Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Stone

A surprise contribution to this blog arrived this week from Jean Edmiston, my friend and long-term colleague as a storyteller. Jean lives and works in her native Scotland these days so I don’t get to see much of her.

But we often speak on the phone about stories, storytelling and our common approach, which is to believe in how stories can empower imagination for everyone if they are approached in a sharing way. Below is what Jean wrote.

The bag of pebbles

“For all my years as a storyteller I have taken with me a bag of pebbles. Each of the pebbles has its story and they never fail to inspire the children and adults I’ve worked with. One pebble is very special: dug up by my son in our garden, it’s a whole flint pebble. When I explained to him how this was a whole pebble with a skin and who knows what is inside it, of course we had to split it open with awe and care, as we would be the first people ever, since the creation of this pebble, to find out what was inside it.

“Beautiful honey coloured, blue grey flint and sparkly quartz – like diamonds. This is what the pebble revealed, and to this day it is never far from me and always with me when I’m storytelling .

“One day a boy, who the teacher whispered had no imagination, asked if he could tell the story of my son’s pebble. I’d already told how it was discovered. Here’s the story that boy told:

The world was sad. No-one had seen a rainbow for months and scientists said we had destroyed the rainbow through pollution and global warming. The boy was sad – he liked rainbows.

Then one day whilst exploring caves with his dad, the boy found this pebble and carefully split it open. There was the sparkly quartz inside and out of it, up into the sky jumped the rainbow.So that was how the boy said that he found the rainbow hidden in the pebble and brought it back to the world.

What a story and what an imagination! ‘I’ll have to think again about that boy,’ said the teacher.

A simple story but so powerful and beautiful.


I love stones too, as has become apparent before, and my photos this week are of a few of my own favourites. When I take pebbles to storytelling bookings, I notice how children look at them with wonder as if they have never seen pebbles before.

Perhaps they don’t normally get to see and think about such things – unless people such as storytellers bring them out and show them! Could that be one reason why storytellers are needed?









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