When children are very small I consider that it is better to not impose the putting away of toys, because for them it could be a great effort and it could mean a disincentive for particular games. However, as they grow one has to start incorporating the idea of putting away toys and, logically, the first step is not to make a mess of the toys if they aren’t going to play with them for more than 10 seconds. That’s where the little battle started that finished with the Long-Legs and Short-Legs!
The image of the boys in the waves is not directly related to the moral story but it is nice and it can illustrate what happens to children who don’t put away their toys.
LONG-LEGS AND SHORT-LEGS
Once upon a time, in the heart of Africa, in the Savannah,
there lived an ostrich called Avestruz,
and he had two little sons,
one had very long legs and the other one very short ones,
and they were called Long-Legs and Short-Legs.
Also, to look after their home, he had an ostrich called Uuz.
Every day, Daddy Av... would tell the little ostriches
that they had to tidy up all their toys,
because, if not, one day the little elephant Fante would come
and take them all to his house.
L...-Legs and Sh...-Legs didn’t believe it
and they were very lazy
and they didn’t take any notice of their Daddy.
Until one day, when everyone was sleeping,
little F..., who was very naughty,
came to see if there were any toys he could take home,
and, because he was so playful, he took all of them.
The next morning, when L...-Legs and Sh...-Legs woke up,
they looked for the toys, and, when they didn’t find them,
they ran to wake up their Daddy, Avestruz,
who had his head hidden in the sand
(Because that’s how ostriches sleep).
When they managed to wake him up,
they told him they couldn’t find the toys.
Avestruz answered them:
I had warned you, but don’t worry,
I’ll go and speak with little F...
to ask him if he has them,
and then, because he is so proud,
I am going to tell him that I’ll race him,
and that if I win, he has to give them back.
And so they raced, to see who could go
to a tree that was in the distance,
turned around and come back first.
And do you know who one? Avestruz.
And do you know why?
Because even though little F... ran very fast,
Daddy A... was the ostrich with the longest legs
of all the ostriches
and he was very strong and powerful.
And so, little F... gave them back all their toys
and also two little wooden elephants,
one with very long legs
and the other with very short legs.
And the little ostriches, from that day on,
always tidied up all their toys before going to bed.
And everyone was happy, and they all ate worms
and big eggs.