Franky & First Rain

There were black clouds in the sky. The sight made Franky frog very happy.

“Looks like the monsoon is about to begin. How I long to go splish-splash in the rain. It will be fun!” thought Franky.

Monty monkey was sitting on a branch nearby. He had been watching Franky for some time now. “Franky, why are you looking at the sky so happily?” asked Monty Monkey. 

“I’m looking at the clouds, silly. It is going to rain after all!” replied Franky. 

The word ‘Rain’ made Monty shiver. 

“Oh! I suffer terribly during the rains. My home in the tree rattles and shakes during a storm. I get drenched and then catch pneumonia!” exclaimed Monty. 

“But with the rains comes relief from heat. Dry fields, ponds and lakes get filled with water,” said Franky.

Urgh!” said Monty, in disgust, as he bounded off. “I don’t like the monsoon!”

Franky decided to take a stroll. Soon, he met Gally goat who was in a hurry. 

“Hey, Gally!” called Franky. “Where are you off to in such a hurry?”

“Can’t you see it is going to rain?” replied Gally, irritated. “If I leave my food out in the open, it will get wet and spoil. I must get it home quickly.”

She grumbled, “And I left my clothes out to dry. If it rains, they will get wet too. All my hard work will go to waste!”

“The monsoons are not that bad, Gally,” said Franky. He explained, “Hasn’t the grass in your garden dried up? Soon, when it rains, it will turn green again and it will taste better!”

“Stop with all this nonsense about the rains, Franky. It isn’t as fun as you think!” said Gally, as she went into her house, irritated.

“Why is everyone so unhappy with the rains?” thought a puzzled Franky.

Soon, he came upon a colony of ants. They were working swiftly. There he saw his old friend, Annie ant.

“Hi Annie!” shouted Franky. “You seem terribly busy.”

Annie ant looked up. She was carrying food into her home. “Yes Franky. As you can see, it will rain soon. We need to stock food in a safe place.”

“I heard that ants work harder during the rainy season. Is that true?” questioned Franky. He felt a little bad for the ants as he imagined that they didn’t get to enjoy the wet weather.

“Yes, we do not like to waste our time. But the monsoons create new problems for us as we cannot go out in search of food. We are forced to stay home all the time,” explained Annie. 

“Oh!” uttered Franky. 

“There is a lot of work left to be done, Franky. I will talk to you later,” said Annie, as she disappeared into the anthill.

Franky was now bothered. “Are the rains really that troublesome? No one seems to want rain except me,” thought the little frog.

By the time he returned to his home near the pond, every inch of the sky had turned grey.

Soon, there was a gentle pitter-patter on his roof. The rains had finally arrived!

Franky hopped out of his house. He was happy to see the raindrops splatter all around. When suddenly, he said, “I like to get wet in the rain. But other animals fall sick and face problems. If my friends have problems with the rain, I will also stay inside my home.” He went back inside his home.

Franky sat by a window. He was happy watching the drops of rain trickle down. But, he did not go out.

“Franky!” He suddenly heard Monty call out to him.

“We have been looking all over for you. And you are hiding at home!” yelled Gally.

“Come out! Don’t hide inside! We all have come out to play in the first rain with you,” said Annie. 

She rapped at his door. “You love the rain and yet, you are sitting inside!”

Franky was surprised! He quickly hopped out of his home.

When Franky went outside, he saw all the animals of the jungle enjoying the first rain.

Franky started saying, “For you all, I was…”

“We all know it”, interrupted Gally. “Should I tell you one thing? Monsoon is not that bad, you know. We are enjoying getting drenched.”

Franky danced happily after hearing those words. He also started enjoying the first rain.

An Unusual Race

A race was to be held in Chanchalvan forest. All the animals in the jungle had gathered to watch the race. The horses that were to run the race, assembled on the race track. 

Though they competed with their own kind, each thought they were better than the other.

Snorting and pounding their hoofs, they glared at each other. 

Then, just as the referee was about to blow the whistle and start the race, Bhondhu donkey ran in. 

“Stop brothers!” he yelled. “I would like to take part in this race.” 

The crowd roared with laughter. Yet, it did not discourage Bhondhu. 

“I have practised long and hard, running at the speed of a horse. I believe I run fast,” said Bhondhu. 

“Oh! Now a donkey wants to compete with us!” thought the horses. 

Till then, the same horses that looked at each other with bitterness, suddenly united. 

They now turned their bitterness towards one target ― the donkey. 

For now, it was not a question of which horse won. Rather, it became a matter of pride for the family of horses. 

“This is beyond your skills, Bhondhu. Everyone isn’t as capable as us. Donkeys in particular are no match,” said Hiroo horse. “And if you were, you wouldn’t be called a donkey.” 

Again, the crowd burst out laughing. 

“You are just that ― a beast of burden,” continued the proud Hiroo. “Do what you are born to do. Don’t make a fool of yourself!” 

The horses cheered him on.

“Okay. If I lose, I will leave this forest forever,” said a confident Bhondhu.

Now, this made the spectators curious. They all scrambled to get a better view of this strange competition between a donkey and the horses. 

The referee fired the starting shot. Off went Bhondhu and the rest of the horses. 

While the horses ran well, Bhondhu surprised all. He overtook each horse. 

Even Hiroo, who was a champion racer, couldn’t beat Bhondhu. Finally, Bhondhu won! 

As a prize, he was gifted a cycle. 

The happy Bhondhu went up to the horses and said, “Brothers, so what if I am a donkey? With hard work and sincerity, anyone can be successful.”

Soon, the race became the talk of the town. The animals made fun of the horses, while everyone stopped making fun of donkeys. 

Bhondhu, however, was not happy with the situation. 

“It’s nice to hear everyone praise donkeys, after I won the race. But it’s not fair to make fun of the horses either,” thought Bhondhu.

One day, Bhondhu was cycling in the jungle, when suddenly he was surrounded by a group of horses. 

“So, you are the donkey that outran us. How about running a race with us, right now?” said one of the horses. 

“The other day, it was an actual race. I have no intention of competing with you now,” said Bhondhu. 

“Now, you insult us by saying that you are not in the mood to compete?” said a familiar voice. 

It was Hiroo. He stepped up from behind and pushed Bhondhu off the bike. 

Bhondhu realised that the horses were out to seek revenge. He quickly took off as the horses chased him. 

While he could run fast, Bhondhu could not run continuously and was getting tired quickly. 

While the horses, as they were used to running all their lives, did not tire easily. 

Soon, dizzy and tired, Bhondhu tripped and fell into a pit. There he lay unconscious.

The horses stopped at the edge of the pit. Seeing him unconscious, they left. 

Soon after, Bhondhu gained consciousness and realised that he was badly hurt. He could not get out of the pit and there was no sign of help. 

Suddenly, he spotted a small bird in the sky. It was Simi. 

She recognised Bhondhu and flew down to him. Bhondhu told her all that had happened. 

“The horses are bent on harassing me, because I won a competition against them. Is winning such a big mistake?” asked Bhondhu, in pain.

Simi smiled. “You have broken an age-old tradition. In doing that, you have made enemies with the bearers of that tradition,” said the wise little bird. 

Bhondhu looked troubled. 

Simi explained, “All the animals think donkeys are stupid. However, horses are treated like kings. They are believed to be ‘high’ and you, ‘low’. By winning the race, you turned the tables. You proved that a ‘low’ animal is also capable of speed – a quality that horses take great pride in.”

She continued, “They are insulted and their pride is at stake. They will try to defeat you, not only on competition grounds, but in real life too.” 

“You mean I have invited trouble and made enemies by challenging them in the competition?” asked Bhondhu. 

“Bhondhu, those who hold a ‘higher’ place in the society, blindly believe they deserve respect,” said Simi. “They also believe that anyone from a ‘lower’ section cannot challenge or hold such a position. Nor can they snatch their honour at any cost.”

“I never thought about my actions in such a way,” said Bhondhu, worried.

“The winner of the race is now worried about his plight!” said Simi. 

“Bhondhu, are you not happy that you have changed the outlook of your entire community? Wasn’t it wrong that everyone looked down upon donkeys? Now, because of your actions, no one laughs at a donkey.”

Bhondhu thought for a while. He replied, “No, dear Simi, I am in fact very happy, but…”

Simi stopped him mid-sentence and said, “If you are really happy, stop worrying. Instead, fight to retain your position so that in the future, no donkey will ever be discouraged. If you challenge someone, you need to be brave to face that person anywhere. Else, they will leave no leaf unturned to trouble you. Do you understand?” 

“Yes Simi, I should be brave and ready to face the horses,” said Bhondhu courageously. “Now, can you please help me out of the pit?”

“I will get help.” Saying this, Simi flew nearby and got some of her friends to help Bhondhu to come out of the pit. Bhondhu thanked Simi.

“Dear friend, life is a struggle. To live it to the fullest, you have to be brave!” said Simi. 

Bhondhu vowed to keep the pride of his breed and with that, they parted ways.

A Lesson Learnt

Cheeku rabbit, Meeku mouse and Jumpy monkey were having lunch in their classroom. 

“Wow Meeku! The kachoris you bought for lunch are tasty!” said Cheeku, munching on the piece.

“My mother cooked these. She packed enough for all of us,’’ said Meeku, delighted.

Just then Baddy fox passed that way. “What’s that aroma?” sniffed Baddy. He glanced in the direction of the trio. They quickly tried to hide their lunch boxes. But it was too late.

“Hey Meeku, don’t hide your lunch box. Kachoris are my favourite!” said the sly fox, quickly swooping into Meeku’s lunch box.

“Baddy! You cannot snatch someone’s lunch without asking first. It’s not good manners!” said Jumpy.

“Snatch?” mocked a shameless Baddy. “I would never use my strength against my dear friends.” 

He dipped his paw into Meeku’s lunch box again for another helping of kachoris.

The three friends felt helpless and angry.

Baddy was a greedy fox. Often, he helped himself to the lunch of others. Yet, no one had the courage to utter a word to him. 

Many of the students had complained about his behaviour to the school authorities. But he never tried to mend his ways. He was turning more troublesome by the day.

“Baddy’s behaviour is terrible. I find it rude!’’ said Cheeku. 

“Yes, we have had enough of his bad behaviour,” said Jumpy, agreeing with Cheeku.“But, what can we do?”

“Let’s teach him a lesson,” said Jumpy. 

He quickly gathered his friends around and whispered a plan.

The next day, they sat in class with their lunch boxes spread out in front. They waited for Baddy to walk into the trap. 

As soon as they spotted Baddy approaching, Cheeku began munching a paratha. “Jumpy, this paratha is very tasty!” said Cheeku, between mouthfuls. 

“Yes, this is the most delicious paratha I have tasted by far!” said Meeku as he licked his lips.

Hearing this, Baddy’s mouth started to water. He grabbed a paratha from Jumpy’s lunchbox. “Let me taste these delicious parathas too!” he said. 

He gobbled up the first paratha and then reached for the second. That’s when things went crazy. 

“Oh! It’s spicy! My tongue is on fire! Give me some water! Please!” begged Baddy. He had tears in his eyes. 

“Here, Baddy,’’ replied Meeku, handing him a water bottle.

Baddy gulped the water. Little did he know that it was laced with chilli powder.

Now Baddy was huffing and puffing. 

“What did you offer me?” said Baddy, panting heavily. “Someone please give me some water. My mouth is on fire!’’ 

“No, Baddy!” replied Cheeku, “You snatch our food without the least concern. Now, enjoy the fruits of your actions.’’ 

The rest of the class gathered around Cheeku and nodded in agreement.

“I am sorry! I promise to never take anyone’s lunch again!” cried Baddy.

Cheeku gave Baddy a box of sweets and a glass of chilled water. “You must stop snatching food from others, Baddy,” said Cheeku.

Baddy felt relieved after drinking the water and eating the sweets. He then apologised to his classmates. 

He vowed never to take what did not belong to him.

From that day on, the three friends never had to worry about Baddy stealing their lunch again.


Dhanno was an angry young buffalo. He got angry over small matters and when he did he would ruin everyone’s day. He would break things, throw buckets filled with water, and run after small animals and scare them. No one wanted to be Dhanno’s friend because of his anger. Except Bholi, the cow.

Bholi was his best friend. She was the opposite of Dhanno, always quiet and doing her own work. She would always be calm and forgiving.

