Relax, close your eyes, and picture yourself living deep in a jungle. This tale is about a rude boar called Benny, whose bragging got him into serious trouble. Would you like to know what happened? Listen carefully to his story.
One morning Benny and some deer were taking a drink at a waterhole. As usual, Benny was talking about himself “I lost my tusk in a fight with a ferocious tiger!” he said loudly.
The deer ignored him. Everyone agreed that Benny the Boar was a real bore! He was also a liar. They knew he'd caught his tusk on tree roots while foraging for mushrooms.
But Benny went on boasting: “See this scar on my hind leg? That’s from when I taught a crocodile a lesson!”
Just then a huge lion emerged from the trees. All the animals fell silent, even Benny. All you could hear was the “sip, sip” of the thirsty lion, whose name was Rory. He finished his drink, wished the animals good morning and left.
Once Benny was sure the lion had gone he started to laugh loudly. “Ha! That silly lion was scared away by me!”
“Ssh! He’ll hear you,” said the deer. “Your foolish tongue is going to get you in trouble one of these days!”
“I’m the real king of the jungle!” gloated Benny. “Come and fight, you big, ugly scaredy-cat!”
Rory burst through the trees. His teeth were bared, his mane stood up on end and his tail twitched angrily. “You need a lesson in manners, you impudent boar!”
The deer scattered. Benny shook from snout to hoof. “If I hadn’t had a big lunch I would sort you out right now. We’ll meet here tomorrow instead!” snarled Rory.
Rory disappeared and Benny slumped onto the ground. “What am I to do?” he wailed. He was very frightened. After much fruitless worrying, he fell asleep.
Next morning, a skunk called Peewee, mistaking Benny for a rock, climbed onto his head for some sunbathing. Benny woke with a start and wailed again: “Oh, what am I to do?”
Peewee fell startled to the ground. “A talking rock!” he laughed. “Excuse me, Mr Boar. Now, what’s the matter?”
Relieved to hear a kind voice, Benny told Peewee how he’d been rude to the lion. He also confessed all the lies he’d ever told. “I thought everyone would like me if I sounded important,” said Benny sadly. “But that didn't seem to work.”
“You shouldn't be rude to anyone, especially not a polite, noble lion like Rory,” said Peewee. “Now, I have an idea. It's not a pleasant one, but it might sort out your problem.”
“I’ll do anything,” cried Benny.
“Sshh, calm down,” said Peewee. “I’ll give you a spray of skunk perfume.” He lifted his tail and sprayed Benny.
“Ugh!” cried Benny. “I stink!”
Just then Rory appeared. “EEEooww! What's that terrible smell?” He covered his nose with his paws.
“It’s me. But can I say first I’m very sorry I was so rude,” said Benny, sincerely. “From now on if I haven’t got anything nice to say, I won't say anything at all.”
Rory looked at Benny. At last he said, “I’ll not fight you today or any day. I couldn’t do anything worse to you than you've done to yourself” He chuckled and left.
A relieved Benny jumped into the watering hole.
That night as the sun set, the two new friends, Benny and Peewee, kindly wished each other a good night's sleep. Boasting or being rude to people won’t impress them or gain you any friends in the long run. Kind and thoughtful words are best, for your own benefit as well as for that of other people.