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What? Story tellers fudge the truth?

January 23, 2011

My 6 and 4 year old and I found ourselves at a librarian convention yesterday with lots of regional entertainers who work the library circuit. A storyteller told a story of a mouse and a lion.

A mouse wanted to touch a lion, and when she did, the lion caught her but released her when she promised to help him someday. When she told her friends that she had touched a lion, she left out the part about being caught, because that’s the way stories are, said the storyteller.

Later, the lion was caught in a net. “Hey there, Lion,” said the mouse. “How are you doing?”

“I’m very good,” said the lion in the net. Then the storyteller said, “Sometimes we lie a little to save ourselves from embarrassment.”

What pearls of wisdom—when telling stories, people leave out information, and they lie to save themselves from embarrassment. You wonder if this isn’t what happened with the disciples after Jesus died. When he didn’t resurrect as they expected him to, I imagine they could justify saying, “He is risen!” while thinking (spiritually speaking, of course). Or “I saw him with my own eyes!” (my mind’s eye).

It’s good to remember that when you hear a miracle story, to ask yourself, “Is it more likely that this miracle actually happened, or that what I am hearing is just a story?”

 

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