Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Three items to entertain you

I’ve been sorting. Sorting is a very satisfying thing to do at any time but especially at this time of the year. My file box labelled Songs, Poems, Sayings has produced three items I’d love to share with you.

Item 1 – part of a poem:

When a day passes it is no longer there.
What remains of it? Nothing more than a story.
If stories weren’t told or books weren’t
written, man would live like beasts – only
for the day.
Today, we live, but by tomorrow today
will be a story.
The whole world, all human life
is one long story.

These lovely lines come from Naftali and His Horse, a children’s book by Isaac Bashevis Singer.

Item 2 –  a riddle:

…his wings are as wide
As the ends of the earth:
And none gave him birth:
And his face none has seen,
Though but now he has been
Both afar and at hand,
On the sea, on the land.
And there is no wall
That can bind him …

This riddle in verse comes from the Welsh story of Taliesin. The answer, of course, is the wind.

Item 3 – a Welsh expression: 

Cam ceiliog is a Welsh expression meaning ‘by the step of a cockerel’. It’s used to describe the slow lengthening of the days at this time of the year, each day a little bit more.

A related story I once heard is that the famous Welsh harpist, Nansi Richards, was at one time staying with J.H. Kellogg, the inventor of cornflakes. She told him about this little expression. He liked it very much – and that’s the reason that, thereafter, the cockerel became the symbol of Kellogg’s Cornflakes.

Next week:

So with those three items to entertain you, that’s it for today. This time next week, I’ll either have just come out of hospital after an operation or I’ll still be there. Cross fingers that, wherever I am, I’ll still be able to think up something for this blog!

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