Storyteller's Animal Stories, A

A Storyteller's Animal Stories by Duane Hutchinson. Lincoln, NE: Foundation Books, 1995 ISBN 0¬934988-35-8 $6.95 9O pp.

Duane Hutchinson is a storyteller who has given over 10,000 programs, been artist-in-the -schools with the Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota arts councils, and has written a number of books, at least seven of which deal with storytelling.

This latest volume is a collection of animal tales 'which he has adapted from a variety of sources. Two come from Ernest Seton Thompson, one from an Ambrose Bierce tale, some are personal. stories, and others came from listeners who proved that stories beget stories. These are not fables, or talking animal stories, or stories for very young children. They are, .for the most part, based on real animal stories from the Midwest, and range from 1881 to the 1970's. They have drama, blood, pathos, humour, real animals, and real people. Mind you, there are occasional hoop snakes, but you can decide as to the veracity of those stories for yourself. Boys, especially would enjoy these. I found myself a bit put off by one description, of a man mauled by a Grizzly, and in another by the description of the way some ranchers killed a wolf, but those descriptions are within a teller's control

Some of the more anecdotal stories could be used as fillers in a program, some of the longer stories can stand on their own. Hutchinson has worked with these stories until they reached the point where they reflect his own style of telling. No doubt you would want to do the same. In the dedication, Hutchinson addresses those who break away from the originals and create their own versions. "Take heart" he says. "You can tell what you remember, then point your listeners back to the sources.

Foundation Books publishes biography, local history, folklore, how-to and storytelling books. You can reach editor Stephen K Hutchinson at P.O. Box 20229, Lincoln, NE 68529.
Available on Amazon expensive

The Second Story Review, Vol 1, No. 2, Sep 1996
Forgot password?