Friday, August 3, 2012

Barnyard Tales 8/1

What a fun-filled story time we had in the Luscher Farm's farmhouse this morning!! 

Started slowly with three little girls and a sleeping baby in grandma's arms, but then three more girls arrived. We even sang the welcome song, very softly, to the sleeping baby and declared it a "girls only" morning. We were wrong. Two boys arrived about halfway through story time to balance things out. Total of nine, ages ranging from maybe 10 months to 8-years-old. 

Henrietta Hen was in rare form this morning. She'd seen me dancing around the kitchen to the song "I Love You a Bushel and a Peck" from my Sing Along with Putumayo CD the other day. Asked if she could sing to the children to let them know how much she loves them. 

"Sure," I told her. "If you practice." She did. She also asked to recite the old tongue twister "Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers"--her idea of a good poem.  She wowed the kids with both. They were amazed at how fast her beak whipped out those words!! She taught the kids the chorus of the song so they could "doodle, oodle, oodle" along with her. She has kind of a croaky voice, but she sings with heart!!

As she practiced I remembered an old bushel basket I have. Hmmm, how much is a peck, I wondered? Discovered that a peck is 8 quarts so I brought the bushel basket and 8 quart jars filled with foodstuffs so we could see just how much Henrietta loves them and how many pepper Peter Piper had to pick. The song also talks about lovin' you "a barrel and a heap." A barrel is three bushels. We don't know how much a heap is, but it must be a lot!! Now we know how farmers measure produce. And the size of Henrietta's heart!

We read a couple of stories about gardens and tractors and then it was time for more excitement. A mom had brought "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. " She sang the song and held the old lady who, one by one. gobbled up the animals the children held. I strummed the autoharp and watched in wonder as the old lady swallowed, verse after verse, a fly, a spider (that wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her and kept doing so 'til the end!!), a bird, a cat, a dog, a goat, a cow and a horse. She died, of course!! 

But were we done with the fun? Nope. Still had a June Bug beetle in a jar to check out. I found this amazing insect in my home garden and captured it to show the kids. We made the chickens happy with flowering broccoli and bolting lettuce, peeked at the hundreds of starts in the CSA's greenhouse, and finished up checking out what's new and fascinating in the Children's Garden. 

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