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The Man Who Knew no Stories

Auxiris 17 Dec 01 - 03:09 PM
MMario 17 Dec 01 - 03:25 PM
Ebbie 17 Dec 01 - 11:03 PM
Amergin 17 Dec 01 - 11:12 PM
GottaMartin0016 17 Dec 01 - 11:42 PM
Lonesome EJ 18 Dec 01 - 12:07 AM
Joe Offer 18 Dec 01 - 12:15 AM
katlaughing 18 Dec 01 - 12:17 AM
CapriUni 18 Dec 01 - 12:45 AM
Auxiris 18 Dec 01 - 06:33 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 18 Dec 01 - 07:43 AM
Auxiris 18 Dec 01 - 09:49 AM
Jim Dixon 18 Dec 01 - 11:51 AM
Auxiris 18 Dec 01 - 12:33 PM
Auxiris 19 Dec 01 - 11:55 AM
CapriUni 23 Jul 05 - 02:50 PM
mack/misophist 23 Jul 05 - 09:18 PM
CapriUni 23 Jul 05 - 09:52 PM
katlaughing 07 Feb 07 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,ib48 07 Feb 07 - 02:12 PM
Ebbie 07 Feb 07 - 02:23 PM
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Subject: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Auxiris
Date: 17 Dec 01 - 03:09 PM

THE MANWHO KNEW NO STORIES

Once upon a time, there was a man called Brian. His occupation was cutting reeds and weaving baskets them into baskets. There came a year—a very bad year—when the reeds became scarce in the region. That year, the only reeds that could be found were those that grew in a certain valley where dangerous creatures were said to lurk.

Brian decided to go there anyway, so he asked his wife to prepare him some provisions and left to go to the valley so as to cut the reeds he needed. Upon his arrival there, he found plenty of reeds to cut and, in no time at all, had cut a large bundle of them. He had begun to tie them together when the fog began to close in, so he decided to stop and eat some of the feed he'd brought with him. It had gotten so dark around him that he couldn't even see his hand in front of his face.

Fearful now, he got up and looked toward the east, then toward the west and he saw a light. Stumbling and tripping, he walked toward the light. He saw a great long house. Through the open door and the windows came a soft, golden light.

Poking his head in through the door, Brian saw an old man and an old woman sitting by the fire. They greeted him politely and invited him to sit by the fire beside them, so Brian sat down between them and they talked for a while. Then the old man said, "Tell us a story."
"Sure, I cannot," said Brian, "For if there is one thing I have never done in my life, it's to tell a story"
"You don't know any stories?"
"None at all."
The old man and old woman exchanged a quick glance and the old woman said to Brian, "Go get us a bucket of water from the well, then. Do something to make yourself useful."
"I'll do anything at all," replied Brian, "If I don't have to tell a story."
He took the bucket and went to the well to fill it, then left it on the edge for a moment to let the drips run off. All of a sudden, there came a great gust of wind that lifted Brian up into the air. He was carried off toward the east, then toward the west and, when he fell on the ground again, he could see neither the well nor the bucket.

He saw a light. Stumbling and tripping, he walked toward the light. He saw a great long house, much bigger than the first one, with two lights inside and a light in front of the door.

Brian poked his head in the door and saw a large room where there was a wake: a row of men against the far wall and another row of men along the opposite wall. In front of the fire sat a girl with long, curly black hair. She greeted Brian by his name and invited him to sit down next to her. Timidly, he sat down close by her. However, an instant later, a tall man who was part of the group stood up and said, "'Tis is a sad sort of wake, this evening! We should go get a fiddler to play for the dancing."

"Ah!" said the girl with long, curly black hair, "You needn't go to look for a fiddler, since we already have the finest fiddler in all of Ireland with us this night. 'Tis Brian himself!"
"I cannot!" cried Brian, "For if there is one thing I have never done in my life, it's to play a tune on a fiddle!" "You don't know how to play the fiddle?"
"Not the fiddle, nor any other instrument. I know nothing of music, not even to sing."
She insisted:
"Come now, don't be making a liar of me. I know that you're the fiddler we have need of."
Suddenly, Brian had a fiddle and a bow in his hands and he was playing! He played so well that all the people got up and danced in the large room, saying that they had never danced to such fine music before.

The tall man suddenly stopped the dance and said, "Now we must go for the priest to celebrate the mass, for the corpse must be buried before dawn."

"Ah!" said the girl with long, curly black hair, "You needn't go to look for the priest, since we already have the best priest in all of Ireland with us this night. 'Tis Brian himself!"
"I've nothing to do with a priest!" cried Brian, "And I know nothing of their work or how to celebrate the mass!"
"Come now, I'm sure you'll celebrate the mass every bit as well as you played the fiddle."
Suddenly, Brian found himself before an altar, with two acolytes next to him in priestly garments. He celebrated the mass and even recited the prayers exactly as a priest would have done. All the people said they'd never attended so fine a mass in Ireland before.

They then placed the corpse in a coffin and four men took up the coffin on their shoulders. Three of them were short, but the fourth one was tall and so the coffin swayed back and forth. "We absolutely must," said the man who was giving orders, "Go look for a doctor who can cut off part of that man's legs. That way, he'll be the same height as the others."

