Chevrotain (mouse deer) is the cleverest animal in the whole jungles of Indonesia. Many animals will come to the chevrotain to ask for help and advices and the chevrotain always gladly helps them.
One day the chevrotain was walking around to find food. Being a dry season it was a very hot day and food was scarce so the chevrotain had to walk far away from his home. He kept walking and feeling very thirsty he tried to find a river to drink from. Fortunately he found a clear and beautiful river and he satisfied his thirst with water from that river. After refreshing himself he continued his journey, searching and eating green leaves from whatever bushes he could find.
As he wandered, he came to a plain area by the river. From this place he could see clearly the scenery on the other side of the river. And lo, there was a large fruit garden abundant with fresh and ripening fruits of all kinds. This is scenery he had not seen for a long time because of the long dry season in his home jungle. “Oh, if only I could lay my tongue on those beautiful and tempting fruits...” the chevrotain said to himself. He looked and looked around but there was no bridge of any kind that he could use to cross the river. Instead, he only found a crocodile sun bathing by the brink of the river. Not only there was no bridge, the river was full of crocodiles!
But the chevrotain was not the cleverest animal for no reason. He strengthened himself and walked slowly to approach the crocodile. Keeping a safe distance he greeted the crocodile, “Greetings to you, crocodile my friend. How are you today?” The crocodile, surprised to see a weak animal talking to him, was hesitant for a while. But the warmth of the sun cooled his ill-natured temper and he decided to be nice (for the moment) to the chevrotain. “I’m good, thanks. What brings you here, chevrotain?” he asked in return.
“Oh, I come to bring you good news, crocodile.” the chevrotain answered. The crocodile got very excited and said “Good news? Oh please tell me right away what it is...”
The chevrotain, glad that his approach was successful until now, declared the good news: “King Solomon wants to know how many crocodiles are in this river so he can give enough presents to all of you crocodiles.” Upon hearing the name of King Solomon who is the ruler of all animal on the earth and can speak all animal languages, the crocodile beamed with pride. He quickly said to the chevrotain, “Ok, wait here while I summon all my friends so you can count us...” and he quickly dived into the river and called all of his friends. And all they came, tens of crocodiles packed together by the river.
“Ok,” the chevrotain continued with his ingenious idea. “All of you crocodiles, line one by one starting from this side of the river until the other side and I will count you.” The crocodiles, being happy thinking about presents they would get from King Solomon, obeyed the command and lined neatly from one side of the river to the other. The chevrotain then walked to them. He hopped unto the first crocodile, calling out “One!” He then hopped unto the other crocodiles one at a time, and calling out a number each time he landed on a crocodile. And there he is! After stomping on tens of crocodiles heads the chevrotain got to the other side of the river. Upon reaching the land he quickly ran from the crocodiles and found his way to the dream fruit garden where he enjoyed himself and admired his own cleverness in solving a seemingly hopeless situation.
Moral: Solving problems needs creativity. Don’t focus on obstacles. Instead, use the obstacles as part of the solution itself.
These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.