Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Storytelling Starters ~ Picking yourself up

Saturday, August 3rd, 2019

Remember that moralising tale? A young woman is on her way to market. Over her arm is a basket of eggs, in her head is a whirligig of plans. She’ll sell the eggs for a very good price (they’re beautifully big and brown and farm fresh). Then she will have money. MONEY! And with that money, she’ll be able to do so much. Like choose the best cake in the cake-shop window and eat it sitting in the sun. Or buy a new pair of sandals –  and if not sandals because they’d cost too much, certainly new ribbons for her hair. Oh, so many things she could do. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ In praise of the personal tale

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

P1080273A tale that I told my brother this Monday was of an occasion a few summers ago when Paul and I were climbing back up from Pwll Strodyr to the lane. With us were our friend Eddie, who’d been down at the beach for his regular swim, and also his dogs and his cat, all of whom used regularly to accompany him there. 

On this occasion as often, the field was full of cows. Before we reached the part of the field where the cows were grazing, Eddie stopped and told us to stop as well. ‘Now watch this,’ he said. What we then saw was amazing. As Eddie explained how his cat hated cows, his two dogs ran ahead through the herd, creating an open pathway between them. As soon as the open path appeared, the cat, who’d meantime been sitting on its haunches in front of us, suddenly took off.  Whoosh! Like a bolt of lightning, she ran straight through the channel the dogs had created to the safety of the gate.

Wow! We were full of admiration and I remain full of admiration whenever I remember the incident. And whenever I recount it to someone else, they are always impressed. On Wednesday, same thing when I told it to my brother. So of course it’s one of the stories I love telling and I know Eddie doesn’t mind because Eddie loves telling stories too. In fact, he is a treasure house of tales and, not surprisingly, his grandchildren love him for it.

The result of all this was that yesterday I set my mind to thinking more generally about what can make personal stories work.

What makes personal stories worth telling: (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Connecting

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

It’s odd. You rack your brain for a story on a particular theme, conclude that you don’t have one, then suddenly realise that of course you do. It’s just that you’ve never seen it before from the perspective of that particular theme.

A dog story?

P1020007This week the problem occurred to me in relation to dogs. There I was on Abermawr beach when up came Storm. Storm is a black and white collie. His owner lives about half-an-hour’s walk from the beach. But Storm is always on the beach. For ten years or more, I’ve seen him whenever I go there. One day, I even spotted him from high on the coast path quite a distance away. A black and white dog? Yes, it was Storm.

Storm wears two tags on his collar. One says his name. The other says, ‘Please leave me on Abermawr beach.’ He loves that beach. He walks up and down it and in and out of the sea as if he just has to let you know what a fine place it is. This week, though, he looked less energetic. We could see he’s getting old. If and when he’s not on that beach, it won’t ever feel quite the same.

Storm started me thinking I’d like to write about him. And that led to me wondering if I know any folktale-type stories about a dog. No, I thought, I do not have n a single one. Then it dawned on me. I do. There’s a dog in a story I’ll be telling next week as part of Enchanted Evening, the evening of songs and stories my husband and I will be doing at Pepper’s in Fishguard with David Pepper as Paul’s accompanist.

Lifting the Sky is the story. It’s one that means a lot to me. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Ghost story

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

Round the campfire? In the caravan? Here’s a good story to tell. I came across it this week while sorting and clearing old papers. As usual with tales that get briefly reported in old guide-books and magazines, the story had no title. The only identifying feature was that it took place on the island of Mull. I’ll call it Late Encounters.

Late Encounters

P1020006Late one moonlit evening, a hiker was walking through woods on his way back to his digs. The hike had taken him further than he’d calculated and it had got much later than he’d intended. Suddenly, out of the shadows ran a dog. The dog came straight up to him wagging its tail and lifting its head towards him, obviously wanting to be stroked. The dog was an old collie dog. The hiker had no fear of it and when he eventually began walking on, he even began to wonder if the dog would come with him as some dogs do when you come across them in the countryside. So he couldn’t help feeling disappointed when, as suddenly as  he’d arrived, the dog ran off back into the woods without so much as a backward glance.

‘Strange,’ thought the hiker as he went on his way. But about half a mile further on, it felt even more strange when he heard sounds of something  approaching. He hoped it might be the dog. No, it was a man, an old man, as friendly-looking as the dog had been.

‘ Goo’night,’ said the man. ‘Out late?’ ‘Yes,’ said the hiker. ‘Misjudged the path. Got to get back to my lodgings.’ ‘Well never mind,’ the old man said, ‘it’s a good night for walking by any account.’ ‘Strange thing, though,’ said the hiker. ‘I met someone else just now – well, not a person, a dog, very friendly.’ ‘A  dog?’ said the old man. ‘What was he like exactly?’ (more…)