Scripture- 1 Cor. 13:4-7
Interactive Classroom Devotional- Science, Bible
Need: Computer/projector to view chameleon information
Intro or Hook: Have you ever been so close to winning that you didn’t care about anyone else around you?
Activity: Story & questions about pride and kindness
Tomorrow was the Surewood Forest Fly-Eating Contest. Gorf, the frog, sat by the pond where the contest would take place. He had been practicing all year. If anyone had the fastest tongue in the forest, it was him. His friend, Rivet, thought so, too.
“Wow, Gorf,” Rivet had said. “You can zap a fly before I can even see it! I can’t seem to sit still long enough to wait for one.”
As Gorf stared at himself in the pond, he visualized the winner’s golden fly medallion around his neck. He said, “This year, I am finally old enough to enter. I, the Great Gorf, will win the Surewood Forest Fly-Eating Contest. Today, the forest—tomorrow, the w—“
“Who are you talking to, Gorf?” He jumped at the voice behind him, and almost fell into the pond.
“Uh—er, oh… hi, Dapylil—I didn’t hear you come up.”
“I guess not. You were so busy listening to the thundering chorus of croaks,” she said.
“Who was croaking? Was there croaking? I didn’t hear them—honest.”
“Kidding. I’m kidding,” she said.
“Oh—OK. Are you still going to enter the contest tomorrow, too, Dap?” Gorf asked.
“Yes, but I don’t think I’ll win,” she said.
“Oh—I know you won’t win, because I am going to win—well, uh, you might not win, but maybe not…”
“It’s OK, Gorf. I know that you are way ahead of me in speed. But you are way behind in humility, that’s for sure.”
“Oh, I can be humble after I win,” said Gorf. “Not like Tibber who won last year. All he talked about was the golden fly medallion. I’m glad that he moved to a different forest,” said Gorf. “That definitely gave me the edge I needed.”
“Well, break a leg,” said Dapylil. “Just kidding, of course. You know what happens to frogs’ legs….”
The next day, all the contestants gathered at the pond. Gorf could see Dap in the group. Rivet was hopping around behind him.
“I’m croaking for you, I am,” said Rivet. “I-am-I-am-I-am!”
“Just don’t throw off my concentration,” said Gorf. Rivet hopped off.
“Must stay focused,” Gorf whispered to himself. Then he laughed. “What do I have to worry about? I’m good enough to win whether I am focused or not! Yes—this is going to be a great day for me! But shouldn’t we be starting soon? What is taking so long?”
“Just a minute, everyone,” said Jeremiah, the announcer for the day. “We have a last-minute entry. Please welcome Bungie, who is all the way from Madagascar. We’re getting him set up to join us for the contest.”
Gorf hopped over to the bullfrog. “Jeremiah,” he whispered. “I don’t want to be rude, but how can this out-of-forest frog just show up and join our Surewood Forest Fly-Eating Contest? After all, I’ve been practicing all year and…”
“Gorf,” said Jeremiah in his deep voice, “Everyone knows that you want to win this event. The thing is, our rules state that anyone who eats flies and meets the age requirement can join the contest, even up to the last minute.”
“The rules say that?” ask Gorf.
“Yes, they do,” said Jeremiah. “Haven’t you read the rules?”
“Well, no…I was…busy practicing all year,” said Gorf.
“Well, then, say hello to Bungie. Bungie, this is Gorf.”
“Hi…ohhh—you’re a chameleon!” said Gorf. “You guys are good at changing colours and looking in two different directions at once. Here I was all worried that I might have some competition. Well, by all means--welcome to our Fly-Eating Contest.”
“Thanks, Gorf, for that kind greeting. That means a lot to someone from out of the country,” said Bungie.
“All right, contestants, please line up. Here are the rules,” said Jeremiah. “You will compete against each other in teams of two. The winners of each team will go against each other, until a final winner can be determined. That individual will be awarded the golden fly medallion. Bring out the flies. May the best tongue win!
Gorf easily won each round. As he snatched flies, he could hear some frogs croaking for Bungie. What was he doing that was so amazing?
