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Topic: Bag o' Stones...
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jun 9, 2007 12:05PM)
I read a story years back that was about a storyteller that would tell stories by having one of the audience pull a stone out of a bag. I like this idea,very simple concept but my problem is I only have one ( definatly ) or 2 stories, the one I have is from mystery school and involves a story of compassion and love, rosequartz stone to heart. Then the other story maybe involves a bleeding stone. I was wondering if anyone could point me to an effect or maybe some literature that uses stone's for the effect.
I would like for the stones to change or do something magical and the bag they are in will be a changebag so this will be able to be used in the effects.
I think 3 stories will do but the bag will be full of stones and the story stones will be forced. I have had some success with forcing the rose quartz stone out of 5 stones I keep with me always. It seems the ladies always will reach for this stone, I use the effect with a dlite lighting it up at the end...
Any direction will be greatly apprieciated.
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jun 20, 2007 04:58AM)
Here is a story that I found on a storytelling website (www.story_lovers.com). It is by an American storyteller by the name of Leslie Slape. I was immediately struck by the magical possibilities suggested in the story and I contacted her for permission to give it a magical interpretation. She graciously agreed and here it is:

THE STORY STONES. (An original tale by Leslie Slape)

Long, long ago, in the time of lords and ladies, castles and kings, monsters, dragons and magical rings. There was one who told, to young and old, tales of all these things…….

He was – The Tale-teller.

The tale-teller travelled from village to village with his leather satchel over his shoulder, telling tales in exchange for a hot meal and a place to sleep ... and perhaps a new tale or two to take with him when he left, for tales are to be shared. If they're not told, they crumble into dust.

On the night my story takes place, the townspeople were rejoicing with the news that the tale-teller was coming. The lord of the manor had opened the Great Hall and declared a feast day, and all the people from miles around came to eat and drink - and listen! Among the listeners was a young maiden, a peasant girl, who was collecting food in her apron for her sister lying sick in bed at home. They lived alone, their parents having died.

When the tale-teller entered the hall, the people cheered. "Tell us a story! Tell us a story!" The old man smiled and set his leather satchel down on a table. He opened it, and those who were nearest could see it was filled to the brim with polished stones.

"I've prepared a new one for you," he said, and picked up a stone from the top. Grasping it in his right hand, he pressed it against his heart, closed his eyes and took a long, slow breath. He opened his eyes. "Once upon a time there dwelt a father and three sons ..." he began.

His hand never left his heart. The listeners leaned forward, hardly breathing, not wanting to miss a word. It was a story of a thrilling adventure, and when the tale-teller finished, the listeners cheered. The tale-teller took the stone away from his heart and replaced it in the satchel.

"Another! Another!" the people shouted. "A funny one!"

"Here's one you'll like," said the tale-teller, choosing a small red stone from the satchel. He placed it over his heart as before. "One day in the forest a fox met a bear… ..."

Soon the listeners were weak with laughter. When the tale-teller finished, they shouted, "Another! Another!"

"Do you have a love story?" asked a shy young couple nearby. The tale-teller smiled and said, "Of course." He reached into the satchel and pulled out a silver stone shaped like a teardrop. "A long time ago there lived three sisters .….."

As he told this tale, tears formed in the eyes of his listeners, for the lovers had to undergo many trials to test their love. But there was one listener whose eyes were not wet. This man was a thief, and he had come to the feast for the free food, not the stories. But when he saw the silver stone, his interest in this tale-teller grew.

Easily, like a snake, he slithered through the crowd until he stood beside the table where the satchel lay. His practiced eyes scanned the stones within. These were no ordinary stones! He would have to have a jeweller appraise them, of course, but he'd be willing to wager that he was looking at carnelians, opals, jade, amber, lapis lazuli and other semi-precious stones.

He hadn't even noticed that the tale-teller had finished his tale. The old man set the teardrop-shaped stone in the satchel right before the thief's eyes. It was solid silver! A stone like that would bring a good price, thought the thief, and waited for his chance. Suddenly it came.

"My friends, I must go refresh my thirst ... but I will return shortly," said the tale-teller. He left his satchel, still open, on the table. The thief snatched the silver stone and slipped it into the leather bag that hung from his belt. He glanced around, grabbed a handful of other stones and slithered into the night.
The tale-teller, returning with a frosty tankard, saw him go. He stroked his beard and sighed.

Soon the thief arrived at the home of a jeweller. "What would you give me for this?" he asked, reaching into his pouch. Feeling the largest stone, he pulled it out. "Nothing," said the jeweller. "Common stones such as this can be found alongside any road."

"What?!" said the thief. He peered at the stone in the candlelight. He could have sworn it was silver, but now it looked like an ordinary rock. He turned the pouch over and dumped out all the stones. Every one of them was a common pebble. "I don't understand," said the thief. "In the tale-teller's hands, these stones were different!"

"Ah, so that's what happened," said the jeweller. "These are story stones. They can't be sold. Did you listen to the stories?" The thief shook his head. "Without the stories, they're completely worthless," said the jeweller. "Go on your way. I'm going to bed."

Back at the hall, the tale-teller had returned, and the listeners were again begging for a tale. What to tell? His eyes scanned the room, and met the eyes of a young maiden with an apron full of food. I know what she needs to hear, he thought. Ah, here's the perfect stone ... a heart-healing tale.

"In a certain time, in a certain place, there lived a peasant girl .….."

His eyes never left those of the maiden. She needs this story, he realized. She needs this story even more than I do. When the tale was done, the girl moved through the crowd until she stood before him. "Would you come to my house and tell my sister that story?" she begged. He looked at her a moment, then picked up the stone again and placed it in her hand. "I think you need to be the one to tell it," he said.

The girl hurried home, with her apron full of food and the stone clutched tightly in her hand. Her sister was lying in bed, feverish and weak. "I've brought you something wonderful," said the girl, opening her hand.

Oh no! This was a plain, ordinary rock! Quickly she closed her hand to hide it. She would have to pretend. She placed her hand over her heart and took a deep breath. Suddenly her mind was flooded with images, feelings ... everything that had been in the story! "In a certain time, in a certain place, there lived a peasant girl …..."

She stumbled over some of the words, but the images remained, and she found new words. Her eyes never left her sister. When she finished, her sister's face was radiant. "Oh, what a beautiful story. Could you tell it again?"

"Of course." The girl put the stone over her heart again, and again the images washed over her. The words came easier this time. "This is better nourishment than food," said her sister. "Again ... please?" Through the night, the story was told again and again, each time more smoothly.

When the morning sun came through their window, it shone on two sleeping girls. And in the hand of one of them was a stone of bright, shining gold..........

End of story.

Here’s the magic bit.
I bought a mixed dozen or so polished gemstones and put them in a velvet drawstring bag. This was going to be ‘The Storyteller’s satchel.

I then collected half a dozen rough pebbles and placed them into the main side of a ‘Flap-Doodle’ change bag.

The story is told and at the appropriate moment, the gemstones are tipped onto a table or into an outstretched palm. At the point where the thief steals the stones, I grab a few and put them into the secret side of the change bag.

As the story continues, and the thief visits the jeweller, I reach into the bag and take out one rough stone. Proceeding as in the story, the change bag is ripped open to reveal the rest of the ordinary pebbles.

