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"Everything is Connected"

Stories 1

The Tinker's Clock ( 2005 Kevin Strauss)

Keywords: interdependence, everything is connected, connections, clock, tinker, pieces

Summary: Long ago, but not so long that we can't remember, there was a man who was a Tinker. He was a man who was always fixing things—broken pots, pulleys and damaged knife blades. His house was always full of bits and pieces of gears and pulleys and boxes of parts. People always brought the tinker things to fix.

One day after working all day in his workshop, the Tinker walked into his living room and noticed the loud "Tick-Toc, Tick-Toc, Tick-Toc" from the mantle clock on the shelf above the fireplace.

The Tinker thought to himself, "I bet I could fix that." He took the clock into his workshop and unscrewed the back and began taking out gears and springs and moved things around until he thought that he fixed the problem. As he was putting the clock back together, he had a couple gears left over.

"Oh well, I probably don't need these anyway," said the Tinker and he threw away the gears.

When he finished putting the clock together, he wound it up and listened to it. It didn't make that "Tick-Toc, Tick-Toc, Tick-Toc" noise. The Tinker smiled to himself and went on with his work until late in the night.

The next day, when the Tinker looked at the clock, he noticed that the hands no longer moved.

"The first law of intelligent tinkering is to save all of the parts." —Aldo Leopold

I developed this story 10 minutes before a beaver ecology class when I wanted a story to talk about the importance of species in an ecosystem. I got the idea for the story from the Aldo Leopold quote that ends the story. Find another version in Kevin Strauss, Tales with Tails: storytelling the wonders of the natural world. (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006). 230pp. $35.00pa. ISBN 1-59158-269-5pa.

 

The Frog Hunt (Zaire)

Keywords: interconnections, everything is connected, frog, mosquitoes

Summary: In a village there was a Chief and one night the croaking of the frogs was keeping him awake at night. He ordered the frogs to be quiet, but they didn't listen. So the next day he ordered the villagers to kill all the frogs in the valley. An old woman told him not to do that because "everything is connected." The Chief ignored her. Once the villagers killed all the frogs, things were quiet for a while, but then they started hearing the buzz of mosquitoes. Soon the mosquitoes were biting people all through the night. The next day the Chief ordered the villagers to kill all the mosquitoes in the valley. But the people knew that was impossible, so they left the village. Then the Chief realized what the old woman meant by "everything is connected."

"All Things Are Linked," on page 103 in Harold Courlander, The Crest and the Hide (New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghehan, 1982). 137pp. ISBN 0-698-20536-7.

"All Things Are Connected," on page 13 in Pleasant DeSpain, Eleven Nature Tales: A Multicultural Journey (Little Rock, AR: August House, 1996). 91pp. $10.75; $4.50pa. ISBN 0-87483-447-3; 0-87483-458-9pa.

Find another version in Kevin Strauss, Tales with Tails: storytelling the wonders of the natural world. (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006). 230pp. $35.00pa. ISBN 1-59158-269-5pa.

 

The Parable of the Stomach (Aesop)

Keywords: everything is connected, interdependence, stomach

Summary: Once there was a body and the Eyes, Ears, Hands, Legs and Mouth all got angry because it seemed like they did all of the work and the Stomach just sat around all day doing nothing. So they decided to go on strike and stop feeding the Stomach. But soon the Eyes started feeling blurry and the Hands and Legs started feeling weak. So they decided to feed the Stomach once again, and then everything was O.K. again.

"The Belly and the Members," on page 72 in Joseph Jacobs, ed., The Fables of Aesop (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2002). 196pp. $2.50pa. ISBN 0-486-41859-6pa.

"Belly and Members," on page 85 in Jack Zipes, ed., Aesop's Fables (New York: Signet Classic, 1992). 288pp. ISBN 0-451-52565-5pa.

Find another version in Kevin Strauss, Tales with Tails: storytelling the wonders of the natural world. (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006). 230pp. $35.00pa. ISBN 1-59158-269-5pa.

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(c) 2006 Tales with Tails Storytelling Programs

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