One day Bholi was grazing grass in the morning as usual. Dhanno came and stood beside her. She knew he was angry for some reason. She waited patiently till he started talking about it.

“Jaggu did it again. He pulled my tail and ran off. I ran behind him but …” Dhanno did not complete but his red eyes showed how angry he was. Jaggu, the fox, enjoyed teasing Dhanno.

“Why do you have to get so angry every time? Every one teases you because you get angry. You should control your anger.” Bholi had tried to explain him so many times before but Dhanno never changed.

Looking at Dhanno’s sad face, Bholi would try to cheer him up. “Next time Jaggu tries to touch your tail, kick him.” And both laughed out loud.

Everyone knew their friendship was strong but it was soon put to test one day. As usual Bholi came back home in the evening only to find her home had been broken down.

The walls were broken, all money and jewelry was gone. Bholi was devastated.

All the other animals gathered around Bholi’s house and started talking about who could have done it. The police was informed. Inspector Motu, the Elephant, was on duty and came promptly to the crime scene.

Looking at the walls, he said, “This can only be done by a strong animal like me.” Realizing his folly, he said, “I meant, he is a strong animal like, like …” He looked around and realized Dhanno was missing. “Where is Dhanno?”


Everyone knew about Bholi and Dhanno’s friendship. They were surprised that Dhanno was not present. Bholi needed her friend at this time.

“Look.” Inspector Motu found a necklace hidden amongst the broken wall. “To whom does this belong?”

Everyone knew! It was Dhanno’s. Bholi was taken aback. Could it be him?

Just then Dhanno came over. Bholi could see the guilt on his face and couldn’t help asking, “Did you …?”


Before she could complete, Dhanno gave an angry look and ran off from there.

Bholi looked back at Inspector Motu. “Dhanno visits me every day. It must have fallen off at that time.” Bholi tried to defend him, not believing at all that he could have done. But everyone knew Dhanno’s bad temper and thought it was him.

Bholi started pulling together whatever remained of the house. Other animals started helping her too. But Dhanno wasn’t seen for the rest of the day.

It was late night. Bholi was sitting near her broken house. All others had left and gone back to their home.

But Bholi didn’t have any left for herself. Not only had she lost her home and everything else, but it looked like she had lost her friend too. She looked at her house and started crying.

I am sorry.” Bholi looked behind as she heard Dhanno.


“Don’t look behind. I won’t be able to meet your eyes.” He stopped for a second only to calm himself.

“It was Jaggu. He was teasing me and I got angry. I know that I should not get angry. But I could not control. He then stood near your house. I kept trying to hit him and he would escape. I never realized in my anger that I was destroying your house.”

Dhanno waited for Bholi to say something, get angry even. But Bholi did not say anything.

“Yes, I know I broke your house but … but I did not steal your money and jewellery. I swear. And I promise you I will give all my money, even my house to you” said Dhanno.

“I don’t want your home or your money.”

“Don’t be angry with me Bholi. You are my only friend. I don’t want to lose you.”

“I am not angry. I am happy that you were honest with me but I hope that you have realized what your anger has done to me.” Dhanno hid his face in shame.

“So yes you will have to pay me for my loss … by working on your anger.”

Dhanno promised that he would. That made Bholi very happy.

“Wait a minute. I think I know who stole your money and jewelry.”


Suddenly Dhanno realized who the culprit was. After realizing that he had destroyed Bholi’s house, Dhanno ran away from there in shame but Jaggu was still there.

Bholi and Dhanno immediately informed Inspector Motu who searched Jaggu’s house and found the stolen stuff. Jaggu was arrested at the right time. He was preparing to run away forever.

“Your anger may have destroyed her home but at least by being honest, you saved her from making more loss.” Inspector Motu later told Dhanno.

“Yes, as I always say, honesty pays off,” said Bholi. Everyone laughed. Dhanno and Bholi left to re-build her house.



Friends with Jimmy

The forest of Mangalvan was surrounded by hills, making Mangalvan one of the most beautiful places to live in. In Mangalvan lived Manny, the mouse. Manny was famous for his pranks and tricks.

In the neighbouring forest of Sundarvan lived Billy, the elephant. Together with his wife, Kimmy, and their son Jimmy, he moved to Mangalvan to start a new life. The house they picked out was right next to Manny’s and while Jimmy wanted to make friends with Manny, he wasn’t really successful.

The problem was that every time Manny saw Jimmy, he would immediately burst out laughing. Manny and his friends would always make fun of Jimmy, but Jimmy didn’t really mind. He was determined to become their friend.

A few days had passed since Jimmy’s arrival to Mangalvan and an announcement was made that a fair would be held soon. People talked about how last year’s fair was a lot of fun and the thought of all the food and the rides only added to the excitement.

Manny and his friends were excited too. Not only were they going to have fun on the rides, they were also going to have fun pulling pranks. A few days passed and the day of the fair arrived. Manny and his friends had planned to go to the fair together, but that morning, Manny could hardly contain himself and he left early, without telling his friends.

As Manny, set off, down a shortcut from behind his house, he didn’t notice a huge ditch in the ground and fell inside. He tried hard to get out, but was too short to climb out on his own.

As he waited in the ditch, hoping that someone to help him out, Jimmy happened to walk by.

“Help, help,” cried Manny.

Hearing Manny’s cries, Jimmy peered inside the ditch to investigate.

“Hey, what are you doing down there?” Jimmy asked Manny.

Manny was afraid to ask Jimmy for help. He was worried that he would refuse to help because of all the times he had made fun of Jimmy. Nevertheless, since Manny had no choice, he said, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get out. Please help me out of this ditch.”


Jimmy reached inside with his trunk and wrapped it around Manny. He picked him up out of the ditch and gently set him down by his side. Manny was was very grateful that Jimmy had saved him.

“Thank you Jimmy,” he said, not making eye contact. “And I’m sorry for making fun of you all the time. It was very wrong of me.”

“Think nothing of it, my friend. You would have helped me out in my time of need too,” said Jimmy, with a smile.


Manny and Jimmy had finally become friends, and together, they went to the fair and had a lot of fun together.

Help Yourself

One morning, Bimpy, the fox climbed out of her den. She was hungry and off in the distance, saw Bholu, the bear. He had a big chunk of meat with him and Bimpy, feeling greedy wanted to eat it up. As she wondered how she was going to take the piece of meat from him, She remembered that Bholu was a kind bear. He could not see anyone in misery and can’t stop himself in helping them.

Bimpy sat down under a tree and pretended to feel unwell and weak. As Bholu passed by, he saw that she looked terrible and asked if she was alright.

“What’s the matter Bimpy?” asked Bholu. “Are you not feeling well?”

“What can I say, Bholu? I haven’t been keeping well lately and wasn’t able to find any food of my own. Now, I’ve grown so weak that I can barely move. Oh, what I would do to have a bite of some fresh meat,” she said and collapsed against the tree.

Bholu felt bad seeing Bimpy in this state. He gave her his piece of meat and wished her well.

This was the easiest meal Bimpy had ever eaten and realised that her plan was foolproof. The next day, as Lambu, the jackal was going home after a successful hunt, she played the same act and paraded around him, looking pathetic.


Taking pity on her, Lambu gave her his catch for the day and went on his way.

Soon, this became a habit for Bimpy and she routinely took advantage of the kindness of strangers. As the days passed, Bimpy grew out of shape and her legs ached if she walked too much or ran too fast.

One day, a mouse walked past her and she could barely keep with it, let alone catch it. She was thoroughly out of breath and truly unwell. By then, the animals of the forest had grown weary of her act and stopped walking past her den. Bimpy hadn’t eaten in several days and desperately needed help.

Fortunately, the jungle’s doctor, Pinchu, the giraffe, happened to pass by. He immediately understood that Bimpy needed his help and took her to his clinic. Bimpy was put on a drip and was fed lots of vitamin and mineral tablets.

When she began to feel a little better, Dr. Pinchu began serving her regular meals and put her on a strict exercise regimen. As the days passed, Bimpy began to feel better. A few days later, it was time for her to be discharged.

Feeling better than ever, Bimpy was about to go home when Dr. Pinchu had a word with her.


“Your health has improved tremendously, Bimpy. It goes to show how important regular exercise and a proper meal can do to improve a person’s help. If an animal keeps in mind the importance of doing your work on your own, we’ll all be healthy,” said Dr. Pinchu.

Bimpy understood the true meaning behind these words. She promised to never take advantage of the kindness of strangers and to always do her own work.

The Fight

Tinku and Pinku Rabbits were headed for the river to bathe in it, when Pinku saw something round floating on the waves.

“What’s that?” He asked Tinku.

Tinku looked closely and said, “Can’t you make out? It is a balloon.”

“How did it come here?” Pinku asked again.

“Maybe some child came here to bathe and left it behind,” Tinku said. “Wait here, I will be back in an instant.”

“Where are you going?”

“To bring the balloon from the water.”

“Wait,” Pinku stood in front of Tinku and blocked his way. “I saw it first. How can you take it?”

“You did not even know what it was! Therefore, I will take the balloon,” Tinku was adamant.

Pinku pushed him violently. “How can you take it? I found it therefore I will take it.”

Tinku punched Pinku’s face, who fell flat on the ground. “I said I will take it.”

While both of them were busy quarreling, Bunty Monkey came. He was very crafty. He said, “Why are you crying? Tell me what happened? I will resolve this fight.”

Feeling relieved, they narrated the entire incident to Bunty.

“Oh, so both of you are fighting over the balloon,” Bunty’s eyes glinted. “Wait, I will provide you with the best solution for this fight.”

He leapt forward to take out the balloon.

“Where are you going?” Pinku and Tinku stood firmly in his way.

“To take out the balloon,” Bunty replied

“With whose permission?”

“I do not need anyone’s permission,” Bunty smiled. “Now that both of you are unable to decide who should take the balloon, I think I should take it. In this way, your fight will be resolved.”

The rabbits caught hold of the monkey’s tail, “We will not let you take our balloon.” |


Bunty was enraged, “Release me, my tail will break.”

“We will not, you will take our balloon.”

“I said let go of me.” said Bunty Monkey

“No way…” echoed the rabbits.

Meanwhile Kalu Crow flew there. He was very cunning and often acted as a spoilsport. He interrupted them, “What happened? Why are you fighting with each other like this?”

The rabbits told him everything.

Kalu said, “Oh, now I understand. You are fighting over the balloon.”

“Yes,” Tinku and Pinku said together. “But this monkey wants to grab our balloon with his slyness.”

“Do not worry,” Kalu said with a mischievous smile on his face. “I have a solution for this problem.”

“What is it?”

Kalu said, “The reason for this entire fight is the balloon. If I burst it with my beak, then the fight will stop automatically, right?”

Kalu flew to the balloon and pecked on the balloon with his beak, but surprisingly the balloon did not burst.


‘It seems it is a very tough balloon, I should hit it with more force,’ thought Kalu and acted accordingly.

“Oh my God… this blacky almost broke my head,” Kalu was startled on hearing the shriek.

Then he saw Mangal wrestler emerge from the river, holding his bald head. “Just today I shaved my head because of the scorching heat, but this blacky did not let me take a proper bath.”

“Stupid animals, what you assumed to be a balloon turned out to be Mangal wrestler’s bald head. Run for your life,” Kalu alerted them.

“Wait, I will teach you a lesson,” Mangal picked up a stick and ran after them.

All four of them somehow saved their lives and went back empty handed to their respective homes.

Gol Guttam Lakkad bottom

Mother!” Vinay called out when he woke up one morning. “Please give me some dugdh jal mishrit sharkara yukt parvatiya booty. And please hurry!”

“I’ll get it right away,” Mother replied from the kitchen.

“What is the matter, Vinay? Are you feeling unwell?” Mother asked when she entered the room with a cup.

Also read: The Fight- The battle for balloon is on its verge between the animals. Read and find out who wins it.

“I’m perfectly fine, Mother,” Vinay said. “What makes you think I’m unwell?”

“Well, you did ask me to get you this concoction of herbs, didn’t you?” Mother said, handing Vinay the cup.

“Huh? When did I ask for a concoction of herbs?” Vinay asked, peeping into the cup.

“Vinay,” Mother said. “Didn’t you just call out to me and ask me to give you some booty?”

“Oh Mother!” Vinay said. “You misunderstood me. I asked you to bring me dugdh jal mishrit parvatiya booty. That’s another name for tea.”

