A cold winter night provided a perfect opportunity to tell and hear stories at the first 2016 gathering of the Do Tell Story Swap. Imagination, fun, and life lessons all had their places in the stories told.
Brandon started off with the sobering tale, “Once in a Blue Moon” about the tragedy of the impact from atom bomb tests upon the Bikini Islanders. It is a lesson not to be forgotten and stories are meant to help us remember.
Katy, having just visited family in England, reminded us of old traditions and superstitions. Apparently, burying a St. Joseph statue upside down on a property will help the owner sell it quickly. Katy’s brother’s family carried on this tradition with great humor as they sought to sell their farm.
Clare’s story started out rather puzzling. But as she unfolded the tale, listeners discerned that she was doggedly describing her alter ego/transformation into her beloved canine, Leticia, who was peacefully napping at her feet.
Epics from foreign lands and distant times past are always welcome at the Swap. Rosemary’s Finnish tale about Vainamoinen, a wizard, evoked the snowy far north and the magical land of giants and songs of power.
Cal’s style of speaking in the voice of the character makes his stories come alive. In this, The Return, Cal’s character dialogs with others as he returns a gift he does not like. The twist is that, after all the effort to return the gift, his own son happens to buy it for himself!
Newcomer Laurie took us back to a 1960’s winter in Illinois, where she worked with lab rats. Her open mind allowed her to enjoy socializing them. She even thought one special rat seemed to talk to her. Laurie’s ukulele ending was fun and upbeat.
Another first timer to the Swap, Corina brought a folk tale from Colombia that expressed the mystery of life along the rivers and the alligators that inhabit them. A common thread of folktales is transformation when a child is stolen by a mythical creature, only to become a mythical creature too.
Nicoline’s folktale featured a hummingbird hero and animals working in teamwork to quench a forest fire. Something to take to heart.
The “other” Laurie celebrated her third year of Swap telling with a true account, “The Penny Picker Upper”. In the bank one day, she found herself pondering…were she to pick up a penny she found on the floor of the bank, would that make her a bank robber? Muse on that.
Elaine treated us to two stories at evening’s end. One was a favorite “tall tale” about her adventures growing up and living in the backwoods of Virginia. Self sufficient, she describes how she brings home a feast with only one bullet.
Meg requested a story she heard Elaine tell at the 2015 Sierra Storytelling Festival. Elaine told how she didn’t like school and, being a military brat, ended up in a parochial school in England. There she got to wear a uniform! But she also had to deal with nuns. The story revolves around a life’s lesson about truth telling and its consequences.
Come spark your imagination by listening to stories, and/or tell one of your own at our monthly Do Tell Story Swaps! Our next gathering will be on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. We would love to hear your story. Any tale, tall or true, is welcome. Feel free to post a comment here so that our storytelling community stays connected on-line as well as at our Swaps.