Grady Galloway searched the small pile of markers on the table for a specific color for the hummingbird puppet he was making Sunday afternoon.
“I have to use some red,” the 6-year-old said. “Hummingbirds like red flowers.”
Grady was on a date day with his mother, Katie Galloway of Kansas City, North, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s annual Mother’s Day celebration.
“I’m just having a good day with my son,” Galloway said as they built the puppet before the StoneLion Puppet Theatre’s premier performance of “The Hummingbird.”
Larger-than-life puppets of a hummingbird, a peacock, a giraffe, a rhinoceros and a lion blended in with the giant shuttlecocks on the museum’s lawn for the folktale of a hummingbird’s effort to extinguish a wildfire by dropping water on it one drop at a time.
John and Jennifer Ruff of Springfield were in town for the weekend with their children — Kai, 4 years old, and Adelynn, 8.
Up for the weekend to visit family and to explore a little, the Ruff family stopped at the museum without knowing about the puppet show.
“It’s a happy coincidence that this was going on,” John Ruff said.
Kai held up his hummingbird puppet to show it off, saying he colored it green and blue. “I like those colors,” he explained.
Alex Kupfer of Kansas City attended with his family, including his wife, Rebecca, his mother, Susan Kupfer of Olathe, and grandmother Margi Curlett of Overland Park.
Curlett said when she was young, she made a marionette of the dwarf Sneezy for a production of “Snow White.”
“I love the puppets,” she said.
The three women made hummingbird puppets, but Alex Kupfer didn’t. He had an excuse ready.
“I facilitated all this,” he said, pointing at the three hummingbirds. “I had my hands full.”
Latrice Purnell of Kansas City arrived early with her mother and daughter so they could pick out a seat under a shady tree. Purnell’s daughter, Tonnae Pouncil, was performing in the show as one of the birds.
“This is a good way to celebrate Mother’s Day,” Purnell said. “She’s doing this for me as a gift and also a way for her to display her talent … I’m so proud of her.”