About Solar^^’^^s F^^i^^r^^st F^^ables
Solar^^’^^s F^^i^^r^^st F^^ables is the fi^^r^^st in a series of Solar stories f^^or
children and parents who prioritize progressive values in their everyday lives. Created by Paul R Hills as a device to problem-solve his daughters’ challenges growing up, the Solar character provides
a p^^r^^oacti^^v^^e f^^r^^ame^^w^^ork f^^or discussion on a r^^an^^g^^e of ethical issues,
and an exciting learning environment for dealing with a rapidly changing world.
Although the cent^^r^^al cha^^r^^acter is f^^emale, the stories a^^r^^e specifically
designed to promote non-sexist roles and responses, caring and love.
P^^aul R Hills is a media p^^r^^o^^f^^essional and academic with decades’
experience as a single parent. He currently lives in New York City with his partner, Christine, and holidays in South Africa, where he and his daughters, Robyn Arawen and Jenna Andwyn, were born.
by Paul R Hills
Solar walks closer, to see what the matter is. T^^he
children are in a circle around the little boy, and their faces are mean. The boy is ragged, his face grimy and his hair knotted with dirt.
L^^ooking a^^r^^ound, Solar sees a small cocoon w^^ound
in the small twigs of a small t^^r^^ee. R^^eaching up, she
picks the cocoon off the tree and places it in the folds of her sleeve.
F^^illing her hea^^r^^t with fun, she comes closer to the
jeering kids and plays a f^^ew cho^^r^^ds on the strings of
her homemade guitar.
T^^he child^^r^^en look a^^r^^ound at the st^^r^^an^^g^^e sound,
and a silence fills the air. Solar, walking slowly closer,
sings this song;
When the bi^^r^^d sings, it is f^^r^^ee, f^^r^^ee f^^or you and me,
When the water flows, it is free, free for you and me, When the magic is in the air, we are strong like a tree, When trees are free to grow, and the wind free to blow, A sun ray falls on our faces, and we start to groooow.
As Solar sings, she g^^r^^acefully sways and dances to the
middle of the circle. Kneeling down, still picking at her guitar with one hand, she unfolds her sleeve with a flourish, and the small cocoon rolls down into the palm of her hand.
Holding it up to the sun, and humming quietly,
Solar stares from the small boy next to her, to the cocoon in her hand, and back again. The boy’s eyes search hers for meaning, and a glimmer of hope starts to break through the mucky dirt of his face.
T^^he child^^r^^en, quiet now, listening to the song,
gather closer to Solar and the boy, to see better what she holds in her hand.
T^^he grubby cocoon sti^^r^^s a bit in the heat of her
hand, and the sun warms it more. With a very slight shiver, the cocoon stirs, starts to shake ever so gently, until, before their very eyes, a small head peeps out.
D^^r^^agging itself out into the light, the insect ta^^k^^es
shape, and un^^f^^olds its wings.
A gasp comes f^^r^^om the child^^r^^en gathe^^r^^ed in a ring, as
the butterfly’s wings unfurl. The brightness of the colors are the most beautiful the children have ever seen.
Of^^f^^ering the c^^r^^eatu^^r^^e to the boy, Solar g^^ently
places it in his open palm. The boy’s face opens up into a beautiful smile, a smile so glorious, it chases shadows away.
When the wings dry, the butterfly li^^f^^ts up, landing
on the boy’s upturned forehead, and with a final quiver, flies away, bopping and popping on the wind.
With a laugh that sounds li^^k^^e a bubbling b^^r^^ook in
full stream, Solar speaks for the first time, asking,
“And, do any of you beautiful children know how to swim?” Puzzled, the children shake their heads.
“^^T^^hen come with me, and I’ll teach you.”
Solar spent the rest of the summer day playing and swimming with the children in their river, and even the parents came to watch, until as the sun set, Solar went on her way, by the light of the silvery moon.
Solar and the Lio^^n^^’^^s P^^ain
Solar walks along the path leading f^^r^^om the sho^^r^^t g^^r^^ass
to the watering hole. The day is hot and dusty, and
Solar’s nose tickles.
She smells him before she sees him, the smell of a really big cat. Moving closer, she hears the low grumble of a lion. The grumble is not a roar; it is softer, mixed with a sob.
