Woodpecker Woman

Once there was an old woman living up on the mountain, who kept to herself mostly. The folks down in town all called her "Red Cap" because of the little crimson hat she wore. Some people visited her when they were sick because everyone around knew she could work the plants and heal any disease.... Continue Reading →

252: The Powerful Mr. Green

Mr. Green was a witch and everyone knew it, although no one on the hill dared ever call him that. They all feared him turning his eye on their crops, or cows, or house, or children. They all whispered behind the man’s back, but as sure as I’m standing here right now they all went... Continue Reading →

245: Jack and the Strangers

Once upon a time Jack was visiting his kinfolks down in Greenbrier Holler. Every year, in the dead of winter, Jack’s aunt and uncle would have a big party at their cabin to fight off the cold, and they would have all the families from the holler over for a night of eatin’ and dancin’... Continue Reading →

239: Jack’s Hunting Trip

This is probably one of my favorite Jack tales. There are many variations on the story. One version, found here, was recorded by Alan Lomax while in the Appalachian Mountains. This is my own version of the story of one of Jack’s famous hunting trips. One time, years ago, Jack set out all alone up... Continue Reading →

238: Jack and the Devil

Based on the Irish story of Stingy Jack. There’s an Appalachian version that was collected by Richard Chase and called “Wicked John and the Devil” that can be found in his book “Grandfather Tales”. The image above is from the picture book version of the story illustrated by Joshua Tolford. Once there was a man named... Continue Reading →

235: Jack and the Possum

Once a long time ago, before there were very many trails that went through the woods, when folks lived in log cabins separated by great distances, a young boy named Jack was sent by his mother over the mountain to his aunt and uncle’s cabin delivering a basket of food. Jack was a strong and... Continue Reading →

232: A Cry in the Woods

One day a sang digger heard of the mother of all patches of quality roots growing up on a mountain known by everyone around to be haunted. Now this digger wasn’t a very superstitious man at all, and figured he could out smart any haint around by going out and claiming that patch of sang.... Continue Reading →

230: The Beggar

Once there was a traveller, down on his luck, who was walking through a backwoods town on his way to the city. Since he had no money he decided to go around asking for spare change and any handouts anyone could offer him. He didn’t have much luck, as hillfolk are naturally weary of strangers... Continue Reading →

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