"Ah!" said the girl with long, curly black hair, "You needn't go to look for a doctor, since we already have the very best doctor in all of Ireland with us this night. 'Tis Brian himself!"
"I cannot!" cried Brian, "For if there is one thing I have never done in my life, it's to practice medecine! Sure, I've never even been to school!"
"Come now, I'm sure you'll do that as well as the rest."
Suddenly, Brian had a saw and scalpels in his hands and he cut off part of the man's legs below the knees, sewed his feet back on and the four men were now the same height and could carry the coffin without swaying about. They marched on carefully toward the west until they reached the cemetary that had no entrance. They had to climb up over the wall and down the other side. The last one over the wall was Brian.

Then came a huge gust of wind that blew Brian up into the air. He was carried off toward the west and when he landed on the ground again, he could no longer see neither the coffin nor the mourners. He'd fallen next to the well. He saw the bucket and the drops of water on the edge of the well that hadn't yet dried.

He took the bucket and went back into the house. The old man and the old woman were still sitting in the same place, where they were when he'd left them. He set down the bucket and went to sit between them again.

"So, then," said the old woman, "Are


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: MMario
Date: 17 Dec 01 - 03:25 PM

aaarrrrrghghhhhh! you got chopped off!


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Ebbie
Date: 17 Dec 01 - 11:03 PM

aaarrrrrghghhhhh!


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Dec 01 - 11:12 PM

apparenlty the old woman knew no words...


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: GottaMartin0016
Date: 17 Dec 01 - 11:42 PM

That was just plain cruel!


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 12:07 AM

Is this a contest to see who can best finish the story? Come on Auxiris!


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 12:15 AM

That is a problem here. There is a limit on the length of a message, but you don't know that until you hit "submit" and lose part of it.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 12:17 AM

Usually she includes "blah, blah, blah," literally to the end to make sure it all goes through, darn it. Wait until she wakes up and she'll finish it. She's over in France.


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: CapriUni
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 12:45 AM

I love this story! As a matter of fact, it is the story I used to open an experimental storytelling workshop I'm doing (very, very informal). The full story is published in Favorite Folktales From Around the World, edited by Jane Yolen http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0394751884/qid=1008653881/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_6_1/104-6083798-5606357Amazon listing for the book here

The story is nearly over... I let Auxiris finish her version...


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Auxiris
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 06:33 AM

I've just now discovered that this #!XÁÇGRZ machine chopped off the end of this one, too. . . thing is, I've been thinking: the last time that happened, Spaw said he thought it better to have left the end off. You're a clever lot, so maybe one of you can come up with the end, eh? No cheating from those who are familiar with the story!

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 07:43 AM

A wonderful motivational tale and a good opener (You will find it here: clickit: The Man who had No Story

There was a man one time, and his name was Rory O' Donoghue. His wife was a great woman for knitting stockings, and Rory's job ws to go from town to town, selling them. There was to be a fair in Macroom on a certain day, and Rory left home the evening before with his bag of stockings to sell them at the fair next day. Night came on him before he reached the town. He saw a light in a house at the roadside, and he went in. There was no one inside before him but a very old man. "You're welcome, Rory O'Donoghue," said the old man. Rory asked him for lodgings for the night and told him that he was on his way to the fair at Macroom. The old man said he could stay and welcome. A chair that was at the bottom of the kitchen moved up toward the fire, and the old man told Rory to sit on it. "Now," said the old man, "Rory O'Donoghue and myself would like to have our supper." A knife and fork jumped up from the dresser and cut down a piece of meat that was hanging from the rafters. A pot came out of the dresser, and the meat hopped into it. Up rose the tongs that were at the side of the hearth; they pulled out some sods of turf and made a fire. down jumped the hangers and hooked the pot over the fire. A bucket of water rose up, and water was poured over the meat. The cover jumped onto the pot. A wicker work sieve filled itself with potatoes, threw them into the bucket of water,and washed them. The potatoes then rose up and went into a second pot. The knife and fork went up to the first pot and the lid rose up. Up came a plate from the dresser. The knife and fork took out the meat from the pot and put it on the plate. The hangers took the pot of the fire and hung the pot of potatoes on it. When the potatoes were boiled, they strained off thee water into the sieve. A tablecloth spread itself on the table. Up rose the sieve and spread the potatoes out on the table. The plate of meat j umped onto the table and so did two other plates as well as two knives and forks. A knife and fork cut the meat into two portions nd put some on each plate. "Get up, Rory O'Donoghue," said the old man. "Let us start eating!" When they had eaten their supper, the tablecloth rose up and cleared off what was left into a bucket. Rory and the old man rose from the table and sat at either side of the fire. Two slippers came up to Rory O'Donoghue and two others to the old man. "Take off your shoes, Rory, and put on those slippers," said the old man. "Do you know, Rory, how I spend my nights here? I spend one-third of each night eating and drinking, one-third telling stories or singing songs, and the last third sleeping. Sing a song for me now, Rory." "I never sang a song in my l ife", said Rory. "Tell a story, then." "I never told a story of any kind," said Rory. "Well, unless you tell a story or sing a song, you'll have to go off out the door," said the old man. "I can't do any of the two," said Rory. "Of out the door with you, then Rory stood up and took hold of his bag of stockings. No sooner had he gone out than the door struck him a blow on the back. He went off along the road, and he hadn't gone very far when he saw the glow of a fire by the roadside. Sitting by the fire was a man, who was roasting a piece of meat on a spit. "You're welcome, Rory O'Donoghue," said the man. "Would you mind, Rory, taking hold of this spit and turning the meat over the fire? But don't let any burnt patch come on it. " No sooner had Rory taken hold of the spit than the man left him. Then the piece of meat spoke. "Don't let my whiskers burn," it shouted. Rory threw the spit and the meat from him, snatched up his bag of stockings, and ran off. The spit and the piece of meat followed him, striking Rory O'Donoghue as hard as they could on the back. Soon Rory caught sight of a house at the side of the road. He opened the door and ran in. It was the same house he had visited earlier, and the old man was in bed. "You're welcome, Rory O' Donoghue," said the old man. "Come in here to bed with me.." "Oh, I couldn't," said Rory. "I'm covered with blood!" "What happened to you since you left here?" asked the old man. "Oh, the abuse I got from a piece of meat that a man was roasting by the roadside," said Rory. " He asked me to turn the meat on the spit for a while, and 'twasn't long till the meat screamed at me not to burn its whiskers. I threw it from me, but it followed me, giving me every blow on the back, so that I'm all cut and bruised." "Ah,Rory," said the old man. "If you had a story like that to tell me, when I asked you, you wouldn't have been out until now. Lie in here on the bed now, and sleep the rest of the night." Rory went into the bed and fell asleep. When he awoke in the morning, he found himself on the roadside, with his bag of stockings under his head, and not a trace of a house or dwelling anywhere around him.


