There is a wonderful ancient folktale from Japan called, ‘The Stonecutter and the Fairy’, in which a poor stonecutter meets a fairy who offers to make his every wish come true. As the story progresses, each wish brings the stonecutter closer to his ideal of great power and strength. Eventually he is changed into the most powerful thing he can imagine: a stone mountain.
Soon thereafter he hears the steady tapping of a stonecutter and an insight follows close behind. Perhaps a stone mountain is not all-powerful after all.
Immediately he realizes the folly of his ways. He makes a ﬁnal wish and the fairy returns him to his true self; a stonecutter, poor but now empowered after his great journey and content in the knowledge of his own worth.
The message of this story is simple and profound; ‘We are all in possession of something unique and powerful. Be who you are to rise to your fullest potential’.
A wonderful message to take to heart as we work toward the goal of creating inclusive, supportive schools and communities.
– Matthew Giffin
Part 2: The Real LIfe Adventures of a Storyteller – The Stonecutter
Recently, during an all school assembly about creating a positive leaning learning environment, I told the story of ‘The Stonecutter and the Fairy.’ The junior kindergarten classes were in the front row, sitting at my feet and listening attentively.
After the story, I stated that we can often learn important lessons from stories and asked what they thought this story could be teaching. A four-year old boy, raised his hand and when I called on him, said, “This story is telling us that it is very important to be ourselves.”
Out of the mouths of babes. Ancient stories often have a way of presenting archetypical human situations in ways to which we can all relate, no matter what our age.
– Cheryl Thornton