Thursday, May 21, 2009

Truth and Story have a Contest

Exceptionally, I am posting the text for this story from Jewish tradition that I will record in the coming days. Stay tuned!

Once upon a time, there were two exceedingly beautiful women who lived together in small house at the end of a village. One day, the two women were having a discussion, that became a debate, and then turned into an argument. They could not decide which of the two of them was the most beautiful and which one would be the most accepted by the villagers.

When the argument became too heated, they decided to settle it by having a contest. The contest was that each woman, one at a time, would walk through the village and see which one had the most friends.

Truth was the first to try as she walked out of the house and down the village street. The villagers who were tending to their gardens and chatting to each other along the road noticed Truth walking towards them. Slowly, they began easing back into their houses until there was no one on the road, no one in their gardens, and finally no one in sight. Even the people who were seen in their windows pulled the shutters tight. By the time Truth reached the end of the road, there were very few people left outside.

When Truth reached the end of the road, she realized that she was going to lose this contest. "What can I do to make myself even more attractive?" she wondered. She realized there was only one solution left to her, so she removed her robe until she stood there completely naked.

She turned and walked back to her house thinking that the people would surely flock to her now. But in actual fact, the opposite occurred. What few people that were left outside fled back to their house, closed their shutters, and locked their doors. Truth walked that whole path back to her house completely alone.

When Truth walked back into her house, she was greeted by her friend, Story. Story grasped her hands and asked "So? How did it go?"

"I can't believe it," cried Truth. "There was no one there! Everyone hid themselves away from me!"

So Story said, "Here. Let me try." She put on her finest robes and jewelry and left the house, walking down to the village. As she walked down the village street, the doors and the shutters flew open and the people came out in droves, smiling and chatting with each other happily. As Story walked down the village street, the people streamed behind her. When Story turned and walked back through the village, all the people gathered together in the centre of the village and celebrated her visit.

When she returned to her house, she found Truth sitting there, quite humbled. "You win," she said. "It's obvious to me now that Story is more powerful than Truth."

But Story took Truth's hand and said "It's not that Story is more powerful. It's just that nobody likes the Truth, and especially they don't like the Naked Truth. If you want to get your point across to your listeners, what you need is the mantle of Story."

Story removed her robes and her jewelry, adorned Truth with them, and sent her out into the village. This time, the people opened their doors and windows and flocked towards Truth because now they were open to what she had to say.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Birthday Story: The Hall of Wonders

Today is my birthday: I'm 40 years young today on International Star Wars day. May the 4th be with you!

So to mark this special day, I've decided to post one of my favorite stories. I first heard this tale on The Moonlit Road as told by its author Thomas E. Fuller. I'm very excited to say that I received official permission from the late Mr. Fuller's press agent to retell this story as much as I like as long as I give credit to the author (which I do already).

Serendipitously, the permission letter is dated May 4th 2009. I love it when a plan comes together.

I recorded this story in studio today; when I visited Gerald McShane Elementary school in April, I had told this story as well, but the recording was corrupted slightly. I would rather record a live story with an audience, but this studio recording came out not too badly. Special audio effects were provided by Rikki Lacoste.

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Ghost Story for Children

This story is written and told for a much younger audience than previous stories presented on this storyblog. I first heard this story from Priscilla Howe on one of her storytelling CDs.

Telling to very young children (3 to 6 years) has always been very challenging for me. The stories are simple, repetitive, and very short, which is very different from the stories I tell to adults or older children. I only have three stories I tell to this age group and I have difficulty finding more stories that appeal to my telling style and suits their needs.

But all kids love a good ghost story and this tale is entertaining and not scary at all. I love how the kids get to jump in with this tale and it takes almost no time for them to recognize the pattern.

This is a simple story that you can tell to your kids over and over again. Enjoy!

Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey