Long ago, in the Tanzanian rain forest, the rainy season was stronger than ever. The river had overflown, and floods overtook the land. The animals all ran in fear, climbing high up into the hills. The floods happened so quickly that many of the animals drowned. Luckily, the monkeys were smart and able to climb high into the treetops. As the sat in the trees, they looked down to the flooded land below. In the water, fish were swimming around and gracefully jumping in and out of the water, as if they were the only ones enjoying the terrible flood.
One of the monkeys saw these fish and pointed to his friend.
"Look down below, my friend, look at those poor, helpless creatures. They are going to drown. Do you see how they're struggling in the flood waters?"
"I do!" said the other monkey.
"What a shame! I bet they got stuck because they have no legs. How can we help them?"
"I don't know, but we must do something. Let's go down to the edge of the flood waters, where the water is not deep enough to sweep us up. I think we can help them get out."
So the monkeys did just that. They began catching each of the fish, but not without difficulty. One by one, they picked them up out of the water and put them carefully on the dry, hilly land. After a while, there was a pile of fish lying on the grass, not moving.
"Do you see? Those animals were so tired from struggling in the water, but now they are just resting and relaxing. If it had not been for us, my friend, all these poor animals without legs would have drowned," one of the monkeys said.
"They were trying to escape from us because they didn't understand our good intentions to help them. But when they wake up after their naps, they will be very grateful that we saved them!"
- Discuss the moral of the story. Were the monkeys being helpful? Why were their good intentions not so good after all? How would you explain your ideas to the monkeys?
- Paint an African sunset and write about your favorite African animals. (Download our pre-made template below.)
- Read the folktale from the template below together, filling in the blank spaces with words that make sense for the story. (Outside Sources: Story adapted from “How the Elephant Got His Trunk” by Rudyard Kipling and “The Twenty Ten Theme”, Wordpress, Retrieved from https://originalribenababy.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/why-the-elephant-has-a-trunk-and-why-the-crocodile-gave-up/)