Last week I told tales to about a dozen children for the Chinese New Year celebrations hosted by Lampeter’s Confucius Institute.
First the dragon awoke from his winter sleep, then we learnt why the New Year is celebrated as it is, and why the year of the Goat comes after the year of the Horse. We saw the legendary beast Nian, still running after all these years, and debated whether it was the year of the goat or, instead, the year of the sheep!
Goat years are also known as Sheep years, and are known to give rise to gentler things, to be family orientated and caring. I take it as a good sign that I got to entertain the youngest members of the families at these celebrations (and to hear a story about a squirrel from a budding performer as well!) as the year was at its youngest, and the snowdrops are appearing all around the hills of Wales.
I do seem to be getting in the habit of collecting Chinese animal tales, don’t I? They are great fun and, thankfully, suitable for all ages. I do adore the dark and gruesome fairytales, such as those by Giambattista Basile in Pentamerone, but I’m naturally such a softy that the animal tales children love suit me down to the ground! On my list of tales to explore is a darker fairytale set, which the old, weird, Welsh story of Blodeuwedd, the flower maiden who became an owl, and my favourite Anderson tale ‘The Little Mermaid’ (which inspired my short story in Future Earth magazine) would probably sit quite nicely in, don’t you think? For now, I’m back under the direction of the goblins at The Circus when it comes to stories, we’ve got some work to do polishing up the new acts, they and I!
I do feel like now is a good point to just say thank you. Thank you for reading to everyone who comes across this post. Thank you to everyone who supports me in my endeavours, goblinesque and otherwise. And thank you to the Universe (and notably to the Confucius Institute) for the opportunities to tell tales professionally. I do so love it!