TELLING STORIES – Marilyn Armstrong

Last night I dreamed about chickens. After a tooth-grinding review of how badly mistreated we have been by past employers — Garry’s and mine — somehow I slid sideways into an old house in the country.

It looked a lot like it does around here. A bit hilly and lots of trees. There was a movie star living in the house. She was supposed to be young, but her skin looked like the bottom of an old leather suitcase and was a trifle orange. She was going back to California where she seemed to believe she would be better off.

That left me with 200 chickens. The fowl were arriving (shortly) by truck. Healthy, young, hens and roosters. Enough to start a nice little chicken farm. Except I didn’t want to be a chicken farmer and I was pretty sure, neither did Garry. I couldn’t just leave the chickens to die of hunger, thirst, and cold. I’m a responsible person and I love animals. Even chickens.

I was still baffled over the whole chicken conundrum when I finally gave up, opened my eyes, and began my day. Coffee would banish chickens. Garry says it’s from “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and I was just caught in an old movie loop.

Author Gordon Winter, Garry and chickens

Author Gordon Winter, Garry, and Gordon’s chickens

Not counting authors since this prompt doesn’t concern that … who tells great stories?

Garry tells wonderful stories. He has me mesmerized from the first word to the last and that includes when I’ve heard the story before. Our friend Tom is also a terrific storyteller. He makes us laugh. I don’t know if the story is true or maybe just a little true, but whatever, it is great entertainment.

At my best, I tell a good story. I run on too long and I’m not good at wrapping it up and finishing before the audience needs another drink, but I’m good for the yarn’s first three-quarters.

Story-telling is the glue that makes friends want to hang out with each other.

It’s not booze, movies, or video games. Certainly not texting. It’s stories. The tales of our experiences, things we remember, times and places and people we’ve known.

I keep wondering what young people will do when they realize you can’t live forever with only a mobile phone as your closest companion? They don’t seem to have a clue about conversations or telling stories.

Our stories are our personal mythology. Will our children and grandchildren have stories? Or anyone to tell them?

It worries me. It really does.

Categories: Friendship, Humor, Marilyn Armstrong, Myths and Fables, story

Tags: , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. What a fabulous photo! There is a definite art to storytelling. When someone is able to keep you mesmerized and wanting more you know they have that gift.


  2. I once wrote a story about the chicken that sneezed and was ignored by the others because they were sure he had chicken flu, but it was so long ago, I don’t know where it disappeared to – probably the computer that still had XP. At least you always have fresh eggs with chickens. My youngest is a good story teller, but he works for the Swiss Government, so there is always something interesting to tell (but I am not allowed to repeat it here – all top secret or what?).


    • I think governments are just fond of thinking everything they do is so important it must be secret. I bet if we revealed them, most of these secrets would be trivial nonsense. But of course, being secret makes it all seem dreadfully important, right? Garry has some great secrets and he won’t tell me what they are, but I’m pretty sure I would love to know what they are, but then someone would probably kill me or try, anyhow.

      I’m sure the chickens would be a Value Added Thing, but I’d have to get up early to feed them and find the eggs and clean the coop.



  3. That was quite a dream and you told the story of it like a wonderful story teller. Maybe tonight you’ll return to the chicken farm and tomorrow you can let us know what happened next.


    • I was not thrilled with the chickens. I was trying, last I remember, to figure out if I could leave the house open and let the chickens use it as a coop while we went somewhere warm. I think I’m having problems with the upcoming winter because I don’t want winter to upcome. I want it to stay FAR away while we remain warm and cozy. When I sing “let it snow,” I mean somewhere else, not here. Sigh. Chickens. Can’t live with them, can’t eat without them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re right about the cell phones. In this culture of micro messages there is no place for good stories…


  5. That cartoon made me LOL irl!


  6. “Sometimes, the absolutely best storyteller in the world has got to be my subconscious.”

    LOL, I loved this! So true. Hilarious about the paranoid narcissist, too.


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