As a summer holiday treat, here is an audio-only version of my story Rune Dances, which is about having the confidence to try new things, even if that means making mistakes sometimes. I thought an audio track might come in handy for bedtime, short car rides, or other times when staring at a screen wasn’t a good idea. The illustrated version is still up on on YouTube, and I’m working on a Spanish version of Rune Dances that will be out soon. My YouTube channel will feature original stories and also occasional podcast episodes that might especially benefit from images.
Regular episodes will resume next week when I’m back from vacation.
I’m very much enjoying my vacation back home in Southern California. Next week I’ll be back with my conclusion to the four part series on the children’s novels of Frances Hodgson Burnett. For now, please enjoy this sneak peek from my upcoming collection, Stories About Tiger, the Best Dog in the World. This story is called “Tiger Gives the Babies a Bath” and is about a time when some little cousins got covered in sweet potato. Tiger was happy to help them get cleaned up.
I’m on vacation with my family in Los Angeles over the school holidays for Easter, so you’ll have to wait for the dramatic conclusion to my series on Frances Hodgson Burnett. I wanted to have something to share with you during the break, though, so here is a sneak preview of one of the original stories I’ve been working on. There will be another story next week, and after that I’ll be back to my regular schedule. Please forgive the slightly lower audio quality as I’m away from my usual recording setup.
When I was a kid, my grandma had an awesome dog named Tiger. A while ago I started telling my own children stories about him. But as with all childhood memories, some details are muddled, and some parts of the story get condensed or embellished. But the events in this story pretty much happened the way I tell it, in which I was so silly as to think it was a good idea to wear roller skates while taking a very energetic boxer for a walk.
“Ricky the Racer” is a tale that has been in TQ Townsend’s family for four generations. It was written by her grandfather, E. Harlow Mortensen, and originally had the title “Dick and the Racetrack.” It’s been modified and added to over the years, so what is presented here is an expanded retelling. A few details have been changed from the original, but it’s mainly the same story that was first told almost 70 years ago.
The folk history of this tale:
This story was first made up in the mid-1950’s. The cars in the original version of the story were Volkswagen Bugs. Dick was the driver of a blue bug, and to the best of my memory the other bugs were green, red, and white. I believe the sounds the cars made were “ZEEEEEEE,” “BWAAAAAA,” and “BUH-BUH-BUH-BUH.” But it’s hard to remember exactly because it’s been so long.
I have changed the name of the main character from Dick to Ricky because, in the years after this story was first written, this nickname has acquired a vulgar connotation and I don’t want my kids to accidentally get in trouble for innocently saying a word that will get them in trouble at school. Also, when my oldest daughter heard this story she wanted to hear about a female protagonist, so when I tell it to her, Ricky becomes Ricki and she saves Lucky the Puppy.
In this bonus episode, listen to an original story by TQ Townsend and Chloë Townsend. Adding to the Cinderella tradition, this tale takes you to the Old West, where a gal named Cindy has to outfox her nasty stepsisters Maybelle and Azeline and her rotten stepma, Madame Lurleen. With gumption and help from loyal friends, Cindy finds her way to a fancy shindig and finds the courage to stand up for herself, her farm, and her family.
Cindy Feller: An Old West Fairy Tale is a production of The Children’s Literature Podcast. Story by TQ Townsend and Chloë Townsend. Performed and produced by TQ Townsend. Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved.
This audiobook may be used free of charge by teachers and parents in non-profit educational settings. Commercial use is prohibited without permission.