Who’s on the move?

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills raised the subject of migration and challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a migration story.

Although Charli always provides suggestions, she also permits writers to go where the prompt leads, allowing their thoughts to migrate in whichever direction they choose. This is good for me as my thoughts always bring me back to early childhood education and, if I can somehow squeeze it in, butterflies.

Migration is a part of human history. We are told that humans originated in Africa, and that migration out of Africa began about 60 000 years ago (well, that’s one of the stories). That we are now spread across the world is no mean feat, particularly when we acknowledge that most of the migration occurred before the industrial age, long before steam ships and ocean liners, before motor cars and air travel.

But migration continues still, and our countries and cities become home to those whose lives began far away and who share different cultural traditions. The purpose of the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project is to discover more about our shared genetic heritage. In an early childhood classroom, we, too, can discover how much we have in common and learn to appreciate our differences.

Whoever you are.

Mem Fox’s beautiful book Whoever You Are is great for encouraging children to recognise, respect, and  appreciate each other, similarities and differences included.

mem-fox-im-australian-too

This year sees Mem publish another beautiful book I’m Australian Too which shows appreciation for everyone who is part of our wonderful multi-cultural Australia. (Follow the links to both books and you can listen to her read them too!)

A number of readilearn resources support teachers in developing an appreciation for everyone’s heritage, including a history unit which helps children learn more about their own family history and traditions, and the histories and traditions of their classmates’ families.

Just as amazing as stories of human migration, are those of animal migration. I was surprised when I first heard of the migration of monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico in the autumn, and back again in spring, a distance of over 4800 miles or almost 8000 kilometres. What a long flight for a butterfly, I thought, the poor butterfly’s wings must be ragged by the end of the journey. But the round trip involves at least four generations.

And although monarch butterflies are native to North America, they are now part of the Australian landscape, having arrived, possibly during the gold rushes of the mid-1800s.

Even longer, twice as long in fact, than the monarch’s migratory flight, is that of a dragonfly which, also over four generations, makes a complete circuit of the Indian Ocean – almost 1000 miles or about 16 000 kilometres. The story of how this tiny insect’s epic journey was discovered is fascinating. Who knows what one may discover when wonder is mixed with observation.

There’s obviously plenty of diversity from which to draw inspiration for a migration story. I’ve chosen to write a story set a little bit closer to home. I hope you like it.

Please pop over to Charli’s post to see where the prompt has taken other writers.

Adventurous plans

His bag was packed. He was ready. He stopped at the door for one last look, then stepped outside, pulling it closed behind him. At that moment, he was certain; he would never return. There was nothing for him here. Exotic places and untold adventures awaited. At the stop, he hailed a bus and climbed aboard. “Where are you off to?” asked the driver. “I’m on an adventure,” he said, tendering a fistful of plastic coins. “But only if you take me with you,” said his out-of-breath mother, smiling. “Okay,” he said. The driver winked as she climbed aboard.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

P.S. I’m excited to announce the launch of a new app for beginning readers created by my son, Robert. If you know anyone with young children who may be interested, please let them know about Word Zoo, available now in the App Store.

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39 thoughts on “Who’s on the move?

  1. Bec Colvin

    What a lovely post! I have enjoyed what I’ve seen of Mem Fox’s new book (as I’m sure you would expect) and I have loved learning about the monarchs’ journey through you. Interesting they came here during the gold rush! I remember we had been wondering in the past. Great FF! Is it a child and his mother waiting for the bus? I can think of a mother who has enhanced a few international adventures!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Bec. I’m pleased you enjoyed the post. Mem Fox has a way of creating wonderful stories. And the monarchs are amazing. So beautiful. They are gold too. The child was leaving home. Fortunately Mum caught him in time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 8th March 2017 – Olga Nunez Miret, Geoff Le Pard, D.G. Kaye, Christy Birmingham and Norah Colvin | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  3. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Terrific post Norah.. I seem to have been on a migration path around the world since the age of 18 months. I totalled it up the other day and have spent 30 years outside of my country of birth. But at heart I know I was originally from a warm, hot climate where chocolate was freely available! I have put in the blogger daily.. thanks Sally

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  4. Pingback: Tales of Immigration « Carrot Ranch Communications

  5. Charli Mills

    Seeing Mem’s books and knowing how she writes about diversity, I’m so devastated by how she was treated in the US recently. She was accused of having a wrong visa, detained and questioned under a tone of hostility. And yet, in writing of her experience which she called traumatizing, she was more concerned for the welfare of others detained with her in the room that day. Something you say in the comments, though, about this era being a new migration of sort, perhaps we are experiencing the pains of growth that can yet be good. Your flash displays a heroic mum willing to be a part of the adventure. I enjoyed reading the runaway stories in the comments, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Charli. Yes, that must have been traumatic for Mem and the others. An 80-year old in a wheelchair! A mum with a baby! Shouted at. No toilets, water or other facilities. After a long flight! Not a nice introduction to American culture. At least Mem has a voice and is not afraid to use it. Growing pains. Yes, that is a good way of looking at it. Hopefully the good things will be along soon. The runaway stories were fun, weren’t they? You know, I didn’t know how that story was going to end until I got there. I was quite happy with the ending. 🙂

