Alphabet Path Drawings

Alphabet Path Drawings

Our journey along the alphabet path continues and I have some drawings to share with you! These are the drawings I share with my boy as I read the story. Then he draws them into his own book. I must give credit to the sources that have inspired my drawings. I have enjoyed using the Christopherus 1st Grade Syllabus and the Waldorf Alphabet Book.
I would love to hear about your alphabet path adventures! Leave a comment. Share your blog. Enjoy the path!

Door in the Mountain
Door in the Mountain
Eagle & Egg
Eagle & Egg
Feather
Feather
Golden Goose
Golden Goose
Mother Holle's  Hut
Mother Holle’s Hut
Igloo
Igloo
Jester
Jester
King
King
Lady
Lady
Mountain
Mountain
Needle & Thread
Needle & Thread
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More of the Adventurous Alphabet Path

More of the Adventurous Alphabet Path

Sorry it has been so quiet around here lately. A certain little baby girl hasn’t slept well for a few weeks and it has slowed my writing down just a bit.  But I do have more of the story to share with you.  I am including all of the segments for letters G through W.  The pictures and booklist are still in progress but I hope to get those up very soon!

GHI

Russell couldn’t believe his eyes.  He had expected the world inside the mountain to be dark and dreary, but instead, he found a world sparkling in ice and jewels.  And as soon as he had closed the door behind him, he was greeted by the guardian of this sparkling world, a gentle white horse.

“Welcome,” said the horse.  “We have been expecting you.”

“You have?” said Russell in a puzzled tone.

“Yes.  The people of this mountain have heard that a boy, strong and brave and kind-hearted, will pass through their land.  They have also heard that he will need shelter and rest before he continues on his journey.  Is that true?”

“Oh, yes, it is,” replied Russell.  “I have come a long way already and I am tired.”

“Then come with me,” nodded the horse.

Russell followed the horse through winding passageways shining with ice and jewels until they came to a ledge.  Far below, Russell could see a village.  A shining, sparkling village.  They paused only for a moment and the horse led him on, down the winding, glittery path to the village.

When they arrived, the people of the village surrounded him.  With smiling faces, they welcomed him.
“We are so glad you are here,” they cheered.  “Welcome! Welcome!”
Russell did not know what to say.  He was so overjoyed at the comfort he felt in this place.

After some time of greeting the villagers, the horse turned to Russell and said,
“You must be very tired.  Come with me to my home.  There you can rest.”

“Thank you,” said Russell.  “You are very kind.”

So Russell, again, followed the horse and in a short time, they stood before the door of a domed house made of ice.

“Welcome to my igloo,” said the horse.  “I hope you will find it warm and comfortable.”

“I am sure that I will,” said Russell as he ducked his head and went inside.

An igloo seemed like a strange home for a horse, but once inside, Russell could see exactly why the horse liked it so much.  It was warm and bright and very spacious.  Russell looked around taking in all the sights of this new place.  And there, seated beside a table made of ice, was a goose.  A golden goose.  The horse saw that Russell had noticed the goose.

“This is my friend, the golden goose.  She came to our village after being chased by a greedy man who wanted her eggs.  He had almost caught her when she found the door to our village and came inside, just like you.  And she has lived here ever since.”

“Oh, that is wonderful,” said Russell.

Just then, Russell noticed that one of the goose’s eggs had rolled out of her nest.  Carefully, he picked it up expecting it to be delicate and fragile, but instead, what he held in his hands felt like a stone.  It was heavy and glowing gold.  It was a golden egg!  Russell had heard of golden eggs but had never held one in his own hands.  It was beautiful.  Now he understood why the greedy man had wanted her eggs, but Russell was not like the greedy man at all.  He placed the egg back in the nest and turned back to the horse.

“What do you do with all the eggs,” Russell asked.

The horse looked at Russell with a smile and said, “We gather them together and once there are enough, we take them into the village below the mountain and buy food and clothes for the people there who are in need.”

“What a blessing!” exclaimed Russell.  “When my journey is done, I would love to help you with this good work that you do.”

“Certainly,” replied the horse.  “We would love for you to accompany us.”

