How the Robin Got His Red Breast – adapted for puppetryPosted by Suzanne, on December 14th, 2011

How the Robin Got it’s Red Breast

(Adapted for puppetry from a French Christmas Legend)

The north wind doth blow
And we shall have snow
And what will poor robin do then
Poor thing.
He’ll sit in the barn
To keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing
Poor thing.

Late one winter’s night a lone robin flew seeking shelter. The north winds blew icy and bitter cold.
The little bird looked out over the land, but saw no place to find safety.
So he flew on, his wings covered with ice.
After a time he saw a little light ahead. It seemed to come from a small barn.
As he flew closer he saw it was a stable. At least it would protect him from the winds, so he flew in the open door and settled on the top-most rafter. He fluffed his feathers and nestled down to rest and warm himself.

The north wind doth blow………………..And we shall have snow
And what will poor robin do then…….Poor thing.
He’ll sit in the barn……………………………To keep himself warm
And hide his head under his wing…….Poor thing.

He soon fell asleep.
Down below in the stable was quite a sight to see. A woman was tenderly holding a newborn baby.
She and her husband had also been seeking protection from the cold and had also found the stable.
But it was still too cold for the little child. The father had started a small fire, and gone outside
to find some dry firewood. The mother, named Mary, was blowing on the embers to keep the flame going.
But it was hard to do this while holding and caring for the baby.
In the far corner of the stable were three sleeping animals, an ox, a horse, and Mary’s own little donkey.
Mary looked at the ox and sang to him.

Dear ox, dear ox, so good and strong
Help me on this night so long.
Breathe and blow, breathe and blow
On this fire with embers low.
Keep this flame to make us warm
Help us from all Winter’s harm.

But ox had worked hard in the fields all day and was sound asleep and did not hear her.
Mary then sang out to the horse.

Dear horse, dear horse so good and strong
Help me on this night so long.
Breathe and blow, breathe and blow
On this fire with embers low
Keep this flame to make us warm
Help us from all winter’s harm.

But the horse had drawn a heavy cart to market and now was dreaming of sweet carrots to eat.
He did not hear her call.
Then Mary sang to her own little donkey.

Dear donkey, dear donkey, so good and strong
Help me on this night so long.
Breathe and blow, breathe and blow
On this fire with embers low.
Keep this flame to make us warm
Help us from all winter’s harm.

But the little donkey had carried Mary all day seeking shelter.
He was tired and sleeping deeply. He did not hear her song.

‘Oh what will I do,’ worried Mary, as she struggled to keep her little one warm.
She had not seen the Robin who had flown in and settled on the rafters above.
But the Robin had heard her song, and he flew down close to the embers and flapped and flapped his wings, and the flame grew and grew to warm them all.
Robin kept the fire going until the father, named Joseph, returned with enough wood
to warm the whole stable for the rest of the night.
Mary picked up the little Robin and said:

Thank you, thank you robin so kind,
But what is this on you I find?
For on robin’s breast was a rosy red glow from the fire.
The little baby opened his eyes and looked at the robin for a long time.
A sweet smile came to his mouth.
And this is the magic and wonder of how, from that night in the stable on,
all robins were given a beautiful rosy red breast
to remind us all of the robin’s kindness that glorious night long ago,
and how he helped keep the Child of Light warm and safe from winter’s cold

This tale is from our story newsletter from an earlier December.  It is adapted to use with puppets.  to sign up for our free story newsletter please go to

http://junipertreepuppets.com

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You can make this  sweet robin from this tutorial

click here