Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Repertoire Refreshment 2: The Golden Water

P1070096OK I found the book and identified the story I’d vaguely remembered. I had to search quite hard: the book turned out to be a hardback and bigger than I’d remembered. It’s Stories from The Arabian Nights,  the stories retold by Naomi Lewis with beautiful illustrations by Anton Pieck. I was surprised to see it was published way back in 1987 (Methuen Children’s Books). Did I review it for The School Librarian? I can’t remember and I can’t check – I recently threw out my old copies.

Three images from the story sang out as I re-read The Tale of Farizad of the Rose’s Smile. How could I have forgotten them? They’re what make the story so lovely. Each is something that must be obtained to make the garden where the girl and her brothers live into the most beautiful garden that it could be.

So this week I’ve decided to concentrate on those three items. The rest of the story can come next week. But now it’s time for visualisation. Time for the unspoken words that may come to mind as each of these three special things is really looked at. Time to imagine the scene they might make when they’re finally brought together in that already lovely garden.

Item One: The Talking Bird

If it was in your garden, the story says, all the birds of the air would flock to behold it. The bird is called Bulbul al-Hazar.

Item Two: The Singing Tree

If this tree was in your garden, all the lutes and harps in your home would break their strings with envy. Its leaves make a sound so ravishing that nothing can match its sweetness.

Item Three: The Golden Water

If the Golden Water were in your garden, every river and fountain, torrent and brook would rise up to do it honour. A single drop is enough to create a fountain of golden springs that never stop rising and falling. Only this Golden Water can quench the thirst of the Talking Bird. It alone can refresh the leaves of the Singing Tree.

There we are, three things to dwell on in the course of the week, each of them perfect for the lovely day that it is as I write.

P.S. I’ve just been out in my garden. It badly needs that Golden Water right now. But it’s a brave little garden- that rose is there –  and I love it just as it is.

See you for Round 3 of the story next week.

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