One by one, in single file, the six adventurers traversed the rock down into the unknown. With a pack barely equipped with enough supplies for a few days, the members of the group went down into the dark. Not truly knowing the danger, the adventurers carried only a short sword by their side, and a bow hung over their pack. Feeling their way forward, and many feet downward, they climbed carefully. With a torch in one hand, and a glimpse of hope, or luck as some would say, they ventured on. Eventually, they took foothold on level ground. Looking up, Smith’s Crack was barely a sliver of open space above. In the darkness, they could not measure how deep into the ground they were. Their only thought was to find their friend and get out alive. There was no map of this place – only legends. And the legends were spoken only in whispers by travelers in taverns in faraway places.
Stories teach us all types of lessons. I often hear myself saying, “When I was your age . . .” to my daughter only to realize that my mom said the same thing to me. In our attempts to communicate information to others, we wrap the context inside a narrative. All cultures have some type of oral storytelling – tradition, heritage, culture – are all passed down from generation to generation. Whether we are found sitting around the dinner table or the campfire, the idea of telling, and listening to, a story is all around us. In modern times, we have – to some degree – forsaken the tradition of oral storytelling and exchanged that pastime for movie watching (deep sigh). Still, the idea is the same. The narrative gives us courage, wisdom, and moral lessons learned – and thus shared with others – to inspire, strengthen, and encourage a new generation of people.
The idea of a story has been around since the beginning of human history. However, starting a story is no easy task. Although we have some old reliable starts, many of us find it difficult to use them with our own storytelling. Can they be used to tell a good story? I guess that is a matter of opinion, but a few good starting points include:
“In the beginning . . .”
“Once upon a time . . .”
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .”
“If you really want to hear about it . . .”
Previously, I showed you what the Dragon Cave looks like with an animated .gif! Let’s go back in time to build the set, step by step. My daughter and I will take you through a 7-part series of how we created the cave, the dragon, and animated the set with two Raspberry Pi computers.