Folk Tales

Here’s an archive of old tales from around the world, read by TQ Townsend. Recordings may be freely used for non-commercial purposes.

One of Aesop’s Fables (which wasn’t probably written by Aesop.) Retold by T.Q. Townsend.

Aschenputtel (Abridged)
The Cinderella tale collected by the Brothers Grimm. Abridged by TQ Townsend, based on the 1819 version.

Aschenputtel (1812)
The original version of “Aschenputtel” published by the Brothers Grimm in Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales).

Aschenputtel (1819)
The edited version of “Aschenputtel” published by the Brothers Grimm in the 1819 edition of Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales). This telling was polished to be more literary and moralizing in its tone, as children were now the primary audience.

Cendrillon (Abridged)
The most commonly known Cinderella story written by Charles Perrault. Abridged by TQ Townsend.

Cendrillon, or the Little Glass Slipper
The full version of the most well-known Cinderella story by Charles Perrault. Translated from the original French by Andrew Lang in The Blue Fairy Book.

The earliest recorded Cinderella story from Europe, first published in 1636 in the Pentamerone by the Italian writer Giambattista Basile. This tale is the source for later versions of Cinderella as recorded by Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm.

The Crow and The Snake
A Ukrainian folk tale about a crow who defends her home against the Snake who lives near her which seeks to destroy her children.

The Crow and the Pitcher
One of Aesop’s Fables, which teaches an important lesson about resilience . . . and the concept of displacement of water!

Les Animaux Malades de la Peste
A fable originally written by Aesop and adapted by Jean de La Fontaine in his Fables. This is Fable 1 in Book VII, which tells of powerful carnivores using a harmless donkey as a scapegoat for their crimes.

The Nightingale
A story by Hans Christian Andersen about an emperor who is enthralled by an amazing new machine, at the expense of his ability to appreciate the finer and more lasting beauty of nature.

The Life of Paul Bunyan

A Cinderella story written by Strabo telling of a woman who married Pharaoh after an eagle delivered one of her slippers to him

Ye Xian
An ancient Cinderella story from China, first written down in about the year 860 in Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Duan Chengshi.