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  • STORY TIME: FLOWERS FOR A BULLY

    It had been a rough first week for Betty Lamb in her Kindergarten. The school building was much bigger than her cozy preschool, there were so many kids around her and her teachers always seemed to be very busy tending other kids, paying almost no attention to her, or so she felt. It seemed to her like the louder children got all the attention from her teachers, and she was a quiet, shy little lamb, smaller than the rest of her classmates. Betty wore glasses with a thick purple frame and the rubber bands in her braces matched them. She was very proud of them, she always thought they allowed her to express her creative mind. She loved mismatched clothes, and paid special attention to mismatching her socks: She wore a black-and-white striped sock in one leg and a green-and-yellow polka dot in the other. Her skirt was red and her top was electric blue. She added a special touch with a hot pink beanie and a neon orange scarf. One shoe was red, the other one was black. Looking at herself in the mirror, wearing clothes that expressed what was inside her mind made her very happy. It was as if clothes spoke what she was too shy to say out loud. She loved school, but it was overwhelming. She wished she could make everyone stop and lay on the grass with her, imagining shapes on the clouds and comfortably share a silence for a moment, but everything at school seemed to be rushed: bell rang, run, make a line, march together, get into the classroom, grab your pencil, work on whatever the teacher asks you to do. Betty’s teacher was very kind, but she always seemed busy. She sat Betty next to Ollie Hare, a very pretty, very popular hare with beautiful long ears and bright dark eyes. Ollie was loud, and she always seemed to have an opinion about everything. To be honest, Betty Lamb was a bit intimidated by her. Betty Lamb loved to draw and she used her special pencil for that, one that she bought in a garage sale. She drew a mushroom house with little elves living in it. Ollie Hare saw her drawing, and she liked it a lot “That is pretty, teach me how to draw that,” Ollie said in a bossy tone. She was loud and Betty, being so shy didn’t know how to react so she just kept quiet. “Oh, I bet it’s your pencil that does the magic,” she said as she snatched Betty’s special pencil off her hands. Betty Lamb was appalled, nothing like that happened to her before. In her preschool, teachers were always around and kids always were kind to each other. She didn’t know what to do. The bell for lunchtime rang and as all the kids made a single file, Betty Lamb could hear Ollie Hare showing her special pencil to the other kids and saying how she could now draw better than Betty. It made her feel very sad. As the class walked down the hall towards the cafeteria, Betty heard some giggles behind her. Ollie said to other girls “she looks like a clown” and pointed at her, while they laughed. Betty couldn’t understand what was wrong with her outfit, she wanted to explain it to Ollie but she couldn’t find the words. At the cafeteria, Betty brought her new lunchbox. She tried to open it but the locks in the new lunchbox were so hard! Betty started to feel very anxious: Her tummy was rumbling, she couldn’t open her lunchbox, all the people around her were strangers, she missed her preschool so much, Miss Alex would have already opened her lunchbox for her in her preschool! she wanted her special pencil back, she thought of all the things Ollie said to and about her… and she started to cry, quietly. Ollie Hare saw her in the distance and came to her. “Are you crying? Do you miss your mommy, little baby?” Ollie said, mockingly, as she took Betty’s lunchbox and violently opened it, spilling Betty’s food all over the table “here you go, crying baby” and turned around, leaving Betty scared, sad and confused. Betty cried harder, one