Gitti’s Little Friends!

Gitti squirrel was annoyed with her friend Pinky pigeon because Pinky had been so busy. She hadn’t met Gitti. Gitti had begun eating and playing on her own. But sometimes she would get bored and lonely and run around every corner of the house looking for Pinky. Not finding her, she would get back to being on her own again.

Pinky and Gitti lived in a large house in the city. Rohit was the owner of the house who lived alone. He would get ready early, eat his meal and leave for work.

He really loved his little friends, Pinky and Gitti, who ran around the house all day, so no matter how late he would be, he would always put out plenty of food for them on the roof. Pinky, Gitti and their friends lived their days in happiness.

When Gitti had newly arrived at the house to live in, she and Pinky had chanced upon a piece of bread at the same time, but Gitti reached it before Pinky. But Gitti did not touch the bread and instead she stepped back and said, “Pinky, take this one. I’ll look for another one.”

“All right, I’ll take it. But not the whole piece. Let’s share it.” replied Pinky.

Thus the two of them became friends. And they started playing, eating and running around the house together. Pinky would sometimes fly away and cry out to Gitti asking her to catch her. Gitti would again run and catch her, but Pinky would fly away again.

When it was Gitti’s turn to trouble Pinky, she would hide in a narrow space and Pinky would say, “Come out, Gitti! You know I can’t get in there!”

But one day suddenly, Pinky started being aloof. Gitti could not understand what had made Pinky to withdraw. She looked for Pinky all around the house.

When she reached the roof, she saw that on the garret beside the stairs, in a nest made of pieces of paper. Pinky was quietly sitting with her eggs. She called out to her, but when Pinky did not respond, she had her meal alone and went to sleep.

A few days later, Pinky came and took Gitti to her nest. Gitti was surprised to see two little pigeons inside it, who became excited hearing Pinky’s voice.

Gitti was amused, and she said, “Oh, so they are the ones who kept you busy! I’m so happy for you. Can we take them to the roof?”

“Not now, Gitti! They’re too weak and tiny. They can’t even fly. So we must wait some time more to be able to play with them. When they learn to fly, they can come with us to the roof.” explained Pinky.

Pinky brought food grains to feed the babies. Gitti too took some grains and approached the babies, but they stopped crying and stepped back.

“People think babies are clueless and naive. But they’re very smart. See how they stepped back—they know who their mother is and will only take food from her.” said Pinky.

“That’s really smart! Why don’t you feed them? I’ll just watch from a distance.”

Pinky took care of her kids and Gitti watched them grow up.

When the babies grew wings, Pinky took them out and started teaching them how to fly. Gitti, too, came along. Slowly the kids started knowing Gitti.

Rohit, the owner of the house, gave them food and came and sat on the roof with his tea. He would enjoy watching all the pigeons and squirrels eating and playing together. Seeing the baby pigeons, Rohit too decided that he should now get married and get settled.

One day, Gitti told Pinky, “Pinky, I really love your two kids. It’s so much fun playing and spending time with them.”

“Gitti, you mustn’t be under the impression that the kids will always be there to play with you. As soon as they grow up to be adults, they will leave us and go on their own path looking for friends. And then just you and I will be left to play together.”

“But that’s so sad, Pinky. The same kids whom you took so much care of as they grew up, would leave you alone when they become independent,” said Gitti, sadly.

Pinky explained: “That’s the law of nature, Gitti. Along with the kids, the parents also grow up to be healthier, more independent and confident. They too lead their individual lives happily and meet each other whenever they want. We don’t to become a burden for each other.”

“That’s wonderful, Pinky. Those kids are such lovely gifts. As long as they are with us, we’ll enjoy their company. When they fly away, we’ll be there for each other to play with.” said Gitty.

The days passed. The pigeon’s kids grew up and flew away. Now there was only Pinky and Gitti in the house to play and run around. They remembered their earlier days. Kullu too joined in with them and the fun multiplied.

Do it yourself!

“How hot it is! When will it rain, mom?” asked Bolt, Misha cheetah’s cub.

Anandvan forest had no rains. Animals did not have enough food. The forest had always been short of water and now, whatever little water was there, quickly dried up under the hot sun.

The days were hot and dry, and the nights were eerily uncomfortable. Birds and animals with fur like bears were suffering the most.

Misha lived in the forest with her cubs.

Clouds would form in the sky every day but would break without rain. The months of monsoon passed, but not a drop of rain fell from the sky.

Drought was declared in the forest. The Forest Administration advised all animals to move to other forests.

When the animals started migrating with their kids, the hawks arrived from other forests and said that animals from other forests were moving towards their forest. There was a drought everywhere and no one knew where to go.

The animals called for a meeting. It was decided that no animal would eat another during the meeting.

Deer, squirrels, buffaloes, zebras, cheetahs, tigers, bears, foxes, and rabbits—all came together.

King Sheru said, “Friends, we are facing drought because of the human race.

Because they believe they are superior, they have cut down trees and destroyed forests, constructed dams over rivers, drying them, and leading the planet towards destruction. The weather has altered. It doesn’t rain during monsoons, it isn’t cold during winters, and summers are increasingly hot. Our food chain is being destroyed because of no food and bad water.”

“So we too must destroy the humans.

Down with humans!” shouted Foxy fox.

The others repeated after him, “Down with humans! Down with humans!”

The whole forest started chanting in hatred of humans.

“Quiet!” said King Sheru in his firm voice and everyone fell silent. “Tonight, we shall attack the human city closest to the forest and take their food and water. They too should know what it feels like when they starve.”

The animals clapped at their king’s decision and waited for nightfall. As soon as the sunset, tigers, bears, jackals, and cheetahs crossed the forest borders to hunt the human territory.

But the humans had good security systems in place, so the animals could not do much and just about escaped the traps set for themselves and returned.

The news about their failure spread through the forest.

King Sheru called for another meeting.

Some hyena who had been beaten up by the humans were standing in one corner and shivering with fear.

“Residents of the forest! We can’t live in fear! We must keep fighting! In this struggle for survival, we must…”

But before King Sheru could finish, Misha interrupted him and said, “Your majesty, with your permission, may I say something?”

Misha was loved and respected by everyone because she was a wise animal who found solutions without blaming or fighting.

The king nodded, and Misha said, “Friends! Our fight is not with humans but with what they have done. They have misused their knowledge and have caused destruction to nature. The earth is heating up. The glaciers are melting but not just us, the humans too are suffering because of it. In some years, they too will face scarcity of food and water.”

Everyone listened to her attentively.

“If we attack humans,” continued Misha, “we will not survive. They are stronger than us.”

Some animals, like the hyenas, who had been beaten agreed with her, but the others still wanted revenge.

“Do you have a solution to the problem, Misha?” asked the king.

“I do, your highness, but it’s going to be time-consuming and slow,” said Misha.

“Do tell us!” said the animals.

“We should try and grow our own food instead of stealing food and water from humans. Everyone will have to work hard and have the patience to see the results.

If it does not work, we will try another way,” she said and explained what had to be done.

Next morning, the work started. Barren lands were dug by oxen and birds got the seeds sown. Elephants and bears got water from far away lakes that still had water.

All the animals and birds contributed to the cause based on their skills and all helped each other.

Working hard, they believed Misha’s plan would bear fruits. They knew about farming as they had seen humans do it.

Days passed into weeks. But neither did the weather improve, nor was there any sign of food.

All their hard work seemed to have failed.

They started thinking they would rather have stolen food. They decided to go and attack humans and called for a meeting with their king.

They had only just reached his cave when lightning struck. The entire forest lit up in a flash and it started raining. Where seeds were sown, saplings appeared and the lakes started filling up.

With the crops growing, food problems also slowly began going away. Since the herbivores could now eat, the carnivores were hopeful about having food too.

Misha’s plan had worked, though it took time.

If they had attacked humans, there was no guarantee of a continuous supply of food and water.

They had learnt that if you wish to do something, the best way was to “do it yourself.”

Treasure in the well

“Yash! Yash! I just learned something interesting!” said Karan, panting.

“Karan! Catch your breath first? Now, tell me, what it is?” said Yash, resting his bat on his shoulder.

“About three kilometres from here flows Ratna River. On its shore, there is an old house with a well.”

“What’s special about that?” asked Yash.

“Oh, Yash! Don’t you know? The British have hidden a truckload of treasure inside that well.”

“How do you know there’s treasure inside the well?”

“My grandpa told me that during the revolt of 1857, the British government had hidden its treasure in that well so that the revolutionaries would not lay their hands on it. The British were killed during the revolt, but the treasure is still inside the well. No one has found it till now.”

Yash thought for a while, and then said, “Karan! The treasure in the well can be ours! We’ll do what no one has done!”

Yash and Karan talked and walked towards their closest friend, Mohan who had an analytical way of thinking.

Mohan loved reading detective stories and had learnt about being a detective through them.

He listened to his friends attentively, and then said seriously, “Hmm! A treasure in the well! We will find it, no matter how hard it is.”

The three of them started drawing up a plan and decided to go on Sunday to find the treasure. They also agreed to collect things that they would need to draw out the treasure.

They collected large bags to put the treasure once they got it, and sticks with pointed ends like spears to fight off any danger they may face. They took a large rope for getting inside the well, and a pickaxe for digging.

On Sunday morning, the three friends set off on their treasure hunt fully prepared.

Their first obstacle was the way to cross the Ratna river. Though the river did not seem to have a lot of water, they didn’t know its depth. They took off their clothes and shoes and put them in a plastic bag.

They used their sticks to measure the depth of the river and started walking across it slowly. They walked through the parts where the water was shallow and avoided the deeper pockets.

They had almost reached the shore when Yash screamed. “Ouch! Ouch!” and jumped and rushed towards the land. Mohan and Karan got scared and followed Yash quickly.

When they reached the land, they found Yash stamping on the ground. They saw that two leeches were attached to Yash’s legs and they had become swollen sucking his blood. Yash tried shaking them off, but could not. He was screaming now.

Hearing the screams, a farmer working in a field near the river came running. He saw Yash stamping and understood what had happened.

He immediately pulled out a small bottle that had white powder from his pocket and sprinkled some on the leeches and they came off Yash’s legs at once.

“There are a lot of leeches in this river,” explained the farmer. “We bring our cattle to bathe here and they stick to their legs too. The only way to get rid of leeches is to sprinkle salt on them. That’s why I carry a bottle of salt with me!”

Yash thanked the farmer, and the three friends began walking towards the old house. They had just crossed a field when they heard a buzzing noise. A swarm of bees were coming towards them!

Yash and Karan turned around to run but Mohan yelled, “Put the treasure bags over you!”

The three friends immediately put the empty bags over them. Through the bags, they could hear the bees buzzing and were scared they would get stung. But luckily, the bees flew away and the three friends removed their bags, looked at each other and laughed in relief.

“We didn’t expect our hunt to be full of dangers!” exclaimed Yash.

“Yes, shall we go on?” asked Karan.

“Yes, of course! We’ll find that hidden treasure!” answered Mohan, and the three of them marched ahead.

They soon reached the old house that looked like a ghost house. Trees and bushes had grown through its walls. The windows were broken and covered with cobwebs and looked dark and scary.

But even more scary was the snake in front of the house! Soon, a second snake joined it and the children recognised them as poisonous snakes.

Karan was about to hit the snakes using his pointed stick, but Mohan caught his hand and said, “Don’t hurt them!” he whispered. “Stand still and they’ll go away.”

Sure enough, soon the snakes slithered away.

“You see Karan, snakes are shy. They don’t attack till they feel threatened.

If you had hurt them, they would have attacked us,” explained Mohan.

The three friends then tiptoed through the grounds and finally saw the well. But just before they could go near the well, they heard a rustling noise! Was that some wild animal that would attack them?

They took a step back and looked inside and saw two rabbits running away!

With a sigh of relief, the three went closer to the well and looked inside. It was deep. Plants and weeds had grown along its walls. They could not see the bottom. One of them would have to climb down to get the treasure!

