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'Hello, Scruff!' Loving others

To encourage children to be ready to help others.

by The Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To encourage children to be ready to help others.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.


  1. Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’

    If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.

    Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, and her dad, Farmer Brown. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him - when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!
  2. Lucy Jane was having fun. It was Saturday afternoon and two of her friends had come to play. Scruff was giving them rides up and down the long farm track, which joined the main road to the village. Halfway up the lane, there was a shabby cottage where old Mr Sykes lived. None of the children liked him very much. He was very grumpy.

    It was Lucy Jane’s turn to ride Scruff up the lane and, as she went past the cottage, she thought she heard someone shouting, ‘Help me!’

    Lucy Jane trotted back on Scruff to find her friends. ‘Come quickly,’ she called. ‘I think Mr Sykes must be hurt.’

    ‘I’m not going anywhere near that grumpy old man!’ said Rebecca. ‘Besides,’ she said, looking at her watch, ‘Mum will be waiting for me in the car at the top of the lane.’ ‘I’ll come with you, Rebecca’, said Inca. ‘Thanks for the rides, Scruff!’ they said and off they ran up the lane.

    What do you think Lucy Jane did next?
  3. Lucy Jane went back to Mr Sykes house, up his garden path and listened at the door. She could hear him groaning and moaning, ‘Help me . . . help me!’

    Lucy Jane peered through the letter box and saw the old man lying in a heap at the bottom of the stairs. ‘Don’t worry, Mr Sykes, I’ll fetch help.’ She jumped on to Scruff’s back and said, ‘Go as quickly as you can, Scruff!’

    Back at the farm, she told her mum and dad what had happened. ‘You stay with baby Tom and we’ll go and help Mr Sykes’, Farmer Brown said.
  4. When they came back, much later, they told Lucy Jane that an ambulance had taken Mr Sykes to hospital. The medics thought he might have broken his leg. ‘Can we go and see him, Mum?’ ‘Of course! said Mrs B. ‘I’m sure he’ll be pleased to see you.’Why would Mr Sykes be pleased to see Lucy Jane?

    Take Scruff off.
  5. For Church schools.

    Jesus told the people in a big crowd who were listening to him, ‘You must love your neighbour as much as you love yourself.’ Someone shouted out, ‘Who is my neighbour?’

    Who is your neighbour? Did Jesus mean only the person who lives near to you?

    Jesus told the people the following story to answer their question.

    A man was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way, a band of robbers attacked him. They knocked him to the ground and ran off with his money, his food and his water. The poor man was badly hurt and he lay at the side of the road, moaning and groaning. After a while, a priest came along the road.

    Do you think he will help the man?

    The priest saw the injured man, but he looked away and quickly continued on his journey. After all, he couldn’t be late for his service at the temple and he certainly didn’t want to get his special clothes covered in dirt and blood.

    A little later, a teacher passed by. The injured man called weakly, ‘Help me!’

    Did he stop to help the man?

    The teacher pretended not to hear the man’s cry for help and went on his way.

    By now, the injured man was feeling thirsty and faint. Would nobody help him? Then he heard the clip-clop of donkey’s hooves and, when he next opened his eyes, he was looking into the kind face of a Samaritan. He offered the man water to drink and gently bathed his cuts and bruises. Then he carefully helped the man on to the donkey’s back and led him along the road until he found an inn. He paid the innkeeper to look after the injured man until he was well enough to finish his journey.

    When Jesus had finished his story, he asked, ‘Who was a good neighbour to the injured man?’

    Do you know?

Time for reflection

Do you know anyone who needs help? Let’s think about them now and how we could help them.

Dear Lord,
Help me to be a good neighbour to other people.


‘Kum ba yah’ (Come and Praise, 68)

Publication date: August 2013   (Vol.15 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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