“You’re becoming more and more mischievous, Vinay,” Mother scolded and left the room.

Vinay shrugged and got out of the bed. He then went to take a bath. After a while, he called out to Mother again. “Mother!” he shouted. “I can’t find my kanth langot.”

“What?” Mother said, perplexed.

“I can’t find my kanth langot!” Vinay repeated. “Wherever did you keep my necktie?”

“Please be direct, Vinay!” Mother sighed.

“I won’t be able to finish my household chores if you keep confusing me just because you want to be mischievous.”

Mother then took Vinay’s necktie out of the wardrobe and put it around his neck.

“Mother, I am not being mischievous,” Vinay pleaded innocently. “Really!”

Later that day, Vinay’s teacher was testing the students’ GK in the classroom. “Children,” he said. “Tell me, what is Thomas Edison’s most famous invention?”

Vinay smiled and raised his hand to answer the question.

“Yes, Vinay,” the teacher said. “Please answer the question.”

Also read: The Boring Day of Pickly Wibble the Hedgehog

“Sir,” Vinay cleared his throat and said.

“Edison invented the vidyut prakashiya kanch golak!”

“Sit down if you don’t know the answer,” the teacher said, upset.

“Children,” he then told the class. “Thomas Edison invented the electric bulb.”

“Sir, I was saying the same thing,” Vinay stood up and insisted. “The vidyut prakashiya kanch golak is another name for the electric bulb.”


All the students in the class laughed heartily.

“Be quiet!” the teacher shouted. “Now, answer the next question. Which game is the Ramanuj Trophy associated with?”

“It is associated with ashthkoni kashth falak pe le takatak de takatak!” Vinay said.

“Vinay,” the teacher said angrily. “Are you making fun of me again? I had no idea that you could be so disrespectful.”

“Sir,” Vinay said sincerely. “I would never do that. But please believe me when I say that ashthkoni kashth falak pe le takatak de takatak is another name for table tennis.”

“Please keep quiet for the rest of the class, Vinay,” the teacher said furiously.

Vinay didn’t like being shouted at even though he had answered correctly.

But he obeyed his teacher and didn’t speak again.

“Rahul!” Vinay called out to his friend and neighbour when he returned from school later that day. “Will you come with me to watch the gol guttam lakad battam de danadan match? I have an extra pass.”

“What is that?” Rahul asked curiously.

“Well,” Vinay said. “A gol guttam lakad battam de danadan match is another name for a cricket match!”

Rahul laughed loudly.

“Yes, Vinay!” he said cheerfully. “Even I want to watch the match between India and Pakistan. We will have to go to the stadium by train. So let’s leave right away.”

“It will take time for the sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini to arrive,” Vinay said. “So let us walk towards the sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini viram sthal.”

“Now whatever is that?” Rahul asked, staring at Vinay.

 Also read:BANANAS GALORE- Honey Elephant walked out of his house, wondering where he would find a big bunch of bananas to satiate his enormous appetite.

“Sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini is a train,” Vinay explained. “And sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini viram sthal means a railway station.”

“Which language are you speaking in today, Vinay?” Rahul asked, giggling. He was unable to control his laughter. Vinay’s incoherent jabber had made him feel both curious and thrilled.

“We have a new Hindi teacher in our school, Rahul,” Vinay explained. “His name is Mr. Sharma. He says that our national language gives us values. And that we should be proud of it rather than being slaves to foreign ones. Mr. Sharma has also told us how our national language should be respected. He suggests that we talk in Hindi as often as we can so that we discover what a rich language it is.”

“Ah!” Rahul said and laughed. “So that’s what you’ve been up to today.” Praveen Uncle, who was the boys’ neighbour, saw them laughing.

“What’s making you boys laugh?” he asked good-naturedly.

“Uncle,” Rahul told Praveen Uncle. “Vinay has resolved to talk in a new language from today.”

“Really?” Praveen Uncle said curiously. Rahul then told Praveen Uncle about why Vinay was trying to speak in Hindi.

“Son, your new teacher has taught you the correct thing,” Praveen Uncle said. “But you have not understood what he really meant.”

“What makes you say that, Uncle?” Vinay asked, surprised.

“We should definitely respect our national language,” Praveen Uncle said, “but along with that, we should also know other languages so that we progress in life.”

Vinay and Rahul listened patiently.

“Tell me,” Praveen Uncle then said. “Why do we use a language?”

“So that we can communicate our thoughts to others,” Vinay said.

“Vinay,” Praveen Uncle then said. “Is everybody able to understand you from the way you are speaking today?”.

“No,” Vinay said, sounding disappointed. “Everybody is making their own inferences about what I am saying. Mother thinks I’m being mischievous while my teacher thinks I’m making fun of him.”

“Well, Vinay,” Praveen Uncle said softly.

“A language should be such that it is understood by everyone. Did you know that words from other languages were included in Hindi in order to make it easier to understand? That has made it possible for it to reach out to more people than it originally did.”

“Is that so?” Vinay and Rahul asked, astonished.

“Yes,” Praveen Uncle said. “Not only English but words of Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Marathi and many other languages have assimilated with Hindi. And you will be surprised to know that Hindi is now being taught in schools and colleges all over the world.”

“Uncle, I have now realised that the knowledge of other languages is as important as that of one’s own national language. Knowledge is never a setback in one’s progress. In fact, it facilitates it all the more!” Vinay said cheerfully.

“That’s correct, Vinay!” Praveen Uncle said. “Why don’t we go for some dugdh jal mishrit sharkara yukt parvatiya booty now?’

“What’s that, Uncle?” Rahul asked, confused.

“Tea, Rahul!” Praveen Uncle said. “Your favourite drink!”


“Good idea!” Rahul said, laughing. “And after that, let us all go for the gol guttam lakad battam de danadan match. I can’t wait to see India win!”

Everyone laughed and walked towards the tea shop.

The Boring Day of Pickly Wibble the Hedgehog

Once upon a time there was a day. It was neither a very good day nor a very bad day. It was just a very boring day. All boring days have a peculiar smell. Pickly Wibble the hedgehog smelt that boring day the moment he opened his left eye to take a peek at the alarm clock. Oh no! Time to get up!

Pickly Wibble the hedgehog decided that the best way to spend such a boring day was to stay carefully rolled up below his red maple leaves nibbling away at blueberries.


After calling the office faking a back strain, Pickly Wibble dozed for a couple of hours more. Then hunger woke him up and feeling famished he went into the kitchen to munch on something. But oops, the fridge was empty! There was not even a berry!

Pickly Wibble could not go shopping! Some colleagues of his would see him around and realize his back strain was a fake.

So he decided to order something yummy via the Internet. But oops his computer had crashed the day before and Pickly Wibble had taken it to get it fixed at the computer shop just around the corner. He could not go out to pick it up. He was supposed to be sick!

So Pickly Wibble decided to take a shower to soothe both his ravenous hunger and ruffled spines. Pickly Wibble used the bath foam first, then the shampoo and lastly the conditioner.

When it was time to rinse, oops, not even a drop of water fell from the tap. With his eyes full of suds Pickly Wibble tried to reach the phone on the desk of the dining room to call the plumber, Cater the Pillar.


Stumbling a couple of times and slamming against a little desk, a lamp and even a sofa, Pickly Wibble the hedgehog was able to reach the phone and dial the number, but oops, the line of Cater the Pillar, the plumber was continuously busy.

Pickly Wibble the hedgehog thought that on a boring day like that maybe Cater the Pillar the plumber too had called in sick. Mhmmm!

Pickly Wibble took a decision! He would watch the TV waiting for the sun to set. In the dark, wearing a trench and dark glasses he could slip out of the house to buy something good to eat at Daisy the wasp’s.

Greater Happiness

After taking the decision, he took the remote control and started pressing the buttons at first gently, then with more strength and increasing energy. Oops, it did not work!

It was the battery for sure. Pickly Wibble the hedgehog was trying to remember where he had put a new one when someone knocked at the door.

He looked out from the peep hole and oops, outside there was a crowd waiting for him. His colleagues were the first, then he saw his friends, his parents, Cater the Pillar the plumber, Daisy the wasp carrying a basket with fresh blueberries and his broken personal computer. Pickly Wibble the hedgehog heaved a sigh and opened the door. Whilst he expected long faces and admonishment, to his surprise he heard the crowd saying:

“Happy birthday Wiggle!”

“We knew you would find an excuse not to show up!”

More From Champak: Chirag’s Feathered Friends

“Many happy returns of the day, my son!”

How could he forget! That boring day, was his birthday! He forgot, but the others, the ones who cared for him truly did not, and they came to celebrate at his place!

And so it happened that on a boring day Pickly Wibble the hedgehog learnt that ordinary days could also be special days, especially those days which were also his birthdays!


Stay Put Timbu!

The entire stadium was packed with animals. The final round of the prestigious Maharaja Sher Singh Memorial Football Match was about to begin. It was being played between Jumbuvan and Nandanvan. Jumbuvan’s captain Blacky Bear was very worried. “How will we play without Golu Deer?” he told Uchalu Monkey who was the vice captain. “He is our main goal scorer. Why did he have to fall sick today?”

“Why wouldn’t he fall sick?” Uchalu Monkey said, sounding annoyed. “I saw him stuffing himself with deep-fried snacks like pakodas and kachoris at Ballu Ox’s roadside shop just yesterday evening. I know that Golu is one of our best players but I must say that when it comes to his taste buds, he forgets everything and turns very careless.”

“Forget Golu for now!” Blacky Bear growled. He was growing anxious about the match. “Let’s focus on who we could get to replace him at such short notice.”

“Why don’t we ask Timbu Donkey to take Golu’s place?” Uchalu Monkey suggested. “His kicks are really powerful. He is quite good at saving goals too. Our defense line-up will surely benefit if we take him on.”

“Hmm,” Blacky Bear said, sounding slightly unsure. “You are right, Uchalu. Timbu Donkey can kick the ball really well. He can save goals too. But I still don’t feel very confident about him. He acts irresponsibly and can be very stupid sometimes. Even a slight mistake on his part can prove dangerous for our team.”

“Don’t worry, Blacky,” Uchalu Monkey said confidently. “Taga Tiger is Nandanvan’s main goal scorer. We will give Timbu the task of surrounding him so that he doesn’t get to the ball. I think this strategy will work for us. What do you think?”

“Alright then,” Blacky Bear said. He then called out to all his team players and explained the game plan. “Uchalu will attack the Nandanvan team. I will take care of the midfield. Timbu’s job will be to surround Taga so that he doesn’t get an opportunity to get hold of the ball.”

All the players nodded as they understood and approved of the line of attack. When Timbu Donkey heard that he would be replacing Golu Deer in the game, he felt overjoyed. “Hooray!” he cheered to himself. “I have finally got a chance to play in this prestigious match!”

As soon as the game began, Jumbuvan’s Uchalu Monkey scored a goal through a header and made his team lead. Ding! The score on the leader board changed to ‘1-O’. The Jumbuvan fans whistled. “Well done, Jumbuvan!” they cheered. The Nandanvan team grew furious. They decided to become more aggressive in their attack. Taga Tiger roared and struggled to score a goal.


But Timbu Donkey’s powerful kicks ruined all his chances as he kicked the ball faraway from Taga Tiger.

When the ball came into the possession of the Nandanvan players the next time, they raced towards Jumbuvan’s goalpost. As they grew closer, they made a pass. Taga sprinted towards the ball, hoping to score a goal. Unfortunately, he lost his balance and hit the goalpost.

Taga was so badly hurt that he had to be taken to a hospital in an ambulance. Nandanvan’s players felt bad about losing one of their best players. But they tried their level best to score goals. Sadly, they didn’t make any and Jumbuvan won the match. Timbu Donkey was declared as the Best Player of the defense line. Everyone praised his powerful kicks. But where was the Best Player? Timbu couldn’t be seen anywhere on the field. He didn’t even show up when he was called to receive the trophy.

Well, Timbu Donkey had gone to the hospital in the ambulance with Taga Tiger. His sympathetic attitude towards an opponent player impressed everyone.

“We should take a cue from Timbu and meet Taga in the hospital,” Captain Blacky told his team. “We should leave all our differences here on the field and be friends with our opponents outside the stadium, just like Timbu.”

