Yali and the Giant Iguana

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
In a mountainous village a child must visit his sick friend, but to do so he must travel across a jungle where people say a giant monster lurks within the shadows of the trees.

Submitted: February 14, 2015

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Submitted: February 14, 2015





A long time ago, in a faraway jungle, there was a small village where people lived happy and peaceful lives.  Everything seemed to be nice and good, except for one thing: The villagers were afraid of a giant iguana that lived in the jungle.
It was said that the reptile liked to eat children and whoever got lost in its domain after dark. 

In that village lived a little boy named Yali.Yali liked to share his toys, fruits, and candy with his friends. One of his best friends lived across the jungle in another village. A visitor told him that his friend was ill.  Yali wanted to visit his friend, but was afraid of the tales related to the iguana, in which it was said that the iguana once ate 10 children and other horrible things.

Yali was really worried about his friend, so he said to himself:
 "I will visit my friend and I will bring him some fruit.  I cannot let a tale stop me from seeing him".

The next morning Yali packed some fruit, some matches, and a small knife.  He was determined to visit his friend across the jungle no matter what!So he began his journey through the jungle, hoping to make it to the other village before sundown.

The jungle was full of different kinds of vegetation and wildlife: from giant evergreen trees to spiders to exotic and colorful birds.  He was enjoying the view of all those things but that was walking slowly.  When he realized he was only half way to his friend’s village, the sun had already gone down.  He decided to make camp for the night and sleep until the next day.  As he set up camp by making a small fire, he began to think about the tales of the iguana.

As the night fell upon the jungle, the sky was filled with stars, and all kinds of strange sounds began to emerge.  Sounds of crickets, owls, and other critters could be heard all over.  Yali was very scared and couldn't sleep. After a long while, he finally decided to take a nap, confident that the stars would protect him from any danger.  He said his prayers and fell asleep. 

Early the next morning Yali woke up and to his astonishment and horror, the fable giant iguana was there before his eyes!He gasped and was terrified and speechless, shaking from head to toe.  After a few seconds Yali took the knife from his bag and threatened the iguana.  As the iguana approached him, it said: "Why are you afraid?  I will not hurt you".

Yali couldn't believe his ears!  The giant iguana was speaking!
After a moment, Yali said with a shaky voice:

"But...people say that you like to eat children and those who enter the jungle after dark"

The iguana replied:
"How can I eat people?  Iguanas are vegetarian.  That means iguanas eat plants and vegetables".

Yali took a deep breath and smiled in relief.

-"What's your name?" asked the iguana

He said "Yali is my name.  What is yours?"

 "I don't have a name.  But you can give me one" the iguana said

"Humm...how about Keiko?” suggested Yali

"Keiko sounds good.  Thank you" replied the iguana.

The iguana asked him "Where are you going?"

"To the village across the jungle, to visit my friend who is ill" replied Yali


The iguana then said:

"You are a little off course.  To get to the village from here you will either have to go around the mountain or cross over it.  If you go around, it's going to take you a long time, and if you cross over it, it will be a very hard and dangerous path to take.  However, if you let me help you, you can ride on my back and I can climb over this mountain in no time.  All I want in return is your friendship and for the villagers not to be afraid of me.  I am not a monster".

 Yali kindly agreed and hop on the back of the giant iguana.

They crossed rivers, canyons, waterfalls and other beautiful but dangerous land features.  The iguana was sharing some of its adventures in the jungle with Yali and Yali was sharing some of his life experiences in the village with the iguana.  Finally they arrive at the edge of the village.As Yali dismounted from the iguana, the iguana explained that it couldn't get any closer because the villagers may attack it.

 Yali said to the iguana "Well, my friend, thank you for carrying me on your back and bringing me safely to the village"

"No problem at all" the iguana replied.

They gave each other a hug and farewell.
 Yali then entered the village waving to the iguana that was happily looking from afar, smiling.

When the villagers saw Yali, they rushed towards him and asked if he saw the giant iguana in the jungle.  Yali said "Yes, I saw the giant iguana and it's also my friend who's name is Keiko"  The villagers were surprised that the iguana didn't attack or ate Yali, but Yali explained what happened, that the iguana was vegetarian and even helped him arrive safely to the village.  Yali visited his friend, gave him the fruit and spend time explaining about his encounter and about the goodwill of Keiko. 

The next day Yali went back to his own village and wasn't afraid to cross the jungle anymore.  He saw Keiko from a small jungle lane and waved.  Keiko did the same in return.  With a smile on his face Yali arrived in the village and all the people greeted him.  His worried parents and friends asked him about his ordeal in the jungle.  He then again explained what happened and everyone was amazed. 

Now the people of Yali's village aren't afraid of crossing the jungle or of the giant iguana anymore.  They even have a Keiko Day to celebrate the encounter and the Iguana’s friendship.  And even though Keiko is seldom seen by villagers, it is said that sometimes, if you pay attention, you can see its big, red smile in the green of the jungle.



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