Are you sitting comfortably, children, ready for a story? Not if you’re a Yoruba child (thirty million speakers, Benin and Nigeria and elsewhere) . You’re waiting for:
Here is a story! Story it is.
And if you speak Hausa (forty or fifty million speakers in Niger, Nigeria, and all over West Africa), it’s:
A story, a story. Let it go, let it come.
But the tricksiest ones of all are the Arab folk tales, which tell us what every child knows:
There was or there was not ….
This happened or maybe it did not. The time is long past and much is forgot.
There was and there was not ….
And we should add the formula used by Gert’s little brother in the long distant past:
“What’n if…?” standing for “what would happen if…?”
That was the beginning of many a fantastic tale.
File: Wikimedia Commons Marchenbuch Offterdinger Leutemann.jpg