VITG Monthly Story Swap at the Home of Jennifer Hine in Springfield VA, September 9, 2017

While Hurricane Irma approached Florida on Saturday evening, September 9, 2017, six storytellers and an additional four listeners gathered  at the home of Jennifer Hine in Springfield, VA, to share a variety of folk, fantastic and true tales. I (eve burton) started with  Sredni Vashtar, a scary story by H. H. Munro, otherwise known as Saki.

Miriam Nadel, who is working on the goal of learning a story from every country in the world, shared a very unusual tale from Albania in which there were snakes who had moved into a cathedral and wouldn’t pay their taxes. The story is called The Girl Who Turned Into a Boy and  was from the book Albanian Folktales and Legends by Robert Elsie.

Bill Mayhew followed with Frankie, the tale of how his parents met (maybe).

For a change of pace, Fred shared a personal tale about meeting an Italian World War II hero while on military exercises on Malta.

Inspired by Fred’s tale, Bill Mayhew told a joke about 3 generals, an admiral, and courage.

Jennifer Hine told Martina the Beautiful Cockroach. This is a tale that appears in many versions. Jennifer told it from Senior Cat’s Romance and Other Favorite Stories from Latin America by Lucia M Gonzalez.

Tim Livengood closed the storytelling with tales from Rocket Science Preschool.

Storytelling was followed by an excellent array of cookies, bars, brownies, banana bread, and other treats, and of course, enjoyable conversation. Thanks to all who came and shared treats and tales and, especially, to Jennifer for hosting.

submitted by eve burton

VITG Monthly Story Swap at the Home of Eve Burton and Roger Metcalf, August 19, 2017

On August 19, 2017, six tellers and an additional eight listeners enjoyed an evening filled with stories about students, apprentices, surgeons and chaos in the universe.

Linda McGivern began the telling with two apprentice-tales: The Tailor’s Apprentice, from an unnamed book of English fairy tales; and The Wizard and his Apprentices heard at a fireside telling by Shay Thomas.

Jane Dorfman followed with a story from The Wonder Clock by Thomas Pyle, The Very Clever Student and the Wizard of the Dark Arts.

Changing the pace of the evening, Bill Mayhew treated us to a shaggy dog story, defined as a long, wandering tale that goes nowhere. I’ll call it The Bakery in the Desert, and it went nowhere, left us all hanging on a hill, waiting for the flood.

Cricket Parmalee told The Three Army Surgeons by the Brothers Grimm. As she explained, it was one of the Grimms’ tales rarely-if-ever, now, told to children.

At this point, I, eve burton, felt compelled to tell my tale, How the Stars Fell Into the Sky, a Navajo folktale that I adapted from the book of that title by Jerrie Oughten. It explains why nothing in the world makes sense.

Don Schumann was persuaded to give a Little Albert recitation. He told Albert’s Return,  also called Albert Comes Back, by Marriott Edgar, and is the sequel to Albert and the Lion which Don told at a previous swap.

Rather than quit storytelling before such an excellent audience, Cricket told a second “Doctor Story”, Dohaku’s Head, in which a Samurai of the old school is treated by a Doctor of the old school. I’m not sure if she learned it from Kimmel’s book Sword of the Samurai, but I know the tale is in that book.

As it was my birthday, my wonderful son Jonathan, known to many for his tellings of The Jabberwocky, The Yarn of the Nancy Bell, and Birds of America, baked a cheesecake and decorated the top with blueberries from our garden. I was treated to both the traditional Happy Birthday song and the Viking Birthday Song.

Then we enjoyed birthday cake, another cake, cookies, a variety of nuts & trail mix, grapes and clementines, and a delightful raspberry-poppyseed roll baked by our two other equally wonderful sons, Justin & Jules, at the home of their equally wonderful sister Jesse and her husband Zach. It was a tasty evening!

submitted by eve burton

VITG Monthly Story Swap at the Home of Margaret Chatham, July 29, 2017

Present: me (Margaret Chatham), Bill, Anne, Cricket, Jane, Tim, Marc with his 6-year-old granddaughter Greer.

Bill did a bunch of jokes, including “Bye, Mom”  a “true” experience at a grocery store, ending with him pulling on the old woman’s leg, just as he was pulling ours.

Anne told the story she intended to tell for Sunday school the next morning: midrash on lead-up to Noah’s arc from Does God Have a Big Toe?

I (Margaret Chatham) did the poem “The Muddy Puddle” by Dennis Lee; and Go to Bed, Gecko by Margaret Read MacDonald, learned for the Arlington Firefly Festival. (But our fireflies were done and gone. Oh, well.)