Suddenly, Russell yawned.

“You must be tired,” said the horse.  He led Russell to a little room to the back of the igloo that was warmed by an oil lamp.  Upon the floor was a soft mound of hides, and atop that was a pile of blankets woven from the softest, warmest sheep’s wool.  Russell climbed upon the bed and rubbed his sleepy eyes, but sleep would not come, for the day’s adventures had been very exciting.

“May I tell you a story to help you settle in?” asked the horse in a soothing voice.

“That would be lovely,” replied Russell.

And so the horse began….”Once upon a time…..” (Tell the story of Mother Holle. You may want to read this through first and then share it in your own words.)

************************

JKLM

When Russell woke in the morning, he was delighted to see the horse again.  He had so enjoyed the story of Mother Holle, and he was happy to have the horse as company during breakfast.

“My dear friend,” said the horse as they finished eating.  “I know you still have a long journey ahead of you.  As soon as you are ready I will lead you from our village to the top of the mountain and show you the path you must take.”

“Thank you,” replied Russell.  “You have been so kind to me.”

As soon as Russell had readied himself, he and the horse left the sparkling ice village and followed the tunnels that led to the top of the mountain.  From their view, they could see far and wide.  They could see how the mountain peaks rose high and how the valleys bowed low.  They could see, off at a great distance, a castle, not the one from which Russell had left, but the castle of another king, who was also kind and generous.

“You must make it to that castle before the sun sets on this day,” explained the horse.  “There you will find a safe place to rest for the night.”

“I do not know how to repay you for your kindness,” said Russell.

“Your thanks is enough.  Now, go, the journey is long and the day is short.”

With that, Russell waved good bye and set his feet upon the path.  Up and down the mountain peaks he went all the while keeping his eyes on the sun.  He wanted to make sure that he reached the castle in time.   He did not want to spend the night in the woods on this mountain.

He stopped to rest only for a short time and to refresh himself with some water and food from his pouch.  Still, the sun seemed to travel across the sky faster than he could travel the path to the castle.  But as the sun melted beyond the horizon in the painted sky of dusk, Russell knocked upon the tall door of the castle.

Immediately, it swung open and he was greeted by the court jester!  He was such a happy sight as Russell’s fears of the day melted away with the sun.

The jester bounced and sang, “Welcome!  Welcome!”

“Thank you,” said Russell smiling.  “I am so happy to be here!”

“Come with me and I will take you to the king.”

Russell followed the cart-wheeling jester right to the door of king’s throne room.  There, the jester stopped his boisterous behavior and quietly opened the door.  Russell, too, quieted himself as he stepped inside.  There, to the side of the room, knelt a lady, dressed in beautiful robes.  And at the front of the room was the king.

At once, the king stood and stretched out his hand to greet Russell.  Still without saying a word, Russell shook the king’s hand and smiled.  The lady continued to kneel as if she were a statue.

The king motioned for Russell to follow him to the next room.  As they entered, Russell found a large table full of delicious foods.  The king pulled out a chair for Russell and the two sat down to eat.

“Please, excuse my wife for not greeting you,” said the king.  “She has been praying day and night for the princess.”

“I understand,” said Russell.  “And I thank you for welcoming me here.  I will sleep safely and continue on my journey as soon as the sun returns in the morning.”

“That is well,” said the king.  “Please enjoy your meal and then I will show you to your sleeping chamber.”

And so, Russell and the king ate a quiet meal together, until at last, Russell yawned.  The king led him to a beautiful room where Russell could sleep undisturbed.  Thanking the king, Russell politely said good night and closed the door.  His tired could not stay open any longer, and so Russell climbed into bed and fell fast asleep.

***************************

NOPQ

Russell was startled from his sleep by a knock at the door.  Sleepily, he opened the door.  There stood the praying lady, the queen, but this time she was wearing her crown.

“The king told me of your arrival,” said the queen.  “And I wanted to thank you myself for taking this journey.”

“You are welcome,” said Russell.  “And I thank you for your constant prayer for the princess.”

