Prince Andrea and Princess Alex. It is about story tellers and their importance.
Oh the stories this man could tell us!
The making of a storyteller.
There were two brothers just two years apart. And they had 4 older siblings close in age. The younger brother was pretty quick to read and the elder a little slow so they were close in reading and listening comprehension when younger. The older brother was an athlete by age 6 the younger just out of braces at age 4. The elder grew to six foot six by high school and the younger rose quickly to 6 foot tall by age 14 and then stopped growing. They were quite different and loved each other very much.
Let us first look at who told them the stories. For there was a grandmother type, Native Americans and of course the older siblings (uh oh!)
(much of this must be embellished in order to make it a good yarn for your entertainment. But we hope you will see that value.)
The real question is: "Can you lie with a straight face?"
Do you like a good story?
The Grandma storyteller
She was not the boy's grandma but a surrogate. The boys' father bought a house next to his country doctor office which was just the bigger house on a lot. So in exchange for some of her garden delights and baking fancies and reading and telling stories to his children the father gave the delightful lady the small cottage to live in. She was a WWI widow early. Every day until about the age of 10 all six of the children gathered there after school. And the grandma would fix delicious treats from her garden, canning, preserving or baking.
We know that when she died in 1965 she was 95, so born in 1870. So all grandma had to do was tell of the past but she had also read them all the Jack London novels. Of course these were done around a fireplace in winter and the front porch in Spring and Fall.
So the two boys learned first there.
We got roots to tell about. Gone with the wind!
I guess if you grow up next to two of the largest Native American Nations you get to hear the stories about how the earth was formed and how things like Frogman and Coyote and Eagle fit into our existence. When one of your best friends invites you to stay the weekend and it is a four hour trip down a dirt road. I suppose you are ready to listen to elders tell stories and learn about Mother Earth and the landmarks that mark the edges of reality. Well our two brothers grew up with best friends that way and some of the stories were told with beautiful woven rugs and some with sand painting and others with hand painting on walls of million year old sandstone.
(let me quickly interject that the boy's also went to Sunday School a whole bunch and also heard those stories from great lady teachers you had to fall in love with every Sunday)
Now siblings are a two edge sword to learn about story telling from at any time. First the good part. Other siblings know they are embellishing so much that it is out right fabrication. So a child learns how to do that to make the snake 10 feet long.
Siblings have a tendency to scare the jeepers creapers out of a younger one and that might just be to much. On the other hand that is a valuable lesson.
At any rate the brothers got their fair share dose of that kind of story telling.
Now the older brother became a great story teller first.
One might think that was because he was older but that was just not the case. There we no real full time extreme sport enthusiasts in the 1970's. There were no fancy pantsy portable wilderness ready camera's in the 1970's.
In order to film the elder doing some things free climbing a 100 ft cliff. It would cost way too much. To watch him run the largest rapid in the USA just was not practical. There were great photographers back then but the stuff just really required a dang fine narrative. And so the man doing the crazy adventures became the story teller. At around 60 he is still a master of the art.
That snake was so big! And it had 14 rattles on it!
Well the younger brother took a different course to get there.
Several degrees where he learned stories written by the masters, from Plato the Apostle Paul to Buddha to Thoreau to Poe to Shakespeare.
Then on to the performing arts -- well that is what he called it -- a law degree and a vigorous trial attorney law practice. He learned his art well by convincing juries of innocent or culpability based on whole cloth and the art of convincing. The real life consequences too burdensome and he went into hiding. Only to tell the stories to children. But he could not shake being a liar. Truth there he had trained to become a liar. (not bad for storytelling with out consequence)
But the gift remained. Sometime later he was called upon by clergy of the Christian church notion. And he had given up on lying -- no easy task. So he could not tell lies of dogma and he could not tell lies of embellishment. In fact his own Christ had taken these from him. And so he decided that there was so much to preach and teach and story tell about Love that it made no difference he did not have to tell stories about things that were questionable at best.
And then one day four little girls came up to him at a preschool and yelled "please tell us a story" Somehow the brothers' son had told them about his dad. And so now for two years the stories have been told out of whole cloth. 3 days a week with the story teller younger brother teaching love and understanding in a secular fashion.
And the youngest of the younger will be taught to tell stories.
And so the Story of the Prince and Princess begins.
Note that the names show acceptance of a Girl named Alex and a boy named Andre'a. The story ends with their two kingdoms united as one called Alexandria. The story has a king going off to war and his men starving and losing, yet planting for their food and eating all the vegetables and fruit and nuts and becoming healthier and so "chasing" away the bad folks. It has the Princess reduced to rags and helping the children and so passed over by the Prince until love overcame his blindness to the riches within us. And then the kingdoms working together to take care of the people and love and happily ever after.
And this sounds complex for 4 year old's but not one leaves during the story and they all have questions. And life is good because the story teller is finally good at heart.
We are losing the story teller not due to mass media and show after show. We are not losing them because of book after book. We are losing them because so few care to take the time to pass the art along and to change lives with morals that cannot be passed from page or screen to each other.
Be a story teller, we would like to hear your stories!