Journey With Story


Journey With Story

Why the Leopard Has Spots


A fun folktale from Ghana that explains how the leopard got his spots.

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Spotlight Country – Ghana

Good stories can give us space in our lives to pause and ponder some bolt of beauty, some truth, or some new way of looking at life. It is what I call, the Story Souvenir.

Souvenir is a French word, meaning to remember. So it is some nugget of truth or some glimmer of truth about what it means to be human that will linger with us long after the last word is uttered – it is what our heart will remember most.

Each month we will pick one story for you to pause and ponder with your little listener – some discussion questions and some background about the country where the story takes place.

This month’s story is from Ghana.


Discussion Questions


  • What did the Leopard like about his coat before he got spots?
  • What name do we give to this “cloak of invisibility?”
  • Why did the Leopard not admit what he had done to the other animals?
  • Why could the Leopard not jump over the fire like the other animals?
  • Do you think he deserved his punishment?
  • What do you think this story’s souvenir is?


Five Fun Facts about Ghana

  1. The capital city is Accra with about 4 million people.
  1. The official language is English.
  1. The national bird is the golden eagle.
  1. The name, Ghana, comes from the Soninke language and it means, “warrior king.”
  2. Its national flower is the desert rose.

Popular Souvenirs from Ghana


A Kente cloth

A Kente cloth

Locally made beaded bracelets

Locally made beaded bracelets

Bolgatanga baskets

Bolgatanga baskets

Black soap (used to treat skin diseases)

Black soap (used to treat skin diseases)


Look at this lovely drawing from Hannah inspired by another African folktale on JWS – Mama Ostrich. Isn’t it splendid? Thanks so much to Hannah!

Mama Ostrich


If your little listener has been inspired to do a drawing, you and send it to us at so we can share with others.

Join me next month for February’s Spotlight Story.

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