“Oh, I do not only pray for the princess, but for you as well.  For your safety and for the keeper of healing, that he may give you the best remedy for the girl’s recovery.”  As she spoke, she noticed that Russell’s pouch hanging on the chair beside the door.  It was torn and one of the golden keys lay on the floor.

“Oh, Russell!  Your golden key!  Your pouch!”

Russell looked down and his eyes grew wide.  He knew he could not complete his journey without the golden keys.

“I will fix it for you,” said the queen, and she ran down the hallway.

In just a moment, she returned with a needle and thread, and at once, she set to work repairing the pouch.  As she did so, Russell readied himself for the day’s journey.  He knew it would be another long day and he worried that he would lose his way.

Sensing his worry, the queen asked, “What troubles you, my dear boy?”

“I am afraid I will lose my way.  I have never been this far from home,” he said.

“Remember,” said the queen.  “Your angel is with you always.”

“Yes, you are right,” said Russell.  “I sometimes forget.”

Just then, they heard footsteps in the hall.  Russell looked at the queen.

“It is my son, the prince,” she said reassuringly.  “He would like to accompany you on your journey today.”

“Hello,” said the prince.

“Hello,” replied Russell.  “I am honored that you will be joining me today.”

“It is my honor,” said the prince.  “And I know this part of the way very well.”

“Then, it is an answer to my prayer!” exclaimed Russell.

The queen smiled and handed the mended pouch to Russell.

“Let us leave at once,” said the prince.

And so, Russell and the prince said goodbye to the queen and left castle just as the sun floated up into the eastern sky.

Again, Russell, this time along with the prince, traveled as quickly as he could.  And again, the sun seemed to move even more quickly across the sky.  At last, the sun set in the western sky and Russell and the prince made camp for the night.

The darkness made Russell uneasy and when an owl sang out its hooting call, he jumped.

“Let us call to our angels,” suggested the prince.

“You have an angel, too?” asked Russell.

“Yes.  Each and every person has an angel to guide and guard.”

Russell smiled and he and the prince began to sing, “Angel, Angel, spread your wings right here.  Angel, Angel send away my fear.”

As they sang, the darkness seemed to lighten and beside them came the angels with wings spread wide like a shelter from the night.

“We are here,” the angels said together. “And we have brought for you, Russell, another golden key.”

“Thank you,” he said as he held it in his hands.  By the fire’s light, he could see the letter O engraved upon it.

“I will keep it safe with the others,” he said placing the key in his pouch.

“Now, sleep,” said the angels.  “We will guard you as you rest.”

With those words, Russell and the prince fell fast asleep.

**********************

RST

In the morning, Russell and the prince woke to the sound of the breeze dancing through the leaves of the trees.  It was a beautiful morning.

“It is such a beautiful morning,” said Russell smiling.

“Yes, it is,” replied the prince.  “It is unfortunate that I cannot continue on with you, for it will be a splendid day.  But I gave Mother my word that I would return on the second day.”

“Then you must go,” said Russell.  “I thank you for your guidance this far.”

“Before I go, I want to show you one more thing.”

Russell and the prince climbed to the top of a small knoll.  From there, they could see far and wide, and to Russell’s surprise, they could see a river winding its way through the land.

Immediately, Russell began to worry.  He could not swim very well and there was no other way to get to the keeper of healing, except across the river.

The prince noticed the fearful look on Russell’s face.

“What is it, my friend?” he asked.

“The river.  I do not know how I will cross it.  I can only swim but a little bit and the river is wide,” he explained.

“Do not fear,” said the prince.  “That is why I brought you here.  Do you see that beautiful tree with the shimmering leaves?  That one right down by the water’s edge?”

The prince pointed and Russell’s gaze followed until he saw the tree and its shimmering leaves.  In his fear, he had not seen it at first.

“There,” continued the prince, “lives a swan.  Find her and she will help you across the river.”

“Thank you,” said Russell with a sigh of relief.

“You are welcome.  Now I must be going.  Safe travels, my friend,” replied the prince.

“And to you,” said Russell.

With that the two parted ways, headed on in their own journeys.  Russell traveled through the day until he came to the tree where the swan was said to rest, but she was not there.  Russell decided to sit and wait for her.  He waited and waited but the swan did not come.  He began to worry again.  What if she did not come?  What if he could not continue on his journey?  What if he could not bring back the remedy to heal the princess?

