Story: Come Play With Me



written by Jennifer McCormack

‘Come here Little Friend,’ called the river, ‘come play!

Come splash in my waters and kick up the spray

Come build with the rocks on my riverbed

And build a great island’, the cool river said

‘Not I,’ said the child, ‘I could slip and fall

I prefer to stay dry, to not be wet at all’


‘Come play with me,’ called the old fig tree,

‘Come climb the strong branches in my canopy

Come build a tree house, or a swing in the shade

Come Little Friend, come here and play.’

‘Not I,’ said the child, ‘I might scrape my knees

It’s much too dangerous to climb up trees’

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‘Come play with me,’ called the meadow green,

‘Come search for small things not usually seen

Come lie on your back and look up at the sky

Come gaze at the cloud shapes floating by.’

‘Not I,’ said the child, ‘I don’t want to do that

The grass is too prickly without a mat’


The river, the tree and the meadow smiled

‘Come answer the call, Little Friend, of the wild!

Dirt will wash out and water will dry

Sometimes we slip, but we learn when we try

These things will happen, sometimes, in play

But grazes will heal and pain goes away

Come out Little Friend, see what you can do!

Come play with us, we are waiting for you.’


The child rolled on the grasses, found shapes in the clouds,

Ran as fast as they could, shouting out loud

The child watched tiny insects, found small growing things,

Sat in the branches and tied up a rope swing


The child felt strength in their muscles as upward they climbed

The view of the world was amazing, up high.

The child splashed in the river, built strong rock walls

Sometimes the child slipped and, yes, they did fall

There was a graze on one knee, and a few little hurts

A glow in their eyes, feet covered in dirt

The child washed in the river, all clean again

‘Thanks for calling me over to play, my friends!’

Jennifer McCormack offers professional development for early childhood services, including Practical Storytelling, Writing Nature Stories and Ecological Storytelling.

See the PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT page for details.

Muddy Feet.NK


4 thoughts on “Story: Come Play With Me

  1. What a wonderful piece of writing Jennifer! Couldn’t have said it better myself. 🙂
    I hope you won’t mind if I put it up on our Kindergarten Facebook page – with full credit given to you of course!
    I met Linden on Thursday when I brought Miss Mandy’s Birthday cupcakes to Kindergarten. She’s delightful. 🙂


    • Thank you very much Jane! You are very welcome to share it – we’ve been exploring this little story in lots of different ways with the children’s own storytelling.


  2. Hi Jen
    What a beautiful piece of creative stotytelling. Would you mind if i share this with staff and families at the Early Education centre at work at. We are hoping to introduce Bush Kindy into our curriculum this year and what a wonderful way to introduce it.


    • Hello Tracy, provided the poem is shared in full with author’s details and referenced to this website, that would be fine.
      Stay tuned for a lovely book of bush stories that will augment your bush kindy – coming soon 🙂


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