The Monkey Code, about kindness and consideration to newcomers. Story 1 for kids of 6 to 8 years old

   The Monkey Code

A story about kindness and consideration towards newcomers.

for children of 6 to 8 years old.    Story Number 1 of 2 stories

This story is ideal for children to turn into a play with some guidance from teachers or parents. Read the story to the children first and ask the questions posed at the end. Discuss with the children how they would like to act out the story and go ahead.

The monkeys were having a meeting, they were making a lot of noise and jumping up and down. There were monkey mothers and monkey children and some old grey monkeys too. Nobody could hear what anybody was saying.

monkey-playing001

An old grey backed monkey stood and reached his big hand up to a tree branch. He shook it hard. All the leaves rattled and made a swishing noise. The baby monkeys ran to their mothers and hid. The boy and girl monkeys stopped jumping about and looked at the old grey monkey. They knew he was the leader of the tribe and that what he had to say was important. Monkeys who had been swinging about the branches clambered down to the ground to listen. Monkeys who were grooming each other stopped looking for bits and pieces to pick off their friends’ coats. All eyes were turned to Grey Back.

‘We are all here today because there is some news. Now listen carefully. We’re going to have some new monkeys in our tribe. There are two young monkeys coming to join us. They have lost their families. There was a fire in their part of the forest and they lost their homes. I want to know how you will take care of them when they come. The monkeys looked round at each other. They were very quiet. They knew that this was important and they were thinking hard. They were just imagining how frightened and lonely their new visitors might be. Some of the monkey children replied:

‘I can be a good friend,’ said one.

‘I can show them our food trees,’ said another.

‘I can help them to build a nest to sleep on at night,’ said a third.

The monkey mothers nodded their heads in agreement. It seemed like the young monkeys had learned their lessons well. They had been taught to look after each other and to be helpful and kind.

‘Well done ,’ said Grey Back, ‘if you look after others then they will look after you, but if you are unkind, others will turn away from you, and your unkindness will turn to unhappiness. And that is against the Monkey Code. What do we want? Happy monkeys, helpful monkeys, that’s our code!’

Grey Back gave the branch one last shake then lumbered off into the trees.

‘Happy monkeys, helpful monkeys!’ chattered the youngsters as they went back to their clambering about.’

‘I’m off to find some fruit’ said a teenage monkey.

‘Fruit, fruit!’ whooped the youngsters as they all disappeared into the trees.

Questions

What name would you give to this story – what do you think it is about?

Why did the monkeys have a meeting?

Why were two young monkeys coming to join the tribe? 

How did the monkeys say they would take care of the visitors?

How would you look after new people in school?

Does the story remind you of anything in your life?

Frank is autistic. He loves puppies, but hates ‘Whitey’ the different pup.

Hello I’m Frank. They say I’m autistic. I don’t know about that, I just know I’m not like other people and most of them do not understand me. There are a few kind people around who try to help, but mostly people move away from me. I think they don’t know what I’m going to do next. Sometimes I just have to shout and scream. The noise it starts deep inside me and then I just need to let it out and when I do I feel better for a while.

Sometimes I want to bang my head on the wall to try to feel better. I don’t like doing that but the pain helps me to forget my feelings.

The best thing I do is when I go and help to look after the dogs and puppies at a place near where I live. I like animals. Dogs, horses, even cows, but cows aren’t friendly so I don’t like them much.

When I go to see the puppies there is one that I don’t like. It looks different from the rest. My favourite puppy is black and brown. The puppy I hate is black and white. I think it is ugly, I wish it wasn’t there. I push it away if it comes near me and I like to make it frightened of me. My carer said that I must not be unkind to it. It is a dog that needs to be loved and cared for just like all the other dogs. She says I shouldn’t hate it.

Every week one of the other puppies disappears. They said it found a new home. After several weeks the only puppy left is the one with white on it. I have no puppies to play with.

I didn’t want to play with Whitey, but it wants to play with me. The owner said that she is keeping it because it is so pretty. I thought she thought it was ugly like I did. It was different, see?

People who are different get called bad names sometimes, like I do. So I called that puppy bad names, and it made me feel strong, calling it names, like I am the boss, and I don’t want it near me, so I keep it away from me.

