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
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
This is a picture of the, now completed, Storytelling Quilt I made for our son Jonathan Metcalf-Burton, formerly of the Twinbrook Tellers. Jonathan worked incredibly hard to learn these, and other, stories. He is also a musician, so the characters have instruments, most of which Jonathan plays. Raven, Stork, and Woodpecker are from the poem Birds of America by James Broughton. Spider Woman and the Yellow Birds are from the Navajo tale Zinnia: How the Corn Was Saved from the book by Patricia Hruby Powell. Raven and Eagle’s Daughter are from the Northwest Native American tale How Raven Saved the Ancient Peoples, told in several versions. Rabbit is from two stories: Lion and Rabbit, from Favorite Tales from the Panchatantra by Mrudul Tata, and Who’s in Rabbit’s House by Verna Aardema. The “Long One” , the caterpillar in the tree and Elephant are also from Who’s in Rabbit’s House. And the Lion is also from Lion and Rabbit.. The saxophone-playing creature in the middle of the quilt is The Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll.
All of the illustrations are original designs, my interpretations of the characters from the stories.
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.
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!
Jane Dorfman shared a link to an article about Virginia Lee Burton and the printmaking guild she started.
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