Welcome . . . the fire is going, the night has come, and inspired tellers are ready to share with you a tale close to their heart.  They memorized their tale, and are  excited for you to be inspired, moved, touched . . . to laugh, to sing, to ponder, to learn, and perhaps even to cry.

After reading more than 7000 short stories of all descriptions, here are some of my favorites that are no longer copyrighted.  In addition, a catalog of stories by theme is included below – ask me for one you’re curious about.  And, send me stories you love!!!

At Camp Augusta, we tell stories as they were told several thousand years ago . . . a single teller, a memorized tale, an audience, and the promise of wish, wonder, and surprise.  We tell stories at night during embers, during some Playstations, during weekly campfires, and a special event during two-week sessions — a dedicated storytelling campfire.  That evening program, where campers listen to nearly two hours of tales on blankets with tiki torches and hot chocolate, is literally our most popular evening program!  Most of the stories told are not any of the below . . . fresh tales each week and each summer!

The below stories are no longer copyrighted.  Enjoy!

Zebra Storyteller A short tale that itself highlights a key power of stories as teaching tools.
How Much Land Does A Man Need Leo Tolstoy short story about striving, greed, and wisdom.
Last Leaf Self-fulfilling prophesy . . . an O’Henry tale that, in story, demonstrates the power of the placebo effect . . . the power of mind.
Princess Who Stood on Her Own Two Feet Clever tale about a Princess who finds the power in herself.  The tale has numerous cute references to modern times.  🙂  Playful tale with a point!
Strawberries A Native American tale about a flush of anger, and working through that.
To Build a Fire Jack London . . . an adventure tale that captivates as any modern movie does.
Fifty-first Dragon Such a playful satire on self-fulfilling prophesies and one’s own power . . . full of wit and wisdom that will generate numerous wry smiles and a memory.

