Clara Anne Dugas

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Clara Anne Dugas

Timberlea, NS

Beginning Readers


n/a (n/a)


I am a bilingual storyteller from Pleasantville, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

I was first inspired to be a storyteller by my mother who was a storyteller herself. In 1993 I joined the Storytellers/Conteurs du Canada. In the summer of 1995, I studied at the Toronto School of Storytelling. Twice since, I have travelled to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee and multiple times to Toronto Storytelling Festival. From 1994 to 2004, I told a story every day in my classrooms, grades 1 to 4.

Now that I am retired after 35 years of teaching, I tell to school children, at family reunions, graduations, conferences, in museums, at international storytelling festivals – Poitiers, Picardie and St Pierre-Miquelon, France; N.I.C.A. , N.B; Festival de la Parole, N.S.; festivals in Montreal, Magdalene Islands and Sherbrooke, Québec. On a weekly basis, I tell at The Ark in Bridgewater, N.S., a workplace for mentally and physically handicapped adults.

In 2007, I was commissioned to write a teachers’ guide for storytelling in the classroom for the Acadian School Board of Nova Scotia. I am often invited to mentor junior and senior high school teachers in their classroom. I have travelled to Prince Edward Island to give workshops to francophone groups.

In 2011, I organized a small group of storytellers on the south shore of Nova Scotia. We have taken part in World Storytelling Days since.

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Introduction: (3 minutes)

I bring with me a cone puppet and a tin whistle in a “story” bag, and a mandolin. I begin my session by playing the tin whistle, very softly. Once I have everyone’s attention, I say...

I always wanted a whistle.My father bought me a wooden whistle but it wooden whistle.Then he bought me a steel whistle,But it steel wouldn’t whistleSo once I grew up, I went to Ireland and bought myself an Irish tin whistleAnd now, now I tin whistle.

I then play a short tune and go right into the first story...

Story . (10 minutes)

“Harvey the Poor and Foolish Pig” (from a tape by Jo Bridges, in Jonesborough, TN., 1994)


After this first story, I take out my cone puppet, a puppet which only comes out of its cone when all is quiet. Once out, everyone may clap and cheer. Once the puppet is back in the cone, all will be quiet, ready to listen to another story.

Story . (10 minutes)

“The Rabbit and the Well” from Twenty Tellable Tales by Margaret Read MacDonaldI take out my mandolin before I begin. This story has a short melody. I will play the simple tune on the mandolin and invite the children to join in at the appropriate time.


Story . (7 minutes)

“Fox’s Sack” by Bill Harley in Ready-to-Tell Tales edited by David Holt and Bill Mooney.

This story has a tune in it. I will play it on my mandolin. The children join in.

Story . (5 to 7 minutes)

“My Grandmother’s Story Bag” inspired by Jo Bridges, in Jonesborough.

I use my story bag with this story. I show a few items from the bag: a feather, a stone, a necklace.

Story#5. (10 minutes)

“Maggie and the Golden Egg”

This story is told in the first person. It is about an old hunched-back lady who lived in my neighbourhood in the 1950’s. She was physically handicapped and because there was no social assistance back then, most of the villagers helped her out. She had many cats and seldom came out. Part of the story is real. The last part is fantasy. I bring out a golden eggshell at the end and all are allowed it look inside.

At the end, I bring out the cone puppet again and everyone cheers and claps, for the dancing puppet, if not for the storyteller!

Presentation type: Other

Recommended levels: Primary (1-3), Junior (4-6)

Fees: $250