CORNELIUS by Leo Lionni
When the eggs hatched, the little crocodiles crawled out onto the river beach. But Cornelius walked out upright.
As he grew taller and stronger he rarely came down on all fours. He saw things no other crocodile had ever seen before.
“I can see far beyond the bushes!” he said.
But the others said, “What’s so good about that?”
“I can see the fish from above!” Cornelius said.
“So what?” said the others, annoyed.
And so one day Cornelius angrily decided to walk away.
It was not long before he met a monkey. “I can walk upright!” Cornelius said proudly. “And I can see things far away!”
“I can stand on my head,” said the monkey. “And hang from my tail.”
Cornelius was amazed. “Could I learn to do that?” he asked.
“Of course,” replied the monkey. “All you need is a lot of hard work and a little help.”
Cornelius worked hard at learning the monkey’s tricks, and the monkey seemed happy to help him. When he had finally learned to stand on his head and hang from his tail, Cornelius walked proudly back to the river beach.
“Look!” he said. “I can stand on my head.”
“So what!” was all the others said.
“And I can hang from my tail!” said Cornelius.
But the others just frowned and repeated, “So what!”
Disappointed and angry, Cornelius decided to go back to the monkey. But just as he had turned around, he looked back. And what did he see?
There the others were, falling all over themselves trying to stand on their heads and hang from their tails! Cornelius smiled. Life on the river beach would never be the same again.