There was a very cute new little girl in group last night. She looked well dressed and well-cared for, smiled a lot, seemed very bright. Her story was about a bear who badly frightened a little girl at the park by “taking away her flowers.” The bear was only named, no description and his only “action” was to scare the little girl so much that she ran into the forest and never went home again.
Wow. In mutual storytelling, one technique I use to help kids bring up domestic violence and other issues, I tell a story after the child does. Mine starts with the same main characters in the same situation. Her story was unusual in that the first story kids tell usually has an unrealistically “happy” ending.
Hers told me that she did not feel protected at home, had so little trust that her mother would protect her that she would try to survive alone and in a strange place. Not to get too pychoanalytic, but flowers may refer to something else he has taken away, possibly sexual. Her "lesson" (the moral of the story) had little to do with her tale.
My story acknowledged the terrible bear, but my little girl ran to some teenagers for help. They called 911 and the police captured the bear and put him in a cage. My lesson? “Big bears who are bullies are breaking the law and need to be put in a cage.”
She smiled and nodded.‘