Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Dog-poo and Dylan Thomas

dylan thomasHave you ever visited Laugharne? Is so, you’ve surely walked along the shore of the estuary at the foot of the high walls of Laugharne castle and looked along towards the Boathouse where Dylan Thomas used to live.

Dylan Thomas is a wonderful poet and, rightly, the subject of lots of talk this year, the hundredth since his birth. The other night, I was reminded of the children who attended The Boathouse Project a few years ago. It was a week of workshops for all the top Juniors and Year 7s in the area with me and artist Catrin Webster.

The children showed great interest in Dylan Thomas’s work and also in Laugharne. Good stories and good art resulted. The other evening, talking about Dylan Thomas with friends, I was reminded of one of the stories. It was inspired by indignation at the amount of litter and dog-mess – dog-poo in children’s lingo – the children had noticed along the foreshore when we were collect impressions on what I call a Memory Walk.

Here’s the story. I can’t remember what its creators called it. I’m entitling it A Warning to All Litter-Droppers.

A Warning to All Litter-Droppers

A seagull was sitting on top of Laugharne castle walls. It was Merlin’s seagull. At Merlin’s command, the seagull flew down to the ground below and picked up a piece of litter which had been discarded there.

The older Dylan

The seagull flew back up to Merlin with the piece of litter in his beak. Merlin took it from him and immediately started rolling it round in his hands. Soon, he’d converted it into a big soft piece of dog-poo. Then, as Merlin and the seagull were looking down, a man came walking along with his family. The man was holding a sweetbag but when he put his hand in it and found it was empty, he just threw the bag onto the ground.

At once, Merlin flicked the piece of dog-poo he’d made so it fell just in front of where the man was walking. The man stepped right into the dog-poo. ‘Ugh!’ he said. It was smelly and messy and when he scraped his shoes against stones on the ground, he couldn’t get all the mess off.

The man looked completely disgusted. He said to his family, ‘This is horrible. We’re leaving here right now. Let’s go.’ So he and his family went to their car, got straight in and drove away. But just as they were leaving Laugharne, they heard a big, deep voice echoing round their car. It said, ‘Never drop litter here again.’


Good environmental consciousness, don’t you agree? The photos this week are of course of Dylan Thomas – one younger, one older. He was only 39 when he died. What more might he have done if he’d lived on?


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