“Tell me a story,
Tell me a story,
Tell me a story and then I’ll go to bed.
You promised me,
You said you would,
You better give in,
‘Cause I’ve been good.
Tell me a story and then I’ll go to bed.” – Raffi
I have found that we all tell stories even if some of us do it unconsciously. We have all heard the child who in excruciating detail gives this mother the account of his recent bruise or scrape. How about the mother of a newborn relating the latest development of her little darling. Maybe the guy who has just bought a sweet new ride. Oh yeah, we’ve heard some of those! Is granny giving you the rundown on her recent surgery or maybe it’s couponing bragging rights that have their moment of glory.
Whatever the topic I think we can all say we have been the story teller a time or two in our lives. It’s a human thing- we want to share the details and have our friends in rapt attention for our little moment. It’s also a heritage. Long before the written word oral stories kept traditions and cultures alive. We have a sense of belonging when our stories are listened to and passed on.
My pastor tells stories as he preaches and I love to listen to them. He says that Jesus told stories (parables) and it worked pretty well for Him! I have to agree. I always have fun at church when he is preaching.
I began telling stories to my children whenever we were out without a book and they needed a quiet moment. It’s strange that I never considered it a thing – it was just natural. We are a TV free family and that can pose some challenges on the entertainment front. We cannot pack a library when we travel and when the kids were small no audio book was going to hold their attention. I became the master of voice inflection, turning myself into a crotchety old woman or a chattering blue bird who sang as he flew. We had one infamous story about a dog who blew bubbles out the wrong end. If I can remember it all I will write it down for you. It was highly requested during the early school age years. Another one told the tale of a wayward elderly couple setting off on vacation only to misunderstand their way across America one speed bump at a time. Again, if I could only remember it all!
When I was in grade school a principal of a neighboring school would take a day to tour around the area and tell stories. He was a master! Old Russian folktales of houses with chicken feet sprang to live in my over active little mind. I cannot tell you very much about the man himself. It was as if he became a completely different person as he wove his tale. He disappeared and only the story remained. I remember being in complete awe and not being able to say a word when he got ready to leave our classroom. My little brain couldn’t separate the man from the story and it jarred my senses to realize that it was all just fancy words floating through the air and that this was just a regular guy walking out to his car to go tell another batch of third graders another whopper.
I have made about a million goals for myself this year as I always do but I very much hope to capture a few stories in the near future. I love to tell them and have the words float away but I’d like to nail them down now and then too. How about you? Do you have story waiting to be told?