Monday, May 12, 2014

There Stands a Little Man....

I hope you have had a lovely day on Sunday. With the warm weather popping open the long-dormant buds, I do now feel alive with Spring!
There is something magical about walking in a wooded area with a young child and letting the child find the beginning of spring poking up through old, dead leaves. I believe this phenomena, with the tradition of May Baskets is especially wonderful in northern Wisconsin. Each day sunnier and warmer than the next beckons us to walk out of doors and search the ground for the beginnings of life.  Children will see the insect and plant world coming to life after a long winter, in awe of the magic unfolding beneath their feet. One may be lucky enough to stumble upon a patch of spring beauties, bloodroot, violets, or trilliums. The beauty of the first glimpse of these flowers brings great joy to the human spirit, whether young or old.
The tradition of bringing flowers to a friend or neighbor in a May basket is a beautiful tradition.  A piece of paper or gift-wrap rolled into a cone shape makes an easy basket. The flowers will not last a day, but the warm memories of that day are everlasting. This spring we may not have been able to pick flowers for a May basket on the first of May, but now the daffodils and jonquils are popping in our gardens along with the bloodroot and spring beauties in the woods. Soon the trilliums, ferns, and Jack-in-the-Pulpits will follow.
Preschool and kindergarten teachers are great at keeping the May basket tradition alive for each new generation of children. I recall fondly the smiles on the faces of each of my children as they gave me their May Baskets of flowers. They so enjoyed this simple act of kindness and beauty that May baskets appeared in my house even into August!
I hope you take a few moments to take a walk in a woods this May, whether you are young or old, whether you do it solo, recalling your own childhood, or whether you do it to introduce a child to the wonder of Spring.
This week, inside and out, the Artsy Kids will create wire and bead sculptures to put in the garden or use as bubble wands. While you are at Toad House, please enjoy the paths thru the woods. The toads always welcome children to pick a few daffodils to give to a special someone. Let’s hope for lovely weather!


There stands a little man in the deep dark woods
He stands there on one leg in the deep dark woods
Do you know him standing there
Silently without a care
Do you see him standing in the deep,dark woods?

He stands there on one leg, bending to and fro
And all that he can do is to stand and grow
Do you know him standing there
Silently without a care
Do you see him standing in the deep, dark woods?

This song is from “Hansel and Gretel”

Drawing by Grandpa Glenn Bedward


  1. Ha! Just got back from a walk in our own woods and saw jack-in-the-pulpits. I began to sing the song on your blog! It came back to me from long ago. Elementary school. I'm 61.

  2. I was looking for this song for years. I sang it in first grade (1952). It was my favorite. I have always loved that little guy and have always looked for him in my flowerbed. He connects me with my Mother who is long gone now. Thanks so much for posting it here.

  3. I was Gretel in our 3rd grade play and remember singing this song. Long time ago. I'm 61 now. Funny the things you remember.

    1. I also sang this song in 3rd grade and I planted some Jack in the Pulpits a few years back, I think of this song each spring because we would act out the parts of the song. It was one of the only times we would be out of our seats.