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Auxiris
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 09:49 AM

Now, the thing I forgot to tell you all was that the old man and the old woman called Brian by his name, too. . . sorry! That's what I get for translating too fast. Thanks for the additional story, #1.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 11:51 AM

Here's another good reason to always type your messages into your word processor first, then copy and paste to your browser, especially if your message is long. That way if you lose anything while posting to Mudcat, it isn't lost forever. Also, you can use your spell-checker.

By the way, the Mudcat's limit seems to be about 6300 characters per message, including spaces, punctuation, and HTML. That's around 1200 words.


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Auxiris
Date: 18 Dec 01 - 12:33 PM

Hi, Jim. . . well, I did that, happily enough and thus didn't permanently lose any of the text. Should split these longer stories in half, is all. Just waiting to see if anyone comes up with the closing line.

cheers,

Aux


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Auxiris
Date: 19 Dec 01 - 11:55 AM

Now that you've all had a look at the end of the story by using the blue clickie:

"So, then," said the old woman, "Are you still incapable of telling a story?"

Aux


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: CapriUni
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 02:50 PM

Refresh. The idea came to me yesterday to use this kind of story (though with my own invented incidents) as the basis for a new song, and I was looking for Auxisris's version, and couldn't find it. I should have looked here, first!

I did find a very funny version in the wee hours of the morning, about a wandering salesman who always has to sleep outdoors, because people know he has no story to tell, and therefore pretend not to be home when he comes knocking. So he has no choice but to sleep on a Fairy Hill, and while there, the Leprechauns send him on an errand to ask the newborn Christ child if the Leprechauns will get into Heaven on Judgement Day.

But I can't seem to get back to that page via Google, even though I typed in keywords I remembered reading.

But that got me wondering: How many versions of this story can we collect?

(And how long should we keep this contest open, for people to guess the ending?)


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: mack/misophist
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 09:18 PM

It seems to me that the tale can be ended with Auxiris's last line. The plot is resolved.


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: CapriUni
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 09:52 PM

True... though in the version I first learned (possibly a redaction by Jane Yolan, I don't know), there's an added denouement: the man gives up basket making and becomes a storyteller -- and makes a better living.

There's an Irish proverb that states "Whoever brings you one story will take away two." One interpretation says that's because when anyone tells a story, you're expected to tell one in return, just out of politeness (so the teller leaves with the story he came with, and the story you told). My own favored interpretation is that the second story the teller takes away is the one he has about meeting you (so you'd better be on your best behavior when you have company).

If that's the case, either by protocol or simple human nature, than Brian would have better luck as a storyteller. Unlike the wood and reeds from which he made his baskets, stories are an unlimited resource -- the more he trades, the more he has, not less.

'Course, as a storyteller of sorts myself, I may be a wee bit biased... ;-)


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 12:04 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: GUEST,ib48
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 02:12 PM

I KNOW NOTHING


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Subject: RE: The Man Who Knew no Stories
From: Ebbie
Date: 07 Feb 07 - 02:23 PM

I've heard Tommy Sands tell this story. Or maybe it was Mick Moloney? Anyway it's a great one.

Eb


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