Cricket told “Two Skyscrapers Who Decided to Have a Child” from The Rootabaga Stories of Carl Sandburg

Tim told his own story about jack who wandered right out of his own geological epoch into the time of dinosaurs, to visit the home of the Three Ceratosaurs.

Marc told “The Camel Husband” from a collection of stories from Palestine in the 1920’s.

And, Margaret adds (the next day): Darn — how did I leave out Bill’s telling of Little Monkey by Frank Asch?

submitted by Margaret Chatham

VITG at The Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park

Way back in the beginning of June – June 3d and 4th –  storytellers from the D.C. Metro Area entertained audiences at the 37th Annual Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park. There was storytelling all day, both days in the Puppet Theater  and also on the Yurt Village Stage. Tellers included: Janice Curtis Green, Diane Macklin, Ming Diaz, Anne Sheldon, Arianna Ross, MyLinda Butterworth, Laura J. Bobrow, Michael Fleming, Chelise Fox, Tom Livengood, Jane Dorfman, Barbara Effron, Lauren Martino, Candace Wolf, Baba Jamal Koram, Gary Lloyd, Jennifer Hine, Marc Young, The Twinbrook Tellers, Miriam Nadel, Margaret Chatham, and Elsa Sellmeyer.

The Twinbrook Tellers

The Twinbrook Tellers








The Twinbrook Tellers

Eve Burton

Miriam Nadel

Margaret Chatham


Elsa Sellmeyer




Elsa Sellmeyer










If you don’t see a picture of your favorite teller from this event, it’s because I didn’t have a photo to include. Feel free to send us pictures from this event or information and photos about other storytelling events. We love to post them on our website!


VITG Monthly Story Swap at the Home of Jane Dorfman, June 10, 2017

On Saturday, June 10, 2017, five storytellers, one guitar player, and an additional three listeners enjoyed an evening of tales about brides, marriages, and a couple other things as well.

I, eve burton, started  with a long tale, The Silent Princess from the book Apples from Heaven by Naomi Baltuck. In it, the groom is “punished” by falling in love with the silent princess. There are three additional stories nested in the tale.

Zoe Sagalow, a former Twinbrook Teller, whom we have not heard telling tales at VITG swaps for quite some time, as she has been off at college growing up, told The Cheese Bride, a European folktale filled with good advice about listening to one’s mother and choosing a wife.

Keeping with the theme of choosing a bride, and not just any bride, but, in this case, the bride God intended the man to marry, Jane Dorfman told a Jewish folktale, The Stone Before the Door.

Our newest storyteller, Fred, shared with us the true tale of his daughter’s marriage to Owen, who now, when everyone else in the family gets the same thing for Christmas, gets whatever he wants!

Returning to folktales, Anne Sheldon told an old favorite, Tibbs Cat and the Apple Tree Man possibly from  Folktales of England by Katharine M. Briggs and Ruth L. Tongue

And for something a little different, Justin Metcalf-Burton, another Twinbrook Teller who has been off in the world for several years – at college in Indianapolis, IN, and dancing professionally in Little Rock, AR-  played guitar and sang a ballad he composed about his four years living in Arkansas.

Storytelling was followed by so many good things to eat that we never even got to open the package of chocolate-chip cookies! We had homemade brownies, custard fruit pie, nuts, popcorn, mango juice, herb tea and more!

Thank you, Jane, storytellers and listeners for a lovely evening!

submitted by eve burton


Tim Livengood at the 44th MD Sheep & Wool Festival

Tim Livengood was the host for storytelling at the 44th MD Sheep & Wool Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds, May 5th and 6th, 2017. There are empty chairs in these photos, but I’m not sure how that can be. Most of the time, every chair was filled, and there were people standing in the back. Everyone enjoyed the stories.

submitted by eve burton

Twinbrook Tellers at the Gaithersburg Book Festival

Eve Burton and The Twinbrook Tellers performed at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, Saturday, May 20, 2017. 

Their fearless leader, eve burton, (that’s me – or “I” if you’re fussy) began the telling with an Arabic folktale, The Three Liars and the Brass Farthing from the book The Fairy Tale Tree.

Eve was followed by Evelyn who told the story  In a Village by the Sea, from the book of that title by  Muon Van  and  The Moon Was but a Chin of Gold by Emily Dickinson.


Rishi made his debut with our group, telling  The Story of the King of Bright Moonlight.
He seemed as comfortable onstage as if he’d been doing it for years. Congratulations, Rishi!

Eve closed the set with a story for the parents, The Scholar of Bagdad, an approximation of the story as told in Apples from Heaven: Multicultural Folktales about Stories and Storytelling, by Naomi Baltuck.

Submitted by eve burton