Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Posts Tagged ‘wise sayings’

Storytelling Starters ~ Mouth No. 1

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Welcome this week to my new blog and website banner. About time too, you might say! My hair has been short and silver ever since it grew back following my four months of chemotherapy treatment in 2010. It’s taken me till now to update myself. Many thanks to those that have helped – Dominick Tyler for the new photo, Olwen Fowler for the new banner, Tim Howe for amending the website and my lovely husband Paul for his constant support.  A big kiss to each of them!

There are numerous excellent stories about Mouth. Next week and the week after I’ll be giving you two of my favourites.

This week, however, I thought I’d do something new, which is to start on the Mouth theme with some sayings and quotations about it. The ones below are all drawn from the stocks of items that I keep in mind for throwing into a storytelling session or workshop where one of them becomes appropriate. Proverbs, sayings, interpretations, quotations: I find they can prove of interest to all types of audience, children and adults. They are like juicy little extras to savour in the tasting.


I especially like this chewy saying:

Stories are not there to be believed; they’re there to be eaten.

And here’s another which suits my taste because, like me, it comes from Wales:

And this story went from mouth to mouth so that one day my Grandmother learned it, and it’s from her that I heard it.

The first saying comes from Michel Hindenoch, one of the storytellers behind the storytelling revival in France. The second is a traditional way of ending a story which was included by storyteller Sam Cannarozzi (who lives in France) in When Tigers Smoked Pipes, his collection of story beginnings and endings which the Society for Storytelling published in booklet form in 2008. A most useful and fascinating resource it is too, even though I say it myself as one who participated in the editing of it. (more…)

Storytelling Starters – In the Spirit of Christmas 3

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Just one week to go before Christmas Eve, which was my mother’s birthday. Each year the day brings memories of hilarious hours in the kitchen with my mother stuffing the turkey and massaging it with butter, making extra supplies of mince pies and sausage rolls and preparing vegetables for the Christmas dinner.

Another feature of my growing-up Christmases was getting out of bed in the shivering cold in time to get to Plygain, the 6 a.m. Christmas service at the chapel we used to attend, which was Tabernacl Chapel in St. David’s. Plygain is a traditional service which still takes place at cock-crow in quite a few different parts of Wales. On your way to Plygain, the sky is still dark. By the time you come out, wishing everyone “Nadolig Llawen”, “Happy Christmas”, the light is just coming into the sky.

By tradition, anyone who comes to the Plygain service in St. David’s can take part if they wish by giving a reading, a prayer or a Christmas carol. The last time I told the Baboushka story, which is my offering here today, was at a Plygain service.


The Baboushka story is Russian, ‘baboushka’ being the word for an old woman who, in a sense, is everyone’s grandmother. I love the story because it’s not just about giving, though this is its central theme. It’s also about the ability to change. ‘I’m too old to change,’ my father used often to say after he retired. Then in the last years of his life he began saying a different thing: ‘You’re never too old to change.’ It seems to me this is a useful approach in these difficult times. (more…)