One there lived in the sacred River Ganges a big water snake. He used to hide underneath a rock and look for a fish swimming by. Then the snake would dart out from under the rock, grab the fish in its mouth, and eat it. The snake always took the fish by surprise and always got to eat it.

One day when the snake was swimming in the river, he saw a whole school of very small fish eating their meal together. "How fortunate I am today!" the snake said to himself. "I have a whole lot of fish right here for me to eat."

And the snake opened his mouth very wide and swam into the middle of all the fish. He was expecting to catch the fish as easily as he usually did. "I'm going to eat them all up," the snake said.

But before he could eat even one of them, the whole school of fish surrounded the snake and started biting him. From head to tail, they bit the snake until he hurt all over.

The snake was afraid that the tiny fish would end up killing him, so he swam away as quickly as he could to the riverbank.

The snake was in great pain and lay down to rest. Near him, he saw a big green frog who was lying on a rock and getting warm in the afternoon sun. The snake called out, "My dear sir, just look at what those fish did to me. Does it seem right to you that they should attack me in such a way?"

The big green frog looked at the injured snake and croaked out in reply, "You are used to sneaking up on the fish one at a time and eating them up. Now you thought you could gobble them up all at once by swimming among them. You are just a bully, but you found out that together the fish are stronger than you. Now they have gotten the better of you!"

Bringing It Home

To Do This Week

  • Draw or paint a picture of the snake. If you were a fish swimming alone, would the snake scare you? Tell a story about how someone tried to bully you.
  • Pretend you are a fish that somehow got away from the snake. What would you do next time? Imagine you were a friend of the fish that got away. What would you do when you heard about what the snake was doing?
  • Think about what the frog said. Do you think the snake agreed with him? Do you think the fish agreed with the frog?
  • Think of a task in your home--moving a big, heavy table, for example--that only the whole family together can do.
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