Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Story of the Autumn Leaf Sprites...

One of the books sitting by my bed is Susan Perrrow's, Healing Stories for Challenging Behaviour. Many of you may have heard of it, if not read it. 

My littlest step daughter recently enjoyed picking the leaves off this little frangipani tree, which already doesn't have many leaves. I did very sweetly explain that the little tree was getting awfully cold, however that didn't seem to work and the leaf picking continued. 

So I made up a story...

Sprites have one very important job, going around and changing the colors of a tree's leaves in autumn. This as well as the leaf picking, was my inspiration. 

We repeated the story for two nights (and would have continued however the girls were due to go home). On the second night we did the story by candle light, the two girls, my husband and I all sitting on a rug on the floor.  

Very brief summary.....

The story is about a little boy who likes to pick the leaves off the trees in his garden. (now at this point I thought the littlest one would look at me with some kind of understanding about why I had written the story, however.... nothing - she was just fascinated! such innocence) 

After checking the trees in his neighbours garden he is even more confused
Until one night he has a dream, about the autumn leaf sprites...these little folk sing a little verse over and over in the dream. Night after night the little boy has the same dream, and eventually the little boy realises why the leaves in their garden have not turned red. Needless to say that he never picked the leaves again!

I made up a little verse to sing throughout the story 

"The autumn sprites come out at night
From stem to tip in they slip
They hold their sleeves and paint the leaves
While your in bed they paint them red"

In the story the little boys' mother gave him a leaf 'necklace' to remind him not to pick the leaves...
Here is one I made for the girls.

Here are the other little props I made for the story...

Some felt leaves. I placed the two leaves together and wWile singing the verse, I used the paint brush (a toothpick wrapped with autumn coloured cotton and some coloured fleece) to paint the green leaf and then turned it over the pink/red leaf. very simple, yet very effective! 

After the third time I sung, the girls were taking turns to do the painting for me!

Story is really worth the effort, don't you think?


  1. What a wonderful story, and a gentle and friendly way to inspire mindfulness about the tree. Your creations to go with the story are wonderful, and you're right that story-telling is very much worth the effort! From Kathy at

  2. Oh my goodness. I LOVE what you have done here! What a fabulous, loving, and creative mama you are. Just this weekend I photographed some unauthorized "plant art" that my two oldest girls created. Sigh. I just may adapt your story to fit the circumstances here.


  3. what a beautiful and meaningful story. I love the pretty little props you made for it to bring the story to life

  4. I love your leaf sprites...your energy and creativity are boundless! beautiful story, poor little frangipani.
    They remind me (when they are little) of gorilla thumbs (not the leaves - the branches)

  5. Beautiful story... beautiful leaves...

  6. You are so patient, this story is truly inspiring & reminds me of the power of story to guide our children!

  7. How beautiful! I've been wanting to get that book.


Thanks for your sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you and will respond to any questions in the comments sections. Natalie

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