Tales From The Tea House

The tales in this book are tales that I have told many times. They are from a repertoire of over 400 stories that I have gathered in my time as a storyteller. They are stories that have been told and retold over thousands of years by countless other storytellers from so many different countries that it is almost impossible to say with any certainty where they began their travels. Which means that they have no one single author rather they have had, and continue to have, many interpreters. Each one of whom, by transcribing and paraphrasing the tales using their unique style has recast them for a particular audience or situation and thereby kept them alive. And relevant.

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The Seller Of Words

Many centuries ago, in a city somewhere in the middle of a hot, dry and mountainous land, there lived a small man with a long grey beard who sold words.

He had a small shop deep inside the busy souk. A single dull oil lamp lit it, and he would sit on cushions, quite still, in the middle of the floor waiting for people to come.

And come they did. To buy words, of comfort or advice.

The small man with the long grey beard would have them sit on the floor before him, and he would listen to their motives for coming. The reasons were always different. Yet, at the core, all the same. They had either fears or fantasies, desires and passions, needs and wants, all very human and individual yet familiar to all.

So he listened.

Because to sell words, you must first collect them. To do that you must learn to listen to them. Listen with all your being.

First, listen and then speak.

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