VITG Story Swap at the Home of Miriam Nadel, November 11, 2017

We had a small group but good stories.
Jennifer Hine told “The Mountain of Contentment” from The Crimson Elf by Michael Caduto,  She believes this is his retelling of an Italian folktale.
Margaret Chatham told “The Very Pretty Lady” from The Devil’s Storybook by Natalie Babbitt.
Miriam Nadel told “Tia Miseria,” a Puerto Rican folktale.
Tim Livengood told “Viola di Napoli”by a 17th century author he couldn’t remember the name of.
Rachel Livengood, Tim’s daughter, told a personal story about an encounter with a fox.
submitted by Miriam Nadel

VITG Story Swap at the Home of Marc Young, Oct. 21, 2017

After confusion about whether swap would be held on Saturday, October 14th  or Saturday, October 21, it was held on the 21st at the home of Marc Young in Columbia, MD, location never having been in question.

We started with a short discussion of Saki’s ghost stories, after which Margaret Chatham allowed us to vote between hearing The Open Window (a ghost story) or The Stalled Ox (a humorous tale). Although I tried to vote for hearing both stories, Margaret only treated us to The Stalled Ox by Saki.

Jules Metcalf-Burton obliged his mother (me) and the rest of us by telling most of the opening chapter of James Thurber’s Thirteen Clocks. Later at snack time, he also told a lovely bit about Hagga’s hut from the same book.

Cricket Parmalee recounted a Nisqually tale, The Girl Who Married a Ghost from the book of that title by Laura Simms. Then she sang a song with an Irish tune and words from Pete Seeger, but I don’t think she gave a title for it.

I, eve burton, recited e.e. cummings’ poem that begins Hist whist. . . . After which Cricket told a Pumpkin Story; she and I did the finger play 5 Little Pumpkins; and I sang There’s a Spider on the Floor, inspired by the book of that title by Raffi, but with some of my own words, accompanied by Marc tickling his 6-year old granddaughter on toe, knee, tummy, shoulder and head, as the song required.

Greer did a beautiful reading of My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. (Normally, reading is not allowed at swaps, but as Greer is only 6 years old, we all agreed that, for her, reading was quite acceptable, indeed, delightful.)

Marc Young told a personal tale of his Jewish Wedding which was almost ruined when the orange candles were forgotten at home. Fortunately, it wasn’t ruined, and he and his wife are still married to this day, many years later.

Cricket, who was just full of stories on this evening, shared a wonderful tale about Why We Sing the National Anthem at Sports Events. Apparently, it goes back to a world series game of Sept. 5, 1918, but was not done continuously until after WWII.She also did a lovely recitation of Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, and explained that in a recent poll, the three most-recognized, recorded songs in America were, in order of recognition: The Star Spangled Banner, Happy Birthday, and Take Me Out to the Ball Game. So, led by Cricket, we all sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

Our storytelling was wrapped-up by Greer, reading for us once again, this time Fluffy’s School Bus Adventure by Kate McMullan.

At some point in the telling we had a long discussion about how personal tales overtook folklore at the annual National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough TN.

Storytelling was followed by lovely treats: a smoked trout spread, cheese and crackers; clementines; two apple pies, one from Margaret, the other baked by Jules Metcalfe-Burton; date cake; and chocolate-marshmallow squares. Yummmmmmm!

Thanks to Marc and Greer for hosting a wonderful evening!!!

submitted by eve burton

Twinbrook Tellers at the Montgomery County Harvest Festival, October 7, 2017

What a glorious day for telling tales at the Montgomery County Harvest Festival! The weather was sunny, breezy and warm. There were plenty of people and activities, but it never felt crowded or rushed. And best of all the storytelling was terrific!

The Twinbrook Tellers performed two sets, the first on the “Front Porch” stage, in warmer-than-we-might-have-liked full sun, and the second on the larger, shadier and better-attended “Hay Barracks” stage. At both sets we were preceded by Janice “The Griot” Curtis Greene. Janice, past president and lifetime member of The Griot’s Circle of Maryland, is a wonderful teller. We felt privileged  to enjoy her storytelling, and appreciative that she stayed to hear ours. She, like most professional storytellers, enjoys hearing the upcoming generation of tellers  developing and sharing their storytelling skills.

Our program, emceed by Noah, included:

Lily:The Kitten and the Falling Leaves by William Wordsworth and Isabel by Ogden Nash.

Peter: Calico Pie by Edward Lear

Chrissy:  How to Quarrel, a folk tale from Laos

Evelyn: Fox and Crow, an Aesop’s Fable

John: The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Clare: The Raven by Edgar Alan Po

Noah: American folktale Alfred Bellhop Stormalong

We had to deal with a couple of glitches – unexpectedly switching stages, performing in full sun, having no microphone for the first set, having a “hay play” area right behind our tellers at the second set – but the kids handled the difficulties and distractions like pros. They did us all proud today!!!

submitted by eve burton

October 7, 2017

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

Two Fun Resources from Cricket Parmalee

Just came across these:
and
The wikipedia is how people begin and end stories in maybe 50 languages? (and the translations) – check out the turkish!
The storytell i just printed the openers (10 pp!), all in English, sometimes gives languages…
    Long, long ago, when some folk were already dead and others not yet born, there lived a… (Tartar)
    Now, look see.  I wad’n there then so I could’swear etwas the truth, could I now?  but etwas like this, see…  (England)
    on the other hand –
    It all happened long ago, and believe it or not, it is all absolutely true.   (Traditional Irish opening)
    [One i remembered, as it says, from the B.G. The Frog Prince]  In the olden times when wishing still helped…

Cricket tells about Dohaku’s Head

After the last story swap, Cricket Parmalee shared this with me:
“you may already know this, but – i was sniffing around, wondering when this story [Dohaku’s Head]  is from, and found what maybe the inspiration for eric kimmel’s story – in a book quoted online (when i googled dohaku’s head)
Hagakure (Kyūjitai葉隱Shinjitai葉隠; meaning Hidden by the Leaves or hidden leaves),[1] or Hagakure Kikigaki (葉隠聞書) is a practical and spiritual guide for a warrior, drawn from a collection of commentaries by the clerk Yamamoto Tsunetomo, former retainer to Nabeshima Mitsushige, the third ruler of what is now Saga Prefecture in JapanTashiro Tsuramoto (ja) compiled these commentaries from his conversations with Tsunetomo from 1709 to 1716; however, it was not published until many years afterwards. Hagakure is also known as The Book of the SamuraiAnalects of Nabeshima or Hagakure Analects.
you might be interested to see what’s there.”
submitted by eve burton