I am a teller of stories, a weaver of dreams. I can dance, sing, and in the right weather I can stand on my head. I know seven words of Latin, I have a little magic, and a trick or two. I know the proper way to meet a Dragon, I can fight dirty but not fair, I once swallowed thirty oysters in a minute. I am not domestic, I am a luxury, and in that sense, necessary.
Spoken by John Hurt in The Storyteller (1988, Jim Henson production)
I’m not ashamed to admit that I watched everything Jim Henson created right into my teens. Ok, I admit it, I still adore Henson’s work. I own a copy of the first season of the Muppets, I loved Sesame Street, and two of my favourite movie’s are Labyrinth and Muppet Treasure Island (though Henson had long since passed when the latter was made). Miss Piggy presides over my writing space and I plan on finding a Kermit to sit with her. I have a Cookie Monster bookmark and called my dog Rizo after Rizo the rat and occasionally my husband and I refer to our big dog as Beaker on account of his whinginess. I sing to the tune of the Swedish chef when I cook and I even know the names of the two old fellas in the balcony: Waldorf and Statler. A friend once referred to me as her Snuffleupagus. Another called me Scooter – so widely known was my passion for Henson. I desperately want a Gonzo doll, but I’m sorry I just can’t love Elmo (he wasn’t JH’s idea). My stepfather and I still sing songs from Sesame Street and my sister and I regularly dance like muppets, stiff arms with lots of upper body movement, but stationary feet. Even my sister owns a Fraggle doll (Red) from Fraggle Rock. I’m a fan. Jim Henson was one of the best storytellers from any age. He had an instinct for what worked and what didn’t and his products appealed to more than just children. As a kid I learned about diversity largely through Jim Henson’s storytelling. His message was simple: shape, size and colour aren’t as important; love is. It worked for me. Who would you add to a list of best storytellers of all time?