Inspiring Older Readers

posted on 16 Apr 2016

The Storyteller by Kieran Breen

Every day the young woman would visit the story teller and ask him to tell her stories. She loved his stories; they made her feel understood, special and very happy. She loved the way he told his stories, the details, the tone of his voice and the way he would move close and whisper certain words. Sometimes when he told her stories to emphasise a point he would hold her hand or stroke her arm and this made them even more special. For his part the storyteller loved to tell the young woman stories, she was bright, warm, caring and clever and reminded him of all that was good about life.

Often the young woman found herself thinking that the stories he told her were more real than the air she breathed, they made her feel alive. The more she listened to his stories the more she realised about the wonderful potential she had within her and the multitude of possibilities and pleasures that could be hers. She began to realise his stories had entered her consciousness, shaped how she saw and interacted with both the world and herself. She started to realise she was the author of her own story, she could write the paragraphs, pages and chapters and she could live life any way she chose.

The more she started to live her own story the less she visited the storyteller until al last she visited no more. Many years later she found herself by chance walking through the part of town where the storyteller lived and she noticed a coffin being carried from his house. A small crowd of people had gathered and they told her, the old man who liked to tell stories had passed away the night before. Somewhere deep within she remembered a whispered voice telling her stories and sadness and grief threatened to overwhelm her. “Wipe away your tears. How can you feel loss when I am always with you and always will be” and for a brief second she felt his breath on her neck, his kind hand stroking her face and she was at peace with herself and the world.

A few days later a young man who was worried about life was passing by the house and he came across the now not so young woman who was sitting on a bench with a warm smile on her face. She looked so happy and content he had to ask her why and she replied by holding his hand, lowering her voice and telling him a wonderful story.