The Magic Gourd
by Baba Wague Diakite
Brother Rabbit lives a life of famine, hunger, and drought. One day, Brother Rabbit set out in search of food for his family. As he wandered, he sang "Luck will come. Life will be good." Brother Rabbit was startled as he heard someone talking in the thorny bush next to him. He looked, and it was a small green chameleon stuck in the thorns. The chameleon asked Brother Rabbit to rescue him from the bush, and the kind rabbit did. Once the chameleon was freed from the thorns, he asked Brother Rabbit to get his gourd from the bush, saying that he would pay him well. When Brother Rabbit retrieved the gourd from the bush, the chameleon told him to keep it. Brother Rabbit wondered why he would want a plain gourd. The chameleon then told Brother Rabbit that it was a magic gourd which would fill up with anything you asked for. Brother Rabbit took the gourd back to his family and filled it with food and water to eliminate their hunger and thirst. Brother Rabbit didn't want to let his neighbors suffer, so he told them about the gourd and word got around to the entire community. When word of the gourd reached the greedy king, the king and his soldiers forced the gourd out of Brother Rabbit's possession. Brother Rabbit's family returned to their famished lifestyle, when Brother Rabbit ran into the Chameleon once again. He told the chameleon what had happened, and the chameleon gave Brother Rabbit another gift, a rock that would bounce on the top of your head until you said the magic phrase to make it stop. Brother Rabbit took the rock to the king's palace, and let it bounce on his head until it drove him crazy in hopes of getting his gourd back. After much controversy, Brother Rabbit got the gourd back. Brother Rabbit was scared that the king would come after him, so he took his family and fleed to the country where his friend the chameleon lived. The chameleon taught Brother Rabbit and his family to camoflauge, and they lived happily undetected. Meanwhile, the king began to realize the importance of gerosity and friendship.
This story is great to incorporate in the classroom because there are many lessons you can get out of it. This story not only teaches the importance of kindness, generosity, and friendship, but it shows that even when you are in a bad situation or may not be living a plentiful life, if you look for the good in everything and keep your head up things will eventually work out in your favor.