Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ Red

P1070651A note to readers is where I should begin this week.  Here it is. If any of you is in North Pembrokeshire on Friday 9th October, please come along to Castell Henllys where I’ll be doing what is described as an Author Tea – and hopefully selling some of my books.

Will there be red leaves and red berries in the lovely Castell Henllys glade, I wonder? I ask because red has been on my mind all week. Perhaps that’s because of all  the red, red leaves on the pavements round us in London. Or perhaps it was the red, red moon on the night of the eclipse? Or could it be the red jerseys of the Welsh Rugby team when they played and won against England? 

I can’t be sure. But what I do know is that just thinking about red has led to me remembering the red ears of the gleaming white hounds that accompany the Lord of the Underworld in the first branch of  the Mabin0gion, that most ancient and strange cycle of stories.  The red hounds appear there in a forest which could not have been far from Castell Henllys.

But red on my mind has also led to me remembering some very different things, for instance The Red Wheelbarrow, that extraordinary William Carlos Williams poem.  I wonder if you know it?

 P1070650The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

P1070648And a Dublin tale:

Thinking about red has also perhaps been prompted –  it’s the way things link up – by the interesting response of one of my young friends (this one a boy aged seven) to a new book I read him last week. The book was A Dublin Fairytale by Nicola Colton which I was reviewing for School Librarian. It’s a Little Red Riding Hood type of story, set in Dublin’s fair city, where a little girl is going to market to get cake for her Granny and on the way meets a giant, a troll and a dragon. None of them bother her much. But when a wolf on a bicycle rides by, he snatches her basket with the cake inside. When the wolf is apprehended by the girl’s friends, he says he just wanted a slice of her cake. She responds, ‘You could have asked!’ All ends happily with everyone having tea with Granny.

So what did my young friend say when asked him for his comments? ‘It’s like Little Red Riding Hood, it’s a girly story,’ he asserted, also then going on to suggest that such stories were definitely for people younger than him.  An interestingly gendered response, I thought, especially when the nine-year old girl who was with us strongly disagreed. She approved of the story as giving lots of information and being a nice twist on Little Red Riding Hood.

So there we are. Red, red, red. But mostly, for me, it’s been the leaves on the pavements that have done it. 

See you next week and meantime maybe in Castell Henllys where no doubt I’ll be telling some stories.




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