Timbu Donkey was sitting near Taga Tiger’s bed in the hospital room when Blacky Bear and the rest of the Jumbuvan team walked in. He looked very relieved to see them. “Captain, for how much longer do I have to surround Taga?he immediately asked Blacky Bear. Timbu Donkey’s question perplexed all the animals. “What?” Blacky Bear said. “Timbu, have you come here only because I had asked you to surround Taga all the time?”

Yes, of course,” Timbu Donkey replied innocently. “I was following your orders. You are the captain after all.”

The whole room echoed with the sound of laughter. “You silly donkey!” Blacky Bear said, giggling. “When I told you to surround Taga, I actually meant that you should only do so on the playground, so that he doesn’t get too close to the ball! But you took me so seriously that you even followed him to the hospital! And you are ‘surrounding him here too!” Timbu Donkey felt very silly. He didn’t know what to say or do.

Uchalu Monkey, who was known for his sense of humour, decided that it was time for him to crack a joke. “Okay, Timbu,” he said. “Now tell me, if Taga had gone to the washroom, would you have accompanied him to surround him there too?”


Uchalu Monkey’s question caused another of laughter. Timbu Donkey once again didn’t know what to do. He simply hid his long face behind his hands and gave himself one of his powerful kicks.


Timbu Donkey was declared as the Best Player and everyone praised his powerful kicks. But where was the Best Player?He didn’t even show up when he was called to receive the trophy.


Once there lived a big fat king who used to eat throughout the day. He was always followed by a maid who would carry a tray loaded with snacks. He would have biscuits in the evening, crisps in the night time, bread and butter in the morning and a large bowl of cereals and rice in the afternoon. He was a man who never got tired of eating. He would eat while he talked, walked, sang, felt bored and even when he ordered his troops. The only time his mouth remained still was when he was asleep.

He was also a very greedy man and would never share anything that was his with anyone. Not even with his wife. The queen was a very frail and elegant woman who was kind-hearted and intelligent. She was fed up of watching her husband eat all day long. Many a time she would request her husband “Please stop eating for a while? At least when you are discussing matters with the ministers?”

He always replied “How do you expect me to live if I stop eating?”

“Well, you will not die if you do not eat for five minutes!” She retorted.

He was always very angry when he was asked by others to do something. He always thought that he was right. He was a very proud king and thought nobody could be like him.. Therefore he did many silly things in his life and took everyone for granted.

“There is no man in this world who can eat like me! No one can beat me at eating! And I am proud of it!” He said with pride.

The queen knew that there was no point in arguing with him any more on this issue. Hence, she stopped talking to him about eating.

A few months passed by, but the king did not stop eating! Everybody in the kingdom started making fun of the king and the queen was embarrassed. She wanted to put a stop to her husband’s habit of eating constantly. So she decided to plan a trick that would make her husband to stop eating.

That night, she told him “You know, there is a man who eats more than you do!”

“What! Who?” He asked shocked and dropped a hand full of crisps.

“A man named Ben. He is a shopkeeper in the town nearby and people call him Ben, the eater!” She said in a very casual tone.

“It cannot be true.” He replied harshly. His face turned red with anger. He got down from his bed and started walking around his room as though he was thinking something very serious.

“It is! You did not hear? They call him Ben, the eater! And I have seen him. I have heard he eats more than you.” She replied very coolly.

“He cannot!” He bellowed.

She was terrified. But before she spoke anything more, he spoke “All right! I can challenge him.” He sounded very confident.

The queen smiled broadly. She knew her husband would say this and she was happy that things were going according to her plan.

“Fine!” She said. “I will arrange for it. I will talk to Ben and you can compete with him.”

“Great!” he said. “Arrange for the challenge and watch your husband win!” He was full of pride.

She did not want to talk about it anymore. She bid him good night and fell asleep.

The next day, everything was ready. It was nearly sunset when the competition began. Ben sat in the middle of the hall and the king was seated on his huge throne.

People gathered in the hall to watch the outcome. A group of young boys were there to cheer the king. The queen thought that they were the kids of the ministers. It was decided that Ben would starve for a week if he lost the bet and if the king lost he would stop eating lavishly.

Once the bet began, maids brought roasted beef, huge loaves of bread and butter, a pot full of porridge and water and served it to them. Both the men started eating. The king stuffed his mouth with roasted beef. He looked very funny with his cheeks bulging out on both sides.

Ben ate very fast and finished the roasted beef in no time. He was served more roasts. Seeing this, the king started eating like a barbarian. He started using both his hands holding a loaf of bread in one hand and beef in the other.

They ate for hours continuously. After a while, the king needed a break badly. Therefore there was a five minutes break.

During the break, he fell asleep and the queen knew that he was tired of eating. Ben left the hall and returned after a few minutes.

Five minutes later the king woke up and the competition resumed. They were served with chicken and turkey this time. The kind started breathing heavily and the queen knew that it was because of the effort he had to make to eat. But she felt that he was still determined to continue. He was a man who would not give up easily.

They ate all night. The maids were tired walking up and down the hall and serving them. The crowd too dispersed gradually. But there were a few people who were ready to sacrifice their night’s sleep for this competition.

It went on and on and they continued devouring the food. However by sun rise, the speed of the king had reduced remarkably. The queen knew that he could not eat any more. But Ben seemed to be eating without the slightest bit of exhaustion. After a while, the king gave up.


“I give up.” He said. He sounded weary.

There was applause all around the hall. The queen too applauded but only until the king spoke. “In order to win the bet, you must eat another five loaves of bread.” He ordered. There was complete silence in the hall.

After much argument, Ben accepted to eat five more loaves of bread and was given bread and butter. He continued eating for an hour. The king kept watching him and finally Ben finished. He did as he was ordered. There was a thunder of claps around the hall and it was declared that Ben had won the bet. So the King sadly accepted that he would not eat throughout the day but only at meal times.


The queen was very happy and satisfied. She was satisfied by the plan she had laid. The morning before the bet, she had met Ben to persuade him to accept the offer for the bet. Ben had a twin named Bob and the three of them had planned to trick the king. So Bob switched place with Ben during the five minutes break. They were given a bag full of gold coins by the queen for helping her execute the plan.

She had achieved what she wanted. Her plan had worked out too well and nobody ever knew. Ben and Bob left the town after the bet and promised never to return. The king was left with nothing but a limited amount of food at meal times.


Bunty Bear’s Missing Key

Where are you going, Bunty?” Bunty Bear’s mother asked when she saw him going out of the house.

“Mother,” Bunty Bear replied. “I am going to show my friend Kuki my new scooter. I’ll be back in a jiffy!”

“Back in a jiffy?” Bunty Bear’s mother said. “Doesn’t Kuki live in Kesarvan which is 20 km away from our forest? It will be quite late by the time you return from there. Look! The sky is overcast too. It’s going to rain heavily. I don’t want you to get wet and fall sick, my dear.”

“Don’t worry, Mother,” Bunty Bear said. “I’ll take my red raincoat with me. It matches with the colour of my scooter too! I promise I’ll take good care of myself and not get wet either.”

“Can’t you go to meet Kuki tomorrow?” Bunty Bear’s mother asked worriedly.

“Mother,” Bunty Bear said, hugging his mother.

“Kuki is my best friend. Please let me go. I really want to show him my new scooter!”

“Okay,” Bunty Bear’s mother sighed and said. “Go if you like. But please wear your helmet. And do return home before it turns dark.”

“Thank you, Mother!” Bunty Bear said, running out of the house. “You are the best! Kuki will be really happy when he sees my new scooter! All thanks to you!”

Bunty Bear then wore his helmet and jumped onto his new scooter. He then sped away.

Vroom! Bunty Bear soon zoomed into Kesarvan.


And everyone who saw him turned to admire his red scooter.

It was bright and shiny. Besides, there were no two-wheelers in Kesarvan as yet.

“How about giving us a ride, Bunty?” some of Kuki’s friends asked Bunty Bear.


Bunty Bear grinned and willingly obliged. He then gave everyone a quick ride.

When he got tired, Kuki insisted that he visit his house to take a break and eat something.

Kuki had plucked fresh berries and found some extra-sweet honey for Bunty Bear.

“Mmm! Thanks, Kuki,” Bunty Bear said as he relished the treat. “You have served me my favourite things!”

When Bunty Bear finished eating, he realised that it was time for him to leave.

“I must leave now,” he told Kuki. “I told my mother that I will be back before it turns dark. But I promise I’ll visit you again next week!”

Just as Bunty Bear stepped out of Kuki’s house, a loud clap of thunder was heard. Big raindrops then fell from the sky.

“Oh no! It’s raining,” Kuki said worriedly. “How will you go home now, Bunty?”

“Don’t worry, Kuki,” Bunty Bear said. He then showed Kuki his raincoat and assured him that he would ride his scooter slowly and safely.

Bunty Bear quickly wore his raincoat and put his helmet on.

He then walked towards his scooter and put his paws into his pockets to pull the key out.


“Hey!” Bunty Bear suddenly said, sounding very alarmed. “Where is my scooter key? I can’t find it anywhere.”

“Have you dropped the key somewhere, Bunty?” Kuki asked.

He then called out to his parents and asked them to check if the key had fallen anywhere in the house.

Kuki’s parents searched high and low.

They moved the furniture about and even peeped under the beds. But the key couldn’t be found anywhere.

“Oh no,” Bunty Bear said with a frown. “How will I go home now? The rain’s getting heavier and heavier. I will be drenched if I walk home. And I promised Mother that I wouldn’t get wet.”

“Bunty,” Kuki’s mother then said. “Since you can’t find the key and since it is raining so heavily, you should spend the night with us. You will be safe here.”

“Well, I don’t have a choice,” Bunty Bear said as he went back into the house and sat on the sofa.

“Why don’t you take your helmet off now, Bunty?”

Kuki then suggested. “You don’t need to wear it when you are indoors.”

“Right,” Bunty Bear said, taking the helmet off. Plop! Something suddenly fell on the floor.

When Bunty Bear, Kuki and his mother bent down to see what it was, they had quite a surprise.

“Bunty, you are so funny,” Kuki said, giggling. “You had accidentally put your key inside your helmet. You must have done so when you came into the house and left it on the sofa.”

Kuki’s mother laughed too and Bunty Bear felt very embarrassed.

“I’m sorry,” he said as his ears turned red. “What a silly mistake I’ve made! My carelessness has caused trouble for everyone.”

“Don’t worry,” Kuki’s mother said.

“And do stay on as we had decided. We have already informed your parents not to expect you tonight. I’ll invite Kuki’s other friends to stay with us too. I’ll also make some snacks and dinner. You all can have a party and play some games then!”

“Good idea,” Bunty Bear said as he tucked the key into his pocket.

Bunty Bear then went with Kuki to invite all his other friends for their party.

Everyone had a good time that night, all thanks to Bunty Bear’s silly mistake!

Raj’s Summer Lesson

As soon as Rinki, Munni and Raj came back home after their last paper, they all began to celebrate.

“Mummy, you have to promise us that next week, you will take us to grandma’s house for our summer vacations.”

With the kids so excited, she agreed immediately, but made them promise something too.

“Kids, I want you to promise me that, when I take you to grandma’s house, you will behave like good children. I don’t want you to trouble her and I don’t want you to tease the other children there.”

The children readily accepted and promised to be good.

The week went by in a blink and it was time to spend the summer at granny’s. The kids were so excited that they had finished their packing days in advance. Mummy and the kids went to the railway station and boarded the train to their granny’s village.

When they had settled in to their seats, Raj and Rinky immediately began to think of different ways to trouble granny and tease the other children who lived nearby.


Munni tried to make Raj understand that troubling and teasing others is a bad thing. She also reminded him of the promise he had made to their mother. But no one listened.

As the sun began to set, the train began to pull in to the station. Their grandpa and their uncle awaited their arrival. As soon as the train came to a halt, Munni ran up to them and quickly began to ask about granny.

While Raj and Rinky were dreaming of all the fun they were going to have at granny’s expense, Granny had a plan of her own. She had taken the help of all the children in the neighborhood.

When they reached, Munni hugged her granny and aunt. Raj and Rinky on the other hand began to poke fun at granny. She paid no attention to their jabs and told them about the summer competitions.

“This summer, we are going to conduct a competition for all the children in the neighborhood. There will be many events to participate in and the winner will get a cycle. You’re probably very tired right now. I’ll tell you all about it in the morning?” she said.

