THE STORY BEHIND THE STORIESI was a schoolteacher for six years and an elementary principal for 29 years and never wrote a single story until my wife and I went to a small theater called the Old Creamy Theater and arrived two hours early. There was a large sign that said, "Enter the story telling contest and win a prize. " I told my wife I was going to write a story and enter the contest. She doubted me. Over lunch I wrote a story. I performed on stage with four other storytellers and won first prize. The prize was a Wisconsin cow pie. (A five-inch round chocolate filled with nuts.) Ricochet Reed is still my favorite story to tell. My writing took a while to take off. My oldest daughter reminded me of how I used to tell stories to my grandchildren and do voices as we drove down the road. I made up the stories and the kids loved them.Later I volunteered for the Area 6-school, Gifted and Talented area wide meetings. I told True Tall Tales, taught kids how to juggle and taught them how to do magic. I spent two days a year doing this. I also substituted in grades K-12 in every classroom including industrial arts, chemistry and band after I retired. I wrote stories for the students and read them at the end of each period if there were no problems. When new students came the class requested stories for me to tell them. I wrote stories for the students and enjoyed their encouragement and their reactions.