Ca^^r^^efully, Solar f^^eels the wind. She knows she
needs the wind in her face, so that the lion does not smell her. She doesn’t want to become a lion’s lunch, so she moves carefully and quietly. She checks the path in front of her, making sure she doesn’t snap a twig underfoot.
T^^he lion lies in a clearing, his f^^r^^ont f^^oot caught in a
trap. When the lion sees Solar, he rises in fear, dragging the trap until the rope stops him. Solar knows lions and she stands still. She kneels down, making herself small.
Slowly she mo^^v^^es closer, stopping o^^f^^ten, while the sun
moves across the sky.
The lion watches her; his bloody paw caught in the
shiny grey steel of the trap.
Softly, Solar starts to sing, a pretty soft sweet song with much humming.
Oh w^^onder lion, oh w^^onder lion, I see your
Oh wonder lion, oh wonder lion, I see your dawning.
F^^eel f^^or me, oh f^^eel f^^or me, I am c^^r^^awling, hmmm.
Feel for me, oh feel for me, I am calling, hmmm. Oh wonder lion, oh wonder lion, I am coming. Oh wonder lion, oh wonder lion, I am loving. Hmmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm. Hmmm, hmmmmm
At last Solar is close enough to the lion, his panting
filling her hea^^r^^t.
Ca^^r^^eful not to look into his eyes, Solar slowly r^^eaches
into her brown leather bag and pulls out a small earthen bottle.
Inside is a g^^r^^ound paste made of the coca plant
mixed with clove oil, calendula and valerian, and
those are just the ones we know of.
Carefully, she pours the soothing paste on the lion’s wound, humming as she works.
Still singing, Solar waits f^^or the medicine to sta^^r^^t
working. The salve calms the lion, soothing and healing.
Looking carefully at the trap, Solar reaches gently out and unties the rope.
T^^he lion jumps back out of the t^^r^^ap^^’^^s claws, and
shakes himself. Limping, he backs away, his tail swishing.
F^^or a long time he sta^^r^^es at Solar, still small on the
Then with a final lion-like yawn, he padded out of the clearing, to freedom.
Solar and the Stick Story
F^^ollowing the wind, Solar arri^^v^^es in the villa^^g^^e ahead of
the storm. Townsfolk are already hard at work, their faces worried, upturned towards the sky. Up the valley directly above them, Solar can just see the huge dam wall. The inhabitants of the town have good reason for concern; the dam is overfull and more rains would put more pressure on the wall. As everyone knows, even a small hole as big as a child’s thumb, would quickly grow into a floodgate, rush downhill, and through folks’ living rooms.
In f^^r^^ont of a neat little house, a f^^ather gathers his
three sons, Nerbit, Herbitt and Sherbit. He holds a stick in his hand.
“Now, I ha^^v^^e to r^^emind you guys, you’^^v^^e g^^ot to w^^ork
together! Not like yesterday when you all pulled in different directions and the wheels came off.” Nerbit, Herbitt and Sherbit look at each other irritably. These boys are so competitive even that turns into a contest – to see who can pull the ugliest face.
Solar last_Solar last_Page_14.jpgPage_14.jpg
A single stick is a weak stick
When it comes to fixing a wall. We need to find a better trick So it can stand strong and tall! If you knot them in a pattern,
Neat and tight and then flatten,
Like this and that, and then over. Under there, around, and then over. Giving and taking, and feeling so fine! We’ll beat the water back.
T^^hen we’ll beat the water back.
While she sings, Solar plaits her f^^our sticks into
one, and starts the next until in no time at all, three bundles of four plaited sticks lie side by side, like
a f^^ence, or the steel r^^ein^^f^^o^^r^^cing of a conc^^r^^ete
Solar tied the three plaits together with tough yarn, smiled at the boys and their father, and set off, for higher ground.
And that’s the end of the story.
copyright © 2016 P^^aul R Hills
all rights r^^ese^^r^^v^^ed
Solar’s First Fables is the first in a series of Solar stories for children and parents who prioritize progressive values in their everyday lives. Created by Paul R Hills as a device to problem-solve his daughters’ challenges growing up, the Solar character provides a proactive framework for discussion on a range of ethical issues, and an exciting learning environment for dealing with a rapidly changing world. Although the central character is female, the stories are specifically designed to promote non-sexist roles and responses, caring and love. Paul R Hills is a media professional and academic with decades’ experience as a single parent. He currently lives in New York City with his partner, Christine, and holidays in South Africa, where he and his daughters were born.