But now it’s the only puppy left and it still wants to play with me. I feel lonely without all the other puppies. I wonder if it will play ball with me. I throw the ball and it brings the ball back to me. It’s wagging its tail. Perhaps it doesn’t care that I’m different. I stroke it and say ‘I’m sorry I was unkind to you.’ It licks me and I know it loves me. But if I shout at it or hit it , it will not love me, it will run away and I will lose my friend. I am not going to do that.

Black and white puppy

Questions

What is the thing that Frank likes to do best?

What kind of things could Frank do to help to look after the puppies?

Does he like all the puppies?

Why does he not like the black and white one?

What does he do to Whitey at first?

What does his carer say about Frank being unkind to the dog?

Why did the other puppies go away?

Why did Whitey stay?

What did Frank think the owner thought about Whitey?

What did Frank do to make himself feel like the boss?

How did the puppy show that it liked Frank?

What did Frank do to make friends with Whitey?

Who was happy at the end of the story?

A story about avoiding horror films for 10 years to teens, Special Needs and Parents

 

Voices On Her Shoulders

Voices on her shoulders 2

“The stars are dark on this moonless night. Although plenty of glass litters the room, no moonlight exists to glint off it. This place is as lifeless as my soul.”

Mary read the quote for the third time, or perhaps the fourth.

She had never experienced depression and this quote seemed to be a taste of what it might be like. Her homework, to develop the idea in the quote, created a streak of rebellion. She looked back at her childhood. Her father would always march out of the room and do something else if a play or drama was about to be broadcast.

‘I don’t want to hear about other people’s terrible lives,’ he said. ‘I want to be entertained. I would watch Tommy Cooper doing his magic tricks, but not this rubbish!’

In disgust he would depart. Mary tended to agree with her dad. What was the point of watching or reading about something that might give her nightmares? She preferred a light touch too. Certainly she wanted to be aware of the dark side of life, but not to be entertained by it. There are shades of black that she had no intention of ever exploring. Depravity and depression, disgust and decay, disillusionment and darkness, they all seemed to begin with a D and she wanted none of them.

As she sat wondering what could be done with the quote, she became aware of two voices, one coming from each shoulder. There was a mean, harsh, nasty voice coming from the left side, and a soothing, serene voice on her right.

‘Call me Jock,’ said the mean one.

‘I suggest you don’t listen to him and you can call me Serena,’ said the other.

‘Is that what you want? A really boring life? No thrills or spills or ills?’ Jock interrupted, ‘I could show you a few things. How about what a corpse looks like after a month underground? I got great pictures. They are all in your mind already, see? You just have to flick through the catalogue.’

Mary shuddered. Why would she want to see such things? At that moment the picture of the cool clear mountain cascade flashed through her inner screen.

‘Thanks, Serena,’ she said out loud.

‘Och away wi ye Miss Perfect Paws !’ growled Jock.

Mary glanced to her right and saw to her surprise a contented looking feline washing her feet with great delicacy.

Horror stories colour

‘Serena?’ she queried. The cat merely turned her attention to cleaning her ears.

‘How about a nice bit of blood and gore?’ asked Jock, ‘ A real life RTA?’ *

‘Go away!’ said Mary, ‘I don’t like your hideous pictures. How could they possibly improve my life? I like to sleep peacefully at night.’

The glimmerings of a blue flashing light, a body on the road and the sound of sirens started to impinge on Mary’s inner screen.

‘Get lost!’ she shouted out loud.

Stern faces looked at Mary over their copies of ‘The Times’.

She felt herself blush, ‘Oops, sorry. I got carried away with my book,’ she lied. She had completely lost track of her sense of place. She was in the public library reference section, where so many folk go to get a bit of peace or to do some writing or their homework.

She stood up and placed herself between two long rows of bookshelves. If the dialogue between the entities on her left and her right shoulders was to continue she had to give them some privacy. A sense of peace settled over her as she thumbed through a copy of ‘Gardeners World’. A snowfall of white plumb blossom seemed to engulf her.

‘Thanks, Serena!’ she whispered, giggling at her success. She had no desire to view a road traffic accident just for fun. What kind of fun would that be anyway?

She thought she heard the sound of splashing water. Puzzled, she looked about. It wasn’t raining outside and anyway there was a floor above her; she couldn’t be hearing rain. It became louder and the sensation of something like a shower curtain touched her face, she suddenly felt claustrophobic, then she saw the glint of metal, a blade piercing the curtain, a knife slicing downwards towards her.

