STORY JAM

get stuck into South London's most delicious storytelling night

You Just Had To Ask

There’s a story.
You might call them a gang or a clique but they were just a bunch of mates, who took a breather in the middle of a party they were at and went and sat outside on the hill. So down below them there was the beach and across the beach there came a horse and on the horse a girl. And one of the boys said to his mates, go and get her to come over – I want her. So they slid down the hill and rode after her. But they couldn’t catch up with her horse. It was only walking, but however fast they galloped, the girl was still out of reach. So they went back and said sorry, mate, couldn’t get her attention. images 3
They all went back in.
Later they came out again for whatever – don’t ask – and there they were again on the hill and there she was down there on the beach, riding. And that one boy told his mates to go and get her. Same thing happened. They went after her at full tilt. She stayed out of reach. Sorry, mate. Forget her. It doesn’t make any sense.
In they went to the party. He couldn’t get her out of his head, no matter how much he danced and flirted and drank and laughed. Out they came to chill on the hill. The moon was down, pre-dawn cold.
Sure enough, there was the girl, riding across the beach, and the boy looked at his mates, shook his head, ignored their laughter, what they were saying, which was not helpful at all. Shut-up.
Got up, slid down the hill, into the saddle and his horse was off scattering wet sand, splashing through the surf. There she was up ahead, her horse walking. So he walked his horse. No. Walked, trotted, cantered, galloped. He was sweating and breathless, let alone his horse. But she was still way ahead of him. He was galloping out of beach when he gave up the chase, shouted to her to please just stop and talk to him.
And she reined in her horse and stopped.
Said, ‘That’s all it takes. You just had to ask.’
That was the start of a good thing.

That story about boundaries, communication, relationships and consent is from one of the oldest cycles of stories in our islands, The Mabinogion.

Using stories, Story Jam plants ideas about how to go about navigating adolescence. There ain’t nothing new under the sun.