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The Fox and the Crane

To think about the importance of treating others as we like to be treated ourselves.

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To think about the importance of treating others as we like to be treated ourselves.

Preparation and materials

  • For the play you will need:
    A large thin beak made out of card, with elastic to tie around the character's head.
    Two thin cylinder containers that the beak will fit into - perhaps made from a kitchen towel tube.
    Two shallow bowls.
    A table and two chairs.
  • Cast:
    Narrator (can be a teacher)
    The Fox (a child)
    The Crane (a child)
  • Time will be needed to brief children on the script and to enable them to rehearse in advance. In addition to the words, they should practise miming to the narrated sections.
  • For notes on drama in assemblies, please refer to our Resources section.


  1. Welcome the children and introduce the theme for the assembly - fables: stories that give you something to think about. Explain that you be retelling a well-known fable by Aesop - with the help of (introduce the actors).

  2. Discuss the common features of Aesop's fables: stories using animals (with human characteristics) to teach a moral - something that will help you be a better human being. Ask the children to think about the moral (meaning) of today's story. What was Aesop was trying to teach people?

  3. Before the play is performed, ensure that the children know what a crane is.

    The Fox and the Crane

    Narrator: One day the fox, who was a very mischievous soul who liked to have a laugh at others' expense, invited the crane to tea.

    Fox: Would you like to come to tea to try my world-famous soup?

    Crane: Yes please, that would be lovely.

    Narrator: Later that day, the crane made his way to the fox's house. When he got there he was greeted with the most marvellous smell of cooking. The crane was hungry and couldn't wait to see what the fox had made. He knocked on the door and the fox let him in.

    Crane: I must say, your soup smells beautiful! Is it ready?

    Fox: Nearly.

    Narrator: The fox moved to his stove and poured the soup into two shallow bowls. He placed them on either side of the table and beckoned the crane to sit down. The crane sat down, looked at the fox and tried to eat the soup through his long beak. The fox began to lap the soup up with his tongue.

    Fox: What's wrong? Is it too salty for you?

    Narrator: The crane, realizing he had been tricked, said nothing but simply smiled. Then he got up and walked away, still very hungry and annoyed at the mean trick the fox had played.

    Crane: That nasty fox! How can I pay him back?

    Narrator: The next day the crane invited the fox back to his house for dinner. When the fox arrived it was his turn to be amazed at how wonderful the food smelled. He knocked on the door and the crane let him in.

    Fox: Wow! The food smells lovely! What type of soup is it?

    Crane: That would be telling - it contains a secret ingredient. See if you can guess when you taste it! It is nearly ready.

    Narrator: The crane moved to his stove and poured the soup into two long cylinder containers and placed them on the table. He placed his long thin beak into his container and began to drink the fabulous soup. He looked at the fox, who was struggling to get his tongue into the container.

    Crane: What wrong? Is the soup not to your taste? You don't have to eat it if you don't want to - I won't be offended.

    Narrator: The fox, realizing he had been tricked, left the table and walked home feeling very hungry and upset at the trick that had been paid back to him.

  4. After the play, ask the children what the meaning of the story was (to treat others as you would like to be treated). Ask the children to think about times that they have been unkind to others - how do they think it would feel to be on the receiving end? Suggest that the next time they are unkind to others, they might like to think about what it would be like if they were treated like that.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Please help us to act kindly to others
and to treat people as we would like to be treated.


'Love will never come to an end' (Come and Praise, 99)

Publication date: May 2002   (Vol.4 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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