Autumn Blanket is a great little story for our smallest friends because it is very simple, very repetitive, and very visual. It is easy to make a simple puppet show just with a tableaux of leaves and a scarf. Very little children love to watch and touch the objects that Mother Earth slowly adds to her blanket, help her place them on, and help her find new ones.
When working with very little children, I have to remember that what’s simple for me is still magical to them. After all, they’ve only seen a few Novembers. Sometimes it’s quite okay to be simple!
Mother Earth will also appear to us in another puppet show with her children. The children have a big job to do in Spring, but as cold weather comes, it’s time to go underground and rest.
Thanksgiving was a Native American harvest celebration long before the pilgrims ever arrived and got invited, so that’s why I think it’s a beautiful month to sing songs and tell stories about this highly spiritual, sustainable and responsible culture. In this story, a flood is coming and everybody saves something very important to take with them when they go inside to wait out the storm, knowing that everything will be washed away. Only slow, awkward Turkey remembers the most important thing of all…
I have adapted the Turkey story from a lovely little book, Navaho Folk Tales by Franc Johnson newcomb, University of New Mexico Press, 1967.) My adaption below:
“Autumn Blanket” is by S. Perrow, from Autumn: A Collection of Songs, Poems and Stories for Young Children published by Wynstones Press
Mother Earth and her Root Children is in print! In English! Amazon.com
Also, many of my autumn songs come from this delightful book which I HIGHLY recommend. It is one of the best sources I have ever used: