Okay, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands recently. Why? No jobs. For 6 weeks, I’ve walked the barren desert. Storytell has been my oasis. It gives me an opportunity to revisit the well. Thank you to all who read and respond to my many posts recently. Here is what I found at a recent visit to the well….
So, the threads that weave traditional and personal stories got me to thinking…What if my “signature” story (see website info below) ever evolved (as someone suggested) into a traditional story? What would it be? Hmmmm..
Makin' Music with the King
Once upon a time there was a king and queen who had been blessed with only one child, a son. They named him John, Prince John. He was a good son, but one without any discernable talent. Oh, he was given every advantage that a young prince could imagine - a fine education, lessons in chess, hunting, dueling, even music lessons.
Now, his parents were both fine musicians in their own right. The Queen played the harpsichord while the king played the violin. They so wanted their son to play the lute. Why the finest musicians were brought to the palace to teach the young prince, but to no avail. The prince was saddened for he thought there was something musical about him, but he hated the practicing so!
Finally, one day the prince came of age and he went to his father and said, “Father, you will reign over this kingdom for many years to come. Let me go to travel about the world. Perhaps, I will discover what it is about me that is unique – that would qualify me to take your place, when the time comes for you to step down.” The king and queen were saddened at the news that they wouldn’t see their only child for months…perhaps, even years. But, they bowed to his wishes and bid him fair journey.
Oh, the adventures that ensued! It seemed around every corner there were new and exciting times awaiting him. He worked as woodsman at one time and scared off a wolf threatening a peasant girl and her grandmother; as a farmer’s right-hand man, he grew some beans that must have been magic as they seemingly reached all the way to the sky; as a sheriff, he rid the village of 3 of the orneriest fellows by using his wit. Yes, he saved maidens in distress and fought creatures he thought only exited in his imagination.
At nights he traveled to the local pubs and related his past stories and his latest escapades adding a bit of exaggeration here and there. Sometimes, he stretched a story so much that the listeners laughed. The townsfolk never tired of listening to him, and he never tired of telling the same stories over and over.
He noticed that his stories had become his music. He looked upon every story as a piece of music with its own rhythm and mood. Sometimes he told his story forte – with great gusto and. other times. Pianissimo – his words touching lightly on his tongue. Each word became like a note with its own intrinsic sound and value. The story really became alive when he let it go and it started to riff. He felt the muse on his shoulder when he reached out with his story and touched just the right chord with his listeners. And…he didn’t mind practicing one bit!
Time passed and twenty years and one day later, he returned home to see his father and mother. There was huge celebration as their son came home to one day take his rightful place as king. The cooks prepared a great feast and musicians for miles around came to play.
At first the old king was concerned. For although his son looked fit and trim – robust even, with a healthy love of life, he still didn’t know if his son could rule the kingdom. Then the celebrations began. The king got up to greet the guests, “Welcome, one and all to the great hall where we toast to the return of Prince John!” Goblets or wine were raised to the toast.
“To Prince John!” they cheered.
“Prince John, do have a some words for the people of our kingdom?”
Prince John rose slowly and patted his father on his back, “As a matter of fact, father, I do have a few things I’d like to say, stories really, about my journey.” And he began to tell of his adventures relating the stories that had been honed down through years of telling with ease of a troubadour. “First, I’d like to tell you about this fella, I met along the way. His name was Jack….”
The roast beef grew cold and the musicians never got a chance to play as the people were transported to other lands…to other lives. When he finished, a quiet hung from the rafters. It was the queen who spoke first, as she uttered what they all had been thinking….”How does he make music with his words.”
Prince John thought, “How do I make music with my words?” There could be no finer compliment.
It has been said that, when Prince John became King John, he was much loved by the people for being good, and kind, and just. They said he always had a story to tell that bought harmony to his kingdom.
Now, if you’d like to read the personal story, "Makin' Music that this story came from, you can click HERE
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