The topic today is the power of story. In modern society we sometimes mistake the flashy or the violent for true power. This East African tale, which was adapted for the book, moves us into today’s theme.


Way back before there were buildings and lots of people here, when it was still mostly for est, some of the animals were bored one day and decided to have a contest to see who was the strongest. Buffalo, Bobcat, Deer, and Crawfish gathered in a clearing at the top of the big hill that overlooks the bay. They were ready to get started on the contest except for the fact that Man, who was fairly new to the area and had wanted a chance to compete, had not yet arrived. Before long they heard Man bustling through the woods. They always heard Man before he arrived. Just as the man got to the clearing, Buffalo saw him stop and lean over to put something in the thicket. Then Man came into the clearing and greeted the animals

Buffalo, who had made himself in charge of the strength contest, explained the rules and told Crawfish to begin. Quick as could be, the crawfish slid to the center of the clearing and began to dig a huge mud chimney, which began to grow up and up until it reached Buffalo’s snout. At that moment, Crawfish appeared at the top of the chimney and grabbed Buffalo by the nose with his big red claw. Buffalo snorted and shook his head but couldn’t free himself of the little crustacean. Finally, Crawfish released the buffalo and dropped back onto his chimney. Raising both claws into the air, Crawfish proclaimed loudly, “STRENGTH!”

The other animals were amazed. “Wow,” said Bobcat. “That’s a pretty impressive display of strength!” Deer took a step back, not wanting to stick his nose into the conversation. Buffalo snorted, rubbed his snout in the mud, and nodded for Bobcat to show his strength.

With that, Bobcat growled and lunged forward…

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