Last night, I told my fifth story at the BoatHouse. It’s a wonderful evening. Quiet, appreciative, skilled (and not), and just plain nice. During the summer you can get ice cream, during the winter they bring tea and cookies.
I’ve been working my way through Kipling’s Just So Stories. They need major chopping — usually just where he’s gone on and on listing what seems like all the 999 queens — but are solid, simple stories with nice subtleties and complexities if you look for them, and a moral or two and a faintly-twisty ending. Easy to learn (we don’t memorize or recite, nor do we read), and they lend themselves well to my style. I like stories where if you’re listening at all, you smile every now and then. Not huge laughs, just a bit of “Yeah, I can just imagine that,” and then I’m on to the next paragraph.
So far I’ve told:
The Sing Song of Old Man Kanagaroo (went well)
The First Letter (less well. The dialogue and some of the details were too complex. I’d have to throw out the entire story as written and rewrite it from the basic plot.)
The Cat Who Walked By Himself (Awesome.)
The Camel Who Took A Walk (I was off that night, and in trying to avoid repetition, by saying a list in different orders, I confused myself. Good story, though. Oh, it’s not a Kipling one.)
The Butterfly Who Stamped (Awesome.)
Head over to guttenberg.org and look up Kipling’s Just So Stories if you’re interested in reading the orginals.
I’ve got How the Whale Got His Throat ready. Well, need to refresh my memory, but I’ve told it to the kids’ classes and it went over well. I’ve also told the Kangaroo to their classes, and the Dark Spot in the Forest.
Next month the theme is orange. A online acquaintance just came up with a rather nice story I’ll tentatively call The Prince’s Servant. On first reading, it’s got everything I normally look for. I’ll need to cut it down a bit in some ways and flesh out the setting a bit. Anyone know the names of land-owners and higher where there are tigers?
I also want to prepare Kipling’s Sons of Martha, which has special meaning to me. Head over to my site, http://www.cricket.onebit.ca . The Plagiarism section.