Forgive And Forget!

Cheeku rabbit and Meeku mouse were playing cricket with their friends on the playground.

Meeku wasn’t paying attention to the game because he was busy talking to Jumpy monkey.

“Meeku, catch! It’s your turn to throw the ball,” said Cheeku, throwing the ball to him. The ball hit Meeku’s head as he didn’t hear Cheeku.

“Ouch! Cheeku, why did you hit me?” asked Meeku, angrily.

“Meeku, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I threw the ball for you to catch it. You weren’t paying attention so it’s not my fault,” said Cheeku.

“Who throws like this? Couldn’t you wait for me to look at you? You knew I was busy talking and still, you threw the ball at me!” shouted Meeku.

“Are you here to play or to talk?” asked Cheeku and they started arguing.

Cheeku pulled Meeku’s tail and Meeku pulled Cheeku’s ear.

Their friends somehow pulled them apart and stopped the fight. Angry, the two of them went home.

They did not talk to each other for several days. One evening, Cheeku went to the playground and saw Meeku sitting alone.

Cheeku picked a corner on the playground and sat there without talking to Meeku. Their other friends hadn’t come.

They both waited for some time for others to show up but no one did.

Bored, Meeku decided to leave the ground and go home. Just then, Cheeku asked, “Meeku, if you want, we can play.”

“You want to play with me?” Meeku replied, shocked.

“Why is that shocking? We used to play together before,” replied Cheeku.

“I thought you were angry with me because we fought,” said Meeku.

“Meeku, you were angry because I hit you with the ball,” said Cheeku.

“No. I know you didn’t hit me purposely and it was my fault too. I should have concentrated on the game. I was hurt that’s why I yelled at you. I am sorry,” apologised Meeku.

“Ah! It’s alright! How foolish of us to not talk to each other for so many days,” said Cheeku.

“Let’s forget what happened in the past! We are friends again and that’s what matters,” said Meeku, smiling.

“Yes. We should try not to fight and if we do, then we should forgive each other,” said Cheeku.

And they both started playing together again.

Soon, their friends came and saw the two playing, just like before. “We purposely didn’t show up as we wanted you two to forgive each other today as it is World Forgiveness Day. Your friendship is so strong. You should not let any small fight break it,” said Jumbo elephant.

Saying this, Jumbo lifted Cheeku and Meeku with his trunk and everyone cheered for them!

A Collective Effort!

Rimpy rabbit was sitting at home, thinking deeply about something. Just then some of his friends knocked at the door.

Rimpy invited them in but was still lost in thought.

“What’s the matter, Rimpy? You seem to have forgotten your friends in the jungle after you have returned from the city. Our summer vacations are almost over and you are not meeting anyone! We have been waiting for you in the park forever!” said Monty monkey dramatically.

Rimpy replied, “Sorry, Monty, I was lost in thought and didn’t check on the time.”
Momo mouse teased, “Oh really, we did not know that you can think!”

“Momo, I am not in a mood for jokes just now,” said Rimpy, jumping up.

“Rimpy, has aunty discontinued your pocket money?” Jacky elephant teased.

“Yes, without the pocket money, how will he eat carrots now?” Momo added.

This annoyed Rimpy but he kept quiet and said, “No, friends, it’s nothing
like that.”

“Okay then, has the price of honey soared in the market?” growled Bunty Bear.
Rimpy replied, “Neither has my pocket money been discontinued nor has the price of honey soared in the market. The problem is much bigger.”

His friends realised that Rimpy was talking about something serious.

“What has happened? I haven’t heard of any big problem in the jungle,”
asked Jacky.

“The problem is of water,” replied Rimpy.

“Oh, this is like digging a mountain only to find Momo,” said Bunty.

“Bunty, the idiom is ‘digging a mountain only to find a mouse’,” interrupted Monty.

“Yes, that’s what I was trying to say. Momo is a mouse so digging a mountain only to find him. Rimpy, you’re unnecessarily getting worried over such a small matter. If there is no water in your house today, you can take some water from my house,” offered Bunty.

“What all of you think to be a small matter is not small. There is a huge problem of water shortage, which I got to know once I visited the city,” said Rimpy.

“What about water shortage? Tell us more about it,” asked Momo.