Raj turned to Rinky and said, “I’m winning that cycle for sure,” and ran outside.

While Raj ran around the neighborhood teasing and making fun of all the children, they all remained quiet as Raj would learn his lesson soon.

The next morning, all the children were up and ready. All the children from the neighborhood had assembled there as well.

Granny addressed the gathering, “The winner of this competition will be decided on the basis of their performance across three events. The first seven children to finish the running race will move on to the painting competition. The children who paint the five best paintings will take part in the general knowledge quiz. The smartest child will be declared the winner. The competition will be held eight days from today, so start practicing. May the best child win.”’

Raj and Rinky were confident that they would win the competition and began training at the playground. All the other children were practicing here as well.

On the eight day, all the children in the neighborhood woke up early and had assembled at the playground for the competition. Because Raj and Rinky always got up late in the morning, they were the last to arrive.


At 8:00 a.m., granny announced that the running race was about to begin. All the children stood in a line and when granny said ‘Go’, they all began to run. Even though he was tired, Raj finished fourth and moved on to the painting competition. Rinky finished eighth and was eliminated.

When the painting competition started at 1 pm, Raj realized that he was completely unprepared. Even though his painting was nothing special, he kept telling all the children that he would surely win. When the results were announced, Raj found out that he had received the least marks. He accused the judges of being partial and ran home.

Munni, on the other hand finished sixth in the running race and was awarded the most marks in the painting competition. She had won the quiz as well. When Munni reached home with her cycle in the evening, Raj had just woken up from a nap.

He became very unhappy when he found out that Munni was awarded the cycle.

The next morning, all the children began to tease Raj. He ran to his mother and complained to her about all the other children. Raj’s mom explained to him that all the children he had made fun of had felt the same way. She asked him apologize to all the children he had made fun of. Raj apologized to them and he personally apologized to granny too. Seeing Raj, Rinky too apologized.


Granny had a surprise. She took two sets of keys and handed it over to Raj and Rinki. They were the keys of the new cycles. Both hugged her tight and promised to be good.

Soon the summer holidays were over and it was time to go back home.

Forgetful Pari

Pari, the squirrel, a school teacher was very forgetful. And this was always getting her into trouble.

Once when she was going to the market, she realized that everybody was giggling at her. It was only after she checked her face in the departmental store mirror, she knew why. Pari had forgotten to wash the soap off her face before leaving

Another time, the heater in her room was not working. She called the electrician and said, “Please come immediately. I am in great trouble.”

Within five minutes, she heard a siren and her door was broken down. Two men rushed in with a stretcher and tried loading her on to it. As it turned out, she had called the hospital instead of the electrician.

Needless to say the paramedics were very angry and Pari was very embarrassed.

Yet another time, when she returned from school, she couldn’t open her front door. She tried all the keys she had, but none of them worked.

When the lock was broken and she finally entered the house, she was shocked to find that the furniture looked different. Everything was placed elsewhere.

Later that evening somebody began ringing the bell furiously. When Pari opened the door, she understood why her keys didn’t work. It wasn’t her house.

While she lived on the 16th floor, Pari had mistakenly taken the elevator up to the 17th floor. The house owners were furious and Pari then spent a lot of money fixing the door.

Seeing how scattered her thoughts were, Pari’s friend Leelu, the cuckoo suggested that she make a list of all her day’s chores.


While Pari made a list every morning, more often than not, she would forget where she left her list. She would waste time looking for it and this resulted in her being late.

One morning, when Pari reached the school, the principal walked up to her and told her that she would be giving the annual day speech next week.

Pari was excited and she was determined to prove to the others that she could be perfect for the job if she set her mind to it.

She prepared and finalised her speech the same day. In the evening she went to pick an outfit and even found matching accessories. She spent all her free time rehearsing her every move.


Soon, from getting up from her seat, to delivering the speech, to sitting back down, she knew it all.

On the day of the function she got ready early, and rehearsed again. Worried that she might board the wrong bus, Pari took a taxi to school and kept checking her reflection in the mirror. The last thing she wanted was for somebody to notice that she had applied lipstick on her eyes and kajal on her lips. Fortunately, she had made no such mistake.

She entered the school auditorium ahead of time and waited at her seat. She waited and waited but nobody arrived.

“Such indiscipline,” she thought to herself. She waited some more and repeatedly checked her watch and still there was no sign of anybody. At last the peon, Peeku, the parrot entered the auditorium.

“Why are you so late?” she shouted at him. “Come on let’s get the stage and the microphones ready. We are running late and I haven’t rehearsed even once.”

Peeku was utterly confused. “What are we getting the stage ready for?” he asked scratching his head.

“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about the schools annual day function today,” said Pari, still angry.


Peeku burst in to laughter. “Ma’am, the function is tomorrow. Today is Sunday. Luckily I came in to pick up my umbrella. Otherwise you would have stayed here all day!”

Pari checked the date on the wall clock and realized he was right. She laughed at her own folly and went home.

Pari returned the next day and told this anecdote as part of her speech and got a big laugh from everyone present. They all appreciated her ability to laugh at herself.

A Smart Pact

There was once a lion in Nandanvan named Rambo. He was very brave and would hunt down his prey with ease. But, it was a single mouse that was the cause of all his troubles. His name was Chinku and he lived in a burrow inside Rambo’s den.

He would eat pieces of Rambo’s food and would never go in search of food. Being the prankster that he was, not a single day would go by where Chinku didn’t trouble Rambo.

Rambo would shout at Chinku but this would have no effect on him. Chinku would stand by his burrow’s entrance and make faces at him.

Chinku had been crossing the line for the past few days. Every morning Rambo would wake up surrounded by chunks of his mane nibbled off by Chinku. Rambo yelled at Chinku, but as usual, it was of no use.

It was time to take some action. For this, Rambo found a cat named Rani. Rambo caught her and took her back to his den. She was scared.

“Don’t be afraid,” said Rambo. “I’m not going to hurt you. I need your help.”

Rani was surprised. What would the king of the jungle need from her?’ she wondered.

“You see, my den is not only my home, it is also the home of a pesky little mouse. I have not had a peaceful night’s sleep since he moved in and because he lives in a burrow; my paws are too big to reach inside. I want you to take care of this little problem of mine.”

Rani breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Your wish is my command your highness.”

Life inside Rambo’s den wasn’t too bad though. Rani got all the food she wanted without having to lift a finger. Her only problem was the fact that unless Chinku was out of the den, she couldn’t leave.

Chinku’s life on the other hand, was no longer as easy as it used to be. Because Rani was always on the prowl, he stopped coming out of his burrow. The only bright side for Chinku was the fact Rani got yelled at every time he managed to pull one of his pranks.


Soon, Chinku’s food supplies began to run out until he was forced to step out. As he began gathering stray pieces of meat, Rani sneaked up to him and caught him by surprise. She stood there and stared at him. Even though he was petrified, he looked her in the eye and said, “Good evening Rani.”

“It’s a good evening indeed,” she said. “I was hoping I’d bump in to you. You better get ready. It’s been a while since I have had a mouse for dinner.”


“I don’t think I need to be prepared for this. After all, generations of mice have met their end at the paws of a cat. I’m more worried about you Rani. I feel your end is quite near too.”

“What do you mean?” asked Rani.

“It’s a fact that Rambo doesn’t like me. But if you kill me, he would have no need for you.

What is the guarantee that he won’t eat you?” asked Chinku. “As long as I live, you will live.”


Rani agreed. “You make a fair point. Let’s make this easy for the both of us. I will provide you all the food you need if you don’t trouble Rambo. That way, we all stay happy.”


They came to an understanding. From that day onwards, Chinku stopped troubling Rambo and Rani never managed to catch him.

Bondhu Seeks His Own Identity

There was a donkey named Bondhu (meaning foolish). Bhondu was named aptly, as he would often behave foolishly. His favourite activity was to copy others. He knew nothing else. When he saw monkeys leap about he would copy them, although he would fall down and hurt himself. Seeing horses race he would try to run as fast as them. Even the passersby would laugh at his antics.

One morning, Bondhu was walking past a peepal tree. He heard Ginni, the cuckoo’s melodious voice coming from there. Her cooing was melodious.

“Wow, what a sweet song. I will also sing like her,” Bondhu thought to himself.

The next morning, Bondhu placed a chair in front of his house and began singing loudly. However, instead of cooing, he brayed hee-haw, hee-haw.

“Why is this happening?” he wondered. “I am trying to coo, but all that I can do is bray.” He was puzzled. He wanted to sound just like Ginni.

He met Ginni and asked, “Ginni, what does one do to sing like you?”

She replied, “You should learn to sing. A music teacher can teach you to sing well.”

He said, “So that’s what it is. I was thinking that I was incapable of singing. All I need is a teacher. I will learn and become a good singer.”

He soon found a teacher who taught several animals in the jungle. He sat with the others and learnt the basic musical notes. He went home and practised what he had learnt. However, his voice still sounded like a broken flute.

Bondhu thought for a long time. Finally, he remembered that his teacher had used a guitar while teaching them to sing. He realised that he was trying to sing without the guitar. He then sat down with his guitar and started singing again. His neighbour, the crow, screamed, “Grrr… I have been tolerating Bondhu’s harsh voice for so many days. I can’t tolerate it anymore.”


Unfortunately for Bondhu, all his neighbours nodded their heads in agreement and told Bondhu to stop disturbing them.

“I have to face so many insults I just want to learn to sing.” Bondhu’s face fell. How could he practice if everyone around was objecting to it. He was almost in tears.

Mittu, the parrot who was passing by, asked, “What happened, Bondhu? Why are you so sad?”

Bondhu narrated the recent developments to the parrot.

Mittu replied, “If you want to learn to sing; listen carefully to the songs you want to learn and sing along with them. Then you will become a singer. Have you heard me mimicing everyone?”

Bondhu’s eyes were shining in anticipation. He bought some music discs and began singing along with them. However, he was still out of tune. He began to sing loudly. Although he realised that he couldn’t hold a tune, he still continued singing. After some time, no sound emerged from his throat. It was very sore.

“Well, Bondhu, are you enjoying your singing?” asked Minni, the bird, who was sitting on a branch nearby.

He replied sadly, “Go ahead, make fun of me and laugh at my helplessness.”

“I am not making fun of you. I am laughing at your foolishness. You cannot imitate everything. Nature blesses all individuals with certain unique gifts. Try as much as you can, you cannot get them by copying others. Since our brains are different we speak different languages. We also grasp things differently and at different paces.


Thus, a cuckoo cannot speak the language of a crow, nor can a crow speak the language of a cuckoo. Therefore, instead of copying others find your own identity. Make a name for yourself,” Minni advised him in a kind tone.

Bondhu understood. He thought, “By trying to copy the cuckoo, I lost my voice.” “Although it’s a bit late, I can still change myself.”

“Better late than never,” thought Bondhu, and he went in search of developing his own identity.

Jojo’s Junk Food Problem

“Young Jojo, the elephant was excited as he had been invited for his friend’s birthday party.

“It is Ronny’s birthday on Sunday. He is organising a pool party. We’re going to have a blast!” he said to his mother.

“Did you say, Sunday?” asked his mother, flapping her large ears.

“Yes. He says that there will be delicious food and lots of games,” said Jojo, now facing his mother.

“Jojo, I am sorry, but we may not be able to go,” said his mother. “Sunday is the Forest Elephant Day. I want you to come along. You’ll get to meet all your distant relatives and cousins.”

“No, mommy. I don’t want to go for that,” said Jojo, extending his trunk to touch his mother’s. “I cannot miss Ronny’s party. Please!” he said, making a cute face.

“The celebrations will be fun, Jojo. All the animals will assemble at the main ground. There will be a speech by our lion king praising the efforts elephants take to protect the forest. There will be delicious food,” said Jojo’s mother, trying to convince him.

“What food?” questioned Jojo, twitching his trunk.

“They will have watermelons, musk melons, pineapples, bananas of all varieties and jack fruits. Isn’t that great?” mother tried to impress Jojo.

“Oh, mommy!” said Jojo, rolling his eyes. “That is the food we eat every day. Such dull and unattractive food!” he said with a slight snort.

His mother was silent for a second. She then asked, “What is the menu at Ronny’s pool party?”


