <v Man 2>It was quite often a fact that they'd name a place after <v Man 2>you after you was gone.
<v Man 2>Not while you're here. You didn't amount to much while you was here, but when you were <v Man 2>gone. Everybody remembered where you lived and your <v Man 2>name would go there and you might stay there for a long time, 20, 30 years, maybe. <v Man 2>And so you have to live here a considerable length of time in order to get the <v Man 2>place called ?to? you your name. <v Man 2>Everybody knows me in the valley and they forgot now that <v Man 2>that's the ol' ?inaudible? place more or less and probably when uh <v Man 2>I pass on which, I'm not planning to do at all, they'll call this the Sage <v Man 2>Place so that uh that's a way that you <v Man 2>get names is is like that. <v Woman 3>There's a place over in Fairfield called <v Woman 3>?Shinang?. And in the years of the famine in Ireland, <v Woman 3>lots and lots of Irish came to Fairfield. <v Woman 3>Fairfield has many, many Irish families- descendents.
<v Woman 3>So the Irish came and they s- <v Woman 3>lots of 'em settled over in what became known as ?Shinang? <v Woman 3>it's down beyond north Fairfield on the road that leads <v Woman 3>down to Fiddlers Elbow. <v Woman 3>And the reason it is called ?Shinang? <v Woman 3>is the Irish that came, of course, were very poor. <v Woman 3>They we- left Ireland because of the potato famine, so they wouldn't starve <v Woman 3>and they had no money. So they had no money for entertainment of any sort. <v Woman 3>So at night they would dance. <v Woman 3>So were there outdoors, and sing their Irish songs and the <v Woman 3>neighbors got to sayin', there. <v Woman 3>The Irish are at their shenanigans again. <v Woman 3>So the place became ?Shinang?. [music playing] <v Betty Smith>One of Vermont's finest storytellers was Sophia Bialy of Barre.
<v Sophia Bialy>They was a man named John and his wife. <v Sophia Bialy>He was a fisherman and she was a housewife. <v Sophia Bialy>They lived in a little tiny cottage on the hillside, but <v Sophia Bialy>they were near the water and that was his job. <v Sophia Bialy>He'd go out fishing and then he'd sell the fish. <v Sophia Bialy>One day he got quite a few fish and <v Sophia Bialy>uh amongst them was a little goldfish. <v Sophia Bialy>And the little goldfish said, oh, John. <v Sophia Bialy>You don't want me. I'm so tiny. <v Sophia Bialy>He says, well why shouldn't I want to? I could sell you, you're pretty. <v Sophia Bialy>Oh, John, don't! Throw me back and you can have all the wishes that <v Sophia Bialy>you want. So John said, all right. <v Sophia Bialy>So he throws it back and he goes home to his wife, Mary. <v Sophia Bialy>Mary, you know what happened today? <v Sophia Bialy>I got a nice little goldfish. <v Sophia Bialy>And you know what he said? I could have any wish I wanted. <v Sophia Bialy>Oh, she said, oh, I'm happy.
<v Sophia Bialy>You go back and tell the little goldfish that I want a great big <v Sophia Bialy>white house. So John happily goes back. <v Sophia Bialy>He ?trudges? back, little goldfish, little goldfish, <v Sophia Bialy>said whattya-. <v Man 1>What's interesting about Sophia, when I first met her, she told me a tale. <v Man 1>Says, I- I think it was my mother told me when I was 8, 9, 10 years old. <v Man 1>She didn't know at the time. <v Man 1>But that story has existed in folk tradition for at least <v Man 1>600 years. She was a bearer of this tradition that had come over from <v Man 1>Italy, from the old world, through her parents to Barre, Vermont. <v Man 1>And here was Sophia now telling these stories. <v Man 1>She gathered children around her, would hold them at the edge of their seats for an hour, <v Man 1>two hours, telling these ageless tales. <v Man 1>She had numerous experience stories growing up in Barre, as an Italian. <v Man 1>Labor history, uh. <v Man 1>She was aware of the uh socialist and the anarchist movements in Barre.
<v Man 1>She had anecdotes about them, time the National Guard came in, <v Man 1>uh what this meant to the workers. <v Man 1>She had so many stories to share of history [Sophia speaking inaudibly] and of <v Man 1>the fairy tale tradition. <v Sophia Bialy>Little goldfish, little goldfish! He said what do you want, John? <v Sophia Bialy>He says my wife wants a great, big house. <v Sophia Bialy>Lot of rooms. Oh, John, you go back and you'll find a big house <v Sophia Bialy>and your wife living in it. So he goes back and then <v Sophia Bialy>his cottage is gone. And there's the big house. <v Sophia Bialy>And there's Mary in it and she said, oh, John! <v Sophia Bialy>I can't take care of this house it's too big! <v Sophia Bialy>I've got to have servants. He says, that's right. <v Sophia Bialy>I'll go back. So he goes back. <v Sophia Bialy>Little goldfish! What do you want, John? <v Sophia Bialy>Oh, my wife can't live in that big house. <v Sophia Bialy>She can't clean it all without the servants. <v Sophia Bialy>Oh, that's right, John. You'll go back and you'll find plenty of servants.
