Last night was truly a spectacular night and a milestone for the Haworth Open Storytelling Circle. At one headcount I reckoned we must have had 16 people present, with 5 of us telling tales… a nice ratio with an appreciative audience. Adam kicked off the evening with a short poem entitled The Storyteller, which Paul followed up with the macabre tale of the Sloe Death of David Lampton (you had to be there 😉 ), a cautionary yarn of greed and avarice with a decidedly folkloric twist. We had the good fortune to have Ash Mandrake, the 11th Bard of Bath, in the area ready and willing to test out a few stories. he told the bitter yet revolutionary and subversive story of Magpie, the first Jester. Jim followed this with an account of a young farmhand’s encounter with the devil and all his little minions within the confines of Haworth.
Kay was with us for the first time and was rather put on the spot when asked mid circle whether she wished to contribute a tale, but bravely stepped up with a tale of an otherworldly encounter in the Sudan pertaining to a vision or an omen of dying and of death, with a touching end. Craig followed this up with an updated version of an attempt at constructing an Indo-European creation myth related to the origins of the landscape of the Isle of Britain, formed from the bones and carcass of the giant Bhelos, slain by He Who Walks.
Adam told the Moroccan tale of the Red Lantern and Paul gave us the story of the Boy of Egremont, a legend of the Strid, a section of the River Wharfe notorious for the lives it has claimed, and the founding of what has now become known as Bolton Abbey. Ash then presented with an explanation for the death of the giants, how they were outwitted by a particularly ugly old woman into caching meteors with their mouths and how their deaths and teeth (the strongest substance in the world) formed certain rock formations know to this day. We revisited the tale of the Silver Jubilee and the Golden Tickets with Jim before Adam rounded off the evening with a tale from old Egypt about the young boy, lazy, ugly and stupid, who exchanged his soul to become something far nobler and lost the love of his life in the process.
In amongst all this, there was much banter and merriment, such as folks gathered around the metaphorical fire are meant to engage in, with some serious musings on the nature of creativity. Ten tales and a poem, served up with humour and beer.