of the teachers noticed the situation and asked Ollie to clean up everything for Betty and to offer an apology. Which she did, with a smirk that made Betty feel even worse. That school day came to an end and all the kids waited for their parents, except for Ollie. On her walk back home, Betty noticed Ollie sitting on a bench by herself and saw so much sadness and loneliness on her face. Something was going on with Ollie, could it be possible that her attitude was the result of her feeling so lonely? Seeing her sitting all alone made her look vulnerable and not so intimidating, Betty thought. Back at home, Betty’s mom was aware of what had happened at school, the teacher had called her to notify the incident and naturally, mom lamb was not happy about it. “I don’t want you to be bullied, my dear! If she pushes you, you push her back!” she advised her daughter, still angry about what had happened. That made no sense to Betty. “So, let’s say she hits me,” Betty said to her mom “so, I hit her back,” she continued. “Then of course she will hit me back, harder, then… am I supposed to hit her back again, harder?” she said with incredulity in her voice. “Well” her mom said “I just don’t want anyone to abuse you and get away with it” “I don’t see how that would solve anything” said Betty with a sad voice, looking at the rug under her feet “I saw her at the park and she looked really sad and lonely. She is surrounded by kids, but in the end she doesn’t seem like she really has a friend. I will be her friend. I will bring her flowers to school tomorrow and I will ask her to be my friend” Betty’s mom scratched her head with incredulity. But she knew her daughter, so she supported her decision “But you have to promise me that if she tries to hurt you, you will defend yourself” she said, hugging her daughter. “I have a feeling that won’t be necessary, mom,” Betty said with a smile. The next day, Betty woke up earlier than usual and went to her backyard to pick fresh flowers for Ollie, which she carefully tied together with a yellow ribbon. As she got to school and saw Ollie in the playground, playing by herself, she presented her with the flowers. - What… is that? Ollie asked, confused - Flowers… for you - For me? But… why? - Because I want to be your friend Ollie Hare scoffed, she was so confused. She wasn’t used to having anyone give her anything or being nice to her just because. And there she was, this girl, to whom she had not been nice to, giving her flowers and asking to be friends. Ollie took the flowers and gave a crooked smile, the bell rang and they had to go into class. Ollie couldn’t concentrate, she was so intrigued by Betty’s gesture. When the time came for recess, Ollie walked to Betty’s desk and gave her a serious look. Betty was scared, was Ollie upset? But to her surprise, Ollie stretched her paw to her, smiled, and said “friends?” Betty smiled a big smile and grabbed Ollie’s paw “friends!” she exclaimed. Ollie Hare put the flowers around her long ears and they both spent recess together. Betty taught Ollie to lay on the grass and quietly find shapes on the clouds, while Ollie taught Betty how to be the fastest runner playing tag. I wouldn’t say Betty and Ollie’s friendship was perfect, they had disagreements, but they respected each other. Ollie even made a colorful beanie for Betty’s collection at knitting class! Everyone at school was surprised by this unlikely friendship, especially by Betty’s kindness and braveness. But it was Betty’s mom who learned the most: you cannot fight violence with violence, and it took her little daughter to teach her that important lesson. Key Points: Betty was brave by being kind. Ollie was open to learning from a new friend. Betty’s mom didn’t push her daughter to do as she said, but listen to her ideas. Friendships are not perfect, but we learn from each other and grow together. People will always remember how you treat them.

