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'Hello, Scruff!' - a stormy night

'I'm frightened!'

by The Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools


To encourage children to talk about their fears.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet 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, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. 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. Scruff was very frightened last night. There was a fierce storm. 

    Scruff could see the flashes of lightning through the stable window. The thunder boomed louder and louder and the wind howled around the building. The rain clattered on the tin roof and began dripping through the cracks on to Scruff’s straw bed below. He thought the roof would be blown off at any minute. Scruff was scared!

    Then the stable door opened. It was Farmer Brown, carrying his lantern. ‘Hello, old boy! It looks like this storm could blow the roof off. Let’s get you out of here, just in case.’

    Farmer Brown and Scruff battled their way through the wind and rain into the newly built barn. As he dried Scruff off with an old towel, Farmer Brown said, ‘Lucy Jane will be happy that you’re safe and warm. Perhaps we’ll all get some sleep now! Good night, Scruff.’ 

    ‘Hee-haw!’ nodded Scruff, as he settled down in the clean, dry straw. Soon afterwards, the storm stopped and all was still.

    Take Scruff off.

  3. Jesus and his friends were crossing the Sea of Galilee in Simon Peter’s fishing boat. Jesus had been teaching the people about God and healing the sick. He was very tired. He went to the back of the boat and fell asleep.

    But soon a storm blew up, tossing the small boat about on the huge waves. Jesus’ friends thought they would be thrown into the sea and drown. 

    Jesus slept on. Didn’t he care that they were all in danger? They shook him to wake him up and he saw their frightened faces. He stood up in the boat and stretched out his hand.

    ‘Be still!’ he shouted into the stormy darkness. At once, the wind stopped blowing and the sea was calm. His friends were amazed as he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid when I am with you?’

Time for reflection

Think about what frightens you. What things are they?

How can we be brave when we’re frightened? 

Dear Jesus,
When we are frightened of  . . .  (include the things that the children have shared), help us to remember that you are always with us. 


‘He's got the whole world’ (Come and Praise, 19)
‘God is so great’ (Come and Praise Beginning

Publication date: February 2014   (Vol.16 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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