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Pigsong is the third in a series of short stories, collectively titled Storytellers, by Frank Delaney, who also brought us The Last Storyteller. There will be a new one each month for the year 2012.

It starts with a short lead-in, Author’s Notes, that explains the idea behind the story, delving into the concept of using fables as instruction, and the shared myths of diverse cultures the world over. I never knew India had a flood myth that predated (and is closely paralleled by) the story of Noah’s ark.

The story is told in a style that echoes Aesop’s Fables, using anthropomorphic animals to relate a truth, and focused around the central character, the seanchai, an itinerant storyteller who was traditionally welcomed into someone’s home for the night, and given food and a warm bed in exchange for entertaining the family (and as many neighbors as the host’s home could accommodate)  to set the stage.

Mr. Delaney is a gifted writer who works magic with his prose, in the style of the old Irish myths:

Once upon a time and long ago, when snow tasted like cream, and timber tasted like sweet cake, and every tenth egg laid by a duck had a diamond in it, there lived up in the North of Ireland a very bad man.

It’s a quick read, and left me with new respect for pigs. I could hear the old storyteller in my head, and practically smell the fire burning as he told his tale.

The series is available as ebooks through Amazon.

4 thoughts on “Pigsong

  1. What an adorable opening! Love it. 🙂

    I’ll keep an eye out for it. And by the by, pigs really are extremely intelligent animals. That’s why I’ll never insult them by calling a jerk, a pig. 🙂


  2. I have heard that about pigs, I understand they are smarter than most dogs. It’s one reason I really don’t eat pork anymore, makes it kind of creepy.

    I believe these stories are only available as ebooks. I don’t have a Kindle or Nook or anything, but I have Kindle for PC, and have read a couple books that way. It’s not my favorite way to read, but these stories are short enough that I didn’t mind reading it onscreen.


  3. This book sounds so interesting. I love the excerpt you posted. “when snow tasted like cream” – wow!
    I have kindle for PC too, and like you, I don’t really like to read books that way. I like good old-fashioned paper best.


  4. I still prefer paper myself. Maybe someday if I break down and get an ereader it won’t be so bad, but it’s just not comfortable holding a computer on your lap to read anything of any real length. These shorts aren’t bad, though.


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