Ask our children:

1. Should we sit in one place and eat or should we walk around and eat?

2. Should we eat using a plate or bowl or should we let our crumbs fall onto the table or floor?

3. What should we do with the crumbs in our plate or bowl after we have eaten?

Now tell them the story:

Kamaal was a little boy who could NEVER sit in one place. He was always running here and there, jumping from place to place and playing all over the house.

Even when it was time to eat, Kamaal could not sit still and have his meal with his family. He would take some food in his hand and go to play, eating while he walked around. His mother would tell him, “Kamaal! Sit in one place and eat! Don’t walk around and eat! You are making a mess and dropping crumbs around the whole house!” However, Kamaal would not listen. He continued walking and eating, and eating and walking, and wherever he went, he dropped crumbs and made a mess. There were crumbs on the carpet and crumbs on the couch. There were crumbs on his bed and even crumbs on his head!

One day, as Kamaal picked up his shoe to wear it, he got a shock as a cockroach ran out of his shoe! “EEEEEUW!” he shouted. Then, he peeped into his shoe and saw that it had been nibbling on a tasty crumb that had fallen into his shoe. A few minutes later, as Kamaal reached into his cupboard for a toy, a huge, horrifying cockroach ran out, giving him the fright of his life. “YUCK! A DIRTY COCKROACH!” he yelled. Then, he looked into the cupboard and saw that the cockroach had been munching on a crumb. Finally, as he was going to bed that night, he pulled back his duvet and… a cockroach flew out, landed on his ear, and then flew out the window, escaping! “AAAAARGH! ON MY EAR!” shouted Kamaal in shock. As he glanced back at the bed, he saw that the cockroach had been chewing on a crumb in his sheets.

Hearing him shout, his mother came running. “Kamaal! What is the matter? Are you ok?” she asked. Kamaal began to cry as he said, “I’m tired of cockroaches! They’re EVERYWHERE! In my bed, in my toys and even in my shoes! I want the cockroaches to go away!” Kamaal’s mother smiled and said, “My dear! The cockroaches don’t mean to frighten you, and they certainly can’t hurt you. They are just hungry and are looking for food! When you drop crumbs all over the house, the cockroaches think that you are leaving the crumbs for them to eat, and that is why there are cockroaches all over!”

Kamaal thought about what his mother had said and realized that she was right. So he asked her, “What do I do now? I don’t want any more cockroaches crawling in my bed!” His mother replied, “From now on, whenever you eat, sit in one place. Don’t walk around and eat. Also, always use a plate or a bowl to catch your crumbs. Then, after you’ve eaten, eat the crumbs in your bowl as well.”

Kamaal decided that in the future, he would always sit and eat, and would always use a bowl or a plate. He didn’t want the cockroaches to come again!


1. When we eat, we should sit in one place and eat. We should not stand or walk around while eating.

2. Always use a bowl or a plate when eating so that the crumbs do not make a mess.

3. Also remember to eat the crumbs in the bowl or plate when we are done.

Click here for the audio version of this story.