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The Cricket's Supper - Texas Folktale

Published August 15, 2008
Countries: USA, USA (West Texas)
Age Levels: 4-5 and up

Cricket was sitting near the edge of the woods, close to a slow moving stream.  He was chirping happily in the late afternoon, enjoying the feeling of the sunshine that was coming through the leaves of the trees.  He was looking to find something to eat for his supper.

Then "SLURP!"  The long sticky tongue of the Frog reached out and grabbed him.  "Umm, Umm," said the Frog, careful not to let the Cricket go.  You came right into my back yard."

"I didn't mean to come into your yard," said the Cricket.  "I will never do it again if you let me go just this one time!"

"I can't do that," said the Frog.  "You're my supper.  I have a wife and a family to feed.  Why my tadpoles just came out of the stream.  They've only had mosquitos and small insects that landed on the water to eat.  They'll enjoy you for dinner."

Just then, "HISS!"  An even stickier tongue of the Lizard wrapped around the Frog and pulled the Frog towards its mouth.  "Umm, Umm," said the Lizard, careful not to let the Frog go.  "You came right into my back yard."

"I didn't mean to come into your yard," said the Frog.  "I will never do it again if you let me go just this one time!"

"I can't do that," said the Lizard.  "You're my supper.  I have a wife and a family to feed.  My babies just hatched out of their eggs.  They've only had a few tiny bugs and worms to eat.  They'll enjoy you for dinner."

Just then, "SNAP" The jaws of a snake grabbed the Lizard by the tail.  His teeth and fangs held the Lizard's tail while the snake wrapped his long body around the Lizard and began to squeeze it.  "Umm, Umm," said the snake, careful to not let the Lizard go.  "You came right into my back yard."

"I didn't mean to come into your yard," said the Lizard.  "I will never do it again if you let me go just this one time!"

"I can't do that," said the Snake.  "You're my supper.  I have a wife and a family to feed.  My babies just hatched.  Their mama had been carrying the eggs around inside her until my babies were ready to be born,  Then they came out live and wiggling and HUNGRY!  Most snakes don't care for their young, but I thought I'd feed mine dinner before leaving them on their own.  They'll enjoy you for dinner."

Just then, "SCREECH!" A huge bird swooped down from the sky and grabbed the Snake in its talons and flew back high into the sky.  "Umm, umm," said the Bird, careful to not let the Snake go.  "You came right into my back yard."

"I didn't mean to come into your yard," said the Snake.  "I will never do it again if you let me go just this one time!"

"I can't do that," said the Bird.  "You're my supper.  I have a wife and a family to feed.  Why my babies just hatched and are waiting at home in the nest.  Their mama and I have been looking for food to give them.  They'll enjoy you for dinner."

Just then, "BANG." A sound from the ground could be heard.  A hunter blew the smoke from the barrel of his gun as the Bird spiraled to the ground.  "Umm, umm, said the man, while walking to where the Bird fell.  "You flew right over my back yard."

The man was quite surprised to see what happened next.  The Snake was working hard to get free from the Bird and let go of the Lizard.  The Lizard was working hard to get free from the Snake and let go of the Frog.  The Frog was working hard to get free from the Lizard and let go of the Cricket.  The Cricket was working hard to get free from the Frog.  Cricket got away from the frog,  But, he forgot all about being hungry and hurried home without any supper.

The man picked up the bird.  "Sorry!" he said to the Bird as he picked it up and headed for home.  "But I have a wife and children at home who are hungry.  They'll enjoy you for dinner!"

Note: This story is an addaptation of a folktale in The Child's Book of Folklore, 1947, edited by Marion Emrich and George Korson who atributed the story to folk stories in Texas and Southwestern Lore, 1927, by Bertha McKee Dobie, University of Texas Press.

Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to Mike@mikelockett.com in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs. The illustration for this tory was created by Chung Yi-Ru - Copyright 2014 owned by Mike Lockett.  More stories and information about storytelling can be found at www.mikelockett.com