Resource 2: Three stories

‘The Wide-mouthed Frog’

Once there was a wide-mouthed frog who always talked too much. She decided to go around to all the other animals and ask them what kind of food they feed their babies.

As the wide-mouthed frog hopped along, she met Mother Bird. The wide-mouthed frog asked, ‘Mother Bird, what kind of food do you feed your babies?’ [Use a very wide mouth when telling the frog’s part.]

‘I feed my babies … [Ask your students ‘What do you think mother bird feeds her babies?’] … insects!’

And the wide-mouthed frog said with her mouth wide open, ‘Oh, is that so?’

Then the wide-mouthed frog met … [Show the picture and ask ‘Who do you think she is going to meet this time?’] … Mother Goat and asked her, ‘Mother Goat, what kind of food do you feed your babies?’

The mother goat said, ‘I feed my babies … [Ask your students ‘What do you think mother goat feeds her babies?’] … milk!’

Then the wide-mouthed frog said with her mouth wide open, ‘Oh, is that so?’

[You can add one or two more animals that your students will be familiar with. The last animal should be a rather frightening one to the frog, such as a crocodile or bear – as follows.]

Then the wide-mouthed frog met a mother bear and asked, ‘Mother Bear, what kind of food do you feed your babies?’

When the mother bear saw the wide-mouthed frog, she was very happy and said, ‘Ooooh!’ The wide-mouthed frog became very afraid when she saw her great big mouth.

The mother bear said, ‘I feed my babies wide-mouthed frogs!’

The wide-mouthed frog said, with a very small mouth, ‘Oh, is that so?’ [Remember to use a small mouth!]

‘An Old Tiger and a Greedy Traveller’

Once upon a time, there lived a tiger in a forest. With the passing year, he became too old to hunt. One day, the tiger was walking by the side of a lake and suddenly saw a gold bangle. Quickly he picked up the bangle and thought that he could use it as a lure to catch someone. As he was thinking this, a traveller happened to pass by on the other side of the lake.

The tiger instantly thought to himself, ‘What a delicious meal he would make!’ He planned a scheme to attract the traveller. He held the bangle in his paw, making it visible to the traveller and said, ‘Would you like to take this gold bangle? I don’t require it.’ At once, the traveller wanted to take the bangle, but he hesitated to go near the tiger. He knew that it was risky, yet he sought the beautiful gold bangle. He planned to be cautious, so he asked the tiger, ‘How can I believe you? I know you are a beast and would kill me.’

The tiger innocently said, ‘Listen traveller, in my youth, I was wicked unquestionably, but now I have changed. With the advice of a Sanyasi, I have left all evil. Now I am all alone in this world and have engaged myself in kind deeds. Moreover, I have grown old. I have no teeth and my claws are blunt. So, there is no need to fear me.’ The traveller was taken in by this talk and his love for gold soon overcame his fear of the tiger. He jumped into the lake to wade across to the tiger.

But as the tiger planned, the traveller got trapped in the marsh. On seeing this, the tiger consoled him and said, ‘Oh! You need not worry. I’ll help you.’ Gradually he came towards the traveller and seized him. As the traveller was being dragged out onto the bank, he thought to himself, ‘Oh! This beast’s talk of saintliness took me in totally. A beast is always a beast. If only I had not let my greed overcome my reason, I could be alive.’ However, it was too late; the tiger killed the traveller and ate him up. And so the traveller became a victim of greed and the tiger was successful in his evil plan.

Moral: greed never goes unpunished.

‘A Tale from Persia’

Long ago, a man from Persia hosted a Bedouin from the desert, sitting him at table with his wife, two sons and two daughters. The wife had roasted one chicken, and the host told his guest: ‘Share it out among us,’ meaning to make fun of him. The Bedouin said he did not know how, but if they humoured him he would try. When they agreed, he took the chicken and chopped it up, distributing it with these words: ‘The head for the head of the family,’ as he gave his host the bird’s head; ‘the two wings for the two boys, the two legs for the two girls,’ giving them out, and ‘the tail for the old woman,’ giving the wife the tail of the bird and finally, taking the best portion for himself, ‘The breast for the guest!’ he said.

Now, the next day, the host said to his wife (having enjoyed this joke) that she should roast five chickens, and when lunchtime came he told the Bedouin, ‘Share them out among us.’

‘I have an idea,’ his guest replied, ‘that you are offended.’

‘Not at all. Share them out.’

‘Would you like me to do it by even numbers or odd?’

‘By odd numbers.’

‘Very well,’ said the Bedouin. ‘You, your wife and one fowl make three.’ (Giving them one chicken.) ‘Your two sons and one fowl make three. Your two daughters and one fowl make three. And I and two chickens make three,’ he finished, taking two chickens for himself; and the joke was on the host again.

Seeing them eyeing his share, he smiled and continued, ‘Perhaps you are not content with my method. Shall I share them out by even numbers, then?’ When they said yes, he replied, ‘Well, then, my host, you and your two sons and one fowl make four. Your wife, her two daughters and one fowl make four.’ He passed the three male members of the household one chicken, and the three female members got one. ‘And,’ he concluded, giving himself three chickens, ‘myself plus three fowls makes four.’