Motifs for "Trick": 365

X Code Original Cultures
 A177.1 God as dupe or trickster Ireland
 A182. Angel speaks to Patrick from bush that merely seems to burn Ireland
 A521 Culture hero as dupe or trickster African, North American, Celtic, Chiriguano, Hawaii, Ireland, New Hebrides, Peru
 A1028.1 Trickster sticks spear in ground and leads water to sea, ending deluge Chaco
 A1071.1 Underground monster fettered by trick Lithuanian
 A1415.3 Theft of fire--trick exchange
 A1599.16 Origin of allusive expression for the story of gods‘ incest and trickery Marquesas
 A2284.4 Elephant tricked into eating own testicles Rhodesia
 A2731.1 Trickster’s burnt flesh becomes gum on trees N. A. Indian
 D830 Magic object acquired by trickery Buddhist, Iceland
 D831 Magic object acquired by trick exchange India, Indonesia
 D833 Magic object acquired by tricking giant
 D834 Magic object acquired by tricking devil
 D835 Magic object acquired through trickery: child forced to cry till object is given Iceland
 D839 Magic object acquired by trickery--miscellaneous
 D839.1 Magic root acquired by tricking mother bird into searching for it in order to disentangle her young India
 D839.2 Fairy dun acquired by tricking owner Ireland
 D1313.4 Blinded trickster directed by trees N. A. Indian
 D2034 Crying induced by magic as trick to force child’s mother Iceland
 D2089.3 Animals magically stricken dead Ireland
 E464 Revenant tricked or jeered into a bottle, corked up and put in safe place England
 E692.3 Tricky potter reborn as crab India
 F369.4 Fairy tricks mortal Ireland
 F601.4.1 Extraordinary companion hides behind hero to trick enemy Chiriguano
 F981.3 Animals killed by trickster‘s breaking wind Koryak
 G303. Devil by trick conjures vision to make idolators of believers Jewish
 G519 Ogre killed through other tricks
 G519.1 Ogre’s wife killed through other tricks
 G519.1.4 Ogress tricked into falling into boiling spring Maori
 G519.5 Giant ogre tricked into running round a tree the branches of which catch the strokes of his iron bar, until he falls down dead Iceland
 G561 Ogre tricked into carrying his prisoners home in bag on his own back Congo
 G572 Ogre overawed by trick India
 H573 Answer to riddle found by trickery
 H573.2 Problem of why certain person cannot sleep solved by trickery Ireland
 H962.1 Task: sitting on eggs without breaking them; hero perceives trick Ireland
 H1182.2 King asks favorite minister to show him a trick that he has never seen before India
 J217.0.1.1 Trickster overhears man praying for death to take him; the trickster appears at man‘s house, usually in disguise, says he is God (or the devil) U.S.
 J652.4.2 Don’t play tricks on Gascons
 J1111.2 Illegitimate daughter of trickster inherits father‘s ability to dupe others
 J1117 Animal as trickster N. A. Indian
 J1117.1 Jackal as trickster India
 J1117.2 Coyote as trickster N. A. Indian
 J1141.12 Guilty man freed of murder charge is tricked into making a false accusation for which he is sentenced Cheremis
 J1141.15 The thief is tricked into revealing himself in church England
 J1141.16 The thief is tricked into betraying himself in supposed ordeal Canada, England, U.S.
 J1241.1 Dividing two sheep and a ram: trickster to divide with two friends
 J1282 Trickster chooses his gift
 J1492 Trickster artist hoodwinks king: cuckold‘s eyes cannot see picture Spanish
 J1511.13 Oisin‘s poor diet in Patrick’s house--pancake size of ivy leaf, measure of butter only size of rowan berry Ireland
 J1564.1 Trickster‘s interrupted feast revenged
 J1662 The cat’s only trick Angola, India, Rumanian
 J1795.1 Foolish demon sees his reflection in trickster’s mirror and is convinced he has been captured India
 J1883 Trickster joins bulrushes in a dance N. A. Indian
 J2131.5.1 Trickster puts on buffalo skull: gets head caught N. A. Indian
 J2134.1 Trickster eats scratch-berries N. A. Indian
 J2134.2 Trickster eats medicines that physic him California Indian, N. A. Indian