‘Serena!’ she shouted out loud. Sounds of streaming shower water turned into a heavy, contented purr. The wet curtain morphed into the feel of warm fur, and the blade became a cats claw, gently withdrawing itself.

‘I’ve got to get out of here!’ she said to no one in particular. The librarian asked her if she was all right as she rushed past the desk.

‘Yes thanks, fine, just late for a lecture, sorry!’

Outside Mary recalled a scene from the one and only horror film she had ever watched; it had preyed on her mind for years.

‘Now I know who Alfred Hitchcock * was listening to,’ she said.

The cat purred. ‘You all have a choice, you know. You can choose beauty and truth or you can go for delusion, destruction and death.’

‘Those Ds again,’ thought Mary. ‘I agree Serena, I’m with you all the way, I’m not going to look at those D words, ever.’

As she walked along she pondered, ‘Hmm, delicious, delightful, delectable, desire, ‘oh well, some of the D s might be okay, but I will need to police them carefully or Jock will be back with his nasty pictures.’

‘You called?’ said a coarse Glaswegian voice.

‘No! Bu*ger off !’ shouted Mary.

She saw the very slightest twitch of a cat’s tail on her right shoulder and then there was peace.

* An RTA is a Road Traffic Accident

* Alfred Hitchcock made horror films, in one of which, ‘Psycho’, the shower scene was shown.

Questions to be added

Guidance:

My grandfather used to tell us stories about all sorts of things. Sometimes the stories were funny, sometimes a bit scary, but they never gave us bad dreams. They never made us afraid nor gave us fears. Grandad’s stories came from words from his mouth, but the pictures were the ones we found for ourselves. They formed from our imaginations and were as colourful and bright or as dim and hazy as our minds wanted them to be.

When it came to watching the television our parents were very careful about what we saw. They did not allow us to see scary, nasty or shocking programmes and I’m sure they were right.

When the mind sees pictures on the screen, it can be badly affected by those pictures. Unnecessary fears and worries can be created in children’s minds, and even in the minds of many adults.

I have listened to many conversations between young people and even adults, when people are discussing their fears. People can develop fears of all sorts of things such as spiders, snakes, birds, heights, open spaces, enclosed spaces and so on. The strange thing is that they seem to love to discuss their fears almost as if they are proud of them, or even attached to them. They do not want to let go of them it seems. Irrational fears can control the lives of some people, preventing them from doing things or going to certain places. They hand over their power to someone else who is then expected to take control of the situation – to move the spider, climb the ladder, or get rid of the bird.

When we watch frightening things on television we can begin to think that certain things are dangerous and will harm us. We may have nightmares about them. They start to control our lives. The pictures and situations seem so convincing that they create real fear in us and affect our everyday lives.

People can also pick up fear from their parents for no good reason. A mother who is afraid of mice may pass this fear onto her children.

My advice would be do not watch horror films, don’t deliberately make yourself scared or uncomfortable. Be at peace, be rational, be calm and realistic. Certainly things can harm us, but the kinds of things that people fear will not normally be harmful at all. To be in control of your emotions is far better than being attached to your fears. That buzz of ‘dread energy’ that you get from fears could be achieved in different ways which are much more useful and constructive. When we challenge ourselves to achieve something and set about achieving it, the buzz that we get from our success will be far more satisfying and long-lasting than any fear induced adrenaline rush.

A story to introduce the idea of character development: Should Marcy be the Boss? – for children 9-10 years

Should Marcy be the Boss?

Marcy lived in San Diego, USA. Her parents had a beautiful large house with a swimming pool. and Marcy was their only child. Marcy’s mother Bettina loved to play golf, to visit the beautician and her hairdresser, to work with her personal trainer and to do a little charity work one day a week. She was a busy lady. She did not have time to clean or cook so she employed Olivia, a woman from Mexico, just over the border from San Diego.

Bettina allowed her home help Olivia to go home across the border at weekends. She spent her days cleaning and cooking and looking after Marcy when she wasn’t at school. Marcy loved Olivia. She always had time to chat about any problem Marcy had and Marcy was the kind of girl who was always having problems. She was ten years old and she and her friends were always falling out.

