We can create specifically protection tales, and we can also rethink some of our traditional and favorite stories to make them more therapeutic. When we see tenderness and vulnerability in the children, or when the hardening of their inner lives arises as the fast pace and intellectuality of the adult world presses in, we can look for stories that have a ‘shelter’ in the story. A sturdy and safe home. One such as the old favorites, ‘The Mitten’, or ‘The Little Clay Pot’. Or any number of folktales about the animals who, one by one, share a cozy home.
But what of the traditional ending? A bear comes along and sneezes, sending the image of a cozy, reliable home for all asunder! From the viewpoint of a Protection Story, we can re-picture the ending image to be something stable and wonderful. Something like this: A bear comes along, let’s say Rumbly Bumbly the Bear, and tries to push his way into the mitten. In the chaos, a bee ends up on the bear’s nose. Instead of making the bear sneeze, which sends all the animals up in the air and out of their warm shelter, imagine bee telling bear, ‘follow me, I know where there is a hollow tree full of honey’! Bear follows the bee to a feast, yum, yum! There is also a hollow log on the ground by the tree covered with soft moss, where bear curls up for this winter sleep. You see where I am going. Bee returns to the ‘mitten’ with his friends. Order is intact in their beloved home, and friend bear is happy with much more than he had hoped for.
Harmony reigns. All is well in the world.
This is not to say that all your stories will have this intention. But adding Protection Stories to your repertoire of tales to tell through the year will serve the children well.
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