My students begged to hear this story every time it rained. (It's very similar to "The Mitten.") They also enjoyed pretending to be the animals as they acted out the story.
Materials: large umbrella
Directions: Begin this story by sitting in a chair holding a closed umbrella. Each time a character joins the story, make the umbrella go up a bit. The umbrella should be fully opened when the bear crawls in. Then when the ant comes quickly close the umbrella with a POP!
Once there was a little mouse who lived in the forest. One day it started to rain, so he ran and hid under a mushroom. It was just the right size for a little mouse – a perfect umbrella.
Soon a frog hopped by. “Say, may I please join you?” asked the frog politely.
“I suppose there’s always room for one more,” answered the mouse. So the mouse moved over and made room for the frog and the mushroom grew a little.
Next along cam a little bird. “Please, do you think you could let me in under the mushroom? I’m getting awfully wet out here,” said the little bird
“Well, we’ll squeeze in a little. There’s always room for one more,” replied the mouse. The mushroom grew a little more.
It wasn’t long before a little squirrel came scampering by. “Please, may I come in with you? I do hate to get my bushy tail wet,” asked the squirrel.
“There’s always room for one more,” answered the mouse. And the mushroom grew a little more.
Along hopped a little rabbit. The other animals looked so cozy huddled together under the mushroom that the rabbit asked, “May I join you, please?”
“There’s always room for one more,” said the mouse as the mushroom grew even bigger.
Next a fox came by. “I’m so wet and cold,” said the fox. “May I please join you under the mushroom?”
“Always room for one more,” said the mouse as the other animals squeezed in tighter and the mushroom grew just a little bigger.
Finally a big bear came along. “Please, please, may I come in out of the rain with you?” begged the bear.
“Oh, dear,” thought the mouse. “Well, there’s always room for one more. Come on in.” The animals all huddled in closer and the mushroom grew as big as it could.
Just then a little ant crawled by. Without so much as a “please” or “thank you” that little ant tried to join the others under the mushroom. That little ant just pushed and shoved until POP! The mushroom burst into a million pieces. And what do you think happened then? That’s right! All the animals had to scurry and find another place to stay dry!