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        1. Norah Post author

          Hmm. That’s really interesting, Sarah. I did send Rob your comment for his response but he’s had a busy weekend and I haven’t heard back yet. I’ve just had a look on my computer (Windows) and I would have to download iTunes to check it out, which I don’t want to do. When I clicked the link on my iPad I went straight to the App Store. You can download the app free. There is one in-game fee if you wish to continue after completing some (I’m not sure how many) levels, so you can get a free demo by using it if you belong to the Apple App store. I hope that makes sense. He hasn’t done a lot on social media yet. On the computer the link takes me to his (small) website. Thank you very much for looking and responding. I very much appreciate it. 🙂

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        2. Word Zoo

          Thanks for your feedback Sarah. As Norah said the app is free to download and you have access to about half the content, and if you like the full version can be purchased in-app. I am working on a video demo and a facebook page, thanks for the reminder 🙂

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  6. macjam47

    A lovely post, Norah. I believe that books, like Mems, for the young will help dispell the fears and dislike of those who are ‘different’ from others that many adults carry with them.

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. thecontentedcrafter

    Such a wonderful post Norah! I try to save your prompt posts til after the puppy has had his morning adventure out in the world and then I can spend some time sitting and savouring – like two friends having a chat over coffee, sharing our stories and takes on the world….. I always want to write a long response, though sometimes time constraints just make me be silent 🙂 Today I have two responses bursting out of me to share with you.

    Did you know that here in NZ monarchs are considered ‘native’, not because they are truly indigenous, but because they brought themselves here – I wonder if that makes them ‘illegal immigrants’ in today’s parlance…,.. I saw one in my daughter’s garden yesterday and we both smiled with delight, the first of the summer!

    Not that daughter, but her sister, aged about five or six was cross with me one day for some reason we both forget now and disappeared into her room. She emerged some time later her little school bag in hand – it looked full and rather lumpy – and handed me a note. I read it and kept a straight face. ‘Dear Mummy’ it said, ‘you are mean i am going away love from joanna’
    (the spelling wasn’t quite that good, but for ease of reading….) I asked if she had everything she needed in her bag and she opened it to show her favourite teddy and pj’s. I said dinner would be ready soon, would she stay for that and maybe go after. She agreed to that, had dinner, unpacked her bag and never threatened to leave again – well not until she was a teenager ….. I still have the note.

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    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Oh, thank you, Pauline. I do like our chats as well. I read your response as I was having breakfast and both your shares brought smiles to my face. What a lovely way to start the day. Thank you. 🙂
      How exciting to see a monarch in your daughter’s garden yesterday. I do love the monarchs. They are stunning butterflies in every life stage. We used to have them at school, until it was discovered by the groundsman that the milkweed, which had escaped, was poisonous. (You can just imagine the milkweed running away, can’t you? 🙂 ) I don’t think I’ve seen one “in the wild” for quite a few years.
      And I adore the story of your other daughter leaving home! I’m so pleased you realised what my story was about. I wanted his little school case to spill and show his teddy bear and p.j.s too but there just weren’t enough words left for me to do so. I’m so pleased you have her note still. What a memory. After dinner is always best, I think. You can’t have been too mean to invite her to stay, and feed her as well! If she didn’t threaten again until teenage years, she had quite a time to mull it over. At what age were they when you threatened to leave. 🙂

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  8. robbiesinspiration

    A lovely post, Norah, and two wonderful books mentioned as well. We have our ups and downs with migration in South Africa as well. We have had a few instances of xenophobia, largely caused by a huge shortage of jobs. I loved you take on the prompt. My Michael, a rather tubby boy, decided to run away one afternoon. He reached the door and then turned back saying “I think I’ll leave after supper rather.” So funny!

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    1. Norah Post author

      I think xenophobia is rampant. I guess it is part of this new migration. Perhaps we need a new way of looking at ourselves, and others. If we were world citizens who happen to reside in different places at different times . . . I wonder.
      Thanks for sharing the story of Michael. I’m so pleased you “got” my story. It is hilarious. I remember thinking I’d like to run away, but I could never think of anywhere to go. Sadly, there are many now who must flee their homes, and have nowhere else to go.

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Steven

    I’m caught between deciding if they were moving for good, or if he was just imagining an adventure.

    I recall watching that particular talk once before, but it was well worth another watch. Fascinating.

    Hope the app goes well. Does Mum change consulting fees?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Steven,
      It was meant to be a story about a little one running away from home. Fortunately his Mum spotted him and he didn’t get far. 🙂
      I’m pleased you enjoyed the talk. I found it fascinating too.
      If there are enough links followed by app sales I may consider charging a fee! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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