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5/11/2005  

Maine folklore

Maine, the 23rd State.

Nickname: Pine Tree State
Origin of state's name: Assumed to be a reference to the state region being
a mainland, different from its many surrounding islands
Capital City: Augusta
Admission to Statehood: March 15, 1820
Area: 35387 sq.mi
Bird: Chickadee
Flower: White pine cone and tassel
Tree: Eastern White pine



The folklore of Maine is as rugged and varied as its landscape. Ghosts and spooks abound! A Watcher haunts the Isles of Shoals, waiting for the return of her pirate lover; Old Trickey the Sandman binds and hauls sand forever along the beaches of Maine; Old Betty Booker the witch curses a fisherman who won't share his lunch in Kittery; and a kind wizard living near Hallowell helps an eloping couple escape from their pursuers. (You can read the longer version of their stories in Spooky New England by S.E. Schlosser.) Another spooky Maine story deals with the infamous Colonel Buck and his monument, in which a wicked deed haunts the good colonel's name even after he is deceased.

Maine tall tales are always good for a laugh! If you though England had it bad, you should check out a Maine Fog sometime. Or stop by and sample a Gollywhopper's egg. There's nothing like them anywhere else in the world (or at least, that's what our Yankee Peddler friend told the gullible housewives in this version of the tale, retold by S.E. Schlosser!) But my favorite Maine folktale is the story of The Fisherman and the Bear! Can you guess which is the better fisherman?


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© S.E. Schlosser 1997 - 2005.

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