Friday, December 18, 2015


Paul opened with a grim tale of murder, neatly located in a frozen New Forest, and played deftly with our expectations, as well as impersonating a singing white hind [you had to be there]. This is all part of his project to turn ballads into stories for telling, and you can find reference material for the ballad [The Famous Flower of Serving Men] here.
In his second appearance here, the fertile Jason had yet another new story: the little child, Anastasia, lost in the forests of Varushka, is saved by the spirit of the waterfall [now frozen] with which her shaman grandfather used to commune. I particularly enjoyed the way in which the water elemental sought help from the elementals of earth, air and fire, as well as the animals, before folding himself around the little girl to keep her safe, with the result that her warmth melted his heart.
Raph told us about Old Peter the toymaker and Salinka, whose magic sleep could only be broken by the Golden Bird that he made for her. A rich and deep story, that needs hearing again.
Mike told us a brief version of Little Daughter of the Snow, from Old Peter's Russian Tales, which you can find here.
And Maddie told us Gawain and the Green Knight, including a full break-down of his five-fold shield, which I'd never heard before!

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