A few of the Howlers had the great pleasure of attending a wonderful weekend on traditional folk tales, led by the inimitable Taffy Thomas, with Shonaleigh Cumbers and Dr .Steve Killick. Taffy was the first storytelling laureate until January this year, (the current laureate is Katrice Horsley) and has a head and a talecoat stuffed with stories, riddles and mischief.
Shonaleigh is a drut’syla, a Yiddish oral storyteller whose role through the years has been to hold the community’s stories in trust and pass them on. She held us spellbound on Saturday afternoon with 1.5 hours of intertwined and nested stories called “Pandora’s Box”- I never expcted to cry at a story of a vizier and a gibbon!
Steve is a clinical psychologist who works with disturbed adolescents, and who, as well as being a mean storyteller in his own right, is working with Taffy on exploring the potential role of stories for children and families in distress. They have produced a book called “Telling Tales: Storytelling as Emotional Literacy”, which you can get from Amazon.
The weekend was much enhanced by the beautiful pipe and fiddle playing of Paul Knox,
The few Howlers there were honoured to be invited to do a guest spot at the ceilidh.