Primary Current Assemblies
BEING CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
By Jenny Tuxford
Suitable for Key Stage 2 (Class assembly)
To reflect upon all the things for which we should be very grateful.
Preparation and materials
- In class, tell the children the story of the town mouse and the country mouse. Discuss it and ask for the children’s opinions. What things about their lives would they like to change? Are there any aspects that they feel they take for granted? What are they particularly grateful for?
- The poems may be acted out with puppets, or told in a sequence of still pictures/tableaux.
- The town mouse and the country mouse
Once there lived two little mice
and their tale we’ll tell you now.
One lived in the country
and the other lived in Slough.
The country mouse was happy
living in a wood
with fresh air, friends and freedom.
Life was really good!
He slept on scraps of sheep’s wool,
lulled by ducklings quacking.
He wore a tiny waistcoat
made from bits of sacking.
‘How lucky that I live here,’
said the country mouse one day.
‘I’ll ask my friend the town mouse
if he’d like to come and stay.’
And so the chubby mouse from Slough
visited his chum,
but he was filled with horror.
‘Pal, you live in a slum.’
‘I’ve prepared a tasty meal,’
said the little country mouse.
And he led the way to the hide-y hole
that acted as his house.
‘We’ll have berries for our starters,’
said the country mouse with pride.
‘And dandelion leaves and seeds
with corn grains on the side.’
‘What! No tomato ketchup?
No fries? No garlic bread?
I can’t eat muck,’ the rude mouse said.
‘You must come to me instead.’
So the country mouse agreed
to fetch his things, without a fuss.
The two then headed townwards
on a 12.20 bus.
Several hours later
the two arrived in Slough.
They made it from the station,
though I couldn’t tell you how.
People asked for money;
they were shooed from place to place.
They filled in eighteen questionnaires
before they finally touched base.
The town mouse very proudly
opened up the door.
‘No mud or leaves in here,’ he said.
‘And carpets on the floor.’
‘Help yourself to burgers,
some bread and cakes and jelly.
We’ll have a glass of lemonade,
then see what’s on the telly.’
The two began to settle down
to a scrumptious looking tea,
when out walked three enormous cats!
The two mice had to flee.
‘You hurry out and grab some food
and I’ll keep watch from here.
Then I’ll go out and snatch a cake
when the coast is clear.’
‘Thank you,’ said the country mouse,
‘for making that suggestion,
but all this insecurity
is bad for my digestion.
‘I don’t like being frightened
when I’m about to dine
and I don’t much like your little house,
so I’m heading back to mine.’
- The tale of the town mouse and the country mouse just goes to show that the ‘grass isn’t always greener’ on the other side of the fence! People who seem to be much better off than we are may have a great deal to put up with, about which we know nothing.
The next poem is written by someone who definitely appreciates his home. I hope you do, too!
- I am content with what I have
There is no place like home!
My house is quite a small house.
It’s where I work and play and rest.
Mum says it needs a lot of work,
but I think it’s the best.
Maybe there are some things
I’d like to rearrange,
but would I want a different home?
No! I’d never change.
In my heart, my little house
has a very special spot.
I don’t want to live elsewhere,
not even Granny’s yacht.
My dad is quite a cool dad.
He’s tall and very strong.
He helps me with my homework
(which we usually get wrong!).
In a ‘best dad’ competition,
my dad would come out top.
(You might think that yours is better,
but I’d never, ever swap.)
My mum’s a really lovely mum,
the best that there could be.
She tells me to work hard at school –
she wants the best for me.
My dog is disobedient,
he’s lazy and unfit.
The only time he runs around
is when he’s told to, ‘Sit!’
Would I change some things about myself?
Yes, I would – a lot.
But my house, my friends, my family?
When I take time to look around
and familiar things I see,
I’m like the little country mouse.
I’m as grateful as can be.
I sing a little thankful song,
for wherever I might roam
(usually back and forth from school)
there’s no place quite like home!
Time for reflection
Think about all the good things in your life.
And now think about the things that you’d like to change . . . really?
thank you for the ones who care,
the ones I know are always there.
Thank you for my home, my bed.
Thank you for my daily bread.
Thank you for the birds that sing.
Thank you, God, for everything.
‘All things bright and beautiful’ (Come and Praise, 3)