Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ B is for Brush and also for Bee

Why a brush should ever be seen as daft (as in ‘daft as a brush’) is beyond me – though I do think Boris Johnson’s hair is daft and he is certainly as daft as a brush.

I also think that daft is a very enjoyable word. There are some things it describes better than any other word could. As an example, here’s a joke that was told to me once on a Rosslare street by a man who’d just walked down the hill to where I was standing looking round for a good pub to go to. Without a pause, he came straight up to me, shook hands firmly as if he’d been waiting for someone to greet and then immediately said, ‘Well, I’ve got a story to tell you.’ He started his story without so much as a pause.

‘Once’ he said, ‘there were two friends and they stole a calendar from a shop. As bad luck would have it, they were spotted doing it and they were apprehended and taken to court. “Stole a calendar, did you?” said the judge to the two men. “Well, that’s bad, very bad. I’m going to give you six months each.”

That’s Ireland for you. What a wonderful country! On my only trip across there by sea, we went by ferry from Goodwick which is just down the hill from Fishguard where I grew up. I’d never been over to Ireland that way before and I was a bit upset when, getting off the ferry at Rosslare, I was stung on the hand by a bee. Boy, did that bee-sting sting! Well, the sting was still stinging the next morning when I went down to breakfast at the B&B where Paul and I were staying. What exactly prompted me to tell the B&B man about the sting as he was serving breakfast, I cannot now remember. But I do remember putting out my hand to show him exactly the place where the bee had got me. ‘Aha,’ he said with barely a glance at my poor little hand, ‘now the first bee sting that I ever had …’ And as he promptly got launched into what was evidently going to be his first tale of many, I reminded myself of the fact that I was now in Ireland which is well-known as the place for a tale.

Odd, isn’t it, what you remember! For it’s often true that you remember the daft things and forget the serious stuff such as the facts you get told by guides. Not that you’d ever forget what was said to us in New Zealand by the Maori guy that was sitting in the hedge when we stopped to ask him where we were exactly. For he looked us up and down before raising one  hand to the sky and, pointing upwards, said, ‘Well, heaven’s that way.’

But talking of bees as I was just now, here’s one last little addition to this blog before I finish. It’s a riddle which I think I’ve asked here before. Never mind, it’s good enough to repeat. So here it is:


Question: What does a man have in his eye if he’s got a bee in his hand?

Answer: Beauty, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder (or, if you prefer, bee-holder.)

So that’s it for today. By this time next week, I’ll be ‘home’ in North Pembrokeshire where, with luck, the sun will be shining, the sea will be sparkling and the mermaids will be singing me into the sea for a swim.

May your summer continue as well as it has if it has so far been good. Or if it hasn’t been so good as yet, may it speedily improve and then go on being good. See you next week.

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