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
"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
"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
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.