Resources for ages 9-11 in Language & Literature
Teaching Tools, 19 February 2007
Tit for Tat
in Sybella Wilkes, One day we had to run!, (London, Evans Brothers, 1994)
The camel and the fox were friends and thieves. A true friendship. One day, they wanted to cross the river so that they could go to the farm and steal food. The camel said to the fox, "Get on my back so that we can cross the river." And the fox crossed the river on the camel's back.
On the other side, they arrived at the farm. The fox caught the chickens and the camel ate the vegetables. The fox finished eating the chickens quickly because he had only a small stomach. When he had finished, he said to the camel, "After I have eaten my lunch I am accustomed to singing." The camel, who had not finished eating because he had a large stomach, cried, "Don't sing! The farmer will hear you. Let me finish my lunch first." But the fox didn't listen, and started to sing. The men at the farm heard the singing and came running. The fox ran away quickly, but the camel could only run slowly. The men caught the camel and beat him until his bones started to hurt. When they let him go, he went to the river. The fox was waiting there because he couldn't swim. The fox said, "Can I get on your back to cross the river?" The camel replied, "Get up!" and the fox jumped on the camel's back. When the camel came to the middle of the river, where the water is very deep, he said, "After I have eaten my lunch I am accustomed to taking a bath." The fox begged, "No, no, please don't take a bath! I will drown!" "I'm sorry," replied the camel, "but I always take a bath after lunch." And slowly he let his backbone go down into the water. "Help!" shouted the fox. The camel said, "Do you feel sorry for what you did?" "Yes! Help!" replied the fox. The camel felt sorry for the fox. He said, "I cannot let you die," and he took the fox to the other side of the river. When they reached the riverbank, the fox and the camel both promised that they would never hurt one another again. "But," said the camel, "that was tit for tat." And they both laughed.
by Daniel Arou Diing Arou aged 14, Sudanese, Dinka Bor tribe