When I began writing this column, my much older and wiser brother asked, “What do you do when you don’t have anything to say?”
I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. He is the one that sits in the corner quietly during family holidays. birthdays and other functions throughout the years.
He knows he cannot compete with his four sisters in storytelling. Four against one is not fair but it just seems we have so much more to say.
It’s not often I don’t have anything to say. My husband and children tune me out most of the time but I do come through when needed, like the time we were driving to Las Vegas and I talked for a solid five hours non-stop. I certainly kept Russ awake – there will be no sleeping while driving on my watch.
I am sure my ancestors have scratched drawings onto cave walls as they told stories. You can probably find remnants of something that resembles a leprechaun somewhere amongst the ancient ruins.
The Australian Aborigine people painted symbols from stories on cave walls as a means of helping the storyteller remember the story. I’m thinking I should try this, I need all he help I can get, especially with my short term memory loss (thank you, old age).
Stories have been carved, scratched, painted or inked onto wood or bamboo, ivory and bones, pottery, clay tablets and everything in between. Many stories have been passed down generations and are still being told today.
As a child I read Aesop’s Fables, the tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the brothers Grimm. I read and re-read “The Tortoise and the Hare” even though I knew the tortoise always beat the hare, it didn’t matter, I loved the retelling of the story. I even placed a dry pea under my mattress after reading “The Princess and the Pea” because I was sure I must be a princess too.
At the time I didn’t realize that all these people who made up these stories had at first told them to boys and girls before they were ever written down.
They were storytellers!
Every country and culture around the world has had their favorite, famous storyteller. By telling their stories, they have only enhanced the richness in our lives.
“Sleeping Beauty” is on my ready list several days a week, or whenever my granddaughter Isabella is over. She knows the story and could tell it herself but she enjoys it when grandma tells it best.
“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is also quite popular in our home and Isabella makes sure she lets me know when Grumpy and Doc begin to sound too much alike.
Favorite stories of mine were told by Scheherazade–who was one of the many slaves of a sultan who they say that if he was displeased with anyone, he had their head removed. So in order for Scheherazade to keep the sultan happy, and her head, she told him a story a night for 1001 nights to save her life.
I would like to keep my head too, and I always obey my sultan. So when he asks me nicely to be quiet, give it a rest, I oblige. For a while anyway.