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Thursday, April 28, 2011


My nephews: KJ, CJ, NJ and my niece: Theara

I am the official storyteller to my nephews and niece. When they misbehave, I calm them down by saying, "I have a story to tell.."

We would soon lie down in bed. They would gather in my arms, keep silent and wait for me to begin.

I have told them all the stories I know - from Rumpelstiltskin to the True Story of the Three Little Pigs (yes, they now know the wolf just wanted to have a cup of sugar). In fact, I have run out of stories to tell, I now have to make my own - on the spot. 

Thanks to deus ex machina, I have a way to end a complicated one. It's okay; children can listen to anything. Sometimes, I am the one surprised by my own stories - our stories that go from heroic to domestic, soldiers to animals, wars to worms.

Sometimes, we switch roles and I make them tell me a story. By the plot, I know they too had to make it up. It's okay, I can listen to anything. I express my delight in the end, anyhow and by the smile on their face, I know they feel they are the best storytellers in the world.

In our stories, birds take a shower, dogs are singers and goats are dancers. Worms one day become chickens and ostrich is the mother of a hamster. My nephews and niece are the heroes and heroine - yes, they make mistakes, but they learn a lesson in the end. 

Our stories often follow standard rule - good guys triumph and bad guys get what they deserve.

Someday, I can't do this with them anymore so while I could still gather them in my arms, I let our imagination fly like we let cats fly. I let a dog become a liar and a hen teach him a lesson; a city mouse spare a stray cat some bread; a bird celebrate a friendship with a goat through a dance in the rain. 

We have run out of "stories" but we can always make our own.  

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