Ferida Wolff writes:I know I have written about wanting to be a grandmother, then about being one. Now I am beginning to be concerned like one, which is why we have written this story.The problem of child predators is being addressed in the media and in every household where there are kids. Harriet May Savitz and I are the authors of 40 published books. We wrote this story as a donation to children, to give young people a tool to keep themselves safe. We hope it will be passed around to anyone who can help kids. Perhaps other grandparents will want to copy it and read it with their grandkids.
Stick City was a wonderful place to live. Everyone was happy. The sun was always shining. And nobody had any problems.
Then one day, there was a headline in the newspaper: A STICK SNATCHER IS IN STICK CITY! The Big Sticks heard about stick snatchers, but they never met any. What they knew was that stick snatchers snatched Little Sticks. The Big Sticks loved their Little Sticks and wanted to protect them. No one wanted to admit it but now Stick City had a problem
“How can we protect our little sticks?” the Big Sticks worried.
At first, they kept the Little Sticks inside. But that didn’t work because the Little Sticks were not happy any more. They wanted to go out to play.
Then the Big Sticks made the Little Sticks wear layers and layers of clothes so they wouldn’t look so little when they went outside. But that didn’t work either. The Little Sticks were always late for school because it took them so long to get dressed.
The Big Sticks warned the Little Sticks to be on the lookout for the Stick Snatcher but the Little Sticks didn’t know what the Stick Snatcher looked like.
“There’s the Stick Snatcher,” a Little Stick told his mother. “Hiding behind that tree!” But it was only a shadow.
Everyone in Stick City thought they saw the Stick Snatcher hiding somewhere.
In the middle of the melons in the supermarket.
Behind the elephants in the zoo.
Between the rose bushes in Mrs. Bloomington’s garden.
But he was never there.
The town was in tizzy because no one could find the Stick Snatcher. Stick City was falling apart. Nothing was getting done and things began to go wrong.
No one wound the town clock so it stayed 2:00 no matter what time it was.
The letter carrier delivered the mail to all the wrong houses.
Meals were served late but nobody felt like eating anyway.
Even the dogs knew something was wrong and they stopped wagging their tails.
The Big Sticks were grumpy and the Little Sticks were angry.
The Big Sticks decided that they didn’t want to live in Stick City any more. One by one For Sale Signs appeared on houses.
But the Little Sticks didn’t want to move. They would miss their friends. There had to be a better way to be safe from the Stick Snatcher. Maybe if they stuck together, they thought, they would make it harder for the Stick Snatcher to snatch them and nobody would have to move away from Stick City.
One Little Stick quickly told another who told another who told another.
“STICK TOGETHER! STICK TOGETHER! STICK TOGETHER!”
And that is just what they did.
When they went to the store, they went together.
When they played in the playground, they played together.
When they walked to school, they walked together.
When they rode their bicycles, they rode together.
But they did more than just stick together. They put up STICK TOGETHER signs to remind themselves not to go anywhere alone. The signs were everywhere.
On the trees.
In shop windows.
There was one on the ice cream truck.
There were STICK TOGETHER bumper stickers on cars.
STICK TOGETHER was printed on T-Shirts and bookbags all over the city.
The Little Sticks felt better sticking together. They would not give the Stick Snatcher the chance to snatch a Little Stick in their town.
Soon sticking together became a good habit in Stick City. The Little Sticks continued to stick together as they grew and they helped their younger brothers and sisters be safe by teaching them to stick together, too.
There were no more For Sale signs in Stick City because Stick City was once again a wonderful place to live.
Ferida Wolff has been exploring the terrain of the self for over thirty years. She has an MS in Education and holds a certificate in Holistic Studies. As a teacher of Hatha Yoga, she helped her students focus on and listen to their inner messages.
Ferida is the author of 16 books for children as well as the adult book The Adventures of Swamp Woman: Menopause Essays on the Edge. She can be reached at email@example.com or through her website www.feridawolff.com.
Harriet May Savitz is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul Books and is the Author of 25 books for children, young adults, and adults. Her book, Run, Don't Walk, was made into an ABC Afterschool Special produced by Henry Winkler. Harriet May Savitz may be reached through her website, www.harrietmaysavitz.com