"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dough between the Fingers: A Story Considered

Have you ever kneaded dough or rolled up a bunch in your hands?

When the dough squishes through the fingers and you feel a little bit of flour that did not quite get mixed up with the rest of it? That sensation had new meaning when I read the story called "Two Sisters" from Latin American Folktales: stories from Hispanic and Indian traditions edited by John Bierhorst.

A poor sister worked in the kitchen for her rich sister. As the woman rolled the dough and made the many tasty morsels, she was careful not to wash the dough from her fingers before heading home to her thin and hungry children. Once the children were gathered about, she would wash the leftover dough into a bowl and that would be supper.

Ironically, this type of meal made her children round in the bellies while the rich sister wondered how this could be as her own children were skinny despite having plenty to eat.

I seriously considered this story as part of the "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" narrative production. The story, though beautiful, was too short for me to develop. Then again, I have known storytellers like David Novak who have taken a few lines of a nursery tale or song and created 30-minute or more masterpieces from them. As for me, I wished that the "Two Sisters" story would have had more scenes so that I could feel more comfortable in transforming it into a more encompassing piece.

In the end, I have chosen not to tell this story for this program. I do enjoy the image of the dough washed from the mother's fingers and may incorporate that part into a different story told.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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