  • STORY TIME - WHAT'S WRONG WITH SILVIA?

    By Mayra Azanza We love our sisters so much and we need to understand something very important: their bodies go through more visible changes than boys, which affects the way they behave and interact with the people around them. Instead of feeling hurt or confused, we should show empathy and compassion. Just like my friend Armand: Armand’s sister, Silvia, was acting very differently towards him. They used to play sports together all the time, climb on the tree in their backyard and tell jokes, but recently she seemed like she’s not interested in any of that. To make matters worse, Armand found her crying the other day and she didn’t tell him why! She just said that he wouldn’t understand, and turned her back on him, leaving Armand hurt and confused. Armand worried that he had done something wrong. He observed her at school, he saw that she missed her PE classes from time to time, and she loves PE! And because she was not answering his questions, he asked his mom what was going on with Silvia. Armand’s mom’s colors changed like a streetlight, and he felt like he must have said something wrong, so he started to turn away and ignore the whole thing. But his mom stopped him and asked him to sit at the table. She looked him in the eyes and held his hands in hers. “At 12 years old, many girls go through a thing called puberty, which means their bodies change and prepare for them to be adults.” “What? Is Silvia going to be an adult?” Armand asked, unsettled. Mom giggled a little bit and answered “Yes, indeed. And so will you, eventually.” ”Will I stop loving Silvia like she has stopped loving me?” Armand asked, saddened. “Not at all, she hasn’t stopped loving you, she’s just changing. Her personality will change, and her body will, too, but she will never stop loving you!” Mom said as she hugged him tightly. “Then… Why is she crying sometimes and why does it feel like she is sick sometimes? He asked. “Well, it may be because she was in her menstrual period” she replied. “Her what?” Armand asked, confused. “Menstrual period. It is what happens when a female’s body is preparing to grow and eventually become a mother, like me!” Mom said with a smile. “I don’t understand why you are telling me all this!” Armand responded a little bit frustrated and embarrassed. “Listen, when a girl’s body goes through puberty, they get their menstrual periods, which happens about once a month, but that may vary. During their period, some girls experience a lot of discomforts: pain, tiredness, and other symptoms. Silvia has her period and when that happens, she likes to be left alone.” Said, mom. “In the meantime, be kind, loving, respect her privacy, and ask her if she needs something. If she does, help her. If she asks you to give her some space, do it. It’s not personal, she loves you just as much. When you get older, your female friends will also go through puberty.” She said, “and you need to be supportive to them. Growing up is complicated, but if we all have empathy we will grow stronger together.” - She finished. Armand was left alone with his thoughts. It never occurred to him that his sister would go through so much! But now he knew and he promised himself (and his sister Silvia, secretly) to be kind and understanding to her and the girls around him. KEY POINTS: Armand looked for support from someone he trusted and asked questions in a respectful yet honest way. Armand was concerned about his sister’s well-being. Armand got frustrated, but he kept asking questions. Armand’s mom guided Armand into not being judgmental and not taking his sister’s attitude as something personal. Armand’s mom made it clear they all love each other, and that people evolve and change and that is not a bad thing. Armand’s mom advised Armand to give his sister space and respect her privacy. Armand’s mom advised Armand to be mindful of his female friends and be supportive.

  • STORY TIME - ARTISTIC MISTAKES

    Everybody in Make-A-Wish Meadow was gathered outside my art gallery! I had been working so hard putting together my very first art exhibit for all my friends and finally, the day came up and here they were, all excited and eager to see my work. My friend Julie snail helped me cut the inaugural ribbon and with “ooohs” and “aahhs” everyone I knew came inside my garage. As soon as they set a paw, hoof, trotter, fin or foot into my exhibit, their expressions changed from smiles… to confusion. They looked at my work: it all looked wrong! Paintings with paint spilled all over, paper crumpled, unfinished drawings, uneven sculptures and other works of art that my friends couldn’t quite consider art. My friends walked around in silence and gave me a smile, without daring to ask anything. I had to work hard to contain my giggles, my plan was working perfectly! I climbed on top of a table, cleared my throat and started speaking out loud to them: “My dear friends, thank you for joining me at my art exhibit!” I said proudly. I saw their confused eyes and continued “I know this doesn’t look like your typical art exhibit and that my work doesn’t look like… artwork” Sally frog, who’s always very outspoken, jumped and said “It’s all unfinished and…” she jumped again “is this a joke?” I smiled and said “no, it’s not. What you see, are my many attempts to make the perfect artwork” I climbed down my table and started pacing towards my painting. “When I first started painting, I really, really wanted to show you something perfect. But I just couldn’t! I started being so frustrated that I ended up not enjoying making art and I almost quit.” I took a pause, looked at Julie Snail and continued: “That’s when Julie came over and told me that… if my work wasn’t going to be perfect anyways I may as well just have fun making it! And I did!.” I continued walking around my imperfect artwork exhibit, remembering the many mistakes I made when creating each one and said “I made a lot of attempts, I tried many different supplies and techniques, I found out I am better at some than others and more importantly, I realized that everyone has a different perspective about art and that I need to keep doing it because it makes me very happy, not because it is perfect.” I smiled at all my friends gathered around me and said “Today I open the doors to my mistakes in art, so you all can see my many failures. I love each one of them because they have taught me something new. And now, grab some supplies and do your part! Biggest mistake wins a banana muffin!” And so, me and my friends had the best time making mistakes in art, enjoying the process, learning from each other and feeling safe to fail without being judged! Key Points: Nothing is perfect, starting with art. We should celebrate we are expressing our creativity, even if it doesn’t look “perfect” Mistake’s friends were expecting a perfect art show, Mistake opened their minds to see what they usually didn’t consider art. Mistake isn’t ashamed of its mistakes and is happy to share its experience about them. Art is Mistake’s way to relax and meditate. What’s your own way to relax? Enjoy the process! Frustration isn’t helpful because you get stuck. If you are frustrated when making art, take a break and visit places that inspire you.