Short video of storytelling at Camp Augusta

151 Stories for Bedside, Hearth, Classroom, or Campfire

Collected by Randall Grayson, Ph.D. Psychologist

About Storytelling Content Age Page
The Three Dolls I 1
The Zebra Storyteller II 3
The Parallel II 5
Granny Gifts I 6
Theme:  Adventure/Campfire
The Hole That Will Not Stay Filled X III 15
A True Story I 17
The Valley of the Blue Mist I 19
How Much Land Does a Man Need? I 24
Lost Face X III 28
The Partner X III 35
The Hour and the Man II 42
The Most Dangerous Game X III 47
The Cask of Amontillado II 58
The Damned Thing X III 63
To Build a Fire II 67
The Old Man II 73
Churchhill Killers II 77
A Knock at the Door X III 79
Onawandah II 84
The Last Escape II 89
The Plain Princess I 91
Theme:  Beauty
Flowers and Freckle Cream I 99
The Coin and the Cricket I 100
The Owl I 102
The Plain Princess I 91
The Improving Mirror I 105
Theme:  Compassion/Empathy
Count That Day Lost I 108
The Little Match Girl I 109
The Keys to Calais I 111
No Greater Love I 113
Good Griselle I 114
How Five Little Angels Lost Their Wings I 118
Praying Hands I 121
The New Arrival I 122
The Last Leaf I 124
Forget-me-nuts I 128
God Didn’t Mean for Them to Be Hungry I 131
The Mermaid Who Pitied a Sailor I 132
Theme:  Diversity
Kanu Above and Kanu Below I 133
The Animal School I 139
Harrison Bergeron X III 140
Onawandah II 145
The Wise Old Shoemaker of Studena I 150
Theme:  Facing Your Fears
The Red Lion I 152
I Can Sleep Through A Storm I 155
Mullah and Dervish I 156
The Witch and the Rainbow Cat I 157
Theme:  Family
The Clever Wife Of Vietnam I 159
Taps: A Story of Two Brothers II 161
What Bradley Owed I 162
The Island of Purple Fruits I 163
Theme:  Folklore
The Tale of Dame Ragnel I 164
The Red Thread I 167
Savitri II 170
The Death of the Old Lion II 173
Theme:  Forgiveness
Strawberries I 175
The Second Mile I 176
The Princess and The Dove I 178
Theme:  Friendship
The Warm Fuzzy Story I 180
Praying Hands I 182
Damon and Pythias I 183
Two Friends I 185
Theme:  Funny Stories
How Brer Rabbit Outsmarted the Frogs I 186
The Bee, The Harp, The Mouse, and the Bumclock I 189
The Unwilling Magician I 192
Monkey Business I 195
The Walkin’ Catfish I 197
Morgan and the Pot ‘O Brains II 198
A Sure Cure II 201
The Wise Old Shepherd II 202
Not Guilty, your Worship II 204
The Open Window II 207
Cannibals in the Cars III 209
The Ship of Fools I 213
Theme:  Greed
The Gizzard I 215
How Much Land Does a Man Need? I 220
The Magic Pomegranate I 224
The Table Where Rich People Sit I 227
Eyes-All-Over II 230
Forget-Me-Nuts I 128
The Song That Brought Happiness I 232
Theme: Honesty
Trader Jim I 233
The Old Man With Big Ears I 234
The Magic Gifts I 236
Little Burnt Face I 238
La Muerta:  Godmother Death I 240
A Blind Man Catches a Bird I 243
Theme:  Peace/Conflict Resolution
Strength II 244
The Princess and The Dove I 247
Two Goats on the Bridge I 249
Theme: Peace as Legacy
The King’s Child II 250
The Peace Daughters of King Capilano II 252
Theme:  People & Nature
For the Love of a Man II 256
Gluskabi and the Wind Eagle I 260
Strength II 263
Starfish I 266
Theme: Pure Equality
The Animal School I 267
Harrison Bergeron X III 268
Three Raindrops I 273
Theme: Responsibility
The Sword of Damocles I 274
For Want of a Horseshoe Nail I 275
Man Enough for the Job I 276
Onawandah II 277
Pandora I 282
The Island of Purple Fruits I 284
The King and the Beautiful Lamp I 285
Theme: Scary/Ghosts
The Hole That Will Not Stay Filled X III 288
The Locket I 290
The Stranger I 293
The Considerate Hosts II 302
The Curse of the Australian Gold I 308
The Candidate X III 313
The Certificate X III 317
Different Kinds of Dead X III 319
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge X III 323
Theme: Self-discipline
Boy Wanted I 327
If I 328
The Magic Thread I 329
The King and His Hawk I 332
The Most Obedient Wife X III 334
Pandora I 337
Theme:  Self-fulfilling Prophesy
Sans Soleil I 339
51st Dragon II 342
The Stone Soup Folktale I 347
The Dragon on the Roof I 348
Theme: Some People Can Be Bad
Brer Possum’s Dilemma I 351
The Princess and The Dove I 353
Little Burnt Face I 355
Theme: True to Yourself
The Black Prince X II 357
The Stone Crusher I 360
The Chattering Aspen I 362
The Princess Who Stood on Her Own Two Feet I 364
Hookedy Crookedy I 370
The Dancing Horse I 376
The Star of the Farmyard I 377
The Wooden City I 404
Theme: Wisdom & Riddles
The Lionmakers I 379
The Wise Old Shoemaker of Studena I 380
What is the Talmud? II 382
Benjamin and the Caliph II 383
The Grand Inquisitor II 385
Granny Gifts I 386
Morgan and the Pot ‘O Brains II 198
Deadly Melody X III 389
Panther and Rabbit I 390
The Warmth of a Fire II 393
The Pear Seed I 397
Condemned to the Noose II 398
Catherine, Sly Country Lass I 399
The Fast Road I 402
The Wooden City I 404
Touch the Moon I 406


  • X = More disturbing than the average fairy or folk tale.  Many fairy and folk tales have violence or disturbing motifs (e.g., Anderson, Grimm, King Arthur, Arabian Knights, etc.), but these tales are either a little more graphic/realistic, they cover themes that are more mature, or the story is particularly scary.
  • Before choosing a story with an “X” or a Scary/Ghost story, please check with your Village Leader to assess the readiness of each individual camper, as well as the cabin as a whole.


    • Although the stories are categorized by age, please use your discretion and read the story first (or read the abstract) before using a story you don’t know with children.  The tale may have received a higher recommended age for many reasons, including:  what the story addresses, how it addresses it, the language is advanced, or the concept would be lost on younger children.  Two 12 year olds may have very different abilities and experiences, so these are rough guidelines.  Also, of course, adults and teens will surely find some of their favorite stories in the “I” category!

I  = 7 – 9
II = 9 – 12
III = 13 – 122 (oldest person ever)