Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘stars’

Storytelling Starters ~ In the Deep of the Night

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Why is it that the stars in the sky especially draw our attention in winter? In the deep darkness of this part of the year, they seem to shine all the brighter.

As well as playing a prominent part in the story of the birth of Jesus, stars are present in so many of our Christmas traditions – at the top of the Christmas tree, in street decorations, on Christmas cards. For me, they are a vital theme in stories for this time of the year.

Stars are about the magic of looking up into the sky and feeling an immensity that’s beyond our imagining. Yet our imaginations lengthen and widen in the very act of looking.

Loawnu Mends the Sky: a Chinese story

One star story I love telling to children is about how the stars first got into the sky. I came to know it in a beautifully written version which was sent to me by Vivienne Corringham for possible inclusion in my collection of stories, Time For Telling.

Time For Telling came out in 1991. It proved very popular and  ‘Loawnu Mends The Sky’  deserved its place there.  It’s very well worth looking up. If you can’t find Time For Telling, (it’s out of print but is still held by many libraries), you might be able to track down the two paperback volumes into which it was later divided. Loawnu Mends The Sky’ is included in the volume entitled, The Big-Wide-Mouthed Toad-Frog. What follows is my summary of it – but it’s really not difficult to imagine how to fill it out for a full telling. (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…)

Storytelling Starters – In the Spirit of Christmas 2

Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Stars are the focus of this week’s blog – not the celebrity sort but the ones in the  sky. They are especially worthy of attention at this time of the year. The bright star in the East plays a vital part in the story of Jesus for those with Christian beliefs. And for all those who bother to look up in the sky on clear nights, I’m sure you’ll agree the stars look especially bright in contrast with December’s darkness. The longer I look up at them, the more they seem to draw me upwards into the sky to join them. They expand my sense of time and space.

Star Apple

The Star in the Apple is a much-told tale. I first heard it from my storyteller friend, Sally Tonge, and I loved it. You may know it already. It gets told and written in all kinds of ways with all kinds of different details. Just look it up on the Internet and you’ll see some significantly differing versions. But what I love most is that everyone’s version depends on the same central fact – so amazing to children and adults who never knew it before – that if you cut an apple across the middle, you’ll find it has a star inside. (more…)