Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘Burma’

Storytelling Starters ~ Body Parts / Hand 2

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

This week, I’ve been struck by the number of Olympic athletes emphasising  that they could never have achieved what they have without the support of the team around them. Working together: that ‘s the moral and it was the theme of my story last week. This week, I’ve got another favourite Hand story with a similar theme. It’s called Five Companions and, in my experience, it works especially well with children. What gets the children is the idea that in one hand – their own hand! – there can be such a diversity of strengths and that when these are combined, there’s no end to what a hand can do. But of course there are two sides to the potential: hands can work for good or for ill. Whenever I tell the story, I try to let that  fact be seen.

Five Companions: the background

It’s not always essential for a storyteller to know where a story began. Sometimes, you hear a good story and never find out where it originated. Sometimes, as time passes, you forget where you got it. And sometimes, if you do check back with your source after many times of telling the story, you realise – as I did with Five Companions that you’ve made a few changes along the way.

The story of the Five Companions originally comes from Burma – and, to be honest, I did have to look back through my files of printed sources of stories in order to check that fact out. When I read through my copy, I immediately saw that I’d adapted the tale in one or two ways. I’d made small changes to some of the characters’ names. I’d also given more emphasis to the fact that hands can be responsible for bad deeds as well as good ones.

Five Companions: a hint on telling

Before starting the story don’t reveal that this is a story about your own hand. Let that be discovered when the story has ended. (more…)