Back with the storyteller – the stone for the servant girl is picked up and switched, first for a dull stone and then again for the gold stone. (a la Bobo!).
With compliments,

Leslie Melville.
Message: Posted by: Trekdad (Jun 20, 2007 06:06AM)
Wow! Thanks for sharing this. A truly engaging story with many magic applications.

It strikes me that Ickle Pickle's new velvet drawstring change bag would be a perfect accompaniment for this story. I've been using it for a prediction effect with small stones.

I have to say, also, that I'm a huge fan of your MagicTales. Thanks for making these ideas available.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jun 20, 2007 03:41PM)
Wonderful story.
Haven't seen much in this section and this was a breath of fresh air.

Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jun 20, 2007 07:47PM)
Thanks Gentlemen, for your kind words.

With regard to Silvertongue's original post about having stones selected by spectators. In my children's storytelling presentations, I have a 'Bag of Bags' i.e. a large cloth drawstring bag, about 18" x 18", inside of which are smaller, different shaped bags, each one containing an object.

Children are invited to dip into the large bag and remove one of the smaller bags. They can feel and try to identify what's inside.

I then take each bag in turn and remove the item inside (a feather, a Roman coin, a plumb stone etc..), and tell a story related to the object. Sometimes it might be a magic 'prop' with which I do a trick.

it is very good for retaining the attention of smaller children (pre-schoolers, for instance) as they anxiously await the telling of 'their' story.

Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jun 21, 2007 06:02PM)
Thankyou Mr Melville,its an honour to have your input, I hope we hear more from you, I love your work... This is in fact the story I read that gave me the inspiration for a routine with a simple bag of stones. I recently got another 2 storys to add to the bag, one from 'Garden of the strange' caleb strange and the other from Kotah's 'by darkness influenced'...
I just like the idea of always having a routine and stories with you wherever you go, and that can be added to over the years... here is another story you guys may like...
More Precious than a Precious Stone

A wise woman was traveling in the mountains when she found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation.

The traveler left rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But, a few days later, he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

"I've been thinking," he said. "I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back in hopes that you can give me something even more precious. Please give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me this stone."

Sometimes it's not the wealth you have but what's inside you that others need.
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jun 21, 2007 06:36PM)
Hows about as in the story you paint a devils tear, silver and as the theif asks how much it is worth it could shatter betwix his fingertips, then he reaches in the bag etc...
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jun 21, 2007 07:12PM)
Your wise lady tale reminds me of another (not so wise lady!) story that might lend itself to a magical interpretation:


On the western tip of the Dutch province of Friesland, sits Stavoren. Now a popular holiday yacht haven and marina, visited by holidaymakers from many lands.

In the 14th and 15th. Century however, Stavoren was one of the great trading ports of Europe. A member of the Hanseatic League, its ships travelled the world and brought great prosperity to the merchants who lived there. But for the pride and arrogance of a very rich lady, who’s statue to this day gazes out over the harbour, Stavoren might still be welcoming the world’s great merchant ships and ocean going liners.

The lady in question was the young widow of a successful merchant who had died, leaving her his fleet of trading vessels. In the years following her husband’s death she managed to increase the wealth of the business until she had become by far the richest in the city.

She enjoyed her status and her wealth. She was forever giving parties and banquets, inviting her rivals to view the many treasures that she had amassed. Human nature being as it is, they tried to copy her and match her possessions with treasures of their own. Sometimes they succeeded and this caused her some irritation.

One day she sent for her most experienced captain. “I have a special commission for you”, she said. “I want you to prepare your ship as quickly as you can. Set sail and bring me back, ‘The most precious thing in the world!’ “Yes Madam”, replied the captain, “and what would that be?”

“If I knew that”, she said icily, “I would already have bought it! You are my most experienced captain, you must have many contacts throughout the world. I don’t care how much it costs, just find it and bring it to me. You will be well rewarded for your search” The captain left somewhat confused. However his employer was not one with whom he wished to argue.

The following day he began to prepare his ship for the long voyage ahead. News of the mission quickly spread in the way that gossip does and by the time the ship was ready, a large crowd had gathered at the quayside to watch it set sail. Much was the speculation as to what the captain would bring back.

“A religious icon!” suggested one. “A pearl as big as an egg!” suggested another. “Perhaps a golden statue from Egypt!” thought someone else. None of them course had any idea.

The rich widow was delighted at the interest being displayed. She was sure that when her captain returned with ‘The most precious thing in the world’, it would surely establish her superiority in the town.

Time passed. The days turned into weeks, the weeks became months and there was no sign of the captain’s return. A year went by and people had begun to forget about the quest. And then, fifteen months after the ship had sailed away, a cry went out that it had been sighted entering the harbour!

Once again a huge crowd gathered to welcome the ship’s return. The rich lady swept down to the quayside to meet her captain when the ship docked.

“Madam, I have done as you requested. I visited many lands, met and spoke with numerous influential people. Many were the suggestions and much advice did I receive. But none of it convinced me and there were several times when I was on the point of giving up the search. Then suddenly I realised what was ‘the most precious thing in the world!’ “Yes, yes!” said the lady with some impatience. “And have you brought it?” “I have Madam, indeed I have!” “Well, and what is it?”

“Wheat”, said the captain. “I have brought a cargo of wheat.”

“Wheat? You have brought me a cargo of wheat?” She nearly choked with rage. “Yes Ma-am, what could be more precious than wheat? Without bread, half the world would starve!” The lady heard one or two sniggers of laughter from the people in the crowd. “And is this wheat all mine, to do with what I will?” she said quietly.

“Of course Ma’am, I have brought it for you”.

“Then pour it into the sea!” she said.

“Pour it into the sea?” The captain couldn’t believe his ears. “But there is enough grain here to feed all the poor in the province. Why not give it to them – after all, you may be poor yourself one day!”

“I poor? How dare you!” She pulled a large diamond ring from her finger. “This ring will return to my hand before I am ever poor!” She turned and threw the ring far out into the harbour. “Now do as I ask” she continued, “Pour your wheat into the sea and then take yourself out of my sight!”

The captain himself was now angry, “Cast off!” he shouted to his crew and the crowd watched as the ship slowly moved away from the dock. The vessel sailed to the mouth of the harbour where the captain gave instructions to drop anchor and ordered his crew to shovel the grain overboard into the sea. Once done, the anchor was raised and the ship sailed away, never to return.

Two days later, the rich widow, keen to show that she was not at all put out by the set-back, sent out invitations to all her wealthy rivals to attend a banquet at her palatial residence. The day of the banquet arrived and all were seated. A silver salver was placed before the rich lady and the cover removed to reveal a roasted sea bass. She picked up a knife to cut into the fish and as she sliced through the meat, the knife struck something solid. She cut the fish open, gasped and turned pale. There, laid in the flesh of the fish was her diamond ring. The one that she had hurled into the sea four days earlier!

Worse was to follow. After a few weeks, the wheat that had been tossed from the captain’s ship took root and began to grow on the sea-bed, where it had fallen. Soon the sand, which had freely flowed back and forth with the water, began to clog and pile up among the growing stems of wheat.

Within a year a sandbank had formed across the harbour mouth to such proportions that large ships were no longer able to enter. And so a once prosperous merchant shipping town went steadily into decline.

The wealthy merchants, now unable to trade went out of business, including of course, the rich lady who’s greed, pride and arrogance had caused the town’s ruin.