“Mohan, you are the thinnest. You should climb down!” said Karan. Yash is heavy and we will not be able to pull him out.”

Yash laughed but was secretly happy that his weight had saved him from climbing down. He did not want to get stuck inside the well! Mohan tied one end of the rope to a tree trunk and tied the other end to his waist.

“Yash and Karan, release the rope slowly.

Once I reach the bottom, I’ll find the treasure and put it in the bags. Then I’ll shout so that you can pull me up.”

Mohan balanced himself along the side of the well and slowly started climbing down easily. When he reached the bottom, he looked all around for the treasure that was not there.

Instead of the gold coins, he was expecting, he saw a scared white baby rabbit that tried to hide when Mohan reached to pat it.

Mohan realised that the baby rabbit must have fallen into the well. The two rabbits that scurried when they had reached the well must have been her parents.

Thankfully, there was no water in the well, otherwise, the baby would have drowned.

Mohan carefully picked up the rabbit and put her in his bag. He used his pickaxe to make some holes in the bag for her to breathe. He took the bag on his back and tied the pickaxe to the rope. Then he called Yash and Karan to pull him. Yash and Karan were thrilled because they thought that Mohan had found the treasure. They started pulling the rope with all their might. Mohan, too, started carefully climbing upwards.

When he reached the top, Yash caught Mohan’s hand and pulled him out.

They were all exhausted and lay flat on the grass for some time.

Then Yash could not hold himself and picked up the bag Mohan had dropped on the ground and opened it. He wanted to see what was the treasure they had found!

But the treasure inside the bag was scared of Yash and started jumping. Yash dropped the bag in fear and Mohan took the rabbit out of the bag and told them that this was the only treasure he found inside the well.

Karan said, “Mohan, you are kind. I wish everyone was as kind as you are. So many animals can be saved by our small acts of kindness.”

Just then, they saw the rabbits coming back looking for their young one. Mohan released the baby rabbit in the direction of her parents. The rabbits were overjoyed upon being reunited. The three friends were also overjoyed—the treasure they found was a unique one.

Best Teacher

Hey buddy, Roli squirrel, the teacher is too strict. She scolds us all the time,” said Piyu, the tortoise.

Denko, the donkey added, “She lectures all the time.”

Tom, the dog could not stay from saying, “There are so many teachers in school. But, Roli keeps such a stern eye on us as though we are culprits.”

Piyu said, “On Sunday, I met her in the market. She asked me why I was roaming around in the bazaar. She also asked whether I had informed my parents before setting out. She wanted to know about my friends; who they were and where were they studying? I was tired of answering so many questions.”

Denko said, “We can do what we want when we are not in school. Why should that bother our teachers?”

Teachers’ Day Gift

Suddenly, Roli appeared in front of them. On seeing her, Kapil, the mole stammered and said, “Good Morning Madam. I didn’t say anything. I…I…I was just listening to them.”

Hiding her laughter Roli replied, “Classes were dismissed quite a while ago. You should’ve gone to your homes by now.”

Denko, Piyu and Tom quickly scampered away.

Roli said, “Kapil, you are good in studies. Denko, Piyu and Tom have more interest in mischief rather than studies. They don’t concentrate on their school work. You are their friend. While talking with them, advise them to take interest in studies as well. Alright?” Kapil nodded his head in agreement.

The half-yearly exams were over. The results were declared. Kapil’s results were satisfactory; whereas Piyu, Denko and Tom’s results were disappointing.

Soon, it was Teachers’ Day. The parents of all the students had been called to meet the teachers. This was the first time that the parents were meeting the teachers. Denko, Piyu and Tom were sitting together in the hall.

Grinding his teeth Tom said, “Where is Roli? I hope she doesn’t lecture to our parents as well. My father doesn’t like listening the lectures.”

Denko laughed and said, “My father gets angry easily. I hope he doesn’t get into an argument with Roli. Look, she has gone to sit on the stage.”


Piyu whispered, “My father doesn’t like people who talk a lot. He wasn’t even ready to come to school. I had to persuade him to come.”

That’s when Denko exclaimed, “Goodness! What’s happening? Look Piyu, your father is touching her feet!”

More From Champak: Dadaji And Teachers’ Day

All of them were surprised. Not just their parents, but also many other parents were touching Roli’s feet as a sign of respect.

Roli looked at Kapil and indicated that he should come towards the stage. Kapil ran towards the stage. She said something to him and Kapil immediately ran back to where his friends were standing.

He said, “Ma’am is calling the three of you on stage.”

Piyu said “What’s going to happen now? We have no idea what Roli must have told our parents about us.”

Denko said, “Come on, let’s go. Can’t you see? Our parents are also looking in our direction. Things may not go well for me.”

Tom said, “I am scared. Both of you walk ahead. I will follow you.”

Piyu, Denko and Tom reached the stage. Roli was surrounded by parents.


Seeing Piyu, Denko and Tom on the stage Roli said, “These three students are the pride of our school. They have done well in extracurricular activities. I am confident that they will perform very well in the annual examinations. They will score higher than all the other students.”

Piyu’s mother said to Roli, “You taught Piyu’s father too. He was just telling Tom’s father that whatever he has achieved so far, has been due to your efforts in teaching him.”


Denko’s father said, “Like me, there were several backbenchers, who were motivated by teacher Roli. She gave us advice, as well as a direction to our lives. We are confident that our children will make this school proud of them.”


Piyu, Denko and Tom listened silently. They thought to themselves, “Roli is the Best Teacher.”





Cheating the Teacher

Abhi and Rishi, King Sher Singh’s sons ran up to him. They were panting and sat down to catch their breath.

The King asked, “What happened?”

Abhi replied, “We are very tired. We lost the game we were playing.”

Sher Singh asked in surprise, “How did you lose the game?”

Rishi replied, “Father, we were playing ‘catch me if you can’—along with Cheetu, Jeetu and Deepu. As we came close to catching them, they climbed up a tree! Since we don’t know how to climb a tree, they defeated us many times. We got tired of trying to catch them.”

“Children, this is our biggest weakness. We tried learning to climb trees, but it didn’t work. Listen to this story,” said Sher Singh and started narrating his tale:

“Long ago, tigers and lions were unaware of different hunting techniques. So, they would often have nothing to eat. Due to starvation, our species became physically weak.

Bondhu Seeks His Own Identity

The cheetah, the leopard and the wild cat had a great reputation in the jungle. They were excellent hunters and experts in hunting techniques like cornering, catching and eating the prey. They were feared. These wild animals had claimed their right over a larger part of the jungle and had huge settlements.

One day, an old tiger thought, ‘Let’s send our children to the wild cats to learn the art of hunting.’

Everyone felt that if their children learnt hunting, they would never have to fear starvation.

The lions and the tigers went to the wild cats with their request. They agreed to teach the children. They put a condition that they would only teach two students!

The tigers and lions thought that this would be enough. In future, those who learnt could come back and train the rest.

A wild cat called Sonu was appointed as the teacher. Two bright and restless tiger cubs started their training. Sonu trained them in different exercises; bouncing, jumping and knocking down each other. Sonu also introduced hunting techniques.

The tiger cubs learnt skills like cornering the prey, nabbing and the proper use of claws and jaws. The training made the tiger cubs skilled in many hunting techniques. They grew up to be fearsome hunters.


One day, during a practice session, the tiger cubs suddenly attacked Sonu. Sonu was clever. She had already sensed their intentions from their attitude and gestures. As soon as the tigers rushed towards her, she quickly jumped back and climbed up a tree that was near.

The tigers stared at her in surprise. They too tried to climb, but couldn’t succeed. They asked Sonu in frustration, “Teacher Sonu, how come you didn’t teach us how to climb a tree?”


Sonu said, “Dear students, we teachers give the most valuable knowledge only after testing and being sure about our students. Both of you felt that you have mastered everything. However, this one lesson that I had kept for the last saved my life.”

“It’s too bad that you didn’t prove to be good students. If you had, you could have learnt this technique too. Go home now with whatever knowledge I have given you and never come back.”


Chirag’s Feathered Friends

When Chirag found out that his dad was getting transferred to the city, he was very excited. He couldn’t wait to start studying at the big schools there, roam in the fancy malls and watch movies at the theatres.

Ma was packing their things and Chirag was helping her. He wanted to move as quickly as possible and live life in the big city. But Ma knew that the novelty of the big city would wear off soon and Chirag would start missing Roohi, a friendly sparrow that lived in a tree outside their home.

Chirag and Roohi knew each other very well and Chirag would refuse to eat before feeding some rice or some grains to Roohi.

Soon it was time to move and Chirag and his parents reached the city and moved into their new home. Dad went to the office the next morning and Ma was busy setting up the house. Since he hadn’t made any new friends yet, Chirag sat at home getting bored.


A couple of days went by but on the third day when Chirag sat down for lunch, he remembered Roohi and felt sad. He remembered how he would leave a few pieces of rotis and how she would pick them up one by one and take them to her nest. He missed her sweet chirps. Chirag missed her so much that he went to sleep without finishing his dinner.

Even though he didn’t say why he didn’t feel like eating, Ma knew the reason. When dad came home that evening, she told him about Chirag. Dad suggested that he should try making friends with another sparrow just like Roohi, here in the city.

The Kind Parrot

The next evening, on the way from work, dad brought home a birdhouse. He installed it outside their home and left a bowl of water outside it for the birds to quench their thirst.

In less than a week, the birdhouse had a tenant- a sparrow. Chirag named this sparrow Roohi too and she’d flit in and out of the sparrow house. Soon, she built a nest and laid some eggs which hatched into little sparrow chicks.

Dad installed another sparrow house for the other sparrows too. Seeing all the sparrows around Chirag’s house, all the kids in the area came to watch. They made sure there were enough food and water for the sparrows and took care of them.

In Search Of the Sparrows

One day, members from the “Save the Sparrows Group’ came to their colony. When they found out that the sparrow populations were rising in the area, they tried finding out how. When they found out that it was because of Chirag’s efforts, they praised him and presented him with an award.


The next morning, the papers carried a story about Chirag and his sparrows. Chirag’s parents were proud of him and praised him for his love for birds. They told him that if he continued his efforts and made the birds and animals around him happy, they would fill his life with happiness.

Chirag hugged his parent and thanked his dad for bringing him a birdhouse and making him happy.


No Fee for This Chore

“Rohit, please get me a glass of water,” said Rohit’s father.

“Dad, I’m doing my homework. Please ask Divya to get it for you,” replied Rohit from the living room, while continuing to read his book.

“Alright, son. At least do come over to collect your pocket money,” said Dad.

Rohit immediately went up to Dad and stretched out his hand to collect the money. On seeing him, Dad started laughing. He knew that though Rohit never helped around the house, he was always ready to collect his pocket money.


After collecting the money, Rohit went back to his books. Later, Dad called out again, “Rohit, will you please get me today’s newspaper?”

“Dad, I am studying. Please don’t disturb me,” replied Rohit.

A Unique Birthday Gift

“Rohit, I forgot to give you money to buy the books you had asked for. Please come over and collect it,” said Dad.

Rohit ran up to him. Dad knew that whatever money was left after buying the books, Rohit would add them to his piggy bank.

Dad kept laughing as he gave Rohit the money. Although Rohit was puzzled by Dad’s behaviour, he did not ask him about it.

As Rohit walked back to the living room, his father called him again. This time too, Rohit went running to him. He thought that his father was going to give him more pocket money. But his father started laughing,

Rohit was annoyed. “Dad, why are you laughing?” he asked.

“I am laughing at your greed, son,” replied Dad. “I did not even tell you why I called you, but you came back running thinking I was going to give you more money. You would not get up to help me, but you were willing to interrupt your studies to collect your pocket money.”


Rohit felt ashamed of his behaviour. He quietly walked away. He came back with a glass of water and the newspaper, and quietly placed them on his father’s desk. Dad then offered some money to Rohit, but he refused to take it.

More From Champak:  A Tip For Not Getting Lost

“I am sorry, Dad. I should have given you the water and newspaper when you had requested for them. I will not take money for this,” said Rohit.


