Words to the Wise CD

Words to the Wise CD cover

Twelve tales told by Spontaneous Combustion Storytellers,
Sandy Farley and Tom Farley,
with guest teller, Eric Sabelman

Released by Spontaneous Combustion, 11/20/2003
ISBN 0-9647614-1-6, list price $15.00 US.

This CD can be ordered from

Recorded between the seventh and tenth months of 2003 at the Jazzical Music Studio of Scott Goldberg in Milpitas, California. Scott also provided the musical interludes between stories.

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Story List

[Stories 2, 5, 6, and 8 are from written texts. The others are tandem performance adaptations from credited or traditional sources.]

  1. Three Scholars And The Farmer, adapted from a traditional tale told in south Asia
  2. The Sower, an old parable rewritten by Rodger Stevens for the Moscow, Idaho Co-op newsletter September 1993
  3. Yumi's Courage, created by storyteller Wayfarer Tomm [Thomas Fennell] and told with his permission
  4. Learning to Write in the Sand, adapted from Internet translations of a tale credited to Malba Tahan, pen name of Brazilian mathematician, Julio Cesar de Mello e Souza [1895-1974] The mathematical stories of Malba Tahan are published in a book titled The Man Who Counted.
  5. The Boy's Wall, an original parable written and told by Eric Sabelman
  6. The Apprentice, another original story by Eric Sabelman, told by Eric, Tom, and Sandy
  7. The Giant Who Was More Than a Match, an original story by Aaron Shepherd, adapted from an earlier version published under his pen name Aaron Piper in Friends Journal, May 1984, and told with his permission [see Giant.pdf for our version and lesson plans for use in middle school through adult English classes]
  8. Alone, a true story written and told by Sandy Farley
  9. Tiger's Whisker, a traditional tale in parts of Asia and Africa, this version comes from Korea
  10. Naxhrudin's Debate, one of many tales about the Turkish philosopher and trickster, Naxhrudin Hoxja
  11. Mikku and the Trees, an Estonian folk-tale adapted to use trees of coastal California
  12. Yucatan Sunrise, expanded [with Taffy's approval] from a telling by Taffy Thomas of a story he got from Hugh Lupton who got it from Ben Haggerty who adapted it from a traditional tale printed in Parabola magazine.

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Follow-up lessons to go with selected stories on Words to the Wise will be posted in pdf files as they become available.

In September, 2000, we told stories in all the second, third, and fourth year high school English classes in the city of Gjakova in Kosova. This was the third of Sandy's four trips there as a volunteer with Balkan Sunflowers. We left the English teachers copies of texts and follow-up lessons for nine stories, five of which are on this CD. We have been revising and adding lessons for use in Sandy's adult English classes here in California.

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  • Return to Our Storytelling Page

  • Or go on to Our Writing Page

    See our second CD Words Go Questing released winter, 2005.

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    Page last updated on 9/1/09 by Tom Farley of Spontaneous Combustion