 J2136.2 Trickster gets caught on a fishhook N. A. Indian
 J2136.4 Trickster pinched by shellfish (crab) India, Indonesia, Japanese, West Indies
 J2173.1 Sleeping trickster‘s feast stolen N. A. Indian
 J2173.7 Trickster travels while fish cook: they burn up California Indian
 J2186 Trickster’s false creations fail him N. A. Indian
 J2347 Occupational tricks on new employees U.S.
 J2415.6 Pig sees goat return decked with ornaments and plenty of food; goes out and imitates trick played by goat but is beaten instead India
 J2751 Trickster’s greed while hunting causes him to be deserted Jamaica
 K11.5 Race won by deception: sham-sick trickster N. A. Indian
 K16.2 Diving match: trickster eats food while dupe is under water Angola, Carolina, Georgia, Jamaica, Kaffir, South Carolina
 K18.1 Throwing contest: trickster shouts U.S.
 K18.1.1 Throwing contest: trickster addresses Angel Gabriel Penobscot
 K18.1.2 Throwing contest: trickster addresses Angel Gabriel or St U.S.
 K42.2 Mowing contest won by trickery Danish
 K69.1 Contest with magician in bringing grain out of closed bamboo: trickster brings culm-borers to make holes India
 K126 Trickster, as watchman, exchanges worthless bag for bag of gold at night India
 K134.3 Trickster grooms master‘s old mule and then sells him back without detection at huge profit
 K134.4 Trickster in disguise regains possession of his own horse by trading with man whom he has duped once before
 K134.8 Trickster temporarily lames valuable horse and buys him for trifle India
 K149.1 Trick exchange: basket of stones for one of bread; a few pieces of money shown through slit in basket-cover to dupe India
 K154 Trickster feigns ability to influence the sun; sells services India
 K158 Trickster persuades dupe to sacrifice animal and give it to him as payment for supposed services Chinese
 K196 Selling by trickery: literal bargain
 K196.3 Trickster lends bamboo on condition that it is returned exactly as it is India
 K231.6.2 Trickster gets strong drink by trickery in returning goods
 K231.6.2.1 Trickster returns a bottle of water instead of the bottle of rum he has just purchased U.S.
 K231.6.2.2 Trickster fills his gallon jug half full of water, then has it filled with rum at the store U.S.
 K231.15 Trickster cheats by pretending deafness African
 K233 Trickster escapes without paying India
 K234 Trickster summons all creditors at once, precipitates fight, and escapes payment Jamaica
 K237 Trickster disguises himself and escapes notice of creditors
 K251.2 Trickster demands return of food guest has just eaten: gets damages India
 K254.2 Trickster eats sacrifice offerings India
 K1867 Trickster shams death and eats grave offerings
 K258.1 Trickster steals farmer’s cow and then sells her to the farmer
 K282 Trickster sells what is not his to sell
 K283 Trickster persuades girl to reveal hidden gold by promising to make it into ornaments India
 K314 Trickster feigns being pursued by drunken husband to obtain entrance Italian
 K331.2.2 Guards fatigued by trickster so that they sleep while goods are stolen Kaffir
 K331.5 Trickster steals magic doll while owner is asleep Italian
 K335.0.3 Trickster quarrels with owner of goods, feigns death, and frightens owner away Jamaica
 K335.0.4.1 Dupe, made to believe that trickster becomes a wolf when he yawns three times, flees and leaves his clothes behind him Italian
 K335.0.6 Owner frightened from goods by trickster’s ferocious animal Rhodesia
 K335.0.10 Trickster lights torches and bluffs old woman into giving him money India
 K335.0.13 Owner frightened from goods by trickster’s summons of wild buffalo herd India
 K336 House filled with smoke so that owner gives trickster lodging
 K336.2 Trickster fills house with smoke so that partner cannot see to eat Cameroon
 K341.1 Trickster reports lost money; searchers leave him in possession of premises Italian
 K341.8.1 Trickster pretends to ride home for tools to perform tricks Estonian, Lithuanian, Rumanian
