Using cannon fire to kill flies.

Once upon a time there was a grumpy old man who had once been a pirate. Since his youth he had had gray hair and a long beard; that’s why they called him Silverbeard.

Silverbeard lived alone, surrounded by objects that he had kept in memory of his times as a “sea dog.” He had a hook, several maps, a pirate flag, an eye patch, his sword, a ship cannon with lots of cannonballs… and even a treasure chest, with treasure and all!

When summer arrived, Silverbeard opened the doors and windows of his house, and pesky flies flew in through them. Silverbeard didn’t like flies at all. He tried to catch them with his hands, but he couldn’t. He tried with his sword and also failed. He tried with his hook, and he almost ripped the curtains!

Angrily, Silverbeard loaded the cannon with ammo and started hunting the flies using cannon fire. One cannonball went out the window, another went through the fireplace, another went out the door, and another made a hole in the wall. Silverbeard realized that this was not a good system. Then he remembered that, in one of his adventures, he had seen a chameleon catch and gulp down a fly with its long tongue. So Silverbeard went to the nearest town, bought a chameleon, and returned to his house. It worked!

The chameleon DID know how to hunt flies!

Since that day, the flies have not bothered him, and Silverbeard is no longer so grumpy.

Illustration: Alba Quirós Maya (7 years old).

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