And the god, who was that great eagle, seeing the little parrot flying through the flames, thought suddenly of his own privileged kind. He could see them high up above. There they were, the carefree gods, laughing and talking, while many animals cried out in pain and fear from the flames below. And he grew ashamed. Then one single desire was kindled in his heart. God though he was, he just wanted to be like that brave little parrot, and to help.
“I will help!” he exclaimed and, flushed with these new feelings, he began to weep. Stream after stream of sparkling tears poured from his eyes. Wave upon wave, they washed down like cooling rain upon the fire, upon the forest, upon the animals and upon the little parrot himself. The flames died down and the smoke began to clear. The little parrot, washed and bright, rocketed about the sky laughing for joy. “Now that’s more like it!” he exclaimed.
The eagle’s tears dripped from burned branches. Smoke rose up from the scorched earth. Miraculously, where those tears glistened, new life pushed forth — fresh shoots, stems, and leaves. Green grass pushed up from among the still glowing cinders.
Where the teardrops sparkled on the parrot’s wings, new feathers now grew. Red feathers, green feathers, yellow feathers — such bright colors! Such a handsome bird!
All the animals looked at one another in amazement. They were whole and well. Not one had been harmed. Up above in the clear blue sky they could see their brave friend, the little parrot, looping and soaring in delight. When all hope was gone, somehow he had saved them. “Hurray!” they cried. “Hurray for the brave little parrot and for the miraculous rain!”
(From The Hungry Tigress as told by Rafe Martin. Parallax Press, Berkeley California, 1990.)
Parallel Universe seeks to engage children in science through stories. Both science and storytelling connect individuals to the world around them, fostering a deeper understanding of who we are, how we came to be here and what happened and continues to happen around us.
Scientific investigation and storytelling both encourage the use of creativity to imagine and explore different possibilities for human beings and their surroundings and this is what these sessions capture. Each storytelling workshop will begin and end with a story told by the storyteller, exposing the children to tales from all over the world. In between, the children will explore the stories in more depth through role play and reinterpretation, note-taking and drawing. They will also participate in a collective telling of the stories through the use of sound, movement and colour.
Each child will be given a copy of the story to take home and retell to their home (or broader) community. The experience will also allow them to be part of a storytelling circle that empowers individuals to reimagine and retell old stories, giving them new possible meanings. The process of becoming wise is one in which old knowledge is received in appreciation and used to craft new meaningful ideas that are shared.
Through this ‘Parallel Universe’ project the children are empowered to take ownership of the stories and science that they engage with and in this way learning develops into leading change where it is necessary. This format allows participants to explore different solutions to the same problem and to realise that the problem can be solved in many different, surprising and unusual ways. It fosters divergent thinkers and trailblazers.
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org