 K341.10 Trickster bribes guards to start a fight Spanish
 K341.12 Trickster falsely announces marriage celebration and distracts owner’s attention Kaffir
 K341.17 Trickster entices children to dance and steals their food India
 K341.18 Helpful animal amuses princess with tricks and secures key to treasury Nub, Swahili
 K341.19 Trickster poses as entertainer: steals meat while host assembles friends Cameroon
 K341.27 Trickster starts argument and steals from arguers India, Lithuanian
 K344.1 Trickster gives a woman a knife to cut him a slice of white bread
 K344.1.3 Trickster cuts up partridges with his knife Spanish
 K344.1.4 Trickster puts filth in food India
 K345.2 Thief sent into well by trickster India
 K348 Trickster causes owner and another to fight over goods West Indies
 K351 Trickster permitted to try on clothes
 K351.1 Trickster persuades tailor to leave his goods Italian
 K351.3 Trickster permitted to try on ornaments Cook Group
 K354 Trickster asks hospitality: expels owner and appropriates house
 K355 Trickster pollutes house so that he is left in possession Bahama, Georgia, West Indies
 K355.1 Trickster pretends to have spit in wine accidentally Korea
 K356 Tricksters feign death of their father Italian
 K359.3 Trickster dupes woman into putting him into basket India
 K361.2 Tricksters eat up food given them for bear India
 K366 Theft by trickster‘s trained animal
 K371 Trickster hides in food and eats it India, Indonesia, Thonga
 K371.1 Trickster throws fish off the wagon Bahama, Carolina, Georgia, Hottentot, Japanese, Lappish, South Carolina, Virginia, N. A. Indian
 K372.1 Trickster eats food left by tiger (his trapping partner) at snare India
 K374 Trickster pretends to teach dance: flees with valuables Hawaii
 K439.3 Thief tricked into robbing himself Italian
 K441.4 Trickster collects from both husband and wife Scotland
 K443.5 Trickster entices wolves out of a stable by music: exacts money from their watcher for his carelessness
 K443.6 Trickster exacts promise of marriage as price of silence after having seen a princess naked
 K443.6.1 Trickster exacts beautiful wife from curious people Cheremis
 K443.6.2 Trickster exacts money as price of silence after lying with princess (queen) India
 K451 Unjust umpire as trickster’s confederate Iceland
 K451.4 Trickster’s confederate gives fabulous appraisal to worthless piece of glass Italian
 K455.1 Supper won by trick: the mutual friend
 K455.4.1 Trickster buys chickens telling owner that priest will pay Italian
 K455.10 Trickster receives huge sum on trifling credit by chain of borrowings India
 K461 Trickster takes goods given in charity to his family Kaffir
 K474 Trickster cheats rescuers into digging his well
 K476.1.1 Rock substituted for ham by trickster
 K476.6 Lean geese substituted for fat by trickster
 K477 Attention secured by trickery
 K482.2 Trickster reports treasure‘s owner dead: receives it from children India
 K484.1 Trickster gets money from a bank by raising an alarm and demanding “what is owing to him
 K491 Trickster paid to educate an ass India
 K491.1 Trickster paid to teach monkey to talk India
 K495 Trickster shams sickness so that partner does all the work India
 K499.1 Trickster sells mother’s wine to merchant without asking her permission
 K499.4 Trickster breaks cat of taste for milk by overheating its milk India
 K499.8 Trickster dupes rival by exchanging beds: receives his food Wute
 K522.7 Sham murder: trickster attacked by angry mother causes her to spear ox guts and believe she has murdered him India
 K547.14 Trickster claims to be holding up sky Wute
 K551.22.2 God grants man twenty years more of life provided he plays no tricks India
 K562.1 Captive trickster persuades captor to pray before eating Hottentot, Nama
 K606.0.3 Trickster, pretending not to see attacking enemy, sings song of friendship India
 K619.3 Trickster persuades pursuers to play fatal deceptive game Ireland
