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This is our new Russian friend. He is called Firebird. Can you guess why?
If I tell you that a Firebird has magical powers--that he can give off enough heat to warm a house on a cold day AND enough light to brighten the darkest room.....what would YOU tell me about the kind of bird he is? Hint: Is it fictional or non-fictional?
Firebird stories are 1200 years old! Why do you think people from long ago times would tell stories about a magical bird that could bring them heat and light? 1200 years ago most Russians would have lived in wooden homes, while the tsar and his family would have lived inside of stone fortresses.
The Firebird is symbol of Russia. Can you think of some reasons why Russians would like to think of their country as something magical that gives them both heat and light?
In a long ago time there was a Tsar. A Tsar is a Russian King…How do you think this Tsar feels?
There was once a great Russian TSAR. A Tsar is a Russian king, Make yourself a crown and crown yourself TSAR. Every time I want you to say TSAR I will crown myself—you do the same and call out the word. • The TSARlived in a beautiful white walled city, upon a great hill. When the SONTSA(make a sun with your hand) struck the golden rooftops of this glorious city—it was as if it created its own rival -- so bright was the glare from all the gold found within this KREMLIN. A Kremlin is a fortress. Make a Kremlin with your hands and say KREMLIN every time I make the sign. • The TSAR had a loyal son and everything he could need or desire...Yet, he ruled his people roughly and guarded his possessions jealously. He was often very unhappy because he didn’t know how to share. • Inside the white walls of his KREMLIN stood a tree which bore truly extraordinary apples. Make an apple tree with your hands and say YABLIKA. YABLIKA is the Russian word for apple. The TSAR enjoyed going for a walk just to count his marvelous YABLIKA. Count with me, pretending that each finger is a YABLIKA. (1-adeen, 2- dva, 3- tree, 4- che-teer-ree, 5- pyot) • The next day the selfish TSAR went to count his YABLIKA. Count with me---but only hold up 4 fingers. Adeen, dva, tree che-teer-ree. The TSAR was sure he made a mistake. So, he recounted the YABLIKA. Adeen, dva, tree, che-teer-ree…He was so upset that one YABLIKA was missing that he stomped all the way back to the throne room yelling: NYET, NYET, NYET! NYET is the Russian word for no. Make this sign: wave one hand over the other.
When the TSAR realized that someone had stolen one of his beautiful YABLIKA, the TSAR fell into a deep sadness. • His son decided to catch the thief. That very night the prince waited in the branches of the YABLIKA tree. He thought he would fall asleep when, suddenly he saw the SONTSA falling from the sky! The prince feared that the SONTSA was going to land right on him! He yelled out: NYET, NYET, NYET! • Only it wasn’t the SONTSA-- it was the Firebird approaching in all of its glory. The young prince reached up to seize the gentle bird—but didn’t have the heart to harm it. The Firebird plucked a feather from its own tail and gave it to the kind prince. • The prince took the feather to his father. The Firebird’s feather lit the darkness of the throne room—the feather was so bright there was no need of candles. The Firebird’s feather warmed the cold stones of the throne room—it became so warm, there was no need of a fire in the chimney. The TSAR rejoiced at this good fortune—and with the feather in hand, the ice in his heart melted and he warmed to the people in his kingdom. • From that time on to this, the TSAR has allowed all the children of the kingdom to eat of his YABLIKA tree. And what became of the Firebird’s feather? It shines there still, lighting the blessings in everyone’s lives so that they are not hidden by the shadows of plenty