DING DONG! "Oh, hello,
Morag. So glad to see you better again. Come on in. You’re the first to
arrive tonight," Mungo said. Morag hadn’t made it to last Friday’s
storytelling, as she had been ill.
"What are we doing
tonight?" Morag asked.
"Tonight, we’re going to be
kings and queens. Oh, by the way, did you enjoy the picture wee Fiona
brought you last Friday?" Mungo asked.
"It was lovely. That was
very nice of wee Fiona to do that. She also told me the story of
Greyfriar’s Bobby and it made me feel much better," Morag said,
remembering wee Fiona’s lovely gift. "We’re going to be kings and queens
tonight, Mr. McGee? Why?"
DING DONG! "I’ll explain
shortly." Mungo opened the door. "Well, its Andy and Gregor. Welcome. Come
in. Look who’s back. It’s Morag!"
Gregor and Andy ran inside
and spoke to Morag. DING DONG! "The last of them," Mungo said opening the
door. "Hello wee Fiona, Gavin and wee Hamish. I’m so happy to see you all.
Come inside with the others." He shut the door behind them. "Lads and
lassies, tonight we’re going to be kings and queens. If you’ll look on the
table, there is a gold crown for each of you to wear on your head." Mungo
had spent hours that morning cutting the crowns from yellow construction
"Why are we going to be
queens?" asked wee Fiona.
"I’m not a queen. I’m a
king!" said wee Hamish.
"Bairns, get your crowns on
and gather around. I’ve got to put Ginger in the bedroom first, and oh,
eat the snacks while I do that, please," Mungo said, carrying the large
cat into the bedroom.
"What kind of snacks is
there tonight?" Morag asked Gavin, smiling widely. "Did you miss me last
week?" she asked him.
"Uh, not really," Gavin
said, "but I sort of did."
Morag smiled a bigger
The bairns helped
themselves to some trifle. "This is delicious," Andy said. He scooped a
spoonful of rich, thick cream into his mouth.
"I love trifle," Gregor
Each bairn filled their
bowl up with the sweet treat, grabbed a spoon and napkin, and sat down in
front of Mungo’s chair. He came back through and sat down. "Now that
Ginger’s safe in the bedroom, we’ll begin our story. I see you’ve all got
some trifle and are wearing your crowns. Very good. Long ago there was an
English king and his name was Edward I. He didn’t like the Scottish people
"Why not?" asked Gregor.
"He wanted all the people
in Britain to bow down to him, but some of the Scottish people didn’t want
to. They wanted to be a free country, separate from England," Mungo
"Oh, okay," Gregor replied.
"King Edward took a lot of
soldiers and went to Scotland to fight in a battle. The English won and
just to show Scotland that they were in power, they went to Scone Palace
and took the Coronation Stone," Mungo said.
"What’s the Coronation
Stone?" asked Morag.
"The Stone is a large stone
that was very sacred to the ancient Scots. There are all kinds of stories
about its origin, but nobody knows for sure where it really came from.
Some people say it came from Biblical days. Others say it comes from
Ireland, but no matter where it came from, it ended up in Scotland. I’ll
tell you more about it later. All the ancient kings of Scotland knelt on
it when they were coronated to be kings."
"What does corated mean?"
wee Fiona asked.
"The word is coronated, wee
Fiona. It means that when a man became the king, he knelt down on the
stone and another man, a special man whose job it was to do that,
pronounced him to be king. For hundreds of years all the kings of Scotland
used that stone. It was very special and sacred to the Scots. When Edward
I took it out of the palace at Scone, he took it back to England."
"I’ve never heard of Scone
Palace. I know that my mum makes scones," Gregor laughed.
"Very funny, Gregor. There
is a royal palace at Scone, or there once was. It’s very beautiful,
especially in autumn, when all the ivy turns red. It clings to the
building, crawling up from the ground. They also have peacocks there. Back
to the story then; when King Edward I took the Stone to England, he put it
inside Westminster Abbey, under his throne. He did this to make the Scots
angry and show them he was the ruler over them."
"What year did King Edward
take the stone?" Gavin asked.
"He took it in 1296. That
was a long time ago, wasn’t it? The Stone is called by many names. It’s
known as the Coronation Stone, the Stone of Scone, the Stone of Destiny
and even Jacob’s Pillow."
"Why is it called Jacob’s
Pillow? How can a stone be a pillow?" wee Hamish laughed.
"One of the legends behind
the Stone is that it belonged to Jacob, who is mentioned in the book of
Genesis, in the Bible. They say he used it as a pillow. While he was
sleeping on it, he had a vision. God spoke to him and told him that his
descendants would spread all across the world until they returned to the
Promised Land," Mungo explained.
"What’s the Promised Land?"
asked wee Fiona.
"Right now, its Israel,"
"Then what happened? How
did it get to Scotland?" Andy asked.
"When Jacob awoke, he
decreed the stone a holy relic. He left it at Solomon’s Temple in
Jerusalem. In 602 BC, Jerusalem was destroyed and so was the temple. A few
people managed to escape and carried the stone to Ireland. They thought it
would be safe there. That’s a long way from Jerusalem. It took them a long
time to get to Ireland. They went to many other places first."
"Didn’t the Stone get
heavy, carrying it all around the world?" asked Morag.
"I’m sure it did, Morag. In
the Irish history books it suggests this story is true. They put the Stone
somewhere safe, at a place called Tara. The royalty of Ireland lived
there. The kings of Ireland were also crowned while sitting, or kneeling
on the Stone. Eventually it was taken to Scotland where it remained until
King Edward I took it."
"Where is it now? Is it
still in Westminster Abbey?" Gavin asked.
"As a matter of fact, it
was recently returned to Scotland and now sits in Edinburgh Castle," Mungo
concluded. "You can ask your mums and dads to take you there to see it."
"That was interesting,"
said Morag. "I didn’t know that. Thanks for telling us about it."
"It was my pleasure. What
we are going to do now is to put jewels on our crowns. Everyone take off
your golden crown and put it on the table," Mungo said. Mungo brought out
dishes filled with cut out red ‘rubies’, green ‘emeralds’, white
‘diamonds’ and other assorted ‘jewels’ made of construction paper. He also
placed some glue on the table. "Everyone decorate your crowns as you’d
like. You can add as many jewels as you want." He also had some jars of
glittery sprinkles. "Be careful not to make too big a mess with the
glitter," he begged.
Oh what fun they had. Morag
put ‘rubies’ all over her crown. Wee Fiona covered hers with ‘emeralds’.
"I like green," she said as she glued them on. Andy put blue ‘sapphires’
and green ‘emeralds’ on his. Gavin put ‘diamonds’ on his. Gregor and wee
Hamish glued all the different colors on theirs. Wee Hamish put so many on
that you could hardly see the gold color of the crown. All of them put
glitter on theirs and made a big mess on the table and floor. Glitter
stuck to their arms and got on their clothes too, but the bairns were
having so much fun that Mungo didn’t worry about it.
DING DONG! "It’s your mums
and dads," Mungo said. "Why don’t you put your crowns on before I open the
door," he laughed.
When the parents came in
and saw their bairns, they smiled. After a brief explanation of the
night’s story, the bairns left. Mungo heard them begging their parents to
take them to see the Stone. Mungo cleaned up the cut paper jewels and the
glue, and had to vacuum up all the glitter off the floor. He then let
Ginger out of the room and sat down in his chair with a bowl of trifle. It
had been a royal night indeed.