 K624 Abductors tricked into running race while captive escapes India
 K648 Bird’s call attracts attention of pursuer so that trickster escapes India
 K649.12 Confederate persuades captor to throw away disguised trickster West Indies
 K676 Trickster persuades pursuers to ride in his basket Tonga
 K711.2 Leopard persuaded to enter bag in order to see trickster perform marvel India
 K714.1 Victim tricked into prison and kept there Ireland, Thonga
 K714.1.1 Trickster persuades policeman to take his place in the stocks India
 K714.2 Victim tricked into entering box Carolina, French, Georgia, India, Indonesia, North Carolina, Virginia
 K714.2.1 Victim tricked into jumping in a box by making him think he is going to heaven Cheremis
 K714.3 Dupe tricked into entering hollow tree Georgia, India, West Indies
 K714.4 Victim tricked into entering basket Chinese
 K722 Giant tricked into becoming mouse French, India, Japanese
 K726 Dupe persuaded to ride on trickster‘s back: captured Buddhist
 K735.5 Dupe tricked into well: left there India
 K771 Unicorn tricked into running horn into tree French, Georgia, N. A. Indian
 K773 Deception by having victim pick trickster‘s teeth Verde Is.
 K810 Fatal deception into trickster’s power
 K811.0.1 Animal enticed into palace after it had long fed out of trickster‘s hand Buddhist
 K813.2 Hare tricks civet cat into being eaten by lion Dzalamo
 K814 Overcurious dupe enters trickster’s basket and is killed Angola
 K815 Victim lured by kind words approaches trickster and is killed Basuto, India, Kaffir, Spanish, West Indies
 K815.14 Fish tricked by crane into letting selves be carried from one pond to another India
 K815.19 Victim told to stand ready by tree to catch bee nest as it falls; trickster throws club at him instead Toba
 K818.1 Man killed with sword, which he himself is tricked into passing to captured enemy Iceland
 K827.3 Dupe persuaded to sing (dance) on trickster‘s body Bahama, Georgia
 K828 Bloodthirsty animal by trickery admitted to fold: kills peaceful animal India
 K831.1.1 Trickster sends dupe to well for drink of water; pushes him in India
 K833 Man lured into aiding trickster who has feigned an accident or needs help Italian, Toba, Tuamotu
 K834.1 Dupe tricked into sleeping India
 K839 Fatal deception into trickster’s power--miscellaneous
 K839.6 Supernaturals tricked into (fatal) exposure to daylight Marquesas
 K841 Substitute for execution obtained by trickery India, Spanish, Wachaga
 K841.1 Substitute for execution obtained by trickery India
 K846 Trickster being attacked by ferocious animal persuades dupe to take his place India
 K863.1 Jealous husband tricks blind poet into slaying wife‘s lover with infallible spear Ireland
 K890 Dupe tricked into killing himself French
 K890.1 Poor man deceives rich man, plays tricks on him, causes his death Ireland
 K891 Dupe tricked into jumping to his death
 K891.1 Intruding wolf tricked into jumping down chimney and killing himself
 K891.2 Ape tricked into jumping on to stakes and killing himself Indonesia, Melanesia
 K891.3 Monkey tricked into jumping in water and drowning self India
 K891.4 Dupe tricked into jumping on supposed funeral pyre of beloved India
 K896.1 Beaver and porcupine trick each other N. A. Indian
 K897 Dupe tricked on to slippery road lined with knives Gold Coast
 K898 Dupe tricked into measuring boar whose bristles are poisoned Ireland
 K931.1 Trickster employed to educate baby crocodiles: he eats them instead India
 K932 Trickster pollutes nest and brood of bird N. A. Indian
 K933 Trickster eats all of tiger‘s cubs but one Jamaica
 K941 Trickster’s false report of high prices causes dupe to destroy his property
 K941.1 Cows killed for their hides when large price is reported by trickster India, Indonesia, Japanese
 K941.1.1 Wives killed when large price for his mother‘s (wife’s) corpse is reported by trickster India
 K941.2 Dupe burns house because trickster reports high price paid for ashes India, Indonesia, Spanish
