Whootie Owl Whootie Owl's Newsletter
June 2006

Scroll to Whootie's "New Story of the Month"!

   Whootie Owl's New Story of the Month. "The First Strawberries" is a Native American folk tale from the Cherokee tribe.  Theme: love.
   Kids Whisper to Whootie - Last Month
   Adults Whisper to Whootie - Last Month

 Whootie Owl's New Story of the Month
"The First Strawberries"  (Cherokee)

                    IN THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD the first husband and wife lived together and were happy.

                    One afternoon the wife came upon a field of sunflowers.

                    "How lovely these would look at our dinner table," she said, and started to gather them.

                    Suddenly, her husband's voice pierced the air from across the field.

                    "WHAT are you DOING?" he called, marching toward her.

                    "What do you think?" she said. "Can't you see that I'm picking flowers?"

                    "I can SEE that you're picking flowers!" he said. "The question is - why aren't you cooking my dinner? Don't you know that I'm hungry by now?"

                    "How dare you!" She threw the flowers to the ground. "That's it! - I will no longer be your wife."

                    "Wait!" he called out as she strode away toward the West, the land of the setting Sun. Her husband tried to follow her, but she was too quick.

                    Panting, he tried following her footsteps. But it was too late - she had already disappeared into the trees.

                    "What have I done?" he moaned.

                    The Sun saw the man and asked him what was the matter. "I spoke too harshly to my wife," said he. "Now she's gone and I may lose her forever."

                    The Sun said, "Do not worry."

                    Shining a beam of light in front of the wife's path, the Sun caused the world's first raspberries to appear. But the wife was still furious, and she did not notice the tiny red fruit.

                    Then the Sun caused huckleberries to appear, first on one side of her path and then the other. But the woman just looked straight ahead and kept walking. Then the Sun caused the first blackberries to grow on a tree, and one branch bent so much with the weight of the fruit that it blocked her path. Annoyed, she simply pushed aside the branch and walked on.

                    At last, the Sun shone an extra warm beam of light on the earth before her feet, and a patch of strawberry plants appeared before her. The ripe red strawberries, nestled among delicate white flowers, were plumper and redder than anything she had ever seen before. As she leaned down, its sweet fragrance surrounded her. She plucked one berry, then another. As she tasted the berries, her anger faded. "My husband would love these," she thought. She was gathering an armful of strawberries when she saw her husband in the distance. She started to go toward him, eating one strawberry then another. When they met there was only one strawberry left.

                    He said, "I was wrong to speak to you like that."

                    She put the last strawberry in his mouth.

                    And so they made up and remained happily married for the rest of their lives. They had many children, and according to Cherokee legend, if the couple had not made up, the human race would never have grown. That is why, to this day, strawberries are often kept in Cherokee homes as a symbol and a reminder of forgiveness and love.

*Source of Story:  A Native American folk tale from the Cherokee tribe, retold by Elaine L. Lindy, ©2006. All rights reserved.

*from MAY 2006*

Priscilla, child under 13:
"You are so cool."

Devyn, age 11, about The Merchant, the Tiger, and the Six Judges:
"It was trying to tell me that you must always listen to what other people say and have respect for what they do and where they live."

Melody, age 9, also about The Merchant, the Tiger, and the Six Judges:
"I thought this a good teaching lesson. This story will teach a lesson to the world about telling the truth and also finding a way not to get in trouble. I think this story should be presented all over the world. This will show you a great lesson!"

Last month some youngsters discussed spreading rumors from the story- Princess Amaradevi. This month a few more add their voices:
(Did you ever believe something bad about someone else and then find out later that it wasn't true?)

Charlotte, age 12:
"Yes, I have belived that something was true about a person and until I was put to work with this person, I found out that it wasn't true. I was kinda annoyed with myself! "

Luke, age 10:
"Yes, I believed something that wasn't true about someone then found out about it."

Bianca, age 11:
"Yes I did, and I didn't know if it was true or not. Then at the end I found out it wasnt true and I felt sorry for the person because at the time everyone was giving her a hard time."

(How can you tell if something you hear about someone else is true?)

Charlotte, age 12:
"I can tell for example: If someone said that my friend was telling lies to the teacher that she did do her homework but she didn't, I would know that this is a lie, because my friend has never lied to me, or anyone, and that is something that she would NEVER do and even if she did, she would tell me. So, I would know if any of my friends were being talked about meanly, I would know it is not true."

Luke, age 10:
"You cannot tell if it's true unless you know the person really well."

Bianca, age 11:
"Well, I would go to the person and actually ask them. Then you have to make a choice of believing them or not."

*from MAY 2006

Jean, teacher:
"Love your stuff!"

Michelle, teacher:
"Whootie Owl is a great website to get good stories for classes. I am a teacher and I get the stories I teach from this website. The kids enjoy them very well. I am currently teaching a 1st grade class a international school located in Seoul, Korea."

Erik, teacher:
"I love Whootie Owl. It helps me a lot in teaching kids."

Unnamed parent/caregiver:
"This is a great site, full of magic and excitement. I learn stories for my son who cannot wait for this bedtime tale. Keep developing this fantastic site."

Rhonda Elliot, teacher:
"Our class loves to do Reader's Theatre and I was delighted to find this site."

Louisa, teacher:
"Very interesting stories to support narrative writing, using texts about other cultures - Thanks!"

TM, teacher:
"I like to use your stories for my values education and ESL classes."

Red Robin, teacher:
"Great selection. I will try a couple with my students, all Chinese."

Bev Kendal, teacher:
"Just found you when looking for ideas on Africa. Will be coming back for more!"

Hoots from Whootie Owl!
Absolutely Whootie: Stories to Grow By
"Where Education & Inspiration Intersect"
Recommended to our nation's teachers by DISNEY
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Whootie Owl's Free Monthly Newsletter was brought to you by Whootie Owl International, LLC, "Where Education & Inspiration Intersect." You can write to Whootie Owl International, LLC, at PO Box 600344 / Newton, MA 02460-0004. Or call Elaine L. Lindy at (617) 244-0106.

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