In class, I told the story of The Stonecutter, a story that I told from memory to demonstrate how in an oral society, stories were passed on as myths and proverbs. The actual content of the text is not important but the theme or lesson is.
The way the story was remembered and passed on was probably by using a mnemonic device that incorporate each step of the Stonecutter’s transformation. The step went something like this:
- King in one story; and a Rich Man in another
In my version, I had forgotten about the king/rich man, but I did more or less tell you the same story even if I hadn’t told you the exact same words.
The details were less important than the message, which I believe sticks with you because it is a proverb.