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Forest Tree King

This tale is about the Forest Tree King who arrives into your story with a competition.

All pupils have to pick up a real leaf from the ground and take them to the different judges inside the story who are located around your field or wood.

Each judge has a different criteria for a winning leaf and so your pupils must work out who wins each round.

At the end of the story you'll find thankfully that everyone wins.

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This walk covers curriculum elements general and group reading, team work, negotiation, understanding directions locations.

Note - when you publish this tale, change this page to welcome your visitors but don't forget to include directions to the head of the trail otherwise they won't know where to begin.

Write some directions here so Storywalkers can navigate to the head of the trail.
Chapter one

The Gateway

As you step out the woodland procession approaches, and lifted highly upon firm branches, all knotted in a crazy splendid mess, sits the Forest Tree King, and all about is perfect. The sunshine of the day perches upon his shoulder and he looks lovingly down into the gathered crowd.

Ribbons and bunting are everywhere, gold, green, blue, white, yellow, fluttering like butterflies in the light summer breeze.

'Welcome my friends' he says to the gathering, his deep voice, warm and welcoming. 'Now who shall sit on my throne for the day? Who shall bring me the most perfect leaf, for that is what you must do for me and then I will grant the winner a seat upon my throne for the day.'
Chapter two


He then pauses for effect though the words are the same every year.
'But there is one simple rule, do you know it?' and all about the crowd chant 'Yes, yes we do.'
'Well then that is good, but lets help our new friends freshly joined' and he turns to you and says.

'The leaves must fall naturally to the ground, none must be picked from the trees themselves, and be careful where you collect them from, it must be clean and free from litter of any kind. Now are you ready?'

Are you? Then nod to the Forest Tree King.

All about the courtyard the frenzy is about to begin, there is a magic hush as the King lifts his arm in readiness. Everyone holds their breath waiting for the signal, then he opens his palm and out spill hundreds of rose petals, and off like a gun the crowd goes, to the left and right, people scurrying and snatching at the leaves on the ground, along the side and all about. When they have what they believe to be the best, then they head off across the grass at a mad pace.

Then the King of the Forest turns gently to you again and asks kindly. 'What are you waiting for, find one superb leaf each, make it different from each others, so no two should be alike if you can help it, then take them to the five judges in the field.'

'The winner will have the chance to sit upon my throne, it is always the prize going far back into history, further than books, and long beards, and perhaps even before shoes were invented, and that is a very long way back indeed!'

So your task is set, each take a moment to find a leaf, as perfect as can be and then when you are ready, come back to me and read on.

You all have a leaf?
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Chapter three

Squire Squirrel

As you approach the judge you can see hundreds of squirrels, all bright and proud of their tails like a huge mass of furry noodles, but in the middle is Squire Squirrel, who appears to be sitting on a grand nest of twigs. The closer you get the more frantic the squirrels move, as if everything is too hot to stay still on even for a moment. Finally they can bare it no more, and suddenly they all scamper off to the near by trees, all of them that is, but for the one called Squire Squirrel.

'Put them on the ground for me to see,' he says, as he climbs down off his dray, which is the name for a squirrel's nest.

Lay your leaves in a row for the Squire to see, when you have done it then read on.

Squire Squirrel spends a few moments pruning and preening his tale before he even looks at the leaves, then in an instance he says. That one, and points at the shiniest.

Which of the leaves you have laid down is the shiniest?

'My tail is so beautiful.' says Squire Squirrel, then hops back up on to the roof to nest back in his dray. Then he see's you are still there.

'What are you waiting for, off you go to the next judge.'

Then Squire Squirrel goes back to preening his wonderful tail, perched on his magnificent dray.

So which is the shiniest, for that is the squirrels choice.
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Chapter four

Captain Cricket

Here in the middle of the grand field, there is nothing much except grass. But then look closer, and here you see hundreds of tiny crickets, jumping and hopping all about, so be careful how you tread.

Place your leaves down again in a line, and Captain Cricket hops over with surprising speed to test them. What will he make of your perfect choices I wonder?

With a funny rasping sound he fidgets over each leaf, then does a double tap with his hind leg on the one which has a mouldy mark. 'I like this one best, as here out in the middle of the field I have to choose the best leaf for my friend Worm, and this one will rot the fastest. Worm will love it.'

Which leaf do you think will be the fastest to turn back to earth, for that is the winner of this round.
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Chapter five

Annoying Ant

There are many Ants nests in the woodlands and hills, and all are linked by the paths drawn in the forest floor by the workers. Every Sunday morning long before the dog walkers and strangers come stomping by the ants have a lifting competition to see who is the strongest. They do this by lifting an enormous leaf and then carry it up to the nest.