“He has ordered pizzas, burgers, wafers, noodles, and French-fries. There will be lots of cola drinks, too!” answered Jojo. “I’ll have a few bottles of cola once I reach Ronny’s house. Then I’ll have some after the cake-cutting. Then, I’ll have more while playing and finally, some more bottles of cola before leaving the party,” he rattled off in excitement.

“You know what you call this menu?” asked Jojo’s mother concerned. “It’s called JUNK! And junk food is not good for your health. By the way, what do they have for dessert?”

“Fruit salad,” replied Jojo, in a sad tone.

Jojo realised that his mother would not allow him to eat junk food.

His mother sensed that Jojo was sad. So, to lighten the mood, she asked him, “Didn’t you mention games? What games are you going to play at the party?”

Jojo immediately brightened up and replied, “We’ve planned a swimming competition. Then, there’ll be a throw ball competition and finally, a card game.”

“The games sound interesting,” said his mother, trying to cheer him up. “But avoid eating junk food. You can attend the pool party and then rush to the main ground to join me for the buffet.”

Jojo was happy that mother allowed him to attend the pool party.

Finally, Sunday arrived. Jojo and his mother got ready and left for their respective events.

Jojo and his friends had a great time at the pool party. Though mother advised him to avoid junk food, the temptation was too much for Jojo to resist.

“Mommy won’t find out. I’ll eat some fruits at the elephant festival. That way mommy will not doubt me,” he thought to himself.


Following the competitions, Ronny was declared the fastest swimmer, while Jojo was judged the best player in throw ball. Jojo was given a big bottle of cola as a prize. He was elated.

After the party, Jojo rushed home to hide his prize and then went to the main ground to join his mother for the Elephant Day celebration.

By the time Jojo reached the main ground, the celebration was in full swing. King Leo was thanking all the elephants for their role in maintaining the forest’s ecosystem. After his speech, the animals proceeded to the buffet.

All kinds of fruits were piled up to form big mountain-like structures.

Jojo’s mother carried a big watermelon and dropped it on the ground before him. But Jojo could hardly eat. His tummy was already full.

“If I eat even one more bite, I will puke,” he thought to himself.

“Why aren’t you eating?” asked Jojo’s mother concerned.

“I’m very tired, mommy. I just want to sleep,” said Jojo.

His mother quickly bid all her friends goodbye and walked home with Jojo. By this time, Jojo was already going through a terrible tummy ache. His stomach was rumbling quite loudly.

“I can hear your tummy, Jojo,” said his mother. “I’ll get you something to eat.”

“It is okay, mommy,” said Jojo, looking down. He could not face his mother as he had lied. He also realised how concerned his mother was regarding his well-being.

“It’s not okay,” said Jojo’s mother, leading him to the stream. “Drink some water. You’ll feel better.”

His mother was right. Jojo felt better after drinking the cool water from the stream.

Once they reached home, both of them went to bed. Jojo’s mother fell asleep almost immediately. But Jojo woke up and walked silently to the spot where he had hidden the cola bottle.


Jojo carried the bottle out and dumped it in a garbage bin. The bottle was gone and so were Jojo’s guilt and weakness for junk food!


Holi in Champakvan

Champakvan was in a festive spirit! It was the colourful festival of Holi. Sweety Nightingale had perched herself on the branch of a tree. She was singing songs and reciting poems about Holi, while Jumpy Monkey was beating a drum with his tail.

Teetu Butterfly was dazzling everyone with her wings. They were even more colourful today for they had been drenched in bright shades of red, yellow, green, blue, pink and other Holi colours.

Cheeku Rabbit came out of his house. He looked around and saw everyone having fun. He then smiled and blew the saxophone that he had with him.


“Friends!” he shouted cheerfully. “Come here please.”

All the animals rushed towards Cheeku Rabbit. Jumbo Elephant, who was in a hurry, put his big leg in a tub and spilled some redcoloured water out. Anty Ant, who was sitting inside the tub, shrieked. “Jumbo! You stupid elephant!” she shouted. “Can’t you see where you’re going?”

Jumpy Monkey somersaulted in his haste to get to Cheeku. He tripped in the bargain and broke his drum. It went right over him and only his naughty little face stuck out.

Harry Frog and Tarry Frog jumped from one tub to the other and made themselves as wet as sponges. And Dumpy Donkey ran so fast, that he accidentally kicked Baddy Wolf with his strong legs. The string of Dumpy Donkey’s pajamas came loose too, and his pajamas almost fell down! All the animals looked so funny by the time they reached Cheeku Rabbit that they all burst out laughing.

“OK! Calm down now and listen to me,” Cheeku Rabbit said with a smile. “I have an announcement to make! We will celebrate Holi with King Sher Singh this year!”

“Celebrate Holi with King Sher Singh?” the animals said, confused. “How can we do that, Cheeku? King Sher Singh doesn’t go out of his palace on Holi day. And he doesn’t allow anyone who has water or colours to go in either.”

“We will surprise King Sher Singh,” Cheeku Rabbit said and grinned. “And when he plays with us, he will have plenty of fun too!”

“It will be like putting a bell around the cat’s neck,” Dumpy Donkey said. “Whoever has the courage to do that?”

“Be quiet, Dumpy!” Jumpy Monkey scolded. We will work together to put the bell around King Sher Singh’s neck. Er…I mean to play Holi with him.”

They then discussed some ideas. Soon, all the animals marched together towards King Sher Singh’s palace. Gajju Elephant was leading the procession. He was carrying a special chair made of balloons. The other animals were carrying colour pistols and were dancing on the way.

Sweety Nightingale was singing a song that she had made up,

“Holi is here!

Holi is here!

It’s a time to be with those who are near and dear! And so Champakvan’s procession is here!”

All the animals stopped when they reached King Sher Singh’s palace.

“We want to meet King Sher Singh,” Cheeku Rabbit told the guard outside the palace door.

“I don’t think I can let you go in,” the guard said, hesitant to let the animals into the palace. Before the guard could say anything else, Teetu Butterfly sprayed some coloured water on him. “Yikes!” the guard shouted and ran inside to inform Sher Singh.

A few minutes later, King Sher Singh stepped out of the palace. “What are you all doing here?” he roared. “You very well know that I don’t play Holi.”

“Er… Your Highness,” Jumpy Monkey said in a respectful voice. “We have just come to convey our good wishes.”

“Thank you,” King Sher Singh said politely. “I wish you all well too but please leave now.”

“Your Highness,” Cheeku Rabbit said suddenly. “Now that you have come out, please sit with us for a while. We will be happy if you talk to us for a few minutes.”

“Alright,” King Sher Singh said. He then began looking for a chair to sit on.

Gajju Elephant immediately offered the chair of balloons that he was carrying.

“Why don’t you sit on our special chair today?” Gajju Elephant said. King Sher Singh looked at the chair. “What a unique chair this is!” he said.

But as soon as he sat down, there was a loud sound! And the balloons that the chair was made from burst, squirting coloured water all over! King Sher Singh’s jaw dropped once he realised that he was drenched from head to toe in coloured water.

And then, all the animals picked up their water pistols and threw tiny jets of water at King Sher Singh. King Sher Singh felt ticklish and giggled.

Cheeku Rabbit then went forward and put gulal on King Sher Singh’s cheeks. “Happy Holi, Your Highness!” he said. “From all the animals of Champakvan!”



King Sher Singh laughed heartily. “Oh Cheeku!” he said happily. “Your wit has worked again today when I was trying my best to hide indoors!”

King Sher Singh then invited everyone into his palace for a cup of tea and special Holi sweets. All the animals were very happy. Holi was more fun when they celebrated with their dear King Sher Singh.

Happy Holi!

Champakvan looked colourful as it was celebrating the festival of Holi. Dumpy the Donkey, Jumbo the Elephant, Jumpy the Monkey, Vicky the Deer, Blacky the Bear and Freddy the Giraffe were happily playing Holi with each other. They were spraying water using colourful pichkaris and rubbing colours on each other’s face. The entire place looked cheerful.

After a short while, Barney the Hyena, Baddy the Fox and Spotty the Cheetah arrived. This trio was very mischievous.

“Holi celebrations with just the gulaal? This is indeed a very dull festival,” said Barney the Hyena.

“True,” said Baddy the Fox. “This is so boring Holi should be played like this.” he said and caught hold of Vicky the Deer. He stained Vicky’s face with black colour.

Vicky angrily asked, “What have you done, Baddy? What have you applied on my face? I am feeling a burning and itching sensation.” He started scratching his face.


Baddy, Barney and Spotty burst out laughing. They said, “Well, this is the real fun. Now all of you get your face painted black. Then let’s go to the main road. There, we’ll stain the faces of every passerby.”

“We shall not do that. You have spoilt our celebrations. We were playing with gulaal. It is an eco-friendly colour. It doesn’t harm anyone. Your kind of Holi is disgusting. What is the point in painting someone’s face black? It makes them look awful. Look how troubled Vicky is. He will have to put in so much effort to get the colour off his face. A lot of water will be wasted,” said Dumpy. “I was always for celebrating Holi without the use of water but friends insisted so I agreed.

Getting this gulaal off our face will not use a large amount of water.”

“Vicky will have a tough time washing the colour off his face. It is not good to use muck, soil, dung, coal tar and other itchy substances to play Holi. We would appreciate it if the three of you went away from here,” added Jumbo. “We wanted to play Holi with you as well. Now, I am not in the mood. It is better that you go away before I lose my temper.”

Barney said, “Jumbo, you seem to be really upset. According to us, this is the actual fun of Holi. If you so wish, we shall go from here.” He added, “Baddy, Spotty, let’s go.”

“Sure,” said Spotty. He splashed some muck onto Freddy’s face before leaving.

Dumpy and Jumbo could not tolerate this anymore. They did not let them go. Jumbo caught hold of Spotty.


He held him in his trunk and started twirling him around. Dumpy, on the other hand started kicking Barney continuously.



Baddy the Fox tried to escape. Freddy the Giraffe caught hold of him. Jumpy the Monkey and Blacky the Bear started hitting Baddy. Vicky also joined the gang. He began poking Baddy with his long, sharp horns.


Some other animals of Champakvan saw this. They thought that the kids were enjoying the festival. They thought that Spotty was enjoying being twirled in Jumbo’s trunk. They were happy for the kids. The animals also saw Dumpy kicking Barney. They assumed that it was a new way of celebrating Holi. After a few minutes, they heard Spotty, Baddy and Barney’s cries for help. That was when they realised that these three were being beaten up by the others. They rushed to help them. They asked the kids as to why they were beating the trio.

Dumpy narrated the entire incident to the other animals. He added, “We are aware that Champakvan is facing an acute shortage of water this year. If we waste water playing Holi, we shall face worse problems in the near future. I tried explaining the same to Barney, Baddy and Spotty. These three didn’t listen. They kept applying muck on our faces. Thus, we had to teach them a lesson.

The oldest Lion of Champakvan, Leonard heard this. He angrily said, “True. They deserve this punishment. These three have cut down many trees in order to light a fire for Holi. They have also destroyed some huts. They are indeed wicked. All of you should hit them a little more.”

“Sorry, Grandpa,” replied Spotty, Baddy and Barney. “Please forgive us. We shall not repeat this mistake.” All three of them kneeled down. They started begging for forgiveness.

“Alright!” Leonard said. “We forgive you. Do not repeat such mischief again. It is a festive occasion. We must celebrate it with love and happiness. We must make friends and not enemies. Now patch up with Jumbo, Dumpy, Vicky, Blacky and Freddy.” Baddy, Spotty and Barney were still nervous about extending a hand of friendship towards the other kids. Dumpy and Jumbo came forward. They gave them a warm hug.


Everyone felt happy with this gesture from Dumpy and Jumbo. All the animals then proceeded towards Leonard’s house. They played Holi with each other till the evening. It was a colourful Holi using dry colours; with a feeling of love and brotherhood. It was indeed a memorable Holi celebration at Champakvan.

Holi for All

Three days before the festival of Holi, some birds and animals of Sonavan convened a meeting. It was headed by Pihu peacock, the king of the birds and Simha lion, the king of the animals.

“This year, let’s not involve any of the dark birds or animals in the Holi celebrations. The colour does not show against their dark skin and feathers. It’s just a waste of colour and effort,” said Simha.

“I agree. The price of colour powder has skyrocketed, so buying extra packets just for them will be too expensive,” said Sona deer.

