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Stories aren’t something to hear before you go to bed

November 2, 2013

In his introduction to Amazing Tales of Aotearoa, Glenn Colquhoun has the following to say about stories (just beautiful!):

4NO STORY worth being told ever stands still or lies in a book all silent and neat. It wriggles into your eyes and ears and turns over in your belly and mouth. If it is quiet for a while it is only because it is growing, like a seed.
And no matter what anyone says there are gods. A lot of times they act like people, though, and everyone gets confused. Sometimes it is hard to separate the two. That is the reason the gods never behave very well.
A long time ago I found a place where people taught me that stories and gods are almost the same thing. They are that part of us we pass on to each other like treasure and are alive no matter how long it has been since we heard them. If we lend them our voices and our faces then for a little while they look like us.
A story isn’t something to hear before you go to bed. It is something you look through to see things more clearly. It wakes you up. The world is full of colour and noise. I used to think these stories were asleep but really it was me. One day they grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and shook me.” (p.9)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) Amazing Tales of Aotearoa, as told by Glenn Colquhoun, illustrated by Ali Ted. (2008) Raupo (Penguin): North Shore

Note: On the page of bibliographic details is the following statement: “Amazing Tales of Aotearoa owes its genesis to A.W. Reed’s Wonder Tales of Maoriland, illustrated by A.S Paterson and originally published by A.H. & A.W. Reed in 1964, and in several subsequent editions. The structure of that book – that is, the sequence of stories – has been followed in this publication.”

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