My regular readers (you can probably delete that ‘s’ ) may remember a post of a week or so ago in which I moaned about the failure of anyone to turn up to our ‘Fairy-Tale Afternoon.’ Nothing daunted, Kyriaki got the shop ready again yesterday afternoon, and to our delight (and I hope and believe theirs too) three children turned up: a boisterous 8-year-old girl, a rather quieter younger girl, and a rather subdued very small boy. The mothers too came. The children were provided with cake and at once ran off, heading, in spite of the dark and wet, for the deserted playground. Kyriaki meanwhile was busy preparing ouzo and mezés for the mothers, but something had to be done at once to recapture our escaping audience. I was therefore rather dropped in it when Kyriaki screamed after the departing children ‘We’re starting!’ and went back to preparing mezés. ‘You tell the first story, Simon.’
Hmm… three Greek children who had probably heard of but never yet seen this strange Englishman, and I had to entertain them … luckily my friend Jane had sent me a good text of ‘Jack the Giant Killer’ (not the same as ‘Jack and the Beanstalk) and I had read the first part. So I told them, in Greek, about the killing of the first giant, domesticating the story a bit with Greek references. (e.g. goats rather than sheep). Of course, they particularly liked the bit where the giant sticks his head out of the pit and Jack lops it off with his axe, so I embellished this by saying he brought the head back to show to the mayor as proof he should get the reward.
I finished by telling them that if they wanted to hear what happened to the next giant (I still haven’t read that bit myself) they must come back next week, with friends. Then I went outside to join the other grown-ups for a crafty fag, and so missed Kyriaki’s telling the children a story from the Thousand and One Nights.
I think they had a good time; I know I did. I think they will be back next week.
‘Once Upon a Time’
Fairy Tales for children from three years old to ninety years old.
Told in simple Greek by Kyriaki Theodorou and Simon Darragh.
Every Saturday afternoon from 5.30 until the cows come home,
at ‘THE BOOK SHELTER’ (ΤΟ ΣΤΕΓΙ ΤΟΥ ΒΙΒΛΙΟΥ)
In Plateia Christou (the main village square).
All ages and nationalities welcome.
There will be cake for the children, and the bar will be open for the grown-ups.