Retold by Rosie McCormick,
       Illustrated by Gail Mcintosh
Why Flies
One bright, sunny day, a man
and his wife went into the jungle
to gather food. When they reached
a coconut tree, the man took out
his knife. The man climbed up the tree
to cut down some delicious coconuts.



As the man
reached for a
coconut, a black
fly flitted around
his face. He tried
to swat the fly,
and dropped his
knife. “Watch out,
Wife!” he cried.


The wife jumped out of the
way. As she jumped, she
kicked a crocodile that was
sleeping beneath the tree.
The angry crocodile’s tail
went—swack! swack! swack!


Nearby, a jungle bird was
looking for bugs to eat. As
the crocodile’s tail came
down, the bird squawked—
scree! scree! scree!
The bird soared to a branch
in a tree and landed right next
to a monkey. The monkey was
peeling a juicy mango.


The monkey, startled by the bird,
dropped his mango. It fell on the
head of a hippo—splat! splat! splat!


The hippo thought he was being
attacked by hunters. He tried to
escape—stomp! stomp! stomp!
As he did, he trampled
on a bushfowl’s nest. The
nest was full of eggs.


She did not awaken the sun with her
familiar call—kark! kark! kark! So the
sky remained dark for several days.
“My eggs are all broken!” wailed the
bushfowl. She began to cry—sob! sob!
sob! And there she stayed, beside her
nest, for many days and nights.


The lion gathered all the
animals together to find
out what had happened.
“The jungle animals were
worried. They went to talk
to the wise lion.


The last to speak was the man.
He said, “Wise Lion, I dropped
my knife because a black fly
was annoying me.”
Everyone blamed each other. 


“Have you nothing else to say?”
asked the lion. The fly ignored the
lion and continued saying “buzz!
Buzz! Buzz!”
“Aha!” said the lion. “Then it is the
black fly’s fault!” said the lion. But the
black fly answered back. “Buzz! Buzz!
Buzz!” said the fly.


The fly tried to speak, but all he could
say was, “Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!” To this day,
flies all around the world can only say,
“Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!”
The lion was angry with the fly and
decided to punish him. “Black Fly!” he
bellowed. “Since you refuse to answer,
I shall take away your power to talk.”


The bushfowl was satisfied. The fly
that had caused all the trouble had
been punished. And so she agreed
to once again call the sun to begin
the day.


- Click arrows to turn    book's pages, return to home page, or return to the book's TOC (where applicable).

- Click individual words (and keep clicking them) for help learning to them.

- Click speaker buttons (where applicable) to hear words or passages read.

- Click "Listen and X-Ray Read" (where applicable) to see learning cues while hearing passages read.

Optional: Click Settings button to
change voice and reading speed.