The Lizard and the Catfish

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A lizard with an orange-colored head lived in a certain tree close to a river; and he would not marry anyone who did not have a soft, smooth skin.

In the river was a catfish; her skin was soft and smooth, and she was determined to marry someone who had an orange-colored head.

A woodsman came and cut Lizard’s tree, and the free fell down in such a way that it reached to the river bank. Lizard walked along the tree, entering a world he did not know, and came to the river margin.

He saw Catfish down below, her skin so soft and smooth; she looked up and caught sight of Lizard, with his brilliant orange-colored head, and so they fell in love; or thought they did. Catfish invited Lizard down to her home in the deepest, coolest mud of the river bottom; and Lizard passed a cruel night down there. Catfish likes cool dark places, but Lizard loves sunlight and heat, and he nearly died with cold amid the horrid slime in the river.

In the morning he invited Catfish to his home in the stump of the trees and there poor Catfish lay, dry and hot and swooning, while the sun poured down and burned her delicate skin; and she, too, nearly died.

So Lizard and Catfish sadly agreed that they could never marry, and from that time they live apart; which shows that people should look for more than beauty when they seek a life-long mate.

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