A Story That Is Just So!

Updated: May 25



It was the great Rudyard Kipling who coined the phrase 'Just So' story but where did these tales come from and why are they such an integral part of our childhood? Simply put, 'Just So' stories are the fanciful explanations created to answer the questions of children when asking, for example, 'how the elephant got its trunk' or 'why does the skunk stink', or perhaps, 'why the frog croaks.' Influenced by the stories of his childhood in India, Rudyard Kipling used to tell these tales for his own child at bedtime, making up elaborate explanations for various feats of evolution. Of course, there are many cultures that have created these stories not just Kipling. He was the one to call them 'Just So,' but he was not their inventor. There are Aboriginal Tale, African Tales, European Folktales, Aesop's Fables and Native American Indian stories that all tell the tale of how animals got particular characteristics.  For me these stories are integral to our childhood because they  answer questions that are just too big to be answered at such a young age. The concept of evolution eludes some to this very day never mind a five year old. By creating stories like this it builds a magical world around a growing child helping them to see animals as sentient beings and whilst they may know very well that the tale they are being told can not possibly be true, it will live in their hearts for many years to come.  They will hold these stories of nature's wonders as little treasures, soul food for later life and that is why I love telling 'Just So' style stories.  I have many of these tales in my Jukebox Story Stones, original stories I have written myself, and this week's story for Adventurers is 'How The Ladybird Got Her Spots?'. This story will be posted on Friday along with an accompanying activity sheet to help bring the story to life for all the family.  I wonder, what would your 'Just So' story be? Toodle Pip DD



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