April 27th National Tell A Story Day

Kids love to hear stories, adults love to hear stories… even some animals love to hear stories. I think it may have to do with the fact we are actually spending time with someone (Or something) rather than being off doing our own thing. This is one tradition that has been handed down over the years that machines can really replace. Yes, machines can tell a story but it really needs the human element to be appreciated. If the story has pictures, all the better. Remember those ghost stories you use to tell out by a campfire? Well, many of them have been turned into movies and television shows. Some get turned into novels and others are just retold and retold until the children they are being old to have them memorized. Now the US and he UK have a difference of opinion when today is to be celebrated. We here in the US celebrate in April while the UK chooses October for their day. Exactly 6 months from each other. I wonder if there is a story to be told there.

How to celebrate – Tell someone a story today. Research stories that you believe your family members will be interested in. Learn to use different voices for the different characters.

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February 26th National Tell A Fairy Tale Day

National Tell a Fairy Tale Day – February 26th

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Fairy Tales are created from myths or legends. Most think they were created for children but they weren’t. In fact some are rather gruesome in their original form, cutting off toes to fit in shoes, chopping off the heads of frogs and many included gnomes, mermaids and giants.

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The Grimm Brothers, perhaps the most famous fairy tale authors hated children and wanted to scare them by their tales, “Household Tales”.

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How to celebrate – Join the Association of Fairy Tales. Check into Count Margarete von Waldeck, the Legend Snow White was created from. Host a Fairy Tale Murder Mystery party.

May 1st Mother Goose Day

Wow, all I can say is that researching this day was one of the most confusing explanations I have ever come across in my life.  Maybe that’s because no one knows who the original authors are and the fact that many known authors have added to the fairy tales since the first tales were published.

It seems that some of the stories have been around since the late 1500’s.  Many were probably handed down prior to that.  Some of the fairy tales may have been based on “Mother Hubbard” by Edmund Spencer in 1590’s England.  However, even “Mother Hubbard” told stories people were familiar with prior to it’s release.  “Mother Bunch” added stories as well in the 1690’s. Charles Perrault published a book with some of the tales he created in 1695.  Thomas Carlin a Mother Goose in either 1780 or 1781 by the Stationer’s Company.  A so called second edition came out in 1837 claiming to be a Flemish version by John Bellenden Ker Gawler.   The Brothers Grimm got involved with their hatred of children in the 19th century.  Yes I said hatred.  They were attempting to scare children with their stories, not make them sleep easier.

Mother Goose has been a goose…

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… and has been a grandmother…

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…   perhaps based on King Robert II’s wife “Bertha la Fileuse” her translated name meaning Bertha the Spinner , or Goose Foot Bertha.  Even early America clams some of the glory saying Moose Goose was based on Elizabeth Foster Goose, better known as Mary Goose who lived in Boston from 1665-1758.

So you figure it out because I am tired of trying!  Anyway, it is clear that Mother Goose Day was established in 1987 and it included such classic as as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella”, “Puss in Boots” and “Sleeping Beauty”.

How to celebrate:  Read, or re-read, the Mother Goose Fairy Tales. Try and list as many of the nursery rhymes as you can without looking them up.  Make up a few nursery rhymes of your own.

April 27th Tell A Story Day

Now the intent in Tell A Story Day is to read a book to someone or yourself, or even tell a folklore or legend to a young person.  But I want to try something different.  I want to create a story.  Since the holiday is mainly celebrated in the US, England and Scotland, I’ll start it with a Scottish character.  It’s up to you where the story goes.  Heck, maybe if enough of us add to it we can make it another “39 Clues” and all become millionaires!  So here goes…

Ghillie Dhu

In the northwest of the highlands of Scotland, in and about the Gairloch and Loch a Druing lived a creature some thought was man, some though animal and others thought a bit of both.  He lived in the Birch Wood, dressed in moss and leaves to blend in with his surroundings, being a timid creature by choice.  He was a jolly soul, kindhearted and gentle, happy to live and let live.  He had one love outside of the woods he lived in, it was children.  He loved them and they loved him.

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That said, he was not the kind you wanted to cross though.  He was fiercely protective of his home, the woods and lochs, and would do anything to preserve them as they were. When Lord Gary decided to build an estate and village to support it on the Dhu’s native land he started a war that no one could have imagined.  For every tree Lord Gary took down, the Ghillie Dhu would make one of the village children his own.  Angry, Lord Gary cut down more trees and the Ghillie Dhu took more children, one for one.

The villagers grew more and more angry but not at Lord Gary.  It wasn’t Lord Gary that had their children, it was the Ghillie Dhu.  Now the children were fine.  They lived in the forests and learned to love them and how to protect them, all of which the Ghillie Dhu willingly taught.  As the years passed, the villagers found themselves at war with their own children, the very people they were trying to get back.

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Okay, so now it’s your turn!  Help write the story to its conclusion!

April 18th Newspaper Columnist Day

On April 18th, 1977, the National Society of Newspaper Columnist created “Newspaper Columnist Day” in honor of Ernie Pyle, a front line journalist who lost his life on Okinawa during World War 2.  He was literally on the front lines, looking up over a ridge when he was shot and killed.

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While the holiday is unofficial, it is recognized by those in the industry as a day to honor themselves for all they do, they would like your admiration as well.  Their credo is to Inform People, Create Public Opinion, Keep those in power accountable to the people and to Bring light to stories that might not otherwise be told.

For as long as their have been newspapers, their have been columnist.  Frank Leslie put reporters in the field during the civil war to report on what they saw.  The oldest newspaper  in the world is the Ordinary Post Tijdender in Sweden which has been in operation since 1645. I wonder how many columnist they have gone through!?!

Believe them or not, they are the ones (hopefully) on the frontlines finding out for those of us sitting at home, what is going on in the world.  They are due that respect, so long as they keep their personal opinions out of the subject, they deserve.  Their job is to report the news and let us decide, not tell us how we are supposed to think.

Here’s a list of those they admire the most themselves.  You can decide whether they should be on the list or not (Cause I’m not gonna tell you!).  Walter Winchell, Mike Royko, Art Buchwald, Irv Kupcinet, William Safire, Art Rooney, Carl Bernstein, Ed Bradley, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, William F. Buckley Jr., Walter Cronkite, Ernest Hemingway, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Charles Kuralt, Bill Moyer, Edward R. Murrow, Dan Rather, John Steinbeck, Gloria Steinem, Dorothy Thompson, Barbara Walters and Bob Woodward.

How to celebrate:  Read a newspaper (If you can actually find one in print anymore), listen to those reporters you usual listen to and try to decide if they are reporting the news or telling you what to think, try sending the reporter what you think, see if they report that!