Zogs 2


By: Douglas J. Alford


Years ago, the Zogs went from feast to famine. Over time, the Zogs forgot about the cogs and the words written on them.

With mammoths gone, Zogs rely on farming for their food. There is a new problem. For years, crops fail! The Zogs are hungry again. This is a story about working together to fix problems.
rely – need, depend upon

Zed walks alone in the Park. He sees shapes overgrown by jungle.

He finds a stone circle. He thinks about the stories his Grandpa told him.

Years ago, teams worked together to go from famine to feast.

Today, famine has returned. Zed directs the Zogs to uncover and clean up the cogs.

cog – round rock or wheel
overgrown – covered by plants

Zed calls the Zogs to the Park. He speaks with the crowd. Long ago, the Zogs were hungry. A leader named Zee led the people with words on cogs. He taught them how to overcome famine.

Today we are hungry again! We have new problems. We can use their cog wisdom and our creative energy to fix our problems.

creative energy – ideas turned into action
taught – teach in the past
wisdom – wise words

“Why do our crops fail?” asks Zed” The crowd answers, because the cold comes and kills the crops before we can harvest them.
“Why?”, asks Zed.

crop – plants people eat
fail – plants die before harvest
harvest – pick ripe plants

The Zogs think about the question. Someone speaks. “We plant our crops at the wrong time.” Sometimes, we plant too early and cold kills the tender leaves.

Another shouts, “Sometimes, we plant too late and the snow comes before the crops are ripe and ready to pick.”

Zed agrees, “We need to know when to plant!” Many complain, “That is impossible!” Zed is confident. “Together we can do this!” He encourages the team member to think of ideas to fix their problems.
complain – grumble, moan, whine
confident – sure of oneself
impossible – can not do

A sage sees tree shadows. He gets an idea. He puts a stick in the ground. All day he sees the shadow move as the sun rises and sets. The next day, he puts several sticks in a circle.

Every day he watches the shadows. He sees how the shadows move as the seasons change.

sage – smart person

Every day, the sage watches shadows. After a long time, he sees the shadows return to the same spot. He knows they can use shadows to know when to plant.

He shares his idea with Zed.
watch – to alertly look at

Zed calls the Zogs together. He reads the 1st Cog, “See Fully and Set Goals.”

Zed said, “We fully understand our problem scope. Between planting and harvesting our plants fail.

Our goal is to harvest crops so we can eat them. He explains how shadows make a calendar.


scope – limits, beginning and end

Zed leads the Zogs to build a giant wooden circle. It is hard work to make the tree circle where they will count the shadows. The people are proud of their achievement. They name it “Wood Henge”. They gather around their creation and celebrate. Together, they will know when to plant and to harvest.

achieve – to finish, complete
creation – something made
henge – circle calendar 

Late one night, a secret group sneaks into the wooden circle. Their hearts are filled with fear of change.

They start fires and burn down Wood Henge.

secret – hidden from view
sneak – quietly enter
burn down – destroy with fire

The next morning, Zed and the sad Zogs meet at the ashes of the Henge. Zed reflects, “Change Fearers have broken what we built.

They have made ashes of our hard work but not our hopes.”

ash – burnt remains
hope – belief it will get better
reflect – to look back

Zed asks the sad crowd, “Will we let chaos win?” The persistent crowd yells back, “No!”

Zed replies, “Our task is now much harder. We will rebuild the Henge. Only this time, we’ll use stone instead of wood.”

chaos – confused disorder
persist – to stick with it, endure

Zed reads the 2nd cog, “Choose the Hows.” Zed asks, “What are the actions we need to do to achieve our goal?”

For weeks, he meets with all the Zogs. He listens to their ideas. Zed makes a plan.

action – activities to do

The next day, Zed reads the 3rd cog – “Each Know Their Part.”

Zed teaches, “Everyone needs to know what each must do to complete our giant stone circle. We will make four teams. Team One, we need rocks; big rocks and lots of them. Team Two, these rocks are very heavy. How the heck do we move them from the mountain to the field? Team Three, get the circle site ready and dig the holes. Team Four, put it all together to complete our giant stone circle.” Zed hands each team a scroll.

scroll – rolled up paper with writing on it
site – place, location

Team One meets near the 4th cog. “Do the How To’s Together.”

That is, do the actions needed to reach the goal. The goal is to have enough food. Together they read their scroll of instruction.

instruction – written directions
reach – finish, complete

They know what they need to do. They need to “Get the Stones.”

For months they search for the right kind of rocks. They find a mountain source. Now is action time. They work together to invent tools to separate the huge rocks from the mountain. They rough shape the giant rocks to make them easier for Team Two to move.
invent – create by yourself
separate – to cut apart, away from

Team Two meets and reads their scroll, “Move the Heavy Rocks to the Special Circle.” They build big boats to float the stones down the river. Sadly, the boat sinks. They build bigger boats. The boats are able to carry the heavy loads. They float the huge rocks down the river to the shore nearest the giant circle.

shore – where water meets land

At the same time, Team three sings their scroll, “Design the Circle and Dig the Holes”.

This is hard work. The team performs well but the people are still hungry.

design – to make drawings and plans
perform – to work per plan

A young team member notices something. Burnt limestone and clay makes a gray powder. The powder mixes with small rocks and rain to make a new rock hard substance. She tells to her team leader. He is too busy with circle work to notice. The Zogs miss an opportunity to use cement on their circle. The discovery of concrete will have to wait thousands of more years.
cement – burnt limestone & clay binder
concrete – wet cement and rocks that turn into a solid

Team Four is busy. They read their scroll, “Assemble the Site.”

They feel stressed out. Zed helps them define their actions. They invent ways to lift the tall rocks. Because the device uses ropes that are pulled, they call it a “pulley.” Everyone helps pull the heavy stones into place. The Zogs want to party, but Zed wisely tells them to wait.

assemble – put pieces together
stress – pressure

One night, there is a big rain storm. In the morning it is near ruin. The separate stones are falling over in their wet foundations. The Teams are discouraged. Zed talks with the sad Zogs. “Our ancestors made cogs to help them work together towards their goals. The last cog will help us now”.

foundation – base
ruin – failure

Zed is excited, He reads the last cog, “Improvate.”

It means to improve and to innovate. We need better ways with new ideas to hold our circle of stones together.

“improvate” – to think of new & better ways

Different ideas are tried. Weeks later, they decide that the key to keeping the separate rocks from falling down is to link them all together. Zed reminds, “Together is always stronger than apart. It is the core of teams.” The Zogs build top stones to keep the stone circle together.

core – important part
link – join, connect

In the Springtime, the Zogs use their circle of moving shadows to tell them when to plant their crops.

The following autumn, the harvest is huge. The feast is filling. The Zogs are full again!

The next sunrise, Zed calls the full crowd together.

They see a curious surprise covered by a cloth.

Zed uncovers the surprise. The cogs have gear teeth. Zed teaches, “The teeth connect the cogs. It helps them all move together.

So it is with our team. When we work together, we go from hunger to having enough. When we turn the words into actions, the cogs all move together. Success is sustainable.

gear – a circle with teeth that join together
sustain – to keep going

Special thanks to Douglas J. Alford for providing us this wonderful book.

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