The art of storytelling.

When I was a little girl my father used to make up the most ridiculous anD elaborate stories for me. Think Goldilocks and the three bears but with a communist spy twist. Think Humpty Dumpty being rushed to the emergency room with clowns for doctors trying to save him. These stories have become one of my favorite childhood memories, Because long after a parent is gone the stories are left behind.

I would say that I have an active imagination, or a unique way of seeing the world. This has served me well in the art of storytelling with small children.

Often times they are centered around my children, because let’s be honest kids love hearing about them selves. They are often tales of ordinary events with a delicious twist. They are based on beloved toys, favorite past times, and family conversations.

I want to encourage other people to take up the art of storytelling. It requires no money and minimal imagination. It could just be an expansion on the story your children already love, or even just the retelling of events of the day and it keeps children completely enthralled.

I would like to share one of the stories with you today, this was a story that was prompted by a conversation I was having with my children in the car one day. I am not sure if this will be kind of a common occurrence for me to share my beloved stories with you but let’s start with this one and see how we feel after that. Please feel free to share this story with your own children. Use their names instead of my children’s names, make small changes that make it personal and compelling for your family. At the end there is a reference to white flowers, because on the hillside next to our house is a large patch of an endangered species called Blood Root which comes up in very early spring. But your family could plant snow drops in your garden or in a pot in the house, or something like that. If you can make it an engaging process with your children it just adds to the enchantment and wonder of the tail. And so I present the story of…

Father Winter

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Alden, who had a little sister named Amelie, and they both had a little sister named Etta. Now these three children lived in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, winters were often cold and long but this winter has been a particularly long and cold and blustery and bone chilling and snow drifting kind of winter. One morning as the family sat talking Alden made a comment. Nothing of real significance to begin with, but once they started talking about it, they realized it was a truly wonderful idea.

Alden said “I think we should write Father Winter a letter asking him to stop this long cold winter”

His mother pointed out that father winter probably received lots and lots of letters from all kinds of people complaining about the winter, and that he probably would not appreciate another letter complaining about the work that he does. So they started to discuss what they could do for father winter to try to persuade him to end winter, as it was already almost the end of March and still snowing. Then Amelie suggested that perhaps father winter might like a cake. However they could not agree upon which kind of cake father winter would like best, was it chocolate, or vanilla, or perhaps even a snow cake.

This was when Alden had what was a truly brilliant idea.

“Perhaps we should make him a cup of hot cocoa, a very nice cup of hot cocoa.” Alden said.

They agreed that that was the way to go. Everybody know that warm milk makes you sleepy and everybody knows that when father winter falls asleep the spring fairies come out and do their melting snow dance. So they went to the kitchen and made the best cup of hot cocoa they had ever made. They put it in a lovely mug and wrote on the side

To: Father Winter

Love: Alden and Amelie and a Etta.

They then walked down to the mailbox, and placed it on top. This way when Father Winter came by he would see it. Well later that day Father Winter came blustering and blowing and snowing and chilling his way through the valley. When all of a sudden he saw his name on a nice warm cup of cocoa on top of the mailbox. Now this was a pleasant surprise as all Father Winter ever got in the mail was letters complaining about how long and cold the winter was and asking him to stop. This of course only ever one made him want to blow harder and colder and longer and chillier than ever before. But this kind gesture caught him off guard. In fact he stopped and smiled and he held the mug in his hands in oh it made his hands feel cozy and as he sniffed it the warm air tickled his nose and he decided that he would stop and enjoy this treat. He sat right on the snow and he drank that cocoa, and it was the best cocoa he had ever had. Once he drank it his stomach felt so warm, and his eyelids started to feel sleepy and he stretched his arms and hands high up into the sky gave out one big yawn. He decided that he would rest for just a moment and then continue on his boreal way. He snapped his fingers and in an instant a glorious snow bed was before him on the hillside and he laid down to close his eyes. No sooner had he closed his eyes that he blew away as a drift of snow on the wind, and he will return the next season on that same wind. And in his place sprung up all of the spring fairies who gleefully danced around the hillside starting to melt the snow. Spring came and where Father Winter had made his bed, beautiful white flowers covered the hillside as a reminder of the beauty of winter and the gifts that Father Winter brings us each year.

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