As part of We are Ridgefield, the whole school was set the task of writing some origin myths for Big Tree, which is our school logo and symbol. Big Tree represents our school, its roots, values, hopes and aspirations and the origin myths are all about how our school came to be. To read some examples from our pupils click here and then read our official myth below:
Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a place very near here, two trees grew. They each grew in their own space as they had from the very beginning and each had roots that spread deep into the earth and branches that lifted high into the sky. However, the world around than had changed. Roads crept in around them and tall buildings crowded in blocking the sun. Each tree ailed as it struggled for air to breath and water to drink. Birds had always lived happily in the branches of these old trees, but they grew sad at having so little space to stretch their wings and afraid for the future of their homes.
One day an owl sat roosting in the topmost branches of one of the trees. Like all owls, he was wise and farsighted. He saw his tree cramped in all sides and, not so far away, so the other tree, the same but different, suffering the same fate. Being wise and farsighted, he knew that something had to be done.
The owl called to his friend the sparrow.
“Friend sparrow,” said the owl. “You are a chatty fellow with friends all around. Can you discover if all places around here are as crowded?”
“I’ll try,” said the sparrow.
A few days later he returned. “Friend owl, my sparrow friends tell me that there are still fields of green not so far from here where a bird may stretch his wings and a tree may spread its roots and branches wide.”
“Thank you,” said the owl.
Now the owl, being wise and farsighted, chose his friends well.
The owl called to his friend the eagle.
“Friend eagle,” said the owl. “You have keen eyesight and can soar high and hang on a gust of wind. The sparrows tell of fields of green where a bird may stretch his wings and a tree may spread its roots and branches wide. Could you find such a place?”
“If it is there,” said the eagle, “then I will find it.”
A few days later he returned. “Friend owl, I have found a field of green, such as you describe, not so far from. It is close to a small wood, the soil is good and there is room enough for trees and birds to breathe.”
“Thank you,” said the owl.
The wise owl had a plan and to execute his plan he needed the help of one more of his friends.
Over many miles, the owl called to his friend the stork.
“Friend stork,” said the owl. “You have a splendidly large beak and are trusted to carry precious baggage. The eagle has found out a field of green, not so far from here and close to a small wood, where the soil is good and there is room enough for trees and birds to breath. Would you carry something there in your beak?”
“Of course,” said the stork.
The owl flew from his roost, high in the branches of the first tree, to the second tree from where he collected a small seed. Returning, he placed this seed in the beak of the stork and then placed alongside it a seed from his own tree. Then, together, the wise owl and the stork took flight and flew over roads and rooftops to the field of green found by the eagle. Landing side by side in the Ridge Field, as the creatures nearby called it, the two birds breathed the good air, felt the sun on their backs and smelt the good earth under their feet. The owl scratched a hole in this earth and the stork dropped in the two seeds.
The owl, being wise and farsighted, knew that the two trees that had for so long provided a safe home for his friends and himself and the many who had gone before them, would soon die. A tear dropped from his eye onto the place where the seeds had been planted. Watered by this tear, warmed by the sun and nurtured by the earth, the two seeds woke from sleep, embraced and slowly began to grow, pushing powerful roots down and down, roots that would support a new tree with a strong trunk, broad branches and a fresh canopy of leaves that would erupt every spring to provide the perfect home for new generations of birds.