I spent today at a storytelling workshop - you know, those marvelous folks who perform original and folk tales, making spoken word into an art form. The day ended with two of my favorite tales, and I'll share versions of them here.
They speak well to the power of stories told by all tellers - written, spoken, musical, visual.
Once upon a time there was a little bird who loved to fly. The little bird flew and flew and flew, she loved it so. Until one day, her beak fell off.
But she could still fly. So she flew and flew and flew, and loved it so. Until one day, her feet fell off.
But she could still fly. So she flew and flew and flew, and loved it so. Until one day, her wings fell off.
She could no longer fly.
Ah, she said. But I can remember what it felt like to fly, and to love it so. So she did. She remembered and told stories of flying, and loved it so.
We need stories to remember.
Once there was a little girl at school. The teacher said it was time for art; time to make a picture. The little girl asked, what should we draw? And the teacher answered, anything you like.
The little girl drew with such furious concentration that the teacher finally had to ask. What are you drawing?
I am drawing a picture of God, the little girl answered.
But you realize no one truly knows what God looks like, the teacher could not help but blurt.
They will in a few minutes, the little girl said.
We need stories to create.
What stories are you telling?
Elizabeth Fountain writes stories of aliens and angels, humans and cats, and of course dogs who save the world. Find her novels An Alien's Guide to World Domination and You, Jane at www.lizfountain.wordpress.com