The author as the Spider with a pregnant Mrs. Muffet who sat on a tuffet. Performed at Camphill Ontario near Angus. I am sure that I heard Tiptoes Lightly chuckling in the audience!
A tale for grade two to five.
Mosey Dawdle was in a quandary. He wanted to go for a walk, but was too huge. He was so huge – for this was in the very beginning, the very, very beginning – that he had nothing at all to walk on. And the reason he had nothing to walk on was because he was as big as the world. In fact, Mosey Dawdle was the world, floating around the sun. But as beautiful as he found the sun he really needed to go for a walk.
“Maybe I shall meet someone if I go a-wandering,” thought Mosey Dawdle. “I am tired of being alone with the sun shining in my face all day.”
So Mosey Dawdle shook himself. He shook and shoved and grunted. Out flew all the rocks of the world into a great pile. Mosey Dawdle kept only a small part of the rocks to make himself some bones and a shell. Then he went for a-wandering. He walked and walked and walked. Eventually he traveled round the whole earth, but it was all a bit boring. The only thing he saw were rocks.
“Rocks, rocks, rocks! Nothing but rocks,” grumbled Mosey Dawdle, disappointed.
So he started to shake again. He shivered and shook and grunted. Soon he had tossed all the plants of the world out of himself. Now Mosey Dawdle was even smaller than before. He went for a walk. He walked among the trees, across meadows and pastures—he even nibbled on lettuce. This was the first time Mosey Dawdle had ever felt hungry and the first time he’d ever eaten a meal.
But Mosey Dawdle was still not satisfied. While things were better, he still had not met anyone to talk to. So after his meal of lettuce, he shook and shoved and grunted. He grunted and shook and one by one the animals crawled out from under his shell. Out they came, two by two, monkeys and lions and kangaroos. When he was done Mosey Dawdle was small. Much smaller than he’d been before – but he was still bigger than the lion, he was still taller than the giraffe, he was even greater than a whale in the sea.
Mosey Dawdle wandered. He had a good wander around the earth and wondered greatly at all the animals that had come out from under his shell.
“Oh, but none of them can speak,” said Mosey Dawdle, dissatisfied. “The buffalo bellows because he is full of himself, the monkey chatters but never makes sense, and the parrot squawks in my ear and drives me deaf.”
On and on Mosey Dawdle complained about having no one to talk to. But when at last he’d finished he felt something stir inside him. He felt the top of his shell being lifted like a lid. Out climbed a hoard of two legged, naked creatures. They had neither hide nor hair—except for a mop that sat on top of their funny round heads. Some of these creatures were pink and some were black; some were golden brown. They poured out from under Mosey Dawdle’s shell. They were extraordinary. They ran around blushing and making clothes at a furious pace—some even grabbed fig leaves and made do with that!
“There, that’s better,” the creatures declared as soon as they were clothed. “But who are we?” they asked. “What shall we call ourselves?” They were a ragtag bunch. They were not at all like the animals. None of them looked alike, and all of them dressed differently. But no one knew the answer to the question. So they called themselves ‘Whomans’, for they didn’t really know who they were.
Mosey Dawdle looked up at the Whomans. He’d shrunk so much when they left his shell that he was smaller than them by far. But that didn’t bother Mosey Dawdle, for all of them could speak! “Wonderful,” he thought. “Now I can have a decent conversation.”
Mosey Dawdle tried to go to the Whomans, but they were always rushing around, busy-busy-busy. His shell so heavy, that all he could do was plod along inch by inch trying to catch up with them. But at last, after many, many years, Mosey Dawdle came upon a Whoman sitting on the ground. She looked wise and intelligent. She had questions dancing in her eyes. Around her stood her followers.
“O, Tortoise,” cried the Whoman as Mosey Dawdle approached her. “You look old and wise. Tell me, how was the world made? Tell me, how did the rocks, the trees, the animals and us Whomans come to be on the earth?”
Mosey Dawdle nodded his head sagely. Here at last was someone intelligent to talk to. He opened his mouth to speak ... but all that came out was a sigh, a great deep sigh that went back to the beginning of the world. He tried speaking again, and again, but he only sighed like the wind in the trees.
“See,” said the Whoman to her followers as she walked away. “That one looks old and ancient, but he knows nothing. He cannot even speak! There’s definitely no wisdom in him.”
Here's a little tale about someone we all know! For grade two to four or thereabouts. Enjoy!
There was a straw, once. She was long, pretty, shiny, smooth, golden and very, very hollow. She admired strength.
“O, how I admire strongness,” cried the straw. “I find it so vigorous! So exciting! So useful!
She also didn’t like to walk.
“Oh, how tiresome it is to walk,” she moaned in her high, hollow voice—and she did have a point, for walking with one leg, no knee and no foot is difficult indeed. The only way for the straw to get around was to call on the wind to whisk her through the air.
One day as she was sunbathing a camel lumbered by, laden with heavy parcels. It struggled and strained under the weight, for its master cared not a fig for the beast. The straw did not see the suffering of the poor animal; she only saw the camel’s great strength.
