World Folk Tales – The Ape and the Tiny Firefly
When an overconfident ape comes across a stubborn fly, a battle ensues between brawn and brains…
Once upon a time there was an ape called Toro. He was famous throughout the jungle for his strength and valour. He believed that everything could be solved through strength and hence he seldom used his brain. He would thump his chest and show off to the animals nearby about his strength and might. Many of the animals feared him and held him in high regard. All this had gone to Toro’s head and he now thought to himself that he was invincible.
One day Toro had discovered a hand of bananas after a hard day’s search. He was taking it with him to his home when he felt tired and decided to take some rest. He found a banyan tree and sat under it, laying the bananas down by his side. After he had fallen asleep, a tiny firefly came by and happened to notice the bananas under the banyan tree. The firefly was happy and decided to eat a little of it. But as soon as he went near, the buzzing sound of his wings woke up the ape and he flew into a rage as he was woken up from his sleep. He reached out and tried to squash the firefly, but he was too slow. The firefly flew higher and told him that he was being unfair. Toro grew more angry and getting up, he leaped into the air to squash the fly with his mighty fists. The firefly calmly dodged his palms and Toro grasped nothing but thin air. He fell to the ground with a huge thud and the firefly laughed seeing this.
Toro was fuming and he said that he would bring his army to defeat him. The firefly laughed more and told him that his army would be as useless as him in trying to kill him. Toro then challenged him to come tomorrow for the fight and the firefly accepted it without any hesitation. Meanwhile, a bird heard all of this and spread this news to the other animals and birds. This gossip became the talk of the jungle that night and all the animals wanted to witness the fight the next day.
The next day, a small fight arena was set up and various animals came to witness the fight. What was a fight between two animals, turned out to be a source of entertainment for the others. Toro arrived with two of his henchmen and once he entered the arena, he roared in might and asked for the firefly to come out at once. Toro then heard a familiar buzzing sound and the firefly emerged in front of him from behind his head. Toro’s eyes boiled with anger and in an instant, he dived in front and tried to grab the firefly. The firefly flew under him and Toro crashed to the ground with dust flying all around him. The audience shouted and jeered on seeing this rare sight.
The firefly was now in between both the henchmen. Both the henchmen rushed at the firefly with full force. The firefly flew above and both the henchmen crashed into each other and banged their heads. They fell to the ground with their heads spinning as the firefly chuckled. The audience was cheering as Toro was up on his feet now, but no matter how high he jumped or hard he swung, he could not even touch the firefly. The firefly buzzed about happily dodging all of his attacks.
Now both the henchmen were up on their feet as well and all 3 took turns in trying to get the firefly but all their attempts were futile. The firefly went and sat on the forehead of one of the henchmen and Toro in his desperation raised his fist to punch the firefly. He swung hard and at the right moment, the firefly flew away. Toro’s punch fell on the henchman’s head and he collapsed to the ground unconscious. The audience was now beginning to support the firefly as he was the rising underdog.
Toro had lost all patience and he was now mad with anger. He and the henchman started to chase and swing wildly at the firefly. However the firefly was too tiny and quick for the big apes. The firefly now perched on the nose of the other henchman and Toro raised his foot high and brought it down on the firefly. But the firefly was long gone and the henchman fell to the floor, rolling in pain with a broken nose. The audience was cheering for the firefly now and he too was enjoying the show. Toro soon collapsed from exhaustion and the firefly was proclaimed as the winner he flew out of the arena happily.
Moral – Don’t judge a book by its cover.