A strange dude with a head full of stories and a trolley load of books sharing stories with the fabulous Melissa
25th April 2016
Melissa is 14 years old. Whatever condition she is suffering from means that she can barely move. I was very worried about her lack of ability to let me know whether she actually wanted to hear a story. I *hate* to tell stories to people who would rather be doing something else. A Readathon storyteller is there to provide entertainment and escape, and I think that entertainment is seldom entertaining if it’s foisted on you against your will! Luckily Mellissa and I found a way to communicate as I gave her the option to choose a book from the bookcase. She indicated her level of enthusiasm for each book by pointing at choices with her eyes.
Using a process of elimination, I quickly discovered that she liked funny books that star animals best, and she eventually narrowed it down to Dick-King Smith’s stone cold classic, Babe. Seeing as she had chosen a pig book I asked her if she wanted to hear a story about a pig that I made up called The Golden Pig. She managed to nod her assent. To my delight the story made her convulse with giggles, and at the end (to my and her mum’s amazement) Melissa raised one of her hands, and, with great effort, clapped her fingers against her palm. This was more delightful to me than any standing ovation.
As Melissa accomplished this I noticed that her nails were painted in beautiful primary colours, with a matte finish. She is obviously very poorly, but still has the wherewithal to look fabulous! Not to mention be a very gracious audience to a strange dude with a head full of stories and a trolley load of books.