“Ah, what a mighty creature,” exclaimed the straw. “What strong legs—all four of them! And what a wonderful back. So arched! So lumpy! So very humpy! O, how I would love to ride on this magnificent creature and be carried along like the Queen of Straws!”
So she called out: “Wind! Wind! Whisk me upwards into the air!”
Hardly were the words out of her mouth when a breeze lifted her up and spun her into the air.
“O Wind! Wind!” cried the straw, looking down from the heights. “Land me on that camel’s back. Then I shall be the Queen of Straws!”
Gently the wind let her down, and gently, ever so gently she landed on the highest parcel piled on the camel’s back.
The camel stopped. The camel quivered. SNAP!—the camel’s back broke! Down the packages fell with a crash, the straw tumbling after and landing in the dirt.
“What a useless creature!” exclaimed the straw, jumping up and dusting herself off. “Why anyone bothers with camels I do not know. I shall never ride one of those again.”
But that wasn’t true. To this day, this very same straw lands on camels of all kinds—and when she does, guess who pays the price?!
I just received a photo of the real Kimber's pig when it was small. So cute!!!
Kimber had a pig. Yes, she did—a real pig! It was foisted on her by her mother—the one who brooks no nonsense or takes no for an answer. The pig, a mere piglet at first, grows. And grows. And grows. Meanwhile, the pig has to be fed, groomed, petted and taken to school—all by Kimber, of course. Contrary to expectation, the pig is a hit at school ... until he meets the school inspector. Then things get serious, very serious, until Kimber (and the pig) end up in court. However, her sworn foe and ardent admirer, Dakota, comes to the rescue (more or less)—him and the rest of the country.
Freely based on a real young lady who had a real pig in her bedroom, Kimber’s Pig is a lighthearted, fun tale, suitable for grade two through grade five.
Soft Cover, 132 pages, $14.95 Purchase Book
It is snowing outside, perfect for sleds to land on roofs! Tiptoes Lightly wishes everyone in the whole world a heartfelt Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Here's a photo of The Cricket and the Shepherd Boy about to be performed at the Christian Community in Toronto. The community room was being used so I did it in their small chapel. What a lovely space to do this particular story! Just the right size for a puppet show - and the children were as good as gold.
I'll be perfoming
The Cricket and the Shepherd Boy
at the Toronto Waldorf School on Saturday,
Dec 16th, at 10:30am and 11:30am
in the kindergarten - see poster for details.
Come on by and say hi!
T'was lovely! More adults came than children!!! Go figure!
Elizabeth Erb of Azalia Mountain School in Asheville, North Carolina has been reading the seven 'saws' from The Seven Saws of Speedy Weedy and Mosey Dawdle to her second grade children.
She writes: "Today is the last day for the chalkboard drawing. Such sadness in the room. The children gathered round to say farewell to all of the characters. They named the lizard from the first race: Wizard Lizard!"
Goodbye Speedy Weedy Hare, Mosey Dawdle Tortoise, Roger Dodger Racoon, Hungry Coyote, Wizard Lizard and everyone else ... not forgetting the famous "yonder tree" ... nor the little pig standing on the cliff's edge!
A wonderful blackboard drawing of the characters from The Seven Saws of Speedy Weedy and Mosey Dawdle. We can see Speedy Weedy Hare, Mosey Dawdle Tortoise, Roger Dodger Racoon, Hungry Coyote and of course the "yonder tree".
Thank you Elizabeth Erb of Azalia Mountain School in Asheville, North Carolina.
A beautiful watercolor painting of Tiptoes Lightly and Company by artist Michelle Hunt. It was commissioned by Laura Wiesmann Hrubes as a present for her son—he’s a Tiptoes fan. You can view Michelle’s work here. Thanks, Michelle and Laura!
I have decided to carry this painting as an art print. They are 9 x 12 (the size of the original) plus a 1 inch border to allow for framing or pinning on the wall. Printed on bright white cotton 220 gm archival paper. Price $29.95 + $6.95 shipping. Contact me if interested.
Here is the actual and very real teacher, Chris Connell, and some of his happy students who star in the fourth life of The Nine Lives of Pinrut the Turnip Boy. They all happily attend Greentree School in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. Needless to say, we can see that he is not the villainous, pedantic and turnip-hating pedagogue who appears in the book. His students, however, do look fun-loving and slightly mischievous to me! :)
The photo comes from an article on Pinrut and the students that appeared in The Drumheller Mail. Photo credit: Patrick Kolafa.
A lovely Tiptoes and friends drawing I received from a young lady called Phoenix who lives in the Philippines. Thank you, Phoenix!
For those who thought the story of Pumpkin Crow in The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly was too silly to be true (he got his head stuck in a pumpkin) have a look at this young lady with her head stuck in a pumpkin - too funny!
Susan Forrester just finished reading The Alphabet, and by the end of the book her daughter was reading by herself. So they made an XYZ Celebration Cake, just like the one in the book. Yea! Looks yummy!