As he sat beneath the tree thinking these thoughts, his eyes began to grow heavy.  He was so tired from his long journey so far.  His eyelids fluttered closed and Russell began to dream….. He dreamed of the little girl and the star money, just like the story his father used to tell him at bedtime….. (Tell “The Star Money”)

The dream was lovely.  So lovely, that as Russell began to awaken, he felt as though he were floating.  He felt warm from his head to his toes, and he felt something soft and smooth beneath his fingertips.  He opened his eyes, expecting to see the shimmering leaves of the tree up above him, but instead he saw the afternoon sun and water all around him.  He sat up with a gasp.  Then, just as suddenly, he sighed relief.  He was floating across the water in the warmth of the sun on the back of the swan.  She had seen him asleep beneath the tree and had known right away that he was the boy on the journey for the king.  And so, she scooped him up upon her back and glided into the water.

When they reached the other side of the river, Russell slid off the swan’s back onto the shore.

“Thank you,” said Russell. “I could not have continued on my journey without your help.”

“You are welcome,” said the swan. “Blessings to you as you continue on.”

With those simple words, Russell smiled and walked on.

***************************

UVW

Russell had walked and walked without much happening or much to see when all of a sudden he slipped.  Down, down, down he fell!  Tumbling past the trees and rocks along the path.  And just when he thought his tumbling would end, he fell into a hole, a dark, dark hole.  He was so afraid!  Fortunately, he did not fall much further.  He landed in a heap and quickly felt around to make sure he still had his pouch.  With relief, he felt it by his side and heard the four keys jingling inside.

Now, his thoughts turned to how he would get out of this hole.  Up ahead, he saw a faint light.  He crawled toward it.  It shone brighter and brighter until finally, Russell looked up and saw the blue sky and sun overhead.  This hole had been nothing but a small tunnel under the earth.  Russell climbed up and out of the tunnel.

“Phew!  That was a close one,” chuckled Russell to himself.

“Yes, it was!” responded a voice.

Russell was startled.  He looked around and didn’t see anyone.

“Who’s there?” he asked hesitantly.  From behind a tree, shyly stepped a unicorn.

“It is I,” said the unicorn.  “My name is Ursula.”

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Ursula.  I am Russell.”

Sensing that Russell was a kind boy, Ursula stepped further into the sunlight.  Russell saw that this unicorn was beautiful but she looked sad.  And then he noticed that her horn had a cut right down the middle.

“What happened to your horn?” asked Russell.

“I cut it when I was helping a little girl climb up the mountain.  A large rock, came tumbling down and I protected the girl with my body.  We were fortunate that the rock rolled past us, but it made other smaller rocks slide down the mountain.  One of them slid right down and cut my horn just like you see it.”

“Oh, that is terrible,” said Russell.

“What is worse is that until it is healed, I cannot fly,” said Ursula.

“You must come with me to the keeper of healing,” said Russell.  “He will surely be able to help you.”

“That would be wonderful,” said Ursula.  “Let us go together.”

And so, the two new friends traveled on.  They made their way into the valley and up the other side until they came to a lake.  As they stood on the shore, the wind began to blow and swirl around them making large waves in the lake.  Russell and Ursula were frightened.

“What shall we do,” asked Ursula.  Without even answering, Russell began to sing.

“Angel, Angel, spread your wings right here.  Angel, Angel send away my fear.”

And there, like always, appeared Russell’s guardian angel.

“I am here, Russell.  How can I help you?”

“We need to cross this lake, but the waves and the wind make it too dangerous,” explained Russell.

“Then you must rest here tonight,” said the angel.

“Very well,” Russell agreed, and he turned to Ursula.  “Is that well with you?”

“Yes,” said Ursula.  “I am weary and a rest will do us both some good.”

And so, Ursula and Russell made themselves comfortable for the night and fell fast asleep.

In the morning, they woke to find themselves on the other side of the lake and a golden key lay beside Russell.  It had a U engraved on it.  Russell placed it in the pouch with the other four keys and smiled.  He now had all five keys.  Then he looked up and even though he could not see his angel, he said,

“Thank you!  For everything!”