If Marcy told her mother about it, Bettina would say
‘Gee honey, I don’t know why you bother with Mary Lou (or Jamie Lee, or whoever Marcy had fallen out with). But that answer did not satisfy her; she wanted to know why things had gone wrong between her and her friends, and Olivia would always ask Marcy the right questions about what had happened to help her to understand these ups and downs.

Olivia had three children of her own whom she saw only at weekends. Marcy loved to hear about them as she had no brothers or sisters to play with or to think about. Olivia’s family were almost like a family to Marcy except that she had never met them.

One day during the summer holidays Olivia asked Marcy’s Mum, Bettina, if she could bring her youngest daughter Karen to stay for a week. Olivia’s mother, Karen’s grandmother, had to go to hospital and could not look after the children for a few days.

Bettina agreed, ‘Sure that will be okay. Marcy has fallen out with all her friends at the moment, so Karen will keep her company.’

‘She will be no trouble,’ said Olivia, ‘she can help me with the work. Marcy might not want to play with her.’

‘Oh yes I do, I do want to play with her!’ shouted Marcy who had been listening from behind the half closed kitchen door.
Olivia looked at Marcy then at Bettina, her half smile said a lot. Bettina easily read her expression.
‘Marcy, if Karen comes she will be staying here and you won’t be able to treat her like you treat your so-called friends. You will have to be kind and considerate and not flounce off in a huff and say ‘I’ll never speak to you again.’
Marcy blushed. ‘I don’t say that! Well, if I do I don’t mean it!’

‘That maybe so, but do your friends know that? No one has called round it at all this holiday. Have you put them all off?’

Marcy stomped out of the kitchen. Bettina and Olivia looked at each other. Both women thought the other should be making a better job of showing Marcy how to behave, but of course neither said so.
‘Karen can come tomorrow, that will be fine,’ said Bettina in an uncertain voice, which told of her doubts.

When Karen arrived Marcy was all over her. She talked non-stop and took her all around the house and showed her where she could and could not go. She decided that she would be the boss and Karen would be a servant, a servant who would play with her when Marcy wanted to play, otherwise she could help her mother.

The adults did not hear about this arrangement. They had thought that the girls could make friends with each other and have some fun, perhaps swim in the pool, play handball and watch a few videos together.

On the second day Karen refused to go to play with Marcy.
‘I want to help you today, Mum,’ she said.

‘Why what’s the problem?’ asked Olivia.
As usual Marcy was listening from behind the door.
‘Marcy is treating me like a servant. She keeps telling me to fetch things for her. She tells me what to do all the time. Even in the pool, she tells me where I can swim and how many lengths I have to do. She’s so bossy!’

Marcy felt herself blushing. That was exactly what her friends kept telling her. She did not know how to behave in a nice way towards people. She had to think quickly.
She skipped in the door. ‘ Hi Karen.’ She said. ‘I was playing at being the boss yesterday. I forgot to tell you. Sorry. Today you can be the boss. It’s your turn. Just tell me what to do and I will do it.’

Karen looked surprised. ‘Oh is that what you were doing? Well it wasn’t much fun for me. I think I’m not going to choose to be the boss. We’ll have a different game. I will be a teacher and I will show you how to take turns, how to share and to be polite and considerate, and you can pretend that you don’t know how to be those things, and I will teach you. We could make a play about it and show Mum and Bettina tonight.’

Questions
This is a story about character. What does the word mean to you?
Who in the story shows that they have a good character?
What is it that they do that shows you this?
How could Bettina be a better mother?
Why does Marcy keep losing her friends?
Why does Karen not want to play with Marcy?
What advice would you give to Marcy to help her to keep her friends?
How could you help someone who needs to learn better behaviour?

Meercat Story- ‘knowing right from wrong’- respect for animals – for age 6-10 years

Brett and the Meercats

When I was a child I lived in Africa . We didn’t have a back garden. We just had the bush.  I was fascinated by all the animals running around, just outside my house. Of course you couldn’t see them all at once. Sometimes we could hear the lions roaring; sometimes the elephants would pass by, these were such large animals I kept well away from them. We didn’t see them very often. I was more used to the smaller animals. We had a family of meerkats who lived not very far away from my house. I used to spend a lot of time watching them.  They became quite used to me.  I would take a little blanket all folded up neatly and walk very quietly to the meerkat tunnels, I would park myself just a few yards away from them slightly hidden behind a bush. I got a very good view of them. They knew I was there, but I never harmed them, so they didn’t bother about me.

