March 20, is World Story Telling day. Stories once heard must be passed on, for if you don’t they could suffocate and disappear. Here’s how stories came to be…

Lima was a lucky boy. He had a grandmother who told him lots of stories. Every night, at bed time, there was a story for him. What a fantastic variety of stories grandmother told Lima — wild stories of animals and talking birds, of clever people and senseless ones, of magic and music, stars and sages and many more.

Lima asked his grandmother if stories grew on trees.

She said, “No.”

“Then, where do you get the stories from?” Lima persisted.

“My grandmother told them to me. And Lima, remember to tell your friends these stories, so they can also enjoy them.”

But Lima said, “No, I don’t want to tell them to anyone. They are my stories, my treasure. I don’t want to give them away .”

“Stories are meant to be told. Listen-‘n-tell — that’s the law of the story kingdom,” his grandmother insisted. But Lima was adamant he would not part with his stories.

“If the stories have no place to go, they will get suffocated.”

“Stories can’t get suffocated, grandma. You must be kidding,” he told her. Grandmother gave up trying to convince him.

Escape

One night, grandmother’s slumber was disturbed. She got up. She thought she heard a noise coming from the attic. Something rolling…someone talking…men…mice…. she was too scared to check.

In the morning, she took Lima with her and opened the attic door. A cold breeze blew on their faces. The small window on the far end of the attic was open. But nothing was disturbed or lost. Lima closed the window and came away.

That night, when Lima settled down for story time, grandmother asked Lima, “Dear, what story did I tell you last night? If you don’t want to tell it to your friends, doesn’t matter. You can tell me, can’t you?”

Lima was quiet. He thought, and he thought. He frowned and shook his head. At last, he confessed,

“Grandma, I don’t remember.”

“Never mind, tell me any story that you remember.” But Lima could not remember any.

“Not even one?” she asked. Lima shook his head.

“Ah!” she exclaimed. “I think I know who made the noise in the attic. It’s your stories.”

“I don’t understand.”

Grandmother explained, “Your stories have been collecting in the attic since you would not tell them to anyone. They were so many that they were suffocated…”

“So they threw open the window and flew away! That is why I can’t remember them,” Lima interrupted.

“My stories, I want them back,” he wailed.

“I can tell them to you all over again. But you must remember to tell them to others. This way, you will remember them. You will never forget them. And if your friends tell their friends, the stories will go to children the world over.”

“Stories love to travel, right?” Lima asked and gave grandmother a bear hug.