THE WIND AND THE SUN: A Free Story for Young Kids with Odds Bodkin

THE WIND AND THE SUN: A Free Story for Young Kids with Odds Bodkin

As I explain to children, a fable is a very short story that weighs a lot. Here’s THE WIND AND THE SUN, one of my favorite Aesop’s fables. This version was captured over Zoom last month before an audience of PreK-1st Graders. As you’ll see, I speak more slowly than usual.

To learn more, visit: https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/

WHEN THE ANIMALS SPOKE: A Summer Reading Zoom Show for Libraries

Since last June, Odds Bodkin has been offering full-screen storytelling concerts on Zoom.

Loyola University watched The Iliad: Book I and students stood to applaud, even though they were all at home.

Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA, unable to host his winter series live on stage this past winter, forged ahead with a Zoom series; adult ticket holders loved it and came back again and again.

Elementary schools that postponed their residencies during the pandemic spring re-booked, and all those school kids are now singing along from behind their masks.

Yes, vaccinations are on their way, but summer 2021 might still be a little early for live shows in enclosed spaces, and so Odds is offering a new Zoom show to library communities. Echoing the Collaborative Summer LIbrary Program’s summer reading theme for 2021, Bodkin has created WHEN THE ANIMALS SPOKE, a collection of four of his best animal stories for kids and families.

 

WHAT STORIES ARE IN THE SHOW?

 

The Name of the Tree

Of all the thirsty, starving animals on the African savanna, only the little tortoise with the big heart remembers the name of the magical tree. When he speaks it, down tumble giant fruits, filled with water and filled with food. Odds has always been interested in myths about the universal Tree of Life, and this tale is a kid-sized version of that myth, filled with sounds and yes, talking animals.

Told with African thumb piano.

The Fox and the Cat

Aesop never failed to tell the pithiest of truths, and this fast little tale told with Celtic harp is no exception. A fox is bragging to his friend the cat about how many ways the fox knows to escape the dogs of the hunters, but when the dogs appear, it turns out the fox has never really tried any of them at all. That spells trouble.

How the Animals Stole Back Fire

Myths about the origin of fire are universal. Prometheus the Titan, as the Greeks tell it, brought fire down from Olympus and gave it to humankind. Australian Aborigines were given fire, but were no longer one with the animals afterwards. In this show’s How the Animals Stole Back Fire, a Native American myth of the Maidu of the Northwest Coast, Odds tells the tale of how Thunder and his Three Evil Daughters steal the animals’ fire. Soon deer, bear, fox, mouse, lizard, wolverine, all the animals, begin to die off from winter’s cold. The tale Odds tells is how they discover where their fire is, and in desperation, how they steal it back.

Told with alto recorder.

Tale of the Kittens

What can go wrong in a fairy tale about singing kittens and a talking mother cat? In a secret world beneath a giant cauliflower no less? It turns out plenty can go wrong if you don’t treat the kittens right. Kids love this quirky and funny Italian fairy tale told with 12-string guitar and a catchy song.

During Odds Bodkin’s Zoom shows, the storyteller is up close. Everyone has a front row seat. So if you know a librarian, please pass along this post!  Thanks!

For more information, visit https://www.oddsbodkin.net/educational-programs/

 

 

 

 

 

Tale of the Kittens from SHE’S CLEVER, THAT ONE: Fairy Tales for Smart Girls with Odds Bodkin

It’s not easy living with a lazy sister and an imperious mother.

Since Marie is the only daughter willing to do the work, and her sister won’t lift a finger, it’s Marie who ends up doing everything. Hanging out the laundry. Sweeping off the front porch. Weeding the garden. Washing the dishes.

But because Marie does these things, and because she’s courageous and curious, it’s she who discovers the world of kittens beneath the giant cauliflower on the hill.

It’s she who hears the catchy song.

And it’s she who is given the beautiful gifts.


Come listen, watch and enjoy The Tale of the Kittens, one of four fairy tales for smart girls that Odds Bodkin will perform this coming Sunday, March 7th at 5 pm EST on Zoom. These stories are appropriate for all ages. Music on 12-string guitars and Celtic harp. Plus lots of silly voices.

Tickets: $25 per screen

 

 

FAIRY TALES FOR SMART GIRLS Live Odds Bodkin Storytelling on Zoom Sunday March 7

Join Odds Bodkin on Zoom to enjoy four rollicking fairy tales for smart girls told with characters, narration and music.

The Wise Little Girl, Prezzemolina, The Tale of the Kittens and The Three Spinning Fairies. These are Bodkin’s best stories for smart girls.

Coming up next week on ZOOM. Get your tickets today!

