The Storyteller's New Coat
The storyteller yearned for a new coat. He could not perform without one, in
fact he simply could not live without one.
So he searched for one. Day and night, far and wide. He searched so hard that he
forgot to tell the wonderful stories that he knew, lost the skill, lost the
knack. Forgot to sit over a roaring fire and begin:
"Once upon a time"
But then one day, while he was wandering the Wandsworth High Road, he found it,
the perfect coat. And my, was it perfect?
The collar was perfect. The buttons were perfect. The pockets? Why the pockets
were perfectly perfect! It was a perfect coat. It would be perfect for telling
his stories in!
The storyteller bought it there and then, he placed it on is back and admired
himself in the mirror. Collar up, collar down. Hands in pockets hands out of
pockets. It was perfection!
It was then the storyteller realised that to be a perfect storyteller, why he
would have to have new boots. How could he perform the perfect story in the
perfect new coat and still wear these worn out old shoes.
So again he searched, again he forgot to tell his wonderful stories.
Well he searched in Bridenorth, Bulgaria and Bongeroo. He searched in Thailand,
Tobermory and Timbuktu. He searched in Nashville, Nova Scotia and Nambia! But it
was on the little island of Puckermara that he found the perfect boots.
And my, were they perfect? He bought them there and then. He stamped up and down
in them he marched like a soldier and danced like a cowboy......Yee Haa.....They
were perfection, the most perfect pair of boots the storyteller had ever worn.
And the storyteller stood in front of the mirror, he admired his perfect new
boots, he admired his perfect new coat and he was just about to go and tell his
stories when he realised that to be a PERFECT storyteller, why he would have to
have a new hat.
How could he perform in the perfect new coat and the perfect new boots without a
perfect new hat? So again he searched for the hat. Forgetting to tell his
stories. All the hats he tried were no good. They were all too ordinary, too
sophisticated, too dull or too plain, but then on a market stall in Marrakech he
found it. The perfect hat. Tall and thin, black silk that gently caught the
breeze, with a Peacocks feather in the side.
Well he bought it there and then and placed it on his head and looked as fine as
any dandy who could possibly tell a tale.
And the storyteller looked at himself in the mirror, admired his perfect new
hat, his perfect new boots, his perfect new coat and he readied himself to go!
It was then that the storyteller realised he had forgotten all of his stories.
So obsessed had he become with finding the perfect new coat, the perfect new
boots, the perfect new hat, that he had forgotten all his stories, every single
one, every single line, every word. He was a storyteller without a tale!
In the autumn the storyteller sold his new coat to pay for food for his belly.
In the winter the storyteller sold his new bots to pay for wood for his fire.
In the spring the storyteller sold his new hat to buy a new book of tales.
And in the summer the storyteller began to tell again!
Work with what you have or you may not work at all!
By Andy Hawkins