Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Taking a risk

apple-star[1]I took a bit of a risk on Thursday evening. We were giving the second in our Enchantment series of Songs and Stories concerts at Pepper’s in Fishguard. This was Winter Enchantment. During the second half, I was going to do two readings – one from A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, the second the hilarious Twelve Thank-You Notes of Christmas, originally written by I’ve no idea who.

But in the first half, I’d decided to tell three short stories. The third was Baboushka, the poignant story of Russia’s Mother Christmas. (Put Baboushka into the Search box on the left of this blog; you’ll come up with my posting for December 17, 2011).  The second story was The Pointing Finger which I recounted here a few weeks ago on November 5, 2016.  The first was the story I call Star Apple.

Star Apple was a risk because I think of it as a story for children. But this was an audience of adults. Granted, I’ve told it at this time of the year to any number of teachers’ or parents’ workshops. ‘It’s a great story to tell to children,’ I say. ‘It’s easy to remember. It has the great advantage that it needs a prop (always a help because it gives you something to focus on). Besides it is about a star – and that is very seasonal as we think about Christmas.’

Why I decided to take a risk on it at Winter Enchantment is that the story is simple and magical and I thought some of my audience might be inspired to retell it at family gatherings over Christmas. Why not be ready with a story to entertain whoever is present?

So I told it on Thursday and I could see it worked well. In fact, several people told me they enjoyed it the most. I ended it with a small series of instructions. So if you want to get to know the story or remind yourself of it, please read these too. To find the story itself, enter Star Apple into the Search box on the left and you’ll find it in my postings for December 3, 2009 and then again for December 21, 2013. go to my blog for December 13, 2013.


Many apples compressRemember to have some green apples to hand (or maybe put one ready in your pocket or bag).

If you realise you’ve only got red apples, change the story to be about a little red house (not so good, but it’ll do).

If you’re telling the story to a boy, put a boy in the story instead of a girl.

And when you’re cutting the apple, for goodness sake remember to cut it across the middle and not downwards or you’ll never find the star inside.

And, oh yes, if you’re feeling hungry, eat the apple at the end. (On Thursday, I waited till the interval and then I ate it.)

What a week!

And what a week or ten days it has been. First, Thursday a week ago my new book arriving – and already I’ve had some great responses from people who’ve bought it. Next on Sunday Paul’s Clapham Omnibus concert with our good friend Steve Copeland in aid of CRISIS where, as special guest, I also did my reading from A Child’s Christmas in Wales. The next day, the long drive to Wales followed on Tuesday by a day’s audio recordings of Pembrokeshire legends for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. And on Thursday, Winter Enchantment. This weekend, I’m having a rest. See you next week.


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