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A Story for children age 4 to 6.
Story of the lightning and the thunder.
From Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria, West Africa
Start of Story
By Elphinstone Dayrell
In the olden days the thunder and lightning lived on the earth amongst
all the other people, but the king made them live at the far end of
the town, as far as possible from other people's houses.
The thunder was an old mother sheep, and the lightning was her son, a
ram. Whenever the ram got angry he used to go about and burn houses
and knock down trees; he even did damage on the farms, and sometimes
killed people. Whenever the lightning did these things, his mother
used to call out to him in a very loud voice to stop and not to do any
more damage; but the lightning did not care in the least for what his
mother said, and when he was in a bad temper used to do a very large
amount of damage. At last the people could not stand it any longer,
and complained to the king.
So the king made a special order that the sheep (Thunder) and her son,
the ram (Lightning), should leave the town and live in the far bush.
This did not do much good, as when the ram got angry he still burnt
the forest, and the flames sometimes spread to the farms and consumed
So the people complained again, and the king banished both the
lightning and the thunder from the earth and made them live in the
sky, where they could not cause so much destruction. Ever since, when
the lightning is angry, he commits damage as before, but you can hear
his mother, the thunder, rebuking him and telling him to stop.
Sometimes, however, when the mother has gone away some distance from
her naughty son, you can still see that he is angry and is doing
damage, but his mother's voice cannot be heard.