Dad hugged him and said, “It’s alright, son. Remember, never be greedy about money and always respect your elders.”

Rohit nodded and hugged his father back.

Wise Little Gittu

When Golu and Motu, the elephants were strolling around Nandavan, they noticed Gittu, the chameleon hanging on a leaf of a tree. There was a strong wind blowing, and the leaf was moving rapidly. Gittu hung on to it, trembling with fear. With the help of his trunk, Golu placed Gittu on the ground.

Gittu was relieved and said, “Thank you, friend. What would I have done without you?”

“What were you doing up there?” Golu asked with a smile on his face.

“I was just trying to climb on to the leaf. I had no idea that it would start moving so fast. It moved even faster when I sat on it. I will never forget what you did for me. Please let me know if ever you need my help,” Gittu said.

“I understand. But how will you be able to help me? You’re too small!” Golu said.

After a few days, Gittu bumped into Golu and Motu again. They were both playing behind a large rock on a cliff.

Megha’s Gift for Mom

Motu said, “Hello, Gittu! Come and play with us. We can play hide and seek.

Gittu happily agreed and quietly hid behind a large rock. Motu did the same thing.

Golu went to hide behind a rock but when he placed his leg on the rock, the rock slipped and Golu fell into a ravine.

“Help!” Golu screamed.

Hearing him shout, all the animals playing around came to help. But they couldn’t find Golu.

“Where are you?” Motu yelled out.

“I am behind this big rock,” Golu said.

Everyone was worried as nobody was able to spot where exactly he was.

“Please help me get out of here. I’m stuck!” Golu screamed again.

“How do we help our friend? We can’t see him anywhere,” a worried Motu said.

Meanwhile, Gittu crawled down the cliff. He saw Golu was tightly holding on to a rock. He looked scared.

“Don’t be scared. I’ll help you out. I’ll tell the others and they will get you out of here,” Gittu said to Golu.

Gittu immediately went up again and informed everyone about Golu’s whereabouts. He said, “I know where Golu is. Let’s go quickly and get him out. But before that, we need some long ropes.

Motu ran and got ropes. Gittu held one rope in his mouth and climbed down the cliff and passed it on to Golu.

“Hold on to this rope and climb up,” Motu said to Golu.

“No, wait. Golu is very heavy and this rope would not be able to withstand his weight,” Gittu said.

More From Champak: Help Yourself

Gittu climbed down again but this time with another rope.

“Tie it around your waist, Golu. This will help us pull you up easily,” Gittu said and ran back to the top of the cliff.

“Let’s pull him up now,” Gittu said to everyone.


All the animals started pulling Golu up with the help of the ropes. Soon, he was on top of the cliff. Golu breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank you for saving my life, Gittu. You showed one should never judge people, by the way, their looks. I’m sorry I judged you by your size. If it weren’t for your smartness, I wouldn’t have been saved today,” Golu said and raised his trunk to thank Gittu.


Raju And the Firefly

It was time for bed and Raju wasn’t feeling sleepy at all. Grandma was tucking him to bed, when he asked, “Could you please tell me a story, Grandma?”

“Alright, what kind of story do you want to hear?” asked Grandma.

“Any kind. But it has to be a good one.”

“Alright. Once upon a time, on a warm summer night, a little firefly flew into a spider’s web. The sticky web made it impossible for the firefly to get out. But, a little boy named Raju was watching this happen. Feeling bad for the little firefly, he freed it from the web.


The firefly was happy to be free and flew up to Raju’s shoulder. ‘If you’re ever in trouble, feel free to call me. I’ll come to your rescue, said the firefly.

Raju laughed and said, You’re a tiny little firefly. How on earth will you be able to save me?

”Leave that to me. Never judge the capabilities of someone based on their size. All you have to do is shout out my name and I’ll be over in a jiffy,” said the firefly.

Just to keep the firefly happy, Raju agreed. With a smile on its face, the firefly flew back to the trees to join its many friends.

Many days passed since this incident. Raju decided to take a walk in the forest. He loved being among the trees and birds and wandered deep inside. Soon, it began to grow dark. Raju decided it was time to go home and turned back. But, because it was dark, Raju couldn’t find his way back. Everywhere he turned, the forest looks just the same- dark and scary.

He wandered for hours and still didn’t manage to find the way out. Tired, Raju sat down at the foot of a tree. It was pitch black and Raju could barely see his hand in front of his face. Now there was no way he could find the path back home. Worried, he sat there, wondering what to do. Just then, he remembered what the little firefly had told him.

Raju called out to the firefly, ‘Firefly, where are you? I need your help.’


Immediately, a spark of light came floating up to him. It was the firefly.

What’s the matter, my friend?’ asked the firefly.

I’ve lost my way. Can you help me get back home?’ asked Raju.

‘Is that all?’ asked the firefly. Wait right here. I’ll be back in a flash

Raju waited and in a few minutes, the firefly returned. With it were thousands of fireflies casting a warm glow on the forest. Their collective glow was so bright that the entire forest was lit up.

‘Come with us,’ said the firefly and together the fireflies lit the path back to Raju’s home. Raju followed the trail of brilliant flashing fireflies and reached home in a short while.”


Grandma had finished her story. “You see my child, it’s always good to help other people. If you help them, then one day, they will be there for you when you need their help.”

Raju smiled and went to sleep. That night, he dreamt sweet dreams of fireflies glowing outside his window.




Jambu’s Special Mother

Jeeva, look what that boy of yours has done!” complained all her neighbors early one morning.

“What did he do this time?” asked Jeeva, the elephant.

“What did he do?” asked Mantru, the monkey. “Jambu snuck in to our banana plantation. It looks like a disaster zone now.”

“The other day, he snuck in to my sugarcane field. He ended up uprooting more cane than he could eat,” said Ketu, the rhino with his tail wagging furiously.

Jeeva said with a sad voice, “Ever since poachers killed his mother, I have raised him as my own. I try to make him understand, but he just doesn’t listen to me.”

“Look over there! That’s him walking this way, munching on some bananas,” said Sochi, the parrot.

“All the animals are angry because you snuck in to their fields and ate everything. Why do you keep doing this Jambu?” asked Jeeva.

“I can’t control myself. I am hungry all the time.” said poor Jambu feeling hurt, and ran towards the river.

“Please forgive him this time,” said Jeeva. “I will pay you for the loss.”

“I don’t think that would help,” said Ketu.

While Jeeva went to the lumber yard to start her shift, Jambu was standing at the water’s edge. Sochi found Jambu and said, “You were such a good boy Jambu, why do you give your mother so much grief?”

“Mother? Jeeva’s not my mother. I don’t have a mother.”

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

“She may not be your real mother Jambu, but she loves you just as much. You should consider yourself lucky to have someone like her to take care of you.”

They sat in silence for a while when suddenly a net fell on top of Jambu and a few men came in from the trees banging loudly on a drum. Sochi flew away but Jambu was too scared to move. The men tied him up and put him in a cage on the back of a truck.


Sochi quickly went in search of help. He saw Mantru, the monkey, sitting on a tree. “Jambu is in danger! The poachers have caught

“Jambu is in danger! The poachers have caught him!” he said in between breaths.

“Good riddance,” muttered Mantru.

“Don’t be like that,” said Sochi to Mantru. “He really needs your help.”

After some thought, Mantru said, “Alright! We have to tell Jeeva. You tell her, I’ll stop the poachers.”

Mantru called two saras cranes that picked up Mantru and flew away towards the poachers and Sochi went to Jeeva to give her the news.

When Jeeva found out what happened, she burst into tears. “My poor baby has been kidnapped. We must save him!”

Meanwhile, Mantru and the saras cranes were flying over the truck. Carefully, the cranes dropped Mantru on the roof of the truck. Mantru then swung in through the window and grabbed the driver’s shirt.

“Aieeeee! Let me go you monkey!” screamed the driver.


Mantru opened the door and pushed the driver out who landed on a soft bush.

When the truck stopped, the other poachers jumped out ready for a fight but came face-to nose with Ketu, the rhinoceros.

Don’t move another inch,” said Ketu. All the other animals had surrounded the truck. A few animals rounded up the driver and brought him back to the truck. The forest guards soon arrived, they handcuffed the poachers and took them away.

More from Champak: The Naughty Duckling

Mantru drove the truck to the timber mill. Jeeva was nervously waiting at the gates. All the elephants were behind her eager to find out if Jambu was safe.

Mantru drove into the timber mill and said, “Special delivery for you Jeeva.”


The cage was opened up and Jambu ran towards her and hugged her. “I love you mommy. I’ll never sneak into a field and give you so much trouble again,” he said.

All the animals in the forest cheered and life was once again back to normal.

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

Laksh, Chirag and Peehu loved each other, but they were always up to some mischief. The moment their mother returned from work, other children would gather around her complaining about the three of them. Their mother would explain to them why troubling others was not a good thing, they would never heed her words.


One evening, when Laksh’s friend Hari was showing him his new cycle, Laksh said, “Unless you let me take your cycle out for a ride I can’t know what it’s like.” As soon as Hari was out of Laksh’s sight, Laksh deflated the rear tyre. Seeing the tyre this way, Laksh began to cry.

“Your cycle is less than a day old, Hari, and it’s broken already,” said Laksh and began laughing. Chirag and Peehu laughed with him.

One day, Chirag punctured his friend Mohit’s football and their mom was forced to buy Mohit a new one.

The Naughty Duckling

The kid’s naughtiness was beginning to worry their mother. When she would ask them to help out with the housework, they would make some excuse or another and escape.

During the summer vacations, Mom had to leave early and come late because she had a project to complete. She hardly found time to relax. Because she had a lot of work to do, Chirag began helping her out with a little bit of the housework.


He would hang the clothes out to dry, water the plants, collect milk from the milkman and would even pick up a loaf of bread on his way home. But Laksh and Peehu, on the other hand, would spend the entire day watching TV and playing.

One day, their mom suddenly fell ill. Chirag phoned the doctor. After examining her, the doctor prescribed some medicines for her and recommended that she take some rest. Chirag promised that he would take good care of his mom and not let her any work.

“I don’t think you will be able to do all the work alone,” said the Doctor. “Take Laksh and Peehu’s help.”

Laksh and Peehu agreed to help and began with their daily chores. Peehu slowly began enjoying doing housework.


Under mom’s guidance, she even began preparing food. Laksh loved buying vegetables from the market and would serve fresh fruits to his mom every day.

Laksh, Peehu, and Chirag turned over a new leaf. After finishing the housework, they only played for an hour. They had completely stopped playing pranks on the other kids and nobody came over to complain about their antics. Their mother was very happy to see such a change in her kids.

With the medicines the doctor prescribed and the care and affection the kids gave her, their mom recovered. Even after becoming better, the kids continued to help her with the housework.

More From Champak: Animal Mothers of the Wild

Mother’s day was around the corner and the kids wanted to do something special for her. Peehu was good at drawing and suggested that they make her a card. But Laksh and Chirag wanted to give her something else with the card. With the money in their piggy bank, they bought her a beautiful necklace.

On Mother’s day, the three of them placed a card, the handbag and the bouquet near her bed and went back to sleep. When mom saw the Mother’s day card, she became very happy. She went into their room and hugged them tightly.


“I received the perfect Mother’s day gift, the day you stopped being naughty, took care of me and started helping me with the housework,” said their mom.

“We love you mummy!” said the kids and hugged her tight.

Trixie Gets Tricked

Ever since the circus people had captured some animals from Nandanvan, the animals and birds were scared to step out of their homes. But after the circus had moved to another town, life was slowly getting back to normal in the forest. They were alert but they stopped hiding in their homes.

One day, Kiku, the kingfisher was sitting on a tree. He saw his friend Lolo, the lamb walking by. Just as Kiku was about to call out to him, he spotted Trixie, the vixen hiding behind the bushes just up ahead. She appeared to be waiting for Lolo to walk by and pounce on him.

