Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Bolivian Legend / A Spooky Story

A Bolivian Legend

retold by S.E. Schlosser

There once lived an armadillo who loved music more than anything
else in the world. After every rainfall, the armadillo would drag his
shell over to the large pond filled with frogs and he would listen
 to the big green frogs singing back and forth, back and forth to
 each other in the most amazing voices.

"Oh," thought the armadillo, "Oh how I wish I could sing."

The armadillo would creep to the edge of the water and watch the
 frogs leaping and swimming in a frantic green ballet, and they
would call back and forth, back and forth in beautiful, musical
tones. He loved to listen to the music they made as they
spoke, though he didn't understand their words; which was j
ust as well - for the frogs were laughing at this funny animal
that wanted so badly to sing like a frog.

"Don't be ridiculous," sang the frogs as they played.
"Armadillos can't sing."

Then one day a family of crickets moved into a new house
near the armadillo, and he was amazed to hear them chirp
and sing as merrily as the frogs. He would creep next to their
house and listen and listen all day, all night for their musical

"Oh," sighed the armadillo, "Oh how I wish I could sing."

"Don't be ridiculous," sang the crickets in their dulcet tones.
"Armadillos can't sing."

But the armadillo could not understand their language, and so
 he just sighed with longing and listened to their beautiful voices
 laughing at him.

Then one day a man came down the road carrying a cage full
of canaries. They were chirping and flittering and singing songs
that were more beautiful even than those of the crickets and
the frogs. The armadillo was entranced. He followed the man
with the cage down the road as fast as his little legs would
carry him, listening to the canaries singing.

"Oh," gasped the armadillo, "Oh how I wish I could sing."

Inside the cage, the canaries twittered and giggled.

"Don't be ridiculous," sang the canaries as they flapped about.
 "Armadillos can't sing."

The poor tired armadillo couldn't keep up with the man and
the cage, and finally he fell exhausted at the door of the great
 wizard who lived in the area. Realizing where he was, the
 armadillo decided to beg a boon of the man.

Timidly, the armadillo approached the wizard, who was sitting in
front of his house and said: "Great wizard, it is my deepest desire
 to learn to sing like the frogs and the crickets and the canaries."

The wizard's lips twitched a little in amusement, for who had ever
 heard of an armadillo that could sing. But he realized that the
little animal was serious. He bent low to the ground and looked
the creature in the eye.

"I can make you sing, little armadillo," he said. "But you do not
 want to pay the price, for it will mean your death."

"You mean if I die I will be able to sing?" asked the armadillo
in amazement.

"Yes, this is so," said the wizard.

"Then I want to die right now!" said the armadillo. "I would
do anything to be able to sing!"

The wizard and the armadillo discussed the matter for many
 hours, for the wizard was reluctant to take the life of such a
fine armadillo. But the creature insisted, and so the wizard
finally killed the armadillo, made a wonderful musical
instrument from his shell, and gave it to the finest musician
 in the town to play.

Sometimes the musician would play his instrument by the
pond where the frogs lived, and they would stare at him with
 big eyes and say: "Ai! Ai! The armadillo has learned to sing."

Sometimes the musician would play his instrument by the
 house where the crickets lived, and they would creep
outside to stare at him with big eyes and say:
"Ai! Ai! The armadillo has learned to sing."

And often the musician would visit the home of his friend
who owned the cage full of canaries - who was also a
musician - and the two men would play their instruments
together while the little birds watched with fluttering wings
and twittered in amazement:
"Ai! Ai! The armadillo has learned to sing."

And so it was. The armadillo had learned to sing at last,
 and his voice was the finest in the land. But like the very
best musicians in the world, the armadillo sacrifice
his Life for his Art.

The Inn at the End of the Lane
A mom and her daughter were preparing to leave for a trip to visit a small coastal town. 
As the pair left, they noticed that the sky was darkening; it looked like they were driving 
into a storm. During the drive, it started to rain. At first, it was a light rain, but suddenly, 
the raindrops turned into a deluge. The windshield wipers couldn't keep up.Thunder 
cracked and lightning flashed. The mom decided that they should pull over somewhere 
and wait until the storm ended. Unfortunately, they were in the middle of nowhere. 
Suddenly, the daughter spied an inn up ahead. They pulled into the parking lot of a 
cozy farmhouse. After parking in the curiously empty parking lot, they grabbed their 
suitcases and rushed to the front porch. A kind-looking innkeeper opened the door 
and invited them in.Settled into warm, dry rooms they soon fell asleep. They awoke 
the next morning to sunshine and the sounds of birds singing.As they walked downstairs,
 they noticed that the inn was deserted. Since they had to get back on the road, they left 
money and a note on a table, thanking the innkeeper for his hospitality. After driving a few 
miles, they stopped to get gas. At the gas station, they started chatting with the gas 
station attendant.  "You didn't happen to drive through that terrible storm last night, did you?"
 asked the attendant."As a matter of fact, we did," replied the mother. "Fortunately, 
we were able to spend the night at that charming inn a few miles back."The attendant turned 
and looked at them. "You don't mean the farmhouse back up the road?" he asked, looking
"Why, yes!" replied the girl
"That's impossible," the man said slowly. "That's the old Davis Inn. It burned down last winter."
Not believing the man, they drove back and saw for themselves. There was nothing left of the 
inn but a charred, roofless ruin. Stepping from their car and through the missing front door, 
they were shocked to see their thank-you note still sitting on the burnt remains of a table

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