VITG Story Swap at the Home of Starr Kopper, January 6, 2018

In spite of frigid temperatures, eleven of us, plus Daisy the dog, gathered on Saturday, January 6, 2018, to start the New Year right: listening to and telling tales at the cozy home of Starr Kopper in Washington D.C.

Jane Dorfman began the telling with an all-time favorite, Skeleton Woman. Jane said it is “supposed” to be a Native American tale, but she is dubious and couldn’t recall her original source.



Cricket Parmalee followed with A Christmas Miracle, a personal tale about a time two “knights” arrived in a white pick-up truck to help her extricate her toddler, dressed in a puffy snowsuit and stuck in a baby swing at a cold, cold park.

Tim Livengood, who loves to adapt traditional folktales, gave us his rendition of How the Stars Fell Into the Sky. He also told us a personal tale about Efficiency in a VW Beetle. The latter included driving over a snow-covered field, mounting a snow-covered 8’ wall in said VW, and surviving the landing, all in the name of efficiency.


One good car tale requires another, and Starr shared her experience of being a new driver and backing her car into a ditch, in spite of, or perhaps because of, her mother’s remonstrances not to back into the ditch. It cost $25 to tow out the car, but that was a few years ago and $25 was worth more than it is today.

Then Starr told us 1 ½ more stories:  The “half story” was from Three Apples Fell From Heaven by Virginia A Tashjian, and was about a horsefly who tasted many animals to tell his lord, the 7-Headed Dragon, which one tasted best. The “whole story” was The Monster Who Grew Small from Eileen Colwell’s Storyteller’s Choice. The latter is a tale about courage: doing the required task even when one feels afraid.

I (eve burton) wrapped up the storytelling with the tale of Red Shield and Running Wolf, as told by the Crow, from Dee Brown’s Folktales of the Native American Retold for Our Time. It is a tale of love across enemy lines.

Stories were followed with gluten-free banana bread, panettone, strawberries, brownies, chocolate-chip cookies and more. We did start the New Year right!


And if you didn’t join us for this swap, we hope to see you soon at another VITG monthly story swap!

Submitted by eve burton