Children talk about what they know about fire safety
Ben visits Rochdale Community Fire Station to find out about the role of firefighters
No.5 All about our school
Our story is adapted from a native American folk story called How the Fox Stole Fire
Ben reflects on the important role fire fighters play during emergencies
How the fox stole fire
A native American tale retold by Retold by Zia Williams
Read by Mina Anwar
Many, many moons ago during a particularly cold winter, the secret of keeping warm had not yet been shared with human beings. The teepees that had once been filled with the smiles and laughter of children were filled with sad and gloomy faces. The cold winds had blown away all the happiness.
It was only the fireflies who knew about warmth. They had fire, but they kept it hidden from the human beings.
Clever Fox felt sorry for the human children. He wondered how he could help them. One day, he learnt about fire from the geese, who had flown over the fireflies’ tiny kingdom. The geese had seen the power of the burning wood.
“Yes,” said Fox. “I must bring fire for the children so it can give them warmth like the summer sun.”
But Clever Fox had a problem: the kingdom of the fireflies could only be reached from above because it was surrounded by walls.
The geese agreed to help Clever Fox. They made him special wings, but they warned him: “These wings will allow you to fly, but you must never open your eyes or you’ll fall from the sky”.
As Clever Fox soared through the sky with the geese, he suddenly felt the heat from the fire below and secretly opened one eye. Down, down, down fell Clever Fox. But this was just what he wanted. He fell into the fireflies’ walled kingdom, right next to the fire.
“Oh dear,” said Clever Fox, limping towards a group of fireflies. “Please, can you help me? I need to get back home and I can’t get over the wall.”
“Certainly,” said the fireflies. “Rest until tomorrow so your leg can get better and then you can go to the cedar tree next to the wall, ask her to bend down and she can lower you down onto the other side.”
“Thank you,” said Clever Fox, and he lay down beside the fire and began to think how he could take the fire over the wall with him.
Clever Fox made a plan. The next day he said to the fireflies: “I feel so much better, and to thank you for looking after me, I’d like to invite you to dance to my drum music.”
The fireflies agreed that this was a good idea and set about collecting wood to make the fire burn stronger. While they were working Clever Fox fixed a piece of wood to his tail.
The fireflies danced around the fire as Clever Fox played the drum. Then, Clever Fox saw his moment. With the wood still attached to his tail, he moved craftily closer to the fire. When the wood had caught the flame, Clever Fox ran towards the cedar tree.
Soon the fireflies noticed and chased angrily after him.
Clever Fox reached the cedar tree and called out: “Sister Cedar, Sister Cedar, please bend down and take me over the wall.”
Immediately the cedar tree bent down and Clever Fox was able to climb over the wall. He ran and ran and ran, but the angry fireflies were right behind him.
Flying high in the sky was Brother Hawk. “Brother Hawk, Brother Hawk,” cried Clever Fox. “Take this fire to the land of the teepee children!”
Brother Hawk swooped down and took the burning wood.
When the fireflies finally caught up with Clever Fox, he was safely in his den.
“Tricky Fox! Tricky Fox!” they shouted. “Your punishment for stealing our fire is that from now on you’ll only be able to come out at nighttime and never in the daytime.”
But Clever Fox didn’t mind. He knew he had helped the human children. He had brought them fire so they could keep warm and the cold winds could no longer steal away their happiness.