 K945 Woman tricked into giving poison to her husband: thinks it a love-philtre Greek
 K952.3 Animal tricked into seizing hollow log Ireland
 K1013.4 Trickster to give wings to tiger India
 K1013.6 Trick: breaking legs for prowess in dancing (or for swiftness) Zuñi
 K1026 Dupe imitates trickster’s thefts and is caught Japanese, Nigeria
 K1036 Trickster pretends to give dupe magic power to produce food Chinese
 K1068 Trickster teaches a dupe a strange language
 K1074 Dupe tricked into sitting on hot iron India
 K1076 Dupe tricked into breaking tabu by lying Ireland
 K1077 Men tricked into bathing in ”disease-water“ India
 K1084.1 Trickster tells lies to fishes and causes them to fight N. A. Indian
 K1084.3 Trickster attempts to bring friends to fight Ireland
 K1171 Dupe tricked in race into falling into a pit
 K1218.1.1 The entrapped suitors: the chaste wife tricks them into casks India, Italian
 K1218.1.3 The entrapped suitor: tricked into room where he is left to himself India, Italian
 K1218.9 Obscene tricks are played on repugnant simpleton who wishes to marry Italian
 K1222 Woman tricks importunate lover with the head of a pike Cheremis
 K1235 King tricked into sleeping with hag Ireland
 K1241 Trickster rides dupe horseback African, North American, Angola, Carolina, French, Georgia, India, Jamaica, Louisiana, Nigeria, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Indies, Yoruba
 K1241.1 Trickster rides dupe a-courting Mbundu, Nupe, Nyanja, Xosa, Yoruba
 K1252.1 Dupe persuaded to fight with alleged gold-dropping bear: trickster meantime steals his clothes India
 K1288 King induced to kiss horse’s rump: trickster then threatens to tell Russian, Spanish
 K1292 Hostile brother-in-law made king’s inferior by being tricked to hold his sword, while the king arranges his breeches belt Iceland
 K1311.0.2 Trickster kills husband and puts on his skin so as to seduce wife Toba
 K1315.6.1 Tricksters persuade women that they must share their marital intimacies with them Italian
 K1318 Trickster shifts married couples in bed
 K1330 Girl tricked into man’s room (or power)
 K1339 Girl tricked into man’s room (power)-- miscellaneous
 K1339.5 Girl tricked by use of drugs Italian
 K1339.7 Trickster agrees to carry old woman and girl across stream: carries girl across and rides off with her leaving old woman on other side India
 K1339.8 Leak in roof over woman‘s bed: in rain must go to bed with trickster Tenibé, N. A. Indian
 K1340 Entrance into girl’s (man‘s) room (bed) by trick
 K1349.1.3 Trickster gains access to woman‘s room disguised as peddler India, Italian
 K1349.2 Trickster gains access to woman‘s room by pretending he has news of her absent lover Italian
 K1349.9 Trickster pretends to seek lost ball by woman‘s bed: seduces her California Indian
 K1350 Woman persuaded (or wooed) by trick
 K1353.1 Trickster offers food for woman‘s favors which will completely satisfy him India
 K1354.1.1 Trickster masking as girl‘s father advises intercourse with trickster India
 K1354.2.1 Trickster asks husband for one thing and the wife for another Italian
 K1354.2.2 Trickster friar seduces woman under pretence of administering forgotten sacrament Italian
 K1354.3.2 Trickster masking as bridegroom tells bride that he comes at her mother’s request Italian
 K1371.2 Father tricked into giving away disguised daughter in marriage Scotland
 K1372 Woman engaged to marry by trick Iceland
 K1372.1 Princess tricked into engaging herself to suitor rejected by her father Iceland
 K1377 Incestuous marriage arranged by trick India, N. A. Indian
 K1382 Trickster pretends lameness and is taken on woman’s back: violates her Indonesia, Yoruba, N. A. Indian
 K1383 Trickster throws corpse into river and accuses princess of murder: marriage to avoid scandal Norwegian
 K1386 Man won over by woman’s obscene trick Italian
 K1387 Lecherous trickster seduces women from tree and loses them N. A. Indian
