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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Big Egg

The Big Egg

Long vines dangled from the trees. They were thick and rope-like. Chipo swung from tree to tree, using the vines to swing through the branches. Stopping to rest, the monkey looked down. "Whatís that?" she wondered. "It looks like a big egg." She was feeling very curious, so she climbed down the tree trunk to the ground. The egg was cream-colored and very large. Chipo poked at it with her fingers. "It feels like an egg. It looks like an egg, but what animal lays eggs that big?"

She heard some giggling coming from the bushes and ran towards the noise. Juma was lying in the grass, talking to Zina and Pemba. "What are you doing?" Chipo asked.

"Juma keeps pulling his tail. It looks funny," the small ant said.

"Juma, why arenít you running about the savanna like all the other tigers? Tigers arenít supposed to be playful. Theyíre supposed to be hungry and growl and things like that," the monkey said.

Pemba stopped giggling. "Chipo, Juma isnít like all the other tigers. Heís only a cub. Maybe he likes to be playful."

"What do you want, Chipo?" the tiger cub asked. "Did you want to watch me pull my tail too?"

"No, I found something and wondered if youíd come and look at it. Itís the oddest thing," the monkey said.

"What is it?" Zina asked.

Just then Abiba came flying from a tree branch. "Whatís all this talk about? Did you find a treasure chest?" the bird wondered.

Zaid slithered into the clearing. Soon butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees and all sorts of bugs came flying over to listen. "Whatís going on here?" Zaid hissed.

"Follow me. Thereís a giant egg lying in the grass. Iíve never seen on this big before," Chipo said.

"How big is it?" Abiba squawked.

"Itís this big," Chipo said, spreading his arms out wide.

"Letís go see it," Juma roared.

The animals followed Chipo. They stopped and stared at the huge egg. "Wow! Thatís a big egg," Abiba said.

"Thatís more than huge," Juma exclaimed.

"Who laid an egg that big? Was it a wild turkey? Maybe it was a crocodile," Zaid said.

"Crocodiles donít lay eggs that big," Chipo answered.

They poked it with sticks and the two ants crawled all over it. The butterflies and dragonflies fluttered around it, but nobody knew who laid the egg. Just as they were about to roll it through the grass and play with it, a huge bird came running towards them. "Leave my egg alone," she shouted.

The others looked at the bird. "Thatís the biggest bird Iíve ever seen in my life," Chipo gawked. It had a fat body, two powerful and very large legs, and a long neck with a smaller head on top. Feathers fluffed out at the bottom of its neck. "What are you?" the monkey asked.

"Iím an ostrich and this is my egg," Limber told them. "I went down to the river for a swim. I come back to find you animals about ready to use my egg as a ball to roll on?" She bent down and pecked at the monkeyís tail. "Go away and leave my egg alone."

"Ouch," Chipo cried, holding her tail.

Juma looked at his tail, grabbed it in his paw and ran away. "Iím outta here," he said, and disappeared.

The snake slithered into the bushes and the bright blue bird flew away into the treetops. The ants hid under a rock and the bugs fluttered away. "Well, what are you waiting for?" Limber said, bending over to peck Chipoís tail again. "Go!"

Chipo jumped into the tree and climbed as high as she could. She swung on the vines and didnít stop until she was far away. "The next time I see a big egg," she panted, out of breath, "Iím leaving it alone. Curiosity kills the cat, but next time it might kill me!" She picked a ripe banana from a tree and gobbled it down, happy to be away from the huge ostrich and her egg.

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