You must listen well

To tell well is to listen well.
Story has everything to tell the teller if the teller will but hear.

A good story demands to be listened to by the teller long before she tells the story to others.
A newly revealed story can be heard in the heart’s soul even as it is read in quietness and solitude.
Listen to how the story dictates it should be told: in excitement, in anticipation, in conspiracy, in sadness.
Many things may be left unsaid by the teller, for the story remains with the listener and grows in memory when the telling is done.
To know what a listener will hear, the teller must listen in turn, to the story.
Only by listening well will nuances and verities of the story be revealed.
The covenant is between the listener and the teller and the story.
All three must abide, to be true.

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Dublin Folk Tales is published by the History Press.
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