(This story comes from a folk tale from Africa. It is based on a story retold by Elaine L. Lindy and a play script adapted by Lindsay Parker.)

Once upon a time in Africa there lived a Hare in a cave. The Hare thought it would be a great idea to take a walk in the beautiful weather to go visit a friend. A Caterpillar entered Hare’s cave while Hare was gone.

Caterpillar sat on Hare’s chair and looked around. He thought the cave was very lovely.

“I think I will stay here,” Caterpillar said.

As soon as he spoke, he heard his voice echoing in the cave. That made him very happy. “I have a little voice, but in this cave my voice sounds so big!”

Hare returned to his cave. Hare looked around and saw that someone must be in his cave. He called out, “Who is here? Who is in my cave?”

Caterpillar answered him with his big, echoing voice, “I am here! I am bigger and stronger than anyone around.”

Hare was afraid. How was he going to be able to enter back into his cave?

Jackal arrived and Hare asked him for help. “A big and strong animal is inside my cave. I need

your help to get it out of there!”

Jackal was happy to try to help. He called out, “Who is in Hare’s cave?”

Caterpillar answered him with his big, echoing voice, “I am here! I am bigger and stronger than anyone around.”

Jackal did not think he could help. “That animal must be bigger than I am. I must go!”

Jackal left and soon Leopard arrived.

Hare turned to Leopard for help. “A big and strong animal is inside my cave. I need your help to get it out of there!”

Leopard said, “I can help. See how big and strong I am!”

Leopard called out, “Who is in Hare’s cave?”

Caterpillar answered her with his big, echoing voice, “I am here! I am bigger and stronger

than anyone around.”

Leopard turned to Hare, “Oh no! That animal is bigger and stronger than I am. I am sorry, but I must go.”

Leopard left and soon Rhino arrived.

Hare turned to Rhino for help. “A big and strong animal is inside my cave. I need your help to get it out of there! You are big and strong.”

Rhino said, “Oh, yes, I can help. See how big and strong I am! Nothing scares me.”

Rhino called out, “Who is in Hare’s cave?”

Caterpillar answered with his big, echoing voice, “I am here! I am bigger and stronger than anyone around.”

Rhino turned to Hare, “Hare, that big and loud voice in the cave scares me. You need someone bigger. Maybe Elephant can help you. I’m sorry.

Elephant arrived and asked if he was needed. “I am so big and so strong in this forest. How can I help?”

Hare said, “A big and strong animal is inside my cave. I need your help to get it out of there! You are big and strong.”

Elephant said, “Yes. I can help you.”

Elephant called out, “Who is in Hare’s cave?”

Caterpillar answered with his big, echoing voice, “I am here! I am bigger and stronger than anyone around.”

Elephant and Rhinoceros both screamed and ran away.

Hare was so scared and confused. He had no idea what he was going to do.

Frog arrive and asked Hare what was happening. Hare told Frog about the big and loud animal in the cave. Hare told Frog about trying to call out to the animal. Hare told Frog that Jackal, Leopard, Rhino, and Elephant also tried, too. “All of them tried to help. All of them got scared and ran away.”

Frog said, “I know I am not as big and as strong as Jackal, Leopard, Rhino, and Elephant. I would still like to try to help. Can I please try to help?”

Hare answered, “Oh, yes. You can try. Please help me.”

Frog called out, “Who is in Hare’s cave? I am the one who is bigger and stronger than anyone around. Come out of this cave right this instant!”

Caterpillar answered, “What a big and scary voice! I am only a caterpillar. I am coming out now. Please don’t hurt me!”

Hare saw the caterpillar as he came out. He could not believe it. “Oh, dear! This whole time it was YOU in my cave?”

Jackal, Leopard, Rhinoceros and Elephant came back. They were all surprised that it was only a caterpillar in the cave.

Hare said, “I was not scared of Caterpillar. I was scared of that big and loud voice.”

Rhinoceros agreed. “How did such a small Caterpillar have such a big voice?”

Caterpillar replied, “This cave was so lovely. When I spoke, I heard a lovely echo. It made me feel so big!”

Jackal, Leopard, Rhinoceros, and Elephant all gave Caterpillar an angry look. Caterpillar

decided he should leave.

The animals all laughed together about how they were all afraid of the tiny Caterpillar.

Hare pointed to frog and said, “Yes, all of us were afraid except one.”