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Sketched Worldsa variety of

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Fabrice SchombergFabrice Schomberg
various writersvarious writers

by Fabrice Schomberg

Whistletone sang by day
and whistled by night.

  But during the transition periods of the sunset and sunrise he took time for himself to sit down and muse and think quietly; it was an important time for him to relax and meditate.

  One day, when settling down at dusk after a tiring day of singing, Whistletone was distracted by an angry toad. This toad was neither singing nor whistling, it was croaking. And it was awful!

  Whistletone went up to the toad and asked him what was wrong, since he needed his time alone in the quiet.

  "This tortoise has taken my burrow" protested the toad and carried on croaking angrily at the tortoise.

  “No that’s not true!” said the tortoise. “I dug it - It’s my burrow!”

  “No, no, that’s not true - it’s mine and I can prove it,” said the toad. “This man sings all the time and I know all his songs because I’m here too.”

  “No, that’s not true at all” said the tortoise. “This man doesn’t sing, he whistles - and I can’t get any sleep because of it!” said the tortoise.

  “Ah, wait a minute” said Whistletone, “I think I know what the problem is here. You see, I sing during the day, but I whistle during the night. It seems that you have both been sharing the same burrow all this time, without ever having noticed - you in the day, Toad, and you, Tortoise, in the night. Maybe you've only just met because of the change in seasons, or one of you came earlier and the other woke up late.”

  It was important for Whistletone to resolve this, since all the racket was disturbing the peace of his favorite place to rest at dusk and dawn. So he told the toad and the tortoise not to worry, he would go and seek advice from far and wide to resolve this quarrel, and in the meantime, could they please try to get along.

  Whistletone left the toad croaking and the tortoise moaning and set off to find some advice.

  It took him all night to cross the plain then wend his way through the woods until he reached the beach. There he entered the sea to seek out the cousin of the Tortoise, the Sea Turtle.

  “Hello Sea Turtle, I need some advice. Would you help solve a problem for me?” said Whistletone when he met her, and he told her all about what had happened between Toad and Tortoise.

  “Ooh, this is very grave,” said the Sea Turtle. “Frog and I could never get along either, so I went to live in the sea and I don’t know what happened to Frog.”

  “Oh my,” thought Whistletone, “this is very serious indeed. I shall have to mend the situation between them or else they could split up like Sea Turtle and Frog.” So he swam back to the shore and there he met Frog.

  “Frogs have very good hearing you know and I heard what you said to Turtle,” said Frog. “I don’t like her at all. She comes to the beach and digs holes in the sand, but as soon as I arrive, she hauls herself out and covers the hole over, so I went to live in the river” said Frog.

  “Oh my, this is very grave indeed,” thought Whistletone and set off as quickly as he could. As he arrived at the burrow, Tortoise was just awakening.

  “Auwh” yawned the tortoise, as he rose. “I slept really well last night, no one whistled in my ear and I had a great deep sleep.”

  Tortoise had woken up earlier than usual and now set off on his day's errands. Toad returned earlier than usual to check if the tortoise had left, and indeed he saw that the burrow was empty. He concluded that Whistletone must have had something to do with this.

  “Oh, thank you Whistletone,“ said Toad, “now I have my place all to myself,” and he sneaked in to spend the day in the burrow.

  And then Whistletone understood. It was from that day on that he whistled during the day and

sang soft lullabies at night.

Janet Cartlidge, copyright © 2010 Fabrice Schomberg

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