As most of you who read this blog know, I work as a teacher for a conservation charity. I teach primary aged children mainly, but also nursery, secondary and adults to some extent.
I have been really busy these last two weeks visiting schools across my region and chatting to children about wildlife and birds.
One of the things I encounter with every group I work with is the need to tell me their stories.
Children are always desperate to tell you about the bird they saw in their garden last week, the one which hit the window while they had breakfast, the badger who digs up their garden.. etc.
I had a wee boy this week wave his hand desperately in the air, really keen to be chosen. When I asked him what his question was he simply told me proudly that he could make the sound of a cockerel, which he then delightedly did for the whole class.
I love the stories and tales they have to tell, and always try and allow some time for them. They express an interest and a delight in the world around them, an engagement with the topic being discussed and an excitement at sharing something amazing, funny or interesting with others.
But this is not just true of children.
When I do talks to rural groups or neighbours clubs, invariably at the end I will have people come up to me and tell me about their gardens, what they feed the birds, something unusual they saw last week or how things have changed since they were younger.
It seems we humans have a deep need to share with others, that an oral tradition still exists in our psyche and that storytelling is something more than fantasy.
It is a way of sharing how we feel, a tool for learning and a way to grow.