An inn-keeper, northern China, poor area, few travellers.
Young man arrived at inn, drew beautiful drawings on paper, no money but landlord is generous with food and drink.
When man leaves, draws crane on inn wall. Claps hands, room filled with music, crane steps out of picture, dances to amazement of all in inn.
“But, landlord, crane will only do this once a day – remember.”
Business booms as news of miraculous crane spreads.
Rich man arrives one night, orders landlord to make crane dance.
Landlord tries to refuse – wait till next day.
Rich man demands crane dance now – threatens trouble!
Terrified, landlord claps hands.
Room filled with noise, crane totters around floor.
Door opens, young man, flute, his music calms noise.
He and crane disappear into the darkness – never seen again.
As the 2011 4th International Storytelling Festival in the Bergische Land, Germany, was beginning, Japan was rocked by a devastating earthquake and tsunami. In a gesture of solidarity, Raymond den Boestert, one of the tellers involved in the two-week festival, suggested that we all begin our performances with a telling of the same tale: “The Miraculous Crane”.
Above is the skeleton I made for myself to tell the tale.
As can be imagined, the 16 versions were all very different!
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Permission to tell outlines my views on copyright
For those who are teachers: Telling stories in the classroom: basing language teaching on storytelling