Owen Fox was crouching by the stream, enjoying the day and watching his friends the minnows go about their business. When what should he hear, but a yelp of "Eureka!" from downstream!
He splashed through the water towards his friend Zoe. She had some especially slimy mud, and she looked quite pleased with herself. She said, "Owen! I've discovered some first-rate clay." Sometimes when a rabbit girl digs into the streambed to expand her rock and water garden, she can find excellent and useful things!"
Owen said, "Wow! What should we make?" Zoe said that she always loved a good bead, for beauty purposes or for worry beads. So they decided to make beads.
They took their clay to Zoe's porch, where Zoe turned it into nice clean white clay. I don't know how she did it.
Then the friends rolled the clay into small bead shapes.
They decorated the beads with patterns, pricked with sticks or stamped with letters and pictures.
Owen sculpted a tiny bunny bead.
He put a little loop of twisted wire in the bunny's head.
For the rest of the beads, they used a pointy stick to poke holes all the way through, so they could put a string through later.
While they waited for the clay to dry, they went back outside and checked on the minnows. It took a few hours.
Now the beads were dry! They strung them onto necklaces for their friends.
Here is Josie, wearing a necklace that Owen and Zoe gave her.
Zoe strung many beads onto a string to make worry beads. She told Owen that these are beads not to wear, but to play with. They help you settle down if you're feeling nervous.
Once all the worry beads were on the string, Zoe tied the string closed. She made sure to leave some extra space on the string, so the beads would be fun to play with.
She gave them to Ella.
You can make clay beads, too! We actually used air-drying clay from the arts and crafts store. If you really used clay from a stream bank, you would have to get someone to fire the beads in a kiln after they dried.