The Enormous Turnip is not one of the better-known fairytales; I only first encountered it when I was teaching French, as it had been translated into French as a resource for teaching younger children the vocabulary for vegetables and animals! This simply story is of a grandfather who plants a turnip (un navet, in French, for those who are interested!) which grows so large that he cannot pull it up himself. He recruits a variety of people (and animals) for help, including his wife, his grandchildren, the dog and the cat… but it is only when the mouse helps that they are successful in pulling up the turnip!

The moral of this story is simple: collaboration and cooperation are necessary. We need teamwork! Also, the seemingly small and insignificant mouse becomes a vital part in the story, despite looking so tiny as to be useless or irrelevant. This reminds me of Paul’s teaching that each one of us is a part of the body of Christ and every member is essential. (1 Cor 12:12-26) We’re all different and all needed. When we work together with God, nothing is impossible.