I could always tell which meerkat was the boss. At first I didn’t know whether it was a male or a female meerkat. It was just a meerkat. I didn’t know if it was a mum or a dad. Then one day I noticed that the boss meerkat was looking rather heavy and round and then she disappeared. It wondered if she’d been killed. A number of days later she reappeared. She looked different. She wasn’t so fat but I could see that underneath her she had a milky udder, that’s what my mother called it, then I knew that she was a she, and that she had had babies and these babies were suckling her , hidden away under the ground. I don’t know why but I called her Tam Tam, I think I might have given her the name before I knew she was a girl. I wondered how long it was going to be before I saw her babies coming out into the daylight. I took my blanket out every day to make sure I wouldn’t miss them. I could go early in the morning and in the afternoon when it was cooler. Meerkats didn’t come out in the middle of the day,  it was too hot for them and too hot for me.

I don’t remember how many days I had to wait before the first signs of baby meerkats appeared. I think I might have watched them during their first excursion into the world. I remember seeing little noses peeping out sniffing the air and  popping back in again, very shyly.

meerkat babies

Finally Tam Tam came out of the burrow and called to them and they came one by one, sniffing  and blinking  their eyes, not used to strong light having lived in the tunnel for quite a long time. I was so excited and wanted to tell my friends, but something stopped me. I knew that some people could be very cruel to wild animals. Some people looked on them as pests. They would say all sorts of nasty things about them and then they would go and dig them out, destroying their burrows. They would say things like ‘ the cattle put their feet in the holes they might break their legs’. Well, I didn’t think cattle were that stupid.  I’ve watched our cattle carefully stepping round the burrows.  None of them ever hurt their legs. At the first sign of cattle the meerkats would disappear down their holes. The cows weren’t very interested in them, but they would nibble at the grass around the tunnels before moving on.

One day, a cousin came to stay. I hadn’t met him before, he was older than me and seemed to be a nice boy. He said that life in the bush was boring and I wanted to show him that it certainly wasn’t. I decided to take the risk of showing him the meerkats. I gave him a blanket and told him to walk very quietly. We waited patiently by the tunnels. The meerkats wouldn’t come out. I had told him about the babies and how they would all sit up on their hind legs in a row and look about them. Often their heads would all turn at the same time, it was almost like a dance and I found it very comical. I had told my cousin, Brett about other funny things that they used to do. He really wanted to see them, but I think he was making too much noise. He was laughing and joking and although I kept saying ‘Shush’,I was giggling a bit. The meerkats weren’t used to noise. We had frightened them. Suddenly Brett stood up and ran over to a tree with dead branches on it. He broke one off .

‘I’ll get them out of there!’  he said.

Before I could stop him he had poked the stick down the tunnel.  Luckily it was a long tunnel and probably had a bend in it, so he couldn’t reach my favourite baby animals. I was very upset. I picked up my blanket and whopped him with it.

‘You mustn’t do that, you’ll hurt them!’ I said, ‘Come away at once’.

‘I’m going to get a spade and dig ‘em out,’  he said.

He ran off towards the house. Luckily I knew all the spades were locked away. I ran to find my mother. She knew how much I loved the meerkats, I knew that she would tell Brett not to dig them out.  She did, she made him feel very ashamed of himself. But she wasn’t unkind. She knew he was a city boy who might not have been taught to respect animals.  I kept away from the meerkats then.

On Brett’s last day he asked me if we could go once more to look at the little family. He promised me he would not hurt them. Quietly we crept along the path to the meerkat tunnels. We hid behind the bush on our blankets, Brett was very quiet. After a short time, the meerkats came out one by one, they stood in a row sniffing the air and looking this way and that, their little paws hanging down over their chests. I saw a big smile spread over Brett’s face. He didn’t move a muscle. The meerkats played some fighting games. Finally, Brett couldn’t resist it. He just had to wave at them.  All at once they disappeared into the tunnel. We crept away.

‘Why did you do that, Brett?’ I asked.

‘I just wanted to show them I meant no harm.’ he said.

‘Ah, OK.’  What more could I say? It looked like he had learnt his lesson!

Questions

  1.        What name would you give to the story?
  2.        Did it remind you of anything in your life?
  3.        Who showed forgiveness?
  4.        In what ways do you respect animals?
  5.        Do you know what being cruel means?
  6.        How can we be kind to animals?