<v Sophia Bialy>So John trudges back home and his wife is there and she said <v Sophia Bialy>oh, I've got all the servants, I want and oh, they're so nice. <v Sophia Bialy>But look at me! <v Sophia Bialy>In this big house I've gotta have better clothes and so have you. <v Sophia Bialy>John scratches his head and says I guess you're right, Mary. <v Sophia Bialy>So he goes back. Little goldfish. <v Sophia Bialy>What is it, John? Do you know that my wife hasn't any clothes <v Sophia Bialy>to live in that big house? And I haven't either! <v Sophia Bialy>He says oh go back John. She'll have all the clothes that she wants <v Sophia Bialy>and to live in the big house. <v Sophia Bialy>And you'll be happy there with all the servants. <v Sophia Bialy>So, John, trudges home. <v Sophia Bialy>He finds the servants. <v Sophia Bialy>He finds the beautiful clothes. <v Sophia Bialy>And he thought his wife would be happy. But she's not happy. <v Sophia Bialy>She said John I want a carriage and horses, in those days they didn't have
<v Sophia Bialy>automobiles. <v Sophia Bialy>Carriage and horses and a groom. I wanna go downtown sometimes. <v Sophia Bialy>Now, that we've got everything. <v Sophia Bialy>Oh, Mary, don't want too much. <v Sophia Bialy>This is enough now. Oh, you go back. Didn't the goldfish say you could have anything you want? <v Sophia Bialy>He says yes, but Mary we've got a lot of things now. <v Sophia Bialy>Well, go back John! So poor John walked slowly back. <v Sophia Bialy>He didn't want to do it. So he says little goldfish. <v Sophia Bialy>Said what do you want John? Oh, my wife isn't contented even now. <v Sophia Bialy>She wants a a nice team of horses and the groom <v Sophia Bialy>to take care of it so that she can go down town when she wants. <v Sophia Bialy>Oh, John. Go back. <v Sophia Bialy>You'll find it. Don't get discouraged. You'll find that the carriage and the groom <v Sophia Bialy>and the nice horses, four lovely white horses. <v Sophia Bialy>So he goes home and there's Mary and the ?team?, and the carriage <v Sophia Bialy>and the groom running the horses and away they go.
<v Sophia Bialy>So John stays home. <v Sophia Bialy>So the next day Mary said, I'm going to- I want <v Sophia Bialy>to go out again today. Oh my goodness it's raining, but I <v Sophia Bialy>want to go now it's raining. <v Sophia Bialy>Well, John says, wait till another time. <v Sophia Bialy>Oh, no. You go back to the little goldfish and tell him that I want to <v Sophia Bialy>govern the weather. Have rain when it's raining have the sun when it's shining <v Sophia Bialy>and have clouds when I want it. Mary, I'm not going back. <v Sophia Bialy>You wanna do too much. <v Sophia Bialy>John. You'll go back. <v Sophia Bialy>So poor John is all discouraged and he's very unhappy. <v Sophia Bialy>Little goldfish, little goldfish. <v Sophia Bialy>What do you want, John? Oh, my wife. <v Sophia Bialy>She wants to be- she wants to govern the weather. <v Sophia Bialy>Make it make it rain or snow or sunshine. <v Sophia Bialy>Do anything that she wants. <v Sophia Bialy>And uh the little goldfish said, John, you're not happy, are you?
<v Sophia Bialy>He said, no, I'm not happy. <v Sophia Bialy>Well, she certainly cannot be God. <v Sophia Bialy>So you go back and you'll find Mary frying fish in the little <v Sophia Bialy>ol' cottage where you were very happy. <v Sophia Bialy>And John says, thank you goldfish. <v Sophia Bialy>I'm very happy now. So John trudges home and he finds Mary <v Sophia Bialy>frying fish. And he goes out and catches ?inaudible?, sells his fish. <v Sophia Bialy>And he they were both very happy. <v Sophia Bialy>So it shows that it's not riches that make people happy. <v Sophia Bialy>It's the little things that count. <v Man 1>Sophia was a performer. <v Man 1>She practiced the art of storytelling. <v Man 1>This is how folk tradition starts up. <v Man 1>You have an outstanding storyteller who's popular, who's accepted in the community, who's <v Man 1>asked to tell tales. Others in the community pick them up. <v Man 1>And generation after generation after generation retells the stories. <v Man 1>And we have a strong folk tradition developed.
