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Colors of the Beetle: a retold faith based story from the Story Powerline
Thursday, February 13, 2020 by Becky Cerling Powers

In the rain forests of Brazil, people tell this story about how the beetles of the jungle got their brilliant colors.

Long ago, when Brazilian beetles were the color of dust, a beetle scurried as fast as he could run along the floor of the jungle. Along came a paca, which is a South American creature like a rat.

Proud paca

“Is that the fastest you can run?” the paca sneered. And he ran round and round the poor little beetle until the beetle was dizzy.

Now the parrot was watching, and he disliked the disrespectful way the paca was behaving. “Friend Beetle! Friend Paca!” the parrot called. “I see you are interested in the subject of speed. I think the two of you should have a race. I will ask my friend the Weaver Bird to give a new coat to the one who wins the race.”

A new coat for the winner

“A new coat?” said the paca. “I am tired of wearing brown with white spots. I want a purple coat, with yellow stripes.”

“A new coat?” said the beetle. “I am tired of being plain as dust. I would like to have bright colors like you, Friend Parrot.”

So they agreed to have their race. The first one to reach the tree at the top of the hill would be the winner.

The paca’s race

The parrot gave the signal to start, and the paca raced away as fast as he could go. He saw no sign of the beetle. His way was steep, running up the hill, but he kept panting and running, panting and running. He wanted that new coat.

Finally he reached the top of the hill. And there sat the beetle, waiting!

How’d you do that?

“How did you get here before me?” the paca asked.

“I flew,” the beetle said.

A new coat for the beetle

Today the beetles of the rain forest are all the colors of the bright parrot – blue, green, gold, purple, red. This is because the beetle won his race with the paca, the people say.

And they say something else as well: “Don’t judge people quickly. A dull coat might be covering up a pair of wings.”

How do you think the paca could have avoided making the mistake he made?

What the Bible says

 “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” (I Sam. 16:7, NIV)

Today’s Prayer

Lord, give me eyes to see the way you see. You don’t look at our appearance, but who we are inside. Amen.

Resource

This story is retold from We Like Kids! A Multicultural Storybook compiled by Jeff Brown, GoodYear Books

© Becky Cerling Powers 2019

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