Sweet Sue and Snuggly Thumper

A new arrival at the wildlife center left Sofi and I wondering what to do. We didn’t have any information about skunks in our Earthschooling curriculum! We had studied mammals and animals in general and we had touched on information about skunks. We had also read a number of fables and fairytales that had a few skunks here and there but an actual skunk? We didn’t know a lot about these creatures! Here is a picture  of Sofi with Thumper sleeping on her lap 🙂

To the rescue came an Earthschooling member Kimberly S. Earthschooling members are so full of amazing ideas and resources! She sent us a list of her favorite nature books and authors. She knew I didn’t want just ANY nature book! I wanted a nature book that was compatible with Waldorf principles, that honored the beauty and magical nature of the skunk. I didn’t want diagrams and glossy photos and skunk statistics 😉

Thus we discovered the wonderful Sam Campbell and his story Sweet Sue’s Adventures. This story lead us through six hikes with the skunk and taught us so much about “our own” skunk, Thumper, in the process! We even learned that skunks like to eat frogs, rabbits and butterflies and that the papa skunk will even eat his own babies if the mama does not protect them.

As always, to use this resource, we printed it out and made a “small folder book” from it. With stories like this Sofi and I usually read them together during a quiet time or before bed. I don’t want to lose the magic of the author’s style so we read it instead of me telling it. Children in the older grades of Waldorf need this mixture – a mixture of the teacher/parent telling stories and reading directly from good literature. I have included a picture here of us making our book. We print out the pages, punch holes in them with a three-hole punch and then put each book in a small folder.

This sweet story, intended for a younger audience, was actually perfect for Sofi (age 11) and I! We learned so much, in a beautiful way. We loved the descriptions he gave about the hikes. One really felt they were there with him. And now we are passing along that information to people who come into the wildlife center and ask about Thumper, “our skunk”. But sweet Thumper…I just can’t imagine that snuggly sweet doll of a mammal would eat a butterfly! LOL!

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