3 ways a Story can live forever

“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”

-The Doctor, Doctor Who

We all want to listen to great stories. Heck, I do!

When I was a kid, I remember often asking my mom to re-tell the childhood story of how her pet dog Tiger, saved her life. The story goes thus — Mom used to live in a very small village in South India, near the temple town — Madurai. The village was desolate but for 20 houses, a small temple, one petty shop and a post office. Mom was 12 years old and she had to Goto School on foot to a neighboring town, which was 5 miles away. When she complained that the place was lonely without friends, she was gifted a hybrid dog (A cross breed of German Shepherd and a country breed) by her brother to keep her company and to keep her safe. Tiger was a brave kid since a toddler. Thus the name — Tiger. He (Tiger) grew up to adore, trust and protect my Mom. Tiger and Mom were thick friends, as Tiger grew older. He was almost 3.

Tiger always ran ahead of Mom wherever she went. Mom’s family was into the milk business. She and her brothers were entrusted with the task of delivering milk to all the neighbouring villages. Mom had to cross a paddy field to reach other parts of the village and to the main road leading to other towns. She worked like clockwork. Each day before dawn (around 5:00 AM), she started on her Milk delivery routine. Tiger woke up with Mom and accompanied her on her everyday trips. Across fields, lonely roads, moonless skies and cold days. Tiger always kept faithful company to Mom. Mom loved to chat with Tiger on their trips. Tiger always communicated back with whines, yelps or howls. They completed the Milk delivery by 7:00 AM and came back home in the same route they did everyday.

One fine day, like any other day, the duo was off on their trips. When they got to the paddy field, Tiger ran forward into the field ahead of Mom. Moments passed and Mom started walking into the field as well. Tiger let out a small howl and slowly ran back to Mom and Lay down in front of her. Mom wasn’t sure why he came back from their usual route or lay down at her feet. She bent down to see what was wrong and suddenly she saw a glassy textured snake slithering away into the darkness. She slowly realised what was wrong and tried to lift Tiger in trying to get her to a doctor. Being young and small, she couldn’t lift or move him. Helpless tears started to trickle down her cheeks, as Tiger eased into a slumber. Tiger had saved her life and in the process, sacrificed his own.

Like any good friend, my Mom gave Tiger a proper burial and remembers him till date.

Here are 3 reasons this story will live forever.

1.The Ending of the story

Tiger had the usual qualities of a Hero — Loyalty, trust-worthiness and Sacrifice. We hear 1000 stories of heroism everyday, but why does Tiger endure the test of time? The ending. Tiger’s story has been told to me in 100 different ways at various stages of my life, but the ending was always the same — Sacrificing his life for a friend. Makes us sit up and learn some qualities that he had during his lifetime. It just means that we need to leave Legacy behind, not necessarily sacrifice our life. The ending could also be a speech we give before leaving an organization, a deed we do before migrating from a town and 1000 other things. The Ending always matters for any good story.

2. The opportunity to tell a great story wasn’t missed

My Mom made it a point to repeat the story in a different interesting way every time I asked for it. If you have a Life Changing story to tell, tell it today, to your friends, well-wishers and relatives and anyone who cares. Remember to share a great story everyday. This is not only a worthy way to spend time, but we are responsible for sharing good stories, which can change people’s lives. It is said that James Cameron saw Star Wars, quit truck driving and entered the film industry. We never know whom we can change with a good story. Stories travel word- by-mouth. So tell a story, today.

3.The Emotional Depth

A good story appeals to the emotions. Aristotle has specified in his book Rhetoric, which Pathos or emotional appeal is a strong way of convincing an audience or make them listen to a story. Tiger’s heroics, playfulness and a multitude of other characteristics and attributes made Tiger loveable. Make your Stories emotional.

Today, I remember our beloved Tiger, who I have never met.

I love telling stories. I hope my story is told, someday.