I have a new found fascination with scarecrows. I have no idea what sparked my interest, but I ordered these four scarecrow stories online the other day and fell in love with each and everyone of them for a different reason. I shared them with my boys this weekend and their reaction was the same. I am excited to share them with my first graders next week!
A beautifully written book by the well-known author, Jane Yolen. This books tells the story of a scarecrow who breaks free of his pole when a gust of wind blows. He dances “past a tractor…past cows… and by a barn” until he notices a light coming from a house. He peers in the window and sees a young boy kneeling before his bed saying his prayers. The boy asks for blessings for the farm animals, the farm equipment and finally for the “old scarecrow who guards the fields.” The scarecrow hears this prayer and weeps “a pail of painted tears.” He then dances his way back to the fields where he leaps back onto his wooden pole and says, “For anyone can dance….but only I can keep the fields free.”
The little scarecrow boy wants nothing more than to be fierce like his father and scare the crows from the field. But no matter how much he begs his father to join him in the fields, his father always replies, “NO! No, little boy. You can’t go. You’re not fierce enough to scare a crow. Wait till you grow.” The boy waits, practices being fierce and continues to grow. One day he decides to sneak away from his family and try his fierce faces on his own. He tries his first fierce face, but to no avail. Then the second and the third and the fourth and the fifth. But none of them work. Finally, with the sixth and final fierce face, “the old crow flew backward through the air, feathers flying everywhere until there wasn’t even a shadow of a crow on the land.” He was “a scarecrow at last!”
“That’s a nice hat.” said the chicken to the scarecrow.
Yes it is,” replied the scarecrow, “but I’d rather have a walking stick. I’ve been standing here for years now and my arms are so tired. I’d love a walking stick to lean on. I’d trade my hat for a walking stick any day.”
And so begins the story of how the chicken, who didn’t have a walking stick, but knew someone who did, managed to get a walking stick for the scarecrow. She did so by trading all sorts of different items with a variety of animals until she had a walking stick to give to scarecrow in exchange for the hat, which, she “would not trade for anything in the world.”
A scarecrow is made of borrowed bits- his clothes, his hat and even his button eyes, but he is more than just borrowed pieces. Scarecrow is wise from watching. From his perch he watches seeds grow into plants and the moon and the sun rise and set. He watches the owls in the evening and rabbits at dawn. He watches the seasons change, crops being harvested and gardens flourish from love and care. He is at peace.
Do you have a favorite scarecrow story?
© Boy Mama Teacher Mama 2014
All Rights Reserved