The Land of Blue People

This story needs to be read by parents and teachers to assess whether it is suitable for their children. The story is quite stark and you may need to take bits out and soften it for sensitive children.

A story for kids from 9 to 12 years old about the Covid pandemic 2020

The Land of Blue People

This is a strange land I find myself in. It is not what I knew before. I have to behave in different ways to stay safe. I want to stay safe and to protect my family so I pay great attention to the rules. In this land there is some kind nasty stuff that is making those who touch it turn blue. If you become a blue person you have to keep away from other people, because if they get too close they could turn blue. Nobody wants to be blue. A few people become so blue that nobody recognises them any more then they have to go to the land of the Blueys. We don’t see them again. Other people become a lighter blue and if they’re very careful and do the right things eventually the blues fades and they can get close to their families again. They can hug them and be hugged.  They say that’s what they miss most when they are self isolating, hugs and important conversations,  and just having fun with other people.

The children don’t seem to go blue so easily and if they do it is usually only a pale wishy-washy blue, around their eyes and their fingernails. If people think their children are looking a bit blue they take them to be tested, then they know if they are safe or not.  They know if it will be all right to hug their grannies and granddads.  Usually they find they are safe to hug and be hugged. But just in case the testing is not being done, everyone is asked to wear a mask when they are out and about. This is so that they do not breathe in the blueness from another person, or  breathe onto someone else who in turn may go blue.

It is a strange and different life but it affects the whole world and the only way to get rid of the blue is to keep apart from people who are not in your family or not in your ‘bubble’ of people you see regularly. 

Scientists all over the world are busy inventing vaccinations against blueness.  When they have chosen the best one, people will be able to have a dose of the vaccine which will stop them from going blue.  Meanwhile everyone needs to be careful to stay apart, to wash their hands and wear a mask when they are asked to. THE END.

Just a year ago this would have seemed like a strange and unbelievable story but today it reminds us of something very important that is happening in the world: the Coronavirus.  It does not turn us blue but it can make some people very ill, especially older people . Most people recover well from it.  Young people such as you might just feel like you have had a temperature and a cold but, like in the Land of Blue People, you need to think of others and be careful not to catch or spread the Coronavirus.  It will soon be under control we are told, but meanwhile think of others as well as yourself and stay safe.

Talk about this with your parents, guardians or teachers. Every one is in the same boat and we just need to do our best and be helpful and kind.

 

The Unhappy Weeping Willow Tree ( A story for young girls, 8 to 12 yrs to combat the trend of dissatisfaction with looks, photoshopping, skinny models, and cosmetic surgery

The Unhappy Weeping Willow Tree

A young weeping willow lived on the edge of a riverbank. From her home she could see fields, hedges, a beautiful wood and a mountain.

People and animals passed by her on the riverside track and would notice how her delicate branches dipped and swayed. “How lovely!” they all thought. But the weeping willow was not happy. As she looked about her she was always finding fault with herself and comparing her shape with other trees.

“Oh,” she sighed “I wish I were taller and could reach high into the sky like that Poplar tree over there”, or “How I wish I had a good wide strong trunk like the Oak, I am so skinny and thin.” or “Ah, look at the interesting shape of the branches in the Scots Pine, my branches are so droopy.” And she went on feeling miserable about herself.

One day two girls came by and sat beside her on the riverbank.

“I like it here by the weeping willow,” said one, “You can hide from the world. It’s like a green cave, isn’t it a lovely tree, Sally?”

“Yes,” said the other, “and I can tell you my secret, Mary, which makes me sad. Being beside a weeping willow seems a good place to feel sad.”

“What is your secret?” asked her friend.

The two girls sat beneath the willow tree 4

“ I am worried about how I will look when I grow up, and I’m worried about if the operations I will need will hurt or if they will cost a lot of money.”

“Sally what are you talking about? There’s nothing wrong with you is there? I mean you look fine to me! What operations do you think you will need?”

“Please don’t tell anyone, Mary, promise me! I think my nose is not straight enough and my ears are too big. My auntie has a flat chest and I don’t want to look like her, so I must get something done to make me bigger. And I hate my freckles.”

“Stop, stop!” said Mary. “Everyone is different from everyone else. You shouldn’t want to change yourself and try to be something you are not. That’s not good thinking. Some people do themselves a lot of harm trying to change themselves.  They are never happy with how they are, even when they have changed.”

Sally looked around at the lovely tree they were leaning on. “I wish I were like this tree,” she said. “Then I’d be happy just being me. It’s so lucky just staying put, looking at its reflection in the water. No one teases it about its freckles or its ears or nose. It must be so contented.”

“Oh you’ve been paying attention to those boys have you? You think that what they say matters? Don’t listen to them Sally, they just say anything at all to get attention.”

The girls stood up. Sally stroked the bark of the Willow. Suddenly she felt better. The girls wandered off along the riverbank.

The willow tree gently waved her branches, she felt better too. It made sense to be happy with what she was and to learn to appreciate her finer points instead of envying other trees for what they were. She decided she would be happy to admire others, but not to wish she could look like them, because everyone is made to be different and that’s how it is, and that’s how it should be.

Questions

How did you feel when you heard the story?

Did it remind you of anything in your life?

Why was the weeping willow unhappy?

What did it want to be like?

What was Sally’s secret?

Why did the tree change its ideas about wanting to be different?