Sloth Written and illustrated by
Emily Joy Bell
Sammy the sloth spends his days in the jungle. He loves to slumber; but he also works hard building a fort made of lumber. Each day after nap he works diligently while he watches for Tiger vigilantly. The other animals treat him unkind, but Sammy doesnâ€™t let their words stick in his mind.
One day Toucan tauntingly touches down to tout “Sammy, you’re gray. Behold my beautiful colors as I fly away!” Sammy hears Toucan, but he finishes his work for the day.
Before long Frog flops flippantly down to rest. “You’re lazy Sammy, watch me! I can jump the best.” Sammy hears Frog but he doesn’t rise to the test.
Quetzal soars by singing a boastful song. “Sammy you’re so quiet it’s wrong, with my beautiful music I know I belong.” Sammy hears Quetzal but he continues along.
Just before noon along comes Raccoon. “Sammy you’re dim, and I’m so very clever. Soon I will steal the moon and you could never.” Sammy hears Raccoon but endures the afternoon.
The next day Monkey maneuvers masterfully from tree to tree. “Sammy you’re boring, look how entertaining I can be!” Sammy hears Monkey but he doesn’t turn to see.
Later Lizard lingers on a limb laying low. “Sammy” he says, “you’re slow. Watch how fast I can go!” Sammy hears Lizard but he isn’t hurt by the blow.
Soon Snake slithers slyly towards Sammy. “You’re sssmelly and hairy” he says, “my ssskin’s ssso sssmooth that it’s ssscary.” Sammy hears Snake but the words don’t make him wary.
Day after day Sammy continues his work. Despite the animals’ cruel remarks he doesn’t shirk. One fine spring day Sammy sees Tiger prowling below. He thinks to himself “Should I let the other animals know? Should I let them come inside? Or should I just hide? I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
Finally Sammy decides to invite them inside. Once in safety they reside, the animals cheer and declare, “Sammy the sloth is the greatest animal here! Let’s have a party to celebrate him year after year.”