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The Rooster and the Pearl

The Rooster and the Pearl

Scratch.  Scratch.  Peck.  Rooster was strutting around the yard, busily looking for good things to eat.  Peck, peck scratch.  He gobbled down a piece of barley corn with greedy satisfaction.  Yum! 

Rooster stretched his neck up high and flapped his wings in delight.  Then he shook out all his feathers and strutted to the far side of the yard, eyes alert for more good food.  Several hens were scratching industriously around the fence post, but he ignored them.  He was searching for any spare barley corn that might have been overlooked by the other chickens at feeding time.   

Rooster saw something glimmering underneath the dusty straw beside the barn.  Oh-ho!  What was that?  Scratch, scratch, scratch!  Rooster worked industriously, trying to root out the object, which glowed in the morning sun.  A moment later, he dug out a very large pink pearl. 

Rooster stared at the pearl, looking at it first through his right eye, and then through his left.  What sort of strange seed was this?  He pecked it a couple of times.   It rolled back and forth under the force of his strong beak, but it didn’t break open like a seed would after such a blow.  Cock scratched at it with his claws.  Still nothing. 

The pearl rolled a few inches away from Rooster’s foot, and landed next to a spare barley corn that the hens had missed.  With a delighted cluck, Rooster pounced on the barley corn and gobbled it up.  Then Rooster took a step back and his foot slipped when it landed on the pearl.  Reminded once again of the strange pink seed, Rooster turned around to look at it.  He eyed the pearl suspiciously, and pecked it again.  It didn’t break open.  Rooster gave a cluck of disgust.  No prize there.  Who could possible want a seed so hard you couldn’t eat it?  Not Rooster.  He preferred barley corn. 

Rooster strutted away, his keen eyes on the lookout for more barley corn.  Behind him, the lost pearl – a 200 carat natural salt-water pearl valued at over 1 million dollars — glinted unheeded in the morning sun. 

Morale:  Precious things are for those who can prize them.

Copyrighted content: This is a retold folklore story by S.E. Schlosser, who owns the copyright. This version of the story may not be reproduced, reprinted or used in any other way without the permission of the author. Teachers may link to or photocopy this story as part of their classwork.

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series published by Globe Pequot Press. She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of “let’s pretend” quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children’s Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author.