Friday, April 23, 2010

April 27th is Tell Me A Story day in the U.S.
Tell a Story Day celebrates story-telling of all kinds.
It doesn't matter if its fiction or non-fiction, a tall tale, a folk tale or a fairy tale. April 27th is the day to tell any and all types of stories. The stories can be told from a book, from memory or from a blog (hint,hint). It doesn't matter as long as the stories are told.
In Scotland and England, there is a National Tell Me A Story Day which is celebrated October 27th, exactly 6 months after the U.S. holiday.

The Endless Tale...a tale from England (Nottinghamshire)

Once upon a time there was a king who had a very beautiful daughter.
Many princes wished to marry her, but the king said she should marry the one who could tell him an endless tale, and those lovers that could not tell an endless tale should be beheaded.

Many young men came, and tried to tell such a story, but they could not tell it, and were beheaded. But one day a poor man who had heard of what the king had said came to the court and said he would try his luck.

The king agreed, and the poor man began his tale in this way:
"There was once a man who built a barn that covered many acres, and that reached almost to the sky.
He left just one little hole in the top, through which there was only room for one locust to creep in at a time, and then he filled the barn full of corn to the very top.
When he had filled the barn there came a locust through the hole in the top and fetched one grain of corn, and then another locust came and fetched another grain of corn."

And so the poor man went on saying, "Then another locust came and fetched another grain of corn," for a long time, so that in the end the king grew very weary, and said the tale was endless, and told the poor man he might marry his daughter.

The Three Proverbs....a tale from Poland

A rich man was once walking about in his garden. He was cheerful and happy. Suddenly he noticed a small bird that had been captured in a small net. He took hold of it and was more than a little surprised when it began to speak, saying,

"Give me my freedom, dear man! Of what use is it to you to lock me in a cage? Looking at me will not please you, for I do not have beautiful feathers. I cannot entertain you, for I do not sing like other birds. And I cannot provide you with nourishment. I am much too small for that. But I will tell you three wise teachings if you will give my freedom."

The master of the garden looked at the little creature and said,
"If you do not sing then of course you cannot entertain me. Let me hear your wisdom, and if it teaches me anything, I will give you your freedom."

Then the little bird said,
"First: Do not grieve over things that have already happened.
Second: Do not wish for that which is unattainable.
Third: Do not believe in that which cannot be possible."

Then the master of the garden said, "You have indeed taught me something. I will give you your freedom."
Letting the bird fly away, he thought seriously about its words.
Then he heard it laughing quietly. Its voice came from a tree where the bird was sitting.

"Why are you laughing so cheerfully?" shouted the man.

"About my easily won freedom," answered the bird, "and more than that, about the foolishness of humans who believe they are smarter than all other creatures. If you had been smarter, only just as smart as I am, then you would now be the richest man."

"How would that have been possible?" asked the master of the garden.

The bird replied, "If, instead of giving me my freedom, you had kept me, for in my body I have a diamond the size of a hen's egg."

The man stood there as though he were petrified.
After recovering from the surprise, he began to speak, "You think that you are happy because I gave you your freedom. But summer will soon be over and winter with its storms will arrive. The brooks will freeze over, and you will not be able to find a single drop of water to quench your thirst. The fields will be covered with snow, and you will not find anything to eat. But I will give you a warm place where you can freely fly around, and you can have as much water and bread as you want. Come down, and I will show you that you are better off with me than with your freedom."

Thus spoke the master of the garden, but the little bird laughed louder than before, making the man even angrier.

"You are still laughing?" asked the man.

"Of course," replied the bird. "See, you gave me my freedom on account of the teachings that I gave you, and now you are so foolish that you do not take the teachings to heart. I earned my freedom fairly, but you forgot my teachings after only a few minutes. You should not grieve over things that have already happened, but still you are grieving that you gave me my freedom. You should not wish for things that you cannot obtain, and yet you want me, for whom freedom is my whole life, to voluntarily enter a prison. You should not believe that which is impossible, and yet you believe that I am carrying about inside my body a diamond as large as a hen's egg, although I myself am only half the size of a hen's egg."

And with that the bird flew away.

Happy Storytelling!!!


Michael Lockridge said...

I have communicated with scientists who lament that the general public cannot understand science as scientists do. I related that wisdom and knowledge has come to humans through stories for generations untold. It is the form of the story that most touches the human mind and heart.

Thank you for your work.


Kittie Howard said...

Beautiful stories. I love the Eastern European bird motif. Thank you for enriching my days. And, I apologize for not commenting for awhile...I looked and looked and just now saw the comment button. Did it move or am I a duh?