Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Petrified Buffalo Heart

...and stories I like to tell.


My grandfather and grandmother were both great at telling stories. As a young boy, I never doubted they were true. Oh, they had some truth but like all storytellers, the story had been expanded a bit. My first opportunity to retell one of those stories came when I was in first grade of elementary school. It was in Mrs. McDonough's class at Schuyler Lake School. It was my turn for Show and Tell.
That day I had brought with me this strange looking object. It was reddish brown and white and had a polished look about it. My grandfather, who had a bit of a dry sense of humor, with a straight face, told me that my great great grandfather had found this curious looking rock in the desert out west about 1900, in Arizona. He had taken a trip cross country visiting all of his relatives that had followed the westward migration of the late 1800's. Grandpa seemed to think the object came from the Petrified Forest. And he said it was a petrified buffalo's heart.

And I believed him. So I made the other kids eyes bug out and jaws drop as I showed them the object and retold the story. Of course I had to improve on the story a little bit and said he met Buffalo Bill along the way. Mrs. McDonough was not impressed because we were supposed to tell about real things and not make up stories. She deflated my pride by telling me that it was only a cinder and that I shouldn't be making up stories like this. But that incident only set me back for a little while.

I absorbed as many stories as I could from my grandparents and tried to pass them along to my own children. Oh, I also told my children some doozies, all made up of course. That'll be the subject of another story on another day, my obsession with puns. I do like telling stories.

For some reason I never read any of the Grimms Fairy Tales while growing up and only saw the stories as retold by Disney. Then, along came the TV show Grimm on NBC which has some loose connections to the bizarre tales told by the Grimm brothers. I was hooked. So, last year I decided to actually read some of them. I was so fascinated by these strange tales that I decided to play storyteller and record sixty-two of the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. I had a lot of fun and gained a new appreciation of their stories. (At one time these were all available for listening on-line but have been removed due to web storage space limits. I ran out of space. )

Coming up next week.... Voices on the Pop Charts...The Voiceover Hit Parade

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