Kiku had to warn Lolo, but without drawing Trixie’s attention. So he quickly took out his mobile phone and called Lolo.

“Hello, Kiku! How are you?” enquired Lolo over the phone.

“Lolo, you are in trouble! Trixie is hiding behind the bushes just ahead of you. But don’t react or else she might be alerted,” warned Kiku.

Lolo was a smart lamb. He immediately came up with an idea to escape from Trixie. Continuing to talk into the phone, he said, “Oh no! The circus people have been spotted in the forest again? That is not good.”


At first, Kiku was confused as to what Lolo was talking about but then he understood, so he continued listening.

“This time the circus people want foxes?” said Lolo aloud. “We will have to alert all the foxes so that they can go into hiding for a while.”

Trixie, who was overhearing the conversation, got scared. She immediately ran off and went into hiding, afraid that the circus people would catch her.

Kiku, who could see Trixie running away from his spot on the tree, burst out laughing. He said, “Lolo, you are very clever! I can see Trixie running away!”

Lolo heaved a sigh of relief. “Thank you, my friend. If you hadn’t warned me, Trixie would have certainly caught hold of me!”


“I only warned you but you were smart enough to talk your way out of it. Instead of panicking, you were calm and thought of a solution immediately,” appreciated Kiku.

Both the friends then continued to chat in peace.

Monu’s Airlift

One afternoon, as Sonu and Monu were playing, their mother, Mini called out, “Sonu! Don’t push your brother!”

“I am not pushing him, mom. We are just playing,” said Sonu.

Sonu tickled Monu in the tummy.

“Ha! Ha! Please stop! I am tired of laughing!” said Monu.

“No way!” said Sonu and continued to tickle his brother.

Humans Can Fly Too!

Suddenly, Monu lost his balance and fell off the nest. Fortunately, he fell on a pile of dry leaves, so he was unhurt. Slowly, he got up and looked around him.

“Mom! Help me! Mom!” he cried.

Molu, the mole was woken up from his sleep by Monu’s cries. He came out of his burrow to see who it was.

“You poor thing! Are you hurt? How did you fall?” asked Molu, rushing to help Monu.

“I was playing with my brother when I slipped and fell down. I am not hurt as I landed on this heap of dry leaves,” mumbled Monu between sobs. “But I am scared. I want my mom!”

Mini flew down next to Monu and hugged him. “Don’t be scared, Monu! I am here now,” she said. “And this is Molu, our neighbour and friend.”

“Mom, it’s Sonu fault that I fell down,” complained Monu.

“You know Sonu didn’t mean any harm,” said Mini consoling him.

“But now, how do we get you back to the nest?” wondered Mini.

“Why don’t you hold him with your feet and fly to your nest?” suggested Molu.

“I’ll try,” said Mini. She held Monu with her feet and tried to fly, but she couldn’t.

“I think he is too heavy for you to carry,” observed Molu.

Tina, the bird was flying by and saw Mini and Molu talking. When she decided to drop by to say ‘hello’, Mini explained the situation to Tina.

“Why don’t we try lifting him together?” suggested Tina.

Tina and Mini held Monu with one leg each and tried to fly, but their wings kept hitting each other.

“It’s no use. It’s not working,” said Mini.

Just then Molu had an idea. He brought a wooden stick. “Both of you hold on to one end of the stick each,” said Molu. ,


Mini and Tina did as told.

“Monu, now hold on tight to the stick with your beak,” said Molu.

Once Monu grabbed the stick, Molu instructed the two birds to fly. With enough space between them, Mini and Tina could fly without their wings hitting each other and they could carry Monu along too.

Once Monu reached the nest, Sonu rushed to hug him.

“I am glad you are back unhurt,” said Sonu.

“I am glad to be back too!” said Monu. “Thank you, O Mom. And thank you, Aunt Tina and Uncle Molu for helping me,” he said.


“Don’t mention it,” said Molu and went back to his burrow to continue to sleep.

Humans Can Fly Too!

“Look, mom! There’s a huge bird flying across the sky!” said Sunny.

“Yes, mom! It’s very big and it is making a loud noise,” added Marty.

“It is so shiny, unlike any bird I have seen!” exclaimed Coco.

Mini laughed and explained, “That is not a bird. It’s an aeroplane. Humans use it to reach far off places in very little time.”

“Wow! Humans can fly?” asked Marty surprised.

“But I have never seen any human flying,” said Coco.

“They cannot fly but they can build things that can. So all they have to do is sit inside an aeroplane that will take them from one place to another,” said Mini.

“Mom, how did they build an aeroplane?” asked Sunny.

“Humans came up with the idea of flying when they saw us flying. They thought it would be a faster way to cover long distances, said Mini.

“When did they build the first aeroplane?” asked Coco.

“The aeroplane was not built at one go. The one that you saw today is the result of many scientists working over several decades on different designs. In fact, people have been attempting to fly or build flying devices since ancient times,” explained Mini.

“So, there were other designs?” said Marty.

“Yes, Marty. Do you remember when we flew past the park last week I showed you a lot of people flying kites?” asked Mini.

“Yes, Mom,” said Coco. “Sunny and Marty thought they were sky-fishes,” she said laughing.

“Kites are one of the earliest man-made flying objects. People in China designed them hundreds of years ago. Some kites were so big that they could carry a man along with them,” said Mini.

The little ones listened in awe. “Later, the humans discovered that they could fill balloons with hydrogen gas to make them fly.”

“But Mom, balloons are too small,” said Sunny.

“But the balloons I am referring to are so big that they can carry humans with it,” said Mini. “In 1783, the Wright brothers Orville and Wilbur— used hydrogen-filled balloons to attempt flying.


Once, a goat was made to fly such a balloon!” said Mini.

The three giggled at the idea.

“Yes, it’s true,” said Mini. “Haven’t you heard Lonu uncle saying that it was his great grandfather who was sent up in that balloon?”

But mom, how did the humans change the design from a balloon to like the one we saw?” asked Marty.

“We helped the humans on this. They understood that our tails and wings help us to fly and maintain balance in the air. So they designed a machine with similar features and soon, they were successful,” replied Mini.

“Mom, our wings don’t just help us to fly, we can even move in any direction we want. Can the aeroplanes do that too?” asked Sunny.


“Yes, the Wright brothers dreamt of building a powered machine that could fly and also be controlled by the pilot to change directions. After observing the way we fly, they built the first successful aeroplane. After decades, this model evolved into the one we saw today,” explained Mini. “They must have been

“They must have been delighted with their success,” said Coco.

“Yes, dear. Every human is happy at their success. Every invention these humans make is to make their lives easier,” said Mini.

“Mom, how many people can travel in a single aeroplane?” asked Marty.

“There are aeroplanes of different sizes built today—from the smallest ones that can carry just two people, to bigger ones like what you just saw that can carry over a 100 or even 500. And these aircrafts can travel pretty fast,” said Mini.


“Even we birds tear across the skies with our wings,” said Coco flapping her tiny wings.

“Yes, we sure do,” said Mini with a smile.

The Parched Jungle

As the temperature rose with the summer heat, water was becoming scarce at Mangalvan. So scarce that even the King, Babbar, the lion was having trouble finding some. He wandered from one watering hole to another and was disappointed to see that they all had dried up. He stumbled through the forest, weak and tired.

Monty, the monkey saw Babbar wandering through the jungle and decided to have some fun.

“Good morning, Your Highness. I hear you’re looking for water. You know what? I just saw some myself,” said Monty, hanging upside down from a tree.

“You’ve only seen it? I just drank a whole litre of it,” boasted Bobby, the crow who perched next to him.

“What’s all this talk about water? Go find another tree to catch up on your gossip and let me sleep,” said Olly, the owl who was sleeping on another branch.

“The King is dying of thirst here and you’re more worried about your beauty sleep? Shame on you, Olly,” said Monty, still in the mood for some fun.

“Is that what’s happening? Forgive me, Your Majesty. I can’t see in the daytime. It is too bright for my eyes that are best suited for darkness. It’s sad to see that our jungle has become so parched. With all the trees gone, there isn’t as much rain as there once used to be and the little rain we get is sadly not conserved. If somebody had taken up the task to keep our trees safe and built bunds to retain water on our land longer, we wouldn’t have been in such a sad state,” said Olly.

Babbar turned red in embarrassment. As king of the jungle, it was his job to take care of it, but he had neglected his duties, as had his ministers.

“Never mind though, there are more pressing issues at hand,” said Olly. “The King of the jungle is thirsty, and I cannot rest until my King’s thirst is quenched!” Olly turned his head, “Monty, my kurta is hanging over there. If you check the pockets, there should be a piece of paper with Dumpy, the donkey’s phone number. Give him a call and he’ll bring the King some water.”

Dumpy, the donkey lived just outside the jungle and had a beautiful garden of his own. He also had a little pond that was always full of water.

“Yes, please give him a call. Here, use my phone,” said Babbar, handing Monty his mobile phone.

Mili to the Rescue

Monty made the call and Dumpy immediately got to work. He filled up a big can with water and loaded it on the back of his motorcycle and zoomed to their location. With a big smile on his face, he handed over the water to Babbar.

“Do you have a glass or a mug for me to drink from?” asked Babbar.

“I’m sorry, Your Highness. I guess I forgot to bring one. You’ll have to make do with your hands,” said Dumpy.

“Fair enough. Just give me some water, I’m dying of thirst,” said the King. Dumpy picked the can up and gently tilted it. Babbar cupped his hands together and drank the water. In only a short while, the water was all gone and Babbar breathed a sigh of relief.

“Thank you for giving me water when I needed it most. Having spent the entire day thirsty, I understand the trouble the rest of the animals must be going through. I promise that I will ensure that nobody goes thirsty in my jungle again.

More from Champak: Clouds to the Rescue

For starters, I’ll speak to my friend, Veer Singh, the lion from the neighbouring jungle to release some water. Our lakes will be full and we will no longer be forced to seek water in the villages and get hurt by humans,” said Babbar.

He apologised to the animals there and promised to plant more trees, conserve rainwater, build more bunds and dig more lakes. He also promised to get rid of all the lazy ministers.

“That sounds great, My Lord. Hop on. I’ll drop you off at the palace,” said Dumpy.

Dumpy took the King to his palace and soon, all the arrangements were made. Water was available for all the animals of Mangalvan and plans for a future full of water were made.

The Secret of the Haunted Farmhouse

Pack your bags, we’re spending the summer at our farmhouse,” said Dad, as he came home from work.


“Hurray!” shouted the twins, Rohan and Rohit.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea? Didn’t the new caretaker, Ramu, complain that the farmhouse was haunted?” asked Mom.

“Everybody knows that there are no such things as ghosts,” said Dad

Meanwhile, the brothers had already started packing.

“Did you hear that? The farmhouse might be haunted. This is so exciting!” said Rohit.

The next morning, the family set off towards their farmhouse. When they arrived, Ramu welcomed them.

“How are things, Ramu?” asked Dad.

Ramu’s face fell. “What can I say, Sir? Strange things have been happening here. I keep seeing this mysterious figure every now and then. He has a scary face.”

“You’re probably just imagining things, Ramu,” said Rohit.

“I wish I was,” said Ramu. “It is a ghost, Sir. He comes at night, especially when it’s raining heavily. Usually, someone from the market would drop off supplies, but now the villagers are too scared. I have to go get things myself,” said Ramu.

“Those are a nice pair of shoes, Ramu,” said Rohan.

The Ghost of Penupuram

“Thank you. They’re a gift from a friend,” said Ramu and went inside to bring some tea.

“You’re finally here! So good to see you,” shouted a voice from outside the house.

“Kaushik!” exclaimed Dad and introduced him to the rest of the family, “This is Inspector Kaushik. He’s recently been posted here. He’s a childhood friend of mine.”

“What’s this we keep hearing about a ghost, Inspector Kaushik?” asked Rohan.

“Don’t call me Inspector Kaushik, call me Uncle. It’s all a sham,” said Kaushik Uncle. “I’m sure there’s more to this story.”

