Thursday, January 22, 2009

Storytelling- Picnic With A Bear- For Hannah

Hannah, I heard you like to read, and decided to share with you my love of telling stories. Did you know telling a grand story that will change day-to-day circumstances is nothing more than releasing your imagination and pushing it to your emotional limits.

To tell a story with so much heart that we can feel every nuance of our words is nothing more than the ability to dream out loud without fear of criticism, shame, hopelessness, despair, or even impatience.

In Storytelling, you tell yourself a story in the tone and warmth of a bedtime story, playing the the worlds of make-believe. As you begin telling your story, remember that you are living for now and that it is a real situation. Put yourself into each characters shoes and do what you think they would do and write it that way.

For example, is their something that you want to try, or have done that you would like to share with your readers? Write it with all the passion you have or felt while doing this like riding a bike with no hands, falling backwards into the ocean, diving into the fish tanks at the aquarium and swimming with the fish and mammals you have seen. How about slithering across the hot dessert, past all the rocks and cactus all the while the hot, hot sun is beating down on your body...

What if you were a flower and what it might feel like when the morning dew collects on your petals and a morning bee is buzzing around you...what would you say? Describe the whole experience in your own words, with every detail of your surroundings...sights, sounds, colors, and environment...

Did you know it is easier to make up a story, Fiction, than it is to write about our own real life stories? Why, because we have a hard time telling the truth, so we embellish, or just leave out stuff we might now want others to know about us.

Try writing 100 words about something that really happened to you, or about something you want to have in your life...combine the two...reality and imagination...non-fiction and fiction can be combined, but then it becomes non-fiction...see I told you it was easier...

Become a story my story below...

I have always wanted to have lunch with a bear. I think they are cute and cuddly, but I have not met a bear I could get close to. They do not come out unless you promise them lots of yummy delights to eat. Many people think they like to eat most anything, but I know for a fact that bears are very particular about what they put into their mouths.

Once I left a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the hood of my parents brand new tracker SUV, three bears were in plain site, but not one of them ever came over to ask me for my food. Silly situation I know, but the smallest of the three bears did turn back towards me and placed his little wet nose right up into the air and sniffed. Then I think he muttered something to the second biggest sized bear who was possibly his mother, and off they turned moving quickly into the clump of trees off to my left.

That sandwich sat on the roof for at least an hour, and no other bears were to be seen. They have quite a good sense of smell, and are often referred to as dogs. I think because they run in packs, have a great sense of smell, and can run as fast or faster than any other animal like many dogs who are used to heard other animals.

I finally figured out what would catch their particular taste in food. Sweet berry pie. Yes, my grandmother makes quite good pie. She goes out in the yard where many wild berry bushes grow, and picks enough to make three or four pies. Wild raspberry, and elderberry grow easily in her part of the country. She actually lives not far from where I go and wait for the bear.

One day she called me and asked if I wanted to help pick berries and she would teach me to make her famous mixed berry pie. My grandmother was an excellent cook. I ate there at least twice a week with my parents, and often they would leave me in the summer for a whole week. My mother dropped me off and I was so excited to finally learn her secret for making those wonderful and tasty pies. When I watch her cut into those pies, I see the filling shimmering in the light of the kitchen lantern, and then watch as it oozes over the sides of the pan, and she drops a piece right onto my plate. All that is left after minutes is my purple teeth and lips as I smile back at her.

I watched as she took out the flour, eggs, and butter. Grandmother made a nice neat pile of flour, broke open two eggs into the hole she had made in the middle, and then cut up butter pieces and they landed all around the flour heap. Then she dropped a few drops of cold water into the heap and with her hands she began to bring all the ingredients together. Outside into the middle, rolling it over and over until it became a ball of dough. She began to push it down and roll it, push it down and roll it until she just knew when to stop. Placing it between a folded sheet of plastic she placed it into the dark corner, and said we had to wait.

Grandmother said "Let's go collect some very special berries for the pies". I hopped off of the chair and ran after her with my very own basket she gave me to use. We spent at least half an hour collecting all shapes and sizes of berries. She pointed and told me which bushes I pick from. Also telling me that if I picked the wrong ones we might get sick. I was very careful in following her instructions. Grandmother knew what she was doing, and had been doing it for a long while.

When we had gathered enough berries, we went back inside and rinsed them. Now she three all of them into a big pot that was already sitting on the stove. I helped her place some wood into the stove, and we waited for the pot to begin heating. We added some sugar, and a small amount of cider that she makes from her very own apples out back. I find grandmothers house is a good place for healthy fruits. I wish we could grow a fruit tree in our yard. My family lives on a smaller property and my father takes care of the owners milking cows. So we have plenty of meat and milk, but I miss the fruit.

Once the berries were finished cooking, they had become what she called filling, I helped Grandmother roll out the pie crust. We dusted the old wooden table with flour, and she brought out her old wooden rolling pin. This pin was heavy and almost as long as one of my legs, so I let her do most of the rolling. Grandmother then placed the filling into the pie crust and place another round piece of dough on top, carefully pressing down with every turn of the pie pan. To seal the crust she told me, so the filling will not dry out from the hot fire of the old wooden stove.

We finished making four pies that morning. I was tired and really thirsty. We had some lemonade and she looked at her watch to see if the pies might be ready. The pies in the back of the stove were getting pretty golden brown, so she took those two out and set them on the window sill. That was a good place for them to cool. Grandmother got a good cross breeze coming in that window in afternoon.

She suggested that we go into the living room and sit in the rocking chairs. I asked her to read me a story, and she said we had enough time on the two pies left in the oven to read me one short story. So off we went. Grandmother sat in her rocker and I climbed into her lap and she read from her poetry book. I picked out a poem about a silly duck that would not go south for the winter. As she told me the story she began to make quacking noses that made me laugh so hard we dropped the book. Suddenly we also heard a loud growl coming from the kitchen.

Grandmother threw me off her lap and ran over to the fire place where her old shotgun sat leaning up against the wood pile in the corner. She told me to stay right where I was sitting on the floor and off she went into the kitchen. I was too curious to just sit there, so I crept up to the kitchen door and peeked through the crack between the door and frame...and to my surprise I saw a big black bear with one of her pies in its mouth and as she banged a pan with the end of the gun it ran off.

That is how I know what bears really grandmothers berry pies!


Anonymous said...

The story was really cute and why did the bear like the pies so much and why did it growl? Thank you for writing this story. I really liked it! I will write a story about Jewel and me and how I got Jewel in Savannah in Georgia and our adventures together - Hannah

Chef E said...

I was tired last night and thought if you had question you could write them in...

Anonymous said...

I heard the bear growl. I thought he was growling because he was hungry. So the bear ate the pies all up. He liked the pies because the pies were so yummy and delicious. Bears like sweet things and this pie was so sweet. I came in and said hello to the bear. And the bear said "rrr". He was really a friendly bear. I went outside with the bear and we picked some flowers. And we played with some dolls with the bear and it was fun. I invited the bear to come back and play again. The End.