Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Hatching, 4: dreaming of freedom

Dreaming of freedom
Thursday 5th March 2015
St John's C of E Primary, Cliviger

You start as an egg
Trapped in a tank,
Dreaming of freedom
By the riverbank.

You're growing so fast,
Now it's time to go,
King of the river,
Just go with the flow

a river running over gravel
Hatching and survival rates this year are looking good! Across the 6 schools Steve and I have visited so far, most of the eggs have hatched and the fish are growing fast, stretching from alevins into fry and looking bold and impressive in their black and brown stripes. Each school in this Ribble Rivers Trust project has an aquarium with refrigerating units to keep its water river-bed cold. Each school took delivery of 100 brown trout eggs at the start of term with the intention of raising their fry to fingerling stage before releasing them into local rivers in March.

Do it for us,
Do it for us,
Don't give up,
Do it for us!

some very craggy rapids
Our* brief in this is to visit each school and use the hatching, raising and release process to inspire different creative expressions. We've written long collective poems, made individual card-sculpture rivers, written smaller poems, created aquatic soundscapes and written dramatic songs in praise of our heroic little fish.

I am always impressed by how engaged the children are with their tiny charges. Here are animals who are only passing through, who the children cannot handle, stroke or cuddle, and usually do not even feed (needs restraint, so often a staff role!) but who have still wriggled their fishy way into young affections, provoking thought and reflection

Be careful, my friend.
There's danger out there
Beware of the heron,
You'd better take care.

water flows over folds and closures in a folding river
At Cliviger on Thursday, our fishy work was attended, surprisingly, by several Oliver Twists, a clutch of Red Riding Hoods ( clutch? cluster? gossip? pack?). The various Blind Mice were not at all hindered by their condition, or unbalanced by their lack of tails and even BBW joined in, setting aside hunger and grandmother outfits, to sing next to his (anticipated) lunch. It was World Book Day 

This link should take you to the "Dreaming of Freedom" song
Steve Brown leads the Character Company in song

Keep calm and swim on,
You'll meet a new friend,
A new life begins,
Around the next bend.

Many thanks to the artists, storytellers and musicians of St John's C of E Primary School
(*our = us = musician Steve Brown and myself. Not sure if Steve's website is active just now but you can hear some of his current album "So begins the snow" on Amazon ) 

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