by Mom Nov (8 years old) – Cambodia
Two farmers lived in small village, growing corn, oranges, and vegetables. They planned to harvest them all and sell them in the market, but thousands of mice came and ate up all the crops. The first farmer went to the market and bought some poison to kill the mice. He came back and put it on all of their crops. All the mice died, and there were no more mice.
But soon, thousands of rabbits came to the farm, because there were no more mice to stop them. They started eating all the corn. The second farmer used a big stick to hit the rabbits. The rabbits were afraid, so they ran away and never came back.
After that, the farmers’ crops grew very well, and all the other animals were too afraid to come into the fields. The farmers sold all of their crops, and used the money to buy a new car and a house in the city, but they still kept the farm and went to it every day to grow more crops.
Another story from Cambodia, and yet again, we have a rather dark aspect to it. It may seem like the stories have been a bit violent (and I swear, it’s not my influence!), but to me this one is about practicality. Most of the kids I taught at the Painting Smiles school in Otres village were students in the morning, but by noon they were full-fledged farmers, helping their families work in the sun to make what most of us spend at Arbies in a day.
Some may see animal cruelty going on in this story, but anyone who has ever put their time in on a farm knows that killing is something that just happens. Protecting the farm is most important to a lot of these kids, as Mom Nov shows with his two farmers. Pests are taken care of, so that the family can eat.