The Adventurous Alphabet Path Story (D,E,F)

The Adventurous Alphabet Path Story (D,E,F)

Here is the second part of The Adventurous Alphabet Path story. I will be back soon with the pictures, booklist, and more of the story. If you’ve decided to travel the alphabet path with us this year, I’d love to hear from you!

DEF

Russell left the castle in the early morning as the sun was just peeking out above the treetops.  He followed the path that led up the mountain.  He knew that if he followed this path, he would come to a hidden door.  And behind that door was another path that would shorten his journey.  But before he could get to the door, he had to pass the dragon’s cave.  At first, he walked along in confidence, but as he got closer to the cave, Russell began to feel more and more nervous.  He had heard terrible things about the dragon.  How would he get past the dragon safely? 

He stopped for a moment to rest.  As he sat drinking some water, he felt the satchel at his side and inside it he felt the golden key.  All at once, he remembered the angel and began to sing, “Angel, Angel, spread your wings right here.  Angel, Angel send away my fear.”

And then, there was the angel.  Russell could see her as plain as the rock upon which he sat. 

“Yes, Russell?  How can I help you?” asked the Angel.

“I am afraid,” said Russell.  “To continue on my journey, I have to face the dragon in the cave.  I am not brave like everyone thinks I am.”

“Russell, being brave does not mean you are not afraid.  It simply means that you do your best even when you are afraid.”

Russell thought about this for a moment. 

“I see, Angel.  Thank you,” he said.  “Please stay with me as I travel on.”

“I am always here,” said the angel sweetly.

And so, Russell gathered his things and walked on.  It wasn’t long before he came to the dragon’s cave.  As he came upon it, he could hear the great fiery breath of the dragon as it lay in its lair.  Russell tiptoed to the mouth of the cave and peeked inside.  The dragon, sensing that someone was near his cave, opened his eyes and let out a fiery roar.  Russell was so scared but he remembered what the angel had said.  Quickly, he looked around the cave wondering what to do.  Again, the dragon let out a fiery roar.  In the light of the dragon’s fire, Russell saw that the dragon’s feet were bound with a thick vine.  Just then, an eagle flew overhead.  Russell stepped back from the dragon and shading his eyes from the sun’s bright rays, he looked up at the eagle.  He could see the eagle’s nest full of eggs balanced high up on the rocky ledge and he could see that the eagle held something shining in his talons.  Circling back around, the eagle opened his talons and down fell a golden key and one of the eagle’s feathers.  Russell picked up the key and examining it, saw that it had the letter E etched into it.  Looking at the feather, he noticed that it shimmered in the sunlight and on the quill of it were the tiny words, “Give me to the dragon.”

And so, Russell placed the key into his satchel and stepped forward into the dragon’s cave. 

“This feather is from the eagle,” Russell said.

The dragon bowed its head and Russell placed the feather into the dragon’s tied paw.  All at once, the vines untwisted and the dragon was free. 

“Thank you,” said the dragon in his raspy voice.

“But I did nothing,” said Russell.

“Oh, but you did,” replied the dragon.  “You came into my cave.  You brought me the feather of the eagle.  Many others have come this way, but out of fear, they have all turned back.  But you faced your fear and set me free.  Thank you!”

“You are welcome,” said Russell.  “Now I must continue on.  Can you tell me?  How much further to the hidden door?”

“It is just beyond the bend in the path up ahead.”

“Thank you,” Russell said, and he hurried on.

Just as the dragon had said, Russell found the door.  He stood before it anxious about what may lie behind it, but knowing that his angel was with him, he lifted the latch and opened the door.

Our First Week on the Adventurous Alphabet Path

Our First Week on the Adventurous Alphabet Path

All week, I have been looking forward to sharing with you what we have been up to on our alphabet path journey so far. Not because we’ve done a long list of exciting activities, but because of the simplicity of what we have done and the authenticity of the learning that is taking place.
We began the week by sharing the first part of the Adventurous Alphabet Path story together. It was so sweet to watch my boy’s face as he listened intently to the story. Even the “bigger” kids couldn’t help but be drawn into it! This part of the story was written as a creative way to introduce the letters A, B, C. Associating the letters with a story and visual image helps the child to soak them in.

