Butterflies and Tricksters

I have always wanted to make a puppet show adaptation of “How the Butterflies Came to Be.”  I first discovered this story from Michael Caduto and Joseph Bruchac’s  Keepers of the Animals.  It is not particularly a young child’s story but I felt I could adapt it for very small children- after all, that’s who Elder Brother made the butterflies for!  Children have always reminded me of butterflies- their bright colors and smiles, their fragility and promise, even the light, bobbing, darting ways they move.

Elder Brother, who combined flowers, leaves, pollen and pine needles to create the butterflies for children.

Elder Brother, who combined flowers, leaves, pollen and pine needles to create the butterflies for children.

Many children right now are learning about butterflies in school and I felt this story would dovetail nicely with that.  As we all know, our own native monarch butterflies are at risk.  Milkweed is what they must have to live and reproduce, so planting some will keep our beautiful friends around.

I was lucky and found a copy of the story online, so I assume it’s legal.  Enjoy!

“How the Butterflies Came to Be”


THIS BLOG POST HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED BY THE TRICKSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes.  Our older kids in their final school-year session of SunBee Circle will be introduced to a character who capers through world folklore with no regard for manners or morals… the Trickster.

Certain sorts show up as tricksters.  They can be people, always the underdogs.  In animal form they most often manifest as ravens, coyotes and rabbits.  Especially rabbits.  Don’t trust rabbits.

In Africa, at least among the Ashanti tribe, the trickster is a clever spider named Anansi.  Anansi tales leave me cracking up laughing and I can’t wait to share them with the kids, who love stories that make them laugh. Gerald McDermott has a wonderful picture book version as well.


Oh yes, about rabbits.

After we have laughed ourselves silly over Mr. Anansi, we will jet on over to our own American South to hear the Uncle Remus tale of Brer Rabbit and that briar patch he absolutely, positively, definitely does not want to be thrown into… or does he?

Enjoy and have a very silly spring!

Oh… and I just couldn’t resist.


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