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Storytime: The Opossum’s Tale – A folk tale narrated by Janneke van der Molen

A Native American foltale narrated by Janneke van der Molen

An opossum and her babies in a tree

In this episode of Confetti Park, we hear a traditional folk tale interpreted and narrated by Janneke van der Molen of New Orleans.

Janneke is originally from the Netherlands, but has called New Orleans home for two decades. She has a deep love of the culture of South Louisiana and her adopted city of New Orleans.

Enjoy her interpretation of this strange Native American myth about why opossums have pouches.

Opossums are marsupials— do you know what a marsupial is? It is a kind of animal that carries its babies in a pouch outside its belly, after the babies are born. They continue to grow and eat until they are big enough to travel on their own. Most opossums live in the South Pacific in countries like Australia and New Guinea. Can you name some other animals that are marsupials?

The only marsupials living in the United States are different kinds of opossums.

You will have to listen to this story to learn the reason the opossum has a pouch—that is, according to Native Americans!


The Confetti Park podcast and radio program, hosted by Katy Hobgood Ray, features music and stories that families will love listening to together. We explore songs of Louisiana, the Mississippi Delta and beyond. Sparkling interviews, in-studio performances, delightful music medleys, jokes, local author storytime, and a little surprise lagniappe make for an entertaining show!

Confetti Park is supported by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation and Music Rising at Tulane University.

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