Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story, “How Brigit Got Lands for the Poor”
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story “How Brigit Got Lands for the Poor.” Consider how you might tell it dramatically, perhaps using different voices for Brigit and the landowner. If you plan to invite volunteers to read these roles, copy the story or provide the online link so volunteers can prepare ahead of time.
- Optional: In the Find Out More section, read the reflections on Brigit’s power from The Moon in the Well (Peru, Illinois: Open Court/Carus, 2001), Erica Helm Meade’s book of wisdom tales, which includes this story. This may help you lead the group to discover what really caused the landowner’s miraculous change.
Description of Activity
Gather the group. Ask the children if anyone knows what “transformation” means. Affirm that “transformation” is another way to say “change.”
Say you will tell an old Celtic folk tale, from Ireland, and ask participants to notice what changes, or transformations, occur.
Tell the story.
When you are finished, invite volunteers to recount what happened in the story. Ask the group what changes they noticed. Affirm:
- The poor and hungry people got more land and therefore, more food.
- The landowner changed from selfish (greedy, uncaring, mean) to generous (kind, fair, nice).
- Things became more fair.
- Were any changes in the story miraculous? Why?
- When the landowner saw the stretched-out cape, why did he keep his agreement with Brigit? Why didn’t he just say she had tricked him, and get out of his agreement?
- Myths and fairy tales often are full of miraculous events. Do you think these events might have alternate, rational explanations?
- What do you think made the landowner change?
Affirm participants’ answers and explanations. Then, if no one has, suggest:
- I wonder if Brigit’s dramatic actions opened the landowner’s eyes to the people’s hunger; maybe he had not really noticed the problem before. Maybe the fire of justice inside Brigit made the change inside the landowner?
Can you think of any situations where your strong feeling about what’s fair could make a change inside someone else who doesn’t yet see the problem? How would you show your inner fire to them, the way Brigit stretched her cape?