Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Storytelling Starters ~ Old Lady’s Delight

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

StrawberriesYesterday, my local supermarket had English strawberries – first time this season. They immediately reminded me of my favourite dessert, even though that recipe calls for a tin of strawberries, not fresh ones. So memory goes. Thinking about the dessert brought back to mind the person who gave me the recipe and then I thought I’d write about her here, partly because she was so striking in herself, partly because she raises an interesting question.

How is it possible that someone you meet can remain a huge influence even when, later, you scarcely remember anything at all about them? I guess we storytellers hope it’s so with our storytelling – that a story we tell or an occasion when we tell it may leave an impression that becomes a lasting influence on some person who receives it.

A woman of influence

Cicely Williams-Ellis was the sister-in-law of Clough Williams-Ellis, creator of Portmeirion, the fantastical Italianate village on a luxuriously wooded hillside on the coast of north-west Wales. She was in her old age when a colleague and I went to visit her. At the time, we were doing research for an investigative piece for The Sunday Times about the country’s National Parks. Meeting Cicely was of interest because she’d played a leading part in the movement to form the National Parks and also the CPRW, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.

But what do I remember of Cicely Williams-Ellis now? (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Wintering Out 3

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Two more Seasonal Tales today – seasonal because of the star in the Christmas story and because I always think stars look especially wonderful at this dark time of the year. Today’s Seasonal Tales are two different versions of the Star Apple story.

The Star Apple Story ~ what you need

The Star Apple Story is a great one for telling at a family event or in school. All you need as props are an apple and a knife to cut it. As long as you adapt the story appropriately, the apple can be red or green as you choose and in the version of the story that appears first below (I posted it in this Blog last year, but it’s worth repeating) the apple should also have a good strong bit of stem.

Star Apple ~ Version 1

Once there was a little boy who was very excited in the days before Christmas. Was it going to snow? Would Father Christmas come to his house? What would Father Christmas bring him?

The little boy was so excited, he didn’t know what to do. ‘What shall I do?’ he kept asking. The Christmas decorations were already up. His old toys bored him and  he’d tidied his room as his mother had suggested. ‘What shall I do?’ he asked again.

That’s when his mother said something weird. ‘Why don’t you look round the house and the garden and see if you can find a little green house with no windows but a chimney on top and a star inside?’

‘UH?’ The little boy was mystified. He looked round the house. He looked round the garden. Nowhere at all could he find a little green house with no windows but a chimney on top, and a star inside. ‘Mum,’ the boy said, ‘I can’t find it.’

Then his mother suggested he call on his friend next door: the two of them together could go down the street and see if they could find it. So that’s what the little boy did. He and his friend looked at all the houses. They could see some that had stars inside on top of their Christmas trees and some of the houses had chimneys. But none of the houses had no windows and none of them were green.

The little boy went back to his own house.‘Mum,’ he said, ‘we didn’t find it.’

‘Well, let me show you,’ said his mother, reaching a little green apple out of the fruit bowl.

‘See,’ she said. ‘here’s a little green house. And look,’ she said, wiggling the stalk on the top, ‘this little green house has a chimney. But it hasn’t got any windows, has it?’

‘No,’ said the boys. ‘And where’s the star?’

‘Just watch,’ the little boy’s mother replied as she picked up a knife and cut the apple cross-wise across the middle. When she opened it up, the little boy and his friend could see that it had a beautiful star inside.

‘And now,’ said the mother, ‘you can eat the apple, half each.’

‘And can we do the story again every day until Christmas?’

‘Yes,’ said the mother, ‘we can. And tonight when it’s dark we’ll go out on the street and see if we can see the stars in the sky.’’ (more…)