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"The Young Crawfish"
Gianni Rodari's fable

A young crawfish thought: Why do all the ones in my family walk backwards? I do want to start walking forward, as the frogs do, and will my tail fall down if I don't succeed.-
He started training secretly, among the pebbles of his native brook, and the first days the task was very tiring for him. He hit everywhere, he crushed(bruised ) his shell and trod on his own legs(feet). But little by little things got better, as you can learn everything, if you do want. When he was very self-confident, he went to his family and said:- Look at me. - And he ran shortly forward.
- My son,- his mother started weeping - Have you gone off your head? Be your old self again(become yourself again), walk as your brothers, who do love you so much.
- His brothers yet did nothing but sneer.
His father stood and looked at him severely quite a while, then he said:- That's enough. If you do want to stay with us, you have to walk as all the other crawfish do. If you want to do your own way, the brook is big: go away and don't come back anymore.-
The good young crawfish loved his family, but he was too sure to be right to have any doubt: he embraced his mother, said hello to his father and to his brothers and set out for the world. As he passed a group of frogs was surprised and like some good gossips were together to chat around a water lily leaf.
- The world is going upside down, - said a frog, - look at that crawfish and tell me I'm wrong if you can.-
- There's no respect anymore, - said another frog.
- Tut, tut, - said a third one.
But the little crawfish kept on walking ahead, along his way. When, at a certain point, he heard an old big crawfish calling him, he was all alone close to a stone and looked sad. - Good Morning, - said the young crawfish.
The old one stared at him for a long time, and then he said: - What do you think you're doing? I also, when I was young, thought of teaching the crawfish to walk forward. And that's what I got: I live all alone, and the others would rather bite their own tongue than speak to me. As long as you're in time, listen to me: accept to walk as the others and one day you'll thank me for the advice. -
The young crawfish did not know what he could answer and kept silent. But he thought to himself:
- I'm right. -
And saying a kind goodbye to him, he resumed his journey.
Will he go far away? Will he make his fortune? Will he right all the wrongs of this world? We don't know, as he is still walking with the first day's courage and resolution. We can just wish him with all our heart: - Have a nice journey! -

(Gianni Rodari)

THINK IT OVER: Gianni Rodari's fable "The Young Crawfish"

-The young crawfish does not accept to follow the tradition that compels him to walk backwards: the author does not know if he succeeds in his intention; however, his interpretation is original and optimistic: if everybody was obedient to past customs there would be no progress. Are you an optimist? What is your opinion on the young crawfish's behaviour?

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