<v Man 1>We have children now who have heard her stories and they're repeating. <v Girl 1> This girl, she dreamed that this fairy came by her house <v Girl 1>on a five pointed star. <v Girl 1>And she picked the little girl up and they went on, <v Girl 1>and they got other little girls with a white dress, a green dress a blue dress, a red <v Girl 1>dress, and a yellow dress. <v Girl 1>And they all got on the star <v Girl 1>and then they went and did good deeds. They gave people water that <v Girl 1>couldn't have water. They gave people toys that couldn't have toys. <v Girl 1>They gave people food that didn't have food and they pl- made roads <v Girl 1>and churches and things like that. <v Girl 1>And then she dropped all the little girls off except for <v Girl 1>just one in the white dress that she had gone to pick up first. <v Girl 1>She said you could stay ?inaudible?. <v Girl 1>So off she went and goodnight. <v Girl 1>That was all she heard.
<v Girl 1>The fairy godmother. <v Girl 1>Then she tried to stay on the star. <v Girl 1>She couldn't. She couldn't stay on the star. <v Girl 1>She was falling. And she cried and cried and cried. <v Girl 1>Her mother came in. <v Girl 1>It was just a bad dream. <v Girl 1>She woke up. She had fallen off her bed. <v Girl 1>Mother gave her some warm milk andshe fell back asleep. <v Girl 1>And that's the end of the story. [music plays] <v Betty Smith>The producers of this program would like to thank the following people for their <v Betty Smith>participation, storytellers Ronna Nicolino, Mike Quinn, <v Betty Smith>Myrt Sage, Elbridge Tobie and Ethel ?inaudible?. <v Betty Smith>Thanks to folklorist Dick Sweaterledge of the University of Vermont and to musicians <v Betty Smith>Ron and Ronnie West. <v Betty Smith>And we thank ethnomusicologist Jennifer Quinn of Middlebury College <v Betty Smith>for helping us to select the music from the Flanders Collection.
<v Betty Smith>The Vermont Farmers Song was sung by Amos Eaton and Grandmother's Armchair <v Betty Smith>by Beatrice Le Duke. <v Betty Smith>Thanks also to Pache Nicolino and to Keith Jennison, <v Betty Smith>writer in residence at Castleton State College and to folklorist <v Betty Smith>Morris Beck and director of Public Relations Ron Neith, both of Middlebury <v Betty Smith>College. Special thanks to Vermont state folklorist Jane Beck <v Betty Smith>of the Vermont Council on the Arts. <v Betty Smith>The engineer for this program was Sam Sanders. <v Betty Smith>The program was produced by Ev Grimes and Bonnie Morrissey with funds provided <v Betty Smith>by the National Endowment for the Arts. <v Betty Smith>I'm the executive producer, Betty Smith, and this is a production of Vermont <v Betty Smith>Public Radio. <v Woman 4>He used to for a living go begging around from village to village and everyone was sorry
<v Woman 4>for him. But in those days, of course, they couldn't do much.
A Hand-Me-Down Harvest
If Only One Cow Showed Up
Producing Organization
Vermont Public Radio
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This episode is " If Only One Cow Showed Up." This program discusses the history of tall tales and how they are passed down from generation to generation. The speakers share multiple folk tales and songs that are popular and have been passed down in Vermont. It ends with a young child sharing a folk tale that she heard from her parents very recently.
Series Description
"The series A HAND-ME-DOWN HARVEST is a culmination of efforts begun in VPR in 1978 when it became known to us that a truly remarkable collection of folklore was archived at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt. Having only the year before been transcribed by the Library of Congress, this extraordinary collection was largely unknown even within scholarly circles and had never been widely distributed to the general public. Properly referred to as the Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection, it consists of 250 wax cylinders, 1500 discs and 55 tapes, as well as letters, field notes and photos of people interviews by Mrs. Flanders in New England, beginning in 1930 at the request of the Committee of Traditions and Ideals of the Vermont Commission on Country Life and continuing as Mrs. Flanders['] life work until her death in the 1950's. In 1979 we received a grant from the NEA for the purpose of studying the collection and producing a one-hour pilot program which was broadcast locally in 1980 and nationally as part of the NPR 'Options' series in 1981. Then, in cooperation with Vermont State Folklorist, Jane Beck of the Vermont Council on the Arts, we applied for a second grant from the NEA for the purpose of [remixing] the pilot into two half-hour programs and for the development of six new [segments] designed to test whether elements of the material collected by Mrs. Flanders were still a viable part of the social fabric today. 4,000 staff hours, 18,000 miles of travel and 74 miles of recording tape later, our production team, headed by Producer Ev Grimes, has demonstrated that the heritage documented originally by Mrs. Flanders is alive and flourishing in our region. This series combines archival and contemporary material in a rich tapestry of voices, songs, stories, beliefs and traditions. Recorded actualities effectively span 50 years. The series offers an unusual opportunity to participate in traditions which can be traced back literally hundreds of years. It echoes with ancestral voices which continue to enrich our lives today."--1984 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: Vermont Public Radio
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-d54073119ab (Filename)
Format: 1/4 inch audio cassette
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Chicago: “A Hand-Me-Down Harvest; If Only One Cow Showed Up,” 1984, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “A Hand-Me-Down Harvest; If Only One Cow Showed Up.” 1984. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: A Hand-Me-Down Harvest; If Only One Cow Showed Up. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from