The Little Gnome
Who Had To Stay Home
August 5th, 2020
This story was written by Susan Perrow for use with young children who are required to stay home during the current C-19 pandemic. It may be changed to suit the unique needs of your family. Perhaps mother tree will become grandmother tree, or little gnome will become a little mouse who gets stuck in her home.
LITTLE GNOME WAS confused. Why did she have to stay home? Didn’t everyone know how little gnomes love to roam! She couldn’t go to gnome school, she couldn’t play with her friends in the forest, and her friends couldn’t visit her.
Little Gnome was stuck in her tree-root home. At least she could look out her window through the rocks and the tree roots. She was surprised that there was so much to see. Little ants were scurrying by, brightly colored beetles were climbing up and down the fallen leaves and floppy eared rabbits were hopping in and out of their burrows.
But even with all these things to watch, Little Gnome was growing impatient. Why did she have to keep on staying home? It didn’t make sense to her why she could not roam.
Then Mother Tree whispered to her: ‘Things are not as they used to be - but trust me - soon you will be free - trust me, trust me.’
Little Gnome knew in her heart that she could always trust Mother Tree. Mother Tree carried the wisdom of the whole forest! Mother Tree knew all about everything. The birds and the wind were her friends and messengers. They visited her every day sharing the news of the big wide world. Little Gnome could hear when the birds came by. She could hear them singing high up in the branches of Mother Tree. Little Gnome could see when the wind was visiting. She could see the branches swaying this way and that. She sometimes had to close her window to keep out the leaves and dust stirred up by this busy friend!
Everyday Mother Tree continued to whisper to her: ‘Things are not as they used to be - but trust me - soon you will be free - trust me, trust me.’
So Little Gnome had to trust, and Little Gnome had to wait. Soon she knew she would be free again to leave her home amongst the rocks and tree roots. Soon she knew she would be free to roam once again in the beautiful forest. And while she waited, she was surprised how many things she could find to do in her cosy little tree root home.
Little Gnome can dance
Little Gnome can sing
Little Gnome can paint and draw
And do somersaults across the floor.
Little Gnome can dance
Little Gnome can sing
Little Gnome can clean and cook
And curl up with a picture book.
Kiara playing out the story of The Little Gnome Who Had To Stay Home.
This is a comforting story I encourage you to tell your child. You can lay Playsilks over your chest and lap to create a puppet theater and use a small doll or finger puppet. It’s a simple way to tell stories that children respond well to. They may take their own little gnome and play out their own little dramas, helping themselves cope with the changes that are happening in their own lives. I told the story with a brown and a green Playsilk and a little gnome.
For anyone new to ‘story medicine’, stories can help navigate the emotions that come with different kinds of loss and challenging situations. By allowing rather than resisting the truth, and by dressing it with the fabric of the imagination, stories can help the process of weaving the truth into everyday life, especially with young children.
Note: I have chosen to write this story with a 'mirroring' structure - the story simply reflects the situation and expands upon it with images that help share a message that is too strong to state directly with little children. I haven't promised
any timeline because that would be irresponsible as no one knows it at this stage. The story’s aim is to encourage acceptance of the current ‘social distancing’ situation, and to help motivate the children to find and enjoy activities that they can do within the home.
This story will be included in the 'loss of health and well-being’ section in my next book, entitled, 'Stories to Light the
Night: A Grief and Loss Collection for Children, Families and Communities' (due to be published late 2020 by Hawthorn
Press, UK) – the book will have more than 80 stories in different sections ..... stories for the loss of a loved one, loss of
place, loss of family connection, loss of a pet, loss of health and well-being, loss of trust, and environmental grief and loss.
Susan Perrow © 2020 – www.susanperrow.com