A robust collection of yarns ranging from ancient Scottish folklore to a modern, urban twist on ""Cinderella'--contributed by professional storytellers whose backgrounds are equally diverse, and published to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the annual Jonesborough, Tennessee, National Storytelling Festival. A midwestern farm boy rings a bell to warn his field-bound father of trouble; a Japanese samurai betrays and abandons his faithful wife; a peasant boy asks a witch to sell him a pot of brains. So go the often eccentric tales in this collection of 37--many autobiographical, some handed down from older relatives in pre-television days, others garnered from fellow storytellers or culled from books in distant libraries. Together, they evoke both a universal delight in the extraordinary and a powerful respect for truth and justice--all the more remarkable considering the widely varied contexts from which they spring. The storytellers themselves, many of them former librarians or teachers, along with a few actors, cultural preservationists, and some who simply grew up hearing stories and continued telling them as adults, offer brief descriptions of each tale's history and the reasons for including it here. The result is a refreshingly unsystematic journey through some of America's most isolated corners, in which unlikely accounts pop up at every turn (of the boy who nailed his grandmother's tablecloth to her dining room wall; the American Indian woman who married a ghost; the Cajun girl who fought the Devil and won)--entertaining and inspiring for adults and children. A valuable resource for librarians, teachers, and all those who seek an audience.