Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Storytelling 101

Version told me by Young Person:

There's a farm where the pond has a steep slope and a muddy bottom and one day, a cow wandered in there and got stuck. It moooo'd and moooo'd for help and the farmer came running and saw that he couldn't get the cow out without drowning, himself, so he called frantically for a truck to help pull the cow out but the whole time, the cow was struggling and slipping and before the truck could come, it went under the water and drowned. The farmer cried, he was so upset. He couldn't get the cow out until its body floated to the surface, and ever since, at night, you can hear the ghost cow mooooing and mooooing.

Original version, told to said Young Person:

A farmer I know came out to his pond one day and saw one of his cows floating in it - it must have got stuck in the mud on the bottom and drowned. Now people around there say there's a ghost cow you can hear mooooing on a clear night.

Isn't it amazing how a few extra details and adjectives turn something flat into something with pathos and drama? I'm still feeling terrible for the cow and the farmer too, though I know he wasn't bothered about it at all.

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