Students all have this fable. They are required to practice their lines - as they will be presenting "Reader's Theatre."
Tiger and the Big Wind - a Tale from Africa
Once upon a time, long ago, a terrible drought hit the land. The rains had not come that year, and the crops were doing very badly. Without much food and water, all of the animals were very hot, very thirsty, and very hungry.
It just so happened that there was a field, and in the middle of this field was one large pear tree full of the juiciest pears you ever did see. They were big and yellow and just waiting to be picked. Unfortunately, at the base of this tree was a very mean tiger.
Tiger was greedy and selfish and refused to let anyone near the tree. He would sit all day in the shade of the pear tree and growl at anyone who came too close. He’d say, “Growr, growr, I’ll eat you up! Stay away from my tree or I’ll eat you up!
Eventually Rabbit happened by and heard what was going on. “Oh, Rabbit, what are we to do?” wailed the animals. “Tiger is so mean and won’t share the juicy pears! Oh, we are so hungry and thirsty!”
Rabbit thought about this, and being such a clever animal, he immediately devised a plan. “Come close, come close. Listen to me and I will tell you what to do.”
The next morning all of the animals secretly gathered in the forest near the field where Tiger was sleeping. All of the animals who lived on the ground, like Turtle, Elephant, Ox, and Donkey, they all stood near big hollow logs. All of the monkeys and birds who lived in the trees quietly sat in the branches and waited for Rabbit to arrive.
Soon Rabbit did show up, carrying a large, thick rope. He ran across the field and made a lot of noise. “Oh, my! Oh, my!” he shouted.
Tiger sleepily opened an eye and growled, “Why are you making so much noise, Rabbit? Can’t you see I am sleeping?”
“Tiger! You must run! A big wind is coming that will blow everyone off the earth!” Just at that moment, the animals hidden in the forest began to make a great racket.
Eagle and Stork and Owl and all the rest of the birds flapped their wings, causing the leaves to shake and twist. Elephant and Ox and Otter and Crocodile and all of the animals on the ground beat on the hollow logs and smacked the trees. They scurried around in the brush and altogether set the entire forest to swinging and swaying like it was the end of the world!
Tiger was terrified! “What do I do? What do I do?” he screamed.
“You must run,” Rabbit said. “I cannot help you now. I have to go tie the other animals down with this rope so that they do not fly off of the earth!”
“You must tie me down!” Tiger demanded. Rabbit shook his head, “But I must go help the other animals or they will all blow away! You are big and strong, you have a very good chance of escaping alive!”
“No!” Tiger roared, “You must tie me up now!”
“Very well,” Rabbit sighed. “I will tie you up now.”
And so he tied Tiger to a tree on the edge of the field. He tied the rope tight, but Tiger kept shouting, “Tighter, tighter! I don’t want to be blown off of the earth!”
When he was done, Rabbit stepped back and called for the other animals to come out of the forest.
“Look here,” he said out loud. “Look here at the one who tried to keep all of the juicy pears to himself instead of sharing them. Well, food was put on the earth for all to enjoy. Nobody has the right to be selfish with what is meant for everyone.”
And then all of the animals sat in the shade of the big pear tree and happily feasted on the delicious fruit… together.