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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why Frog and Snake never play together

Once upon a time, the child of the frog was hopping along in the bush when he spied someone new lying across the path before him. This someone was long and slender, and his skin seemed to shine, with all the colors of rainbow.

“Hello there,” called Frog-child. “What are you doing lying here in the path?”

“Just warming myself in the sun,” answered the awesome new, twisting and turning and turning and uncoiling himself. “My name is Snake-child. What’s yours?”

“I’m Frog-child. Would you like to play with me?”

“So Frog-child and Snake-child played together all morning in the bush.

“Watch what I can do,” said Frog-child, and he hopped high into the air. “I’ll teach you how, if you want,” he offered.

So he taught Snake-child how to hop, and together they hopped up and own the path through the bush.

“Now watch what I can do,” said Snake-child, and he crawled on his belly and climb into trees.

After a while they both grew hungry and decided to go home for lunch, but they promised each other to meet again the next day.

“Thanks for teaching me how to hop,” called Snake-child.

“Thanks for teaching me how to crawl up trees,” called Frog-child.

Then they each went home.

“Look what I can do, Mother!” cried Frog-child, crawling on his belly.

“Where did you learn how to do that?” his mother asked.

“Snake-child taught me,” he answered. “We played together in the bush this morning. He’s my new friend.”

“Don’t you know the Snake family is a bad family?” His mother asked. “They have poison in their teeth. Don’t ever let me catch you playing with them again. And don’t let me see you crawling on your belly, either. It isn’t proper.”

Meanwhile, Snake-child went home and hopped up and down for his mother to see.

“Who taught you to do that?” she asked.

“Frog-child did,” he said. “He’s my new friend.”

“What foolishness,” said his mother. “Don’t you know we’ve been on bad terms with the Frog family for longer than anyone can remember? The next time you play with Frog-child, catch him and eat him up. And stop that hopping. It isn’t our custom.”

So the next morning when Frog-child met Snake-child in the bush, he kept his distance.

“I’m afraid I can’t go crawling with you today,” he called, hopping back a hop or two.

Snake-child eyed him quietly, remembering what his mother had told him. “If he gets too close, I’ll spring at him and eat him,” he thought. But then he remembered how much fun they had together, and how nice Frog-child had been to teach him how to hop. So he sighed sadly to himself and slid away into the bush.

And from that day onward, Frog-child and Snake-child never played together again. But they often sat alone in the sun, each thinking about their one day friendship.

--an African folktale taken from The Book of Virtues pages 284-286.

3 Comments:

Anonymous myepinoy said...

This is a very interesting story. For me, this story highlights the vital role of parents in the development of every child's character and the society in general.

This partly explains why our world is like this despite all the advances in education, civilizations, science and etc..

this is somewhat like the story of Romeo and Juliet.

4:24 AM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

Not just the story of Romeo of Juliet, Rolly but the story of our world... the story why so many Arabs/Muslims and Jews hate the other... why people are at war...
Funny how a folktale could really hit the source of so many problems.

Parents are the first teacher of the children. The children assimilate the values from their families and teachers and their society...even prejudices.

I hope that somehow BIAS and prejudices against another race or family is cut. Older people should teach children to respect others. Maybe someday... One can always hope! :-)

5:11 PM  
Blogger lulando said...

Great story! May I republish it on my blog

http://en.lulando.de

here's my email
lu
[at]
lulando
[dot]
de

Thank you!

12:54 AM  

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