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I belong to a recently formed storytellers group and did my first public storytelling last Thursday. It had been arranged several weeks before that I and 2 other members of the storytellers group would tell stories at a local old folk’s home.  Since our telling would be on the day before Good Friday I thought that stories with an Easter theme would be appropriate. The one that came immediately to mind was the story of how the donkey got his cross. Then I wondered about Faberge eggs and whether there was a story there that I could tell. I looked in the library catalogue and found a book – Faberge’s Eggs . It looked pretty interesting so I took it out.

The day before the telling, I was reasonable happy with the donkey story (which was a pared down version of this one) but still hadn’t even begun to think about a Faberge story. Although the book I was reading was very interesting, it was a bit short on the personal detail that makes for an interesting story. I almost decided to can the Faberge story but then it came to me out of the blue. I decided to tell the story of the first Faberge egg and present it as a traditional ‘fairytale’.

Although I had the rough outline in my head and the opening phrase worked out – “A long time ago in a country far away, there was a ruler who had a problem” – I didn’t actually tell the story before it was the real thing on the Thursday.  It went really well. I enjoyed telling the story and the residents seemed to enjoy it too. I stuck pretty much to the facts but imagined some personal details and tried not to give away the fact that I was talking about Faberge and the Russian royal family until right at the end.

That evening when I told my family what had been doing, my son asked, “what is a Faberge Egg?” I said I could tell him the story but he wasn’t interested.  A pity – I was dying to tell it again.

Two days later I finished reading Faberge’s Eggs.It was a great book.  As well as telling the story of the eggs, it also helped remind me of the Russian history I learnt at school and traced what had happened to the eggs since the Russian revolution. My only criticism is the scarcity of photos. It would have been great to have a photo of each of the eggs interleaved with the story of its creation. There are no photos of some of the eggs but by searching the Internet I found pictures of many of them including the one at the top which is of the first Faberge egg. I also found lots of extra information about some of the eggs.

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