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Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Birthday Dragon!

This past week has been one of those millstone, er milestone, birthdays.  What better way to celebrate than with a dragon?!  I love dragons and dragon stories, so I want to share both a bit of non-fattening dragon birthday cake
and a story about dragons and birthdays.  It comes in "bare bones" format to let you personalize it from a storytelling colleague active in the state of Georgia, Janice Butts.  Here's a photo of Janice in a beloved purple hat.  There's a story also about the photo.  When I contacted Janice for permission to use her telling of the story, she said:

I am sure it is dated now, but the hat was a gift from a friend to 'her favorite storyteller', so it makes me feel very professional.  I assume you can get it from my website. If not, we may have a problem, because I lost the hard drive recently with all those pictures.
 Again, enjoy the story.  I look forward to finding this on your blog.

Let's face it, we store all our memories these days on devices that can easily lose everything in a crash.  I'm going to give her photo here and, after the story, I'll give you a way to recover photos you may have sent out into the world online. 

Now let's gobble up the story as Janice shared it long ago.

The Birthday Dragon

(Janice opened with this disclaimer:
You are most welcome to use it in any way you see fit.  I got the idea from a children’s book.  I no longer remember the original or know where to find it.)


When telling this Janice personalizes it, using the name of the person celebrating their birthday for "child."

Child lives in poor village at the bottom of a mountain.  The whole community is poor because they don't have enough water to grow good crops.  When it is time for her birthday, child's mother says she can ask anyone she wants to her birthday party.  Child wants the dragon who lives at the top of mountain, as child has never met him, but heard lots of scary stories.

Mother refuses, but child decides to go find said dragon and invite him to party.  Child climbs the mountain 3 times, first 2 times dragon's fiery breath does not allow child to get near.  Third time, child manages to invite dragon to party.  He is touched and agrees, invites child to ride down the mountain on his back.  As they take off, his tail knocks away rocks that have been holding back a stream and brings water down with them.  Dragon is welcomed because of the water, and all live happily.  Each year since then the community has celebrated child's birthday because child brought water to them.

Janice closes with. . . what else? the song, Happy Birthday. 

LoiS here again.  Yes, you can sing that song without fear of royalty problems.  Back on October 2, 2015 I was able to report here the following wonderful news: I'll try to avoid my rant about copyright here -- the end of my Keeping the Public in Public Domain segments clearly shows my sentiments -- but I'm ecstatic about this long overdue ruling!  Warner/Chappell earned $2 million a year on a song dating back to their piano arrangement in 1935.  Most or all of that money will never be repaid.  Thank heavens the public kept the song alive.  Public Domain was intended to keep our cultural heritage alive, which Sonny Bono and his 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, saving Micky Mouse from entering the Public Domain, has gone a long way away from that intent. 

I will add to that, the same corporate interests that went into the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act want to see the Trans Pacific Partnership approved.  TPP is even worse because it will remove control of copyright from the control of the signing countries and make it no longer governed by the affected countries.  For World Read Aloud Day this year I explored the issue including also Intellectual Property and Digital Rights.  Take a look at the link to that article, because it will give you other resources to look into the issues which can affect us all.

Similarly the crash of a computer can be devastating, losing beloved photos.  I recommend regular back-ups.  Personally I use Carbonite because it covers so much inexpensively and without my needing to remember to do something.  Many of us have pictures on the internet, possibly Facebook or Google Plus or . . .   Performers put them on websites and are sometimes in articles.  (I HATE photos taken of me, but it's a necessity in my work.)  Here's an easy way to recover those online photos.  Search your name on Google.  In Janice's case, I added "storyteller" to avoid any others with her name.  I didn't trust my memory to find her website again and that was what I was seeking at first.  It didn't on the 1st page give me her site, BUT it included images!  When I went to her site, the purple hat pic she wanted me to use wasn't there BUT it was right there on the Google Images.  Clicked on the photo, then Save Image As, and it went to my Downloads.  An easy way for you to prowl the many images of yourself online and also save many of those photos you lost when your hard drive was lost!

I was happy to return the favor Janice did with today's story and guess there will always be a BUT or a Butt somewhere online.  For fun and even to buy her enjoyable CD, "Livin' Above Her Raisin'; Stories of the Blue Ridge Mountains", be sure to go to her site linked in my first paragraph above.

There's another local storyteller who also loves dragons I've mentioned here before, Loretta Vitek, has in her email signature the perfect things to end today's article. 
There is always a story, be a shame not to share it!
Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons,
for thou would be crispy & good with sauce.
Arriverdella



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