After dinner, everyone went off to sleep. The twins slept in the same room. A loud thunder woke Rohan with a start. It was still dark outside. As Rohan looked out of the window, lightning flashed and lit everything. There was someone outside in the garden.


Rohan jumped out of the bed and woke Rohit. When the lightning flashed again, he too saw the figure. Its face was terrifying. When the lightning flashed for the third time, the figure was gone. The brothers huddled together in the same bed and fell asleep.

The next morning, Ramu looked tired as he served everybody breakfast.

“What’s the matter, Ramu? You don’t look too well,” said Dad.

“I haven’t slept all night, Sir. It was that ghost. He was wandering in the garden last night. Did you see him?” asked Ramu.

“No, we didn’t see anything,” said Dad.

“Neither did we,” said Rohan. Rohit shook his head in agreement.

“That’s strange,” mumbled Ramu.

After breakfast, Ramu took the kids for a walk around the farmhouse.

“Why is that room locked?” asked Rohan, pointing to a shed behind the house.

“That’s just a godown. It’s got a lot of old things inside. It was already locked when I came here.” said Ramu.

“Really? This lock looks brand new,” said Rohan.

“Uh… that’s because the old lock broke. So I changed it,” said Ramu nervously and walked on. As they followed Ramu, they noticed a set of tyre tracks nearby. But they did not ask Ramu anything.

That night, the twins set the alarm for 2 AM. When they woke up, it was raining and outside their window was the same figure. But the figure jumped into the woods and disappeared.


The next morning, Ramu was still surprised that nobody had seen the ghost.

After breakfast, the kids went to investigate the tyre tracks outside the godown.

“I think these tracks lead to the forest,” said Rohan. “I wonder who uses it.” Through one of the windows, Rohit peeped inside the godown. The entire godown was a mess and there were several logs of wood inside.

More from Champak: THE GHOST IN THE ROOM

Back at the house, the two brothers had lunch.

“That was a lovely meal. If only there were some cold drinks to wash this down,” said Rohit. “Can you please get us some?”

“I’d love to but the nearest store is at least an hour away,” protested Ramu.

“Please Ramu, we’ll wait till then,” begged Rohan.


“What happened to your boots, Ramu?” asked Rohit.

This caught Ramu by surprise. “Uh.. they’re at the cobbler’s. I’ll go buy some cold drinks,” said Ramu.

When Ramu stepped out, the twins got into action. They went straight to his room and began rummaging around for clues. At first, they couldn’t find anything. Finally, Rohan said, “Look what I found under the bed.”

Rohit took a look and said, “This explains everything!”

They found some of Ramu’s clothes hanging in the room and searched the pockets. They found what they were looking for.

“Quickly, let’s get out before he comes back,” said Rohan and they left Ramu’s room.

Ramu came home with cold drinks. While drinking them, Rohit said, “By the way, Ramu, I noticed this morning that one of the godown windows is broken. You should get it fixed.”


“Really? I didn’t notice. You didn’t go near it, did you?” asked Ramu.

No way, even we are scared of the ghost now. In fact, I heard Dad talking about selling the farmhouse.” said Rohit.

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“Really? That’s both good news and bad news,” said Ramu.

Later that evening, the boys were walking through the woods. Every few feet, there were boards that said cutting trees was prohibited.

As they walked along, they heard the sound of wood being chopped. They went closer and saw Ramu talking to a couple of mysterious men, one fat and one thin. They spoke for a while and parted ways. While Ramu walked towards the house, the two men walked the other way.


The kids followed them deep into the jungle until they reached a small house. Behind the house was a slope leading into some bushes. They made their way to the back of the house and pressed their ears against the walls. They heard the two men talking, “If Ramu doesn’t do anything soon, we’ll have to intervene,” said one of them.

“You’re right. We cannot afford to delay the shipment any further,” said the other.

Just then, Rohit’s leg slipped and he slid down the slope, into the bushes. Rohan turned to grab his brother, but he was too late. All this commotion alerted the men.

They stepped outside and saw Rohan behind the house and grabbed him. “Put him in the house. We’ll deal with him tomorrow,” said the fat man, and the thin man took Rohan away. Rohit, who had been scratched badly, watched from the bushes.

When the coast was clear, Rohit ran back to the farmhouse. He narrated the whole story to his parents. Inspector Kaushik,

By then, the two men and Rohan had been brought to the farmhouse.

“We had our doubts about you the day you complained of ghosts here,” said Rohan. “We know that you’ve been using this ghost tale to scare us.”

“We grew more suspicious when you told us that the godown had junk inside. If there was just junk inside, why would it need a new lock?” asked Rohit.

“Our suspicions were confirmed when we peeped inside the godown through the broken window. We saw logs of wood,” said Rohan.

Ramu hung his head and remained silent.

“What about the ghost?” asked Mom.

“There’s a ghost alright. We’ve seen it with our own eyes,” said Rohit.


“The ghost is none other than Ramu. When we sent him off to bring us some cold drinks, we snooped around in his room and found muddy boots under his bed. They were muddy from walking around in the rain. Along with it was a scary mask. We also found a brand new key in one of his pockets. It turns out that this is the key to the godown,” said Rohan.

I admit it. I’ve been trying to scare you away by pretending to be the ghost. When I first came here, these two men approached me. They told me about their plan and paid me well. We then cooked up this story about the ghost so that you’d sell the house,” said Ramu.

“We also knew that nobody would buy the house because of the ghost. Then we’d be able to buy the house from you. But our plans were foiled,” said Ramu.


“Good job, kids!” said Inspector Kaushik and patted them on the back.

“Thank you, Sir,” they said. “Don’t call me Sir, call me Uncle,” he said and everybody laughed.

The Clever Chimpanzees

Gabu, the chimpanzee lived in Africa with his parents. He was still a baby and his family members would teach him good things so that he could grow up to be an honest chimpanzee and a valuable member of jungle society.

Chimpanzees are social animals and very intelligent too. Not only do they work together to solve problems, they’ve been known to make and use tools and also regularly pass on skills to other members of their group. After humans, chimpanzees are widely regarded to be the most intelligent creatures on this planet.

One day, Gabu and his group were looking for food. After travelling for some time, they found a tree with dried-up fruits on it. The chimpanzees immediately climbed up the tree and picked all the fruits and gathered them.

Stripping away the peel and dried pulp, the chimpanzees picked up stones and smashed them against the seeds.

Gabu watched this in shock and turned to his mother, “Mom, make them stop. They’re hurting the seeds,” he said.

Don’t worry Gabu, the seeds are all dried up. Also, inside them are nuts that are meant to be eaten. They are nutritious and tasty too,” said Gabu’s mother, handing him a nut.

Gabu ate the nut and was very happy.

“I want to smash open a seed too,” he said excitedly.

Gabu’s mom gave him a few seeds. Gabu found a couple of stones and with his best friend, Sabu, looked for a nice place to try cracking open the seeds by themselves.

Dub Dub Turtle

They found an outcrop and settled down, but every time Gabu tried smashing the seed, it would spring out from underneath as soon as it was struck.

“This isn’t as easy as the adults make it! seem,” said Gabu.

“You’re right. How about I hold the seed in place with my hands and you smash it with the stone?” suggested Sabu.

Holding the seed between his fingers, Sabu readied it and Gabu picked up the stone. He brought it down hard on the seed and smashed it open. But, the seed wasn’t the only thing he smashed.

“Ow! My finger!” cried Sabu.

Being just babies, neither Sabu nor Gabu had thought about what would happen to Sabu’s fingers.

“I’m so sorry. I should have been careful,” said Gabu, dropping the stone.

“These seeds are dangerous. I don’t want to eat them again,” said Sabu. Even Gabu didn’t want to eat them anymore.

Once the pain in Sabu’s fingers went away, the two friends cuddled up next to their mothers and fell asleep.

Many days passed since that day and as the two chimpanzees grew bigger, their friendship grew deeper. Gradually, the time they spent with their mothers reduced and the time they spent with each other increased.

One day, their group was settling in a comfortable tree for a nap. While the rest of the chimpanzees were sleeping, Gabu and Sabu decided to stay up and chat. One thing led to another and soon, they went out for a walk. They were so engrossed in their conversation with each other that they didn’t notice that they had wandered far away from their tree. Another thing they didn’t notice was the danger lurking in the bushes.

Hidden from plain sight by the tall grass, a hungry hyena watched Gabu and Sabu walk towards him. “Looks like I won’t have to look for dinner tonight. It seems to have come to me,” he said to himself, licking his lips.

The two chimps realised that they were in danger when the hyena jumped out from behind the grass and blocked their way.


“Don’t you know you’re not supposed to wander off alone in this part of the grassland?” asked the hyena.

“Sir, we haven’t done anything to you. Please let us go,” said Sabu, his voice quivering.

“Oh no, you’re not getting away that easily,” said the hyena and stepped closer.

“Sabu, it looks like the only way we can get out alive is by running,” said Gabu.

“Where do we run? I don’t see any trees nearby and if we continued to run, he’d catch up in no time,” said Sabu.

Looking around, Gabu said, “Look over there. There’s a cave on the top of those rocks. It looks too small for the hyena. If we get inside, we’d be safe.”

Together, Gabu and Sabu made a run for it. The hyena tore after them, but the little chimpanzees were too nimble for him. Weaving in and out of rocky outcrops, the chimpanzees successfully made it inside the cave and hid there.

The hyena reached the cave’s entrance and said, “So, you’re going to hide in there, are you? Well, I’ve got all day. Maybe, I’ll just wait here. After all, you are my new neighbours.”

As the hyena found a comfortable spot outside the cave, Gabu and Sabu were busy working out a plan.


“Seems like the only way we can escape is by smashing some seeds,” said Gabu.

“Where do you intend to find some seeds?” asked Sabu. “Also, don’t you remember why we stopped eating nuts from those seeds? Cracking them open was painful.”

“You don’t have to worry about the pain or finding them. The only one who needs to worry about anything is the hyena,” said Gabu, with a smile.

They whispered the plan to each other and got to work.

“I must say, you must be the worst hyena in your pack. If you go back and they found out that a couple of baby chimpanzees managed to give you the slip, you’d be the laughing stock of the jungle. If you really want to catch us, why don’t you come and get us?” said Sabu.

The hyena was deeply insulted. “Wait till I get my hands on you,” he grumbled and stuck his paw inside the cave. At that moment, Gabu smashed it! with a rock. The hyena yelped and pulled his paw back.


“These little monkeys aren’t worth all this trouble,” he said and scrambled away.

After checking whether the coast is clear, Gabu and Sabu ran as quickly as they could to their group. They realised how important it was to try and explore things for themselves and learn about things from their elders. You may never know when they might come in handy.

Mili to the Rescue

Summer was making life at Ashokvan hard. The sun’s harsh rays beat down on the ground, taking away all the water. The earth was parched, the plants had dried and all the animals were thirsty. Since Ashokvan didn’t have any rivers flowing through it and all the lakes and ponds had dried up, the animals had to travel far, deep into the neighbouring forest to quench their thirst.


The severe water shortage meant that all the animals were growing weak. Bhola, the monkey had worn himself out while looking for food all day, when suddenly he started feeling light-headed. Then, without any warning, he fell unconscious.

A crowd gathered around him, as concerned animals gathered to see if they could help.

“He’d wake up the moment we sprinkle water on his face. But we don’t have any water to spare. What have our lives come to?” asked Kani, the crow.


Just then, Mili, the squirrel came running and asked all the animals to make some room and give Bhola some fresh air. She then ran back home, came back with a bottle of water and splashed some on Bhola’s face. He regained consciousness and she gave him a drink of water.

The animals who saw this happen were astonished. “Where did you get all that water?” they asked her. “You look so fresh, like you’ve taken a bath!” remarked others.

“As a matter of fact, I had just stepped out of a bath when I saw that Bhola had fainted,” said Mili.

“Where did you get the water?” they asked. “Where did you get the water?” they asked.