Annoying Ant has been the winner of this competition all year and he is really keen to see who has the biggest leaf.

So Ant likes to show his strength by lifting impossibly large items, and so the winning leaf is the largest, who has the largest leaf?
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Chapter six

Judge Spider

Tiny Judge Spider patiently waits for you and to her side is a small shell shaped like an ear, with it Judge Spider is able to make a voice just loud enough for you to hear, well that's if you are quiet enough to listen. But listen you must for Judge Spider would like to see your leaves.

Place them in a row on the ground and she scurries out and over to them, one at a time she rolls them up into a simple cone shape. Then after a short moment goes back to her shell and says, the one which is the best is that one and she points at one leaf specifically. The reason is that it's the softest for folding over and I shall like to make a cocoon shelter so I can rear my baby spiders in safety away from the wind and rain.

So the softest is chosen, who has the softest leaf which can fold into a cone shape without cracking? If more than one are really soft then chose the smallest of them as Judge Spider doesn't like them too big.
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Chapter seven

Tobias Toad

Leaves can often get wind blown and pile up, Tobias Toad is here waiting to judge your choices, he has seen quite a few in his time so yours best be good. As you approach he is all alone and doesn't see you coming and you watch as he seems pre occupied with blinking practice!

He then realises he is not alone and then blinks both eyes at the same time as if to prove something very important indeed.

'I see you are wondering what I am doing, and perhaps a little if Tobias Toad is alright? Well, everyone knows that toads blink one eye at a time don't they?' and you nod in agreement but not really sure where this is leading.

'But I am not a regular Toad, for I can blink with both eyes at the same time.' and to prove it he does it again, 'but I must practice, for it is not easy to do, well not easy for a Toad that is.'

'But you are here to show me your leaves, so lay them out and then I can get back to my blinking' he says.

Please place your leaves down in a row and Tobias Toad, glances at them, then says quite quickly, and pointing with a silky toe.

'That one is the best,' and then to qualify his statement he says 'It is because the left side is in perfect balance to the right, and when I blink with both eyes I am just as balanced.'

So which leaf is the most symmetrical, equal on both sides like Tobias Toad, as that is the winner of this round.

Now before you move on, please say your thanks to Tobias Toad in the way he will appreciate the most, which is by blinking at him with both eyes at the same time. Can you do that?
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Chapter eight

Miss Moth Fly-by-night

As you walk along you see lots of flower petals all around like wedding confetti, but then as you get closer you realise they are all moths and each one more delicate than the last.

They all seem to be circling around one truly gorgeous specimen, sitting on a brilliant nut shaped like a horn. This queen of moths speaks into the horn and out comes a feeble voice which is scratchy and rather difficult to understand.

You put your leaves down in a row, as you think that's what's required.

Everyone put their leaves down for Miss Fly-by-night to see.

She then flutters over the leaves and tastes each one in turn, then settles back on her speaking horn. In her tiny scratchy voice she then asks you to lift them up to the sky and see which is the most transparent. 'I want to be able to see the moon light shine through the leaf' she say's, 'that's the most beautiful thing in the whole world to see, and my winning leaf will be the thinnest and most transparent of them all, a little like my wings.'

Look through your leaves and see which is the thinnest, this is the winner of this round. Miss Fly-by-night then returns to her perch and says off you go then.
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Chapter nine

The Forest Tree King

The King waits eagerly, he has judged many leaves already, but lots of faces are a little glum as nobody has won yet today, but then you place your leaves on the ground and the Kings wise eyes light right up.

'Tell me,' he says, 'Which did Spider choose?

And which did Miss Fly-by-night the moth?

And what about Squire Squirrel, he likes shiny, which did he choose?

And Captain Cricket, he always chooses for worm, which did he like the best.

He talks so fast that you find your head gets dizzy, but you point as quickly as he asks.

'All these leaves are so beautiful,' he says 'but every competition needs a winner and the throne can only hold one person, so . . . ' and he pauses thinking for a moment.

'Is there one leaf which has been chosen more than the others?'

Who's leaf has been chosen the most times?

But the King shakes his head, 'We can't leave it like this, I have an idea, you can take it in turns on my throne.'

And an enormous raw of applause erupts from the crowd, hats are thrown into the air and music begins to start.

Then the Forest Tree King lifts you up high onto the throne of branches and all cheer at the first winner.
Chapter ten

The End

Did you enjoy the adventure?

How would you make it better?

Should there have been another judge creature? Fly, Rook, Robin, Field Mouse, Pigeon?

If you were one of the judges what would be your criteria for the best one?

What would you change about the story?

Who's leaf should really have won?