We also won’t be able to make special arrangements for water tankers for them like we do every year, as the nearby ponds have all dried up. Even if we have to buy water, who is going to pay for it?” asked Pihu.

All the animals agreed that banning the dark birds and animals from the Holi celebrations was a right move. Pihu and Simha signed an order to that effect.

Next day, huge banners were put up across Sonavan. They read: “No Holi for dark animals and birds. – By order of the Kings of Sonavan.”

On seeing the banners, the dark animals and birds felt humiliated and angry.

“How can they pass an order concerning us without even consulting us in the first place?” fumed Kalu crow.

“It is a common festival. Everyone has the right to celebrate,” said Bholu elephant. After much discussion, the dark animals and birds decided to organise their own Holi celebrations. They eagerly set out preparing for it.

On the day of Holi, Pihu, Simha and the other animals celebrated with great fervour. They smeared colours on each other, sang songs and danced.


Suddenly, the sound of their celebration was drowned by music coming from another part of the forest. They could also see big clouds of colour rising above the treetops.

“Who else is celebrating Holi in our forest? The music is even better than ours!” said Simha.

When Rinku rabbit saw through his binoculars, he was stunned.

They were the dark birds and animals! They were having a spectacular celebration. The bear, the dark horse, the rhino, the wilder beast and the chimpanzee were beating the drums, while the cuckoos sang and the crows danced. The music echoed through the forest.

“Well, who is it?” asked Pihu impatiently.

The dark birds and animals,” said Rinku.

Everyone was shocked.

“Not only have they defied our orders, but they are celebrating Holi grander than us!” thundered Simha.

“With their splashes of colour, they even look more colourful than us,” said Rinku, looking through the binoculars again.

Meanwhile, the group of dark animals and birds had reached them. Bholu stepped forward and sprayed everyone with colour water from his trunk.

“On behalf of the dark birds and animals, I wish you all a happy Holi!” he said.

“How dare you defy my order and celebrate Holi. You will all be punished for this!” roared Simha.

“Please do not mistake us, Sir. We would never defy your orders. You banned us from participating in your celebrations. So, we organised our own Holi celebrations and we would like to invite you all to join us,” Kalu explained politely.

Simha could not refute that point. “Well, they are right,” he thought.

“Holi is a festival celebrated to welcome spring. The colours are just part of the celebrations and not the purpose of the celebration itself. So, if you had a problem with the colours not showing on us, you could have discussed it with us, and we would have offered you a solution or we could have celebrated differently,” said Bholu.

The other animals were ashamed. Instead of looking for a solution, they banned the dark birds and animals from participating.

“Please forgive us,” said Pihu. “We were so blinded by our arrogance that we failed to see the real purpose of a festival—to bring us together.”


“Pihu is right. Henceforth, I declare that all festivals should be celebrated together. There will be no discrimination announced Simha, throwing colours on Kalu and Bholu.

Everyone cheered and joined in the celebrations!

“This is the real delight of playing Holi,” said Simha, looking at all the happy faces.


“Hi, Jumpy. Could you give me a kilo of gulab jamuns please?” Dina deer asked Jumpy monkey, who owned a sweet shop in Champakvan.

“Right away!” said Jumpy and turned around to get some. He was shocked to find the tray of gulab jamuns almost empty!

Earlier during the day, when Jumpy had packed some gulab jamuns for a customer, the tray was full. Jumpy was perplexed.

“This is strange. Where did the gulab jamuns go?” Jumpy thought to himself.

“What happened, Jumpy? Something seems to be bothering you,” said Dina.

“Yes, Dina. For the last two days, my gulab jamuns have been mysteriously disappearing,” said Jumpy.

“Am sure while you were away, a few naughty kids would have stolen it. There’s no mystery to it,” said Dina.

“No. For the last two days, I have not stepped out for even a minute. That’s why I am puzzled. I have a feeling that it’s the working of a ghost,” said Jumpy nervously.

Dina got scared at the mention of the word “ghost”. She ran away hastily.

Jumpy mentioned about a ghost stealing his gulab jamuns to other customers as well and the news spread like wildfire through the forest. Everyone became convinced that it was indeed a ghost that was stealing the gulab jamuns. Out of fear, they all stopped going to Jumpy’s shop.

Jumpy was sad. Not only was there a ghost visiting his shop, his business was also getting affected. He discussed the situation with his friend Meeku mouse.

After Jumpy narrated the entire incident, Meeku said, “Don’t be silly, Jumpy. There’s no ghost! You are just imagining things.”

This annoyed Jumpy. “If there’s no ghost, then are my gulab jamuns magically disappearing into thin air?” he fumed.


“Calm down, Jumpy. Getting angry won’t solve your problem. We need to look at all possibilities,” said Meeku. He thought for a while and said, “Tomorrow, I will come along with you to the shop and try to find out about the missing gulab jamuns.”

“Sorry, I got angry, Meeku. I am frustrated. Please help me solve this problem, or else I will have to shut my shop,” said Jumpy.

Next day, Meeku and Jumpy went to the shop. The two ended up sitting idly the entire day as only two customers turned up. Yet, by the end of the day, they found that the gulab jamuns had disappeared.

“That’s it! I’ve had enough. I can’t run a business with a ghost trying to ruin it. I am going to sell this shop,” said Jumpy.

“Don’t do that, Jumpy. It is not a ghost; ghosts don’t exist. Just give me a day’s time and I will solve your problem,” said Meeku.

Jumpy agreed. The next day, the two of them went to the shop again. But this time, instead of sitting by the counter, Meeku hid behind the shelf from where he could see the tray of gulab jamuns.

Around afternoon, when Jumpy was falling asleep at his counter, Meeku saw a trunk enter the window and grab a few gulab jamuns. Meeku smiled. He now knew who the “ghost” was.


Later, Meeku woke Jumpy up to tell him about the “ghost” and shared an idea with him.

Jumpy laughed and said, “This will teach him a lesson.”

The following afternoon, Jumpy dozed off at his counter as usual, while Meeku hid behind the shelf. Just as they had anticipated, the trunk came in through the window and grabbed the gulab jamuns. Within a few seconds…

Acchhooo! Acchhooo!

Jumpy and Meeku rushed outside. There, they saw Jumbo elephant sneezing violently. His face was red and his eyes were watering. “Thanks to the pepper you added in the gulab jamuns, your ghost has been caught red-handed,” said Meeku.


“You mean red-trunked?” joked Jumpy.

Hearing the loud sneezes, other animals gathered too. Meeku and Jumpy felt sorry for Jumbo. They gave him some water and sweets. After Jumbo recovered from the bout of sneezes, he grinned at his friends sheepishly.

“I am sorry. I was advised by the doctor to not have too many sweets. Since Jumpy knows about it, I knew he wouldn’t let me have any. And how much ever I try, I can’t keep off my favourite gulab jamuns from Jumpy’s shop—they are so delicious,” explained Jumbo

Everyone had a good laugh.


Run! Run!” screamed Dima, the deer, running past a group of animals.

“Why? What happened?” asked Hiro, the hippo, who was new to the forest.

“The elephants must be on the rampage again!” said Ginku, the giraffe, starting to run. “You better run too. You don’t want to be standing in the path of a big herd of elephants that is out to create mischief.”

Within seconds, the entire forest wore a deserted look—all the animals had either hidden themselves or run away.

The moles and rabbits went into their burrows, the monkeys and squirrels moved to the top-most braches of the trees and the other animals ran to the far edges of the forest.

King Sheru, the lion was among the first to run away!

In the jungle of Sonavan, every afternoon, the elephants ran to the river, unmindful of the havoc they created along the way.

At the river, too, they did not allow any other animal near while they bathed or played. If any animal dared to question them, they would toss them away with their trunk or splash water on them.

Though the animals were getting increasingly frustrated with the elephants’ behaviour, they kept away from them for fear of getting hurt.

One day, all the monkeys gathered to discuss the problem.

“These elephants need to be taught a lesson. They have ruined the forest,” said one of the monkeys.


“Yes. We are scared to even send our kids out to play,” said a mother monkey.

“We have tried talking to them and explaining to them politely, but they do not seem to listen. Even King Sheru is powerless against them,” said another.

Then, Manu, the leader of the monkeys, spoke up. “Talking won’t work anymore. We need to use our strength against these bullies. I have a plan,” he said.

All the monkeys listened intently.

“Tomorrow, before the elephants start for the river, let’s dig pits along the path and cover them with leaves. When the elephants run through the forest blindly, they will fall into the pits and be trapped,” said Manu.

“But how will small animals like ourselves dig pits large enough to trap a herd of elephants?” asked one of the monkeys.

“Our strength lies in our number. When all of us get together to do the job, it will become easier,” explained Manu.

Next day, the monkeys began digging the pits early in the morning. When the other animals found out what they were up to, they too joined in and helped dig the pits.

That afternoon, when the herd of elephants charged through the forest, the animals went to their usual hiding spots. They saw the elephants fall into the pits one after the other. After struggling for a while to get out, the elephants finally gave up.

Manu came down from the tree and said to them, “We will help you get out, but only if you promise not to trouble us anymore. You must not come back to this part of the forest again.”

“Please help us! We promise to stay on the other side of the river and not trouble you anymore,” the elephants assured him.

All the animals got together to pull the elephants out using a strong rope. As soon as the elephants got out, they ran to the other side of the river.


Everyone celebrated the victory. The monkeys were hailed for their idea. King Sheru, too, congratulated them.

“You have saved the forest from the rowdy elephants. We are proud of you,” said Sheru.

“It wasn’t just us; all of us united to beat the bullies. So, we all deserve to be congratulated,” said Manu.

Mountain Exercise

Fatty bear was very sad because he was fat. He loved eating food because of which his weight kept increasing, even though he tried to control his eating habits.

The gym trainer Sam told him to join the gym, but Fatty did not want to.

Fatty said, “They will make me do difficult exercises in the gym, and there is a restriction on the food. The gym is also expensive for me.”

Fatty thought for a while and came up with an idea. “There is a mountain in front of my house. There is fresh grass on it on which I love to roll. I will climb the mountain to roll on the grass and this will help me lose weight.”


But there was a problem. The mountain’s slope was steep that made it difficult to climb it.

Fatty called his friend Gaplu deer who said, “Try and climb the mountain from the other side. It is flatter and easier to climb from there and then you can roll on the grass as much as you like.”

Fatty waited for a sunny day and then walked to the back of the mountain. Before climbing it, he looked at his body and said, “Hello my body weight. The time has come to say bye-bye to you.”

Soon, he was climbing the mountain, and though it was less steep here, he was breathless. But he climbed to the top of the mountain and from the top he could see the fresh green grass and his beautiful house.

His body was shaking with excitement.

He lay down and started to roll on the grass. In his excitement he forgot the slope was steeper on this side of the mountain. As he rolled down, his body picked up speed and soon he was rolling down the mountain like cannon ball. He tried to stop himself with his legs and hands but could not.

Finally, he reached the bottom of the mountain near his home. Luckily, the grass all along had been soft and fresh, so Fatty was not injured badly but his whole body was sore and he was crying.

Hearing his groans, his parents came out and on seeing him covered in grass and mud, they were shocked.

Fatty’s parents asked, “What happened to you Fatty?”

Heaving and weeping Fatty said, “I came rolling down from the top of the mountain. Oh mom! My back is completely sore and is hurting badly.”

Fatty’s father asked him, “How did you climb the mountain? It is such a steep climb.”

Poor Fatty could not give any answer.


Sam was coming that way and overheard Fatty’s father. “I will tell you about this. Fatty had climbed the mountain to lose his weight, but unfortunately, because of the steep slope he got hurt. He was scared to go to the gym and wanted to save on money. But what he has done is more remarkable.”

Poor fatty was in pain and was sweating

His mother patted and his father soothed him.

Fatty said, “I am saying bye bye to this mountain exercise. I will come and join your gym or run in the park and eat healthy to lose weight.”

Soon Fatty became better and joined the gym. The other animals who exercised with him teased him and said, “You are most welcome to the gym but do tell us about your mountain experience. Did you enjoy rolling down the mountains?”

Everyone including him, laughed at his mountain exercise.


Boxy cat was very happy today. It was his birthday and everyone who met him, wished him as they passed by. Though naughty by nature, Boxy was an innocent and sincere cat. He would always lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

“Happy birthday, Boxy. You are looking quite handsome today, buddy!” said Mangu jackal as he wished Boxy.

