Today’s letter is O for:
Once upon a time…
I have been telling stories to kids since I was a kid. There is something about starting a tale with “Once upon a time” that inspires my creativity. Those four familiar words entice my imagination to freely wander with abandon through the magical world of make believe.
It has been my experience that whenever I begin a “Once upon a time” tale, my listeners are immediately engaged. As I look into their eyes, bright with wonder, I intuitively sense that they are seeing, so clearly, the word pictures I am painting for them.
Of course they are free, as they often do, to contribute their own texture and color to what eventually becomes a collaborative mural of memories.
My joy is complete when I hear the words, “Tell me a story…
"Once upon a time in a land far, far, away there lived a little girl and little boy, who looked just like you.
"And what do you think their names were?”
"Once upon a time" is a stock phrase that has been used in some form since at least 1380 (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) in storytelling in the English language, and seems to have become a widely accepted convention for opening oral narratives by around 1600. These stories often then end with "and they all lived happily ever after," or, originally, “happily until their deaths."
But I am Princess Lynda Scheherazade, my stories never end, because there is always another “Once upon a time…