  • STORY TIME: A NEW LANGUAGE

    It was my second day of school! I had my backpack hanging from my back with my pencils and notebooks. My aunt had packed my favorite lunch: cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese. As we approached the school, I started to slow down. I felt my feet grow heavier and heavier and the tuft of my tail dragged behind me. “What happened?” my auntie asked. I looked down to the ground and very softly I mumbled “I… don’t really want to go to school.” Auntie’s eyes turned sad. She held my shoulder, as she always does when she wants to comfort me “It’s just…” I continued “I like my new school, but I am worried to go… because they all speak a language that I hardly understand” I said and felt my voice breaking. Me and my family had recently moved to this new country, both of my parents must work long hours so auntie Bertha takes me to school. Everything is so different from my hometown! I love this new place and I want to make new friends, but when I try to communicate, nobody understands me, or I say everything the wrong way. Aunt Bertha touched my chin and wiped my tears “I know it is hard and what you are doing is so brave!” she said “You will make a lot of mistakes, but sooner rather than later, you will be able to communicate with everyone. You are so creative and fun, and you will find a way.” She hugged me and I walked inside the school, still scared. I entered the classroom quietly; I really didn’t want anyone to notice me. I sat for circle time, I love singing and dancing so much, but I couldn’t follow the songs. I started to worry they would think there is something wrong with me. Not understanding most of what’s being said makes me very nervous. I felt so much anxiety, I felt so lonely and lost that I started to cry and really hoped for auntie Bertha to come and pick me up, but what happened next made me very happy I stayed in the class. Miss Patty, my new teacher, remembered the song auntie Bertha told her I love, and she played it for the class. I love music and dancing so much, and my classmates started dancing with me. We all realized sometimes you don’t need words to communicate. Being new to a country with a strange language is challenging, but my family and teachers have taught me there are some tools that can help me express myself without words, like pointing at things, gesturing and of course, music. Over the past weeks I have learned so many words and made many new friends. I feel like now I have two new worlds that I belong to: the one I left months ago, and this new one. And even though I do make a lot of mistakes when I communicate in this different language, I am no longer scared to try again. Observations Mistake felt lonely, anxious and lost. Mistake was so overwhelmed that it couldn’t communicate, it started to cry The teacher paid attention and remembered a song that made Mistake feel comfortable. Children around Mistake were friendly and welcoming. Activities & Conversations What would you do to make Mistake feel safe and welcome in your classroom? Pretend you are Mistake and you don’t speak the same language as your friends. (A) How would you communicate? (B) How would you like to be treated? (C) Draw or write about it. Have you been to a place where people spoke a language that you didn’t understand? How did you feel? Have you met someone that didn’t speak your language? How did you interact with them?

  • STORY TIME - MISTAKES ARE NEW INVENTIONS

    The potential of all the problems that people in the stores were having was fascinating to our dear furry

