Folktale From Haiti: Wings on Her Feet

adapted by Adam Price (Peace Corps Volunteer, Haiti, 1996–1998)

You can also listen to this story by clicking here.

Photo by Garrett Crawford

There once was a gentle little donkey named Zel Nan Pye. Everyone in town would call out, “Hello, Zel!” as she trotted by, and Zel’s long, furry ears would stick straight up at the sound. Although Zel longed to turn her big, brown eyes and reply, Madame Charity, her owner, held her reins too tight.

“Keep moving!” Madame Charity would call out from above her. “I haven’t time for any social calls.”

As much as everyone in town loved Zel, they feared Madame Charity. She was an angry, spiteful old woman who threw stones at birds when they sang and hollered at little girls when they laughed. But to poor Zel, she was the meanest of all.

Every Saturday, Madame Charity loaded Zel down with heavy sacks of rice and sugar that she sold at the market. Although the old woman knew that whoever arrived at the market earliest sold the most, she always woke up late.

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Folktale from Haiti: Why Cats and Dogs Never Get Along

adapted by Donalson Latour

'Children Playing' by Montas Antoine (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) 1960

One day Mr. Cat and Mr. Dog were in a discussion about going to God to ask him a favor. Mr. Cat says he was going to God to ask him “can dead people don’t come back to life,” and Mr. Dog says he was going to ask God “can dead people come back to life.”

So they decided to race each other to see who’s going to get to God first. Mr. Cat was so clever; he puts a bone in every corner that he knows Mr. Dog was going to turn on so he can slow him down. Mr. Dog thought of something smart too but he was not clever enough to trick Mr. Cat, so Mr. Dog puts a bowl of milk in every corner that he knows Mr. Cat was going to turn on so he can slow down.

While Mr. Cat was running he saw the milks but he didn’t pay any attention to them because he knows what Mr. Dog was trying to do. And Mr. Dog was so stupid and greedy, he stopped in every corner to enjoy the bones that Mr. Cat prepared for him but he didn’t know if it was a trick to slow him down.

So then, Mr. Cat reaches God first, when Mr. Cat gets to God he started talking to him and said, “God I don’t want you to bring dead people back to life,” and God said, “Okay no problem.”

Then Mr. Cat went home. When Mr. Dog finally finished enjoying his bones, he went to God and said “God, can dead people come back to life?” and God said, “I’m sorry Mr. Dog, Mr. Cat already came here and told me that he doesn’t want dead people come back to life.”

So, since then, dogs don’t like cats. And every time a cat sees a dog, the cats always trying to approach the dogs friendly but dogs always give them mean look. That’s why cats and dogs never get along.

The End

“Why Cats and Dogs Never Get Along” has a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

Here are some ways to give earthquake assistance to the people of Haiti:

The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations Food Program are putting medical supplies, doctors, nurses, food and water on the ground in Haiti to try to prevent the worsening catastrophe and enormous loss of life.

Storybook: A Trip to the Market

by Bonnie Blake (Canada)

Hop…step…hop went Beth up the driveway. She flung open the wooden gate and galloped into the backyard.

“Please go to the store for me,” said her mother. “I’m not done planting the tulips.”

“What are we having for lunch?” Beth asked.

“I haven’t decided yet, but we need bread.”

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Storybook: A Puss in Boots Wants Red Shoes

by Karen Lewis (Canada)
illustrated by Kelly Dorman


Once upon a time there was a little black and white kitten named Wendy, who didn’t want to be a puss in boots. “I’m tired of wearing boots all the time,” she told her mother. “I want shoes, red ones. They would match my jumper.”

Wendy had first seen the shoes she wanted, in a shop window on her way to school. They were a lovely shade of cherry red, with shiny black soles and silver buckles. But her mother would not listen. “A nice pair of new black boots will wear longer and be warmer in winter,” she stated firmly. “And you can even step in puddles with them.”

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