Story Time with a Ranger

Ranger holding a children's storybook, getting ready to read to an online audience.
Everyone loves stories about nature! See and hear stories written and read by Pictured Rocks rangers.

NPS photo

Does your child or preschool student enjoy storytelling? If so, below you will find a collection of short stories and poems written by park rangers and illustrated with photographs. These tales will take young listeners to special places in the park, discover amazing creatures, and learn about other marvels of nature found here.

Although these stories are geared for young children ages seven and under, there is no age limit for the enjoyment of listening to stories. Tales are about five minutes long and some have accompanying sound effects. More stories will be added shortly, so please check back.

Videos also include closed captioning, audio description option, and two are available in
Spanish and French. Below is a list of the stories to choose from:


Open Transcript


Hello friends, I’m Ranger Melissa and I work at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I’d like to read you a story about a bumble bee. And what if that bumble bee was you? Are you ready? Get comfortable and let’s begin.

Buzzing Bumble Bee, written and read by Ranger Melissa.

What if you were a fuzzy bumble bee? Out flying the open air and free, Buzzing from flower to flower with glee, Imagine the magical things you’ll see.

Your bee body is made up of some special things: A hairy tongue for sipping and fast-beating wings; Six legs, antennae, and a pair of dark oval eyes. Your home is the field, wildflowers, and blue skies.

Your bee family lives in a colony on the ground. The queen bee is in charge and bosses everyone around. Each bee has an important job and together you’re bound. When you are all buzzing at one time it is quite the sound.

Believe it or not, but your bee life began as a small egg; And then you hatched into a larva without a single leg; Next you changed into a pupa and spun your own cocoon; And soon you emerged as an adult one summer afternoon.

Busy bumble bee, what is it that you eat? You search for bright blossoms to find your treat. The wildflower’s nectar inside tastes so sweet, You move on to the next one to drink and repeat.

Look, it’s a purple flower patch, watch me eat!

Bumble bees like all our pollinators are key. They help crop foods grow for you and me. Without them, there’d be less plums and cherries; Fewer apples, peaches, and all of the berries.

To all the buzzing bumble bees out there: As your new-found friend, I would like to share, Thank you so very much for all you do, I will do my best to live kindly with you.

The End.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the bumble bee and imagining that you were one. Next time you’re outside and near some flowers, keep your eyes and ears open to find buzzing bumble bees.

Thank you for listening to Story Time with a Ranger. I hope you come again soon.

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3 minutes, 42 seconds

Listen to a short rhyming story about fuzzy bumble bees. Learn about what they look like, where they live, and why they are important.


Open Transcript


Welcome to Story Time with a Ranger. I’m Ranger Scott and I work for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

I’ll be reading you a story about a family visiting one of our beaches found here in the park. So, if you’re ready, I’ll begin.

My Trip to the Beach, written by Ranger Taylor and read by Ranger Scott.

It is a warm summer day, the sun shines bright, and you are with your family visiting Pictured Rocks. You are walking on a sandy path toward the biggest of the Great Lakes - Lake Superior. What do you hear in the distance? Can you hear the waves up ahead?

As you come to the edge of the trees, the wide beach lies before you. It’s called Twelvemile beach, and do you know why? Because this beach stretches for 12 long miles along the shore. You see that Lake Superior is a brilliant aqua blue, and the moving waves have white, watery caps on top of them.

You step onto the beach and take off your shoes. How does the sand feel between your toes?! Perhaps it feels soft and firm all at the same time. Walking through the warm sand, you and your family head to the water’s edge.

You watch the rhythm of the waves washing up onto the sand and flowing back out to the lake. Washing up, flowing back... washing up, flowing back. The sun is really warm on your body now, so it’s time to put your toes in the water. What do you think it will feel like?

It’s quite a change to walk from the warm sand into the cold water, isn’t it? You can see the sunlight sparkling on the rippling surface. Looking down through the clear water of Lake Superior, you can see the tan, sandy bottom below.

What’s that?! Something is alive nearby. You look up into the blue sky. What do you see? There it is! You spot a seagull flying high in the sky.

You are finally feeling cooled off now. So, you walk out of the water and continue down the beach.

You can see the wet, wavy lines in the sand where the last big waves washed up onto the shore. You spot something up ahead that the waves have brought in from the lake. What is that!? You walk closer to investigate.

It’s a piece of a tree that fell into the lake a long time ago and it’s called driftwood. The water has rubbed off the bark and polished it smooth and cool. Wanting our park visitors to see this treasure, you put it back where you found it.

You hear a rumble, but there isn’t a rain cloud in sight! It’s your belly, and that means it is time for a picnic with your family.

Afterwards, maybe you’ll find colorful rocks to make patterns in the sand or gently toss them into the lake. Or, maybe you’ll build giant castles or whole kingdoms in the sand. Whatever your adventure you chose, the beach awaits.

The End.

Thanks for joining me today for Story Time with a Ranger. I hope you come again soon.

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3 minutes, 26 seconds

Listen to a sensory story about visiting a beach with your family. Find out what you can see, hear, and feel on the Lake Superior shore at Pictured Rocks.


Open Transcript


Welcome to story time with a ranger. I’m Ranger Andera and I work at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior.

The Mystery of Rain, written and read by Ranger Andrea.

Once there was a little cloud that floated in the sky

Fluffy and light, it was so white, it was dazzling to the eye

It grew and grew, and as it grew, it blotted out the sun

It turned dark, and with a thunderous bark, began to rain on everyone.

The rain fell on the trees and grass, on ponds and hills and ground

It soaked into the soil and made mud puddles all around.

You might wonder, “Where does rain go when it falls from the sky?”

"What happens to the raindrops that come from clouds up high?”

Some go into roots of a tree to help the tree grow tall

Some become a drink for thirsty animals big and small.

Some flow downhill through the earth and then into a creek

The creek becomes a river that flows fast into a lake.

The largest lakes hold so much water, it’s hard to imagine it

But that is not the final place where water droplets sit

All lakes flow down to the sea in rivers slow and fast

The water drops join billions of others in oceans where they rest at last.

But no! The journey isn’t over for some water droplets there

There’s one more step to take – and it leads them into the air.

An amazing thing happens you can’t see, even if you try

Some water drops become invisible … and float up into the sky

They join other droplets, more and more, until you know what they become?

A cloud again! A cloud that soon will rain on everyone.

The End. I hope you enjoyed my story poem about the mystery of rain. So, the next time it’s raining, go splash in some puddles. Let the rain fall on your face and remember how raindrops travel from a cloud to the Earth and back again.

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3 minutes, 12 seconds

Enjoy a story poem about rain with sound effects. Follow the journey from cloud to rain to earth and back again.

(To view more videos created by Pictured Rocks park rangers, go to our YouTube channel!)

Last updated: November 13, 2020

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