 K1388 Trickster sends letter ordering bearer detained and meanwhile steals bearer‘s wife Spanish
 K1392 Trickster and girls play obscene tricks on one another N. A. Indian
 K1398 The trickster with painted member Lithuanian, Livonian
 K1399.3 Seduction: trickster shows girl how to store up warmth for winter Cheremis
 K1431 Trickster saws legs of table so that it collapses
 K1432 Fixing fences: trickster cuts fence down India
 K1433 Twisting twine: trickster cuts it India
 K1446 To drive cattle to jungle: trickster kills a bull every day India
 K1447 Tying the cattle: trickster ties them so tightly they are strangled India
 K1456 Trickster exchanges master‘s tame horse for vicious bullock India
 K1464 Trickster deceives dupe into killing his own children Chinese
 K1554.1 Trickster sets fire to barrel of tow in which paramour is hidden England, U.S.
 K1567 Husband tricks wife into riding a mule which has been denied water Italian
 K1570 Trickster outwits adulteress and paramour
 K1571 Trickster discovers adultery: food goes to husband instead of paramour India, Lithuanian, Rumanian, Russian
 K1571.0.1 Trickster discovers adultery: gets food prepared for paramour India
 K1571.1 Trickster as sham magician makes adulteress produce hidden food for her husband Japanese
 K1572 Trickster makes woman believe that her husband is coming to punish her adultery
 K1573 Trickster sends his master running after the paramour
 K1574 Trickster as sham magician buys chest containing hidden paramour India
 K1574.2 Trickster discovers woman‘s paramour and hides him in outhouse: rewarded by husband India
 K1637 Flattering foreman tricked by his master
 K1641 Ambushed trickster killed by intended victim Ekoi, India, Ireland, Jamaica
 K1642 Mole as trickster killed in his own tunnel Angola
 K1664 Trickster eats his own dog U.S.
 K1682 Disguised trickster beaten by man he is trying to frighten Spanish
 K1693 Trickster‘s eggs become an omelet Italian
 K1696 Trickster makes believe he has found a purse (which he had filled with lead) Italian
 K1715.6 Trickster pretends to hunt certain tree with which his ancestors have killed tigers India
 K1715.9 Trickster purports to be deity‘s messenger to procure demon-skins for his drum India
 K1721 Hero proves himself a cannibal by trick vomit-exchange India, Rhodesia, N. A. Indian
 K1746 Trickster threatens to throw weight into a cloud: ogre intimidated Cheremis
 K1766 Trickster‘s boasting scares his powerful opponent from contest India
 K1784.1 Trickster falsely reports impending invasion from his own people India
 K1825.1.3 Trickster masks as doctor and punishes his cheaters
 K1837.5 Wife disguises as a man and outwits landlord of inn when he tries same trick he has played on her husband to get all of his goods, etc India
 K1838.1 Tricksters change man‘s furniture Italian
 K1867 Trickster shams death to get food
 K1867.1 Trickster feigns death and eats the ripe fruit from the tree Hottentot
 K1867.2 Trickster shams death and eats grave offerings N. A. Indian
 K1883.7 Deception: mirror-reflection convinces dupe he is trickster‘s captive India
 K1892.1 Trickster hides in bag in order to be carried Indonesia
 K1892.1.1 Trickster hides in box in order to be carried Western Sudan
 K1892.1.2 Trickster hides in basket and is carried India
 K1942 Impostors tricked into carrying hero in box India
 K1963.3 Master posing as magician plays tricks on his servant Italian
 K1963.5 Trickster impersonates necromancer to seduce latter’s wife Italian
 K1971.1.1 Trickster hides in hollow tree and eats food he has persuaded his wife to bring to feed a bird India
 K1971.10 Trickster concealed in sacred tree advises that he is to marry the princess India, Indonesia, Japanese
 K1971.11 Trickster in tree advises that tree and fruit belong to him Rhodesia
 K1975 Sham miracle: may the grass grow up! Tricksters who have done no mowing say to their master when he angers them, ”May the grass grow up again!“ He finds it is full height
