Storytelling is as old as campfires. The need for human beings to cast their experience in narrative form is probably as old as consciousness itself. Gathered about the tribal fire, bonded by their common struggle for survival, our early ancestors gave voice in story form to their fears and beliefs, and thus helped make for themselves a magic defense against the trials of life. The earliest stories, traveling from campfire to campfire, across seas and down the generations, registered humanity’s slow emergence from animal status. The forms of these stories, like the forms of other rituals, were the structures of each teller’s history and identity, part of the creative impulse that made men and women consciously human.