“When I visited the city this time, I saw that most houses were getting water through tankers. This was not the case when I had gone to the city a couple of years ago. Right now, they are not getting enough water for basic needs and this is bothering me,” replied Rimpy.

“Rimpy, this is a matter of the city. This problem is not going to arise in our jungle,” said Bunty.

“A few months back, I’m sure even the people of the city thought like this. But now, they have no water and regret why they didn’t do enough to save water,” explained Rimpy.

“So what can we do about this?” asked Momo.“Find a solution to save water,” replied Rimpy.

“What kind of solution, Rimpy?” Monty asked.

“We can start by harvesting rainwater in our homes. This water can be used for several purposes,” Rimpy said.

“Surely, we can do this,” everyone agreed.

“In addition to this, we should replace or repair all leaking taps. We should use a bucket of water for bathing and turn off the taps while brushing our teeth. Even the smallest effort carried out by each one of us can significantly help in conserving water,” Rimpy added.

“You are right, Rimpy. From now onwards, each one of us will save water,” pledged everyone.

“Now, let us go to the park,” said Rimpy as he watched the animals standing with troubled faces.

“To play?” asked Momo.

“Yes, and also to figure out how we can create a big rainwater harvesting tank in the park,” replied Rimpy.

All the animals burst into laughter.

Rainwater Harvest!

This summer had been very hot in Champakvan. All wells and ponds had dried up. 

Due to water scarcity, King Shersingh announced, “All citizens of our forest are requested not to waste water. Until the rains start, water will be supplied just for one hour in the morning and evening everyday. Everyone will have to manage with it.”

All the animals of Champakvan realised that the water problem was serious and started using water sparingly. 

But Titu butterfly did not care, and would wash the leaves of her plants and sprinkle the ground with water daily. She loved playing with water.

All tried to persuade Titu not to waste water but she continued to use water carelessly. 

All the animals complained to King Shersingh who called her.

He said, “Titu, you are so small. You need just a little water for drinking and bathing. Then why do you use so much water? Though you are using the water given to you, when you use it for this purpose, it makes all the others angry in the jungle. 

Titu said, “I suffer from dust allergy. When dust is around, I get sick and start sneezing and am unable to breathe well. I cannot sleep. That is why I have to sprinkle water around my house.”

“Even then Titu, try to save water as much as possible. If you can, instead of washing the leaves, wipe them with water. 

In front of the king, Titu agreed but when she went home, she kept using water as per her wish. 

All the animals wanted to go to King Shersingh to complain against her. 

Cheeku rabbit lived near Titu’s house. 

He said, “It is not wise to trouble the King for every small thing. I have thought of a plan so that Titu can continue playing with water and yet it will not be wasted.”

“How is that possible? asked Meeku mouse.

“Let’s see. I will not talk about it!” said Cheeku.

Next day, the animals saw that Cheeku was burrowing beds under Titu’s tree. After two days, he planted vegetable seeds in the beds.

Titu did not realise that she was watering vegetable plants because she was busy watering her leaves and home. 

In a few days, small shoots appeared from the beds. The vegetable garden grew under Titu’s home. 

When Shersingh learnt about it, he too was happy. 

At that moment, he received an invitation from Dara rhinoceros, the Minister of their neighbouring forest, Kanchanvan.

The invite said, “Like every year, this year too, we are organising water sports in our big pond. We request you to be Chief Guest at this year’s water sports.” 

Shersingh was bewildered. He asked the messenger, Nitu porcupine, “In our forest, with great difficulty, we are able to provide water. Our wells and ponds are dry and you are having water sports. How have you kept your ponds full of water?”

“If you too celebrate the Forest Festival like us, then there will be no scarcity of water in Champakvan,” said Nitu.

“Forest Festival? What is that?” asked Shersingh.

“We plant plenty of trees in our forest. And we take care of our existing plants and trees, make the best possible use of objects made from wood. Pencils and paper that are made by cutting trees, are not wasted, so as to avoid cutting trees. Because of this, our forest is quite cool and we don’t need to run air conditions and coolers. That way, we have water and electricity. Most importantly, we collect and store rain water by water-harvesting. We use the stored water for all our needs, and the wells and ponds in our forest never dry up. All these help us in organising water games even in summer.”

