You might be a storyteller if...

This list was adapted from a series of posts to the STORYTELL listserver. Heckfire! Some of it was just plain lifted directly from people's posts and for the life of me I could not tell you who said what at this point! --Mary Grace


  • You live in the house that Jack built, ride a black horse, and/or the rest of your family were recently turned into swans...
  • Your postal address is East of the sun and West of the moon...
  • Your spouse is a frog prince (or frog tsarevna)...
  • Your pet, Fido, is a coyote...
  • You think the worldwide web has something to do with Anansi...
  • You know all the variant spellings of Nasrudin Hodja...
  • You not only know how to pronounce Baba Yaga, but you know where she lives...
  • You have received a blessing from the Jade Emperor of the Sky...
  • You solve your problems with the IRS by casting a spell on the agent...
  • You go shopping for just the right thing to wear with a new story...
  • You carry a list of the stories you know, just in case...
  • People in the lane next to you assume (not without justification, mind you!) that you are schizophrenic...
  • You reluctantly decide that you are the loony on the bus/train/plane...
  • You've spent many an interesting minute talking to a stranger's hand...(with puppet)
  • You've had to ask them to bring the houselights "up!"
  • More than once, a story has jumped on you, possessed you, and forced you to tell it...
  • Your friends don't take you to the ballet any more because, once too often, you shouted at the choreographer, "You call that a story?"
  • You stand up in the movie theatre during Disney re-releases and bellow "Wrong! I'll tell you how it really happened..."
  • You keep hoping that someday somebody will yell out "Is there a Storyteller in the house?"
  • A sore throat is a true catastrophe...
  • You ask for discounts on folktale collection. No reason; just because you should...
  • You still have hurt feelings because Donald Davis didn't remember your name...
  • You have that recurring dream of performing on PBS...
  • The childrens' librarian recognizes your voice before you finish saying "Hello, this is..."


When Did You Become a Storyteller?

When everything you hear,
tells you a story,

When everything you see,
reminds you of a story,

When everything you taste
conjures up a story,

When everything you smell,
evokes for you a story,

When everything you touch,
summons up a story,

You might indeed be a storyteller.

But it is not until
you release those stories,

Allow the images to free form into the
imaginations of others,

Spilling their seeds
into the creation of more stories,

Funneled through the love and cares of family and friends,
who will love you

Enriched, enhanced,
amplified with the hopes and dreams of strangers
who have no other reason to love
or care for you,

Nestled into the unconscious mind of a growing child
where they will grow with goodness and strength.

Ahh, then, call yourself a storyteller.

And when they offer you praise,

the sounds,
the sights,
the tastes,
the smells,
the touch,

Of the Love of Story.

Leanne Johnson (1959-2007)

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