The legacy of Storytelling

I had a truly wonderful experience this weekend. Sometimes we do not get to see how our work and our art affects others. However this weekend I had a chance to see just that, in one child. I was invited back to do some storytelling at the Alternative Education setting where I had previously been working. Part of my work there had been oral storytelling to the children. One child in particular, a 7 year old boy, really loved listening to the stories. Yesterday after I had finished telling a story to about 25 people from babies to Grandparents, the child in question, asked if he could tell a story, to the same audience. My immediate answer was “Yes, please do”. As I am always so keen for children to tell oral stories.

What followed was amazing. He confidently sat on the story tellers chair and told a story at length. He introduced the story and then began. He used so many of the storytellers skills in what he told. The storyline made complete sense, he added drama, character, he used contrasting images, he used movement in his body and in the narrative of place, voice change, humour, description, the rule of three’s in the narrative and he used the available space well. It was an amazing example of the passing on to someone so young, of much that I have learnt myself from actually telling the stories and also so much of what I have learnt from other story tellers.

Looking at this young boy, the ancient tradition of oral storytelling is in safe hands with him.