The sandbank that still lies across the harbour entrance, is known appropriately as, “Lady’s Sand”

And the statue of ‘The Lady of Stavoren’ remains to remind people to be grateful for what they have and to remember how easy it is to lose everything.
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Jun 23, 2007 09:44AM)
Leslie, thank you for sharing these marvelous gifts.
They are pure magic!
Message: Posted by: fishwasher (Jun 23, 2007 10:28AM)
I loved that story leslie, thank you.

Aidan :)
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jun 23, 2007 10:52AM)
You're welcome, Gents.

Periodically, I have looked at this story and considered an effect where a ring is borrowed, vanished and made to re-appear as the tale unfolds.

Given the right audience, one that is prepared to listen to a longish tale, it could have mileage!
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jun 23, 2007 12:43PM)
I handed the box to my Grandmother and she placed it on her lap with both her hands on the lid. It appeared she was saying some prayers or blessings for the contents of the box. We all knew to be silent when an elder was praying so I sat and did nothing until she was done. Finally, she took her hands off the top and opened the lid. From the box she brought out a small leather pouch. It was not all pretty like the ones we made. This one was old and dark. The leather had been many things and survived many years. The thongs that held it all together were all hard and twisted, making it almost impossible to open the top of the bag. Finally, she had opened the bag and spilled out the contents onto her lap. The small items lay on her white apron looking so lost in all of the folds.

For such a small bag it seemed to hold many things; the pile on my Grandmother's lap contained all sorts of items. I noticed that there were stones, feathers, bones, and claws of many animals. Small bits and pieces of plants, tiny bundles of sacred herbs lay tied in ball like shapes. Crystals, moon stones, and other treasures that she had gathered through her years were now asked to, again, be brought out to share their story.

I also saw some seeds like none that I had seen before. I asked Grandmother about these seeds and she told me that they were star seeds. I envisioned that they would, if planted, grow stars or some such nonsense. I asked her what they would grow and if we could plant some in our garden. She laughed and said no, they were for the future so that the people, when they came back to the sacred fires, would not be hungry. She explained that they were very sacred seeds that were needed for these spirit people when they returned. I asked her when they would be coming and she said that in my life time I would know these people. After that she took the pouch and placed all of the items back into it and then put it in the cedar box.

Many years later when I was living my adult life and taking care of my family a box arrived.

This is an exert of an american indian lady telling a tale of her storytelling grandma the full story can be read here...
This idea grows more and more appealing to me as the discussion evolves.
I could envision putting an assortment of objects in the bag. I like the idea of each child having a magical gift with the story which they can take away with them to remember the story and to help them share it with others, family etc.
I like the idea of telling a story of love and having the listener hold the stone to her heart where at the end of the story the stone has transformed into a heart shaped stone, which she takes with her as a reminder.
anyone else have any story related effect's that may also be found in the bag???
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jun 23, 2007 05:49PM)
With further reference to my 'Bag of Bags' post. One of my small bags contains a lead toy Roman soldier, complete with sword and shield.

The tale I tell when this turns up is one written by American Storyteller, Dan Keding. He performs at storytelling festivals both in the U.S. and in the U.K. He often closes his performance with this story:


Once there was a war and two armies came together in battle. They fought from the time the sun came up in the east till it set in the west. When the day was at a close, only two warriors remained, surrounded by their dead comrades, covered in the blood and gore of war.

They stood facing each other, so exhausted from death that they could barely move. Finally one said, “We cannot do ourselves justice in this condition, let us rest until dawn and then finish this fight and only one will go home.” The other warrior agreed.

And so they took off their dented helmets and un-strapped their shields and sheathed their swords. They lay down among their fallen comrades only a few feet apart from each other. But they were so weary that they could not sleep. It was the weariness that comes with too much killing. Finally one turned to the other and spoke.

“I have a son at home in my village and he plays with a wooden sword. Someday he wants to grow up and be like me.”

The other man listened and finally replied, “I have a daughter at home and when I look into her eyes I see the youth of my wife.”

The two men started to tell each other stories. Stories of their families, their villages, their neighbours, the old stories that they learned at their grandparents’ knees when they were young. All night long they told stories till the sun started to creep to life in the east.

Slowly they stood and put on their helmets. They buckled on their shields and drew their swords. They looked deep into each others’ eyes and slowly sheathed their swords, and walked away, each to his own home.

Grandmother always said you cannot hate someone when you know their story.
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jun 25, 2007 03:44PM)
Wonderful Mr Melville thankyou... don't want to sound too cheeky but you seem to be a treasure trove of stories, got anymore ???
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jun 25, 2007 05:47PM)
Loads! - You appear to be looking for tales that carry a moral or message. May I suggest that you check out the Inspiring Stories page on my website:


You will find stories on other pages also. Some of which might easily lend themselves to a magical interpretation, they come from many sources. - help yourself. I am glad you are interested.
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jun 25, 2007 06:15PM)
I want heroes !!! thankyou soooo much, I can't believe I didn't search your site fully... This is exactly what I'm looking for, again thankyou...
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jun 26, 2007 11:13AM)
Cool stuff! Excellent thread.

Thought you folks might want to see a set of stones I made up a year or so ago...only made two sets and then pulled it because I just didn't have the time to make them. I still like it though and may make them again some day.


Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jun 26, 2007 01:04PM)
Hi Doug, thanks for joining in. I am very interested in your stones - I might even have a story angle. If you are seriously thinking of producing them again, let me know.

I am looking forward to receiving my 'Hand of Glory'.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jun 26, 2007 01:16PM)
Your 'Hand' is on the bench getting it's finishing 'touches' (no pun intended or maybe it was.).

As to the 'stones' I can always make a set for an individual...just no time to make a bunch of sets at this point.
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jun 26, 2007 04:05PM)
They are very cool Mr Higley thanks for the heads up...
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 1, 2007 11:09AM)
I came across this story and thought it relevent to how magical the bag o' stones can really be, I hope you enjoy...
The following vignette has been taken from a larger essay on the "Psychotherapeutic Applications of Magic" to be published in July.

The vignette has been taken from an actual case. Indirect hypnotic techniques are applied with the use of a "magic-trick" to help anchor, embed and future pace certain ideas for the client. At the end of the "trick" the client is left with a small "magical stone." This "magical stone" has been transformed into stone from a small piece of black clay, into which the client has placed (molded, formed, sculpted) new ideas, dreams, associations of the time spent with the therapist. Enjoy.

John is a 17-year old high school student. He failed out of regular high school due to drug and alcohol use and was placed in a continuation school. Over the past year, he had been sober and was very involved in a 12 Step program. John is an intelligent, insightful and introspective young man. His father lives in another state and is a recovering heroin addict who has been "clean" for many years.

John looks up to him and idealizes him (both negatively and positively). His father is remarried and John wants to move to live and work with his father. John's mother is over protective and to a great extent has projected many characteristics of John's father onto him. Their relationship is at times (figuratively) like a wife and husband. Between their respective positions in the family and their personal histories, they just don't get along. They both love each other and there is often a good deal of adult understanding and interaction between them, but it is time for John to go.

Mom predictably sees doom and problems on the horizon, John of course does not. They are both right. During my therapeutic relationship with John, he had made some significant progress. In addition to maintaining and valuing his physical sobriety, he had also come to a greater understanding of his feelings directed towards his mother and father and how they (feelings and parents) had significantly impacted his development and life.

