Our second storytelling session in May, on Wednesday, 15th, was, as usual, in the convivial surroundings of the Woolpack Inn, Tillicoultry.

Our loose theme was “Children”.

First we heard the tale of Goldilocks, told from Goldilocks’ own point of view.  In this telling, our heroine tries to justify her actions!

The second story of the evening was “The Menstrie Kips”.  The Kip family lived in Jerrah cottage in the Ochils.  Their young son, Tommy, is rescued from a deep ravine by the wee folk, but neither his father nor his mother believe his tale.

Next up was “This Be The Verse”, Phillip Larkin’s well-known poem, written in 1971.  It is one of the nation’s favourite poems.

The evening’s fourth offering was “The Hanging of the Mouse”, in which a king defeats all other kingdoms around his, but one day discovers that all his subjects have disappeared.  A wizard has cast a spell over the king’s lands to avenge the other lands which have been conquered.  The mouse in the title is in fact the wizard’s son, caught stealing ears of wheat and sentenced to hang. Thankfully, an arrangement is reached and the mouse lives.

Next we listened to a story about another king, a handsome and vain one, who hates any signs of ageing, so he sends all his older subjects away.  His kingdom soon declines without the elders’ wisdom.  It takes a young girl to show the king how useful the elder generation can be.

Our penultimate tale, “Habetrot” concerned an old woman who spun yarn for a local girl who could not spin,  and then convinced the girl’s new husband that she should never spin again.

Our last story was “The Selfish Giant” by Oscar Wilde in which a giant learns that keeping his garden to himself, chasing away the local children, causes his garden to wither.  The giant learns to welcome the children back and to delight in watching them play.

We all enjoyed listening to and telling these stories and poems, and the accompanying memories of our own childhoods.