Tale of a Tailor

A great short tale – made even shorter.
Challenged to tell a tale in just a minute (and without access to my usual home studio), I was reminded of this tailor’s triumph of minimalism

Of course, my usual telling is a little longer. This page shows my normal story skeleton.


I heard the story decades ago from a valued friend, John Morgan – a great storyteller and teacher now sadly no longer with us.

The story has certainly been told for a long time in the Jewish tradition, but seems to have spread pretty widely from there. A Storytell friend tells me: As far as I’ve been able to piece things together (pardon pun) the story was turned loose on the storytelling community when Nancy Schimmel heard it in Yiddish folksong form from an elderly man. Just Enough to Make a Story was the title of her handbook for beginning storytellers. The story traveled from mouth to mouth and even turned up in picture books. Eventually a new song was composed by Paul Kaplan. I think it’s a fine example of recycling!

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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