He was able to a great extent, begin to reconcile and conjure with his inner life regarding women, intimacy, jealousy and fears of abandonment. In general he appeared to take more focused responsibility for his life. He did well in therapy. On our last meeting I asked him if I could give him a small gift for him to take with him. He said "sure." I removed a small, ornate silver pill box and said, "there is something inside of this little box and what is inside has been here long before either of us and will be here long after we are gone.

No, not a diamond, therapists proposing to their clients is frowned upon." (intimacy, giving and receiving affection was an important element in therapy so this comment was light and appropriate) John laughs and I open the box. "It is a simple lump of black clay, take it out and squeeze it between your fingers." I place the box back into my pocket and speak slowly, pacing the rolling and squeezing of the clay. "Tear the clay in two, and as you do this, consider some things. As you squeeze the clay and feel it between your fingers, you realize that you can form, shape and sculpt an image to put into this clay ball…continue squeezing the clay and mold and image.

So many of the things have changed in your life. How much has changed that you never thought would? You can take that with you. Put into that ball all of the things you would like to take with you from here. Many of the things we have talked about together, what you have felt and thought…put those things in…shape that image and know that it goes into that clay forever." John keeps thinking and rolling the clay in his fingers.

After thirty seconds or so I say. "Ok, put it here on the palm of my hand." I extend my right hand and he places the ball onto my right palm. "And place your right hand onto the ball and roll the clay into a smooth ball. As you roll the clay between our hands and feel the clay, make the images you placed in the clay real, see those things become real and solid….real and solid…taking form. You can know inside that you can take these things with you wherever you go. Like the sound of the streets and the color of the sky and waking up in the morning, these things are real, and live inside of you now.

Like this clay ball, it becomes real and solid. Something you can have with you for as long as you like. Take a look at the clay….hold it up. Whenever you see it or hold it, it will remind you of what is really important." The clay has turned into a solid black stone! Johns mouth falls open and he starts laughing nervously. "Dude, huh…what the ****!?" Johns eyes became glazed and he fought back tears. "Christ, thanks man, nobody will ever believe this ****!" I told him that I had learned a lot from him, that I will think of him often and thanked him for accepting the gift but not to believe everything he sees. He laughed and said "yeah appearances are deceiving."

We hugged briefly, patted him on the back and we parted.

I don't know what John is up to but I imagine that he is struggling, learning and living sober and somewhat sanely near his father in Arizona. He may have difficulty in relationships with women, but who doesn't.
Jay Inglee, M.A., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, APMHA Certified in Medical/Analytical Hypnosis in practice in Long Beach, California
Message: Posted by: fishwasher (Jul 2, 2007 02:18AM)
Love the stones Doug! Nice story Silvertounge :)
Message: Posted by: David Eichler (Jul 11, 2007 10:33PM)
Yeah, great story Silvertongue!
Message: Posted by: magus (Jul 12, 2007 09:06PM)
Leslie Melville, Silvertongue, thank you for the stories and the storystones idea.
I'm thinking different colors and shapes of stones as well as carved stones, crystals, and facet cut stones for a "mixed bag"
Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Jul 13, 2007 01:59AM)
I use a Rupert's Pearl in a version of Maskelyn Ye Mage Jewel's of Hawthor routine.
In mine, the story teller tells the tale of how the deserts became full of sand.
Note: the following is vastly abbreviated!
Once upon a time, these lands were fertile and green. Plentiful in crops and fig trees, dates and grains.
It seems in ancient times, a young caliph had the luck to find a Djinn bottle. Heedless of the lessons taught to him about the crafty Djinn, he released the creature thinking he could obtain great wealth for his people and kingdom.
He commanded the Djinn to bring him all manner of precious stones to cover the lands in a layer for all.
The Djinn did as he was commanded and brought rubies, jade, emeralds and diamonds to the young ruler. The Caliph, upon seeing this demanded even more wealth, in his greed, he demanded enough gems to fill his lands to the height of his tower.
But alas, that night, while the young caliph slept the sleep of a wealthy man, the Djinn crushed all the stones to sand, and buried the lands so that they became the deserts you know today. This is why one should not be so greedy in life <nor should one trust a Djinn>
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 13, 2007 03:26AM)
Thanks Kay for a good moralistic tale - I would like to hear the full, unabbreviated version!

Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 13, 2007 07:48PM)
Thanks Kay and thanks everyone who has helped out. Some great ideas. More, more, more...
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 21, 2007 06:14AM)
How could we have forgotten this one?

Stone Soup
Three soldiers trudged down a road in a strange country. they were on their way home from the wars. Besides being tired, they were hungry. In fact, they had eaten nothing for two days.

"How I would like a good dinner tonight," said the first. "And a bed to sleep in," added the second. "But that is impossible," said the third.

On they marched, until suddenly, ahead of them, they saw the lights of a village. "Maybe we'll find a bite to eat and a bed to sleep in," they thought.

Now the peasants of the place feared strangers. When they heard that three soldiers were coming down the road, they talked among themselves. "Here come three soldiers," they said. "Soldiers are always hungry. But we have so little for ourselves." And they hurried to hide their food. They hid the barley in hay lofts, carrots under quilts, and buckets of milk down the wells. They hid all they had to eat. Then they waited.

The soldiers stopped at the first house. "Good evening to you," they said. "Could you spare a bit of food for three hungry soldiers?" "We have no food for ourselves," the residents lied. "It has been a poor harvest."

The soldiers went to the next house. "Could you spare a bit of food?" they asked. "And do you have a corner where we could sleep for the night?" "Oh, no," the man said. "We gave all we could spare to the soldiers who came before you." "And our beds are full," lied the woman.

At each house, the response was the same -- no one had food or a place for the soldiers to stay. The peasants had very good reasons, like feeding the sick and children. The villagers stood in the street and sighed. They looked as hungry as they could.

The soldiers talked together. The first soldier called out, "Good people! We are three hungry soldiers in a strange land. We have asked you for food and you have no food. Well, we will have to make stone soup." The peasants stared.

The soldiers asked for a big iron pot, water to fill it, and a fire to heat it. "And now, if you please, three round smooth stones." The soldiers dropped the stones into the pot.

"Any soup needs salt and pepper," the first soldker said, so children ran to fetch salt and pepper.

"Stones make good soup, but carrots would make it so much better," the second soldier added. One woman said, "Why, I think I have a carrot or two!" She ran to get the carrots.

"A good stone soup should have some cabbage, but no use asking for what we don't have!" said the third soldier. Another woman said, "I think I can probably find some cabbage," and off she scurried.

"If only we had a bit of beef and some potatoes, this soup would be fit for a rich man's table." The peasants thought it over, then ran to fetch what they had hidden in their cellars. A rich man's soup, and all from a few stones! It seemed like magic!

The soldiers said, "If only we had a bit of barley and some milk, this soup would be fit for a king!" And so the peasants managed to retrieve some barley and milk.

"The soup is ready," said the cooks, "and all will taste it, but first we need to set the tables." Tables and torches were set up in the square, and all sat down to eat. Some of the peasants said, "Such a great soup would be better with bread and cider," so they brought forth the last two items and the banquet was enjoyed by all. Never had there been such a feast. Never had the peasants tasted such delicious soup, and all made from stones! They ate and drank and danced well into the night.

The soldiers asked again if there was a loft where they might sleep for the night. "Oh, no!" said the townfolk. "You wise men must have the best beds in the village!" So one soldier spent the night in the priest's house, one in the baker's house, and one in the mayor's house.

