Finding Is Keeping
Finding Is Keeping 1
Publication Information

The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn Series




Rafiki Remembers


1995 – 1997



Story Guide

The Long Wait


The Bean Feast

Just because you find something, that doesn't mean it's yours. Keeping something that doesn't belong to you can get you into all sorts of trouble.

Finding Is Keeping is a story from the Rafiki Remembers magazine collection. It was published in the 1990s as part of The Lion King: A Nature Fun and Learn Series.


One day, Tortoise goes to the market and buys some maize for his family. On his way home, Tortoise finds his path blocked by a fallen tree and decides to push his bundle of maize over the trunk while he walks around the branch. As he takes the long way around, Lizard passes by and spots the corncobs, which he decides to take home for his wife and children.

At that moment, Tortoise emerges and demands that Lizard give back his maize. Lizard insists that Tortoise has no way of proving that the maize is his, and with that, he takes off with the corn cobs. The next day, Tortoise comes before a judge, who declares that anyone who finds something is permitted to keep it.

A few months later, Tortoise starts a brush fire in order to draw his prey out of hiding. Lizard happens to be nearby and escapes the fire by hiding in a small hole with his tail sticking out. Seeing the tail, Tortoise wrests it free and declares that he has found himself a sword. An indignant Lizard emerges and claims the tail to be his, but Tortoise refuses to return it.

Together, the two go before the judge and explain what had happened. Tortoise reminds the judge that he had allowed Lizard to keep stolen maize, and the judge declares that he must treat both parties equally. He rules that Tortoise can keep Lizard's tail and reminds Lizard that had he not stolen Tortoise's maize that day, Tortoise might have returned his tail.