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Piku, the mouse was very happy. His uncle had gifted him a pink umbrella that he had bought from the town. It was a pretty umbrella that Piku loved carrying everywhere he went, be it a hot, cold or rainy day.

“Your umbrella is bigger than you! You can even use it as a parachute,” joked Dena, the deer.

“I love my umbrella and I don’t want to wait for the rains to start using it,” replied Piku.

Many other animals in the forest teased Piku as he and the umbrella became inseparable. But none of the comments bothered him.

One day, Piku and his friends Tinu, Mintu and Chinni planned to go on a picnic.

“It will be so much fun!” said Piku excitedly.

“But Piku, please don’t bring your umbrella. The weather will be pleasant and moreover, it will be extra luggage,” said Chinni.

Piku was very upset but agreed not to bring his umbrella.

The next day, the friends were all set for the picnic. Their picnic basket, mat, and games in hand, the four mice made their way to the picnic spot near the lake.

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After a hearty breakfast, Chinni and Tinu began playing badminton, while Mintu and Piku settled down to play a board game. Soon, by afternoon, it became very hot.

“How are we going to spend the rest of the day in this heat?” worried Mintu, wiping sweat off his brow.

“I think I can help,” said Piku fumbling through his backpack. He took out his pink umbrella!

The Two Rats

“You see, I can never part with it,” said Piku sheepishly.

All four of them quickly crawled under the umbrella.

“Thanks, Piku! You have saved the picnic,” said Tinu.

“Yes and I’m sorry for asking you not to bring it,” said Chinni guiltily.

“That’s okay, Chinni,” consoled Piku.

Under the shade of Piku’s pink umbrella, they continued playing board games. They then had lunch. Chinni distributed the cookies and Piku offered them fruit juices. Mintu gave everyone sandwiches.

Suddenly, they heard some noises behind the bush. It was Billu and Dillu, the notorious cats that always troubled them!

“Run!” cried Chinni.

On seeing them run, Dillu and Billu chased them. Tinu turned around and gave Dillu a blow with her picnic basket. Just then, Mintu grabbed a piece of lemon from the basket and squeezed it in Billu’s eyes.

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Piku quickly turned his umbrella upside down and let it afloat in the lake.

“Quick! Jump in!” he shouted to his friends.

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One by one, all three of them jumped into it. Using spoons, they rowed to other side of the lake where the cats wouldn’t be able to catch them. Dillu and Billu looked on angrily at them.

When they reached the other side of the lake, they got off the umbrella. They were a safe distance away from Billu and Dillu. But there was another problem. They were not familiar with this part of the forest.

“What do we do now? How will we get home?” asked Chinni scared.

“I’ve heard there are dangerous creatures here,” said Tinu looking around cautiously.

Let’s just continue walking down that path before Dillu and Billu get to us. We may find someone along the path and ask for directions, suggested Piku.

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The four of them started walking slowly through the forest, huddled under Piku’s umbrella. Suddenly, three vultures swooped down near them. The four friends froze in fear.

“Don’t be scared. We’re here to help you. I am Vini, the patrolling officer in this area and these are my friends,” introduced Vini. “We fly over this area looking for animals in need of help.”

“But..but..how did you know we were here?” asked Mintu disbelievingly.

“We could spot this bright pink umbrella from way up in the sky!” said Vini smiling,

“The umbrella has saved us again!” exclaimed Chinni.

The vultures then helped the four of them reach home safely, where news about their adventures soon spread across the forest.

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The next day Piku’s photo along with his pink umbrella was published in the front page of The Jungle Times newspaper. From then on, wherever Piku went, he was stopped by other animals who wanted to take a photo with him and his famous pink umbrella.