Being a good businessman. A story about honesty for teenagers

There was once a young boy named Ahmed.  He went to school and learnt his lessons.  He always tried to do his best.  He prayed to Allah that he might learn everything that he needed to know to become a businessman like his father.

When the time came Ahmed started to help his father in his work. Ahmed had a handsome face and people liked him to get them chai and to carry their shopping for them.  Life was simple, chai had a price, everyone knew it.  The sweet drink made customers happy.

Ahmed's customers liked his smiling face.

Ahmed’s customers liked his smiling face.

As for carrying cases some people were generous, others were not.  In the end Ahmed picked up about the same amount of money every week.

Ahmed had learnt the Holy Koran at the mosque.  He had learnt that it is important to be honest, but with time he started to notice that his father was not always honest with his customers.  Sometimes his father would say one thing and do another.  The customers would be puzzled and some would think, “Ah, this is a language problem,” or that the customs were different in Ahmed’s country.  But what Ahmed’s father did not take into consideration is that people have long memories and that people know other people.  When it came to recommending a taxi driver or a business man, for every customer who was cheated, ten customers might go to other business men for their trade as a result.

A person’s good name is worth more than silver or gold.  Silver or gold come and go,  but a good name, once it has gone will take a long time to regain and more usually, once it has gone, it has gone forever.  Other people are very willing to spread news of a bad name.  This is because they do not wish their friends to have a bad experience and be cheated, or because they themselves, if they are tradesmen, may benefit from work that might have gone to the dishonest businessman.

Ahmed had two choices.  He realised he could either try to make his father change his ways or he could set up in his own name resolved to be completely honest.  If a customer thinks they are being cheated they may become frustrated and angry.  They feel like they are ‘juggling with sand’, so they take their custom elsewhere for their own peace of mind.

Ahmed decided to speak to his father about his concerns.  His father said, “God does not expect me to be perfect, if I am honest ninety percent of the time,  God will not judge me to be a bad man?”

“I am not thinking about God judging you, Father.  I am thinking about our good name.  It is people who will be judging you right now.  If we cheat even only ten percent, they could easily ruin our reputation, and they certainly would not come back or send their friends to us.”  Ahmed’s father scratched his chin.  “I have never thought of it like that.  You could be right, son.  I think I will have to give this some consideration.”

Ahmed was pleased that his father was willing to change his dishonest ways.  He felt their future would be more secure if they were always dependable.  What do you think?

Questions

Do you know any traders or business people that you or your parents can trust completely?

Would you go to a different trader if you already knew one who would always be honest with you and everyone else?

Would you return to someone and ask them to work for you if they had cheated you or your friends before?

Not every one believes in God, those who do often think that God is watching what they do. Whether or not God is watching we can be sure that people are watching and noticing what we do. 

If we all act in ways that we would like other people to act towards us, what effect would that have on all our lives?

Gopi the generous cow. A story for children of 6-10 years old

Gopi was a cow. She had a happy life. Every day her master allowed her to roam in the village to look for titbits.  In the evening she returned home, warm and dusty and looking for a drink of water. In the morning her master milked and fed her and, patting her backside, he sent her off into the world.

“Go and see what you can find, Gopika”, he would say. “Get some nice tasty leaves, but don’t steal anybody’s vegetables.”

Of course, Gopi did not understand what the master said to her, but she knew  he was kind and that he loved her.

One day, when Gopi was wandering the streets, a young boy stopped her. He stroked her.  He was very thin. Normally Gopi did not allow anyone else to touch her except her master.  Somehow she knew that her milk belonged to him and that if anyone else tried to take it, she would keep on walking. This day the young boy with the skinny body touched her heart.  He had a little cup in his hand.  He stroked her nose and held the cup out to her as if to ask, “Please, Mrs. Cow, can I have some of your milk?”

Gopi stood still and allowed the boy to fill his cup. When he stood up again, she looked back at him. He patted her rear and off she went. She made her way to the pile of vegetable leaves outside the market.  It was her lucky day! One of the stall holders saw her coming and threw her a lovely leafy stalk from a cabbage.  Gopi munched contentedly at the treat.

All day long Gopi wandered. A group of well-fed children ran after her. One had a bucket.  “Hey, nice cow, give us some of your milk,” one shouted.

