When I was a little girl, my Grandfather who was known as “Opa” to all of his grandchildren was an excellent story teller.
So much so, that he kept a small blue notebook in his breast pocket which contained all of the stories that he had collected during his lifetime.
He had them all numbered from one to five hundred.
Whenever I had the good fortune to be with him, I would always ask:
“Bitte erzähle mir eine geschichte!”
Which is German for:
“Please tell me a story!”
Upon hearing my request, he would ceremoniously raise his arm and with his hand reach into the breast pocket on his jacket and withdrew what I considered a sacred artifact that documented all the wondrous journeys that he had experienced through his long and eventful life.
He would flip through the pages one by one and within a few moments decide which would be the story of the day.
As he tucked his notebook back inside his pocket. He would look down on me and say:
“I will tell you story number two-hundred and sixty-five.
And then the story telling would begin…
He had been a Baptist Minister and Missionary and had very nearly travelled around the world being able to speak a multitude of languages.
Each day I was allowed one story.
On a really good day, I got to hear two stories.
And of course, there were those most special of days when I got to hear three stories, but that did not happen very often at all.
And so, for the past twenty or so years, I have aspired to collect as many stories as I could and try to come as close as possible to the magical five hundred stories that my Grandfather had recorded.
And this will be my ongoing project for the next little while.
And so how many stories have I collected?
You’ll just have to wait and see.