In the morning, the villagers gathered to say goodbye. "Many thanks to you," the people said, "for we shall never go hungry now that you have taught us how to make soup from stones!"

As an afterthought this story might be mixed well with Leslies reference to the story of the two warriors. The above story could be changed to fit, thus changing the meaning of the two warriors in the bag o' stones.
What a great story about sharing. Show me a child in todays age that does not have issues with this mindset, they are few and far between. A very meaningful story and is definatly going in my Bag o' Stones.
This also could be attributed to a wandering trickster/storyteller like myself - "... removed 3 stones from out of a bag, not unlike this one." - he deciedes to mischieviously help unite the village, teach them an invaluable lesson, and ends the evening telling stories and laughing the night away...

Declan Ring
Message: Posted by: fishwasher (Jul 21, 2007 12:03PM)
Thanks Declan Ring I enjoyed reading that...
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 21, 2007 03:34PM)
This will also be a nice addition to the bag...

Sand and Stone

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE."

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one, who had been slapped, got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After the friend recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE."

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?"

The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."


You could show the blank stone front and back - paddle move-. Then have spec hold stone in hand as you tell the story, then they turn the stone over to reveal the written message...
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 21, 2007 06:57PM)
Love the Sand & Stone story! In the context of the paddle move, The word 'Forgive' would be adequate on the reverse side of the stone.

Thanks for the tale.

Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 21, 2007 08:38PM)
Thanks Leslie, nice idea about the stone thanks, I will keep my eyes open in the spiritual shops, I know I have seen a stone with 'forgive' carved into it...
Sorry for the length of this next story but I am thinking of adapting this because it may be a nice opening story for my bag o' stones act. Please also take the time to check this link for a shorter and in my opinion tighter version of this story verbally retold by Linda King Prutt under the title of 'The Story Stone' I hope you enjoy, thanks...

The Story Stone.

A long time ago, a young man called Crow lived in one of the villages of the Seneca people. His parents had died many years before and he had no one to care for him, or to cook and sew for him.
He lived at the very edge of the village in a small lodge made from bark and branches. His hair was always a tangled mess, and his clothes were old and tattered cast offs he had been given in trade.
The village children were cruel and made fun of him because of the way he looked and because he was an orphan. This was a time when people did not have stories to teach them how to respect and care for others.
Young Crow was an excellent hunter with his bow and arrows. He traded the birds and animals he killed for parched corn, other food and clothes.
As winter drew nearer, Crow had to go further and further into the woods to hunt. One day he went further than he had ever been before. Eventually he came to a clearing where there was a large flat smooth stone with another round stone sitting on top of it.
Crow sat on the flat stone and rested his back against the round one. He laid the birds he had killed next to him. Then he reached into his buckskin pouch for some parched corn, and began to tighten his bowstring.
“Shall I tell you a story?” asked a deep rumbling voice near him.
Crow got such a fright he nearly choked. He jumped up quickly, spitting corn from his mouth and looked around but could see no one.
“Who’s there?” shouted Crow. “Come out and show yourself.”
The clearing was silent. Nothing moved.
“I must be hearing things,” Crow said to himself. “And now I’m talking to myself too.”
With a laugh, he sat down again and rested his back against the round stone.
“Shall I tell you a story?” asked the deep voice again.
Crow sprang to his feet and shouted “Alright, that’s enough. Show yourself now!”
Again, the clearing was silent and nothing moved.
Then Crow looked at the round stone he’d been resting against. He could see a face in it. He realised it was the stone’s voice he’d heard.
“Who are you, and what are you?” asked Crow.
“I am Grandfather Stone. I’ve been here since time began,” answered the stone.
“Shall I tell you a story?” asked the deep rumbling voice.
“What is a story?” asked Crow. “What does it mean to tell a story?”
“Stories tell us of all things that happened before this time,” answered Grandfather Stone. “Give me a gift of your birds and I will tell you how the world came to be.”
“You may have the birds,” said Crow.
He sat down in front of the stone. Its deep voice told him of a time before this one, how Sky Woman fell to earth, how Turtle Island was made, and about stone giants. When he finished one story, the stone told another and then another. On and on he went.
As the sun began to set the stone said, “That’s enough for today. Come back tomorrow and I will tell you more stories. But don’t tell anyone about what you’ve heard today.”
Crow ran back to the village. He managed to kill a few birds on the way to trade for hot food and parched corn.
When he traded the birds with a woman in the village she asked him “Why have you brought back so few birds from your hunting?”
“Winter is getting nearer and it’s harder to find anything to hunt,” answered Crow.
Early the next morning, Crow went into the woods with his bow and arrow. He hunted for birds and then rushed back to the clearing.
“Grandfather Stone, I’ve brought you more birds as gifts,” said Crow. He put the birds down on the flat stone. “Please tell me some more stories.”
Crow sat down and the stone started telling one story after another until it was nearly nightfall. This happened for many days. Crow brought back fewer and fewer birds to the village. The children of the village were even crueler to him. They made fun of him and told him that now he wasn’t even a good hunter.
One day Crow came to the clearing, placed his gift on the stone and said, “Grandfather Stone, please tell me some more stories.”
But the stone answered, “I have no more stories to tell. You have heard all that has happened before this time. Now you must pass on the knowledge you have learned from the stories. You will be the first storyteller.
You must tell others what you have heard, and also add stories of what happens from now on. The people you tell will remember your stories. Some will remember better than others. Some will tell different versions when they pass them on. It doesn’t matter. The truths and lessons from the stories will be remembered.”
“Thank you Grandfather Stone,” said Crow. “I will make sure the stories are not forgotten.”
Crow went back to the village. He knew it was time to move on. The people here didn’t respect him and wouldn’t listen. He collected his few belongings and left the village without telling anyone. No one missed him.
Crow travelled far and eventually came to another village. The people welcomed him warmly. They invited him to come in out of the cold wind, sit by the fire and share their food.
After he had finished eating Crow said, “You have been so kind I’d like to share something with you.”
He began to tell the stories he had learned from Grandfather Stone. He told them of the time when animals could speak, and when the turtle raced the bear.
That night the lodge house seemed warmer and the sound of the first storyteller’s voice could be heard above the howling wind outside. People went to sleep dreaming of the stories they had heard.
The chief of the village sent runners to other villages, inviting everyone to come and hear the stories. They brought gifts of food and clothing for Crow to thank him. A beautiful young woman came and sat by him every time he spoke. She listened to every story. Many seasons passed. Crow stayed in the village and married the young woman.
When he had shared all the stories with the people of the village and its neighbours, Crow and his wife left and travelled to other villages further away, to tell the stories.
Eventually they came to the first village where he had lived before. The people didn’t recognise him in his fine clothes and with his beautiful wife.
The village chief welcomed them, inviting them to sit by the fire and share their food. Crow told his stories. The people listened with their ears and their hearts.
Crow told them, “You must not forget the stories and legends. You must pass them on to your children and your grandchildren, and they must pass them onto theirs. We can never again forget the stories and their wisdom.”
And that is how it has been from that day to this. The stories from Grandfather Stone have been handed down from generation to generation and storytellers are still honoured today by those who listen.
The End

Some things could be changed ie. I think it would be nice that after the gifts were made to the stone and the storys told it would be magical that after he awoke the next morning, in place of the offerings are the story stones that when held by the storyteller, bring images of the stories flooding back, and the tale is told as if for the first time.
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 22, 2007 04:44AM)
Super tale! Thanks for sharing. Thanks also for the link. I had a quick glance at it. It looks interesting.

Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 22, 2007 12:19PM)
Your welcome, thankyou, now what I would like to know is if you think I could turn the research done on the bag o' stones into an act???
This project - that's what this thread is to me - has far exceeded my expectations, a wonderful treasure trove of stories has been found to fill the bag,and its growing weekly as you can see, but I would like to know if the idea would be worth taking that step furthur and turned into something performable for an audience. All opinions welcome and thanks again to everyone who has encouraged and helped out, I had hoped more of my brothers and sisters from the bizarre forum would have chipped in here as this is where all my influences have come from, if your reading this, go on give us a story...


p.s. I have found more stories for the bag I just don't want to overload this topic with my own posts...
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 22, 2007 05:18PM)

You certainly have enough material for an act. But who is your audience?

Because the props are going to be relatively small (bag of stones etc.), then I imagine that it is going to be a close-up type of show for small, intimate audiences.

On the other hand, if you are hoping to perform before a larger audience, then you will have to be more expansive in your presentation, more like the Tale-teller himself, in 'The Story Stones'. Standing with your satchel of stones, carefully selecting your stone and holding it against your heart etc. You would need theatrical skills.

If it appeals to you, please feel free to use my 'Story-bag' idea. Although originally devised for pre-school age children, I have found that it also plays quite well for adults - different stories of course!

Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 22, 2007 07:43PM)

Further thoughts.

Looking back through your posts, you seem to be particularly interested in tales that carry 'meaningful' and 'significant' messages.

Not knowing exactly who your target audience is, I hesitate to judge. But if the main purpose of your projected act is to entertain, be careful that you are not seen to be moralising or preaching. Audiences can very quickly switch off if they perceive a performance to be over pretentious!

A couple of philosophical ideas is o.k. But don't neglect the need for fun and mystery in your presentation as well.

Keep in touch.

Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 23, 2007 03:33PM)
Great advice thanks. Yes originally I had wanted the bag o stones to be something that I carry about with me as I travel through life, adding stories to it as time passes. I see the problem of what type of audience this would appeal to and the intimacy of it - close up - regarding venues, and thinking about it none come to mind. I will think more on this...
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 23, 2007 05:26PM)
Where, when, how often and generally, for whom do you perform?
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 23, 2007 07:09PM)
Well mainly for the last 9 yrs on and off to stay in the practice of magic I have been performing close up effects and mentalism paid and unpaid, but I've been studying, writing and practicing bizarre for nearly the same amount of years - believing character development, acting skills, right effects and good writing are essential, I have been mainly focusing on these -
I have been writing a children's act for probabaly 3 yrs, doing research and accumulating ideas...
What I came up with was an act I call 'The Storyteller'. It is geared towards children mainly but is on an interactive level of anyone over probably 5 yrs old.
The act is about a very magical book which comes to life as the words are read and the audience find that they have arrived in the middle of the story and this is where the story begins... The act itself is about imagination, wishes and dreams and above all MAGIC...
I have followed the hero's journey model and wanted the audience as a whole to go through this experience as a group of observers so appealing to all senses, (visual-acting, props and magic effects, auditory-storytelling and sounds from inside the book, smell-the scents in the story, and touch- which will be the active involvement of the audience in the magic effects and props.) I created an act with me as the guide, guiding the audience through the adventure.
All my notes and writings are in a folders and numerous notepads and I'm hoping to go to the magic and meaning conference at the mystery school so I can show it to people and get some feedback and direction...
so I hope this wasn't too off topic but I know this is the style of magic for me as a person and as a character and I am wishing now to start in my career as a mage...
Message: Posted by: Leslie Melville (Jul 24, 2007 05:58AM)
Sounds really great!

But you seem to be more research than performance. You should get out there and perform. You will learn much more that way. Writing scripts and researching stories is fine, but until you get in front of an audience and experience the reaction, you really can't tell if your ideas have mileage.

In front of a live audience, you will know almost immediately! And then you can edit, readjust and tighten up your presentation. For improving an act, nothing beats working!

Contact local primary schools. Ideally schools where you have a contact, someone with a child at the school etc. Tell them about your presentation and your ideas and I think they would be delighted to have someone like you come to visit.

If, as I suspect, you haven't done a lot of these shows, offer to do a couple of freebies - with the proviso that if it goes well, the school offers you a paid date within the next couple of months!

I am not a great advocate of free shows, but in the early days of a new presentation, doing the show, can be more valuable to you than getting the money.

From what I have learned about you in these conversations, I am sure that you have more than enough material and your presentation ideas sound fine. What you are hoping to do is very similar to much of the work I am doing in schools, libraries, parks and festivals etc. here in the U.K.

I can promise you that in this particular market, there is a mass of work out there, and very few people competing for it!

So go for it - and good luck!

Message: Posted by: magus (Jul 26, 2007 12:36AM)
How about grandfather stone tells him ONE story, and when the tale is done, grandfather stone tells him to take the stone with him to remember the story.
The next day, another stone speaks to him, and tells him another story, he takes that one too. Soon he has a bag full of stories.
You could take carved stones and run them in a polisher so that they vaguely resemble the original carvings and are "cloud shapes" that suggesat the object rather than an exact representations.
The bag could become a story tellers "medicine bag", a few bones some stones a couple of feathers a twig or two, an insect in amber, a braclet, a necklace...
now you have your story stones combined with prop justification, all carried in your own little switch bag...
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 26, 2007 08:48AM)
Nice guys, thanks...
Well this is a rendition of a classic. I posted this in another topic but its sure to make a lovely addition of a 'ruperts pearl' to the bag. Enjoy...

Narcissus, a youth who knelt daily beside a lake to contemplate in his own beauty. He was so fascinated of himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned. At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called narcissus. But this is not how the story ends. When Narcissus died the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears. "Why do you weep?" the goddesses asked. " I weep for Narcissus, " the lake replied. " AH, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus, " they said, "for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand." "But…. Was Narcissus beautiful?" the lake asked. "Who better than you to know that?" the goddesses said in wonder. " After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!" The lake was silent for some time. Finally, it said: "I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depth of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.

by Paolo Coelho.
Message: Posted by: Silvertongue (Jul 26, 2007 11:03AM)
O.K. guys bear with me on this next one because I am one for the visual. How better a way to start this act than this next video. I almost pee'd my pants when I saw it and I know those who have been following this thread are gonna love it.
Imagine this, you emerge magically into the clearing, and approach your audience, - a small intimate crowd of unsuspecting picnickers are gathered, eating cavier and sipping ambosia. You step forward and call forth the story stone...
Message: Posted by: spcarlson (Nov 6, 2011 06:52PM)
Here's a story I heard many years ago and I've searched for it for quite some time, I finally found it. It somewhat applies to the Bag o' Stones theme. There are some nice magical possibilities here.