 K1981.1 Trickster feigns deafness and gets hospitality from miser
 K1983 Trickster poses as helper and eats women‘s stored provisions N. A. Indian
 K2033 Trickster makes basket for his partner tiger to carry meat, but does not sever bamboo from roots India
 K2111.4 Adulteress tricks husband into killing allegedly importunate lover
 K2131 Trickster makes two friends each suspicious of the other’s intentions Buddhist, India, Ireland, Wakweli
 K2131.4 Trickster fills supposed treasure box with trash India
 K2151.1 Live man thought to be returning corpse pleads with trickster to save him India
 K2153 Trickster wounds self and accuses others India, Marquesas
 K2213.10 Faithless wife tricks husband into setting lover free Ireland
 K2213.11 Treacherous queen tricks king into bestowing kingdom upon her son Ireland
 K2335 Parson is tricked into giving up his room Italian
 K2366.1 Trickster admits defeat: enemy and friends invited to fort for ceremony and then attacked India
 K2371.1 Heaven entered by a trick India, Jewish, Spanish
 K2371.1.1 Heaven entered by trick: permission to pick up cap Spanish
 K2371.1.2 Heaven entered by trick: demanding back the charity gift
 K2371.1.3 Heaven entered by trick: ”wishing sack“ thrown in
 K2371.1.4 Heaven entered by trick: sitting on Peter‘s chair Spanish
 K2371.1.5 Heaven entered by trick: slipping in along with holy person Spanish
 K2371.1.6 Heaven entered by trick: angel tricked by drink into telling woman how to enter
 K2371.2 Gods tricked into help in escaping one’s fate India
 K2384 Man tricked to be one‘s sworn brother in order to secure his help against his mother Iceland
 M291 Trickster undertakes impossible bargains and collects his part
 M300.1 Prophecy by Jesus that certain people shall live ”till coming of Patrick Ireland
 N465.1 Secret of person’s sleeplessness discovered by trickery Ireland
 Q45.1.2 King refuses to invite Patrick to feast Ireland
 Q222.5.3 Bold woman who danced naked in church is stricken with leprosy
 Q451.3.3.1 Son stricken dumb as punishment for father’s opposition to holy person Ireland
 Q551.6.0.1 Punishment: men stricken with leprosy India
 Q558.1 Scoffing priest mysteriously stricken dead
 Q558.2 Perjurer stricken dead Finnish-Swedish, Iceland, Swedish
 Q558.4 Blasphemer stricken dead England, Ireland
 Q558.7 Slave-driver mysteriously stricken dead Ireland
 Q558.11 Animals which eat of saint’s body stricken dead Ireland
 Q558.14.1 Animals stricken dead for desecration of holy places Ireland
 Q559.2 Punishment: man stricken blind Finnish-Swedish, Iceland, India, Ireland, Jewish, Swedish
 Q583.2 Man stricken dumb for surly speech Ireland
 Q591.1.1 King tests saint by having man feign death; saint perceives trick and causes man to be dead Ireland
 Q595.4.1 Tribute as punishment for trickery Ireland
 S327.3 Half-wit abandoned because of his tricks Kodiak
 S345 Parents trick children into going on hunt, and then abandon them in forest India
 T88 Woman stricken by plague and forsaken by her husband is sought out by unsuccessful lover and dies in his arms Italian
 T92.4.3 In darkness of night trickster instead of her chosen lover elopes with girl Tonga
 T165.5 Three years asked before consummation of marriage as trick Iceland
 T257.10 Trickster sends jealous wife after husband: steals food India
 T411.1.1 Father by trickery secures priest’s advice to marry his own daughter
 U111.1 Many books do not make a scholar: youth tricks mother by carrying many books
 V135.1 Poverty-stricken couple wrap newly-born child in altar-coverings Italian
 V352 Pagan disputant with Christian stricken dumb England
 X613 Trickster breaks up Jewish marriage ceremony and seduces the bride Italian
 X909.2 The liar outdoes the tricksters who try to catch him in a lie U.S.
 X1153 Lie: fish caught by remarkable trick U.S.
 Z47 Series of trick exchanges India
 Z47.1 Series of trick exchanges: razor--pot--bride--drum by tricky fox India

