I enjoyed the Ukrainian Easter tale "The Birds' Gift" by Eric A. Kimmel, so much that I decided to bring the story to life for my little ones.
The story tells of how a family and then an entire village provides shelter for hundreds of birds who have been caught off-guard by an unexpectedly harsh and early winter.
The villagers open their homes and even their church to these birds who in turn make the long winter seem more bearable.
I love the line by Father Roman who, when opening his church to the little birds says,
"There is no better deed than showing kindness to others."
Winter is not quite over when the birds begin acting funny, gathering near doors, and flying into glass windows.
The villagers consult with Father Roman who advises the villagers to let the birds go free.
The people are sad to see their little friends go...
But in the spring, Easter returns, and so do the little birds who leave beautifully decorated eggs as their gift for the kindness that the village people have shown.
The villagers make pysanky Easter eggs every year to remember the eggs left by the birds.
This is really a nice book. I especially enjoyed the sermon given by Father Roman where he talks about "a time to come, when lions would lie down with lambs and all creatures would live in peace." Of course, that time is the time when Christ will return again to the earth.
His sermon brings the Easter narrative full-circle.
At Easter, we celebrate what Christ has done for us.
We follow his example of kindness to others, and we look forward to his return.
The birds are really quite easy to make. I found the directions at Family Fun. That was the first time I'd ever blown out an egg, so that was neat, and our dining area is so magical now with our special friends flying around reminding us the importance of serving and caring for all of God's creatures, at Easter and always!
I just had to include this video of my daughters blowing out an egg...
so easy, a two-year-old can do it! :)