FARMINGTON — Consuelo Samarripa stood on stage at the Totah Theater Friday night. She clicked her tongue a few times, imitating the sound of a woodpecker.
"Pájaro, pájaro carpintero," she began. "Pajaro trabajador. Yo no te pido dinero. Solo te pido perdón."
Samarripa is one of the five storytellers participating in the Farmington Public Library's 13th annual Four Corners Storytelling Festival, which continues today from 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Berg Park and at 6:30 p.m. at the Totah Theater.
"Storytelling is gateway to literacy," said Karen McPheeters, the library director.
She said the festival is an activity that will appeal to the entire family.
"It is not a story time for little kids," McPheeters emphasized.
What really impresses McPheeters is that during the festival, there can be a couple hundred people in the audience, and everyone will be completely quiet, listening to the stories.
"I think people do crave that human touch," McPheeters said.
Samarripa told a story about a woodpecker and a spoon maker, transitioning from English to Spanish. Juan, the spoon maker, is too lazy to work and his children often go hungry. One day after being scolded by his wife, he went to chop down a Texas ebony tree. But the tree was the home of a woodpecker and its unfledged chicks.
The woodpecker offered Juan a purse that would make coins, which Juan eagerly accepted and then lost. When Juan returned, the woodpecker gave him a whip. The whip beat him until he asked the woodpecker for forgiveness.
At the end of the story, Samarripa translated the rhyme she had begun with: "Woodpecker, woodpecker. You hardworking bird. I don't want your money. I only want your forgiveness."
The stories are a popular event for families to attend.
Ingrid Wilsey and her son, Cy, 8, attended the festival Friday night.
"I like to hear stories," Cy Wilsey said.
For his mother, part of the attraction was "the ambiance of how old the Totah Theater is."
For ghost and folk stories like those told Friday night, Ingrid Wilsey said the theater added an authenticity.
"It's kind of a nice thing to do with your kids," she said.
What: Four Corners Storytelling Festival
When: When and where: 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. in Berg Park, 400 Scott. Ave., and 6:30 p.m. at the Totah Theater, 315 W. Main St.