The Frog and the Condor               (Peru)             HIGH in the Andes Mountains there once lived a frog in a cool str...
frog on a rock, looking at her with sympathy. "What is the matter?" And the girl pouredout her troubles to the frog while ...
The Andean condor is the largest flying land bird in the Western hemisphere. Its wingspanreaches over 10 feet. The range o...
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The frog and the condor I

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A peruvian tale

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The frog and the condor I

  1. 1. The Frog and the Condor (Peru) HIGH in the Andes Mountains there once lived a frog in a cool stream.This poor frog was born not like the others - her front right leg was nearly twice as longas her left one. "If only I had two perfect legs like my brothers and sisters," the frogbemoaned whenever she caught her limping reflection in the rushing waters. Near the stream, and feeling just as sad as the frog, lived a girl in the cave ofa condor, a huge black vulture. She was forced to remain at his nest in a faraway cave ona rocky mountain outcrop. The giant black bird had plucked her from her happylivelihood as a shepherdess and carried her back to its nest, where she had to work hardevery day, beating his vicuna skins into blankets for his bed and into rugs for his nest,and preparing huge meals to satisfy his voracious appetite. The little frog would sometimes watch the condor sail high in the air, thenswoop for his prey. And the frog sometimes followed the condor home, to the girl andher wailings, a sound that reminded her of her own sad heart. One day, she overheardthis conversation- "So - did you beat the new vicuna skins to add to my bed?" "Yes, sir." "And where is my dinner?" "Its ready for you, sir. Now please, may I go to the stream to wash myclothes?" "Absolutely not! Do you take me for a fool? You would try to escape!" "No I wouldnt - please - I simply must wash my clothes. And besides, aslong as you hear me beating my clothes on the rocks, youll know Im still there." "Hmm, very well then, but be sure I hear you beating your clothes or Ill flythere in a second and beat you myself!" So the girl, whose parents had named her Collyur, which means MorningStar, wrapped herself in one of the vicuna skins and tied her clothes into a bundle thatshe carried to the stream. As Collyur beat her clothes against the rocks, she cried bitterly for her lostfreedom. She was nothing but a slave, tending to the condors every demand, whilefearing every moment for her very life. With each beat of her clothes she burst out withanother wail. "Please dont cry," said a small voice. Collyur looked down to see a little 1
  2. 2. frog on a rock, looking at her with sympathy. "What is the matter?" And the girl pouredout her troubles to the frog while the creature listened and sighed. "I can help you," said the frog finally. "Im afraid there is nothing on earth that can help me." Collyur turned away,still careful to hit her clothes against the rocks with a regular beat. "But I can," said the frog. "I have a bit of magic. For a few minutes, I canchange myself into any creature. If I change myself into you and keep beating yourclothes, the condor will think youre still here and you can escape." "Do you think it would work?" Collyur brightened and looked with wonderat this little frog, who seemed at that moment to be the most beautiful creature on earth.She leaned over and kissed the frog on the forehead. "We cannot wait a second more," said the frog, and in an instant changedinto the image of Collyur. The new Collyur picked up the girls clothes and resumedbeating them against the rocks. "Now go!" At once, Collyur ran as fast as she could down the mountain to the valleyand the shepherds home. The little frog, as the image of Collyur, kept beating the clotheswith the same motion. "Whats keeping that foolish girl?" the condor hissed after many minutes hadpassed. "Shell make me wait here all day!" The condor flew to the stream where he sawthe image of Collyur kneeling over the rocks, beating her clothes. Landing on a highrock, he shook his beak, a hook powerful enough to pierce the hide of a llama, andshrieked, "Stop it at once, you silly girl! Come back with me now!" The girl stood up, jumped into the stream, and completely disappeared. Thecondor flew directly over the very spot but saw no shadow of a girl swimmingunderneath the water, only a frog hopping about. While the condor flew up and down thestream, she was running away, closer and closer to freedom. After several hours hadpassed and he could find no sign of the girl, he flew back to his cave in a rage. When the frog rejoined her brothers and sisters in the stream, they allgathered around her in a crowd. "What is it?" said the little frog nervously, and shetucked her too-large right leg underneath so it wouldnt show as much. "Why - youre beautiful!" said one sister. Fearing a joke, the little frogglanced in the water and noticed a shiny jewel glimmering on her forehead, whereCollyur had planted the kiss. "Its like the morning star!" said another. From then on, the frog lifted herhead with pride, no longer afraid to catch a glimpse of her own reflection in the rushingwaters. 2
  3. 3. The Andean condor is the largest flying land bird in the Western hemisphere. Its wingspanreaches over 10 feet. The range of the Andean condor is along the Andes mountain chain fromVenezuela to the Strait of Magellan.The vicuna, prey of the condor, is a relative of the llama that produces small amounts (about apound per year) of very fine wool. The species is considered endangered.SOURCE:Retold by Elaine L. Lindy, ©2006. All rights reserved.OTHER VERSION:A story titled "Little Frog of the Stream" from Latin American Tales by Genevieve Barlow (Rand,McNally & Company: Chicago, 1966) pp. 57-61.Amber, age 9Why did the frog help the girl?For her freedom.Why was the frog never again troubled by how she looked?Because of the jewel on her head.Jenny, age 8Why did the frog help the girl?So that she could have her freedom.Why was the frog never again troubled by how she looked?Because she had a jewel on her head.Alise, age 9 years oldWhy did the frog help the girl?because she had watched the girl and felt sorry for her.Why was the frog never again troubled by how she looked?Because Collyur means "morning star" so when she kissed the frog onthe forehead it turned into a shape like a morning star. 3

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