Faulty Friendship: The Turtle and the Lizard
by Ugochukwu Ikwuakor
Litprime Solutions

"Two wrongs cannot make a right, and the hardest thing in life is to forgive and to forget."

In this children’s tale featuring Turtle and Lizard, the two animals and their families were once good friends. They went to the same school, and their friendship remained until there was a “great famine in the animal kingdom.” An emergency was declared in the animal kingdom, and the friendship between the two animals faltered. Turtle decided he had to help, so he journeyed to the land of the spirits in search of aid. Believing he was also a spirit, the denizens threw him a party, lavishing food and money on him for him to return home to help others.

However, upon his return, Lizard and his friends secretly stole the goods. Turtle blamed himself for this but also plotted revenge upon Lizard. He got even by tying a rope around Lizard’s tail and claimed it as his own. The two former friends went to court, and the judge ordered Lizard’s tail to be painted red to show that it belonged to Turtle. And this is why male lizards now have red tails.

This well-written tale of friendship gone bad relates how animals (and people) do bad things and what can go wrong because of this. The moral of the story is in the above quote, which begins the book. In some ways, it might have been better if the quote ended the book instead of appearing at the beginning because it makes it seem that the story ends with revenge. However, this tale about greediness and how it hurts all involved is a teaching story, as is the importance of friendships and not allowing these to go bad. It also teaches that animal friends, as well as people friends, can be of different types.

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