“Now I understand. We too will plant trees in abundance in our forest and will collect rain water by water harvesting. We too will celebrate Forest Festival. Please tell Dara that I will surely come and enjoy the water sports. I thank him for the invitation.”

Matter Of Cheap Milk

In those days, Kaalu buffalo’s milk business was profitable. He was very hardworking. Kaalu would sell milk all day long and return home only after checking the accounts. 

The animals of Kanchanvan liked the pure milk sold at his dairy. But Jojo jackal was very jealous of Kaalu. Jojo too wanted to open a dairy but was not successful at it. 

“If Kaalu sells a litre of milk for INR 50, I will sell it at half the price,” Jojo thought to himself. To make milk cheaper, Jojo mixed the pure milk with chemicals and powder, adulterating it. The adulterated milk looked exactly like pure milk.

“Now, no one will be able to doubt this milk,” Jojo chuckled.

The following day, Jojo opened his dairy with a board that read, ‘Pure and fresh milk at half the price’.

Soon, his dairy was crowded with animals who wanted to buy cheap milk.

“Oh wow, good-quality milk at half the price!” Rinki cat exclaimed while reading the contents of a milk packet. “Is this milk fresh?” she asked.

“Do you have any doubt? One of my friends has opened a milk factory in a nearby village. Every morning, I go to the factory and bring pure and fresh milk,” Jojo assured.

There were many customers standing in a long queue outside Jojo’s shop and he earned a huge profit that day.

“So much money in just one day! If my luck works like this each day, very soon I will become a millionaire,” he said to himself.

Very few animals bought milk from Kaalu buffalo’s dairy.

“I wonder why the animals didn’t come to buy milk today,” he thought and sent his friend Chotu mouse to investigate.

After investigating, Chotu explained that all the regular customers had bought milk at Jojo’s shop who was selling milk at half the price. “Should we also lower the price of milk?” he asked.

“No. We sell pure milk at the right price. We earn a small profit from it. If Jojo can sell milk at a cheaper price, let him do so,” Kaalu answered.

Next day, again Jojo’s dairy was filled with customers while there were none at Kaalu’s dairy.

When King Lion came to know about this, he came to Kaalu’s dairy and said, “The milk from your dairy costs too much. Jojo is selling the same milk at half the price.”

“I know, your majesty. But I cannot lower the price of milk,” Kaalu answered.

“By selling milk at such a high price, you are robbing the animals of Kanchanvan,” King Lion roared in anger. “I will see how you should be punished,” saying this he walked away.  Many animals watched this. Kaalu’s eyes filled with tears, but he remained silent.

It was time for King Lion’s son, Sheru’s birthday. To make sweets and kheer for his son’s birthday party, King Lion ordered several litres of milk from Jojo’s dairy. Jojo’s joy knew no bounds.

At the birthday party, the animals licked off the yummy sweets and kheer. But not long after midnight, many animals began to feel sick. Some started to vomit while others had loose motions.

“I am unable to understand. Every ingredient in the food was of good quality. Then, how come everyone is falling sick!” King Lion roared.

“Majesty, I think that there was some problem with the milk,” minister Browny bear said with suspicion. “You see, I did not eat either sweets or kheer, and I am absolutely fine.”

“Hmm, I think you are right. Every year, milk is brought from Kaalu’s
dairy. But this year, we brought it from Jojo’s dairy.”

“Let me investigate the matter,” saying this Browny left the party. 

After keeping an eye on Jojo for a couple of days, Browny saw Jojo mixing chemicals in the milk at his house.

On learning the truth of the matter, King Lion was filled with rage. “The cheap price of Jojo’s milk fooled all of us.” He ordered Jojo to be arrested immediately.

Next day, when Kaalu opened his dairy, he found King Lion standing there. “Majesty, you, in my dairy?”

“Yes. I am here to have a cup of tea from your dairy. And also, to apologise,” saying this King Lion told Kaalu everything. “Kindly forgive me, Kaalu. I insulted you in front of all the animals that day.” Kaalu  immediately forgave King Lion.

“Here is a cup of tea for you, majesty,” said Chotu Mouse cheerily while serving the king.

“Are you sure that this cup of tea has been made from Kaalu’s milk?” hearing this, the entire Kanchanvan was filled with the roars of laughter.