Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘duck’

Storytelling Starters ~ Duck Confit

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

P1070169Ducks in Brockwell Park this week made me laugh. I love it when they go tail up, head down, orange legs flapping like mad. Then when the eclipse was occurring this Friday morning, I thought about Earth’s dependence on the Sun. Although only a small darkening happened, the birds in the garden went quiet and it felt strangely cold.

After the eclipse, I found myself plunged – this upcoming Blog in mind, no doubt –  into the characteristic mode of the storyteller. Down inside, you start digesting and sorting all kinds of stuff that may have gone into your mind in the past. Then suddenly up come findings – stories, poems, odd bits of memory. And the magic is that, somehow, the findings are all linked in some way.

So here are three items from my cosmic soup of yesterday morning accompanied by two photos of those Brockwell Park ducks. I hope you enjoy the mixture and see the links between the items. For me as a storyteller, they bring the additional pleasure of realising that, between them, they have something to offer for all ages.  

1. Five Little Ducks (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Good things

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Hooray!!! Now you can subscribe to my Blog. See below for what to do. What a pleasure this facility has now been sorted – all thanks to the ever-helpful Tim Howe. Comment, Warwick, Poems, Subscription – it’s been a week of good things.


Little Bear crop 2A comment from a reader always feels good to get. Jo had been enjoying my recent series on Getting Participation. She loves creating stories with children. She describes sitting with a piece of material and allowing the children to choose any object around the room. ‘We decide where we are, the material for example could be blue and shiny, maybe we are at the bottom of the deep dark blue sea. Each child takes a turn describing what their object may be: a cotton reel becomes a pirate ship, the pencil is the mast, the ship has sunk, the button becomes the treasure …’ And so, as Jo points out, they end up with their own story.


On Wednesday evening, a hearteningly warm and engaged response came from the students on Hilary Minns’ excellent Storytelling Module at Warwick University. I’ve been going as guest storyteller to Hilary’s course for about ten years now. The students are all studying child development for a Foundation Degree. One of the stories I did with them was Little Bear on the Long Road. (The prop I always use for this story is on the right in a painting I made of him when I was in hospital four years ago.) On this visit, it was brilliant to meet the person responsible for setting up a similar course at Telford who had come along for the session.  I believe, and have always said so, that such courses should be available nation-wide. (more…)

Storytelling Starters ~ Duck

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

On Thursday this week, there was ice. I went with my camera to Brockwell Park . The mid-day sun had turned the surface of the bigger pond into kaleidoscopes of sparkle and glitter. Ducks and Canada Geese and seagulls and moorhen were taking deliberate steps across the ice like little old men with sticks. Where ice had melted, they lowered themselves gingerly into the water and paddled about. When pieces of bread were thrown towards them – for several people arrived with bags of it – there’d be a sudden great flapping of wings and huge cacophonies of cawing as the birds rose up, chasing each other to the food.


‘Ducks,’ I was thinking. ‘Ducks …’ The image must have been stirring my thoughts. For when I was on my way home, my brain suddenly dived back to a snapshot image that I remembered from an old story. It was an image of one or two ducks turning head down, tail up, diving for something deep below the surface and bringing up beakfuls of mud.

Snapshots from stories can display a powerful tenacity, lingering in the sub-conscious for years until something happens to reanimate them. (This is, of course, one of the reasons why stories are so important to humans, feedings our brains, creating connections.) But what was this story with its image of ducks? (more…)