Tickets: $25

Tomorrow Night, Masterful Adult Storytelling on ZOOM. The Greek Myth of Hercules

 

THE PROFESSOR’S OPINION

“Odds Bodkin has been thrilling our (college) students every Fall for years now with his live performances, and this year’s zoom performance of Iliad Book 1 was every bit as successful. We have gotten a good deal of feedback from the attendees, and it indicates that they were mesmerized, as usual.  Indeed, several students who had seen Odds perform in the past – and he has fans who come back every year – considered it even better. They loved the fact that they could see his face up close and watch his fingers dance across his guitar and harp.”

–Professor Joseph Walsh, Chair, Department of Classics at Loyola University Maryland after a Zoom appearance last month.

TOMORROW NIGHT, Sunday Oct. 18th at 5 pm Eastern Standard Time

Odds Bodkin goes to work.

Powerful, distinct character voices and 12-string guitar bring his hour-long tale to life.

No Hollywood sugar-coating, just a beautiful, epic Greek myth. Adventure. Tragedy. Humor. Love. Final transcendence.

 

HERCULES IN HELL

5 pm EST on Zoom

A $15 ticket on Eventbrite buys you a URL and password for the show.

Go BIG SCREEN for best viewing.

Hear a sample of the story:

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA

Telling HERCULES IN HELL to Inmates: A True Story

I’ll be performing HERCULES IN HELL tomorrow, Sunday Oct 18 on ZOOM at 5 pm. Meanwhile, here’s a story about this particular story.

Roy Stevens and I arrived at the prison in the late morning. In the warm Central Valley of California, the compound was little more than a group of low cinder block barracks painted yellow, surrounded by two layers of tall fencing topped by razor wire. At the administration building, the Warden met us as we were buzzed through the multiple gates. He told us that he and his wife would attend the performance along with about a hundred male inmates. The guards wore side-arms.

Frankly, I wasn’t worried about the warden’s opinion nearly as much as I was that if the inmates weren’t entertained by my story, one might shove me a shiv on my way out. I felt like Johnny Cash at Folsum Prison, only I wasn’t famous and singing about a Boy Named Sue. Instead, I was telling an hour-long Greek myth, of all things. Roy had set up this show during a tour. Doing his civic duty was part of his wheeling and dealing to get me out to California for a month of shows.

A group of inmates shuffled through a fenced corridor followed by a guard with a .45 in its holster.  All were White and Latino men. While Roy and I were setting up the PA system in the prison yard, it dawned on me that on my little flat stage, there would be nothing between me and the inmates during the show. No raised stage. No barriers.

This wasn’t a super-max, but all these guys were being held here for one unseemly reason or another.

The music will work on them, I remember saying to myself. Just get the music going.

As Roy set up the two big speakers and the PA, I broke out my 12-string guitar, tuning it in the hot sun. Inmates emerged from the barracks, slouching against the walls, staying in the shade. They were curious and skeptical. Politely rephrased, who on earth were we?

Roy Stevens, by the way, is a world-class opera singer, who is now the artistic director of Opera Modesto. We’d met at Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island a few years before, as across New York Harbor, the newly destroyed World Trade Center was belching smoke.

We’d become friends. We still are.

Just get the music going. The score for HERCULES IN HELL is in a modified e flat tuning, an at times brooding, at other times triumphant set of leitmotifs. So, with the PA on loud, I began warming up. No talk, just music. It boomed across the compound and the men started to listen. I could see from their body language that they liked it. After all, Hercules was a great criminal, a violent and injured man. This music conveys that. And an endless, hard journey. And a lot of sad beauty. Here’s a sample:

 

Well, in the end, the Warden and his wife showed up and the inmates fell under the bardic spell of Hercules’ deep voice. I told the story non-stop for 65 minutes, and then ended the tale. Nobody moved during the show. After the applause, which I couldn’t believe happened, the inmates lined up to get my autograph, which I couldn’t believe was happening either, and man after grizzled man told me how they’d never heard a story like this before, and that it meant a lot to them. Fifty, sixty of them, I recall. I used fifty or sixty very short #2 pencils. Someone had given each man a scrap of paper as well. For the guys who didn’t have paper, I noticed, other guys tore theirs in half.

Amazed at how grateful and civil the men were, I signed the last autograph, somewhat relieved that nobody had stabbed me with his pencil. After shaking hands with the Warden and his wife, Roy and I left.

HERCULES IN HELL: A story about a tough life with redemption at the end.

———————–

HERCULES IN HELL

An Adult Storytelling by Odds Bodkin

Oct. 18, 2020 at 5pm EST on Zoom

Tickets: $15

If you don’t have Zoom, the download is free!

