Albertina, World Traveller

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Story File
9

Values

Controlling Impulsiveness

Main Lesson

Things turn out better and you can enjoy them more when you approach them calmly and unhurriedly

Setting

A magical world

Characters

A girl and her magical pets

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Albertina, World Traveller

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Un cuento para controlar la impulsividad y la impaciencia

Albertina was an unstoppable child. She never stopped for even a moment. She ran around everywhere and if something occurred to her she would do it there and then, on the spot.

- Gangway, here I come! -she would shout as she hurtled through the magic kingdom at top speed.

- Someday something will happen to that girl- said the lake fairies

- Or she’ll hurt someone- replied the sorceresses of the forest

The lake fairies were right: on one of her crazy runs she tripped over a giant and broke her leg. The fall was so hard that, unfortunately, she could no longer run quickly.

Albertina was so upset that her parents, who were top wizards, decided to give her a fast pony made of sweets to ride around the kingdom once again.

- Brilliant! Now as well as being fast, I can eat all the sweets I want. Giddy up Rainbow, let’s gallop across the lake!

Impulsive and impatient as ever, Albertina would bite off little sweets from her pony Rainbow as she rode. At first it was hardly noticeable but, over time, the beautiful pony began to realise that she was being bitten everywhere.

- That pony is going too fast, said the druids.

- It’s too skinny, one day it will break- replied the nymphs

The nymphs were right: while galloping at full speed, Albertina bit off the pony's left ear. The pony lost its balance and the few sweets left on it were launched into the air.

Albertina ended up even worse off than after her previous fall. Her parents felt sorry for her and gave her a big chocolate dragon.

But once again Albertina couldn’t control herself. Her urge to run and eat sweets saw her end up being severely injured and the dragon turned into chocolate chips for breakfast.

The girl started wailing again.

- She is very sad, said her mother. We'll have to give her something.

- All right, but this time it will have to be something different.

- Yes, something that she can't hurt herself badly doing and will help her eat healthier.

So Albertina was given a snail made of spinach, her most hated food.
She cried, screamed, stamped her feet, protested and stamped her feet again. But to no avail. Her means of transport, her pet, her best friend, was to be a spinach snail from then on.

She had to prepare her trips carefully, organise her meals and think about everything before setting off.

At first she was impatient at having to spend so much time on such things, but soon she discovered that she also enjoyed preparing the best moments and this helped her live them to the full. She learned to appreciate the slow pace of her snail. It no longer seemed like a silly animal to her, and she no longer wanted to do things without thinking about them: everything was much nicer with a little bit of calm.

Now, when she crosses the magic kingdom on the back of her snail, she has time to hear what the fairies, sorceresses, druids and nymphs are saying:

-This girl will go far. Slowly, but far.

This time, for sure, they are all right.

Translated by India Ashmore and Ciboney Kiernan, Manchester Metropolitan University

Let's work on this story, now that is fresh on our minds!

A minute for thinking

The pony and the dragon ended up being much worse for Albertina than the snail. Precisely because the snail was not to her liking, she discovered new things that she had been missing out on. What do you do when you don’t like something? Are you willing to try different foods or activities? As regards being impatient, surely you remember a time when it caused you problems. But can you remember any time when being patient led to problems?

Let's talk!

Doing the first thing that comes to mind is the surest way to make frequent mistakes. Tell your child about a personal experience in which you experienced the dangers of impatience and impulsiveness, not only as a child, but as an adult. Talk to them about your own struggles to control rash behaviour and your secret tricks to control your impulses and do the right thing most of the time.

Why don't you try this?

To work on patience, I suggest that you build your own pony made of sweets. You can do this by creating a structure out of wood, cardboard or plastic foam. Every morning, you must place a sweet next to the pony. Before going to bed, stick the sweet on the pony (if you haven’t eaten it already!). If someone eats the sweet, there won’t be any next day. When the pony is complete, you can throw a big party with sweets for everyone.

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