A Squash and a Squeeze

This month various schools have chosen this story and I’ve had a great time telling it. It is Julia Donaldson’s hilarious rhyming version of the Jewish European folk tale.

A little old lady is living by herself in a sparsely furnished house, yet she grumbles and grouses that she doesn’t have enough room. A wise old man hears her complaining and moaning and, when she asks him for advice, he devises a novel way to teach the old woman the value of what she has. He encourages her to bring her animals into the house, one by one – first her hen, then her goat, followed by the pig and then finally, her cow – and merry mayhem ensues. When she reaches the end of her tether, the wise old man tells her to turf all the animals out. Once they have all left, she realises her house is not quite as small as she thought it was. This story provides a very good framework for introducing the concept of appreciating what you have in a fun and imaginative way. Vocabulary includes farm animals and household objects. Below is the version written and sung by Julia Donaldson herself.

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