As a mother of three children, I have learned from firsthand experience what it feels like when your child gets teased by others. As the nurturing person we are meant to be, we are compelled to find ways to soften the blow when our children are teased mercilessly. If you are a concerned parent looking for a wholesome story to share with your child about the subject of being ridiculed or picked on, I highly recommend Marilee Crow’s A Short Tale About A long Tail.
The story is about Stanley Squirrel. Stanley stands out from the other squirrels because of his unusual very, very long tail. Stanley is often teased by Reggie Squirrel. The other animals don’t like Reggie’s teasing, so they try their best to make Stanley feel better.
Stanley begins to question why he is so different from the other squirrels. He asks his mom why he had such a long tail. “It’s what makes you unique,” his mother answers. After a nice session of self-esteem build up, Reggie takes his mom’s advice and goes out to gather nuts and acorns.
Along the journey to collect nuts and acorns Stanley first runs into an owl who gives him some solid advise. Before too long Stanley begins to realize that perhaps he is special. The baby squirrels love him because they use his long tail for jumping rope.
That day, Stanley plays tag with the other squirrels, but Reggie wants to spoil everyone’s fun by saying: “Stanley’s tail is very weird. Stanley’s tail should be feared.” For the first time Stanley stands up to Reggie. He does not run away or cry. Instead, he boldly says to Reggie, “My tail is just unique. Let’s now play hide and seek.”