More from Champak
Cheeku
Meeku has built a secret tunnel to escape from the Cat, but the Cat is determined to eat him anyway.

“What lovely weather!” exclaimed Gus, the grasshopper, while on his usual morning walk.

Along the way, his eyes fell on a glass bowl placed on the window of a house. Some fishes were swimming in it.

“What are these fishes doing inside a bowl? Don’t they usually live in a pond or river?” Gus wondered. He flew up to them to ask.

“Hello!” the fish greeted him cheerfully.

“May I ask what you are doing in this bowl when you could be living happily in a big pond?” asked Gus.

“We are happier in this bowl!” replied one of the fish.

Gus was surprised. “How is that possible?” he asked them.

“In the bowl, we don’t have to go looking for food. We are fed two times a day by the humans. Moreover, we don’t have to worry about predators. All that my friends and I do is play, eat and sleep all day long,” said another fish.

“It does sound like all play and no work. It must be fun to live like that,” thought Gus.

He bid the fish goodbye and was about to fly out when something caught his leg. It was a human! Gus was quickly trapped inside a glass jar and placed by the window.

Gus tried to get out, but the jar was too heavy and strong. He was dazed at first, but soon calmed down.

“Perhaps, it won’t be so bad. I may have a good time like the fishes and best of all, I will be served food right here,” he thought and became cheerful.

Gus was lazing inside the jar and looking out when he saw a honey bee hovering nearby.

“Good morning, Miss Honey Bee. I am Gus. How are you doing?” he greeted her.

Gus-Yearns-for-Freedom

“Good morning, Gus. I am Holly. You do look quite cheerful for someone stuck inside a glass jar,” said Holly.

“Yes. What is not to like about it? I will get free food, good views and don’t have to worry about being eaten up by some slimy frog,” said Gus.

“That’s true. But don’t you miss the freedom of going wherever you feel like and eating whatever you want?” asked Holly.

Gus became irritated. “You are asking such a question because you are jealous of me! I don’t blame you. You have to work all day gathering honey and take orders from your queen. But I can sit here doing nothing other than singing and watching the scenery outside,” he said.

“Why are you getting angry at me?” asked Holly offended. “I was just asking to know how you feel. What you do is up to you. Anyway, I have work to do. Goodbye!” she said curtly and flew away.

Around afternoon, Gus was fed some grass and leaves. They were not fresh like the ones he had in the fields. But he was hungry and had no choice.

Gus-Yearns-for-Freedom

After lunch, Gus lay on his back looking outside. The day dragged on and so did the night. He missed the soft bed of grass that he slept on. He looked endearingly at the garden outside the house when he noticed a centipede walking by.

“Hello, Mr. Centipede!” Gus called out from the window, hoping to chat.

“Hello! Sorry, I do not have time to stop and chat. I am already late and have to reach home before my kids go to bed. And my wife is waiting with hot dinner,” he said, continuing to walk swiftly.

The mention of home and family made Gus miss the comfort of his house. He missed his friends Betty, the butterfly, Lola, the ladybug and Cary, the caterpillar.

“Holly was right. I do miss being free,” Gus thought sadly. He could not sleep that night.

Early next morning, Gus was woken up by a familiar voice.

“Gus! Wake up!”

Gus opened his eyes and saw his friend Betty fluttering outside. He felt elated to see her!

“Betty! How glad am I to see you!” Gus cried in joy. “How did you find me?”

“Yesterday, Lola, Cary and I were waiting for you all evening at the spot where we meet every day to chat. When you did not show up, we went to your house to check, but you weren’t there too. That’s when we began to worry. It was already dark by then, so we couldn’t go out looking for you.

This morning, the three of us set out in different directions to search,” explained Betty. “But how did you get stuck inside this jar?”

“I was talking to the fishes when a human trapped me inside this jar. I thought it would be fun being inside, not having to do anything, but it’s not so. I miss my home, my friends and most of all, I miss being free. Please let me out,” pleaded Gus.

“I have an idea,” said Betty. She murmured something to Gus.

Gus-Yearns-for-Freedom

After a while, the human in the house woke up and came to window to feed Gus. But Gus was lying limp at the bottom of the jar.

Thinking that the he had died, the human removed the lid of the jar to check. In a flash, Gus got up and flew away.

Betty was waiting for him in the garden.

“Thank you, dear friend,” Gus said to her. “I am so happy to be free again!”

The two then flew home together.