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How the Ostrich Got His Long Neck: a faith based retold story from the Story Powerline
Monday, September 9, 2019 by Retold by Becky Cerling Powers

The Africans say that once upon a time the ostrich’s neck was short, like any other bird’s neck. His neck became so long, they say, because he was foolish in his choice of friends and stubborn about listening to advice. For, you see, the ostrich wanted to be friends with the crocodile.

 What the monkey said

“Leave him alone,” warned the monkey. “You can’t trust him. He ate my brother’s baby last summer. “

 “What do you know?” retorted the ostrich.

 What the elephant said

“You are a foolish bird,” the elephant said. “Just watch the way the crocodile lies in wait for little creatures. He has a bad reputation, and he has earned it. Stay away from him.”

 But the stubborn ostrich paid no attention.

 One day, the crocodile was hungry. “OOOH!” he moaned. “I have a terrible ache in my jaw. Help me, Friend Ostrich!”

 “How can I help?” the ostrich asked.

 What the crocodile said

“Look inside my mouth,” the crocodile said. “Find the tooth that hurts.” He opened his jaws wide, and the ostrich looked inside.

 “Put your head in farther,” the crocodile said. “The tooth that hurts is way in back.”

 But when the ostrich thrust his head all the way in to the back of the crocodile’s long mouth, the crocodile suddenly popped his jaws together.

 What the ostrich said

 They played tug of war all day, and I assure you, the game was not fun for Ostrich. As he pulled and kept pulling, his neck stretched longer and longer.

 Finally, the crocodile grew tired and gave up. He let go of the big bird’s head. Ostrich raced away, with his long neck bobbing.

 Ostrich’s neck never returned to its former size. Now whenever he stoops his head to take a drink in river or pool, he can see the reflection of that long, long neck. It reminds him to pay attention to good advice, and stay away from “friends” like Crocodile.

 Food for Thought: Why is it foolish to hang out with untrustworthy people?

 Worth Repeating: The Bible says, “He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded” (Proverbs 13:13 NIV)

 Today’s Prayer: “Lord, help me to be friendly and kind to everyone, and yet be cautious about who I hang out with for friends.” Amen.

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