Gopi kept on walking. Finally she returned home.

Her master patted her and stroked her udder which was filling up nicely with milk.  “Ah, Gopika, I see you have had a good day. Well done! You don’t seem to be at all hungry. Your hay will keep for another day.

Gopika looked lovingly at her master as she nibbled on a stalk of grass. If she had been able to speak, what do you think she might have said?

QUESTIONS:

  1. How did you feel when you heard the story?
  2. Did the story remind you of anything in your own life?
  3. How did Gopi and her master co-operate? What did they do for each other?
  4. What ways do other animals and people co-operate?
  5. How did Gopi’s master show respect for Gopi?
  6. How did the skinny boy show respect for Gopi?
  7. Why do you think Gopi gave milk to the skinny boy?
  8. Why do you think Gopi did not give milk to the children with the bucket?
  9. What name would you give this story?

The Initiation of Grey Wolf. (story to illustrate the base energy centre)

In the days when men and women roamed the plains and young people had to go through an initiation ceremony before they were accepted as adults, there was a young man. He was Grey Wolf. Now this young man was a gentle person who never wanted to hurt anyone or anything. This made life rather difficult for him, because the Red Man survives by cooperating with animal life, respectfully asking permission to kill, and then killing for food and clothing.

The time came for Grey Wolf to perform his initiation. He had to kill a buffalo. There were many ways to tackle this challenge and Grey Wolf decided that he would get us, his family, to dig a pit on the edge of the forest. His plan was to drive the buffalo into the pit. We dug, all of us. It was a huge pit. My father said it was big enough to catch the whole herd, but he was exaggerating somewhat. We covered the pit with branches and leaves so that it looked just like the rest of the forest floor. It was time for my brother to go. Now he was a very fine horseman. He and his horse moved as one. The horse could tell from the angle and the slightest pressure from his body where he was required to go.

A few hours later we heard a great crashing through the trees. It was Grey Wolf. He was driving two buffalo towards the pit! We looked on in amazement. Certainly and surely they neared the hole in the ground, and one after another they fell into it .

The buffalo charged into the pit.

The buffalo charged into the pit.

The first one died instantly, the second he quickly dispatched. Pale and shaking he emerged from the pit. We were all very proud of him. The Chief came to inspect his work:

“I see you were not content to prove you were as strong as one man, you have completed the work of two here, on this day. Well done! You are indeed fit to join the ranks of the men in the tribe.”

And the Chief bestowed an eagle feather head dress upon him. We all looked on in admiration. My brother may not have enjoyed killing, but he knew what had to be done for the survival of the tribe. We must eat, and buffalo is our main source of food. My brother, after that, used to be chosen to do the chasing, and left the killing to the others, but it is all one really. He who eats meat is acknowledging that it is part of Gods plan both in the animal kingdom and in man’s domain.

The base energy centre is situated at  the bottom of the spine.  It is associated with survival, bravery, hunting to feed oneself etc.  To learn more about this centre go to  yogastories.co.uk and look at information on the base chakra in the contents page.

The sacral energy centre, a story to illustrate…

Rainbow Dancer Finds Her Man

There was a young girl in my tribe, she was known as Rainbow Dancer.  A beautiful girl, popular with everyone, several young braves hoped that she would choose one of them.

She always wore the finest leathers. She plaited her hair so neatly and tightly and interwove it with ribbons of cloth that she had dyed different colours.  Rainbow Dancer was waiting.  She knew she must wait for the right man, as none of the young men in the tribe appealed to her.  Her mother had told her that when the right man came she would feel it in her belly.  She did not understand her mother’s words, but she was happy to believe her.

At tribal gatherings when the dances were in full swing, Rainbow Dancer was aloof.  Unlike her name suggested, she never wished to dance.  As a young child she had danced a lot, but somehow it had lost its appeal to her.  Perhaps because when she showed that she was willing to dance she had the problem of dealing with all the young braves who wished to be chosen by her.  She had decided it was easier not to bother.

Several years went by.  All of the girls of a similar age found husbands amongst the tribe, but Rainbow Dancer was adamant.  She felt nothing in her heart and nothing in her belly.