  • STORY TIME: MY ODD BODY

    Since the day that I was born, I have been unique. You see… I came out of an odd egg that was shaped more like a cylinder than an egg. It was colorful and fluffy, like a pillow. When I came out of that egg, it became clear that I was very different from the rest of the inhabitants of Mishmash Meadow. My tummy is round and fluffy, my head is big to host my big, round, different-colored eyes. My head is crowned with two antennas. To make things even more interesting, my colors don’t match. Learning to write was a challenge because I am left-handed, and I have three fingers in my left arm! So, holding the pencil was interesting, to say the least. My right leg is longer and skinnier than my left and that makes me limp and wobble when I walk. Playing sports is not easy. My tail is so long it gets caught in branches, fences, and doors because it has a dark, fluffy tuft at the tip. I may feel odd at times, but I know every single part of my body has a function. My limping legs have taken me to woods and lakes, my big eyes have shown me art and beauty, my uneven arms have hugged my loved ones and comforted friends in despair. My shaggy fur has kept me warm; my long tail gives me balance; my antennas keep me in tune with my environment. The many different colors in my body make me and my friends smile every day. My body is far from perfect if you compare it to anyone else’s. But for me, it is simply who I am. There’s more to a body than its appearance. My body is a rainbow of engines that move me, a colorful spectacle of emotions that make me feel alive, a collection of ideas, feelings, memories that can move, a unique machine that allows me to observe, listen, smell, taste, and touch, and I am happy to teach anyone around me about that. Next time you look at yourself in the mirror, think of all the fantastic things about it. I surely do. KEY POINTS: Our body may not look perfect and that’s ok! Everyone looks different and that’s what makes us unique. The more we understand & acknowledge the complex things our body does for us the better we can appreciate it.

  • STORY TIME - NOAH AND BUBBLES

    They both went to the local pet store and bought a beautiful tank and everything to make “Bubbles,” the

  • STORY TIME - MUSICAL FRIENDS

    Mistake was walking down a beautiful meadow in Mishmashland. It was a very cold, snowy but sunny morning, perfect for sledding down the hill. There he was, peacefully walking, thinking of Roly-Polys (did you know that Mistake likes thinking of roly polys?) when a colorful lighting bolt passed right through him! What was that? Mistake was so confused. He stopped for a second, looked left and right with his big eyes, but couldn’t see anything. He shrugged, convinced it was just his imagination. Anyway, where was he? Ah yes, Mistake was walking down the beautiful, cold, snowy-but-sunny meadow, thinking of Roly-Polys… when again! The fast, colorful lightning bolt! Only this time it crashed with him! Off Mistake went, rolling down the path, his uneven legs all tangled in his tail, snow all over his fur, he was very confused. As he incorporated, he saw something… or was it someone? He walked slowly towards whatever that was, being cautious not to startle it. He picked a little branch on the way there, just for caution, and kept getting closer, carefully stretching one leg, keeping his body as far away as possible, then stretching his other leg. That’s a very hard task when your legs are uneven, you know? When he was close enough, he saw a little ball of fur, covered in snow and shivering. It was a bit bigger than a tennis ball, and he thought it wouldn’t really harm him, but still he didn’t want to risk it, so he poked it with the branch. The ball of fur jumped off the snow, lots of shiny colors, two big shiny eyes, one big tooth, one star on its head and two little legs that looked like an elephant’s. It was so scared; its mouth was wide open, and it seemed like it was screaming… but no sound came out of its mouth. Mistake got a little startled, but not really scared, so he came closer to the little one that was now running around in circles