Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Resurrection of the Dodo

The Dodo became extinct in the late 1600s
In a recent Stories in the Streets gig, I had an interested audience of random-aged children and parents. I decided to tell Tug of War, a story with audience participation. In this folktale Rabbit cunningly gets Elephant and Blue Whale to participate against each other. The folktale originated as an African folktale then traveled with the slave trade to become a popular Creole tale.  I began the story, “On a small island just off the coast of Africa the sea pounds against the curved golden shoreline; a warm wind blows through the jungle canopy; and on this ever so small island called Mauritius there lives …” Whereupon a perky seven year old piped in, “a dodo, a dodo, I know dodoes come from Mauritius because I watch a lot of educational TV.”
Well, they came from Mauritius.  But, with such a lively introduction of a character, I had to weave dodo into the story. Improv style, I added Dodo as Rabbit's go-to guy. Voila! Dodo resurrection complete.
Now on to another resurrection, my let-fall-by-the-wayside-of-good intentions storytelling blog. 
The dodo bird fell into extinction because it had a bad set up.  It lived on Mauritius as a large non-flying bird with no natural predators. Mauritius was discovered first by the Portuguese in 1500’s and inhabited by Dutch settlers in the 17th century. The humans, along with animals they brought, simply walked up to the poor dodos and ate them up – no contest.
Now, I hope, the resurrection of my blog will be the tale of the dodo in reverse.   Like Dodo, my blog was rather inert. I knew there was competition out there in the social media land and so came to a near instant conclusion that I couldn’t compete and rolled over to play dead. 
Later I realized that I had wings – working every day as a storyteller produces content – but I didn’t know how to fly – how to consistently flap my pencil/keyboard to produce dialogue that would interest other storytellers/ educators/child raisers.  Fortunately, I have found a helper to help "lift" my blogging.
A few weeks ago I connected with a brilliant young woman who wanted to gain more insight into the hows of storytelling from me.  She suggested that perhaps the sharing could be a two way street.  So, we are conspiring to resurrect this blog together.   I will author one week; she the next. So, tag Anna Eyre, you’re it. 

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