Healing the Earth

We are featuring stories contributed by storytellers working in environmental settings or on educational projects with an environmental theme. We are focusing on uplifting stories that empower and encourage listeners to honor the environment and take action.

Please keep in mind the ethics of sharing these generous story offerings since not all versions of folktales are in the public domain. Storytellers put a great deal of skill and effort into reshaping an ancestral tale for a modern audience. The oral, in-person use of these stories is without restriction for informal or for environmentally healing events. However, we ask that you acknowledge the particular storyteller/writer, and if there is a cultural origin that it you also honor it by accurately mentioning that also. Personal stories are offered here to inspire others to share their own personal experiences of the natural world.

These stories are not to be recorded or reused for any commercial purpose without specific permission from the author. In this way, we not only honor the timeless tradition of sharing stories, but also the timeless tradition of honoring the soul work that brings each version to life.


Spirit of Trees, a resource for therapists, educators, environmentalists, storytellers and tree lovers! You will find here an abundance of resources, in particular a varied collection of multicultural folktales and myths. http://spiritoftrees.org/

Fran Stallings Environmentor Columns: http://www.franstallings.com/Environmentor/

The Great Turning Film: Joanna Macy on Uncertainty

The Story of Self and Sacred Economics Charles Eisentein

Storyteller Helps People Reconnect With Nature

Jamaica Plain Gazette  July 12, 2019 Some of storyteller Diane Edgecomb’s most popular events are her Summer solstice events with Margot Chamberlain, a Celtic harpist, at Arnold Arboretum. These events are limited to around 30 people maximum, she said. However, at this past weekend’s event, the 18th, she said they were sold out “well in …

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Environmental storytelling can help spread big ideas for saving the planet

The Conversation (Boston, MA)   December 21, 2018 Research has shown that using fear to promote behavioral change can be counterproductive. However, stories with positive role models, focusing on the positive outcomes of solutions, are much more likely to inspire action to solve problems. While this article refers to fictional stories, the same ideas can be using in …

Environmental storytelling can help spread big ideas for saving the planet Details »

The Honest Truth: Folk tales of giants, the brounies and selkies have been told since time immemorial

The Sunday Post      May 29, 2018 Summary In order to keep Scots folk and fairy tales alive, Scottish Storytelling Centre director Donald Smith has published a book Wee Folk Tales In Scots, Luath Press.   When asked what inspired him to write this book, Smith replied, “I have been very lucky to hear Scotland’s …

The Honest Truth: Folk tales of giants, the brounies and selkies have been told since time immemorial Details »

The Sparrow’s Gifts

(HSA) Retold by Kevin Strauss, M.S. Ed.

Once, in old Japan, an old woman was gathering firewood in the forest when she saw a sparrow hopping around on the ground. It was almost as if the sparrow couldn’t fly. The woman put down her firewood and slowly walked up to the bird.

“Don’t worry, little friend,”…

The Most Beautiful Bird

RETOLD by LAURA SIMMS. ©Laura Simms 2012 Based on a Pygmy story from South Africa Please ask permission before telling this story. Contact: Long long ago the most beautiful bird in the world lived in a thick forest.   Everyone knew that the beautiful bird brought the rain.  When she spread her wings, rain fell.   …

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Island Afternoon

By Allison Cox, ©2014. I managed to escape work early enough that afternoon. I remember wanting to escape all the traffic and concrete of the city. I was lucky enough to drive right onto the ferry just before it left for my island. Once home, I lingered on the front deck of my house, soaking …

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Epiphany in the Pawpaw Patch

By Doug Elliot. One sunny September day I was leading a nature walk at an environmental center in northern Indiana. We were in a grove of small trees with large, soft, tropical-looking leaves. In fact, this was the northern edge of the range of the tropical custard apple family.  In Mexico and Central America I …

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Shelley The Sea Turtle Meets Rustle The Plastic Bag

By J. R. Cargill © 2009. Once upon a time, there was a handful of little plastic pellets called Rustle. All Rustle longed for was to be useful. He dreamed of being a red umbrella or a yellow raincoat or a plastic toy… Then, one day, he got a job. He was taken to a …

Shelley The Sea Turtle Meets Rustle The Plastic Bag Details »

Archives Healing the Earth/Environmental

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