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MY SPAIN by Ruth Sawyer


A Storyteller's Year of Collecting

by Ruth Sawyer

Pub Date: March 6th, 1967
ISBN: 0670501107
Publisher: Viking

A year in Spain in the 1930s provided Ruth Sawyer with many of the folk tales and legends— The Frog, Juan Cigarron, The Three Kings Ride-which have become favorites in and out of the library; here she provides the story behind the stories within a personal narrative of a rich year. Sympathy and respect for each acquaintance enabled her to make friends and make their lives her own, however briefly. In Galicia she borrowed a calico pig and hunted truffles among the oak trees; in Seville on New Year's Eve she swallowed the traditional twelve grapes by the twelfth stroke of the clock. Wherever she went, a certain canniness in receiving all stories as new, coupled with her own experience as a storyteller, enabled her to learn much, to evaluate and to exchange. (On one occasion she felt like "Tommy Tucker singing for his supper.") There are lessons here for the would-be-good traveler, as well as background for the storyteller. In the words of Antonio, the wise guide, this is "a gift between friends."