A Native American Legend
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Long ago, the Birds had no songs.
Only Man could sing, and every morning,
Man would greet the rising Sun with a song.
This is a Native legend that tells the story of how the birds were given song, and most especially how it came about that the Hermit Thrush was given the loveliest song of all. It is so beautifully retold that you can almost hear the voice of the storyteller as you read the words. The line drawings are heartfelt and exquisite.
As if this were not enough to recommend it, this little booklet is simply perfect for the Waldorf 4th Grade biology block, and in the US, also the section of the geography block that concerns Native culture. In addition to its very beautiful legend, there is a chapter at the end on “The Natural History of the Hermit Thrush” that paints a wonderful picture of the life and ways of this little bird, along with its basic biology and nature. The legend and this addtional information combine to make a meaningful and vibrant introduction to the nature of birds and life itself.
Farther back in the book is a listing of the seasonal ceremonies of the Mohawk people, which could easily form the basis for conveying the Native cultural impulse to 4th graders as part of their geography block and throughout the year.
Sacred Song of the Hermit Thrush is a gem that can resonnate in every child’s heart, with or without Waldorf education. The fact it fits perfectly within the Waldorf curriculum simply echoes the beauty of the human heart through the world. I can’t tell you how much I hope that many, many children will be able to hear and learn this story, and how much I hope it inspires many, many adults to offer it to the coming generations.