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This website is a search engine of almost 50,000 patterns within stories world over called "Motifs" and several projects fueled by this search engine.

The Motif Collection

The work comes from a folklorist named Stith Thompson who spent his life reading and cataloging these stories which he published as the Motif Index of Folklore and Literature. You can read more about his work here: Wikipedia page for Stith Thompson

The Goal

While we have Mr. Thompson's motifs, we have yet to track down all of the stories he read, which is our ultimate goal. We then will provide the stories for all to read, explore and see the connections and commonalities between these stories which we hope to further understandings between cultures and deeper into ourselves.

The Stories

Of course, since there are a current total of 46,248 motifs, we've estimated there to be as many as 51,822 stories which might take some time to collect.

The Strategy

For now, we are working to build a crowdsourcing application to help us collect, organize these stories along with tagging the motifs within them.

Until then, please use the following FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions about Story Search

What do you use this site for?

We use it to find stories, or to know there are stories worldwide with patterns in them. From there, we've found three common uses:

Writing, Films & Other Creative Story-based Projects
We might write a story with a motif as it's seed, develop more interesting aspects to a character in a story, or help develop hidden symbols within a film. We also frequently get asked for consulting help if you'd like help, please let us know.
Lectures, Professional & other Metaphor Development
Another common request is from people wanting to tell better stories in their work. This might be someone trying to communicate a tricky idea which is in need of a good metaphor. Since we know these "story seeds" have proven themselves to be quite memorable, we try to adapt motifs to fit as a solid and simple metaphor. We've helped Scientists, Lawyers, Medical Organizations, and even those in the Financials Industry to help better convey what they are doing by telling a better story.
Storytelling, Mentoring & Narrative Therapy
And last (usually the most important in the story world) but not least, we do a lot of work with how people can grow and develop parts of who they are and the connection therein through story. So, we might tell research specific stories to tell a child or youth who is working through an issue, such as dealing with anger, attention issues, or life changes by carefully choosing a motif which can help them understand what they're dealing with. (This works well for adults too.)

If you find a new usage for these, please tell us.

What exactly is a Motif?

A Motif is a trait common between two stories. They can be from nearby places, but the interesting ones (we find) are from very different parts of the world. That is to say, two ideas that simultaneously erupted most likely independently. This is because we can then develop a theory about well, pretty much anything.

Let's give you an example of two excerpts from stories so you can spot their motifs.

Sedna - Eskimo

In this mortal peril the father determined to offer Sedna to the birds and flung her overboard. She clung to the edge of the boat with a death grip. The cruel father then took a knife and cut off the first joints of her fingers. Falling into the sea they were transformed into whales, the nails turning into whalebone. Sedna holding on to the boat more tightly, the second finger joints fell under the sharp knife and swam away as seals; when the father cut off the stumps of the fingers they became ground seals.

Handless Maiden - Germany

The devil still could not approach her, he was very angry, and ordered the miller, "Chop off her hands, so I can get to her."
The miller was horrified and answered, "How could I chop off my dear child's hands? No, I will not do it."
"Then do you know what? I will take you, if you don't do it!"
That frightened the miller terribly, and driven by fear he promised to do what the devil had ordered. He went to his daughter and said, "My child, the devil will take me if I don't chop off both your hands, and I have promised him that I will do it. I beg for your forgiveness."
"Father," she said, "do with me what you will," stretched forth her hands, and let him chop them off.


What could we infer about this story? Well, we might use it to interpret a major plot point in another storyline such as Star Wars, Winter's Bone or Game of Thrones.

We might see it as a symbol for the the loss of ability, that is to say, the loss of the ability to do things.

And so, it might be a useful story to tell someone who has issues with motivation, or the lack of the ability to do things.

We'd also be very curious what the relationship between the symbolic "father" is in each of these stories is, including the three newer stories we mentioned.

Where did you get all of the info about Motifs and Stories?

This search engine is a digitized version of the life work comes of a folklorist named Stith Thompson who spent his life reading and cataloging stories which he published as the Motif Index of Folklore and Literature. This book is very hard to come by, as are many of the books Mr. Thompson referenced. We will be collecting the stories (with the help of folks on the internet) to allow everyone to enjoy and educate themselves about this work.

I have a story I'd really like to find. Can you send it to me?

If we can find it, yes, we will definitely try to so you're always welcome to ask. We don't have digital copies of all of the books referenced in the search engine yet, but we currently have more than two thirds of the 800 or so. Feel free to use the contact form, and we will let you know what we can do.

When I be able to read all of the stories online?

That is hard to tell because it is dependent on two things: our helpers and funds.

  Feedback - If you have feedback to offer as far as features you'd like, or requests for stories, this helps us polish the new systems we are putting in place in order to collect all of Stith's stories. Don't hesitate to use our contact form.

  Donate Time - If you would like to donate some of your time to help comb stories, please fill out the form below.

  Donate Funds - Or, you can use the fully tax deductible donation to our 501(c)3 non-profit hosting organization the Center for Symbolic Studies via a form at

Story Search Contact / Signup

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One of three ways:


Give Feedback.


p.s. our contact form helps with these.


We've created a twitter feed for StorySearch, and since it is using his work, we've put the feeds under the name @StithThompson.

Every 15 minutes, a new random motif is tweeted. Below are the 20 most recent tweets:



TEDx - Lower East Side

Here is a talk by the creator of the Story Search, Richard Schwab, did on myth featuring stories about ways we use this site. October 25th 2013.


Story Search Contact / Signup

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