Storytelling solutions for those who work with young children

Halloween

Storytelling program for young children. Halloween

1: Story 2: Song 3:Rhyme 4:Activity

The Hobyahs

Once upon a time, creatures of the night, called hobyahs, roamed the Australian bush. Deep in the bush where the hobyahs lurked was a hut made of bark- a humpy. In that humpy lived a little old man and a little old woman. They had a little yellow dingo who was the best guard you could ever hope to find.

One night the Hobyahs came. Out from the gloomy gullies creep, creep, creeping. Through the grey gum-trees; run, run, running. In the ghostly moonlight; skip, skip, skipping on the tips of their toes.

The Hobyahs said, “Hobyah. Hobyah. Hobyah. Pull down the hut, eat up the little old man, and carry off the little old woman.”

But little yellow Dingo knew they were there. He howled and howled and howled. The hobyahs were so frightened they ran home as fast as they could.

The little old man woke up and cried: “I can’t sleep with that Dingo howling all night. If I live through this night I will take off his tail.”

So in the morning the little old man cut off little yellow Dingo’s tail. That night the Hobyahs came again. Out from the gloomy gullies creep, creep, creeping. Through the grey gum-trees; run, run, running. In the ghostly moonlight; skip, skip, skipping on the tips of their toes.

The Hobyahs said, “Hobyah. Hobyah. Hobyah. Pull down the hut, eat up the little old man, and carry off the little old woman.”

But little yellow Dingo knew they were there. He howled and howled and howled. The hobyahs were afraid. They ran home as fast as they could.

The little old man tossed and turned and cried. “I can’t sleep with that Dingo howling. In the morning I’ll cut off one of his legs.”

So in the morning the little old man cut off one of little yellow Dingo’s legs. That night the Hobyahs came again. Out from the gloomy gullies creep, creep, creeping. Through the grey gum-trees; run, run, running. In the ghostly moonlight; skip, skip, skipping on the tips of their toes.

The Hobyahs said, “Hobyah. Hobyah. Hobyah. Pull down the hut, eat up the little old man, and carry off the little old woman.”

But little yellow Dingo knew they were there. He howled and howled and howled. The hobyahs were so frightened they home as fast as they could go.

The little old man tossed in his sleep and cried. “I can’t sleep with that Dingo howling all night. In the morning I will take off the rest of his legs.”

So in the morning the little old man cut off every one of little yellow Dingo’s legs. That night the Hobyahs came again. Out from the gloomy gullies creep, creep, creeping. Through the grey gum-trees; run, run, running. In the ghostly moonlight; skip, skip, skipping on the tips of their toes.

The Hobyahs said, “Hobyah. Hobyah. Hobyah. Pull down the hut, eat up the little old man, and carry off the little old woman.”

But little yellow Dingo knew they were there. He howled and howled and howled. The hobyahs were afraid. They ran home as fast as they could go.

The little old man sat up in his bed and yelled, “That Dingo keeps waking me up with his howling. In the morning I’ll take off his head.”

So in the morning the little old man took off little yellow Dingo’s head. That night the Hobyahs came once more. Out from the gloomy gullies creep, creep, creeping. Through the grey gum-trees; run, run, running. In the ghostly moonlight; skip, skip, skipping on the tips of their toes.

And the hobyahs said: “Hobyah. Hobyah. Hobyah. Pull down the hut, eat up the little old man, and carry off the little old woman.”

Because little yellow Dingo could not howl any more, there was no one to frighten the hobyahs away. They pulled down the hut. They took the little old woman away in a bag. They did not eat up the little old man because he ran away and hid behind a tree.

When the hobyahs arrived home, they hung the bag on a hook. They poked at the bag with their long skinny fingers and cried: “Ha! Ha! Little old woman. A tasty meal you will make.”

But by this time the sun had come up so they went to sleep. Hobyahs, you know, slept all day.

When the little old man found the little old woman gone, he was sorry. Now he knew why little yellow Dingo had been howling at night and he knew what a good guard dog he was. And because this was long ago in the days of magic, the little old man was able to put Dingo back together again. He gave Dingo back his tail, and he put back Dingo’s legs and he put back Dingo’s head.

Dingo was all one piece again. He sniffed the air and picked up the scent of the Hobyahs and went straight to their home deep in the gloomy gully. The hobyahs were fast asleep. Dingo heard the little old woman crying in the bag. He used his teeth to pull the bag open. The little old woman jumped out and ran away as fast as she could. Dingo did not run away. He crept inside the bag to hide. When night came, the hobyahs woke up, and they poked at the bag with their long skinny fingers.

They cried, “Ha! Ha! Little old woman. The time has come to eat you up.”

Out of the bag jumped the little yellow Dingo. He ate up every one of the hobyahs. And that is why there are no hobyahs anymore.

So if you venture out into the Australian bush at night you’ll be safe from Hobyahs… but…keep a careful look-out for other creatures of the night.

Traditional story retold by JB Rowley.

Note to storytellers: Don’t make the mistake of portraying the hobyahs as loud and fierce during the refrain; Hobyah. Hobyah. Hobyah. Pull down the hut, eat up the little old man, and carry off the little old woman.

The hobyahs are planning an ambush and their intended victims are sleeping. Sombre and sinister (or ‘sepulchral monotone’ as S. V. Proudfit puts it) is appropriate here rather than loud and fierce.

The moment for the hobyahs to be loud and fierce is when they are trying to intimidate the woman in the bag – at this point they are in a heightened state, excited about the victory of capture and anticipating the meal ahead.

Song: Five Little Pumpkins

Rhyme: Skin & Bone

There was an old woman all skin and bone
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

She walked thru the graveyard all alone
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

She looked up and she looked down
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

Dead bodies all around
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

The worms crawled here and the worms crawled there
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

Horrible smells filled the air
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

She went to the sexton and to the sexton she said
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

Will I look like that when I am dead?
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

And the sexton to the woman said
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

Yes, you’ll look like that when you are dead
Wooooo ooooo oooooo

And the woman to the sexton said:

YAH!

Activity: Make a string of Jack o’ Lanterns

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