VITG Monthly Story Swap at the Metcalf-Burton Home, August 13, 2016


In spite of a heat advisory that kept us enjoying the air conditioning indoors, instead of telling tales around the fire pit and roasting marshmallows outside, we had a very successful swap. Of the eighteen in attendance, nine told tales and nine came just to enjoy them.

After introductions, Cricket insisted we review everyone’s name, as there were so many of us.

Bill started off with  How I Became a Storyteller, a tale with a banjo and a buffalo.

Lorna asked how people learned to tell stories, how they made up stories, and how they became storytellers, beginning a discussion about the differences between literary tales, folktales, and personal stories. In the conversation Anne pointed out that she, and many others of our group, learn stories from books. Ben said he wanted to learn how to write down his personal experiences. Bill said to remember that “just because it’s interesting to you, doesn’t mean it will be interesting to others”, and urged Ben to be sure to  avoid the mistake made by many beginning enthusiasts of telling stories that only the teller finds of interest.

Margaret continued the telling with Charles and Claudine by Harold Berson, but renamed it Claudine and Charles, as the story is more about her than him.

eve told The Power of Fate from Folk Tales from Simla, Stories from the Himalayas by Alice Elizabeth Dracott which she had recently purchased at the Daedalus book store in Columbia, MD.

Ben, a newcomer to VITG swaps, recounted, from his personal experience of walking across America (literally), What Baby Strollers Mean to Me. It was a tale of interest to all. None of us will ever think about baby strollers in the same way again.

Linda told a Jataka tale from The Golden Hoarde, Why There’s a Rabbit on the Moon, after which Bill proclaimed it to be a more likeable version than the one he told of the same story.

Cricket gave us a passionate Arabian tale, The Story of King Hamed bin Bathara and of the Fearless Girl from Fearless Girls, Wise Women and Beloved Sisters by Kathleen Ragan.

Jane told an old favorite from Cornwall, Lutey and the Mermaid, found in the Time-Life Enchanted World series.

Anne Sheldon shared Old Nance and the Dooinney-oie from Fairy Tales from the Isle of Man by Dora Broome. Her voice was enchanting!

Don Schuirmann, who also spoke in an entertaining accent, closed the telling with a humorous recitation of Marriott Edgar’s story of Albert and the Lion.

It was too hot for anyone to bake fancy treats this day, so we enjoyed lemonade, grapes, watermelon, store-bought cookies, and fudge all the way from Kilwins Chocolate Factory in Traverse MI.

submitted by eve burton