Based on The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf, drawings by Robert Lawson
I chose this story for our “Fruit Bearing Book” today because I recently saw the movie, Blindside. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll remember the reference. If not, you should. -It is a great movie!
In the story, a bull named Ferdinand doesn’t really enjoy doing “bull things”. Instead, he likes smelling flowers and laying in the shade. He just isn’t a typical bull. When men come searching for the meanest and toughest bull, Ferdinand is stung by a bee. He jumps, kicks, and bucks at the pain. The men assume he is the meanest and therefore carry him off to the stadium to be in a bull fight. But Ferdinand remains calm and gentle.
I thin we can learn 2 main things from Ferdinand -
1. To be content.
I think we sometimes can become so discontented with our lives that we forget to appreciate all that God has done for us and given to us. We constantly ask God to do more in our lives and remain unsatisfied with all that He does do. John the Baptist warns people that they need to be contentwith what they have. (Luke 3:14) In Luke 15, we read the parable of the lost son. Ferdinand was not at all like either of the sons in this story. Both sons struggled with discontentment.
2. To be who you everywhere you go.
This quality in Ferdinand is what makes it easy for him to be content. Ferdinand knew what he liked and he was OK to be different. He didn’t let his circumstances change him. I think it could have been easy for a calm and gentle bull to turn into a raging, fighting bull given the circumstance that Ferdinand was put in. As Christians we often use our circumstances as an excuse to be less than Christlike.
God uses circumstances to put us into new situations. Ferdinand was able to show an entire stadium of people that bulls aren’t always mean and ferocious. Even though Ferdinand’s surroundings changed, he did not.
So the questions we must ask ourselves is #1 – are you content? – and if so, do you let circumstances affect your behavior and change who you are?
-Have students write their own story by naming qualities about themselves. Then have them make up story where they are in a place or situation that those qualities would make it difficult for them to be there. Discuss with them how Ferdinand was brave to remain true to himself throughout the story. Let your students see that it takes a brave person to remain true to who they are in all circumstances.
-Ferdinand spent a lot of time alone smelling flowers and sitting under the tree. Invite students to have their own alone time too. We have to spend time alone to really know ourselves and to get to know God. Encourage students to enjoy being alone without video games or TV. Kids have a very difficult time doing that today.
-Research bullfighting and help students discover how that type of entertainment was what people enjoyed before video games.
-Have children act out the story. They’ll have fun pretending to be Ferdinand when he is stung by the bee. Just be careful they don’t kick each other.
Disclosure: These ideas are that of this blog and teachers using this book, not the author or publisher of the book. To purchase this book through amazon you can click on this widget and help support more Bible Lessons in Children’s Literature
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