Singing Down the Rain, Joy Cowley From Kirkus Reviews

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Story for Water Communion

Singing Down the Rain, Joy Cowley
From Kirkus Reviews

The declaration ``Sweet wonder!'' ends this book--an apt assessment for an uplifting story from Cowley (The Mouse Bride, 1995, etc.) and Gilchrist (Madelia, p. 1304, etc.). Drought has struck Brianna's town, and the grown-ups gathered on the porch of Mr. Williams's store, usually ``good and kind neighbors,'' are ``getting real scritchy with each other.'' Something's got to change or the corn will die. The possibility of that change roars into town in a pickup truck, a woman with a ``smile so big, it used most of her face,'' who specializes in rainsong. The adults don't take her seriously, but Brianna can smell the coming rain. She joins the woman in singing; the other children follow, as does Brianna's mother. The rain begins, and only Brianna notices the woman leave. A universal message reaches out of this warmhearted book. (Picture book. 5-9)
Choral reading (too long, needs adapting):

What about the story of Higgins the Raindrop from "A Bucketful of Dreams"

by Chris Buice
(UUA bookstore – anthology of modern parables, I believe)

I just used Water Dance by Thomas Locker and even projected the gorgeous images. It's a spiritually uplifting picture book that centers on the water cycle. The text of the book could make for a lovely responsive reading as well with projected imagery.

Barb Friedland


Louisville KY

I've used When Watute Wants Some Water by Jennifer Sarja

In Watute's village, girls must walk for hours each day to find water -- water to drink, water to cook, water to bathe. Watute wants more than anything to go to school, but it seems there will never be time for that. Then one day, Watute decides something has to change.

All profits from the sale of this book will go toward building wells in Uganda and Ethiopia.
Youth Inkwell Publishing produces books written and/or illustrated by young people who are interested in helping the global community. The artists involved in the creation of this book are all high school students in Southern California.
It is a great story!
Sara LaWall

Director of Religious Education

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church

SKIT – or can find as written narrative: "The Chief of the Well" from Sophia Lyon Fahs "Old Tales for a New Day".

Note from another minister: I have used "Who Owns the Well" as Ruth mentioned.

And I invited all of the children to bring their stuffed animals to church and then changed the animals in the story to ones that the children brought.

Narrator: There was once a drought in the country. The streams dried

up, and the wells went dry. There was no place for anybody to get water. The animals met to talk it over - (list your animals). They decided to ask God for help. Together they went to God and told God how bad things were.

God: Hmmm, I?m thinking. But don?t worry. They don?t call me God for

nothing. Hmmm. I will give you one well for everyone to use. (Put well on

All Animals: Thank you God. You are very kind.
God: You will have to take good care of the well. One of you will have to

be its caretaker. The caretaker will stay by the well at all times and see that no one makes it dirty. Hmmm. (God looks at all the animals.) The elephant looks like the best caretaker. Therefore, I appoint the elephant to be caretaker. The well is over there in the grove.

Narrator: The animals went away. The elephant went straight to the

well. Soon the animals began coming to the well. Elephant stopped them.

Elephant: (In a deep voice.) Who is it? Who is it? Who is walking in

my grove?

1st animal: It is I, the ________________________. I am coming for water.
Elephant: Go away! This is my well, and the well is dry!
Narrator: So the ________________________ went away thirsty. Then

another animal came to the well.

(Repeat again from Elephant?s line through Narrator?s line for each animal in turn, until all animals have approached the well. After the last animal, the Narrator speaks again:)
Narrator: So the animals went away thirsty because they had no water

to drink. God saw all the suffering going on.

God: I gave the animals a well to drink from, but they are all dying of

thirst. What is the matter? I will go to the well and find out.

Elephant: Who is it? Who is it? Who is walking in my grove?
God: It is I, God. I am coming for water.
Elephant: Go away, God. The well is dry.
God: Elephant, you are making me angry. It is I, God. I am coming for

Elephant: I told you already. Go away, God. The well is dry.

Narrator: God said no more to the elephant. God sent for the animals

to come to the well.

God: You came to me because you were thirsty and I gave you a well. I

made elephant the caretaker. But elephant gave no thought to all the other animals. If a woman has a banana tree in her garden, it is hers. If a man has a cotton tree in his garden, it is his. But if a person has a well in the garden, only the hole in the ground belongs to the person. The water is God?s and belongs to all creatures.

Because the elephant abused the responsibility, the elephant is no longer the caretaker. Henceforth, elephant must drink water from muddy lakes. The new caretaker will be the sheep. The sheep will not say, ?Go away, the well is dry.? Sheep will say, ?This is God?s well. It belongs to everyone.?

Narrator: So the animals drank at the well. The elephant went away and

drank rain water wherever it could be found. The sheep is now the caretaker.

All day the sheep calls out:
Sheep: This is God?s well. It belongs to everyone. This is God?s well. It

belongs to everyone.

Narrator: People have a saying: The hole in the ground is yours, the

water is God?s.

The King's Fountain by Lloyd Alexander is a picture story book that you might find in the library. It is about a poor man looking for someone to get the king to let the water be for everyone. The message has to do with water not being owned, and, taking action yourself and doing what you can do to make change.
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