Adapted from a National Park Service website; used by permission of Wind Cave National Park.
In this Native American legend, Lizard sings a happy song about his home: “Zole, zole, zole, zole, zole, zole, rock is my home.” Bear wants to learn the song. Lizard shares the song, but Bear keeps forgetting it. Bear insists again and again that Lizard re-teach her the song. Finally Lizard tells Bear that the reason she can’t remember the song is that “rock” is not her home, “den” is her home. Bear goes off singing the adapted song, which she doesn’t forget.
For the tune to Lizard’s song, you may use “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Change the last line from “rock is my home” to “den is my home” for Bear’s song. Before you begin reading or telling the story, invite the group to join in when you sing:
"Zole, zole, zole, rock (den) is my home."
Note: Zole is pronounced “zoh/lee.”
There was a lizard who lived on a rock. He was very happy living on his rock. All day long Lizard would sing "Zole, zole, zole, rock is my home. Zole, zole, zole, rock is my home."
One day a bear saw him sitting on the rock and heard him singing. She wondered why the lizard was so happy. So she asked him, “Why are you so happy?”
Lizard said that he was happy because he was at home and the rock was a great place to live. “Oh,” said Bear. She went back to her home and thought "I wish I knew that song, so I would be as happy as the lizard."
The next day, Bear went back to Lizard’s rock. She asked Lizard to teach her the song. Lizard said he would be very happy to teach it to her. He sang "Zole, zole, zole, rock is my home, zole, zole, zole, rock is my home." That made Bear feel good again. She went home. But on the way, she forgot the song.
The next day, she went back to Lizard and asked him if he would teach her the song again. Lizard said he would be very happy to teach the song again. He sang "Zole, zole, zole, rock is my home, zole, zole, zole, rock is my home." Again Bear went home, and again she forgot the song.
So she went back to Lizard one more time. This time, Lizard was asleep on his warm rock in the sunshine. What could Bear do? She decided to pick Lizard up and put him in a bag. Then she could take Lizard to her home. After his nap, he could teach Bear his song.
On the way, Lizard woke up. He did not know where he was. He knew he wasn’t at home, on his rock. He was very scared. He didn't know what to do. He decided to sing his song so he wouldn't be so frightened. He sang "Zole, zole, zole, rock is my home, zole, zole, zole, rock is my home."
When Bear got home, she opened the bag. “Where are we?” asked Lizard.
“This is my home,” said Bear. “I’m sorry if I scared you when I brought you here.”
Now Lizard saw that Bear didn't live on a rock. Now he understood why Bear couldn't learn the song. He told Bear that she couldn't learn the song because she didn't live on a rock. Bear was disappointed.
“But,” Lizard said, “I can make you a song that you can learn and remember.” He sang "Zole, zole, zole, den is my home, zole, zole, zole, den is my home." Bear learned that song very easily and she was very happy.