Greatest Story Ever Told?
We hear The Nativity described as ‘the greatest story ever told’ but this is all a matter of perspective.
Like some of us, you may have lost all interest in this particular narrative when forced to sit in the classroom whilst your peers were entertaining their parents in the school hall. We couldn’t all be on such a small stage, after all, they would say. Casting was, of course, based on popularity with the teacher (Mary and Joseph), big for his age (inn-keeper), lack of independent thought (shepherds), right down to ability to carry a tune to even the smallest degree (the remainder).
So what is the greatest story ever told? For ‘greatest’ we need to substitute ‘popular’ and limit our choices to stories we might like to read to the younger generation and thus end up with these possibilities:
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore, The Snowman and Father Christmas both written and illustrated by Raymond Briggs; The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter; these are all classics which are short enough to be read in a single sitting.
However a slightly longer story, although still readable in under an hour, is a book by Thornton W Burgess. Perhaps unknown outside of his native USA, Burgess wrote more than 170 books (also 15,000 stories for a daily newspaper column) including our choice here, Little Joe Otter in 1925.
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