[With this speech I took my first step towards Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) award]
Please relax and go back to your childhood days. And imagine yourselves as 8 year old kids gathered around your grandfather, eagerly expecting a story to be told.
Are you sitting comfortably ? Then I'll begin.
Once upon a time in a small town there lived a fool. His wife .....was also a fool !
Every day they used to argue and fight. About what ? About who was a bigger fool !
Their neighbors were tired of their noisy fights.
One day they cornered the fool and told him, "Go and see the world. See how many kinds of fools are there in the world. What's the point of fighting like this?"
The very next day the fool set out on a journey. He wandered long and far till he came to a town.
As he was entering the town, he saw some woodcutters coming down the hill, carrying a huge log of wood. They were huffing and puffing.
He asked them, "Why don't you just roll the log down ? That would be much easier."
The woodcutters said,"Oh yeah ! That's the very good idea. How come we never thought about it ? Thanks a lot ! We will definitely follow what you say." They paid him some money for his advice.
As he roamed about in the town he came across a house. It was almost noon. The sun had reached its zenith. He saw a lady sitting at the doorstep of the house with an empty basket in front of her.
He asked her, “What are you doing?"
She said, "Don't you see? It is very dark inside my house. So I am trying to bring light into my house. I am tired of filling up this basket with sunlight and taking inside my house . But my house is still dark."
The fool observed that her house did not have any windows.
He said ""O, that's easy. If you pay me a fee, I'll fill your house with light." The lady agreed.
He went into the house , made big holes on the walls. Light poured into the rooms. The lady was amazed.
She was delighted. She gave him a hefty fee and also treated him with delicious and scrumptious lunch.
Then he wandered on till he saw a house with a terrace garden with lush green lawns. The house belonged to a milkman.
He saw the milkman pushing, prodding and beating a buffalo. He was trying to get the buffalo to climb to the top of the house. The fool asked him, "What are you trying to do?"
"O, my buffalo is hungry. I want to let it graze on the terrace garden. But the buffalo is stupid. Even though I beat him, he won't climb onto the roof. What shall I do?", said the milkman.
"For a fee, I'd be happy to graze him," offered the fool.
"Take it, here," said the milkman, giving him some money.
The fool at once asked for a ladder, climbed onto the terrace, cut some of the grass, and threw it in front of the buffalo, who happily began to chew on it.
On his way back to his own town, the fool came across the same group of woodcutters whom he had seen earlier in the day.
This time they were carrying the same log of wood up the hill. Clearly it was a very tedious job. They were huffing and puffing even more.
"What happened ?", asked the fool. "Well we are following your advice. We are taking this log up the hill once again so that we can roll it down every easily", replied the woodcutters.
"Hey ! There are bigger and greater fools in this world", thought the fool.
And then a brilliant idea struck him out of the blue !
He hurried home and came back with his wife.
They both settled down in the town and lived happily for the rest of their lives.
For they had become rich and prosperous by becoming management consultants to the town folks.
[Date delivered: February 13 2010
- To tell a folk tale that is entertaining and enjoyable for a specific age group
- To use vivid imagery and voice to enhance the tale
The folk tale I told during this speech was largely based on the story called "Fools" from the book "A Flowering Tree and other oral tales from India" by A.K. Ramanujan.
However I blended in the incident of the woodcutters carrying the log of wood up and down the hill from a German folk tale which I had read when I was learning German. I also split this incident into two parts .Told one part in the first half of the speech and the other one towards the end.
The line in the beginning "Are you sitting comfortably ? Then I will begin." is actually the opening line of "Listen with Mother', a children's radio program that was broadcast every weekday afternoon from 1950 to 1982 by BBC.]