One Good Turn
This story comes from India. A wise and honorable man meets a Tiger trapped in a cage. The Tiger pleads with the man to set him free. “Why should I?” asks the man. “You’ll turn around and eat me.” “Nothing could be further from the truth!” the tiger assures the man, “We’ll be friends forever.” But when the man opens the tiger’s cage, the tiger pounces on him. “Wait!” This is so unfair!” cries the man. “Unfair? For a tiger to eat a man? Ha!” says the tiger. “If you can find just one animal who thinks it is unfair for a tiger to eat a man, you may keep your life.” Just in time, a clever jackal happens by, saves the man and teaches the tiger a lesson about gratitude and keeping his word.
Tug of War
From West Africa comes this tale of arrogance and humility. The elephant and the hippopotamus each claim to be the strongest animal in the forest. “I’m just a powerful as you are,” claims the lowly tortoise, and he challenges the other animals to a tug of war. The tortoise uses his intelligence to outsmart the elephant and the hippopotamus and show that he can pull his own weight – and theirs as well!
The Lion and the Mouse
Aesop’s classic fable about friendship was written in ancient Greece, but the lesson it teaches is just as true today. A tiny mouse angers a mighty lion by waking him up. The mouse begs the lion not to eat him, promising to help the lion when he is in need. “What a laugh!” sputters the lion. How could someone so small help someone so large?
But not long afterward the lion is caught in a hunter’s net. He struggles to escape, roaring in anger and confusion, but the net holds him fast. The little mouse hears the lion and uses his sharp little teeth to chew him free. Even those small in stature can do great deeds.