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The sky is falling down!

Author

Wendy Hartmann

Illustrator

Magriet Brink and Leo Daly

One sunny day, Little Chicken went out to look for food. She was walking under a clump of marula trees, when suddenly THWACK! – a fruit from one of the trees fell on her head. 

“Ow! Something fell on my head!” clucked Little Chicken. She looked up and saw nothing but the sky. “Oh my goodness,” said Little Chicken. “It must be the sky. The sky is falling down. I must go tell the chief.” So off she went cluck, cluck, clucking, and then she met Rooster pecking in the field. 

 

Rooster looked up from his pecking. “Where are you going, Little Chicken?” he asked. 

 

“I’m going to tell the chief that the sky is falling down,” explained Little Chicken. 

 

“That’s awful! May I come with you to give the chief this news?” asked Rooster. 

 

“Yes,” said Little Chicken, “you may come with me.” 

 

So Little Chicken and Rooster went to tell the chief that the sky was falling down. They walked along clucking and pecking, and then they met Duck at the edge of the farm dam. 

 

“Where are you going, Little Chicken and Rooster?” asked Duck. 

 

“We’re going to tell the chief that the sky is falling down,” explained Little Chicken. 

 

“That’s awful! May I come with you to give the chief this news?” asked Duck. 

 

“Certainly,” said Little Chicken and Rooster. “Come with us.” 

 

So Little Chicken, Rooster and Duck went to tell the chief that the sky was falling down. They walked along clucking, pecking and quacking, and then they met Goose. 

 

“Where are you going?” asked Goose. 

“We’re going to tell the chief that the sky is falling down,” explained Little Chicken. 

 

“May I come with you?” asked Goose. 

 

“Yes,” said Little Chicken, Rooster and Duck. 

 

So Little Chicken, Rooster, Duck and Goose went to tell the chief that the sky was falling down. They walked along clucking, pecking, quacking and honking, and then they met Turkey. 

“Where are you all going?” asked Turkey. 

 

“We’re going to tell the chief that the sky is falling down,” explained Little Chicken. 

 

“May I come with you?” asked Turkey. 

 

“Oh yes, of course you may,” said Little Chicken, Rooster, Duck and Goose. 

 

So Little Chicken, Rooster, Duck, Goose, and Turkey all went to tell the chief that the sky was falling down. They walked along, clucking, pecking, quacking, honking and gobbling, and then they met Jackal. 

Jackal asked, “Where are you going, Little Chicken, Rooster, Duck, Goose and Turkey?” 

 

“Jackal,” they said, “we’re going to tell the chief that the sky is falling down.” 

 

“Oh! But this is not the way to the chief,” said Jackal. “I know the right way. Shall I show you?” 

 

“Yes, please, Jackal,” they answered. 

 

“Follow me then,” said Jackal. “This way, quickly!” 

So Little Chicken, Rooster, Duck, Goose, Turkey and Jackal all went to tell the chief that the sky was falling down. They walked and walked until they came to a narrow and dark hole. Now, this was the door to Jackal’s cave. But Jackal said, “This is the short way to the chief’s kraal. You’ll soon get there if you follow me. I will go first and you must follow me.” 

 

“Thank you,” said Little Chicken, Rooster, Duck, Goose and Turkey. 

 

So Jackal went into his cave. He didn’t go all the way to the end. He stopped halfway and turned around to wait. At last he saw Turkey coming through the dark hole into the cave. Turkey didn’t get very far when suddenly Jackal snapped at him and tore out a whole bunch of feathers. 

 

“Oh no!” gobbled Turkey. “No, no, no!” He turned around to run out of the cave and bumped straight into Goose. Goose turned and bumped into Duck. Duck turned and bumped into Rooster. Rooster turned and bumped into Little Chicken. And Little Chicken? Little Chicken fell PLOP! on the ground. 

Quickly she jumped up, and then every single one of them ran out of the cave as fast as they could! They ran and ran until at last, puffing and panting, Little Chicken, Rooster, Duck, Goose and Turkey got home safely. And that is where they stayed. 

 

They never trusted Jackal again. Of course, none of them got to the chief’s kraal and no one ever told the chief that the sky was falling down. 

 

And … guess what? To this very day, it never has.