This fun folktale from Ukraine might inspire us all to make a great New Year’s resolution – always try to make room for one more!
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Have you ever lost something special to you – maybe a doll or a beloved teddy bear or maybe a piece of clothing like a scarf or a hat or a jacket? Did you ever wonder what happened to your lost doll or scarf or whatever?
Hello everyone. I’m Kathleen Pelley. Welcome to Journey with Story. Todays tale is an old folktale from a country called the Ukraine and it is all about a little boy who loses his mitten on a cold winter’s day, but when spring comes around, he discovers just what happened to his missing mitten.
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Let’s take a journey with.
The Lost Mitten
Once upon a time, on a cold and snowy day, a little boy set off through the forest in search of kindling for his grandmother. He dressed in his warmest winter snowsuit and put on his beautiful furry mittens that his grandmother had knitted especially for him.
The snow was so deep that it was hard to find the broken twigs and branches, and so the boy dragged his sled deeper and deeper into the woods, and there he spotted a place where the woodcutter worked. He rushed ahead to the clearing and began picking up all the small pieces of kindling the woodcutter had left. But in his hurry, he never noticed that one of his beautiful mittens had dropped from the sled and fallen onto the snow.
With his sled full of kindling, the little boy headed back through the woods, but now his hand felt cold. He stopped to get the mitten from the sled –but…NO MITTEN. The boy looked everywhere – under each stick of kindling, below the sled and all around it, but…. still…NO MITTEN.
So, the little boy shoved his cold hand into his pocket and started again for home.
Meanwhile the beautiful furry mitten lay upon the snow. And, in a little while, a Mouse came scuttling up and when he saw the mitten he stopped and climbed right in and said:
“This is where I’m going to live.”
After a while a Frog came hopping up and when he saw the mitten he stopped and called out:
“Croak! Croak! Who is living in this mitten?”
“I am. Crunch-Munch the Mouse. And who are you?”
“I’m Hop-Stop the Frog. Let me in!”
“All right. There is always room for one more. Jump in!
So the Frog jumped in and the Mouse moved over and the two of them made their home in the mitten.
After a while a Rabbit came scurrying up and when he saw the mitten he stopped and called out:
“Hello there! Who is living in this mitten?”
“We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse and Hop-Stop the Frog. And who are you?”
“I’m Fleet-Feet the Rabbit. May I join you?”
“All right. There is always room for one more. Jump in!”
So the Rabbit jumped in and the Mouse and the Frog moved over and the three of them made their home in the mitten.
After a while a Fox came scampering up. “You-hoo! Who is living in this mitten?”
“We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog and Fleet-Feet the Rabbit. And who are you?”
“I’m Smily-Wily the Fox. And I am sooo cold. Can I come in?”
So the Mouse and the Frog and the Rabbit moved over “There is always room for one more. Jump in.”And so the Fox climbed in and the four of them made their home in the mitten.
After a while a wolf came stalking up and when he saw the mitten he stopped and called out:
“Hello, friends! Who is living in this mitten?”
We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog, Fleet-Feet the Rabbit and Smily-Wily the Fox. And who are you?”
“I’m Howly-Prowly the Wolf And I mean to get in!”
“Very well. There is always room for one more. Go ahead!”
So the WoIf climbed in and the Mouse and the Frog and the Rabbit and the Fox moved over and the five of them made their home in the mitten. After a while a wild Boar came sauntering up.
“Grunt! Grunt! Who is living in this mitten?” “We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog, Fleet-Feet the Rabbit, Smily-Wily the Fox and Howly-Prowly the Wolf. And who are you?”
“I’m Snout-Rout the Boar. And I’m sure you want me, to join you.“
“Dear, dear! Everybody wants to get into this mitten. You won’t find it easy to get in, Snout-Rout!”
“Never mind! I’ll manage!”
“In you go, then! But don’t say we didn’t warn you!”
So the Boar squeezed in and then there were six of them in the mitten and they were so cramped that they couldn’t move!
By and by with a crackling of twigs a bear came lumbering up and when he saw the mitten he stopped and bellowed:
“Hello, good people! Who is living in this mitten?”
“We are. Crunch-Munch the Mouse, Hop-Stop the Frog, Fleet-Feet the Rabbit, Smily-Wily the Fox, Howly-Prowly the Wolf and Snout-Rout the Boar. And who are you?”
“Ho, ho-ho! I’m Grumbly-Rumbly the Bear. And though you’re quite a crowd, I know you’ll make room for me!”
“How can we? We’re cramped as it is!”
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”
“Oh, all right, edge in, but don’t forget that you’re not the only one.”
So the Bear squeezed in, too, and now there were seven of them inside, they were so cramped that fur lining began to stretch and stretch.
Just then, they heard a chirp chirp chirping sound. It was Cricket “It is so cold outside. Please may I come in?
Mouse, Frog, Rabbit, Fox, Wolf, Boar, and Bear all thought – if we can get a great big bear in here, then surely we can make room for a tiny cricket. “Yes, of course, there is always room for one more, “they said and they held their breaths to make room for little Cricket.
But now the fur lining on the mitten stretched even more – it stretched and stretched and stretched and This time it stretched so far that the stitches holding it together – BROKE – and the beautiful fur-line mitten – burst open.
Out they all tumbled. Now the wind had stopped howling and the sun was peeking through the clouds, so they rushed back to their homes in the great woods.
Only Cricket was left. He found one teeny tiny patch of the mitten and said, “This will make a fine home for me to wait out the winter.” And that is what he did.
One day, the following spring, when the little boy was playing along the path near the woods, he found a scrap from the knitted mitten. When he picked it up he heard a voice
“Chirp, chirp. Who is moving my warm home?”
It is only I, the little boy who lives in the house by the woods. How did you come to have e this scrap of my mitten?
“ Chirp Chirp – That is quite a story. Sit here on this stack of kindling and let me tell you what happened on a cold day last winter.
Cricket hopped on the little boy’s shoulder and he told the story of how the beautiful furry mitten his grandmother had knitted for him became his home for the winter.
What do you think this story’s souvenir is? Remember, the story souvenir is that little glimmer of truth about life that lingers with us after listening.
Yes, I bet you got it – the souvenir is – always try and make room for one more – could be making room in your house or your classroom or making room in your heart.
That might be a very good New Year’s Resolution for everyone –Always try to make room!
Happy New Year.
Cheerio then, join me next time for Journey with Story.