Jamie’s 5th blog – A Curious Friendship

One bright morning otter slinked up out of the river to go and pay a visit to his friend owl.

He came to owl’s oak and knocked but there was no answer. Owl was fast asleep. Otter whistled and chirped and listened but there was still nothing. Finally he tried a loud squeal, all to no avail, and so he went disappointed back to his pools.

That night owl flew from her nest intent on paying her friend otter a visit. She glided from the woods low over the river where otter had his holt, calling in the darkness, but otter heard nothing as he was fast asleep. She wheeled around and back shrieking out to her friend but with no result. She came to rest in a willow, waited a moment, gave a final hollow cry and lifted off and away through the trees.

Next morning otter awoke and again decided to try and see owl.

Fortunately for the two friends that day there was a total eclipse of the sun.

They met between the woods and the water, and there otter greeted owl with a question that had long been troubling him, and owl replied as she saw fit:

How might the old stories best be told today?

–      I don’t know

If you did know

–      by accident

–      by singing

–      by walking over uneven ground

 How might the old stories best be told today?

–      in an every day voice

–      by learning the names and lore of wildflowers, of birds

–      by talking to strangers in pubs, by listening to men in hi-viz jackets

–      by finding what the name of a place means

 How might the old stories best be told today?

–      by calling them something else

–      by knowing your own story

–      by sleeping with a book under the pillow

–      by choosing your moment

–      by telling them in a nutshell

–      by slipping one into the conversation at a party

 How might the old stories best be told today?

–      make ‘em laugh

–      make ‘em cry

–      know your audience, talk to them, listen

–      start with a strong image and get the ending right

How might the old stories best be told today?

–      I don’t know

–      by getting lucky

–      by not caring

–      by being at home with silence

–      by making yourself heard

–      by telling the stories that need to be heard

–      not venerating the ashes but spreading the fire

–      awakening in adults what never died in children

–      by not being boring

How might the old stories best be told today?

–      by waiting till someone says Tell us a story!

–      by those who tell them best

When the sun came out again owl and otter had vanished and of their conversation there remained no trace.

Advertisements

About loopholestories

Storyteller and Artist in Residence at Fabrica for July and August as part of Cluster. www.jamiecrawford.co.uk
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Jamie’s 5th blog – A Curious Friendship

  1. Richard Wood says:

    I’ve just printed the poem and stuck it on my shed wall for inspiration. Thanks Jamie

  2. Cath says:

    Thank you Jamie ! I’ve sat down to add something but you’ve used all the answers I could think of!
    Maybe ,
    How might the old stories best be told today?
    by daring,
    by loving,
    by magic.

    • loopholestories says:

      Lovely to read these comments on my first ever online poem! It was an impromptu bit of writing and tends to change a bit every time I go back to it. Shouldn’t wonder those three lines might find their way in somewhere, Cath.

  3. Choeda says:

    Interesting story. I was quite curious what purpose otter had to meet the owl.

    • loopholestories says:

      An answer to your question can be found within the story itself:

      … otter greeted owl with a question that had long been troubling him… How might the old stories best be told today?

      Thanks for your interest,
      Jamie

  4. choeda says:

    Yes that was exactly what I had in my mind. Thanks. By the way I am bit curious whether you worked in Bhutan. I had a teacher by your name.

    • Jamie says:

      I taught English there for VSO between 1985 and 1988. I worked with many Bhutanese teachers but the head teacher at my school was from Kerala.

      • choeda says:

        Very glad to hear about you and that you are working as a great story teller. I was your student. You may not remember me but I remember you. Mr Jose K.C, from Kerala also remembers you. We are working as lecturers in a teacher education college at Samtse ( You may have heard of it since Shaba school used to get trainees for teaching practice). We are presently at Paro College of Education involved in a review workshop. Our head teacher Mr Krishnan too might remember you. Anyway, it was very nice meeting you here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s