This Zoom concert is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

 

THE HERCULES CHRONICLES: The Golden Stag of Artemis/Coming Up Sunday!

Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt, owns a supernatural stag. With hoofs of brass and antlers of gold, it’s a glowing creature that hunters are afraid to mistake for game. If they threaten it, Artemis will surely appear and kill them. Legend says the Ceryneian Stag can run at full speed for a year.

When King Eurystheus, Hercules’ petulant cousin, says to bring it to him, Hercules is shocked. “But Eurystheus,” he moans, “it is a sacred beast!”

“Zeus said I could,” his cousin retorts from his throne. “It’s my command! So do it!”

Knowing he’ll have to chase it for a year, Hercules finally spots the stag in the woods. The ancient hero begins to chase it…

To find out how Hercules completes this astonishing labor, with gentleness and honor—including a confrontation with the young goddess herself–grab your $15 ticket for Odds Bodkin’s upcoming Zoom concert, HERCULES IN HELL.

Log in and Odds will appear on full screen for the hour-long storytelling show. Voices for characters and continuous music on 12-string guitar make this an unforgettable experience. You’ll learn more Greek mythology in one hour than you’ve ever known.

HERCULES IN HELL

An Adult Storytelling by Odds Bodkin

Oct. 18, 2020 at 5pm EST on Zoom

Tickets: $15

 

If you don’t have Zoom, the download is free!

This Zoom concert is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

THE HERCULES CHRONICLES: Persephone, the Unhappy Wife of Hades

Persephone, Queen of the Dead, despises her husband Hades. Trapped in the Underworld with him, she longs for news of the living. And so when Hercules, freshly dead, drops down before her, she won’t let him proceed to his afterlife on Mt. Olympus until Hercules tells both her and her husband his life story.

This is Odds Bodkin’s dramatic framing for his epic tale, HERCULES IN HELL. It’s coming up soon on Zoom.

Hercules hates telling his story, because his life tallies just as many foul murders as glorious acts, but he tells it anyway, just to be able to leave. And so, in a huge, deep voice, Odds Bodkin takes on the role of Hercules in the first person:

“My mother, Alcmene, loved my mortal father Amphitryon, but she would not have him in her bed until he’d avenged the deaths of her brothers, so while he was away, Zeus came to mother, disguised as Amphitryon, and fathered me. So who is my father? Zeus, yes. But I’ve never met him. Some father he is. No, it was Amphitryon who raised me…”

Odds won the prestigious Golden Headset Award for Best Audio when he released his epic Hercules recording into the storytelling world. Now you can watch him tell it, live and up close, as he Zooms the show from New Hampshire.

Sunday, Oct. 18th at 5 pm EST.

Teens love this story, as well as adults. Odds has even spellbound incarcerated men with this marvel of storytelling. It’s about a man who cannot control his temper, a bad thing when you’re the strongest man in the world.

Grab a $15 ticket and mark the date!

The Zoom concert is sponsored by Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. Visit them. The food is great. So are the people.

ASK AMAZON ALEXA TO PLAY “BEDTIME STORIES”. SUBSCRIBE AND GET 42 ODDS BODKIN AUDIO STORIES

Back when Odds Bodkin was creating his folktales and fairy tales collections for young children, he first issued them on cassettes. As an audio technology, they were soon replaced by CDs. Next came digital downloads, mp3s and other formats, where the audio music business still exists today in the streaming world.

Odds Bodkin’s early recordings are now available on Amazon Alexa. Just ask her to open “Bedtime Stories”, buy a subscription (it’s not much) and find a treasure trove of child-safe stories, all told with characters and live music.

Just ask for an Odds Bodkin story.

What will Alexa choose?

 

 

 

Story Time with Odds Bodkin on Facebook Live: Friday Finale/THE EVERGREENS & THE NAME OF THE TREE

Each day this week Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin will tell a different music-filled story from his collection of tales for children.

The performances are at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.

If you’re a mom or dad with kids at home during this scary time and you need a break, then sit the kids down for two stories with sweet and warm characters, amazing sound effects and a live score on 12-string guitar and African sanza.

On Friday, April 3rd, at 12 noon EST, he’ll perform THE EVERGREENS, a tale from Denmark on 12-string guitar, and THE NAME OF THE TREE, a wise Bantu tale from Africa on thumb piano.

Follow Odds Bodkin at

https://www.facebook.com/oddsbodkin/

and join him on April 3 at 12 noon EST.

Please share with friends and family!

Visit Odds Bodkin’s Download Store for hours of listening!