on the path, leaving a mark of mud on the ground. He stopped it with his yellow hand with three fingers and put it on his palm. “Well… hello there!” Said Mistake The little fur ball was still shaking - and tried to tell him something but no sound came out of its mouth. “What’s going on?” Mistake asked again. The little ball of fur tried again, but no sound came out. The little ball of fur opened its mouth wide, and it looked like it was crying really loudly, tears squirting out of its eyes like a fountain… but no sound. “What happened?” Asked a voice. Mistake turned around, holding the little ball of fur close to his chest to keep it warm. It was Little Turtle, hearing a scarf so thick it almost covered his entire face. “This little friend is very scared,” Mistake said “but it seems like he or she cannot speak. We have to help!” Little Turtle came closer to the ball of fur, examining the eyes and the legs. “Say ‘Aaaah!’”- asked Little Turtle The ball of fur opened a big wide mouth with a big white tooth. Little Turtle looked inside “Mhh hmm… I see… Yeah… I don’t know what I’m looking at. I’m not even a doctor,” said Little Turtle. And left, as fast as he could. Which was not fast at all. “Oh! Oh! Oh! I can help! I can help!” said another little voice. It was Amber the Hare, who’s always eager to help. “What seems to be the problem?” She asked. “My friend here seems to have lost their voice,” said Mistake. “Ah…” she said and took the ball of fur on her palms “let’s do a quick checkup. Can you do this?” Amber jumped on one leg. The ball of fur did too. “You can! That’s awesome! Now… Can you do this?” Amber clapped her hands. The little ball of fur frowned their big eyes and shook their heads. “Ah, yes. You have no hands. Well, can you… jump as high as me?” They both jumped for a minute, until Mistake asked what had all that jumping to do with the ball of fur not speaking. “Err… nothing” Amber shrugged. “We’re just having fun! But now I must go. Bye!” And as quick as she showed up, she was gone. Mistake left out a big sigh, hugging the ball of fur close to him. He took it on both of his hands and looked into their eyes “I really want to help you, but I don’t know how” the ball of fur’s eyes went very sad, and a big tear rolled down to the snow. It was such beautiful scenery: snow-covered meadow, some trees and a slight murmur of the water running down. Then a bird started singing. The ball of fur’s eyes opened wide, and it started jumping up and down. When the bird stopped singing, the ball of fur stopped dancing. “Oh… I think I know what to do!” said Mistake. “Hey! Joe!” called Mistake. The bird flew to Mistake and the ball of fur. “Hi Mistake!” sang Joe the bird. “This is my friend… Uh… I don’t know their name… but they can’t talk, and your music seems to work… Can you please sing something for them?” “I am always singing!” the bird sang. “I’d be delighted” Joe sang a simple couple of notes. The ball of fur repeated the song! “It’s working!” Said Mistake. They tried again. The ball of fur did it again. Mistake was so happy! “You can sing!” he said “Maybe… Can you sing your name to me?” The ball of fur took a deep breath, closed their eyes, opened a wide mouth with a big white tooth and sang “Guuuuuuuul… Guuuuuuul.” “Gul Gul?” both asked “Gulgul!” She sang “Gulgul is a girl” she sang and danced. All three friends sang and danced, Little Turtle came back (he was only a few feet away anyways) to jo in the party and Amber jumped back. It became a musical celebration for a new friendship. Now music is Gulgul’s life, and she has a song for every occasion! Gulgul and Mistake became best friends and love spending time making new songs. Sometimes it is difficult to communicate what we want to say, but music can be our best tool. Is there anything you would like to say through a song? Please send it to us at hagit@makemistakes.club. Key Points: Mistake tried to help Galgul despite not knowing her at first. A friendship was formed based on kindness and shared interest. Galgul expressed herself via music when she could not use words. Mistake paid attention and figured out a way to help his new friend.