“I had saved it, of course,” said Mili. “When it rained last week, I knew that this was the right time to save water. So, I rearranged the leaves on a few branches in such a way that I could fill them up with water and save it for later.”

The animals were amazed and praised Mili for her ingenuity. Soon, word of Mili’s store of water spread across the forest. Everybody wanted to save rainwater just like her. Even the water minister, Kalu, the bear was impressed and said, “If a little squirrel can save enough water to last her the summer, imagine what we can do together?”

He asked the animals to suggest different ways to conserve rainwater. One by one, the animals gave him their ideas and the good ones were implemented immediately. Slope corrugated roofing was installed on all terraces. The roofs would slope towards pipes that would channel the water into tanks.


Slopes, planes and storm drains were all directed towards natural water bodies and tanks, thus enabling more water to be stored for use, instead of running off or evaporating.

By the time they were finished, each and every animal had done something or the other to save rainwater. When it rained, all their hard work came to fruition, and there was enough water stored to last the rest of the summer.

Kalu announced that the rainwater harvesting project was a grand success. He said, “We have enough water to last us a long time. By boiling it before drinking, we can use it well into the future.”

The animals of Ashokvan were very happy and thanked Mili for saving them from the summer.

Isha’s First Day

When little Isha learnt that on the first of next month she would start school, she was happy as a butterfly. She jumped around the house, thinking about all the fun she was going to have there.

As the days went by, her parents started buying her all the things she would need for school. With just a day to go, Isha had everything she needed for her first day. She had a pretty little bag filled with colourful books and a new set of uniform and shoes too.

Her little brother, Chotu, looked at all her things in awe. He couldn’t help but open her bag and see what’s inside.

“Be careful,” said Isha. “They’re new.”

“Sorry, I was just looking,” said Chotu.

“Alright, go ahead but don’t turn the pages. They might tear,” said Isha.

“Is this your lunch box?” asked Chotu picking up her casserole.

“Yes, that’s a casserole. It will keep my lunch nice and warm,” said Isha.

“Your shoes are so nice,” said Chotu.

“Uh huh,” said Isha. “I have two pairs. One to go with the regular uniform, one for the sports uniform and on Saturdays, I can wear whatever I want. I’ll wear a new frock every week.”

Hearing all this, Chotu also wanted to go to school. But he’d have to wait another year before that happened.

In the evening, Isha’s friends Pinky and Shweta came over to play. They were all going to board the school bus together the next morning.

“Will you come see me off in the morning, Chotu?” Isha asked him.

Chotu nodded and resumed playing fetch with Shweta’s dog, Bruno.


“Shweta, does Bruno see you off every morning?” asked Isha.

“Yes, he does,” said Shweta. “He runs ahead and waits with me till the bus arrives.”

That night, Isha had packed all her books and readied her uniform for the next day. She could hardly wait. The next morning, Isha’s parents rode with her on the bus and took her to class. They introduced her to her class teacher at Rimjhim School. Isha took an immediate liking to her new school and her teacher. She sat right next to her teacher and made lots of friends. *

Her teacher was very sweet to her and said, “You have such a nice name.”

Isha smiled and said, “Thank you, ma’am.”

“You seem to have made a lot of friends today. Are you having fun?” asked the teacher.

“Yes, ma’am, I am,” said Isha.

Courageous Brother

“Very good,” said the teacher. “Do you have any friends outside school?” asked the teacher.

“Yes, I do. Shweta and Pinky are my best friends. They are older than me, but we play together every evening,” said Isha.

“That’s nice,” said the teacher. “How many people are there at home?”

“There’s me, Chotu and my parents,” said Isha.

“Is Chotu your brother?” asked the teacher.

“Yes, he is. He’s younger than me, but he’s my best friend too,” said Isha.

“That’s great,” said the teacher. “Why don’t you stay here and I’ll be back in a minute,” she said and stepped outside.

As Isha sat in her place near the teacher’s desk, she saw that a strange man was peeping inside through the window. Isha felt nervous. After looking around, the man climbed in through the window and walked towards the teacher’s bag. Isha immediately ran to the teacher’s chair and grabbed the bag.

“Who are you? Go away!” she said to the strange man, but he didn’t listen and tried to snatch the bag away from her.


Isha held on tight and refused to let go. She called out to her parents, who were outside paying Isha’s fees. The thief yanked hard on the bag and knocked Isha down. She burst into tears and cried out loud.

Hearing her cries, her parents came running. Startled, the thief jumped out of the window and escaped.

As her parents came, they asked her what happened. Hearing all the commotion, the teacher too came running and at once understood that Isha had foiled a robbery. She took her bag from Isha and gave her a hug.

“Isha, you’ve not even finished your first day at school and you’ve already shown tremendous courage,” said the teacher. “I had my money, phone and credit cards in that bag. Thank you for not letting that man steal it,” said the teacher.


Isha stopped crying and realised what she had done. She smiled for knew she was going to like school.

Hip Hip Hurray

When Meenu, the squirrel’s summer vacations began, her appetite grew by leaps and bounds. If one day she demanded biscuit cake, on another she would crave pizzas and burgers. And while she was having a good time, her mother grew tired of this.

One day, Meenu’s mother said, “Meenu, you’re getting older now and you will need to start becoming responsible. Why don’t you help me out around the house? It is important for all children to develop such skills at an early age.”

Meenu really liked her mother’s idea. She started waking up early in the morning and going for a walk. Then she would spend some time studying, and then later help her mother in the kitchen. After that, she would go out to play with her friends.

In the kitchen, Meenu’s mother started her off with simple things like how to wash the vegetables and store them in the fridge. She taught her the names for various ingredients too. Once she had learned this, she taught her how to prepare simple dishes like rice, dal and other dishes. Meenu had a lot of fun and loved helping her mother.

When Chinki, the dormouse’s mother heard that Meenu has been learning how to cook, she asked her to learn too. Chinki flat out refused and told her that she is not interested in learning how to cook. She just wanted to enjoy her summer vacations.

Duggu, the elephant, Sheenu, the fox and Molu, the jackal wanted to spend their summer vacation in the same way. When Meenu told that that they should spend their summer vacations learning something new like painting, swimming or music, they refused to listen. They made fun of her and started laughing but Meenu didn’t feel bad.

One day Meenu and all her friends were at the park when they noticed a flier on the bulletin board. It was an announcement about a cooking contest in the colony.


The contest was called Kitchen Kids’ and would take place in one week. The kid who prepared the best dish would be awarded a cycle. The chance of winning a cycle interested them all. Chinki, Duggu, Sheenu and Molu didn’t know how to cook; they decided to spend the next seven days at home learning how.

Meenu was feeling sad. Despite it being her summer holidays, she could no longer meet her friends. When she offered to teach them how to cook, her friends weren’t receptive. They felt insecure about the fact that Meenu was already a good cook and her chances of winning were much higher than theirs. So they told her that they didn’t need her help.

The day of the cooking contest was drawing near. Meenu was feeling very lonely. It had been so long since she had seen any of her friends. While they were worried about the competition, Meenu was not. She wasn’t even interested in winning the cycle. The only reason she looked forward to the competition was because she would finally be able to meet her friends.

When Meenu asked her mother what she should prepare at the competition, she asked her to prepare anything her heart desired.

“After all,” she added. “This competition is being conducted so that children can learn something new and become selfsufficient. So it is best that you decide what you would like to make and I’ll help you with your practice batches.”

Meanwhile, Chinki, Duggu, Sheenu and Molu were trying to learn how to make one dish each so that they could prepare it at the competition and win the cycle.

On the day of the competition, all the children assembled at the venue. In order to win the cycle, they would need to successfully complete two rounds and move on to the third where they would have to prepare their special dish.

The first round involved identifying different ingredients. Meenu and all her friends except Sheenu and Molu cleared this round.


In the second round, all the children were given a bowl of ice-cream each and asked to identify all the different flavours in it. Duggu, who had barely cleared the previous round, was getting really nervous because he was not able to identify half the flavors. Not only was Duggu eliminated in this round, Chinki was too.

In the final round it was Meenu against three other kids from the colony. Meenu prepared pudding and won the competition.

Chinki, Duggu, Sheenu and Molu regretted the fact that they didn’t learn how to cook sooner. If they had, they would have had a better chance at winning the cycle.

When Meenu was handed the keys to her cycle, she ran towards her friends. “This is not my cycle,” she said. “This is our cycle.”


When Chinki, Duggu, Sheenu and Molu realized how much love Meenu had for them, they all gave her a big hug. They congratulated her on her victory and chanted, “Hip-hip. Hurray! Hip-hip Hurray for Meenu!”

The Mystery of the Missing Pineapples

Tippy, the squirrel, Dina, the deer, Roco, the racoon, Lanny, the lamb and Chimp, the monkey were travelling in the school bus together. They were on their way to a picnic near the stream along with their teacher, Giro, the giraffe. They had brought along their favourite snacks and games.

“My mother has given me sweets made of dry fruits,” said Tippy excitedly to his classmates.

“I’ve got burgers!” Roco pitched in.

Dina had brought laddoos made by her grandmother while Lanny had popcorn and pineapple slices.

“Chimp, what have you got?” asked Tippy.

“My parents have gone out of town to visit my grandmother, so I have just brought along some nuts that I found in the house,” replied Chimp.

Soon, the bus reached the picnic spot and they all got off. Giro spread out a mat and asked all the children to put down their bags on it. Then they all rushed to the stream nearby and started playing games.

And They Became Friends

After a while, Chimp felt thirsty. He excused himself and went to the spot where all their bags were kept to drink water. He joined them again and continued playing.

“It’s time for lunch!” announced Giro.

Feeling quite hungry, the children quickly sat on the mat as instructed by their teacher, and opened their lunch boxes.

When Lanny opened his box, he was shocked to find it empty! “Where have my pineapple slices gone?” he wondered aloud.

“Maybe your mother forgot to pack them,” said Chimp. “Don’t worry. I’ve got some pineapples too. You can share with me.”

“But you said you have only got some nuts!” exclaimed Lanny surprised.

“Yes, but I can climb trees, remember? I spotted a pineapple tree nearby and plucked one from there,” replied Chimp.

Giro who was listening to the conversation asked, “So you climbed a tree and plucked the pineapple, did you? Then how did you peel it?”

“I peeled it just like how one peels a banana,” replied Chimp.

“Chimp, please return Lanny’s pineapples to him,” said Giro calmly.

Everyone was confused.

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“But sir, these are mine,” said Chimp.

“Stop lying and confess to what you did. Else, I will have to complain to your parents,” said Giro.

Chimp was scared. “Please don’t tell my parents, sir,” he said nervously. “I stole the pineapples from Lanny’s box.”

“But why did you do that?” asked Roco surprised by his confession.

“I had never eaten pineapples before but had heard that they are very tasty. When Lanny said that he had brought some, I wanted to try them but was embarrassed to ask. So I decided to steal them,” explained Chimp.

“But weren’t you with us the whole time?” wondered Dina.

More From Champak:  A Thief of Champakvan

“While we were playing by the stream, I made an excuse of being thirsty and came here alone. I used the chance to empty Lanny’s pineapples into my own box,”” revealed Chimp.

“But you could have just asked me, Chimp. I would have happily shared them with you. There is no need to be embarrassed when among friends,” said Lanny.

Chimp was ashamed of himself. “Please forgive me. I have made a mistake,” he said in a low voice.

“I hope you have learnt your lesson, Chimp. It is never okay to steal,” said Giro.

“But sir, how did you figure out that Chimp was lying?’ asked Dina.

“Because Chimp’s knowledge of pineapples is poor. First of all, pineapples don’t grow on trees; they grow on the ground. Their leaves are thorny and the skin is very rough, so they cannot be peeled with bare hands like a banana. You have to peel them using a knife,” explained Giro.


“It’s okay, Chimp. Next time you need something, just ask us. We are all friends after all,” said Lanny smiling and offered Chimp some pineapple slices. All the friends shared their food and had a hearty picnic lunch.

Piku’s Umbrella to the Rescue

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.


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.

More from Champak: Please Let Me Play with You

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

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


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.”

