Chapter 3 of 3– You each have a lot of personal power. The words you say are extremely powerful and have the power to harm or the power to heal or somewhere in between. This is illustrated in the story called “Frogs and newts or gold coins.” It is adapted from a Grimm’s fairy tale that you will hear told as part of this story. Please sit back and enjoy “Frogs and newts or gold coins.”
- Click here to return to Story chapters 1-3 links: Frogs and newts or gold coins to see the previous chapters in this story.
Chapter 3: Derrick and Tonya make changes in their lives
Tonya and Derrick quite enjoyed their grandmother’s tale. Derrick said, “That was a good story, Grandma, but I still don’t see what that has to do with me or Tonya.”
Grandma Jenkins said, “Don’t you see, my dear grandchildren, your words have great power and strength. Just like the plain girl in the story, if you allow bad words and thoughts to fill you up and pour out of your mouth, it is as if a frog or newt is leaping out of your mouth at each mean-hearted word that you say. Do you really wish to populate the earth with all those frogs and newts?”
The grandmother looked at her grandchildren with all seriousness. They stared back thoughtfully.
Tonya finally said, “That is just gross. I can’t imagine how yucky that would be to have frogs and newts coming out of my mouth. I would think that would be a bit like throwing up.”
Grandma Jenkins said, “Yes, my dear, you would be throwing up and out those frogs and newts and making the world a less pretty place. Before you knew it, people would start to avoid being your friend because they would see that you have allowed the bad thoughts and words to take root within your heart. That is not the fate I wish to happen to my two dear grandchildren whom I love more than anything or anyone.”
Derrick didn’t say anything, but you could tell he was thinking hard. Finally he asked, “What about the gold coins?”
Grandma Jenkins said, “Ah, that is a happier thought. Every time you say kind words, good words, healing words, it is almost as if gold coins are popping out of your mouth, filling the world with an abundance of good things. People will love to be around you for they will see that you are truly a kind-hearted soul. Because you lived, the world will be a better place, and people will be truly blessed to be around you. That is the fate that I would like to see happen to my beloved grandchildren.”
Tonya and Derrick looked first at their grandmother and then at each other. Finally, they took turns sincerely saying, “I’m sorry, Tonya.”
“I’m sorry too, Derrick. I won’t enter your room again without asking your permission.”
Once again, Grandma Jenkins looked under the table and chairs, with a pleased expression on her face.
Derrick asked, “What are you looking for now, Grandma?”
Grandma Jenkins said, “I’m looking for those gold coins that be pouring out of your mouth. What a pretty place you be making this house when you say those kind words to each other. How proud I am of my two grandchildren!”
After that, Derrick and Tonya tried much harder to let only friendly words come out of their mouths when talking to each other. They also tried to bring that kind behavior to school as well.
If they were ever tempted to say mean things to some of the other kids in the school, Derrick and Tonya both began to imagine Grandma Jenkins saying, “Oooh-oooh! There go those frogs and newts again, just slithering out of your mouth and populating the world.” That thought made them quickly close their mouths and swallow back those mean words before they could bring harm or ugliness to the world.
On the other hand, if they were tempted to say good and kind and friendly-sounding words, they opened their mouths and said them freely. In their imagination, they could see the piles of gold coins forming all around. They could also imagine Grandma Jenkins smiling proudly and saying, “Oh, boy! Look at all those gold coins. Goo-ood job!”
The other side benefit is that both Tonya and Derrick grew to be extremely popular. Everybody loved to be around them, for everyone felt the richer for having known two such good-hearted people as they.
As for you, my dear listeners, how do you choose to populate the world? Do you choose to fill the world with frogs and newts or do you choose to fill the world with piles of gold coins? Your words have great power to harm or to heal. The choice is up to you.
Return to Middle School lesson plan: Frogs and newts or gold coins
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