The Girl Who said NO!

Five wonder tales from around the world of how to resist a bully or triumph over dangerous forces by using your wits or by enlisting allies in nature.

1. The Girl Who Said NO! (Scandinavia): In this old favorite folktale, also known as The Squire’s Bride, a rich banker attempts to trick a clever girl into marriage.

2. Sun Catcher: In this Cherokee tale, when bigger, stronger warriors fail to bring light to the dark world, tiny Spider Grandmother manages to save the day.

3. The Lost Spear (Ashanti, South Africa): A cruel chief wants his daughter to marry a rich young man, but Princess Lala prefers a humble herdsman who proves the magical power of his love.

4. The First Rainbow (Achomawi, Northern California) – Told to me by Darryl Babe Wilson: When winter lasts so long that everything and everyone starts to freeze, Spider Grandmother summons her tiniest children to save the day.

5. Connla and the Fairy Maiden (Ireland): When a warrior king takes his son Connla to visit a battlefield, a beautiful fairy invites the youth to her immortal island world. Connla must make a hard choice.

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Copyrights © 2020 Beatrice Bowles

Excerpt from the Lost Spear:

Once long, long ago in Africa when fairies were not so shy, there lived a beautiful, black-eyed princess called Lala. When Princess Lala decided she wanted a house of her own and a mate, she told her father, the king. He did not want his daughter to choose a husband for herself. He wanted richest and most powerful man in the kingdom to marry his daughter and rule her and the people by force, as he always had.

So he called for a contest to see which man might throw the assegi, a long spear, the farthest. Four young men came to try. Three were sons of rich and powerful families, and one was a poor herdsman called Zandelli, who had the kindest brown eyes. Right away, Princess Lala liked Zandelli the best.

Arden Bucklin-Sporer – Founder and Director, Education Outside (San Francisco)
“I had the great pleasure to be entertained all the way to the central valley this weekend by Beatrice Bowles’ wonderful audio storybook,The Girl Who Said NO! The selection is so original and the stories are profound and well told. I think adults will like them as much as children! Beatrice’s stories have a real edge, as folk tales should–which make them so fascinating, a tiny bit scary, and relevant. We are so used to the bland Disney-fication of our stories, it is a pleasure to hear such authenticity and vivid natural settings. Also the music is beautiful, often haunting and a great accompaniment.

Finally, the storytelling is fantastic. Beatrice has such a beautiful voice and does a great job with different characters. Her accompanist Sara Buchanan MacLean underscores the drama perfectly. I will play them non-stop to my kids!”

Helen Whitney – Filmmaker (NYC)
“Wow! Not only are you a brilliant storyteller, but your pleasure in telling the tales deepens the power of the performance. My crew and I listened, enthralled.”

Lucinda – Fourth Grade, Bank Street School (New York City)
“Your stories are mind boggling, mysterious, thoughtful, exciting, funny, mystical, and off the wall!”

Seijun Yanagida – Director, East-West Seminars
“Beatrice Bowles is more than just a storyteller. She doesn’t just tell a story. She creates stories and gets you involved in them. You are in and out of the stories. You experience parts of yourself that you have forgotten or never knew you had. Healings occur and lessons are learned in a safe container of story. As a seminar organizer/coordinator, I found her performances and audiotapes and to be very valuable resources.”

“All wonder tales-fairytales, folktales, and nature myths-stretch our imaginations and these stories will stretch your imaginations to amazing lengths! These are some of the very stretchiest stories that I tell. Here you will find both terror and delight and some utterly wild characters: a giant witch baby with iron teeth, a fabulous black stallion, three surprisingly powerful old hermits, a mother with astonishing secret powers, a young man who marries a spider, and more truly unforgettable figures. Watch for the sweet secrets of survival that hide everywhere here, too. My wish is that these stories stay with on you always and guide you on the risky road of life.” ~ Beatrice Bowles