Since I really want the alphabet path to move at its own pace, we only “worked on” letters A and B this week. We will begin next week with C and then probably move on to the next part of the story later in the week.

So what have we done?
•I shared a picture of letters A and B based upon the story. (See below.)
• I drew the picture again while my boy did the same in his “alphabet book.” (This is a large, blank book where he will draw all of the letters of the alphabet as we discover them together.)
• We talked about the phonetic sounds each letter makes and looked for things that begin with that sound.
• We read books that feature things beginning with A and B. (See the book list in the previous post.)
• We baked things like Blueberry Banana Muffins and Apple Crisp.
• When we cut our apples for snack, we looked inside to find the star.
• My boy learned to write the letters by shaping them with salt dough and then writing them: on the chalkboard, on the whiteboard, with crayons on paper, with a magnetic pen on his Stamp and See Screen.
These things were woven into our week. Some happened in the morning when we were all gathered together in our living room. Some happened before bedtime while the “little ones” got a bath. And some happened quite spontaneously at other times of our day. It was beautiful to watch it all unfold!

An Adventurous Alphabet Path

An Adventurous Alphabet Path

 
When my first two children were younger, we followed the delightful alphabet path of Elizabeth Foss.  We had a wonderful time following the story of Michael and Mrs. Applebee.  It is time for another young one to travel the alphabet path, but this time we are doing it a bit differently.  I knew that the story we had enjoyed a few years earlier would not be enjoyed so much by this little boy, and somewhere along my search for a more boyish version of the alphabet path, I decided to write one especially for him.  From the many forums I searched and blogs I read in my quest for a boy’s alphabet story, I saw that there was a definite need for something solid, yet gentle.  Something that could be used for any boy or girl who enjoys an adventurous story.  So, here is the beginning of the spinning of an alphabet path story.  My goal is to give a visual representation of each of the letters of the alphabet.  The story will be broken up into at least 8 parts, with 3-4 letters introduced in each section.  As I complete them, I will share my book lists, learning ideas, and drawings to go along with the story.  This is not meant to be a curriculum to follow specifically, though you are welcome to do so.  Instead, I hope that you can use it to inspire your own little learners on their alphabet path.  I plan to allow as long as we need to follow the alphabet path.  Some weeks we will work through three letters, and at other times, it will take us two weeks to enjoy the letters shared in the story.  We will flow with the learning that it taking place.  Today, I share part 1 and my booklist for letters A, B, and C.  I hope you enjoy it.  Feel free to leave me a comment.  I love feedback and the sharing of ideas! 

 

Part 1: ABC

 

Long, long ago, there was a tiny village at the bottom of a mountain.  Everyone in the village was kind and generous, as were the king and queen who lived in the castle at the top of the mountain.  Sadly, the king and queen’s daughter had fallen ill.  So, the king called for the royal doctor and for the priest to come to the castle.  Together, they all sat around the young girl’s bed discussing what should be done.  The doctor examined her and the priest led them all in a prayer for the little girl to be made well.  Long in to the night, they sat there.  Finally, the royal doctor looked at the king and queen and said,
 
“Our only hope is to go to the keeper of healing.  He alone will be able to give us just the right remedy, but who will go?”
 
The royal doctor, the priest and the king and queen sat silently, looking at each other, not knowing what to do.  After some time, the king said,
 
“It is a long journey.  We need someone who is strong and brave and kind-hearted.  I will send my most trusted squire into the village to find someone who can help us.”
 
The king called for his squire and gave him careful instructions to find someone who was strong and brave and also kind-hearted. The king knew that without a kind heart, the journey would be impossible to complete.
 
Immediately, the squire left for the village.  As he walked along the wooded path from the castle to the village, he came upon a bear.  The bear stood up tall on his hind legs and roared at the squire.  Suddenly, out of nowhere came a young boy with a basket full of berries.  Quietly he began to sing to the bear and offered up his basket of berries.  Slowly, the bear sat down, and taking a handful of berries, filled his mouth so that the juice dribbled onto his fur. 
 
