The Musicians Of Bremen

"Hey guys, any room for a PiG up there?

“Hey guys, any room for a PiG up there?

Q. What do you call a PiG that can fly?
A. PiGasus!

Last week I flew to Hannover and then rolled into the sleepy spa town of Bad Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony, Germany. All of this thanks to Authors Abroad. This grand organisation is based in Yorkshire and they send storytellers, performers and poets to exciting corners of the globe to plough their trade.

I’m booked for two weeks at Shackleton School which is a run by Service Children’s Education. This is a Government Agency within the MOD to provide a British education for the children of Servicemen/women and Civil Servants, stationed in Germany.

Despite the dreaded lurgy Key Stage 1 pupils and I have had a great time. My brief is to stimulate their story writing abilities with top tale telling tips and exercises plus on the final Friday, all three classes will perform songs and drama based on three of my favourite tales: The Pixy’s Potion, Morwenna the Magical Mermaid and The Sorceror’s Apprentice.

On Saturday I went on a pilgrimage to Bremen to touch the hooves of the donkey who features in the Brothers Grimms’ tale of the Musicians of Bremen. Touching the donkey is supposed to bring luck. It didn’t though. After wandering around the pretty city and finding myself in the narrow alleyways of the Schnoor quarter I found myself in Little Mary’s the Irish pub, watching Liverpool annihilate Arsenal 5-1!

Sunday morning found me in the Military Museum at Fallingsbostel. The school I’m working at is in St. Barbara’s Barracks which is on the site of a former Prisoner of War camp. Many of the children’s fathers are currently on tour in Afghanistan. The museum is a fitting memorial to all members of our armed forces as well as the P.O.Ws from allied countries who were sent here during the Second World War. The bodies of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are still in a mass grave nearby.