A farmer walked from one end of his
field to the other, plowing with his ox. The rich, brown soil turned over,
leaving clumps and clods on top of the earth. Several birds flew overhead.
When they spotted the farmer in his fields, they knew that there would be
a lot of worms and crickets and centipedes and spiders and other bugs in
the turned over earth. Everything that had been resting peacefully beneath
the ground was now exposed to the air and the birds. As the farmer
finished a row of tilling, the birds flew down to gobble up the bugs.
A pelican flew by. He saw all the
other birds down there and wondered what they were doing. He landed in the
dirt and watched them eating wriggling spiders and long wiggly centipedes.
He listened as a crow crunched a scarab beetle, and saw a dove gobbling
down a fat juicy worm. They offered to share their find with the pelican.
He said, "No thank you," and walked away.
The pelican didnít want to eat bugs.
As he wandered away from the others, he saw something lying on top of the
ground and it didnít look like a bug. "Ah, peanuts!" They too had been dug
up. He bent his head over and ate one. "Mmm, tasses good," he said. He ate
another and then another. Some of the other birds noticed the pelican and
were curious as to what he was eating. They came towards him. Feeling
rather greedy, he picked all the peanuts off the top of the ground and
held them in his deep bill. "They can eat their bugs," he mumbled. "These
peanuts are mine." He was feeling very greedy.
When the crow asked what was in his
beak, he answered, "Oh, just a few bugs." Talking was hard as his bill was
full of peanuts. "A few beetles, nothing special." The crow shrugged his
wings and went off to find something else to eat.
The pelican knew he couldnít eat the
peanuts there. The others would find out, so he flapped his powerful wings
and flew into the air. The peanuts were heavy. His bill was so weighted
down that he could hardly fly. He couldnít flap his wings hard enough to
get up high into the air. Having no other choice, he dropped a few peanuts
out of his bill. They fell to the ground below, landing in the field near
the dove. The dove picked them up. "Hmmm, what are these? Peanuts," she
said, gobbling them down. "Where did they come from?" she wondered.
His bill was still too heavy, so he
dropped some more. They flew threw the air, landing on the ground next to
a crocodile. The croc watched them splash in the water. "Whatís that?" he
wondered. He swished his tail back and forth and moved through the river.
He tasted one. "Yummy, peanuts. Where did they come from?" he wondered as
he swam around looking for more.
The pelican could fly a little
better, but still had trouble. He was concentrating so hard on his bill
and not losing any more peanuts that he didnít see the tree. Crash! He
flew right into it. He landed up side down. His bill opened wide and all
the peanuts fell out. They landed on the ground inside a chicken coop.
Dozens of chickens soon came around to see what had fallen from the tree
and ate the peanuts all up as the pelican hung upside down.
Heíd lost every peanut and he was
still feeling hungry. He climbed flew back towards the field. He decided
that he needed to eat something, even a bug. He landed near the crow and
picked up a spider. Its long legs were wiggling about. Hesitating for just
a moment, he swallowed the bug. "Itís no peanut," he mumbled to himself,
ĎBut itíll do."
As he was turning over dirt clods
searching for another spider, he saw a peanut lying on the ground. Just
one peanut, that was all, but he swallowed it. It tasted so delicious. He
thought back and remembered seeing all the chickens eating his peanuts and
smiled. Next time, heíd share. Maybe heíd get more than one that way. A
spider ran over his webbed feet. He grabbed it and munched it down and
then went off to look for more.