The squire looked at the boy.  He knew at once that he had found the one the king was looking for.  This boy was strong, brave and kind-hearted. 
 
“What is your name, young boy?” asked the squire.
 
“Russell Henry,” said the boy.
 
“And why did you give the bear those berries?  Most people would have tried to scare him away or hurt him,” said the squire.
 
“I could tell he didn’t want to hurt you,” said Russell.  “He was just looking for berries like I was.”
 
Russell’s answer reassured the squire that he had made the right choice. 
 
“Russell,” he said.  “The king is in need of your help.  Will you please come to the castle with me?”
 
“Yes, I will.  I would be happy to help the king in any way that I can.”
 
So Russell and the squire made the journey back up the mountain path to the castle.  Once they were inside, they went to the king at once.  The king and queen were seated on their thrones praying that their daughter would be healed. 
 
When they saw the squire and Russell standing before them, their faces lit up with hope.
 
“Is this the one who will bring us the remedy for our daughter’s healing?” asked the queen.
 
“Yes,” said the squire.
 
“Is he brave and strong and kind-hearted?” asked the king.
 
“Yes,” said the squire, and he went on to tell the king and queen the story of the bear in the woods.
 
“If what you say is true,” said the king.  “Then he is indeed the one for the task.” 
 
Then the king turned to Russell. 
 
“My boy, if you agree, then you will have a long journey to take.  You will travel far and along the way you will meet many challenges.  Your first job will be to find 5 golden keys.  Keep these keys safe until you find the silver gate marked with a silver X.  Behind that gate sits 5 boxes.  Use your 5 keys to unlock those boxes.  In each one you will find a special treasure that will help to heal my daughter, the princess.  Bring these back with the 5 golden keys as quickly as you can.  We will anxiously await your return.”
 
“I will do just as you have said,” replied Russell. 
 
And so, the king handed him a beautifully embroidered pouch in which to gather the keys and the treasures. 
 
“It is late and the sun is setting,” said the king.  “You will rest here tonight, and in the morning you will depart.”
 
Russell and the squire bowed before the king, and the squire led the boy to his room for the night.  A maidservant brought Russell a tray of delicious foods and a parcel filled with food for his journey.  After eating his fill, Russell settled into his bed.  So much had happened that day that Russell fell asleep quickly. 
 
As the moon rose higher in the sky, an angel came to Russell in his dreams. 
 
“Russell,” spoke the angel.  “I am your guardian.  An angel whose wings will always protect you.  I will be with you throughout your journey just as I have been by your side since you were a little baby.  Whenever you need me, sing out, “Angel, Angel, spread your wings right here.  Angel, Angel send away my fear.”  And so you remember that I am with you, I will leave you a golden key.” 
 
And then the angel became quiet.  The moon made its way through the sky and soon Russell was awakened by the sound of a cat purring loudly as it curled up on his pillow.  And there next to the cat was a golden key with the letter A on it.  Russell could tell that it was a special key, but he didn’t know yet just how special it was.  He carefully placed it in his pouch remembering the angel from his dream.  Gathering the parcel of food, he set out on his journey.
 
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The Beginning of the Booklist…..This booklist is small, on purpose.  I believe in sharing a few good books and enjoying them thoroughly, rather than rushing through a long list in an attempt to “fit it all in.”  I will be back later with a list of the Alphabet books we will enjoy throughout our journey along the alphabet path.
 
A-Angels & Apples
How the Apple Blossom Came Back-Outdoor Secrets
Brother Bartholomew and the Apple Grove-Jan Cheripko
How Do Apples Grow-Betsy Maestro
Johnny Appleseed-Reeve Lindbergh
Angels, Angels Everywhere-Tomie dePaola
 
B-Bear & Berries
Blueberries for Sal-Robert McCloskey
Peter in Blueberry Land-Elsa Beskow
 
C-Cat
Christopher’s Harvest Time-Elsa Beskow
Little Red Cap-Grimm’s
The Cat in the Hat-Dr. Seuss