The Armadillo, The Whirlwind and The Frog

When the world was young, Rolander wandered across its surface. He spoke to the rocks and the earth and they answered him and he knew all the lands of the world better than any of the other gods. He passed through all the lands but he gave little notice to anything other than the earth, and it was at this time that Grar, the great Whirlwind, took notice of him.

“See this small creature?” he asked the other gods.

“We do,” replied the gods.

“This fool pays no homage to me. He spends his days with his nose in the dirt. Never does he even look to me. He stares at stones and sand but never the wind and sky.”

“He clearly dishonors you,” said Babel, the Frog. “You should teach him to fear you, great Whirlwind!”

“Indeed, no being of this world disrespects me this much. All have fear of my power.”

And so Grar took it upon himself to frighten the poor Armadillo. Perhaps then he could get the proper respect from such a silly creature. So he set out after him. When first he found Rolander, he was crossing the blazing desert, and so Grar unleashed a feverish sandstorm to put fear into him. For two days he continued his blasts of sand and wind. The sparse vegetation was torn asunder. But when it was over, the Armadillo crawled out from among the dunes and continued on his journey. He had simply burrowed to the earth to keep safe.

This infuriated the Whirlwind and he continued to watch Rolander and became determined to do him harm. Later he found the Armadillo crossing a great beach, and so he sent forth a great hurricane. So strong were its winds that the trees themselves were stripped of their leaves, but the Armadillo simply burrowed and again was safe. Then, while Rolander walked across the plains, Grar sent out tornados to consume him. But once again he burrowed to the earth and was safe.

And so the Whirlwind, who was very wild by not very clever, returned to Babel the Frog to seek his counsel for Babel had put the idea in his head to convince the Armadillo to fear him. “This creature refuses to die. My storms cannot kill him,” said Grar.

“Perhaps,” said the Frog, “This creature is like the rocks he burrows close to. I might be able to kill him for you, Whirlwind, if you can offer things to pique my fancy.”

“I will give you one of my storms as your own if you can but teach this creature to fear me.”

And so Babel set out to drown Rolander. He had written a song for the Armadillo, one to make him cross. And so there came a day where the Armadillo was walking next to a great river. That was when the Frog began to sing from the opposite bank.

“Oh dear,” said the Armadillo, “Who is dying that would make such a noise?”

“I am not dead,” cried out the Frog, “But if you wish for me to stop singing then you only need to come over here and ask.”

“Then I ask it directly.”

“No, no, no, silly creature. You must come to me and tell me. Shouting across this great river will do nothing for your cause.”

And so the Armadillo turned and began walking into the river. Babel sang and laughed loudly. He thought he had won, for what rocks swim?

Near the end of his song, he finally looked up to see the Armadillo swimming across the river. The Frog’s song ended, and he jumped into the river and swam away, humiliated and defeated.

“At least his awful song has ended,” said the Armadillo, though he had not even known it was a contest.

Written by Aaron Brosman

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