Earth Action Stories: A Rainbow for Spider Boy and Butterfly Girl
my grandchildren. Come with me on a great trip."
In this, the spring of his 65th year on Earth, Flying Eagle heard a calling. He knew it was time to thank Mother Sky for her gifts.
And what gifts they were, he told his grandchildren, Spider Boy and Butterfly, as they walked through the day over rolling hills, across open plains, through tree-filled valleys and into the night to a great bay.
One gift was the Wind Voicesthe cooling gust and its much-loved cousin, the warm breeze.
Another gift was Coloring Mistthe soft warm rain now falling, the biting snow that covered the winter ground, the rolling streams, and the deep lakes.
The other gift was Earth Warmththe rich soil that had supplied Flying Eagle and his people with tasty plants for many years.
"I will introduce you to Mother Sky," Flying Eagle assured the children.
When they reached the bay that night, the great water in the bay was dancing at the call of the wind. Large high clouds were dropping a soft, misty rain from the darkened night sky.
"There will be better nights. The sky has many clouds," Mother Fawn Racer had told her husband before he had left, but Flying Eagle would not hear of it.
"The Wind Voices are calling me to the water," he replied.
Flying Eagle took Spider Boy and Butterfly Girl out into the bay on a small canoe they had brought. The air still smelled sweet from lightning that afternoon. The night was comfortable and warm.
Spider Boy paddled the canoe. How proud he felt, providing the energy for his grandfather's journey. "I am just like a grown hunter or fisher," he thought. Soon, he would be.
His small movements glided the canoe in the shallow bay with barely a sound. Butterfly Girl sat in front holding a cedar branch, a gift for Mother Sky. Mother Fawn Racer had braided her granddaughter's hair before the trip. Her braids moved in time with the paddle as it stroked the water.
"The glow of Full Moon is there, in the eastern sky," Flying Eagle told his grandchildren. With his words the clouds seemed to part as a shaken blanket. There it was.
Full Moon was richly bright. It sent shimmers of light across the water. Full Moon was a proud and loyal partner to Earth.
Butterfly Girl squealed with delight. "Look!" she exclaimed.
Arcing across Mother Sky to the west was a lunar rainbow. The colors were faint and delicate.
"Such rainbows are rare gifts from Mother Sky," Flying Eagle told them. He had seen one only once before, when he was a small child.
"It is now time," Flying Eagle told his grandchildren.
With that Butterfly Girl smiled, then leaned over the front of the canoe. She gently laid the cedar branch on the Great Water.
Her brother, Spider Boy, smiled too. He knew in his heart that the coming summer would be special. He would become a great hunter. The lunar rainbow was his sign. He would be forever grateful to the Full Moon of Mother Sky.
As their canoe approached the shore, Butterfly Girl turned for a final glance at the night sky over the Great Water. She could see the cedar branch as it topped the crest of a small wave.
"Mother Sky will reach down and touch the sweet cedar in the distance where the sky and the water meet," Flying Eagle told her.
Butterfly Girl looked to the sky. She had seen the gentle side of a great chief, her grandfather. Her heart was forever warmed. She would see all things differently now.
In a whisper she breathed, "Thank you, Mother Sky."
Earth System Earth Action Problem 1: Seasonal Picnic (K-2)
Your class is going on a picnic to celebrate the change of seasons. How should you prepare? What clothes should you wear. What food is available this time of year? How would seasonal changes in the air, water, land, and living things affect your picnic?
Earth System Earth Action Problem 2: Where Did the Birds Go? (3-4)
Your class set up a bird feeder outside the window to your room. Each day you watch the pretty birds flitter around the feeder. One December morning you saw a bright red bird. You realized all of the other birds you had watched in September were gone, and new ones were at the feeder. What happened to the birds that were there this fall? Where did the new ones come from? How would changes in the air, water, and land affect the types of birds you see at the feeder?
Earth System Earth Action Problem 3: How Does Your Garden Grow? (3-4)
Every spring Sammy's grandmother plants a vegetable garden. Every autumn she harvests the vegetables. How do air temperature, soil, and water affect how the garden grows? How do they affect when Sammy's grandmother plants and harvests her garden?
Earth action story written by Regina Wolterman. Artwork by Anne Foreman.