2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.
students from International School Manila
in the Bush Where People Rarely Ever Go is a collection of three tales
from West Africa. The story begins in the bush, or rain forest, where a grandmother
and three grandchildren have taken a walk.
2: Grandmother, what kind of tree is that?
It's a honey tree, my dear.
Why is it way out here?
it only grows deep in the bush, where people rarely ever go. Where people rarely
ever go . . . whew! We have walked far today and I'm tired. Let's sit down for
Grandchild 3: I have some fruit if
you'd like some, Grandmother.
Thank you, my dear.
Grandchild 1: Give it
Grandchild 3: Grandmother first, me
second, and you . . . well, maybe.
And what about me?
Grandchild 1: No, what
Grandmother: Children, there is
plenty of fruit and no reason to fight. Settle down now. This reminds me of a
story about a very selfish Spider and a honey tree -- maybe this very tree. This
story happened so very long ago.
Cast of Characters:
There was once a young girl from a far away village who had a special talent.
She could find the very best food in the bush. Her oranges were just a little
bit sweeter, her plums just a bit larger, and her bananas had just a little more
flavor. Everyone in the village wondered where she found such rare and delicious
Grandchild 3: Many people must have
followed her into the bush to find those special fruits, right Grandmother?
2: That would make her very popular.
1: No way! I would keep all that delicious fruit for myself.
3: That's selfish.
it was her secret. One day a lazy spider decided to ask the young girl to help
her find food. The spider was too lazy to work for himself and was sure he could
trick the little girl into sharing her secrets.
Little girl, you find the best fruits of all. Won't you take me with you just
this once into the bush to find some?
I don't know . . . I've never done that before.
I promise not to tell a soul. It would mean so much to this humble spider if you
would show me just this one time.
Do you promise to keep my secrets?
You can trust me.
Well . . .
Spider: Pull - ease!
Girl: I suppose I can show you just once. What do you like to eat?
Well, I like plums, bananas, and especially honey!
Girl: I think I can help you.
What luck! We better start now before she has a chance to change her mind.
Girl: Now you must follow me deep into the bush, where people rarely
Spider: No problem!
Girl: It's quite a long walk, but I think you will find it worth the
effort. We're almost there. Yes, this plum tree does not have much fruit. Most
people completely ignore it. But, its fruit is the sweetest in all of the bush.
Now, Spider was just as greedy as he was lazy. As soon as the young girl showed
him the secret plums on that little tree, Spider's eyes got very large and his
mouth started to water. Then, he pushed the little girl into the bushes. The spider
climbed the plum tree and ate every one of the plums. He didn't even leave one
for the little girl.
Young Girl: And, he didn't
even say thank you.
Spider: (rubbing a very
full belly) This is the best day of my life. I wonder if she is foolish enough
to show me more treasures? This little girl is foolish. Why, if I were in her
place, I would never have shown anyone these hidden treasures. But, I'm not complaining
about this -- no, not at all. As long as she guides me to the food, I will continue
to eat everything.
Oh, little girl, is there anything else
in the bush that you would like to share with me?
Girl: Would you like some bananas now?
Absolutely! And, before she has a chance to change her mind, I better get over
Young Girl: Spider. We really must
trot onward. There are plenty of other places I want to take you before the sun
goes down. We just need to continue a little further down this path, where people
rarely ever go.
Spider: Lead the way and I
will gladly follow you.
Young Girl: It's just
a little further this way. Just over here you will find a patch of the very best
Grandmother: Now you already know
what happened. As soon as the young girl showed Spider the banana plant, Spider's
eyes got very large and his mouth started to water. Then, he pushed the little
girl into the bushes. The spider climbed the banana plant and ate every one of
the bananas. He didn't even leave one for the little girl.
Girl: And, he didn't even say thank you.
Ummm . . . that was delicious! This is how every spider in my family should live.
Ahh! I just love eating the treasures of the bush all day. But, the day isn't
yet over, so I could eat more. That won't be a problem either since this girl
is so foolish. As long as she guides me, I will continue to eat all of her food.
little girl, is there anything else in the bush that you would like to share with
Young Girl: If you are not too full, I
know where we could find some honey.
I'm coming! I'm coming! -- I'm coming as quick as I can so she will not change
her mind! Besides, I'm never too full for honey. Hurry up! I haven't got all day!
Girl: Just follow me a little deeper in the bush, where people rarely
Spider: Honey, honey, HONEY. I can
Young Girl: Well, you don't have
to wait any longer. We've arrived. Over there is a very special tree. Deep inside
a small hole is the most delicious honey you will ever find. I hope the honey
pleases you. It's the best know of.
And once again, you already know what happened. As soon as the young girl mentioned
the honey, Spider's eyes got very large and his mouth started to water. Then,
he pushed the little girl into the bushes. The spider climbed into the honey tree
to eat all of the that sweet golden honey. He didn't save one drop for the little
Young Girl: And, he didn't even say
thank you. But, go on right ahead and eat what you want. Of course, you'll be
pleased. You love honey and you're just about to make every part of my plan work.
You'll learn to say thank you and a whole lot more. Just you wait and see.
This is so delicious, a real meal for a Spider with class -- like me! All this
golden honey. Every drop just for me. Why should I ever share?
Girl: Everything should be just about ready.
This is how life must be in paradise. With any luck, she'll show me the way to
some more delicious treats of the bush.
Now I wonder, oh, little
girl, is there anything else in the bush that you would like to share with me?
Girl: If you are not too full, I could easily show you where some more
fruit grows. But, you must hurry. I have to go home soon.
Of course I'll hurry. -- I don't want her to change her mind!
be right there. Ahhh, my stomach. I'm stuck! Help me, little girl, I'm caught
in the honey tree!
Young Girl: You haven't
eaten too much now have you? Come on down right away, I have to go home soon.
Please, young girl, help me! I have grown too large. I cannot get out of the tree.
You wouldn't want to leave a poor old helpless Spider stuck in a tree, now would
Young Girl: You wouldn't be stuck if
you hadn't been so selfish. Now it is time for you to learn a lesson about selfishness.
I'm sorry for what I did! Please call for help! Pull - ease!
Girl: You aren't sorry for what you did. You are only sorry you are caught
in the tree.
Spider: No, you're wrong (with
fingers crossed). How did she know that?
Why don't I learn?
All that food was so good and tasty. Next time, I'll bring all the food home.
There I won't get stuck. That little girl is right. I'm the foolish one and she's
not a so foolish at all.
Please call for help. I beg you! I'm
trapped here and we are so deep in the bush where people rarely ever go. Please
do this for me and I promise to be a better spider.
Girl: Well, okay, are you ready, Spider? Cover your ears because I'm
ready to call for help.
Spider: I'm ready!
Girl: (stage whisper) Help! Help! The foolish spider is caught inside the
honey tree. Somebody come and help this greedy spider.
What? Help me? Nobody can hear your whispers! Help!
Girl: (still whispering) Somebody help this foolish spider. Help!
Of course, nobody could hear her whispers for help. And nobody could hear Spider's
cries from deep inside the honey tree. They were too far in the bush, where people
rarely ever go.
The little girl looked up at Spider and smiled.
It was getting ate and she had to hurry home. However, she did promise to show
the spider the following day where her special oranges grew if he was interested.
Of course, Spider never showed up. Nobody ever heard from him again.
1: Yes, that's the kind of ending I like in a story. And they don't all
live happily ever after!
isn't the only lesson I want you to get from the story. There is a lot more to