The Story Snail

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As a storyteller for children, I would like to share my latest favourite story for primary aged children. This comes from a book by Anne Rockwell.

The Story Snail Lee’s version of a story by Anne Rockwell

Once upon a time there was a boy named John.
John was a nice boy, and a kind boy, but there was nothing that he was really good at doing. Nothing at all. Everyone laughed at him and teased him.
So one day, he ran away.

He ran away to the paddock and he hid in the long tall grass. He sat down on a log and heaved a big sigh (Sigh!)
Suddenly he heard something…..
“Pssssssstt!” said a little voice.
John looked around him and couldn’t see anyone. Then he heard the sound again…. “Pssssssstt!” said a little voice. “Down here.. Look down. Here I am.” So John looked down. On the toe of his shoe there was a little golden snail that seemed to be looking up at him. “Are you talking to me?” John asked the snail.

To his surprise, the snail replied.
“Yes I am,” it said. “I am a magic snail. I am the story snail. Pick me up and tell me, what’s wrong? Why are you looking so sad?” So John bent down and picked up the little snail. He told it how the children laughed at him and teased him because there was nothing that he was really good at doing. The snail looked at John and said, “You are not really good at anything, but you are a nice boy and you are kind, so I will give you a present. I will give you one hundred stories that no one has ever heard before. Whenever you tell a story, everyone will listen. ‘How good he is at telling stories’, everyone will say.”

So the snail told John one hundred stories. Then it crawled away.

John went home. He told the first story, just the way the snail had told it to him. “That is a great story!” everyone said.
Someone cried out “Tell us another story”.
So John told another story. Everyone loved that story too.
Every day John told a story. He told stories until he had told every story that the snail had given him. “Tell the stories again!” the boys and girls said.
So John told the stories again… and again…. and again…. Until one day, a little girl said, “Oh tell us a new story. I’ve heard that story before” Sadly, John said that he didn’t know any more stories.

Everyone laughed and said “John tells the same stories over and over and over again. They are boring.” Upset, John said to himself, “I must go and find that magic snail and ask it for a new story.” So he went back to the paddock. But the snail wasn’t there.

John called out to the snail, but it didn’t answer. He didn’t know what to do. “Whoooooo, Wheeeeeeeee,” he heard suddenly.
“I am the Wild West Wind. What are you doing?”
“Excuse me,” said John. “I’m trying to find a little golden snail. It’s a special snail, a magic snail. Do you know where it is?” The Wild West Wind answered, “The snail you seek is far, far away. You will never find it. You had better go home and be safe. Whoooo, Wheeee!” And the wind blew John’s hat away.

But John would not go home. He walked and he walked until he came to a dark forest. In the forest, John saw a green elf. “Excuse me,” said John. “I’m trying to find a little golden snail. It’s a special snail, a magic snail. Do you know where it is?” “Once I saw that snail.” The elf said to John. “He told me a thousand stories. But I didn’t have anyone to tell my stories to, and look around, they have all turned into mushrooms.” John looked and he noticed that there were little red mushrooms growing all around them. “All the mushrooms growing in this dark forest are the stories that I did not tell. The snail has never come back again. I can’t tell you where he is, but I can give you a magic password. You never can tell. Maybe it might be handy sometime.” He leaned over and whispered in John’s ear, “Fuzzbuzzoncetherewas.” John thanked him and continued on his way to find the snail.

John walked on until he came to the blue sea. He...
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