Monday, 26 June 2017

Whistling my Tune

    He sounded his fife in the streets, but this time it wasn’t rats and mice that came to him, but rather children...In total, one hundred thirty were lost. Two, as some say, had lagged behind and came back. One of them was blind and the other mute. One little boy in shirtsleeves had gone along with the others, but had turned back to fetch his jacket and thus escaped the tragedy.                                                                                   The Pied Piper of Hamelin
                                by Brothers Grimm

    There are so many things that stimulate the mind and as writers we hope that our words do just that. Sights, sounds, smells, pictures, can also take our minds anywhere, at any time. The other week while in the Canary Islands, one particular sound took me back a long number of years. I'm not going to tell you how many to be exact, as it's rude to ask a lady's age.
    The sound was of a tin whistle, which tells the residents of the village that the knife-sharpener is in the vicinity. He'll sharpen knives, tools, implements even lawn-mower blades by hand, travelling from street to street by bicycle.
    It was the shrill, untuneful sound of his whistle that for some reason brought back the memory of the touring theatre company that used to visit my infant school. Each year just before school broke up for summer, the actors would come along and perform plays, usually folklore and fairy tales.
    On one occasion, an actor dressed colourfully, playing his fife, encouraged us little-ones to rise to our feet and follow him around the small school assembly hall, as he played his role of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It was something that every kid enjoyed, something that didn't appear to be school work. But, of course, the music, song and interaction was playing an all important part in our education.





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