by A.N. Tolstoy adapted by Kathryn Bingham, and used in the Family Service on 1st October 2017
Grandpa liked turnips. So in the spring he planted his turnip seeds and asked the angels of the elements to help them grow. He asked the angels of the earth to bless the soil and the angels of the sun to bring warmth and light, the angels of the water to bring rain and the angels of the air to bring fresh winds to keep his garden full of life. All through the summer he carefully looked after his crop, thanking the angels, the fairies and gnomes for all their help. He always stood at the same spot in his garden to say thank you and he began to notice that the plant nearest to where he stood was growing bigger and stronger than all the others!
Written by Jenny Bateman and read at the Family Service on 23rd July 2017
This story is about a boy called Tom who was nine years old. He lived with his parents and sister, Ellie, and every year in the summer, they went to the seaside for two weeks on holiday. Tom loved the beach, exploring the rock pools, seeing the little shrimps and crabs which scuttled away when he got too close. He liked to pop the seaweed which grew on the rocks and marvelled at how the tide went in and out, making everything look so different. But Tom would never go in the water because he had a great fear of it. Ellie, who was younger than Tom, used to tease him about it because she could swim well and liked nothing more than splashing about in the waves.
Tom’s parents tried to persuade him to have swimming lessons but he was much too frightened even to try. So he would just stand at the edge of the sea, dipping his toes into the water and feeling very silly when he watched all the other children having such fun. He got quite upset inside because sometimes the other children used to call him names and were quite unkind. Tom pretended he didn’t care and used to just go off on his own exploring, looking for beautiful shells and driftwood which had been fashioned by the sea into strange shapes. He sometimes watched the boats sailing out of the nearby harbour across the bay but somehow that made him feel uncomfortable but he just didn’t know why.
(A poem created and read by Jenny Bateman, and set to actions in the Family Service 4th June 2017)
I crept from the house early morning
The garden was misty and still
The sun was a beautiful yellow
As it silently rose o’er the hill
I knew everyone else was still sleeping
And thought that I was on my own
When, all at once in the garden,
I knew that I wasn’t alone.
(Adapted from the opera ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ by Gian Carlo Menotti and read at the Family Service by Marilyn Jones.)
Do you know anyone who tells stories, pretending that something is so when it isn’t at all? And some people tell stories to make everyone laugh just so they will be liked too.
Well, Amahl, loved to tell jokes and make up stories, especially since he had had an accident and become lame, needing a crutch to help him walk about. He felt a bit special when people laughed, but then of course they didn’t believe him when he told the truth. So of course when he told his mother he had seen a giant star in the sky, she thought he was making it all up, and just ruffled his hair affectionately. ‘You and your tales,’ she would say.
(A story by Marilyn Jones read at the November 2016 Family Day Service)
Once upon a time a baby was born in a house with a beautiful garden, full of flowers. And there, right in front of the window where the baby slept was a beautiful young silver birch tree.
Whenever baby Silvie was fretful her mother would take her to the window or sit with her under the tree and sing her this song:
Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby to sleep.
Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby to sleep.
She will love the song you sing more than angel bells that ring
Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby tonight.
(A story by Anna Hayward, read at the Family Day service October 16.)
Debbie was so excited. This week the Harvest Fair was in town again. All the wonderful rides to go on, and her chance to win again. Debbie was good at running and every year she ran in the race at the fair and every year she won her race...no one could beat her!
Every year, all the money from the racing went to people who were poor...who didn’t have much food, or had nowhere to live, but Debbie didn’t think about that...she just liked to win. She didn’t even need to practise running like some people did.
A story read at our May 16 White Eagle Family Service on the theme of ‘Green Leaves’.
What a special day it was! The first cuckoo had just been heard, the sky larks were singing overhead and the trees were suddenly all covered in beautiful green leaves, even the majestic old oaks and the graceful ash trees who were always the last trees to wake up out of their winter sleep had brought forth their fresh green leaves!
Father Sun's warm rays were shining down upon Mother Earth, and it seemed as if all nature was sighing with contentment as the warm rays touched the hearts of all.
On such a day a tiny, tiny caterpillar hatched out of his egg with a wriggle and a pop! The sunlight seemed awfully bright but right in front of him were some wonderfully juicy green leaves. Mmmm… he thought…… I’m hungry, and he began munching the leaves. He found how delicious they were, and found he just couldn’t stop munching. So many green leaves and each one just so SO tasty! He ate and he ate and he ate and soon he grew to be quite plump.
A story written for a White Eagle Family Service for Advent 2015 by Kathryn Bingham
It began with a strange feeling in his heart.
He’d never experienced anything quite like this before. It was as if his heart was growing bigger and bigger. There were strange flutterings deep inside... and then a feeling of space - it was as if his body couldn’t hold the powerful force that was suddenly inside him.
