The custom of playing tricks on April Fool's Day goes back more than 200 years. It commemorates the birthday, on April 1st 1752, of Olaf Toyou, the first-born son of Hungarian fisherfolk. When Olaf was nearly 6 months old, on September 12th 1752, a violent earthquake struck far out in the Mediterranean. Olaf was sleeping in a cradle slung from the branch of a tree, while his mother mended nets nearby.
The turbulent sea raced up the beach so swiftly and quietly that the mother noticed nothing until it was too late. She ran to save her son but all she found in the cradle was a small fish.
Demented, the mother searched for her husband, shrieking that the baby had gone. While her back was turned, a second tidal wave miraculously returned the baby to the cradle and retrieved the fish. When the husband inspected the cradle and found the boy, wet but unharmed, he berated his wife as a fool. She, however, remained convinced that her child had the power to turn himself into a fish at will.To the derision of everyone on that stretch of the coast she insisted on calling him Olaf 'Pilor" - which means Olaf the Little Pilchard. To this day, people in France must beware of turning their backs on April 1st… they may later discover a paper fish pinned to their jacket and realize with embarrassment that they have become the 'Poisson d'Avril' ('April Fish'). There is one way to avoid becoming an April Fool: it is said that to hang a little cradle, carrying a fish, around your neck, or at the front door, will protect you and your family.
I made a cradle from a bird's nest (those nests are handy, let me tell you!) with some unspun wool and hung it from a tree branch on our nature table. The baby is a tiny Waldorf doll, which I made some time ago. I cut the fish out of double wool felt and blanket stitched around it, embroidering the eyes and stuffing it with wool. I told Kitten the story, using blue play silk for a wave and she loved it (even more she loved playing with the little fish and putting it to bed).