In 2007, the new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary introduced new words such as ‘broadband’ while others, describing the natural world, disappeared.  Whilst the dictionary is designed to reflect the current frequency of the words used by children, the philosopher AJ Ayer has pointed out that unless we have a word for something, we are unable to conceive it.  ‘The Lost Words’, published in 2017, is a book written by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris which seeks to gently, but firmly, restore the missing words.  In the recent ‘Storytelling for Change’ workshop, ‘The Lost Words’ was used as one of the inspirations for our own storytelling.  Here is one of the stories which unfolded at the workshop.

 

 

Creature with No Name

 

Once upon a time, there lived a creature on a land which was well and truly trodden.  This creature had a name, which has been long since forgotten. 

 

When visiting the land with the swallows and the swifts, the creature often brought magic and gifts.  Sometimes it brought emotions such as sorrow and joy. At other times it brought friendships with a girl or a boy. Some people said it even bestowed them with great wealth such as silver and gold.  But its greatest gift was a secret; a secret never to be told.

 

Today, people still hear its gossip and bicker, and if we listen carefully, a yak and a snicker. But we no longer see its soar and glide, not even a swoop or a dive. How can a creature exist to the ear, but to the eye, not at all be clear?

 

When we are quiet, still and refrain, the creature comes into our lives once again. When we go to a very special place, we can hear its call.  Its call comes from within, within us all.  The creature is within us, we are within the creature.  Being at one with the creature is our very nature.

 

How can we all again see the creature before we grow old? Maybe, just maybe, this is the secret never to be told.

 

Terry Sexton

28th September 2018

 

 

We will be delivering the 'Storytelling for Change' workshop again in the near future.  If you are interested in joining us at this workshop please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will send your further information.  

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