The Parable of the Pebbles

It was a beautiful day and the young man was walking along the path admiring the wonderful scenery. He was on his way to the rich city that lay beyond the three valleys. Many people in his village had talked about this city but none of those who had ventured to it had ever returned to confirm the stories of its greatness.
The first valley was a picture to behold and the grass was so green compared to his old village, which was now a day’s walk away. The valley had a small stream running through it and there were many flowers along its banks. They were small and pretty flowers, bright pinks and reds, with a fantastic scent.
He sat and took some bread and cheese from his small knapsack and enjoyed his simple lunch in these beautiful surroundings. While he ate he let his mind wonder about the rich city. After lunch he continued his long journey.
As night fell he reached the edge of the second valley but it was too dark for him to appreciate its beauty. He opened his knapsack and took out his blanket and settled down for the night. He dreamed about the rich city and how much better his life would be for moving there; it was a long and good dream.
As the sun rose the next morning the dawn chorus of birds in nearby hedges and trees awoke him. The young man stretched and put away his bedding and let his eyes drink in the splendor of the second valley, which was far more fertile and colorful than the previous valley.
He walked to edge of the small river and saw that there were fish in it so he set about catching one for his breakfast. Having cooked and eaten the fish the young man walked across the river and continued his journey.
After a few miles he saw an old man asleep at the side of the path. He asked the man if he needed any help. The old man was very weak and his reply was short - “I am beyond help but thank you. I will give you some advice though – Collect as many stones and pebbles as you can before you cross the next river.” The young man was puzzled and asked “Why?” but could not get an answer, the old man had gone back into a deep sleep. The young man continued walking.
Why should he collect stones? As he thought of possible reasons he noticed two or three little pebbles in the path so he picked them up and put them in his pocket. This was a long road and every now and then he picked up a few more pebbles. His pocket was beginning to get heavy and he had no idea how much further he would have to walk. He decided that one pocketful of stones would be enough as he would tire himself too much if carried more.
Hours later he reached the third valley that was very lush and had a wide river running through it. The river was not very deep, perhaps waist high, but the current looked strong. The young man braced himself and crossed the river. He struggled against the current and almost slipped on two occasions when he would surely have been washed down river and perhaps drowned. He finally clambered up the other bank.
He rested and then carried on with his journey. After an hour or so he put his hand in his pocket and realized that he still had his pebbles. He pulled them from his pocket and could not believe his eyes – they had all turned into jewels!
The young man wished he had filled all of his pockets and his knapsack with stones and pebbles, imagine how rich he would be now! It was pointless to go all the way back to cross the river again, he would waste too much time and he could even drown if he tried to cross the river again.
He carried on to the rich city only to find that most people were poor, as they too had failed to heed the advice given by the old man.
Listening and learning is like collecting pebbles; it may seem worthless at the time but who knows when they will turn into precious gems or golden nuggets.
Message: Posted by: Autumn Morning Star (Nov 9, 2011 10:47AM)
What a fabulous topic thread! I am LOVING the suggestions and my mind is just clicking with new ideas! Storytelling magic is what I do, and there are so many applications for these wonderful stories!
Message: Posted by: Dr_J_Ayala (Nov 18, 2011 04:18PM)
On 2007-06-20 20:47, Leslie Melville wrote:
Thanks Gentlemen, for your kind words.

With regard to Silvertongue's original post about having stones selected by spectators. In my children's storytelling presentations, I have a 'Bag of Bags' i.e. a large cloth drawstring bag, about 18" x 18", inside of which are smaller, different shaped bags, each one containing an object.

Children are invited to dip into the large bag and remove one of the smaller bags. They can feel and try to identify what's inside.

I then take each bag in turn and remove the item inside (a feather, a Roman coin, a plumb stone etc..), and tell a story related to the object. Sometimes it might be a magic 'prop' with which I do a trick.

it is very good for retaining the attention of smaller children (pre-schoolers, for instance) as they anxiously await the telling of 'their' story.


Yes, I do realise that this post by this time is old, but I just came across it at the top of the section. Leslie: That is a beautiful, wonderful idea! :applause:

I think in the right sense, it would work very well with groups of adults too. Thank you for sharing this.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Dec 5, 2011 05:50AM)
I have been greatly inspired by the stories offered here ...

so, I add this one -- not that you can perform magic during the telling, but that many have said the story itself makes them understand magic ..


The man could not be distinguished as young or old, just sitting there on the jut of damp beach. Everything about seemed gray, as often the way of this place where the clear stream meets the fan of ocean foam, but not desolate until he came. The patch of sand there was alternately swept by stretching ridge of dying wave, then next by a surging from the narrow stream in an attempt to hold back the moon. His life seemed to have no more purpose than to melt into the gray, to be one with the timeless struggle.

“You should teach,” they all had said. “You really have a gift. People love to hear you speak and you know so much. Everyone needs the help you can give.” So he attempted to tell what he knew and instruct people about the folly of their ways and the chaos in their lives. He showed them a better way and talked of truth and discipline and the need to prepare for the harsh winter of their intellect. Most turned away and even laughed. Even those who became inspired lost interest when he could not give all of the answers. “If they didn’t want answers what did they want? If they have no desire to learn what is there for me to do?”

Even on the shadowed beach there were distinctions amongst the gray stones and the man began selecting individual pebbles for their uniqueness of shape, shade or unnamed appeal. “This represents what I know,” he murmured to himself. “If I had to select one to give away, how would I choose without knowing the reason or purpose for the choice?” And he thought long on this revelation until the tide had all but buried the stones. It was only then that the man noticed the young boy at his side but sensed somehow that he had been there a long while. The child picked up a single stone from those he had not himself been able to order and handed it over, saying, “This one, I think, would smile more in a mountain brook.”

The man’s life was changed that day and he no longer tried to teach. Instead he shared stories about leaves caught in swirling eddies and thistle-down being confused with the stars. He talked about the simple things he knew and let each man select for himself anything of value. When pressured to instruct or give advice he would say, “ask instead about the smile of a stone.” Then he would share a tale, or ask questions as in a riddle.

“When a child succeeds to the top of a granite boulder is it not futile to point out there was a surer path, or to describe how you had climbed a bigger rock in your youth? Would it not be better just to ask, ‘what do you see from up there?” and share a new view of the world.”

“When a man attempts to show affection for his wife in the giving of a rose or the remembering of a date is he not trying to ‘teach’ her how to love? Would it not be better to create an atmosphere of affection and in the words of Moses, ‘let thoughts distill like dew?’”

When questioned over the problems of teaching the youth of today and even the impossible task of instructing adults in manners of health, safety and salvation, he would rub the stone beneath his cloak. He would question back, “Does new technology that has made it possible for someone to teach themselves destroy the atmosphere of learning? If everyone is now a teacher, who is the student and what is the lesson?”

The man became a wanderer in mind and of land and always carried that stone close to his heart. He came to know that Indians revered great rocks as sleeping lonely people waiting for someone to sing to them. He learned many things but found few that were powerful enough to teach, or risk the pain. He spent time on the streets with the desolate and helpless, and found there also people waiting as great stones for a song that would teach them how to live, but who had lost the ability to learn. But his own world became rich in color and vibrant hues with flickering lights and laughing children. He felt a kinship with all men and a peace that comes from letting feelings ‘fall as gentle rain on tender grass.’

He came across many who would teach the way to God and learned much when there was an atmosphere of growth and search for truth, but felt betrayed when told that learning was not his choice to make. Did not, Merton, the greatest scholar of our time, say before his death, ‘What we have to be is what we already are?’ In his learning the growing man taught himself many things and knew that it was the search for a suitable spot to place the ocean pebble that drove him on. As the man grew older and wise he constantly asked himself, “When Christ said ‘give up all that you have and follow me’ is it possible this instruction had nothing to do with material things. Is not the failure of teaching that it must be combined with pride, arrogance and even deceit?” He learned many things about himself that could never be taught to another, but also knew there was no greater joy than to see something clearly and to share that inspiration with another. “Is that not enough?”

