written down by Luís Câmara Cascudo, illustrated by Angelica Slongo
There was word among the birds that a celebration would take place in heaven. The birds were all invited and they aroused the envy of the other animals, which cannot fly. Guess who wanted to go to the party, too? The toad! Of all animals, the toad, which is heavy and slow and can't even run fast, wanted to go up there! But she firmly claimed that she was invited and would certainly attend the party. The other animals almost died of laughter. Especially the birds, as one can imagine! But the toad had a plan. The day before the celebration, she visited the vulture and had a chat with him, made a lot of jokes and said at the end: "My dear vulture, she who limps has to leave early, because the way is long". The vulture replied, "And you're really coming to the dance?" - "Am I coming? Surely! See you then!"
The toad pretended to leave, but then turned around and hid in the chamber. When she spotted the vulture's guitar on the bed, she crawled in and held still. When the vulture set off later, he took his guitar, flapped his mighty wings, and flew up to the sky - flap flap flap flap... When he arrived, he put the guitar in a corner and went to greet the birds. The toad looked out with one eye, hopped out and merrily joined the other guests. You can imagine how amazed the birds were when they saw the toad jumping through the sky! They kept asking, but the toad kept on beating around the bush. When the party began, the toad had a jolly good time.
In the early hours of the morning the toad sneaked away, for she had to return to earth just as she had come. She searched for the vulture's luggage and hid in the guitar again. As the sun rose, all the guests set off on their flight home. The vulture grabbed his guitar and flew off to earth - flap flap flap flap.... Halfway down, in the middle of a bend, the toad moved and the vulture spotted her inside his instrument, huddled in the dark like a ball.
“Ah, Miss Toad! So this is how she flies to the feast in heaven? That goes too far!" And the vulture tilted his guitar up in the air. The toad fell out and plummeted down, and said while falling: "Uh, Uh-uh, if I make it home safely, I'll never visit heaven again!" As the mountains came closer, the toad shouted, "Get out of the way, you rocks, or I'll smash you to smithereens!" The toad hit the rocks and went to pieces like a ripe Jenipapo fruit.
Then the Blessed Mother passed by, felt pity for the toad, put the pieces together and brought them back to life. That is why, to this day, the toad has a patched skin.
The story comes from the Waldorf School Dendê da Serra, in Serra Grande, Brazil. The organization was established in 2001, in the middle of a specially preserved nature reserve. For the local population, there used to be only education up to the fourth grade in a small village school. Most people could neither read nor write and lived from fishing, hunting, woodcutting, and coal burning. The Dendê da Serra is, at first glance, a Waldorf educational initiative like many others, but from the very beginning it had the goal of welcoming children who normally do not have access to a good school education.
>> learn more about Dendê da Serra
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The collection of fairy tales and poems from all over the world was created as part of the single-day campaign Waldorf-One-World-Day, WOW-Day for short. On this day, children and young people are directly and actively committed to a better world. Besides, they organize a multiplicity of special donation actions, that connect humans on all continents with one another. The proceeds are used to support children with school time, a protective community or a warm meal. >> learn more about the WOW-Day