In deepest winter Giblen Jones tended his shop, a steady stream of customers coming in to trade for candles. Just before closing one evening Giblen Jones heard horses hooves in the lane stop suddenly and the bell jingled on the door. Looking up he saw an amazing sight, a tall woman in a green cloak with hair the reddest of red flowing from under her hood. Out of breath she quickly explained to him that she was a princess from a neighboring land. A curse had been put upon this land by a wicked sorceress and their wood would not burn and their fireplaces would not stay lit. Since she was a littler girl she had heard tales of the man in a far away village who made candles that gave warmth enough to heat a room; magic candles that she was hoping would not be impacted by the curse and would save her people...
Rolling a simple beeswax candle was the highlight of my four year old's week. He felt so proud that he had made this beautiful treasure. When we lit the candle for story he gazed at the candle with love while we made up tales of Giblen Jones and his sweet family. At one point Brother and Sister were lost in the forest until Brother remembered the candle he had in his pocket. It lit their way home and discouraged the goblins from coming any nearer... To roll a beeswax candle: •Take one sheet of beeswax. We cut ours in half. There is a possibility that your town has a honey store selling sheets of beeswax or you can find it online. • Cut the wick to fit the length of the candle plus a little extra. • Place the wick on the edge, with a bit sticking over the top, and use fingers to secure it before rolling. • If it doesn't stick once you complete rolling, you may want to hold a flame under the edge to secure it to the candle. • Place it on a plate or other spot. We put ours on a jar lid turned upside down.
"It's almost time. I'm going to very busy for the next few weeks" says the man with the long white beard. "Yes." says his love. He reaches for her hand and whispers "After I'm done, we'll just sit together by the fire and do nothing for as long as we can stand it." She squeezes his hand and smiles.
Once upon a time on a lovely farm in Colorado a farmer planted a pumpkin seed. He knew it would grow to be a beautiful pink pumpkin and he just had a feeling that it would be one of the lucky ones. The luckiest pumpkins were those that grew up on a happy farm and were taken to the farmer's market where a kind soul would take them home for their sheer beauty and spend weeks admiring them until the only choice was to compost or make a pie. Now, pumpkins feel very differently about this last part, some just want to be free and go slowly with others of their kind but some would like to know that their last day was spent being savored in yet another way by someone (hopefully this pumpkin is the latter sort).
I tell a story similar to this as I teach the children to knit:
Once there was a shepherd who cared for a small flock of sheep. The sheep would run to and fro, up and around the hills all day long, but when it was time to come back home they just wouldn't follow. The old shepherd had an idea. He would make a little gate and he would guide she sheep through, and in one long line they would go down the mountain and home again.
And this is the rhyme we use as we knit to remember where we are and just what we do next:
Under the gate
Catch the sheep
Back the way you came
And off you leap!
When we begin we hold the needles a bit differently than an experienced knitter will, just to demonstrate the gate from our rhyme and to help the children see exactly what is going on. As they become better knitters - which happens much sooner than you might expect! - they start to hold the needles, crossed, just as most do.
Here is a visual aid to help while you are learning to knit:
Everyone was lined up and eagerly awaiting instruction as the gnome surveyed the landscape. It was his job to make certain the work was completed in time for the Winter Faire. Each child would receive a most precious treasure and so everything had to be perfect right down to the amount of fairy dust sprinkled on at the end...
Along with their beautiful scarves the children of the village are learning to make little cats. Franklin is teaching them how. He is one of the little men who had come into town looking for socks and scarves. The directions go like this: 1. Knit a rectangle 2. Sew up one side and the top (you may use a large needle or a crochet hook) 3. Stuff with stuffing 4. Accentuate the little corners by tugging gently with your thumb, pointer and tall man 5. Finger knit (I've always called it that but it is really finger crocheting) a little collar and tie it around the neck and there you have it!
One after another the spiders follow the leader to their new home. They had been living in a lovely spot until it was flooded this morning and everyone had scurried out to safety. Nobody knew where they would end up. The leader now sees a shelter ahead. "Oh good!" He thinks to himself. "Maybe the humans will be so kind as to allow us to stay for the winter..."
Merrily the gnome wandered through the autumn garden. Coming upon some flowers still in bloom he felt his heart swell with joy at the sight. For even though he loved old man winter for giving the plants time for rejuvenation and rest, he would miss them ever so dearly while they were away.
Find cheesecloth or something else to strain the dye from the flowers with. Another fabric or a mesh strainer will work. There may be some pieces of flowers if you use a metal strainer. Arnold's mom doesn't like that so she makes sure she has cheesecloth on hand. Arnold likes to use cheesecloth because it has the word cheese in it and well, he is a mouse after all.
Twelve Little Tales is a project to spread the art of storytelling far and wide.