6.4.12 Shanachie

This is one of the most influential and captivating stories that has ever been told to me by my great great grandfather when I was no more than 5 or 6 years of age.  This story is not for those disbelievers that have no faith in miracles or magic.  For those whom do believe in such things this story shall captivate and possibly even enlighten you.

When my great great grandfather told this story we were sitting by the old red faded barn that sat next to a tree line of large maple trees that provided shade and good firewood.  We sat beside the fire as it crackled and burned to a cinder the wood that sat within it.  He leaned hunched over and began his story of disbelief, or was it?

There once was a man whom had great fortune, lavish taste, and a special influence on the opposite sex.  This man Xander Gable was envied and jealousy began to run rampant.  One day Xander was melting and molding metal to repair his sword, for he was a blacksmith in his home town.  He began to stir the fire that heated the liquid metal when the horse in the stable beside him rose up and made a loud nay.  Naturally, Xander became startled and turned to see what was going on.  His poker slipped from the hot fire and tipped the hot liquid container on to his skin.  The first few moments of searing pain made him pass out in agony.

When he awoke he was in the local chemist’s office in a cot.  The chemist told him that he would have permanent deformities and would forever be scared on his left cheek, chest, and right arm.  After several days Xander was allowed to return to his home where he stayed until he recovered.

He returned to work very quickly after recovering.  His imagination portrayed the town’s people throwing him a parade for his return because they were so lost without him.  However, when he got to his shop there was no song and dance, no cheering people welcoming him back, and in fact there wasn’t even a soul in sight.

Xander quickly noticed that his business began to be a place where he would just go and wait for people that never came.  Soon enough after months of no business he had become poor and had to sell his shop to maintain his farm.  When he would walk through town the town’s people were no longer looking at him in jealousy and envy.  In fact they would divert their eyes when he would cross their path.

One night at the local tavern when he entered the town’s people noticed him and diverted their eyes.  Swarms of mumbles buzzed about.  At this point Xander was driven with anger and shouted to the people “why do you divert your eyes and shun me?  Why must I be so unfortunate to lose my shop?”

An elderly man turned and looked at Xander straight in his eyes and Xander began to smile.  The elderly man said, “Without your good looks we have come to truly understand the man you truly are.  We had come to you because you were who we thought we wanted to become. Your enthusiasm and wealth made us want to be close to you.  Now that you have lost your looks we notice the man you truly are Xander.”  Xander dropped his head in sadness and then felt a hand lay upon his shoulder.  It was a fair skinned brunette with a green sunflower dress.  She lifted his chin with her hand and said, “You may not be the man you thought you were but, you can still become that man.”  She took his hand and sat at the table with laughter filling the room as they discussed their favorite books and other interests.

During Batt’s workshop we learned that most Irish folk stories and fairytales incorporate morals or lesson to the story.  Another thing that was taught to us was to grasp the attention of the audience in a unique way.  Batt also suggested making the story a length that an audience can endure.  This is a helpful hint because if the story is too short then the audience loses detail to the story.  If the story is too long then the story becomes overwhelming and the audience loses interest in the rest of the story.

According to Batt the use of descriptors is a very good tool to use as well.  By doing this the audience feels like they are incorporated into the story and are living the role of one or multiple characters.  Standing still without emotion will leave your audience inching from their seat to the door.  So to resolve this get up and move around a bit and incorporating the audience is always a wonderful idea.  Lastly, you should give your audience your undivided attention.  This means being able to talk to an audience and circulate your view of the audience.  By doing this the audience feels that you are speaking to them directly.

Good storytelling is critical when telling a story because it turns something that may be normally mundane into something interesting or inspiring.  I believe that story is something we incorporate into everyday life.  So in all of us lies a good storyteller.


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