Sassafras in the Forest

One day a month, Grow With Me moves school to the forest.  On Forest Days there is lots of time for exploring, building, playing, and (weather permitting) splashing!  Each Forest Day also includes a nature walk where Ms. Katy teaches us a bit about the amazing plants that call the forest home.

On our last Forest Day, we happened to run into a group of foragers who were generous enough to share a bit of sassafras root they harvested.  The delicious smell of the root inspired us to find our own golden sassafras tree with it’s three different kinds of leaves, and Ms. Katy told us a story about how the sassafras tree came to be.  It went something like this (apologies to Ms. Katy):

Long ago there was an old farmer and his wife who worked hard.  One cold winter day, the old farmer asked his wife to knit him something to keep his hands warm as he worked the fields.
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That night, as they sat in front of the fire, the wife knitted him a mitten without a thumb.  The next morning, the old man tried out his new hand warmers.  When he returned that night, he complimented his wife on how warm his hands stayed in his new creations, but he wondered if she could knit him something that would keep his hands warm and also let him use his thumbs.  
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The wife said, “Of course!” And that night as she sat in front of the fire, she knitted him a mitten with a thumb.
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The next morning, the old man tried out his new hand mittens.  When he returned that night, he complimented his wife on how warm his hands stayed and how he could use his thumbs, but he wondered if she could knit him something where he could use his thumbs and his fingers.  
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The wife said, “Of course!” And that night as she sat in front of the fire, she knitted him a mitten with two thumbs!  When the wife held it up, the husband and wife laughed at the creation.
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Then the wife knitted her husband a pair of gloves. His hands were toasty warm and when he got home in the evening, he declared them perfect in every way.  The wife laughed and hugged him and threw her three failed creations out the window.  
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The next spring, the husband and wife noticed that a tree was growing outside the window where they threw the mittens.  When they looked closely, they noticed that the tree had three different kinds of leaves that looked like all three of the wife’s mitten creations.  And that’s how the sassafras came to be.
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