He came to listen to the whispers of yearning spirits and found profound thoughts in unexpected places. Profound knowledge may come from great books and anguished scholars, but wisdom comes from those who have lived! Years are less important than passion and intensity, for in fact, peace of spirit and self doth strip years away. He came to listen in the market place of mothers of many children. He came to listen to those who worked with their hands and molded God's gifts into tools of men. He listened to the artist, the street performer, the children's minstrel show attempt, and the poor poet in the smoky tavern. He learned simple truths like, "never doubt in darkness that which you believe in sunlight." His betraying pride and hubris slipped away when he discovered that, "there is nothing noble about besting another. Nobility is wrought from being better today than you were yesterday." Long years became reduced to appreciation of seasons, weeks of commitment, days of fulfillment and moments of joy. At length his anguished search came near to end with the words of an aging priest at an outdoor mass, "unless the pilgrim carry with him the thing he seeks, he will not find it when he arrives." Peace! Surrender. Find innocence.

One day the teller of stories felt courageous enough to climb to a hidden glade and sing to the silent pinnacles. He rested there in a shady glen where most everything was green, as often the way of such a place where the reflected light from pacing stream yearned upward to dance with the bright light from above. This interplay created an illusion of motion as if a breeze were blowing that gave life to every stone and fern and wayward leaf. The array of subtle colors was astounding! And then he knew! He tossed his lifelong friend into the glistening pool and heard its laughter above the tinkling of the spring. He mused again over his life and selected a different stone from the tiny shore and listened to the song of the wind that wasn’t there, but only in his heart.

The particular spar of sand on which he had sat many years before was gone with the shifting time; but the mixing of water about his feet was magic; the salt with the fresh, the birth of life with life’s renewing. The rocks that sheltered the cove shown in a hundred shades of blue and teal and dove and black. The moldering sky teased with the light and let an occasional ray break through to pierce a green-gray edge of falling wave. In a brief azure sharing, a tiny fish could be seen trying to learn how to ride the crest. A mountain found stone fell silently from his hand.

The woman stood alone in grief and kicked at the tumbled pebbles along the beach. “Why, why she wailed? What is the meaning of it all? Can’t someone teach me how to survive?” Her despair was such a force that all reason and hope were driven from her. “Teach me. That is all I ask. Please teach me!”

A child came close, selected a colored stone and pressed it into her hand. “Would not this stone smile more in a mountain stream?”
Message: Posted by: KOTAH (Dec 5, 2011 12:20PM)
Funsway, this story is amazing. The words have a flowing poetic beauty to them.

The read was very magical indeed.

This thread has opened my eyes to new paths yet to be traveled.

Thank you all.

hopefully I can continue to learn and evolve, become worthy of the title story teller.

Message: Posted by: ApprenticeWizard (Sep 9, 2012 09:22PM)
Silvertounge, In response to your earlier post about turning this idea into a complete act, I think that is very possible. The most straightforward way to do it that I can think of is to start with a brief story about how you came to possess this bag of strange stones. Perhaps it was inherited from your great great grandfather, who was, according to family legend, a genuine wizard (or shaman or whatever you feel is appropriate). According to this legend, each stone has the power to grant a particular type of wish. For example, this stone (displaying the one you want to associate with wealth) is said to grant the user great wealth. Let's see if it works. (Do any effect that actually or symbolically demonstrates the magical accumulation of wealth (money, jewels, gold, etc.). This next stone is said to grant the user great fame (great power, great mental skills, great ... whatever). Lots of room for chosing a variety of goals to associate with the different stones, and lots of room for chosing effects to illustrate how the stone helps to magically attain the desired goal. I wouldn't worry about needing to do an effect with the stones -- although vanishing them at the end (or just making them "invisible") so they won't be stolen, might be a good ending.
Message: Posted by: ProfessorMagicJMG (Aug 14, 2018 07:35PM)
Revving this thread in hopes of more stone stories to be added. I’m collecting some special stones that are really magical looking and have made a special box. I imagine these could be combined with a simple reading using Enrique Enriquez’s “Invisible Gemstones.”
Message: Posted by: BeThePlunk (Aug 15, 2018 06:47PM)
Once upon, …….. a man had to make a long journey across the desert. He set off before dawn, full of vigor.
But as the sun climbed in the sky, a hot wind moved across the desert floor, and the man began to feel tired. And the man heard a voice in the wind. And the voice said, “Pick up stones and carry them in your pocket, and you will be happy and you will be sad.”

The man said, “My imagination is playing tricks on me. What a ridiculous idea, to carry more weight than I have to." He ignored the voice and he hurried on.

At mid-day, the man was exhausted. His steps were unsteady, and sometimes he stepped off the trail into the cactus on either side. And the man heard a voice in the cactus, and the voice said, “Pick up stones and carry them in your pocket, and you will be happy and you will be sad.”

The man scoffed. “I must be losing my mind. No one in his right mind would carry extra weight on such a difficult journey.”

By mid-afternoon, the heat of the day was almost unbearable. The man’s feet dragged heavily and he often stumbled. His hands and his knees were cut where he had fallen on the hard ground. And he heard a voice rising from the sun-baked earth, and the voice said, “Pick up stones and carry them in your pocket, and you will be happy and you will be sad.”

And the man said, “All right. All right. I will do anything to stop the voices.” And so he scratched at the ground to loosen a few small stones and put them into his pocket. And as he went on he felt the extra weight of the stones... but he heard no more voices.

At sunset he came at last to his destination – a pretty village with a running fountain. He revived himself with delicious food and drink. And that evening he sat on a bench under a pleasant tree and recalled his journey.

And then he remembered the stones. He reached into his pocket and pulled them out, and indeed, he was happy and he was sad. He was happy because the rough stones that he had scratched from the ground had turned into diamonds. And he was sad because he knew he could have carried more.

On the journey of life, the challenges we accept, the good work we do faithfully, the responsibilities to which we remain loyal – although they may at times seem like burdens – like the rough stones that turn to diamonds – these are the things that give true value and meaning to our lives.
Message: Posted by: ProfessorMagicJMG (Aug 15, 2018 09:02PM)
[quote]On Aug 15, 2018, BeThePlunk wrote:
Once upon, …….. a man had to make a long journey across the desert. He set off before dawn, full of vigor.
But as the sun climbed in the sky, a hot wind moved across the desert floor, and the man began to feel tired. And the man heard a voice in the wind. And the voice said, “Pick up stones and carry them in your pocket, and you will be happy and you will be sad.”

On the journey of life, the challenges we accept, the good work we do faithfully, the responsibilities to which we remain loyal – although they may at times seem like burdens – like the rough stones that turn to diamonds – these are the things that give true value and meaning to our lives. [/quote]

Wow this is just beautiful, so perfect and I can actually perform this with what I already have! A change bag, small pebbles and plastic gems from the craft store...simple and I can get the kids to put the stones in the bag!
Message: Posted by: BeThePlunk (Aug 16, 2018 03:53PM)
Yes. Although I have not put it into performance myself, that is just how I imagine I'd do it.