Where did the telling of stories start?
There’s this story of when I started Kindergarten. My teacher was concerned that I wasn’t taking part in activities. Apparently I would just sit in a corner and watch. My mother was surprised when she was told this at a parents’ evening because I would come home and happily tell her all about my day at school.
So, is this when the telling of stories started?
I can remember making up stories in my head from an early age—a way of amusing myself if I was waiting to go somewhere or on a long car journey. I don’t think I ever had an invisible friend as some children do, but I did have the characters that populated my stories to keep me company.
I suppose this is why I always felt different from others my age, all through school and beyond. I liked the games where we made things up—role-playing. But my stint in the Brownies didn’t last long, maybe two sessions before I was fed up sitting around a fake fire in the village hall and having to be a kelpie. One day, not long after I quit, I was playing in the woods near our house, having a fine old time by myself with homemade bow and arrows. I had ventured out onto the road just as the Brownie troupe came by on an organized field trip. Brown Owl stopped the group and asked if I would like to join them. From this distance in time I don’t know what I replied, possibly just a shake of the head before retreating into the woods.
So, running about with a bow and arrow and a wooden sword, I wasn’t buying into the stereotypical princess role model for little girls. I wanted to the one slaying dragons and winning archery tournaments to impress fair maidens. I could live out those stories in my head.
Not much different now, really. Time to go – I sense a fire-breathing dragon heading this way!
Two novels (dragons not included):