‘Out of observation of a simple tabletop puppet show, rich impulses
can grow for the child’s own play'. Bronja Zahlingen, A Lifetime of Joy
Telling stories with 'puppets' is a wonderful part of the Waldorf/Steiner curriculum. The beautiful felted standing puppets really are a work of art. If you have never seen one, they often will perform a 'puppet show' at Waldorf school fairs - and it really is something special. With my black thumb, my one attempt at making a puppet is still languishing in the back of a drawer ... and in the meantime I improvise with some wooden figures.
I know a lot of you in the Northern Hemisphere are planning for 'fall' and I thought you might like this 'fall' story. Its the sort of very simple story that is suitable for younger pre-schoolers who are just not ready for fairy tales yet (even the simplest fairy tales are really best left until children are at least 4)
I am not sure where it orginates from but our last playgroup teacher, who was a really gifted storyteller, sent me a copy.
There was a beautiful meadow.
In that meadow there was a house.
In the house there lived a family.
There was a Mother, a Father and a little boy.
The family also had a good cow that gave them milk to drink and a sheep that gave them wool to make warm clothes for the winter.
One day the little boy ran out to play in the meadow. It was autumn and the leaves on the trees had turned to lovely shades of red, brown, orange and gold. The little boy walked into the forest singing an autumn song:
“Red and yellow, golden and brown, leaves of autumn come tumbling down”
Suddenly the little boy heard a sound behind a nearby tree. He crept quietly towards the sound to take a look. He saw a little red squirrel, busy collecting nuts to store in his home for the winter. The little boy decided to help the squirrel, and spent the afternoon searching for nuts and bringing them to the squirrel’s tree. By the end of the day the squirrel’s home was full of nuts, enough to last him and his family all winter! It was time to go home.
The little boy waved goodbye to the squirrel and began the walk back home. On his way he sang a song about his friend the squirrel:
“Squirrel Nutkin with your coat so brown, quite the loveliest in woodland town.
Two black eyes look out to see, where the sweetest nuts can be.”
When he got home he told his mother and father all about his woodland adventure.
Now, we don't have a cow puppet, but we do have an apple tree as you will see in the photo, so I change the story to say 'they had an apple tree full of crisp, juicy apples to eat, and a sheep who gave them wool ...'
Of course, here in New Zealand we don't actually have squirrels, or any animals that collect nuts for the winter that I know of. Minor detail ...