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