The Magic Canoe, A Tale 0f Early Monroe


 Sage, the Story Teller

My name is Sage. In French Sage means wise. Do tell!

I spin stories bedtime and morning as well,

This story is make believe all around,

Although there once was a place called Frenchtown.


After that Monroe in Michigan Territory,

That’s not all of the 1813 story:

At the second British and Native attack,

Brave American soldiers had to drop back,



Citizens fled Frenchtown scared and hasty,

Seeking refuge and a place of safety.

The burning of Frenchtown hurt real people,

As real as the Frenchtown’s St. Antoine’s church steeple,

This story is pretend, but it could have been,

So close your eyes and imagine a way back when,

This story ends with a seashell surprise,

It is full of people who are very wise.

Riding in a sleigh carrying people and goods,

Riding in a sleigh through dark and snowy woods,

Escaping the British and Wyandot plunder,

Shivering with cold and fear and hunger.

As we follow them on their snowy way,

We will listen to what they have to say.



Escape From Frenchtown. Fran Maedel

Sophia ‘s Story

sophia Mon Frere!   Alard!  My brother Alard!

When I say his name I stick out my tongue hard,

He says, “I am your best brother,  best you bet!

My name means noble wolf and noble you get!”

Sophia means wisdom – I  my wisdom bring,

Small brother Leroy whispers, “Leroy means king.”

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

Mere’s Story


Mother looks back from the front seat on the sleigh,

“We all must escape to fight another day,”

Mere means mother, a peaceful word to say,

We must help each other along the way.

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

Grandmere’s Story


Grandmere  slaps the  reins, shouts over the wind,

Grandmere  will not command “sit down” again.

Leroy leans against the sleigh’s splintery side,

“I sat on one and it hurt more than my pride!”

Alard, he scowls pointing to the empty seat,

“Pere is not here, the sleigh is not complete.”

Sophia yells, “Pere is safe away,

He will  return to fight a future day.”

Grandmere sets her lips in a thin  flat line,

“I will keep you safe, we will be fairy fine,

We’ll stay in town ‘til Pere comes back again,

Then we’ll rebuild our house snug as this wolf’s den.”

But even from her sleigh seat horse head high,

A waterfall of tears flow from her eyes,

The sleigh glides under the trees and skirts around

The sturdy house and barn burning to the ground.

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

 Alard’s Story


Attack the British and Indians at night!

Everyone should stay and everyone should fight,

I will stay. Pere taught me to shoot a gun,

I will fight the battle and it will be won!

When we win we won’t have to shiver and pray,

To reach Aunt Genevieve’s  by the light of day.

And at this time I can not run away,

I left Jake in the barn buried in the hay,

I have to find him or my heart will break,

“Stop Brownie, Grandmere, I have to find Jake!”

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

 Leroy’s Story


It’s cold in the woods where the sun doesn’t reach,

I think about seashells on Lake Erie Beach,

I see River Raisin grape vines and the  breeze,

Moving them and weaving them through the trees.

Brownie’s hooves clink on River Raisin Ice,

The sled slips and slides more than once or twice.

“Grandmere, the river path should have been chosen,

Both River Raisin and Lake Erie are frozen.”

I play on the beach every summer day,

I don’t want to leave our home, I want to stay!

What I planted by the barn I won’t tell,

Keep it a secret, I planted a seashell!

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)


Grandmere’s Story

“Sit down everyone, sit back down I say,

We will not give up, we’re not running away,

But we can’t stay home while the soldiers are there

Dodging arrows and tomahawks in the air,

Warm stew waits at the home of Aunt Genevieve,

Now sit down so we can go with utmost speed!”

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

Sage, the Storyteller

They huddle in the sleigh through ice and snow,

They follow River Raisin to sunset glow,

Alard shouts ,”This isn’t the way to go,

I don’t care if we all are hungry and weary,

Don’t take the woods, but follow Lake Erie.”

Grandmere drives Brownie straight through the trees,

Brownie pushes and plows the snow with ease,

But after traveling a night and a day,

Grandmere says, “I think we have lost our way.”

They shivered through more snow silent and deep

With only ten wheat crackers left to eat,

Mere hugged all of them to keep them warm,

Praying, “God of peace keep us safe from harm.”

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)


Alard’s Story

Leroy lightning flash jumps, “Says how do you do,”


A Wyandot woman paddles a canoe.

She wouldn’t answer any question of ours,

Just paddled the canoe up toward the stars,

We followed her and I protested that she,

Wouldn’t help us, she is the enemy,

Don’t  preach to me about the Golden Rule

I want to kill and burn the same as they do.

Now my playful dog Jake I need to find,

I don’t intend to leave with him behind!

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

 Sophia’s Story

We followed the Indian girl for miles,

All the time Alard proclaimed her wiles,

Gentle Mere says “You don’t understand,

They are just trying to protect their land,

And the way they live their lives from day to day,

From people who want to take it way,

The killing and burning will never cease,

Until both sides decide to live in peace.

And greed that wants the biggest pickle,

Fades away into the slightest tickle!”

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

 Sage, the Storyteller

Alard jumps from the wooden wagon seat,

“I am leaving you!”he shouts with great heat,

“I’m going to travel back home by the lake,

That’s the only way I will ever find Jake!”

The Wyandot maiden steps from the canoe,

She holds something?  What could it be, a shoe?

It’s not a shoe but a dog, make no mistake,

It’s a wiggly dog and his name is Jake!


Jake barks, breaks free and scampers to Alard,

Who wipes his soldier eyes and swallows hard,

(Listening is quite a quiet thing,

Small brother whispers, “Leroy means king!”)

Leroy’s Story

The Wyandot maiden paddles the canoe,

We follow her the entire day through,


The sled pulls up to Aunt Genevieve’s front hall,

Grandmere’s directions were right after all,

Just as I’m about to close the front door,

I spot a seashell sitting on the front floor,


Grandmere says, “We’ll go home when winter’s through.”.

Until then, we have important things to do,

I decree:  working for peace and sharing’s the thing,

Obey me:  I am Leroy and I am the king!


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