At this, all four of us were hanging onto every word she said. All piled up in her four-poster bed, we couldn't imagine how frightened she must have been. What was it like? How would we have reacted had we been there on that black, summer night, walking through a dimly-lit field with only the tiniest bit of moonlight to illuminate our path? Did it really sound like a woman's screams... the cry of a panther?
MaMaw never formally studied the art of writing, or of conveying a story using all of the senses... sight, sound, smell and touch. Some people don't require formal training. Some people, like MaMaw, were born with the gift of storytelling... a gift that is fast becoming a lost art. Each of the stories she shared with the four of us grandchildren described the setting so vividly that we were transported to the very place and time of the event. Her facial expressions conveyed all the emotions. Her odd repertoire of sound effects and her flurry of hand movements and arm gyrations set the tone of the tale. She knew just when to pause for effect; just when to lower her voice. As she would crescendo into a "Waaahaaa" with her arms raised in the air and her hands waving back and forth, we would dive head-first beneath the covers, squealing like a pack of baby piglets. And this is how she got us ready for bed... really.
|From left to right: Me, Kenneth Todd, Kim Todd, MaMaw and Linda.|