“ 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.


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.

Who’s the Prettiest of Them All?

It was a beautiful morning. All the flowers in the garden were happy basking in the sunlight. The garden had many varieties of flowers-tulips, red roses and daisies besides others. As the flowers were talking, one of the tulips said, “I look so pretty when the sun shines on me. No wonder everyone loves me the best.”

The red rose said, “That is not true. You should see me early in the morning when there are dewdrops on my petals; surely, I am the most beautiful flower here.”

Jamun’s Prudence

“None of you can match up to me and my colourful family. Everybody praises our beauty and fragrance,” said the daisy.

All the flowers kept arguing.

The tulip then said, “Shhh… Keep quiet all of you. There are some people coming this way; maybe they will tell who among us is the most beautiful.”


All the flowers agreed and became quiet. They flashed their best smile to make themselves look beautiful. When the people came by, some praised the tulip, while some praised the red rose and others the daisy. This confused the flowers even more.

“It’s almost time for the florist to come. He will surely be able to help us decide,” said the rose.

Sure enough, soon the florist arrived. All the flowers eagerly waited for him to say something. The florist first went straight to the tulips and plucked them.

“The florist doesn’t even want to keep you in his garden; that is why he plucked you,” said the rose to the tulip.

The tulip was sad. The florist then started plucking roses.

“Now it’s your turn,” mocked the daisy. “Looks like I am the only one he wants in his garden,” it said proudly.

But the daisy was next. The florist plucked it and tossed it into his basket. The flowers were thoroughly confused. “Doesn’t he want any of us in his garden?” they wondered.

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The florist then took the flowers to his shop. He placed the tulips in a vase. He added the roses and the daisies as well. He decorated the bunch with coloured papers and ribbons.

“How wonderful it looks!” exclaimed the florist, admiring his bouquet. “All the flowers are beautiful, and together they have made my bouquet more beautiful,” he said.


The flowers then understood that each of them were just as beautiful as the other and smiled back happily at the florist.


A Green Holiday

Jiya liked reading story books, especially if the stories had to do with forests. But living in a big city like Hyderabad, she had never seen a forest in person. She always wondered what it would be like to live among the trees and rivers.

One of her classmates had lived in several forests, as her father was a forest officer. She had many stories about the forests, that made Jiya want to visit one all the more.

Soon, the summer vacation started.

Nature Springs a surprise!

“I want to visit a forest. Can we have a holiday in some forest? Even a picnic would do,” Jiya requested her parents.

“That’s a good idea. It is getting so hot and a day in the cool forest would do us some good,” replied her father.

“Why don’t we go to Ananthagiri hills? It is so close to Hyderabad,” suggested her mother.

“Yes, we can plan a trip there. I have a friend who has visited that place. I’ll find out the details,” said her father and immediately began making plans.

That very weekend, Jiya and her parents were on their way to Ananthagiri hills which was just a two-hour drive from Hyderabad. As they travelled, she looked out from the window. There were so many big trees that reached up to the sky; many birds and butterflies flew past.


“This place is so green!” she exclaimed as they reached their destination.

Jiya’s father had booked a cottage for them to stay. A caretaker came to greet them at the door. They had their breakfast and set out to explore the place.

They walked along the winding pathways that opened out amid huge trees with their roots spread out across the forest floor, dense shrubbery and even acres of coffee plantations. They saw several species of insects and birds. Jiya was most thrilled to spot a peacock!

After a long walk, they came back to their cottage hungry. While they were waiting for lunch, Jiya heard the sound of flowing water.

“There must be a stream nearby. We must take a look at it after lunch!” she told her father excitedly.


After lunch, Jiya and her parents set off to explore the woods. Soon enough, Jiya was looking at a little ribbon of water dancing down the slope of the hill. It was a beautiful sight!

“Now I know why my friend loves forests!” said Jiya.

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They then trekked up a hill and enjoyed the sunset from up there. Post dinner, thoroughly tired from the day’s adventure, the three of them fell fast asleep.

The next morning, they were preparing to leave. Jiya was sad, but she thought to herself, “When I grow up, I will be a forest officer. The forest is the place to be!”

The Bushy Trap

Summer was at its peak in Champakvan and all the greenery had disappeared. Bushes were reduced to twigs and the leaves that were once green had fallen to the ground. The ponds had dried up and fast-flowing streams were reduced to trickles of muddy water. The sky was dusty and grey with not even a single patch of cloud.

Most of the herbivores had migrated in search of greener pastures and Cheeku, the rabbit was wondering if he should follow them too.

A rumor was floating around Champakyan. Animals spoke of a bush with fresh, green leaves. The only catch was that the animals that were last seen approaching it were never seen again.

Dina, the deer, was a dear friend of Cheeku’s. One morning when they met, she asked, “Do you think it’s safe to go near the evergreen bush? I haven’t eaten any green leaves in so long.”

“My deer friend,” said Cheeku. “I’d warn you against it. There seems to be something fishy about that bush. Why don’t you give me a day and I’ll get to the bottom of this.”

Dina was feeling very hungry, so despite Cheeku warning her, she went straight to the evergreen bush. When Cheeku heard that Dina was heading the direction of the bush, he rushed over there as fast as he could.

Sadly, he was too late. Just as he reached the spot, he saw Dina disappear in to the bush.

Cheeku was afraid. Not only was he scared to approach the bush, he was also afraid he might have lost Dina forever. He watched the bush from a distance when suddenly he got an idea.

He went up to Uncle Horn, the rhinoceros and said, “Hey Uncle Horn, all the animals in the forest were talking about that mysterious bush. They all started saying how even you are too scared to approach it. When I stepped in to defend you, they started calling you a coward.” Cheeku knew that Uncle Horn was very proud and had a bit of a temper too.

“What? How dare they call me a coward?” growled Uncle Horn. “I’ll show them!” Uncle Horn and Cheeku went to the bush, and Uncle Horn charged it with all his strength. He knocked it over and began tearing it apart with his horn.

“No, No! Stop! Don’t hurt me!” said a voice from inside the bush.


When Uncle Horn calmed down, Wily, the wolf crawled out from inside the bush

“I knew there was something fishy about that bush!” cried Cheeku.

Help me, help me!” said a voice from where the bush was before.

When Cheeku moved in closer, he saw Dina, all tied up, at the bottom of a pit. Cheeku realized what had been happening all this while. Wily had dug a deep pit under the bush and would pull in any animal that would come near. He would tie them up and take them away later.

With Dina rescued and Wily chased away, Cheeku, Jumbo and Dina munched on some yummy green leaves, and shared it with the other animals that would come that way.

With so many animals here, Cheeku told them that they should all work together and dig wells so that they could find water and make Champakvan green again. That way there would always be green bushes for everyone to enjoy.

The Visitor from Mercury

One day, I was sitting at home doing my homework. It was around 7 pm and I was really bored. Suddenly, I heard a loud, crashing noise. I went to my backyard and saw a saucer type thing. It was a spaceship! I went closer and a small blue man with two eyes, no nose and one mouth with three teeth came out of the spaceship.

He said, “HMZXG#//…”

I didn’t understand anything he said. The creature was shaking his hand at me. I understood that he wanted to be my friend.

I went in and took my phone and downloaded some Translation software on to it. I handed it to the creature. He said, “Hi, I am Zogo from Mercury and I want to be friends with you. I was going to my aunt, who lives on Neptune, when suddenly, an asteroid hit my spaceship. My spaceship got damaged and crashed into your garden,” the creature explained.

“As I am an alien, I can sense that you are bored of your silly homework. I can also sense that we are both of the same age, and let me tell you, even I get bored of doing homework all the time,” he continued. “My spaceship can be repaired by a potion. First, we have to get some lilies, crush them, burn them and then mix it with some melted iron – and the potion is ready!”

“Then, we have to pour the potion into the cracks of the spaceship and it will be ready as before. Will you help me?”

“Yes, I will!” I said excitedly. We went to the park where there were lilies and we plucked four of them. No one saw us, but I left an apology note and some money just in case.

Then, we went home and I found some iron nails. Zogo pressed the nails in his hand and they started to melt! I crushed the flowers and mixed them with the melted iron. Soon after mixing them, Zogo informed me that the potion was ready.

We went to where his spaceship had crashed and Zogo poured the potion on the huge crack in his spaceship. The crack in his spaceship healed and it was ready to take off!

“Thanks a lot! I never thought that someone would help me on another planet,” said Zogo. “Now I can go visit my aunt. Here is a gift for you. It is my favourite thing, but I know you will like it too. Goodbye!”

Zogo went into his spaceship and started it. Many different bright lights lit up, and the spaceship took off into the air with no sound at all. Zogo waved goodbye to me from the window, and then the spaceship zoomed off into the sky.


During all this, I had forgotten to look at the gift he had given me. I looked at it – it was a saucer. It had a button on it too. I pressed the button, and a cup appeared.

It said,

“Drink milk from me, And you will feel a chill, And will want to do, all your homework still.”

Drake’s Grand Birthday Party

Drake, the deer was a prankster. The animals who knew him well kept their distance from him, but others fell for his pranks.

One morning, he paid a visit to Gina, the goat’s house.

“Good morning, Gina! Today is my birthday but there’s no one at home to celebrate this special day with,” said Drake sadly.

Gina felt bad for him. “Don’t worry, Drake. You can celebrate it with me,” she consoled him. “Tell me, what shall I make for you?” asked Gina.

“I feel like having carrot pudding today. When my elder sister was around, she would always make carrot pudding for me on my birthday,” replied Drake.

“I’ll make carrot pudding for you. You just rest here in my house while I go to the market to buy some carrots,” said Gina and left immediately.

On her way to the market, Gina met Toby, the cat.

“Hey Gina, you seem to be in a hurry. What is the matter?”asked Toby.

“Today is Drake’s birthday and he has no one to celebrate it with. So I offered to celebrate it with him by making the carrot pudding that he was craving for. So I am off to the market to buy some carrots,” replied Gina.

“So, you are Drake’s target today!” said Toby with a knowing smile.


“What do you mean?” asked Gina puzzled.

“Gina, just last month he made Danny, the donkey throw a party for him citing the same reason,” explained Toby.

“I had no idea that he was such a fraud! What should I do now?” asked Gina.

Toby whispered something into Gina’s ear, and they both laughed. Gina then called Drake on his mobile phone.

“Hello Drake! I was thinking that since today is your birthday, why have just a pudding? I want i to throw a grand feast for you,” she told him.

Drake was doubly excited at the thought of more delicious food.

“I am here with Tippy, the squirrel who owns the best restaurant in the forest. I am going to hand over the phone to him; just give him a list of dishes you want to eat,” she said handing over the phone to Tippy.


“Tippy, please send over one box each of all you best dishes,” he said greedily, dreaming of the sumptuous spread.

After Drake got off the phone, he was about to lie down on the sofa to rest when the doorbell rang.

“Who could it be?” he wondered as he opened the door.

As soon as he opened the door, Drake was greeted by several animals—“Happy Birthday, Drake!” they all chorused.


“We didn’t know that today is your birthday!” said Mini, the sparrow. “Who told you?” asked Drake surprised and a bit nervous.

“Gina did. Now don’t think you can get away without treating us,” said Mini flying into the house, followed by all the other animals.

After a little while,Tippy and Gina also reached the house with packets of food. The two were setting up the table in the garden that was big enough to accommodate all the animals.

Drake took Gina aside and asked her “Gina! What is all this?”

“Since you felt bad about not having anyone to celebrate your birthday with, I thought it would be nice to invite all our friends. Now we can celebrate your birthday together,” said Gina.

“But why do you want to spend so much money?” asked Drake.

“I am not spending. You are!” she said and left to make arrangements, leaving Drake shocked.

Just then, Tippy invited everybody over to the table for the lunch.

Drake was feeling miserable knowing that he would have to pay for all the food. But he could not take it any longer.

“Friends, before you begin to eat, I need to tell you all something,” announced Drake.

