The Magic Necklace
Source: Pow-wow stories, by Freda Collins. This edition first published by Knight (the paperback division of Brockhampton Press Leicester) in 1974. First published in 1948 by Brockhampton Press Ltd.

Here's a great reading/ceremony to do for Thinking Day. Thanks to Michèle Buchanan for posting this to the Guide Mailing List!


The Needle: Lord Baden-Powell
Green Beads: Scouts
Royal Blue: Guides
Orange Beads: Brownies
Brown Beads: Beavers
Yellow Beads: Cubs
Emerald Green Beads: Pathfinders
Light Blue Beads: Venturers
Red Beads: Rangers (Sr. Branches)
Pink Beads: Sparks

There was once a very strong Needle who was also so wise that God gave him a special and wonderful thread to use in His service. It was a strong and beautiful thread, but quite invisible. The odd thing about it was that it had no end at all.

"What shall I do with it?" thought the Needle, for he knew that God wanted him to share it with other people. He looked out over the world and saw millions of different collared beads of different shapes and sizes scattered all over the place.

"I know," said the Needle. "I will make a necklace." He looked down at his feet and found a number of green coloured beads who looked just right to begin with. (The scouts move near L.B.P.) "Would you like to be the first beads on the magic necklace?" he asked them, showing his wonderful thread. The green beads were excited and said, "We would like to help by being the first beads to join." Then, the magic was proven, for no matter how far from each other the beads strayed, they still found themselves joined together by the invisible thread. (Boys move away from each other (1/3 of a circle and make the Scout sign).

Then not only green but a number of Royal blue beads began to ask if they might join the beautiful necklace. "May we join too, please?" (Guides advance and stand in front of L.B.P.) "I am sorry, but I am only having green beads at the moment." said the needle firmly. At that the Royal blue beads looked terribly disappointed, but they did not go away. The Needle, who hated to disappoint anyone, thought for awhile and at last said, "I think that this necklace is meant for anyone who can see the thread and who cares to join it. I will find you a place opposite the green beads, so hold on. " (Guides join the circle with the Scouts.)

He had scarcely finished speaking when an excited whispering made him turn around. (Six Brownies stand behind L.B.P.) Behind him was a wiggling heap of tiny orange beads dancing with impatience. "Oh, please let us join," they begged, "Very well" said the needle. "We will make room for you near the Royal Blue beads, and you can roll down when the time comes." (Then the Brownies take their place near the Guides.)

The orange beads crowded in joyfully with the blue and green beads. Brown and yellow beads joined in a short time later as the necklace continued to grow. (Beavers and cubs join the circle)

"If you please, might we have some room too?" asked some emerald green beads. The Needle, who was very wise gave the space in the middle. (Pathfinders join in)

The bigger beads of light blue and red were also intent to join this special necklace. (Venturers and Rangers join in)

"Have us, have us too" cried the little pink beads before the Needle could continue to speak. "We are smaller than the green beads so we can fit also!"

The necklace grew so large that it spread over England, Europe, America and into Asia and Australia. In fact, it soon spread all over the world. the beads took great care of the magic thread for they knew that no one but they themselves could break it. (Everyone joins in with their group)

One of the smallest yellow beads felt rather worried when he heard this. "Suppose, just suppose, I forgot and broke the necklace. What then? Should I fall off?" He asked a green bead who shook his head and said: "You need not worry. The magic holds us very, very safely. We all break the chain sometimes - it is difficult not to- but we can join the thread together again if we use the safety chain."

"What is that?" asked a royal blue bead eagerly. The Needle said, "The safety chain of the necklace is the PROMISE that we all make, and that is what keeps us all together. But sometimes we move far away from the other beads, but the magic necklace always keeps us together. If anyone has ever made their promise please take your place in the magic necklace. (In turn, each group repeats their promise: Sparks, Beavers, Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts, Pathfinders, Venturers, Rangers. Leaders fall in with their units.)

The royal blue bead nodded her head wisely. "It makes it sort of - safe, doesn't it?" she said contentedly. All the other beads smiled understandingly because that was the way they felt about it too.

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