Author Unknown

Focus:

  • To discover that there are hidden treasures in unexpected places.
  • To expand awareness of the voice in all things, including the wind.

I first heard this story when my eldest daughter was three-and-a-half years old. I have loved and told it ever since. This is a story that truly captures the child’s sense that we live in a magical world, full of surprises and delights.

As I tell the story, I have an apple nearby. When the story is finished I hold up the apple and ask the children if they think this is a house with no doors, no windows, and a star inside. I cut the apple (horizontally) and peek inside. What a surprise! I can see a star inside. The children catch my excitement and they all want to see. How delighted and excited they are when they see the star!

  • apple branchAfter telling the story, pick up an apple and, as you recite the verse, “There’s a star in the apple…” carefully cut the apple in half horizontally. Create a sense of delight and excitement as you look for the star inside the apple.
  • Take the children to a place where they can visit an apple tree. What does it look like? Does it have blossoms? Leaves? Apples? Dance around the apple tree and sing to it. Visit the apple tree in different seasons to see how it changes.
  • Taste different kinds of apples. See if they all smell the same. See if all apples have seeds. Find the seeds inside an apple. Then plant them in soil in a plant pot and see if they sprout.
  • Where else do you find star shapes?
  • Follow the wind to see where it leads you.


Songs:

There’s a Star in the Apple

There’s a star in the apple,
There’s a star in the sea.
There’s a star in the heavens,
And a star in you and me.

My Nice Red Rosy Apple

My nice red rosy apple has a secret yet unseen,
To see if you could see inside, five rooms so neat and clean.
In each room there are living two pips as black as night.
Asleep they are, and dreaming of the lovely warm sunlight.

Here is a Tree with its Leaves so Green

Here is a tree with its leaves so green.
Here are the apples that grow in between.
When the wind blows the apples will fall
Into the basket to gather them all.

apple orchard

I heard this story told by Patrick the Storyteller from Sedona, Arizona

Focus:

  • To bring awareness to The Story in all things
  • To develop good relationships with spiders
  • To develop a curiosity and desire to get to know the natural world

This is a pourquoi (por-kwa) tale. Pourquoi is French for “Why” and these tales are old legends told to explain why certain events happened. They often start with the past and end when all explanations are complete.

Personal Comments:

I use this pourquoi tale at the beginning of a storytelling session, at the beginning of a new school year or at the beginning of a new season. Any new beginning can be enhanced with the telling of this tale. It can lead you to discover the story that wishes to be heard, for all things have a story to tell.

Playing with the story:

  • Whatever treasures you and the children find can lead to questions. “What is the story here? How did these leaves get so green? Did the fairies come and paint them in the early morning?” “NO!” a child might say. “They got green because…” Write down the children’s stories to read and reread together.
  • When you are outdoors, invite the children to sit still, even if just for a moment. Ask if they can “hear” a story — in the wind, in the trees, in a bird singing. (I do this a lot, just settling down in a quiet place. After a time, one by one, the children come and sit by me. Soon we are all sitting there, being still. Always, some magical event takes place; a hawk flying directly above our heads, a snake slithering out of the bushes, a spider spinning its web. It is delightful to watch children suddenly see something that has been there, unnoticed, all along.)
  • Find places where spiders live. Ask: How many spiders can you find? What kind of web does it make? How many different webs can you find?
  • Look up at the clouds. What do you see?
  • Find coyote tracks or look at birds and how they fly.
  • Find nearby ponds or puddles. Ask: Can you see your own reflection?
  • Make up stories and names for the plants, bugs and trees you discover. Have the children tell a story or choose their own name for trees or plants. Make a picture map of where all these things are, and walk to all the places on your picture map while telling the story of each one.

frog in a child's hands. Photo by Wendolyn Bird.

Focus:

  • To plant the seed for the fine art of being still, both in nature and within oneself.
  • To develop nature observation skills.

Playing with the story:

  • Play hide and go seek.
  • How many animal, bug and bird friends can you find in your neighborhood?
  • Take a walk together. Tell the children that when you give them a special signal—maybe a birdcall, whistle or gentle bell—they immediately sit down where they are. Then they are to be quiet and see what they see, and hear what they hear!
  • Search together until you find a cricket, a bug, a slug, or any other creature. When everyone has had an opportunity to observe this new friend, tell the children it needs to be returned to where it was found. Can they remember where that was? Did they notice anything special about the place where it was found? Did it live there, or was it just passing by? Did it blend into its surroundings? Why?
  • How many of the animals in the story live near you?
  • How close can you get to wild animals without scaring them?

Special note: If a child is throwing tantrums or generally having a hard time (maybe because he or she wants to squish, trap or keep some bug, bird or animal), tell this tale with gentle emphasis on being still, and breathing slowly and deeply. This often has a calming effect.

About the story: This story is from Tales From Earth to Sky, told & sung by Wendolyn Bird. It was inspired by the book Play With Me, by Marie Hall Ets. You can purchase Wendolyn’s book and CD of 11 stories and accompanying songs here.

 

Chickweed, Stellaria media