Robin Redbreast

Robin Redbreast
Birds can represent the fluttering, darting thoughts of intuition. This is why little birds helped Cinderella help herself.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cinderella #51 Big Foot Cinderrrrrrrella! (1998)

Beary-godfather waved his paw and an enormous pair of clogs appeared! 

Once upon a time, in California, “in an old-growth forest, a band of Bigfoots lived.  An enormous snag towered above the other trees close to their camp.  Inside its hollow balls of bark lived a dashing Bigfoot prince.  He was tall and dark as a Douglas fir—with feet like cedar stumps.  He was as odiferous as his tree-home was coniferous.  And so horrendously hairy that Bigfoot women near and far longed to marry him." He was also a nature lover.  “No pick flowerss!” he barked when he saw the girl Bigfoots making daisy chains.  Especially the Bigfoot woman who had three daughters.  The youngest was her stepchild.  “The daughters were puny little things with dinky feet, almost  furless as Bigfoots go, and as sour as little green berries.   They spent their days bathing and picking their teeth with fishbones and sleeking their fur with pincones.  For fun, they threw rocks at spotted owls.  The stepdaughter was just the opposite—nearly as wooly as a mammoth, golden as a banana slug, with fee like log canoes.  She loved nature and would harm no creature. “ All day, her stepsisters and her stepmother ordered her around the forest.  “The roared at her so much that everyone called her Rrrrrella. ‘Rrrrrella, fix fire!’  ‘Rrrrrella! Catch fish!" Big, gentle Rrrrrrella was so kind that one day, when she had been catching fish all day and throwing them into her basket, she let a hungry grizzly bear fill his belly with her fish.  When she came home with an empty basket, her family “rubbed their bellies and bellowed,’ Food! Food! Food!’ They forced her to fish all night.  Life went on like this for some while.  One day, they heard that it was time for the Bigfoot prince’s annual “fun-fest, with gifts and food, and games—like jump-the-fire, bear-cave hide-and-seek, and hurl the hemlock.  But logrolling was the favorite.  This year whichever woman rolled the prince off a log and into the river would become his wife. “  But when Rrrrrella asked to go along, “her sisters hooted so hard, they fell down. ‘You stay. Catch plenty fish.  We catch prince.” And with that, they left her all alone.  When she could no longer hear them crashing through the forest, she let her tears flow.  She wished aloud that she could join the fun-fest, and that’s when she heard  a voice! “Heartfelt wish is true wish," it growled gruffly, " And so, you go!’ Rrrrrella spun around.  She was staring at a bear, the very one she had given fish.  ‘Who you?’ she asked.  ‘Me you beary-godfather.’ Rrrrrella was overjoyed—then underjoyed...” Whatever would she wear?  The grizzly bear “swiped the air with a paw, and, instantly, an enormous pair of clogs appeared.  Rrrrrella tried them on.  They fit perfectly.  Then the grizzly waved a paw over her and —poof—the wildflowers she wore were dust.  He patted and matted her fur, and it tangled like the forest floor.   ‘Be back sundown!’ warned her beary-godfather as she skipped off happily, “shaking the whole forest as she went.”  When she got to the fun-fest, she saw a huge crowd.  All the Bigfoot clans were there, and all the Bigfoot girls tried to dunk the prince.  But no one could.   Finally, just as the prince was going to give up, Rrrrrella “bounded onto the log, pounding her chest and whooping, ‘ME DUNK PRINCE!’  Grunting with all her might, she spun the log like a big twig.  Then she gave it a twist and—floop!—the prince flopped into the river. ‘ Just then, Rrrrrella realized that the sun was setting! She fled, and “the prince lurched from the water, dripping and crushed.  His dream woman—shaggy as the forest flootr, smelly as a fish, and strong—was gone....he gnashed his mossy teeth. ‘Where my stinking beauty go?’  Then he saw one big bark clog.  Hers!  Now perhaps he could find his princess.   The prince shuffled from snag to snag, cave to cave, lugging the lost clog.  But though all the Bigfoot women tried it on, it was too large for anyone. “  That’s when Rrrrrella ran up yelling, “ ME! ME! ME!’ She did.  And her foot fit the clog like a seed in a pod.  When she pulled out its mate, the Bigfoot prince knew he’d found his bride.  He thumped his chest and roared with joy.  Soon there was a rowdy wedding in the old growth forest.  Everyone was invited.  Even Rrrrrella’s stepmother and stepsisters could come—if they followed these rules careful”
No pick flower.
No pull tree.
No kick royal family. "
Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella (Picture Puffins) By Johnston, T. Illustrated by Warhola, J. 

Notes: This is a very cute retelling, with a strong Northern California twist.  The reference to "throwing stones at spotted owls for fun" is partially explained in the glossary of California forest terminology.  The bird is idenified as an" Endangered bird dwelling chiefly in old-growth forests of California and the Pacific Northwest".  The part that is not mentioned is that the spotted owl became the poster child of the environmentalists trying to preserve the forest, and its image was used for target practice by the loggers who stood to lose work if they could not cut down trees.  
Montessori Connection 6-9: Botany/Seeds/Cones/Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir) and Sequoia sempervirens (California Redwood)
1. Read the story again and pay close attention to the pictures of trees.
2. Now go back and read the part that describes the "dashing Bigfoot prince" who is "as tall and dark as a Douglas fir".
3. Read the ending, where Rrrrrella's foot "fit like a seed in a pod". 
4. Learn about the Douglas Fir: Did you know that it grows to be as tall as 250 feet?
5. Learn about California's state tree, the Redwood. (Read:Redwoods) Did you know that it can grow to be 300 feet tall, yet it begins life as a cone that is only 3 cm. long?
Ages 9-12 Botany/Old Growth Forests/ Conservation of Species AND USA/Folklore of Pacific Northwest/ Legend of Bigfoot
1. Use the glossary at the beginning of the book to write sentences using these words: old-growth forest, deadfall, sapling. 
2. Learn about the Redwood forests of California: The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring, or Northern California nature Guide.