Ryan and Daniel's Foxtail
Wake the Imagination

I have had success telling this story to almost any age group
because the experience of getting a toy stuck up in a tree is so
very common.  I know I lost many kites, balls, and balloons in
branches that seemed to have personal vendettas against me
and my friends.    

The foxtail I bring to my performance is a uniquely simple prop
that draws children and families in.   "What is that?" some ask.  
Others want to play.  It is fun to bring up two volunteers to play
the roles of Ryan and Daniel while I play the role of narrator and
Elm tree.

Ryan and Daniel's Foxtail by Tim Seston

Ryan and Daniel one bright summer day,
Were out in the yard, two boys hard at play,
Throwing a foxtail as high as they could
Laughing and joking like five year olds should.

When one throw went up and did not return
This is what Ryan and Daniel would learn,
A lesson that made the both of them groan:
Branches of Elm Trees have minds of their own

Ryan soon shouted, “Hey, give back our toy.”
The Elm Tree just swayed and stared at the boy.
So Ryan stared back and added a please;
But, please does no good when talking to trees

When solving a problem you don't need to shout
And don't you go begging with the puppy dog pout
When solving a problem just take a step back
Have fun with the process and you'll be back on track

Then Daniel spoke up, “I have a good plan.”
He winked at his friend then off Daniel ran.
Soon he came back with a small trampoline
And both of them jumped like two jumping beans.

“Jump higher” said Daniel “You’re almost there.”
Ryan reached up to grab nothing but air.
Daniel tried next with results just the same.
At least they enjoyed this new little game.

The foxtail still hung high up in the tree,
Caught in the branches content as can be.
Although both the boys were having some fun,
They wanted the foxtail before they were done.


Then Ryan spoke up, “I know what to do.
Jump up near the trunk and I’ll follow you.”
Daniel then added, “We’ll climb to the top
And shake the tree branch until the toy drops.”

So that’s what they did, it was a success.
Ryan and Daniel had solved the whole mess.
Working together and sharing their thoughts
They freed the foxtail from where it was caught.