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Big Ryan tells tall tales

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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

Sometimes, kids have so much energy that it is impossible for them to sit still, even during story time. The Walpole Library had the best solution for this type of predicament on Monday, July 15. Big Ryan, a well-trained storyteller, stopped by to tell these kids some great stories, all while using some different tools. Big Ryan’s tall tales had everybody entertained, from those only a few months old to their parents.

Big Ryan, the master storyteller, began his program with the story of Mr. Wolf and Mr. Moose.

“My first friends are forest friends of mine,” explained Big Ryan. With a wolf puppet and a moose puppet on each of his arms, Big Ryan prepared his audience to hear the tale. The two friends snoozed peacefully, until Mr. Wolf’s snoring woke up Mr. Moose.

“Mr. Wolf, you sound like a lawn mower,” exclaimed Mr. Moose, before licking and waking up his friend. Both characters then attempted to fall back asleep, facing roadblock after roadblock. Once Mr. Wolf would fall asleep, Mr. Moose kept waking him back up because of his obnoxiously loud snoring. The kids laughed every time Mr. Wolf woke up, startled with an exaggerated cry. Then, Mr. Wolf tried to help his friend fall back asleep, attempting to adhere to every request, no matter how silly, that Mr. Moose had.

Finally, after many failures, the two friends were asleep.

Removing the puppets from his hands, Big Ryan began a new tale, one that had the audience clapping and joining in the story-telling game. “Now, let’s go on a lion hunt,” said Big Ryan, armed with a backpack of adventure supplies. Big Ryan asked his audience to keep the beat with clapping as he got supplies for the lion hunt together and left for the journey, all within the confines of the library community room.

“We need our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” said Big Ryan as he mimed making one and putting it in his bag. The group listened carefully as Big Ryan led them through an imaginary African jungle.

The story of lion hunt isn’t new, but the places Big Ryan added to the story were. Among these new places was a video arcade, which incorporated the perfect amount of “beep” and “boop” noises. Going through the dance studio required everyone to do a little jog before moving onto the next place. When the group cane to the river, everyone had to decide how they would swim across it. Big Ryan pantomimed some options, including the backstroke, breaststroke, and sidestroke.

Big Ryan ended his program with one last fun activity. Kids in the audience were welcomed to share their favorite flavor of popsicle - or any crazy one they had invented - to go along with a fun rhyme Big Ryan had prepared. One child observed that he wanted a popcorn popsicle. Another noted that she liked mango popsicles. One child shouted out that he wouldn’t mind if a pizza popsicle existed - the perfect combo of two great foods.

By the end of the program, every kid in the audience was satisfied with their story time. The parents were possibly more excited, after hearing at least a half-hour of their childrens’ laughter and knowing that they were going home tired, and ready for dinner. Now, they had to prepare for their own story times.

But how can one possibly top puppets, lion hunts, and pizza popsicles?

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