Nine or ten tellers were joined by an additional three or four listeners, depending how you count, at the home of Cricket Parmalee in Silver Spring, MD, for the February Story Swap. Jane Dorfman began the telling with Svetlana and Davit from Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters: Heroines in Folktales from Around the World, edited by Kathleen Ragan.
Next up was Bill Mayhew with a tale of an acorn, a squirrel, a fish, and an explanation of why Bill never lies.
Margaret Chatham followed with The Day the Sun, in Rising, Got Caught in a Tall Tree, a story about the first bat.
Walter told a fisherman tale with frogs, a snake and a shot of Jack Daniels.
Linda McGivern told a charming story about a floating lake from The Golden Hoard: Myths and Legends of the World, by Geraldine McCaugrean and Bee Willey: The Lake Flew Away.
In keeping with the approach of Valentine’s Day, Harold Feld, after reminding us that Jews don’t celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day, told the tale of Nathan the Adulterer, about the faithfulness of Nathan’s wife Rachel, against all odds and a suspicious husband.
Cricket Parmalee shared two tales of romance: Nasruddin’s Search for the Perfect Wife, and Yonjiwa Seeks a Bride: A Folktale from the Congo, retold by Margaret Read MacDonald, found in The Healing Heart – Families: Storytelling to Encourage Caring and Healthy Families, edited by Allison M. Cox and David H. Albert, New Society Publishers, 2003. (And it says it’s reprinted from The Storyteller’s Start-up Book by MRMcD, from August House, 1993.) We all loved that the bride was chosen for being strong and large.
After Bill Mayhew sneaked in a quick telling of The Clothing Merchant, I told one of my favorite romantic tales, Fortune, inspired by the book of that title by Diane Stanley. Fortune includes two romantic couples: farmer’s son and another farmer’s daughter, and prince and princess; as well as a dancing tiger, a wicked enchantress, and a tale-within-the-tale.
Jennifer Hine closed storytelling, but not the evening, with two poems: Sneezles by A.A. Milne, and The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.
Stories were followed by a table laden with goodies: Roger’s home-made peanut brittle, lemon custard pie, Tim’s homemade bagels with cream cheese, fresh bakery bread from Walter, and a plethora of chips, cheese, crackers and cookies. Yummm!
Tim Livengood, who had been too tired to tell a story during the first part of the evening, sustained, no doubt, by all the good things to eat, regaled us with tales of Alcibiades, Nicias and Nicaratus.
submitted by eve burton