One day two young men stumbled into the camp.  One of them was wounded.  He had been trampled by buffalo in a stampede.  Somehow they had lost their way and their companions had gone on, not realising that Standing Tree was wounded.  Rainbow Dancer’s mother was first to see the young man.  She dressed his wounds and made him a comfortable place to rest in a tepee adjacent to her own.

Rainbow Dancer helped her mother to look after the young man.  He was in a lot of pain and developed a raging fever.  It took a lot of skilled use of herbs and patient watching and waiting before Standing Tree was able to speak.  Every movement was painful to him.  Rainbow Dancer mopped his brow and dabbed his wounds with the herbal medicine.

After four days the young man came out of his delirium.  He turned towards Rainbow Dancer who had hardly left his side.  He smiled the most beautiful smile and whispered “Thank you.”

Rainbow Dancer felt her heart lurch.  She knew that the thing she most wanted in the world was for Standing Tree to recover.

Gradually he became strong again.  Rainbow Dancer helped him to walk around the camp to get used to using his limbs again.  She noticed that when she touched him she could feel a current of energy flow through her body.  She began to feel warmth in her heart, and just as her mother had told her, she felt the stirring of excitement in her belly.  This was the man for her, her body told her so.  Standing Tree felt the same way.  When he had completely recovered he told Rainbow Dancer that he must return to his tribe, but that he would come back for her very soon, which he did.

A love token

A love token

He brought with him a token of his love for her and asked her father if he could take her to join his own tribe.  Rainbow dancer’s father agreed and the couple had a happy life together.

Surya the Water Carrier (a story about love and respect in the family)

Story about love for primary school children of 6-9yrs.

SURYA THE WATER CARRIER

Children of the world all feel the need to be loved. We all hope that our parents love us and that our brothers and sisters love us. But is that enough? I am going to tell you a story about a child called Surya who was about eight years old. She lived in a small village in India and had two brothers. Surya was usually a happy child. She would often help her mother to carry water back from the well to her home. Each day this task had to be done – once at sunrise and once at sunset. It was quite a long walk to the well. She and her mother would carry the water jars on their heads.

surya-pic.jpg

Surya’s mother could carry a larger jar than Surya, but Surya knew the water she carried was just as important. “All the water you carry will be used. So however much you carry, it is all useful,” her mother always reassured her.

This made Surya feel important. She knew that without water her family would not survive. She knew that her family depended on her work so that they could wash, drink and cook their food. She was pleased to be able to help them.

They would smile at her and call her, “Our water carrier”. Surya liked this. It made her feel nice and warm inside. Even if she was tired and weary, when they smiled she felt better.

One day she asked her mother about this feeling. “Mother, what is it in my body that makes me feel warm and happy when I bring back the water and daddy smiles at me? Something inside me seems to get bigger and get warm. “It feels so nice. It doesn’t happen when people turn their heads away from me and don’t notice me. It feels like a little warm animal inside me. When someone smiles, it gets up and turns round, and fluffs out its fur and snuggles down. When no-one smiles, it just lies there and doesn’t move. It just stays there very quiet, waiting and hoping for a smile.”

“Ah, I see, my child. You have begun to notice your heart. Yes, it is just like a little animal. It likes to give love and to be loved. When it can do both, it is very happy. When it gives love and nobody notices, it does not feel so happy. It waits quietly until someone notices it and then it wags its tail and turns round and round and is happy. And so it is with everyone. We all have a little warm feeling which comes into our hearts when we know we are loved. When we lose someone we love, or maybe our pet dies, then we feel very heavy inside. Our little warm place changes to a cold stone sitting in our chest, and our little furry animal seems to have gone away. We feel all alone. But it is then that we need to remember that everybody has love somewhere in their heart. If we need love, we must give love. Give a smile and a kind word to another person and you will make them feel nice and warm inside. In turn they will smile at you and thank you for your kindness and you will not feel alone any more. Love is what we all need and in order to get it, we must be sure to give it. Children are very good at giving love. It is something they do very easily and it is something that they need to remember to do as they get older. No matter how hard life is at times, if you can love people, you will never feel lonely.”

 

Surya and her mother

QUESTIONS:

1. What is the story about?
2. What name would you give the story?
3. What made Surya happy?
4. How did she feel when her father smiled at her?
5. How did she feel when no-one smiled at her?
6. How did you feel as you listened to the story?
7. Does the story remind you of anything in your life?
8. What does the story mean to you?