Friday, June 28, 2013

The Proud Artist and the Clever Boy

While I was searching for worm stories for an upcoming program I came across a story called "The Art Contest" told by an ESL student from Viet Nam which can be found here. I changed the story to suit my audience putting more emphasis on the artist, keeping in mind the proverb, "Pride goes before a fall."

The Proud Artist and the Clever Boy
Adapted from a Vietnamese Folktale
Linda Meuse
Notes from the Story Room

A long, long time age there was an artist who was very good at drawing animals. He practiced his drawing every day and became better and better as he grew older. He could draw any animal and it was perfectly rendered. People admired his work and he became quite successful. He continued to practice until he became so good that he could draw with a brush in each hand. He was able to draw two animals at the same time! Not only that but he could do it in only one minute.

The artist became quite proud of his accomplishment. He was sure that not one else could draw two animals at the same time and do it in only one minute. Indeed he was so sure that he offered ten gold coins to anyone who could draw more than two animals in one minute. A few other artists tried but none were able to draw more. In fact, none could even draw two animals as fast as he could.

One day a young boy came to take up the challenge. The artist smiled because he thought that the boy was very foolish to challenge him. The boy was far from foolish. He was very smart.

When word got out that a young boy had challenged the artist, a crowd gathered to watch the contest. The artist loved showing off his skills though in this case he thought it was going to be too easy. The artist went first. He picked up his brushes, one for each hand, dipped them into the ink and started to draw. On one piece of paper a magnificant tiger took shape and on the other a majestic lion. He finished faster than he ever had before. It took him only fifty seconds to do the drawings. The crowd was amazed. Surely there was no way that the boy could do better. "It's a shame that you can only draw two animals," said the boy. "I will draw ten!" The boy did not bother with brushes but dipped all ten of his fingers into the ink and placed them on a piece of paper. He moved his fingers down the paper and lifted them off. "Ten worms in less than ten seconds," said the boy. "I win!"

The artist realized that he had been outsmarted. Worms were animals. He had to give the boy the ten gold coins. The artist said, "You may not be the best artist but you are certainly a very clever young man! You have made me realize that I have become overconfident in my abilities and I thank you for that." The boy thanked the artist for the gold coins and returned home.




The props were simple to make. I used clip art from Microsoft Publisher for the tiger and lion. I drew my own worms. Since I have a magnet board, I just put magnet strips on the back of each paper. Put the tiger and lion up when describing what the artist drew, take them down and put up the worms when describing what the boy drew. You could also simply hold them up to show the audience thus making this a good story to take "on the road." To make them last, print/draw them on card stock or mount them on stiff paper.

This week's Flannel Friday Round-Up is hosted by Bridget of What is Bridget Reading? 

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