In the corner above my favorite seat at my favorite cafe there are four shelves full of knicks and knacks. On the second to last shelf are two small books, which hold a world of wisdom. Next to the funky elephant is one of these two books, it’s titled ‘Unplug every day’. This book holds 365 ways to log off and live a better life. I have picked this book up tones of times in the last few weeks each time with the determination to do one of the 365 tasks each day. Its now been two months and I have just finished my first one.
Swap stories. Last year I tagged along on a family hike with one of my favorite friends. The Pinnacles hike in the Coromandle of New Zealand is a beauty. It is also a long day hike. Luckily for us and for the two younger boys my friends father is a story teller. He has such an incredible imagination and a storytellers tone of voice. He made the day hike seem like an afternoon walk. He told us such a funny story about how McDonalds came to be in existence, a tale of a cunning taxi driver and crazy old lady and a quietly beautiful and captivating fable about J.R.R Tolkien and his experience of life. I wish I had had a tape recorder with me.
In my family my mother was the story teller. She created imaginary worlds and characters my brother and I fell in love with. Although I hope I inherited her kindness I know for a fact I did not inherit her story telling ability. So when I opened up to this page and read ‘swap’ stories I felt this great panic that I could not. So in order to swap stories I will record them. Short stories with great meanings, Stories I heard from my Mum, friends, parents, teachers or even the mail man. Short stories I read in books, fables and tales. I hold such value in words and what they can teach and express, so below ( under the photo) are three blurbs of three very much loved storys. One was told on a hike, one was shared in an English class and the other was told on a long train trip in the south of Germany. Feel free to flick me a message if you would like the source or the full text.
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
― Lemony Snicket
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John Green
1.And The Mountains Echoed‘ By Khaled Hosseini
In the beautiful book ‘ And The Mountains Echoed’ By Khaled Hosseini, there is a short expert of a story about a farmer by the name of Baba Ayub, his beloved Son and a dreaded giant. The young son is taken by the giant, and the father driven mad with grief sets out on the long journey to find him. What he discovers however, when he finally makes it to the giants kingdom, is very far from what he expected or imagined. The father surprisingly encounters a situation and a choice he never imagined he would have to make.
Excerpt: Once upon a time, in the days when divs and jinns and giants roamed the land, there lived a farmer named Baba Ayub. He lived with his family in a little village by the name of Maidan Sabz
2. Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R Tolkien
Although most of you will know the famous Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit, many of you might not have stumbled upon a little story called Leaf by Niggle. It is my favorite of Tolkien’s works by far. It tells the tale of Niggle who has a long journey to take which he can not get out of. Niggle is also an artist and loves painting for his own pleasure. Niggle diligently begins to paint a great tree with great passion.He invests each and every leaf of his tree with obsessive attention to detail, making every leaf uniquely beautiful. But as it always seems to do life soon gets in the way and the painting gets lost to time.
Excerpt: There was once a little man called Niggle, who had a long journey to make. He did not want to go, indeed the whole idea was distasteful to him; but he could not get out of it. He knew he would have to start some time, but he did not hurry with his preparations. Niggle was a painter. Not a very successful one, partly because he had many other things to do. Most of these things he thought were a nuisance; but he did them fairly well, when he could not get out of them: which (in his opinion) was far too often.
3. The Multnomah Tribe Princess By handfuls of different authors
This short story was told within another story and it simple as it is bitter sweet. This story can be found across many seas and in many different cultures. Dialects, characters and surroundings are often different, but the underlining meaning remains the same. Sacrifice and love. The story is about a plague that began to wipe a tribe of Indians out. A prophecy is recounted by a medicine man that the beloved daughter of a chief must give her life to stop the advance of the plague. After praying and giving herself to the Great Spirit, the selfless princess threw herself to her death on the rocks below, saving her loved ones and the entire village.
Excerpt: Many years ago the head chief of the Multnomah people had a beautiful young daughter. She was especially dear to her father because he had lost all his sons in fighting, and he was now a old man. He chose her husband with great care, a young chief from his neighbors, the Clatsop people. To the wedding feast came many people from tribes along the lower Columbia and south of it.
“So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.”
― Roald Dahl