Once upon a time, in a world dense with even the most mundane of stories, there lived a story bursting at the seams to be told. For any decent story, however, it wasn’t enough just to be told, they had to be heard, and that’s precisely what this story wanted. The more people that got to hear a story, the better for the story, but most stories believe that being heard by one person is better than never being heard at all.
It’s difficult to describe the pain a story feels when it cannot be told, let alone heard, but it is a pain the builds up over time. Meaning that the longer the story goes without being told, the more painful it becomes. It is a sad day when a story that wanted to be told fades away into nothing, never knowing what might have been if it was told.
The main reason nobody had heard this particular story, is because it didn’t have a voice. And a story must absolutely, unequivocally have a voice. That is, it must have something to say if anyone is actually going to say it. And this story absolutely and unequivocally had something to say. What was that something? We don’t know, because we haven’t yet heard the story. There is a saying amongst the various types of stories, however, that the voice telling the story is almost as important as the story itself. It is common knowledge that a particular story delivered by a five-year-old has a very different impact than the same story delivered by a twelve-year-old, or, at the other end of the spectrum, an eighty-five-year-old. All three with the same message, and all three with vastly different outcomes. The story had not yet found the right voice, so the story remained untold.
Growing weaker by the day, the story was getting desperate. Should it wait for the perfect voice, or should it risk being heard by fewer and fewer people? Assessing the voices currently available, the story chose to continue the search for the right voice and not risk being muddled up amongst the plethora of stories that rush to get heard, but never gain traction because of their chosen voice. Sometime later, in a cacophony of irrelevant and outdated stories, our story thought it had finally found its voice.
The story started making the voice say things related to the story, just to see how they sounded and was pleased with the outcome. These little teasers were heard, understood and reacted to. This is everything a story could ask for. But then, something unexpected happened. The voice started to tell stories that were designed to deceive. Yes, they were heard and understood, but the reactions by the listener were not genuine and the overall outcome very unpleasant to watch. Seeing a breakdown in the connections between the storyteller and the listener is one of the most heartbreaking scenes a story can witness.
By the time the story made the decision not to use the voice, it was too late. The story was too tired by its search and had too much to say to just let it fall to the few, undesirable voices that were left. Unfortunately, this meant that, perhaps, the story was not ready to be told, that maybe the world was not ready to hear what it had to say. We will never know, because it’s now just another story that will never be told, never get to be heard and never get to be understood. Maybe our reactions to not having the story around will coax it out of hiding. And, maybe then, we can all live happily ever after.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
Illustrations by Alisha Towers: FACEBOOK
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