Humpty Dumpty Fell Off the Wall
Help from different sources
by Janice Ross (revised, originally published in 2007)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the people who help us when we are hurting.
Preparation and materials
- Have available an image of Humpty Dumpty and the means to display it during the assembly. An example is available at: https://tinyurl.com/shq2w49
- Note: the story in the assembly is about a boy who loved climbing walls for fun, so you might wish to display a ‘don’t try this at home’ type of warning, in which case you will also need the means to do so. An example is available at: https://tinyurl.com/qomody8
- Explain to the children that you are going to tell them a story about a character from a well-known nursery rhyme. You would like the children to listen to the story and try to guess who the character is.
- Tell the first part of the story.
‘Now remember,’ said Mum, as she did every morning, ‘be careful. And don’t go climbing on any walls!’
Her son was always getting into trouble. He wasn’t naughty exactly; he just kept falling over, you see, and found balancing rather difficult. He tripped over stones, into puddles and, on one occasion, even into the swimming pool. His teacher, who happened to be standing poolside at the time, was not amused to find herself completely soaked.
However, it was walls that gave the boy’s mum most concern. Her son was one of those children who just have to climb on every wall or up every tree in sight. They don’t necessarily care what’s on the other side; they just see a wall and up they go! Their parents understand this and put up with the scuffed shoes and the holes in the knees of trousers.
This particular boy’s mum, though, was worried because her child had difficulty staying upright on the ground, never mind on walls.
- Ask the children if they have guessed who the boy is.
Show the image of Humpty Dumpty.
- Continue the story.
One terrible day, her worst fears were realized. ‘Mrs Dumpty, Mrs Dumpty!’ shouted someone at her door. ‘It’s Humpty. He’s had a fall from the high wall at the end of the lane.’
Poor Mrs Dumpty! She ran to her son, only to find all the king’s horses and all the king’s men trying to put Humpty together again. It wasn’t a pretty sight: there were staples, glue and sticky tape everywhere. Soldiers were rushing here and there, Humpty was wailing and the horses were stamping their feet in alarm.
It got worse. Nee-naw, nee-naw: an ambulance came screaming up the lane and the horses reared at the flashing lights. All was mad excitement until a paramedic stepped out of the ambulance and took control. ‘Move away, please, move away. That’s it now. Don’t worry. Everything is under control. Please, stop wailing, you’re scaring the horses half to death!’
In no time at all, everything was under control and Humpty was patched up, as right as rain. He made many new friends that day. The paramedics knew that he would never be a good wall-climber like some of the other children, so instead they gave him some rides in their ambulance when they were not too busy. Look out for him when you next see an ambulance. You’re bound to recognize him. He’ll be in the front seat with not just one, but three seatbelts holding him in place. The balancing hasn’t improved, but the smile on his face says it all.
- Talk about the accidents that children might have.
- What kind of accidents could happen?
- Who helps at home when they have an accident?
- Who helps at school when they have an accident?
- What do these helpers do?
- Explain that some accidents are minor, whereas some are more serious. We needn’t worry, though, because there are clever, caring people in hospitals who know how to help us and put us back together again, like Humpty Dumpty.
Time for reflection
Explain to the children that there are times when it is easy to see that people are physically hurt or injured. However, there is another kind of hurt that is not so easily seen. Some people are broken in a place that can’t be seen, in their heart. This can happen if something sad has happened to them. Bandages and medicine can’t really help this pain, but love can. We can help people who are broken-hearted by loving them. Sometimes, we can hug them; sometimes, we can talk to them; and sometimes, we can visit them.
Christians believe that God can see people’s hearts and knows when they are hurting. He cares very much for broken-hearted people, and he asks us to care for them, too.
Ask the children to think about the following questions.
- Think about the times when you have been hurt. Who has cared for you?
Pause to allow time for thought.
- How can you care for other people today? How can you help them?
Pause to allow time for thought.
Thank you that you know us and love us.
We thank you that you know when we are hurt and you give us kind people to help us.
We are glad that you know when we are feeling broken and sad on the inside.
Please help us to look out for people who are feeling sad today.
Please help us to take the time to notice others.
Please help us to bring happiness into people’s lives.
‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)