Among the many wonderful stories found in Dianne De Las Casas' Handmade Tales, it is the Handkerchief Man that I feel so confident in telling. It has everything every Preschool and K-2 student would love -- a handkerchief that can be turned into a puppet, songs, actions and a little bit of dancing on the side.
Last August 19, 2009, the preschoolers of Ridgefield had a blast with Handkerchief Man. They sang along and danced with him. I was enthralled with their enthusiasm!
I remember some telling gigs ago, I told the same story to a group of grade two students. The kids wondered what happened to the spunky and spritely Handkerchief Man next. Thus, a prolonged session on the many what-ifs and adventures the Handkerchief Man encountered. Some believed he fell in a well and drowned. Others thought that the Old Woman ran after him and caught up eventually. A few were convinced that the Handkerchief Man was smart enough to squeeze himself out of any trouble.
Such is the power of stories! My jaded heart slowly heals as I begin to find hope once more among the people I meet and mingle with. One of these days, I will record and document the healing qualities of stories. Beginning from my own experiences, in every performance I do from one school to another, I will write them down. I will research and further explore the therapeutic claims of stories and storytelling. Then, perhaps, I shall be ready to go back to Singapore and share how stories and storytelling can heal the soul and enrich a life.