Quests for Fire
Tales from Many Lands
About the Book
It is hard to imagine life without fire. Heat, light, food—where would we be without these essentials? Although we do not rely on fire as much today as in times past, nor have as much direct contact with it, fire was often crucial to survival when the stories in this collection were first told. People often told stories about it: what their lives were like without fire, how they first acquired it and how it changed their lives.
This collection of nine traditional tales, retold by Jon C. Stott, draws from eight different countries. Learn how Maui stole fire twice (New Zealand), how Coyote and his friends captured fire (United States), how Opossum brought fire back to the people (Mexico) and how Vasilisa used the Baba Yaga’s fire (Russia). The main characters of these stories differ in many aspects. Some are well-known heroes, and some are insignificant members of their groups. Some made their quests for fire alone, and some worked with others. Some were brave and unselfish, and some sought personal glory. But all knew that fire was essential for their people.