from The World is my Home by James Michener

We sometimes forget what a powerful gift that is.


I am sure that, at the dawn of civilization, when hunters went out to kill a mammoth on which their clan would have to live for the next six months, some man, not necessarily one of the shrewdest when it came to tracking the beast or the bravest when the animal was cornered, returned at night to sit by the campfire and relate the incidents of that day.

He told of the bird that guided his hunt; he told of the heroic resolution of the prey, noble and defensive with skills not encountered before; he identified the men who led the assault and the one on whom all depended when it seemed the mammoth would escape; and this fireside narrator lent that day a glory that it could never otherwise have gained.”  

Story Quote

People did not wait

until there was writing before they told stories
and sang songs.  

— Albert Bates Lord

Why tell stories?

And what Michener does not mention is that fortunately, as humans, we’re we’re not only story tellers but also story listeners.

Why did our ancestors survive? Because they listened to stories!

Stories taught our ancestors how to catch the hunt (and so have enough to last the winter) and what not to do (don’t go to that part of the forest because the sabre-tooth tiger lives there.)  

Without (hi)story to guide us, we repeat the errors of the past, and have no vision of the future.

© Roger Jenkins Pte Ltd 2020  |  Feedback:

Storytelling is interactive

Stories appeal to all ages and in many different ways.  It’s visual and aural,with plenty of opportunity for oral participation too!

And not only to children at bedtime!