I thought I’d try something a little different for this particular tale. I decided to see what would happen if I made it into different formats. At the end of this post you can read the tale itself, but I’ve also created a video and slideshare presentation too. It would be great if you’d let me know what you think of them.
You Tube Video Version
Written Fairy Tale Version
Once upon a time in the land of t’Internet there lived a woman called Gem the Word Weaver. Her fame had spread throughout her village for she spun words into gold before the very eyes of those who purchased them.
Customers came to her little shop each day and asked her to spin a word or two for them. Some days she spun everyday words like ‘love’ and ‘cherish’; on other other days she was called to spin words that were out of the ordinary like ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’. Her days were filled with the sounds of words and the colour of gold. People went away happy, knowing that she had fulfilled their need and made life a little easier for them.
But Gem was unhappy with her life. She longed to spin more than just words, for in her heart she was a storyteller longing for the challenge that came with spinning a whole story into gold. But where were the customers who might buy such a product and what would they need it for? Each night Gem climbed into bed and hoped her dreams would provide the answer.
As it happened, it turned out that it was one of her most loyal customers who suggested a solution.
“Gem, why are you not spinning your words into stories in the city’s marketplace?” He asked.
“For sure, it’s too far for me to travel and I fear for what my customers would do without their daily golden words” she responded, looking down at her toes and scuffing her feet.
“Why don’t you ask your customers to order their words in advance, surely we all know when we will need them” he replied. “You could spin them through the night and I would be happy to look after your shop for a day or two each week”.
“What a wonderful idea, I’m amazed I hadn’t thought of that before”. Gem was grateful for the suggestion and gladly took him up on his offer.
That night she spent several hours spinning the words she knew that people bought most regularly. and in the morning, although she was tired, she headed to the City’s marketplace to see if she could spin a tale or two.
Sitting upon a little stool, she plied her trade; spending hours spinning stories into gold for the city’s residents. As time passed she drew a larger and larger crowd, each person telling another of the woman who spun stories into gold for a modest fee.
By the time the market finished for the day Gem was surrounded by the coins of those who had bought her stories. It was much more than she had ever seen before and she decided to treat herself to a brand new blue ribbon before heading home for the night.
Giving her loyal customer a proportion of the coins she had gathered, she settled down for another evening’s word spinning.
The next day, she went to the market once more and again her fame spread throughout the city; people came back who had bought the day before and new customers arrived every hour. Her stories were spun on demand for all who were prepared to pay. And Gem had found a new way to supplement her living.
In time, even the Lords of t’Internet came to hear about her fame. Even Lord Google came to hear her speak himself, asking her for a story he could present to his young daughter on her next birthday.
However, times change and one day Gem noticed that there were not so many people crowded around her little stool; and the pile of coins was not a large as it had once been. She suspected something was afoot and decided to investigate. Sure enough, she found a stall a little further along the market that was selling her old stories to other people; it seemed that purchasers tired of them after a little while and sold them to recoup a little of the money they had paid Gem.
Once more she was unhappy, once more she climbed into bed each night hoping for a solution; and once more it was her loyal customer who provided the answer.
“Why don’t you rent your stories instead, that way when people tire of them they can bring them back and exchange them for another?”
It seemed like the perfect solution and Gem put it into practice the next time she was in the marketplace.
Once more her little stool was surrounded, once more she gathered more customers and this time they stayed, each bringing a friend along to share the experience with them.
The years passed and Gem was running a thriving business, selling words at home and tales in the cities of t’Internet. Each story she spun was sold many times over meaning she had time to take a holiday now and then or visit with relatives and friends.
Many years later, when Gem was old and on the verge of death, her loyal customer asked her what the most valuable lesson she had learned was.
Gem lay back on her cushions and thought for a moment or two before saying;
“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables