Monday, September 17, 2012

Treasure Trading

We saw a rainbow in the sky one evening and so we had some leprechaun lore for bedtime!

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Catherine.  She loved to play in the rain.  She liked to splash in the puddles and taste the raindrops with her tongue.  She also liked to look up in the sky to see if she could find a rainbow.  One evening after the rain stopped and the rainbow came out, she noticed that the end of the rainbow was just one street over.  Excitedly she ran to see if she could find the leprechaun and his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Much to her surprise she found the pot of gold!  

She ran to the pot full of shimmery gold coins and stuck her hands to hear the clink-clink of the coins.  That’s when she heard a loud wail.  “Oh no!  You’ve found my gold” a little man with a funny hat cried out.  The leprechaun looked very upset.  He had big tears in his eyes and stomped his foot in frustration.  

Catherine did not want to upset anyone, but she was still very excited about the gold treasure.  She wanted to use it to buy herself a new scooter.  “Excuse me,” she said. “What’s wrong?  I thought leprechauns had lots of treasure.”

“We don’t,” the little leprechaun sniffed.  “People keep taking my treasure.  I work very hard to get my gold.  If you take it, then I will be the only leprechaun without any treasure.  It takes a long time for leprechauns to find treasure.”

Catherine was good at solving problems and she considered this one carefully.  “Is gold the only treasure leprechauns like?” she asked.

The little leprechaun paused.  “I don’t know,” he said.  “I’ve never had anything else.”

Catherine took the little leprechaun by his hand and said.  “How about we trade treasures?  I have some special things at home that you might like and then you might not miss your gold so much.”

The leprechaun went home with Catherine and she showed him some of her special treasures.  She had some fancy jewelry that she had made and also some art that she had drawn.   The leprechaun looked at all of Catherine’s treasures and decided that he liked them very much.  He took a sparkly bracelet and whole box of crayons with some paper.  Catherine showed him how to use the crayons.  She drew him a rainbow and picture of the pot of gold.  He loved the picture.  He danced around the room with joy because he knew he would be the only leprechaun with art from a little girl.  He wasn’t sad anymore about his gold because now he had new and better treasures.  

“Thank you, Catherine,” he said.  “Nobody has ever thought to be so nice to me.  They all just take my gold.  You really are a kind little girl.”  Catherine smiled.  It was fun to make someone so  happy.  

“I’m glad you’re happy too.  Thank you for your gold.  I hope you will come and visit me sometime again.”  

Catherine shook her new friend’s hand just before he spun around, stomped his foot, blew her a kiss and disappeared back to leprechaun land.

Learning to think through problems in a way that lets everyone win comes through here in a fun way.  Catherine, like most little kids, loves to gift her artwork so this was a way to end it that was especially gratifying to her.  Any personal treasures your child has could easily be substituted here.  There are lots of places the child could add details too like the name of the leprechaun, games that were played in the rain, physical characteristics of the leprechaun, etc.  You could also have the first attempts to make the leprechaun happy go all wrong to lengthen the story.  A leprechaun, for example, might not enjoy foods your child likes or may insist on only green clothing when your child tries to give him a red baseball cap or other colored favorite object.  

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