The Sly Sloth

Well, my friends, it seems as though I have been able to teach many a valuable lesson to my little chicks with these bedtime stories. They sure seem to be growing up nicely to be good, well-rounded birds. However, they still seem to be having trouble falling asleep without the help of a bedtime story. So last week, I decided to tell them an interesting story about a clever but deceitful sloth. Now, I knew that the morals of the story were not the best to be promoting to my chicks, so I made sure to tell them ahead of time that this story was just for entertainment and that they should not ever act like the sly sloth. The story of The Sly Sloth went a little like this:

(Image Information: Pygmy Sloth; Web Source: Earth Times)


Once upon a time, there was a sloth who lived deep in the most luscious jungle in the whole rainforest region of South America. Now as we all know, sloths are one of the slowest animals in the world. They live a life of leisure that involves very little moving or activity. This particular sloth was the laziest of all the sloths. So lazy in fact, that he soon ran out of food, with no obvious way of getting more. The sloth was so lazy that rather than going about getting food himself, he instead lay around for hours and hours thinking. He thought and thought until he figured out a way for him to get something to eat, without working too hard. 

He found his four closest neighbors: the mouse, the snake, the wild boar, and the jaguar. They all lived close enough that they often passed by the sloth's tree on their own ways home. This meant that he could talk to each of them without ever having to leave his home! First, the mouse walked by. The sloth called out to him asking if he might have some of the mouse's food. He promised to pay the mouse back the next day if he came back over to the sloth's house up in the tree. The mouse agreed. Next, the snake slithered by, and the sloth called out to him asking if he might have some of the snake's food. He promised to pay the snake back the next day if he came back over to the sloth's house up in the tree. The snake also agreed, and then slithered off. A little while later the wild boar waddled by. The sloth called out to him asking if he might have some of the boar's food. He promised to pay the boar back the next day if he came back over to the sloth's house up in the tree. The boar agreed although rather reluctantly. The boar was fairly selfish and didn't enjoy sharing with others, but the sloth had once warned him about a nearby hunter, and so the boar owed him. Finally, the jaguar strolled by the sloth's tree house. The sloth called out to him asking if he might have some of the jaguar's food. He promised to pay the jaguar back the next day if he came back over to the sloth's house up in the tree.

By the end of the day, the sloth had enough food to create a massive feast. He ate as much as he could that night, and then he woke up the next morning and ate the rest. He was so full that all he wanted to do was to sleep. He knew that the other animals would be coming soon to be repaid, so the sloth tied a cloth around his head and got into bed, pretending to be very sick. First the mouse came in, and the sloth said how he was very sick, and the mouse felt bad for him and did not request repayment. Then the snake knocked on the door and the sloth told the mouse that if he hid under the bed, he would be safe from the snake. When the sloth let the snake come in, he told him that he was very sick, and so the snake felt sorry for him and didn't request repayment from the sloth. A knock at the door signaled the approach of the wild boar. The snake also hid under the bed. The wild boar also felt bad for the "sick" sloth and didn't demand repayment. Finally, the jaguar knocked at the door, causing the boar to also hide under the bed. The jaguar felt sorry that the sloth was sick and didn't ask for the sloth to pay him back. 

All of a sudden, the animals all became aware of each other and the snake ate the mouse, the boar ate the snake and the jaguar devoured the boar. During the commotion the sly sloth was able to sneak out, and he is still hiding from the jaguar today. 

Now I know that this story promotes trickery, but I made sure to tell my chicks ahead of time about the sneaky sloth, and the story did just the trick to get my kiddies to go to sleep! To all you mothers out there, feel free to use these stories to help your little babies fall to sleep! They work like magic!

Author's Note: For this last story of my storybook I retold How the Monkey Got Food by Elsie Eells Spicer from Fairy Tales from Brazil. In my version of the story, the main change I made was the characters. In the original story, the monkey is the main character, and the animals he tricked were a hen, a fox, a dog and a tiger. I decided to make my story a little more tropical and changed the setting to a South American rainforest. Therefore, I changed my main character to a sloth, and then changed the tricked animals to a mouse, a snake, a wild boar and a jaguar. I decided to make my main character a sloth because sloths are known to be very slow and lazy, and so I am assuming that they must be very smart to make up for their physical disadvantages. I tried to emphasize the laziness of the sloth in his actions and the way that he went about getting his food. I didn't really think that rainforest animals would be eating porridge as a food source, but then I couldn't really think of a food that a sloth, mouse, snake , boar and jaguar would all eat, so I just kept the food borrowed as a generic "food." Otherwise I kept the plot of the story almost exactly the same as  in the original story. As for my little storyteller mother hen, I kept her personality consistent with my previous stories, but instead of having this bedtime story teach a lesson, I decided just to retell a more fun and entertaining story that didn't necessarily promote good values. However, I kept her motherly skills in place and had her warn her kids about never acting like the sly sloth. Once a mother hen, always a mother hen!

Bibliography:
Title Story: How the Monkey Got Food
Storybook Title: Fairy Tales from Brazil
Author: Elsie Spicer Eells
Year Published: 1917
Web Source: Project Gutenberg