  • STORY TIME: WATER + SUN + LOVE

    One morning, there was a very serious meeting at the orchard. Eloise Carrot, in a solemn tone, addressed the rest of the vegetables in the veggie box that fresh morning: “Good morning vegetables big and small, green, red, yellow, orange and every color. It is with deep sadness that I must inform you that, for the second consecutive week, Paul has decided to only eat…” -she paused, took a deep breath, closed her eyes and said: “Bread.” Gasps were heard all over the orchard. This was so deeply saddening and even worrisome. From the corner of the box, the deep voice of papa tomato was heard: “May I ask… why?” Eloise Carrot shook the leaves on her head “I don’t know!” she said “I know Paul’s mom has tried everything in her power! She’s made carrot puree, steamed broccoli, lettuce wraps… Even guacamole!... To no avail.” her eyes saddened. “What’s going to happen to us?” asked Felicia Lettuce. An even deeper gasp filled the veggie box this time. All the vegetables had that secret fear: that little Paul would live on a bread diet forever, getting rid of all of them despite mom’s gardening efforts. “That can’t happen!” yelled Cali Cauliflower in desperation “If he only eats bread, he will not get the energy and nutrients he needs! We must do something! We love Paul!” Later that day, at dinner time, Paul’s mom served him a cute platter with a smiley face made from carrots, peas, lettuce, and tomatoes. She left all kinds of dressings handy for little Paul to try with his veggies… but little Paul lifted one piece of a carrot… smelled it… scratched it… and with a suspicious expression on his face, he put it back on the platter “Err… Is there any bread?” From the window, Cali Cauliflower, Papa Tomato and Eloise Carrot were observing the scene with deep concern. “See?” Said papa tomato “It’s not the presentation!” “Yes!” said Cali Cauliflower “He had said that it’s the texture or the shape or the color or the smell... but it seems like it’s something else!” “I have an idea!” said papa tomato.They all scrummed together like a football team, whispering a plan and giggling. The next day, little Paul got a mysterious note under his door that read: “Dear Paul, please join us in the veggie box! Love, Papa Tomato, Cali Cauliflower, Eloise Carrot and the rest of the veggies” Paul couldn’t believe his eyes, but still went to the veggie box in his orchard. There he found another note that said: “We come from small seeds. Please sow us in this rich soil” The note also contained some tomato seeds. Paul was very intrigued, so he did as the note asked, sowing the tiny seeds in the tomato corner of the veggie box. Then, he saw another note: “Water us, add some sun and we will grow!” He raised his sight and saw beautiful lettuces and herbs sprouting from the soil. And then, another note: “Water + sun + love and repeat… soon we’ll be ready for you!” He looked and saw, glossy tomatoes, beautiful strawberries and amazing green beans. He couldn’t resist smiling. And then, another note: “Some of us are not so obvious, look underground!” He saw the top of a carrot sticking out of the dirt. He gently pulled and got the freshest carrot he’d ever seen! Paul’s dad walked towards him “What are you doing, kid?” “I don’t know but… can we have a salad?” he asked intrigued and surprised. Dad happily obliged. When they finished their salad, he asked Paul: “What made you change your mind?” “I… I just think I didn’t understand veggies. But they are actually pretty awesome!” Said Paul, excited. And that is how a wonderful relationship with food started. In a corner of the orchard, vegetables big and small, green, red, yellow, orange and every color cheered in joy, as they always do when a kid tries them. Sometimes we don’t want to try new food because we don’t have a connection to it. Paul learned how fascinating the process is for a vegetable to grow and from then on, he was a big fan.

  • STORY TIME: LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE

    I was so ready to go back to school! My fur looked great after I spent a long time brushing and untangling it. I made sure everything in my backpack was ready and I carefully put my lunch inside of it. It was a banana and a cheese sandwich, my favorite! I took my scooter, put on my helmet and off I went to school. I got there a few minutes before the bell rang, everybody was getting ready to go inside, and that’s when it happened… I was all too excited to get into my classroom, that I lowered my tail before stopping my scooter. My tail got tangled in my scooter’s wheels and off I fell, face on the ground! Everybody gasped, my friend Benito Bunny came jumping fast to help me and Robert Snake picked up my scooter. In the commotion, my backpack flew a few feet from me, landing on the side where I had put my lunch. I was all covered in dust, my tail hurt a lot and I had a scraped knee. I had never been more relieved for wearing a helmet! Then I opened my backpack: the banana was smashed, and my sandwich was completely ruined! Worst-day-of-my-life. Susy Porcupine helped me to the infirmary, where Molly Cow, the nurse, cleaned my scraped knee, gave me an ice pack for my tail and some juice to make me feel better. I was so scared and even angry at myself, that I started to cry. Susy sat next to me and held my hand “That was very scary” she told me. “Yes” I said, feeling deeply sorry for myself, tears streaming down my furry face, dripping on the floor of the infirmary. “But… you know what? My grandma always tells me that laughing is the best medicine.” “What?” I replied, baffled. “How could I possibly laugh, being so embarrassed and in so much pain! I started feeling even worse, the nerve to say that! “Oh, I know… you are in pain… but… what about… this!” She made a super silly face. I thought it was funny but refused to laugh. I mean, I was in pain! I just fell in front of the whole school! I made a fool of myself! My banana smashed inside my backpack! That wasn’t funny! “Or… this!” and she made a funny noise. I couldn’t hide a small laugh. “What about… this!” She made a sillier face. I just couldn’t hold it, I smiled. Susy giggled and made another silly face that turned my smile into a giggle until we both ended up laughing. “Oh well… I fell on my face!” I said to Susy, laughing. “And my fur is a mess and there’s smashed banana all over my backpack!” I continued to laugh “but laughing it out with you has made me feel so much better!” Susy gave me the biggest smile “Well, see? My grandma is right! Laughter IS the best medicine!” and she walked with me, slowly because my knee still hurt, to our classroom. For the rest of the day I tried to focus on my friend’s smiles and silly faces instead of my pain and embarrassment. There are times when you feel embarrassed and ashamed. From now on, when that happens to you always think of Susy Porcupine and find a reason to laugh it out. Laughter will alleviate bad feelings and will help you see your problems from another perspective, with a smile on your face. Key Points: Nobody made fun of Mistake falling on their face and friends came over to help. Susy: took Mistake to get help and stayed with them. She noticed Mistake was feeling worse emotionally than physically, so she made them laugh. Think of embarrassing situations where you could have or did laugh it out! Can you share some ideas of how to cope with embarrassing situations with humor? Practice a silly face to make your friends smile!