For Family Day November 2015
One blustery autumn day, when the wind was causing the leaves to swirl across the garden, Finn ventured outside to see if there were any more apples left on the tree. Yes, the last remaining ones were ripe and ready! So he picked them and took them to his mother in the house. ‘Thank you,‘ she said, delighted. ‘We’ll cook these for our supper while they are fresh and full of Mother Earth’s and Father Sun’s goodness.
Job done, Finn ran outside into the fresh air to play.
A story written for our October 2015
White Eagle Family Service on the theme of ‘Earth Blessing’ by Kathryn Bingham
It was soon after the autumn equinox and already the days were getting shorter and the nights longer. At the end of a busy day, mum was in the kitchen making the evening meal.
‘Oh I meant to make an apple crumble this evening’ she said to Isabel ‘Be a love and go and fetch me some of the windfall apples from the bottom of the garden. You may have to take the torch to search for some under the shrubs as its already going a bit dark’....
It was coming up to the September International Day of Peace when all people around the globe were asked to hold the vision of a peaceful world. Mrs Walker, the teacher of Class 6, was explaining to the children about how our thoughts are very powerful – and that if we think peaceful thoughts and imagine everyone in the world living happily together, then it will really help to make that happen...
(adapted from a story from China)
Once upon a time there lived a king who ruled over a large kingdom. The king was becoming old, and wished to find a husband for his daughter, princess Sakimba...
(based on an idea by Milena Harrison)
Once upon a time, in the great prairies of America, there lived two Native American tribes, side by side. Sadly, these tribes had forgotten how to live in peace, and were at war with each other, each wanting the other’s land to camp on, each claiming they had a greater right to that land. From time to time, one tribe raided the other one and caused great damage and destruction.
And this is how our story starts, in the middle of one of these raids...
Once upon a time there was a rather spoilt princess. Dora was rude to everyone, but only because she didn’t understand how to be friendly. People would do exactly what she wanted just because she was a princess, and she had a very bad temper. She stayed in her palace surrounded by servants doing what she pleased....
We’ve talked before about the wonderful place where we rest between our physical lives on earth and which we call Heavens garden. Oh it’s such an amazing place…. where all sorts of different experiences can be enjoyed that are just not possible while we are in our rather heavy physical bodies on earth.
Can you imagine what it would be like to think yourself into all sorts of different experiences – what it may be like to be a tree, or an elephant or a whale! To go to a desert, or the bottom of the sea! ...
There was once an Emperor from China who had no children and who wanted to choose someone wise to rule after him. So he invited hundreds of children from across the kingdom to come to the palace where they were surprised to hear the Emperor declare that he was going to choose one of them to be his heir.
He gave them all a seed and said they were to go home to their villages, plant the seed in a pot and tend it for a year. When they returned, the Emperor would judge their efforts and choose his successor...
Every afternoon, as they were coming home from school, the children used to go and play in the Hampshire Giant's garden.
It was such a lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were peach and pear and apple trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. 'How happy we are here!' they cried to each other.
One day the Hampshire Giant came back...
It was just an ordinary day with the Saleem family – just an ordinary day.
Grandma was sitting quietly by the fire- her filmy eyes gazing at the flames which she carefully tended. Her movements were painful and slow but she sat patiently, lost in her dreams and memories.
Her own daughter, Sarah, was now mother to three children of her own and she busied herself with her work. Times were really hard and even though she worked from morning till night washing, sewing and making clothes, there never seemed enough money to feed the family as she would like. At times she would sigh – this wasn’t how she had dreamed her life would be. All she’d wanted was to have a precious family of her own that she could love and be proud of – but now life just seemed to be one problem after another.
(Intro: from first story)
This is the third in the series of stories about Max and Ollie where in episode one they were looking after a tree in primary school. Max was a bit of a laugh, always finding something funny, especially at the back of his class in school. He was always in trouble for making everyone giggle, and so people were a little surprised when he made friends with Ollie, who was much quieter – a little dreamy, and not good at paying attention to the teacher. I suppose Ollie and Max were friends because they were both in trouble a lot, even thought it was for different reasons. And when he was paying attention Ollie did have a good sense of humour…the teacher gave them part of her allotment as they were so interested in the tree.
When Ollie and Max went up to the first year of secondary school, they still looked after the allotment. Max would come and help with the heavy digging as he was growing taller than Ollie and played a lot of football so he was very fit. Ollie liked to plan everything and do the planting with the help of their allotment neighbour Old Mary and her many cups of tea!
© Copyright White Eagle Lodge. We are happy to share these stories, but would ask that you credit the author and the White Eagle Lodge.