“Today is not my birthday. I felt like having some carrot pudding this morning, so I lied to Gina,” he confessed.

“He lied to me as well,” said Danny. “Just last month, he made me throw a party for him.”


Drake hung his head in shame. “I didn’t know that I would have to pay such a heavy price for my habit of tricking people. Please forgive me. I will not trick people anymore,” apologised Drake.

“It is wrong to lie and cheat. We only played a prank on you to teach you a lesson,” said Toby.

“And don’t worry, Drake. You don’t have to fully bear the expense of the party. We’ll all be pooling in. It is after all April 1, so this is a Fool’s Day party!” said Gina.

Drake heaved a big sigh of relief and everyone continued to have fun.

Rio’s Magical T-shirt

Rio, the rhino had moved to Lush Meadows recently. Because he was from the city, he considered himself to be superior and more intelligent than the animals in the forest.

One day Chimp, the monkey and Giro, the goat were having tea at the tea shop, when Rio stopped by.

“I was the smartest animal in the city. Everyone came to me to ask for solutions for their problems,” boasted Rio.

“That’s good to know. We will also come to you if we have any problem,” said Chimp.

“Yes. You must,” said Rio.

“But why should we?” Giro asked Chimp. “Aren’t we as smart as him?”

“Not at all!” replied Rio. “Animals in this forest are illiterate. You have to go to the city and study in order to become smart.”

We may be less educated, but that doesn’t mean we are fools,” said Chimp and walked away.

As days went by, more and more animals were getting annoyed by Rio’s behaviour. He was rude and haughty.

“Chimp, what does this Rio think of himself? He blows his own trumpet all the time!” said Kira, the cat.

“Yes, I am also fed up of his behaviour,” said Giro.

“I have an idea! If you all cooperate, then we can teach him a lesson,” said Chimp and explained the plan to his friends.


Next day, Chimp went to visit Rio at his house. “Rio, you are indeed very smart. You should be the king of this forest. You have all the qualities to be one,” said Chimp.

Rio was beaming with pride.

“But only one thing is missing,” added Chimp.

“What is missing?” asked Rio surprised.

“You look unfit. If only you worked out and became as fit as our King Leo, then no one can stop you from becoming our new king,” said Chimp.

“I think you are right. I need to be fit to become a king. I will start exercising right away,” said Rio eagerly.

Few days later, the doorbell rang at Rio’s house. When he opened the door, he saw Wonky, the donkey with a parcel. He handed it over to Rio and left.

Rio was surprised. He quickly opened the parcel to see a yellow t-shirt and a note inside. It read: “This t-shirt has been manufactured after a lot of research. It has been made with a special type of fabric. The person who wears this and walks for an hour will become fit in two days.”


Rio became happy. He did not have to work hard and tire himself out. Just a walk wearing this t-shirt will do, he thought. He immediately wore it and went out for a walk.

He met Giro along the way.

“You look smart in this t-shirt, Rio. Where did you get it from?” enquired Giro.

“Somebody sent it over as a gift. It’s a magical t-shirt,” said Rio proudly.

“Magical? What’s so magical about it?” asked Giro surprised.

“If I wear this and walk for an hour, I will become fit in just two days. If you don’t believe me, come and see me after an hour,” said Rio and continued walking.

He met Chimp and Kira too and he told them the same story.

After an hour, Rio was walking back home when he spotted a crowd gathered near his house.

Hi Rio. We were eager to see how the magical -shirt has changed you, and hence we all came here. But you look just the same,” said Wonky.

“That’s what I felt too. I don’t feel any different as well. I don’t know what went wrong,” said Rio and turned to go inside.

Immediately everybody laughed.


“Why are you laughing? It may not have worked today, but it will surely work tomorrow!” said Rio, a little embarrassed.

“Rio, we are laughing because there is something written on the back of your t-shirt. You seem to have missed it in your hurry to wear it,” said Chimp.

“What is written?” asked Chimp.

“It says ‘April Fool”,” said Kira. Rio was shocked!

“This is not a magical t-shirt; it is a regular t-shirt. We planned to make you think about becoming the king and sent over the t-shirt through Wonky. We did all this just to show you that you are not as smart as you think,” explained Chimp.

Rio was ashamed of his behaviour. From then on, he stopped blowing his own trumpet and began respecting the other animals in the forest.

A Lesson in Luck

Surya was extremely superstitious. He believed that the number 13 was unlucky, that broken mirrors meant bad luck and he should not get a haircut on Tuesday.

One day, Surya got ready early and left for school. His exam results were going to be announced that day. As soon as he got out of his apartment, a black cat walked by.

“Oh no! A black cat just crossed my path. Surely something bad is going to happen to me today,” he panicked.

At school, Surya remained very worried. Just then, his class teacher, Geeta ma’am, entered the classroom with the exam results. Everyone was anxious.

The teacher called out each student’s name and handed over their papers. When Surya’s name was called out, he went up to her looking sad.

“What happened, Surya? Why do you look upset?” asked Geeta ma’am.

“Ma’am, a black cat crossed my path while I was on my way to school. I am sure that my results are extremely bad,” he replied.

“Not at all! You have scored well. In fact, you have got the second rank. A black cat crossing your path has no impact on your exam results. It is just a superstition. What you have scored is because of how hard you prepared for the exams,” said Geeta ma’am.

“If not for the black cat, I would have stood first,” said Surya sulking.

After she finished distributing the exam papers, Geeta ma’am made an announcement. “We will be going to Elephanta Island for a field trip this tomorrow,” she said.

Everyone cheered.

“Do you know where Elephanta is?” asked Geeta ma’am.

“My mother told me that it is an island in the middle of the sea,” said one student.

“That’s right. Elephanta is an island close to Mumbai. It is also called Gharapuri. We will have to take a ferry from the jetty at the Gateway of India and travel for a distance of about 10 kilometres,” said Geeta ma’am.

She continued, “Be ready by 7 a.m. The school bus will pick each of you up from your house and take you to the Gateway jetty. We will then board a ferry to Elephanta.”

All the students left for home feeling excited about the field trip.

Next day, Surya packed his bag with the delicious snacks that his mother had prepared for him. As he was walking to his stop, the black cat crossed his path again. This time, she also came and stood next to him purring softly.

Surya froze in fear. “Something bad is going to happen today as well,” he thought.

The school bus had already arrived and Geeta ma’am was waiting for him.

“Ma’am, I will not come for the field trip. This black cat crossed my path again, and anything, bad can happen now.

So you please carry on,” said Surya.


Geeta ma’am picked up the cat and said, “Look how sweet this cat is. She will come with us on the field trip. Let’s see what happens.”

Before Surya could protest, she grabbed his hand and boarded the bus.


At the Gateway of India, everyone got into a ferry. Geeta ma’am sat with the cat on her lap.

But Surya didn’t share any of the excitement. He sat in a corner worried about what was going to happen. He kept looking at the cat which seemed to have comfortably settled on his teacher’s lap.

After an hour, the ferry reached the Elephanta Island. After visiting the caves, the students had lunch together and set out to explore the island.

“Children, we will be leaving in an hour. Make sure you assemble back here by that time,” said Geeta ma’am.

The cat was still roaming close to Surya.

Suddenly, an idea struck him! He walked deep into the woods, while making sure the cat followed him. His plan was to leave the cat there and exit the island, leaving it behind.

The black cat too seemed to walk further into the woods by itself.

“Now is my chance,” he thought and quickly turned around to walk out of the woods.

As he continued walking, Surya realised that he had lost his way. It was getting dark and scary.

A bush close to Surya shook. He jumped in fear. The black cat walked out of it and looked at Surya. It began meowing.

It walked a few steps ahead, and turned to look back at Surya as if asking him to follow it. Having no other option, Surya started followed it, and soon the cat led him out of the woods. He then spotted his friends and Geeta ma’am.

“Where did you go? We had been looking for you!” said Geeta ma’am anxiously.

Surya told her everything that had happened. “You were lucky that this cat found you and brought you back to safety. Cats have good memory and they have a sense of direction,” said Geeta ma’am.


“Now I understand how foolish I have been to believe in superstitions,” said Surya, and picked up the cat. “From now on, it will stay with me,” he said petting it. The cat too purred, looking happy in his arms.

Toothless Makes Some Friends

Toothless, the shark was lonely as he had no friends.

“What fun it would be to hang out with the sea horses and flip with the dolphins,” he thought. He daydreamed of chasing ships, watching sunsets and talking to seagulls who always had great stories to share.

It’s not that he hadn’t tried. Once he had attempted to say hello to the clown-fish, who were always clowning around, but as soon as they saw him, they turned all serious and vanished. And the clams…well, they just clammed up, much to his misery.

“How can I make some friends?” Toothless asked his mother. “And why did you name me Toothless when I have a mouth full of teeth? All the fish look confused when I introduce myself.”

“When you were a baby, you didn’t have teeth for a very long time and so the name just stuck,” his mother explained.

Toothless was still sad. Teeth or no teeth, he had no friends.

“The next time you meet someone, why don’t you tell some joke and then introduce yourself?” she suggested.

“Ok, I will try that,” said Toothless swimming away.

Soon, he came across a couple of sea turtles.

“Please don’t eat us,” they said scared, when he cornered them.

“Eat? I’ve already had my lunch,” said Toothless. “Besides, I am a vegetarian. I love sea weed. It’s great for my skin. I eat the occasional fish egg for protein…” his voice trailed off when he realised they were not listening but just trembling with fear.

“Anyway, I came to tell a joke,” he said, flashing his best smile.

“Oh, w-w-well okay. Make it s-snappy,” said the sea turtles, keeping an eye on Toothless’s teeth.

“I am here to present you with a joke. Are you ready? Okay. Why is the sea friendly?”

The sea turtles didn’t reply but just continued trembling in fear.

“Because it waves! Get it?” said Toothless amused by his own joke.

“Can we go now, please? Our mother is calling us,” said one of the sea turtles.

“Of course,” said Toothless courteously. He cleared the way and watched them wobble away as his heart sank.

“Sigh… it’s no use,” he later told his baby sister, Finfin. She was the only one who listened to him. They were playing with her coral set again and he was a little bored. How many times could one stack up the corals and giggle when you pushed them with your fin? “It is that human’s fault. The one called Iceberg or something. He made a film about us and made us look scary. It’s as if we eat humans all the time. If some silly human decides to dangle his legs in the ocean, a curious shark may take a nibble.


That’s no reason to show us as blood-thirsty monsters. In fact, humans hunt us more than we hunt them. But we don’t scream when we see humans, do we?” said Toothless angrily.

“It’s because you are a predator, son,”said his dad, overhearing him. “It means you eat all types of fish in the ocean. That’s why everyone is scared. You can’t do much to change the food chain. But why don’t you play with your cousins? There are over 300 of them, you know. Isn’t that enough company for you?”

“You just don’t understand. I don’t want to eat fish. I want to make friends with them,” he sighed and swam away sadly.

He swam for a few minutes when he spotted a big boat. There were more and more of them these days. “Oh! That can only mean one thing,” he thought. “A fishing net!”

It was getting harder for everyone to swim in peace—so many cousins and friends were missing. Today he had no time to think about all this. He had to help the fish that were caught in the net.

“Help us! Somebody help us!” cried the fish in different pitches.

He swam up quickly and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll save you!”

But one look at his teeth and all the little fish started squealing louder with terror.

“Don’t eat us!” they pleaded.

“Alright everybody, I know I have big teeth, but that can’t be helped. You must not let appearances fool you. Just close your eyes and trust me,” he ordered.

The fish closed their eyes and SNAP!

Next moment, the fish were free. Toothless had bit through the net!

Soon, fish across the ocean came to know about the helpful shark who used his teeth to help others in need. Toothless had become a legend, thanks to his big teeth!


Toothless soon made lots of friends. And he still loved telling jokes. He told everyone that if he ever met Mr. Iceberg, the film director, he would ask him to make another movie about sharks—starring Toothless as a secret agent. And what would the agent be called? James Pond!

The sea turtles always laughed the hardest at this joke.