An Old Fashioned Small Town Parade!

"Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob'ly die in a small town
Oh, those small - communities..."
~ John Mellancamp

I love living in a small town. Oh, I hated growing up in one....but when I was older, I found the benefit of it and wanted to raise my children in one.

I thought I'd show you the parade in my small town, this last Memorial Day. You don't see stuff like this everyday :)

Yes, John Mellencamp knew what he was talking about.... :)

"Educated in a small town
Taught to fear Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another born romantic that's me

But I've seen it all in a small town
Had myself a ball in a small town

No I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be

Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who's in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, that's good enough for me

Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in a small town
Ah, that's prob'ly where they'll bury me"

Merry Mischief Civil and Medieval School Shows :)

Hey Ho~

Just thought I'd share some of the fun stuff that we do for our school programs.
We had a very fun week last week, full of history and costuming, song and story!

At Gorham Elementary we played there and did our show "Songs of the Civil War" and wanted to show you a pic or two of that. We had a fun time there, and this is our 3rd year there doing this program. The Gorham Historical Society helps to put on a day for the students and they are very knowledgeable and also dress up for the kids (next year, if they do it again, I will be sure to get more pics of them!)

Here is our setup for that....
It is mind-boggling to me that an overwhelming majority of children these days are not acquainted with traditional American folk music. I mean, such standards as: "Old Grey Mare", "Polly Wolly Doodle", "Dixie", "Goober Peas" and "Beautiful Dreamer" are brand new songs for them! We do these and many more including Lincoln's Campaign Song! This is our Merry Mischief way of bringing old music forward and keeping it going! We commend this school and their community's Historical Society for caring enough to keep kids learning and having fun with History!!

Hey, wait.....
Who's that old guy? :)

We bring music and dolls and folklore to help tell some of the history of the day.
Oh, and check out those flags. That is a replica 36 star flag from 1861....not the one we have today.

The following day found us even further back in time at one of our favorite schools to play at. Martha Brown Middle School in Fairport! They have an Annual Medieval Days for their students and we've been there for many years now and are always grateful to be asked back again. This school is phenomenal! The teachers AND the students all get into the spirit of the event and dress up too!

Check out this school's team spirit!

 Here is our Merry Mischief Stage setup for this day's events:

 Some fun props....including Ratty for the Black Plague.....

This is a Model School and I wish more schools were like it.
Their Music and Arts programs are tops. And the reason is because of a great Parent-Teachers Association with involved and caring Parents that support the Teachers and the school. But check out these teachers!
How's this for modeling participation?

Aren't they AWESOME???

Truly a fun day had by ALL!

StoryBook Club follows The Pied Piper of Hamelin!

It was a lovely night last night when our StoryBook Club met at Alissa's home....
She laid out a lovely table and made us feel really welcome!
But wait....
Did you hear that noise?
Was that the sound of rats in the wall?

In the pantry?

In the Living Room?
In the Kitchen?

In the bathroom?

Ratties, ratties EVERYWHERE!

Maybe we should start finding out how to get rid of them? How about calling an Exterminator?
What we need here is a RATTY MINSTREL!

 How about calling THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN?

Evidently, there was....
Once Upon a Time.....
a town called Hamelin with a very big problem.
A rat infestation. Rats were everywhere! So all the townspeople got together and went to their Mayor and asked him to fix their problem. After all, wasn't he eating well because of their taxes??

So the Mayor was considering it, when in walks this stranger who says he can erradicate (erRATicate?) their problem no worries! It will only cost a 100 guilders. The Mayor happily agrees to the price.

The Pied Piper, dressed in his fancy Minstrel Clothes, starts piping a tune. The music draws all the rats and mice to follow him happily out of town. When he gets to the river, the Piper stops and all the vermin jump in and drown! A magickal feat of music for sure! After doing his part of the bargain, the Pied Piper goes on to collect his fee. Well, the Mayor has since changed his mind and no longer wants to "Pay the Piper" (as it were) and renigs on his agreement. Really? Are you sure?
Yah, the Mayor is sure. Now that the rats are gone, the issue is not as important as the money.
The Piper then proceeds to pipe again. Does he bring back the ratties?
He instead, pipes his song and the children of the town are now following him out of the village....
far, far away....and never seen again!

We pondered this German Folk Tale and researched many versions that were out there. Some of the additional information includes the possibilities: Were the Children were lured away by a Pedophile? Or that they were also drowned?  Or maybe it was just a metaphor for Death and maybe that a plague claimed the children? Or maybe the "Children" were just a metaphor for a bunch of townspeople that emmigrated? Did the children go off on "The Children's Crusade in 1212" to the Holy Land to convert people to Christianity? Did the corrupt government sell off the children??

No one knows.
Something to note:
The "Rats" were an element that were actually added to the story many many years after the original too.

And here's the thing. The Pied Piper of Hamelin DID HIS JOB.
He did his part of the bargain.
He only wanted his fair payment.
Why is he always made out to be the bad guy here?

What does this story TEACH US?

There were a couple of other reoccurring themes.....

1) Always keep your Word and Promises!!

2) Don't trust spoiled Government officials.

3) Always get a signed contract instead of a handshake. 
      (this was told to me by a 10 year old after she read the story at my house :)

4) And for God's sake.....Don't Piss off the Minstrel :)

We sure had fun and ate well though!
There were all kinds of decadent delights, (enough to tempt a spoiled Mayor!)

German Potato Salad, Crusty Bread, Fruit, Cookies, Wine Pie and
Cheese, Cheese, Cheese, Cheese! (for the ratties :)

Next Month we will turn our sights on....
Till then....
Make sure you PAY THE PIPER!
And if you don't?

Well........hey....just ask the people of Hamelin.....