African Folk Tale Has the Answer for “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears ?”

In this West African folk tale, retold by Verna Aardema, a mosquito brags to an iguana that he spied a farmer digging yams as big as mosquitoes. The iguana scoffs at such a notion and refuses to listen to any more nonsense.

timthumb

Grumbling, he puts sticks in his ears and scuttles off through the reeds and sets off a chain reaction among myriad animals inhabiting the same landscape.

692412

The iguana offends a friendly python, who shoots down a rabbit hole and terrifies a rabbit.

images

Seeing the rabbit scares a crow overhead, who spreads an alarm that danger is near.

BSW333L02

When a monkey reacts to the alarm, an owlet is killed, which sets off a wave of grieving in the mother owl so profound that she is unable to wake the sun each day with her hooting.

images (1)

inside graphics

The nights grow longer, and when the King Lion calls a meeting to get to the bottom of the situation.

mosquitosbuzz

The chain of events is traced back to the source of all the trouble, the pesky mosquito.

1100641F464ED3CE2EC42905032C5B588C38F0-7CF8-1458-2475-9112D758BF93

Finding the culprit satisfies the mother owl, who calls the sun back again. But, alas, the mosquito is forever plagued with a guilty conscience, compelling him forever to be a pest.
To
 this 
day
 the mosquito goes
 about 
whining 
in
 people’s 
ears:
“Zeee!

 Is 
everyone 
angry
 at
me?”

When
 it 
does 
that,
 it 
gets
 an 
honest
 answer!!

rsz_mosquitos

The vibrant neo-primitive illustrations, which earned this title a Caldecott medal in 1976, enhance and embellish the tale. This is a timeless story sure to charm a wide range of readers and listeners.


Source: Scholastic

Illustrator: Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s