Gorf looked up to meet his last challenger. It was Bungie! How did he get this far, Gorf wondered. He’s just a chameleon. Is there a chance that Bungie might actually beat me?
He heard Jeremiah’s croak to bring out the fly. His mouth was opened, tongue poised, and… SNAP! But wait—where was the fly in his mouth? Then he heard croaking all around. Bungie had snatched the fly first! He had won the contest—the contest that Gorf was supposed to win.
“Congratulations, Bungie!” The frogs gathered around him, leaving Gorf off to the side. He watched as Jeremiah hung the golden fly medallion around Bungie’s neck.
“Well, Gorf, you didn’t win, did you?” Dapylil hopped over to him a little later.
“What happened? What did I do wrong?” Gorf wanted to know.
“You were beat by a chameleon,” she said.
“How did that happen?” Gorf was stunned.
“Hey, nice try Gorf!” said Rivet. “It happened so fast that I didn’t actually see Bungie’s tongue. The fly was there, and then it wasn’t. I saw you try, though! It turns out that Bungie has quite an amazing tongue.”
“Well, I realize that!” said Gorf.
“Let me tell him, Rivet,” said Dap. “After hearing Bungie explain it, we all now know that, even though he is slower-moving, his tongue is designed to make up for that. It snaps fast, like a tree branch being pulled back & let go. It works differently than a frog’s tongue.”
“So he spots his prey with his eyes…” said Gorf.
“Yeah, those crazy eyes—“ said Rivet.
“And uses his tongue speed to make up for his slower movement,” finished Dap.
“Wow—that is actually kind of cool—of course, I would never tell him that, because I was supposed to win,” said Gorf.
“Well, you have to quickly decide what to do about that fact” said Dap, “because here he comes.”
“Hey, Gorf,” said Bungie, “I wanted to tell you how great it was to compete against you today. I have appreciated the Surewood Forest hospitality.”
“Uh…sure—um…so, yeah…” said Gorf.
“I’ve never competed before. I just wandered by right before the event was going to begin, and Rivet, here, invited me to join. Thanks, Rivet, for your kind offer.”
Gorf turned to Rivet, who was already hopping away. Rivet! If he hadn’t invited Bungie to join in, Bungie would be sitting here congratulating Gorf! How is that being a good friend to me, Rivet? He looked back at Bungie.
“It was great fun,” Bungie continued. “For a short time, I felt part of the group. Then I remembered how much I miss my home, and I need to try to get back to it.”
The next day, Gorf found Jeremiah. “Do you know where Bungie is, Jeremiah? I need to speak to him.”
“Bungie left early this morning. He wanted me to give this to you. He said you were the one who had been practicing all year—that you were the rightful winner.” Jeremiah held out the golden fly medallion.
“Wow—I don’t know what to say.”
“Well, enjoy it. That was a kind thing for Bungie to do,” said Jeremiah. He turned to hop away.
“Jeremiah—I didn’t even thank him for coming. In fact, I didn’t say anything kind to him about winning. Now he’s gone,” said Gorf. “But, there is one thing I can do. Jeremiah, would you mind calling an emergency meeting for everyone? I have something to say.”
“Sure, Gorf—I can do that right now,” and he made three deep croaks, followed by three more.
When all the frogs were gathered, Gorf spoke.
“Thanks for coming so quickly. Apparently, Bungie left earlier this morning, but wanted me to have his golden fly medallion. He said that I deserved it because of my hard practice all year. The truth is, I don’t deserve it. The practice means nothing next to my proud heart. The contest was so important to me that I didn’t even welcome an outsider to join our special event. What is worse, I didn’t even congratulate him when he won. Now he is gone. However, there is someone who needs to be recognized. Rivet, would you come here? I am honouring you for your kindness to Bungie, and for inviting him to be part of our contest. I am giving Bungie’s medallion to you.”
-What was Gorf like at the beginning of the story? How did he change?
-Why was Gorf upset with Rivet?
-How did Bungie win?
-Why did Gorf give Rivet the golden fly medallion?
Info about chameleons-