Storytellers have delighted their listeners with animal tales throughout the ages. Across the world these stories have entertained and instructed as parables of human nature. The heroes – and villains – of this earliest and most widespread form of the folktale were often mischief-making rogues known as tricksters. The comic nature of the trickster as troublemaker, resourceful champion, and sometime fool is explored in these tales from different cultures.
The trickster has special appeal for children because of his ability to triumph over larger foes not by physical strength but by wit and cunning. In addition, tales of the trickster still speak to us in a gentle, humorous way about the strengths and weaknesses of humankind.