  • A VERY GRUMPY MISTAKE

    I have a confession to make. I am not always in my best mood. A few days ago, I was especially grumpy, and I did something I am not proud of. Here’s what happened: I really can’t remember why I was in a bad mood. Maybe I felt a little bit sick, maybe I didn’t sleep well or maybe I was upset about something that happened somewhere else. The truth is, I was grumpy. Like, really grumpy. Like I-didn’t-even-eat-my-pancakes-that-morning grumpy. When I got to school, Lolita Crane was so happy to see me, as she usually is. She ran towards me and, jumping up and down as she loves to do, she tossed a ball at me and playfully invited me to play. As I said… I was G R U M P Y. Capital G. So, I kicked that ball as hard as I could, and it flew so far away that Lolita wasn’t able to fetch it. Lolita was so confused, but she thought maybe we could play something else, so she went ahead and tagged me. She touched my elbow and yelled “TAG” and ran away. That was it! I lost my temper! I ran to my classroom and sat at my desk and spoke to no one for the rest of the morning. Lolita was so sad; I could see it in her eyes. I wasn’t in a bad mood anymore, but now she was upset. But I was embarrassed for what I did, so I avoided her for the rest of the day. What else could I do? A couple of days passed, Lolita wasn’t there in the morning to greet me as she usually did, and she sat as far away from me as possible. I didn’t know what to do, I felt more and more sad and ashamed for what I had done, but… what could I do? The next day during our lunch break, Lolita sat right next to me. Without making eye contact she said, “So… What is going on?” I didn’t know what to say, but Lolita did the talking: she told me how my actions made her feel, and I realized how much I have hurt her. I felt even more ashamed. She said “I told you how I feel, now you tell me what is going on” so I told her exactly what happened: how I had had a bad morning and how I realized I hurt her and how I was so ashamed and so I kept my distance because I was ashamed of being ashamed and how that was not helping at all. Lolita gave me one of her beautiful warm smiles and said “Next time you feel that grumpy, just tell me and I will understand” and it was so simple! Of course, she is my friend, I can tell her this kind of thing! We talked about it and agreed that we can both talk about our feelings and that we may not always be in our best mood, but instead of losing our temper, we will tell each other how we feel. We can also let each other know how the other one can help make us feel better, like “I don’t know why, but I feel very upset today. Can you tell me a joke/run around the patio with me/give me some space” No friendship is perfect, we all have our good days and our very super grumpy ones. Lolita taught me that we can make our friendship stronger by listening, understanding, respecting, and supporting each other. Key Points: Mistake was aware of its feelings but didn’t communicate them to others. Feeling shame prevented Mistake from making things right with its friend. Lolita Crane demonstrated maturity and true friendship by talking with Mistake despite her hurt. Friendships are not perfect, but we learn from each other and grow together.

  • STORY TIME - LILY & OSCAR LEARN ABOUT BOUNDARIES

    Hello my dear friends, today I want to tell you a story about my good friends who have opposite issues

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