Kiku was a notorious child and each time he entered the garden all the flowers- marigold, jasmine, gulmohar and rose felt scared and angry. They whispered to each other, “The naughty boy is here. He will pluck us and pull off our tender leaves.”
The marigold plant on the side said, “Jasmine dear, he tramples my tiny plants under his feet. It hurts me so much.”
And soon what the flower plants were saying came to be true as Kiku started plucking and breaking all the flowers one by one.
Just then his sister came into the garden and saw him plucking the flowers and shouted at him, “Kiku, you are again breaking the flowers and the plants. How many times I have said that you are not to pluck and break the flowers! What do you get by breaking them?”
Unaffected by his sister’s words he laughed loudly.
“Wait, I will teach you a lesson,” she said and ran after him. Kiku started running in the garden while his sister tried to catch him.
Suddenly, he bumped into a flowerpot and fell down with a big thud and hurt his hand against the stone fence. At the sight of his bleeding wound, Kiku got scared and started to cry in pain. On hearing the noise his mother came out of the house and looked at Kiku’s wound.
“Look, mummy, Kiku plucked all the flowers again,” his sister complained to their mother and told her everything.
“Go inside quickly and bring some cotton and antiseptic cream,” mother told the sister.
“See, Kiku, how much it pains when you get hurt! And you hurt these flowers and plants everyday. They too feel the pain as you do,” Kiku’s mother tried to explain him.
Kiku was confused by what his mother was saying about plants. He said “Mummy, how can plants feel pain? They are lifeless like my toys.”
“No son, they too have life in them like us,” said his mother.
“If they have life like us, why do they keep standing in one place? Why don’t they walk and run like us?” Kiku asked his mother.
“Kiku, they are fixed to the soil with their roots. They get their nourishment from the soil. You have seen that if we do not water the plants, they dry up and die. The green leaves become yellow or grey,” his mother explained.
“Do the plants also eat food? Who cooks food for them?” Kiku asked innocently.
His mother smiled. She replied, “The plants make their own food with the help of sun rays. They get their energy from the sun. And with the help of this energy their roots take the nourishing matter from the soil and send it to the stems. From the stems the nourishing materials go to the branches and then to the leaves, which are the food factory of the plant.”
Kiku still could not understand. So, his mother said, “Okay, tell me one thing. When you pluck flowers, then don’t new flowers grow again on the plants in a few days? This is because they have life in them. You must have seen small plants growing and becoming big. Do your toys ever grow?”
Kiku realized what his mother was trying to make him understand. “I had not thought about this, he said.
Meanwhile his sister brought the medicine and cotton. Kiku’s mother cleaned the wound with water and cotton and put ointment on it.
Kiku apologized to his sister and said, “Now I have realized my mistake. I will not pluck flowers or break their leaves or trample on plants. I did not realize they were living things and get hurt.”
Hearing this not only his mother and sister became happy, with them all the plants too started smiling in relief.