Jennings & Ponder: World Tales & Celtic Music
PO Box 522 Montpelier VT 05601

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These are all very rough approximations of stories I heard a few years back, when I got talked into leading a three-week series of workshops at Burlington High School, teaching storytelling to students in the English as a Second Language program. It was like a roller coaster: I alternated between being petrified with fear, laughing so hard it hurt, and wanting to throw up. When the whole thing was over, I wanted to get right back on.

Eventually, I will write a detailed description of what happened during the workshop.

They are not tellable as written-- they were given to me in very broken English, and we had to struggle to get the meaning straight. Usually, at some point during the process, one, two, or three students and I would gather around the computor screen, and argue over whether the story was more or less right. I didn't know their languages, they were at all ranges of ability in English.. And, of course, the ones with the best and most elaborate stories, often, were the ones with the most primitive English skills; sometimes (with the very best and most elaborate stories) they had very poor literacy in their native languages.

These are not the best, even. Just a random sample.

The Art Contest (Vietnam) A very old joke.

The Boy from the North (Vietnam) A newer joke.

Emilya and the Pike (Russia)-- A very popular story; all Russians know it, from children's books, tellings, and a widely seen animated cartoon.

More to come....