“Hello Boxy, wish you a very happy birthday!” shouted Gappu elephant who was carrying a big bunch of bananas in his trunk.

Thank you Gappu. But why did you take so much trouble for me?” said Boxy.

“Wish you a very very happy birthday, brother Boxy,” said Golu bear as he entered.

“Hey Golu, how did you know that today is my birthday?” asked Boxy.

“Boxy, all the animals in the forest are aware about it. It’s the birthday of the most unlikely friends, Mini mouse and Boxy cat.”

Hearing that, there was big smile on Boxy’s face.

“Boxy!” he suddenly heard his mother calling his name and rushed home.

“Your father has been searching for you since a long time. He is planning a special dish for your birthday party,” she said.

“Mother, please tell me, what dish is father cooking for me?” asked Boxy.

“I, too, don’t know son, but he was sure that you will definitely like it.”

“Okay mother, then I will just go and meet my best friend. Today is her birthday too,” said Boxy.

“Who is your new best friend, son?” asked his mother.

“Not now mother. I will give you a surprise by introducing her to you in the evening,” answered Boxy as he raced towards Mini’s house.

Mini mouse lived with her parents, brother and sister on the banks of the river.

She was waiting for Boxy to come. Both of them let out squeals of excitement on seeing each other.


“Happy birthday to you!” “Happy birthday to you!” they both said to each other.

Mini hugged Boxy and said, “Come, mother and father are waiting for you since morning. Mother has made your favourite sweets.”

Happy birthday Boxy! Both of you are celebrating your birthday today. May you both remain together forever,” said Mini’s mother to both of them.

“Thank you aunty. You are so nice. You have made my favourite sweets too! Hey Mini, now let’s play outside,” said Boxy after eating and they rushed outside to play. They were so lost in playing that they did not realise that it was past afternoon now.

Boxy told Mini, “Hey buddy, I am getting late. My father must be waiting for me. He is making a special dish for me. You must come home in the evening. We will have a lot of fun.”

Saying so, Boxy ran in the direction of his house. Boxy thought he would be scolded for coming late but his father cuddled him lovingly.

“Father, what is the special dish that you have cooked for me? Please tell me. I have invited all my friends to come home today.”

“It is a surprise for you, Boxy. You will miss the fun if I tell you about it. Your mother also does not know about it. Go and play with your friends. I still have to make a lot of arrangements for your birthday party,” said his father.

Both his parents started discussing about the arrangements to be done for the party.

Boxy left them alone and went into the kitchen to drink milk. As he came out, he overheard his father talking.


“I am thinking of hunting down the plump and healthy mouse family living near the bank of the river for Boxy. I have heard that someone in their family too is celebrating their birthday today. I have even traced a secret way to enter their hole.”

Boxy was astonished to hear his father say so. His father was about to hunt down his best friend’s family!

Boxy thought about it for a while. He then asked his mother’s permission to go out and ran towards Mini’s house. He told everything to Mini and her parents. He told them to be careful and asked for their forgiveness.

“You are facing all these problems because of me. Alas! If only I could help you!” he said.

Mini’s mother hugged him and said he had done his best and should not worry.

Boxy was sad after coming home. He went and sat in a corner of the house.

Seeing him like this, father asked, “What’s the matter, Boxy? Why are you so sad? You were so excited a while ago.”

Boxy didn’t answer him.


When his father questioned him again, Boxy mustered courage and asked, “Father, how much do you love me?”

His father said, “I love you more than my life.”

“Father, today is my birthday. How would you feel if something happens to me today?” he asked.

Boxy’s mother stepped in at this moment and said, “You should not say such things. We won’t be able to bear it if something happened to you.”

Boxy said, “Then I want you to promise me something.”

Boxy’s father thought for a while and smiled and said, “Tell me, what do you want?”

Hearing his father say so, Boxy had tears rolling down his eyes.

Boxy said, “The family that lives near the river is my best friend, Mini mouse’s family. I don’t want a birthday gift in return for this promise. Mini is my best friend. I will feel lonely without her. Please father, don’t hurt her or her family.”

Boxy’s parents were happy to see this love of Boxy for his friend, Mini and her family.

Boxy’s father promised he will not ever harm them.


He said, “Now go. Run to your friend Mini’s house and tell her to come here along with her family and friends. We will celebrate both your birthday. Every person has the right to live happily and enjoy his freedom.”

Both of them celebrated their birthday together with a lot of noise and happiness.

Bholu’s Invention

There was once a beautiful forest called Haritvan. In Haritvan lived Tinku, the monkey. Tinku was a prankster and nobody really liked him. His favorite pastime was to climb up a mango or a jamun tree and pelt passersby with the seeds. He was also very adamant and would always throw a tantrum if he didn’t get what he wanted.

Also living in the same forest was Bholu. Bholu was a wellknown scientist and was also the smartest animal in the forest. But, Tinku didn’t really like him and always went out of his way to make fun of Bholu and his inventions. Bholu would be working up in the trees putting together his inventions with wires and pulleys, and all of a sudden Tinku would show up, pelting Bholu with sticks and undoing all his hard work. Bholu believed this was because he had complained to Tinku’s uncle about his behaviour.

One afternoon, Tinku ran out of his house because the food served for lunch was not to his liking. He set off in search of bananas when lo and behold, there was a whole bunch of them right in front of him in a clearing under a tree.

Thinking that somebody must have forgotten and left their bananas behind, Tinku ran up to them and bend down to pick them up.

But, as he stepped close to the bananas, he was swept off his feet and before Tinku could understand what was going on, he was hanging upside down from the tree above him and there was a rope tied to his leg.


Tinku tried hard to free himself, but he couldn’t. The rope was made of nylon and he couldn’t break it or cut it with his teeth. He realised that he had been trapped by hunters who put him in a cage and went away. From their discussions, Tinku gathered that they intended to take him out of the forest.

As the hunters prepared for their trip out of the forest, they were suddenly hit by fruits and vegetables.

The attacks seemed to be coming from the trees. Completely confused, the hunters decided it was best to run away. As the attacks continued, Tinku was glad he was in the cage, safe from the attacks.


Kiku, the sparrow happened to be passing by when she noticed Tinku stuck inside the cage.

The attacks had stopped by then. She flew up to him and calmed him down before flying off to find Tinku’s uncle Cheeku.

Cheeku ran to the spot where Tinku had been trapped and rescued him. Meanwhile, Kiku had arrived with few more animals from the forest. When Tinku told them about the mysterious attacks on the hunters, everybody was curious to find out who saved Tinku.

Kiku then told everyone that the attacks were from one among many machines that Bholu had installed across the forest. Using a network of wires and sensor, Bholu’s animal security system could detect whether there were any hunters coming into the forest.

Once the location of the hunters was fixed, the machines in the trees would fire fruits and vegetables at them to scare them away.

Tinku realised that the very machine he had made fun of, a long time ago, had saved his life.



He realised that making fun of others wasn’t a nice thing to do and neither was throwing fruits at others. Tinku vowed that he would be more responsible and not hurt others in any way.

A Tip For Not Getting Lost

The summer holidays had just begun. Eight-year-old Harish had invited his two friends, Rahul and Advit, to play games at his house. Suddenly, the doorbell rang and Harish’s neighbour Guddu walked in.

“Friends,” Guddu said, cheerfully. “The holidays have just begun and here you are, all cooped up in the house! Do you know that there’s a fair being held in our town?

I am going to visit it now. Are any of you interested in joining me?

“A fair?” Harish said, sounding very excited. “Where is it being held?”

“On the grounds of the Municipal Corporation,” Guddu said. “My father is already there with his friends. I’m going to join him now. Why don’t you come along?”

“Yes, we’ll come along!” all the boys said unanimously.

They all then left for the fair.

Since, Guddu knew the way to the fairground, Harish and Rahul held his hands and walked beside him. The three of them then chatted about cricket, movies, school and other things.

Advit, on the other hand, was a few steps behind. He was walking by himself quietly.

“Oh! I am so tired,” Rahul complained after they had walked for a while. “We have been walking for a long time now.”

“Don’t worry, Rahul,” Guddu said. “The fairground is just a short distance away.”

The boys then walked through a narrow lane and crossed a river. They walked a little further and finally reached the fairground. They then stopped to buy tickets from a counter and went in.

Guddu spotted his father soon after they entered the fairground. “I am going to join  my father and his friends,” he said, running away. “Please manage on your own now.”

Harish, Rahul and Advit walked around the fairground. They played some games and rode on a merry-go-around and a giant wheel. They also stopped to eat some snacks and buy some candy floss.

After a while, they spent all their money and decided to go home.

But the moment they left the fairground, Harish and Rahul panicked. There were two roads right outside the gate. Harish and Rahul scratched their heads and
wondered which one would lead them home.

“Shall we go back to the fair and ask Guddu which road to take?” Harish asked.

“We’ll have to buy tickets again,” Rahul said. “And we’ve finished our money.”

Advit was standing behind. He was watching his friends quietly.

“What will we do now?” Harish said anxiously.

Suddenly, Advit broke into a smile.


Harish and Rahul looked at him angrily. “Advit!” they said. “Why are you smiling? Is it funny that we don’t know our way back?Tell us, how will we go home now?”

“Hey! Relax! Don’t worry!” Advit said cheerfully. “I know the way back. Come
with me.”

Harish and Rahul were surprised to hear Advit talking so confidently. They wondered if he really knew the way. But they realised they had no choice but to follow him quietly.

Advit then pulled out a diary that he had in his pocket. He opened it and looked at a page. He then went up to a rickshaw driver and asked politely, “Can you tell us how to get to Ajanta Theatre?”

“Go straight and then turn to the left,” the rickshaw driver said, giving Advit the

Advit thanked the rickshaw driver and walked forward. Harish and Rahul followed him. And soon, they found that they had reached Ajanta Theatre.

“Here’s Ajanta Theatre,” Rahul said. “But why have you brought us here, Advit?”

Advit didn’t reply. He looked at his diary again and asked a hawker where Jawahar Hospital was. Advit then followed the hawker’s directions and led his friends to Jawahar Hospital. There, he asked a security guard the way to the river.

The boys then followed the security guard’s directions and walked to the river.

Harish and Rahul realised that it was the same river they had crossed when they were with Guddu.

“We know the way from here!” they said happily. They then asked Advit how
he had managed to bring them back so confidently.

Advit smiled and said, “When the two of you were chatting with Guddu, I carefully observed the route we were taking. I noted down all the landmarks in  my diary.”


“Landmarks? What are landmarks?” Rahul asked.

“I had written down the names of the big shops, the hospital and the theatre located on this route, so that we could find our way back with their help,” Advit said. “Such places are called ‘landmarks’. They help you find your way about. Remember to note them down the next time you’re in a place you’re not familiar with. It’s a useful tip for not getting lost.”

Harish and Rahul were amazed to see how wise Advit was. They promised to use his tip and pay attention to such details so that they wouldn’t lose their way again.



Minny Moth’s Search For Colours

One day, a butterfly came and perched on a lily in the garden where Minny, the Moth lived. The butterfly’s wings were purple, yellow and red, and as she fluttered them, they glowed in the sunlight.

The butterfly was so pretty that all the flowers in the garden nodded their heads eagerly and urged the butterfly to come and sit on their petals. After a while, the butterfly flew to a bright pink zinnia.

Minny was sitting on the stem of the zinnia plant, but she was so quiet that the butterfly didn’t notice her at first. But when Minny flapped her wings, the butterfly spotted her.

“Hello!” said the butterfly with a smile. “I’m Betty, the Butterfly! What’s your name?”

The moth said, “My name is Minny.”

Betty the butterfly asked Minny curiously, “Why are your body and wings such a dull brown? Have you lost your colours?”

Betty raised her wings proudly, and showed off her colourful wings. “

“I’ve never had any colours,” Minny said softly. “I’ve been this way ever since I came out of my cocoon.”

“I’m glad I don’t look as dull as you do,” Betty said, with pride. “I am so pretty that every flower in this garden wants me to sit on it! It must be awful to be as plain and unattractive as you are!”

Now, until this time, Minny had not thought about her appearance at all, and had been quite content with her life in the garden. But Betty’s scornful words kept ringing in her mind over and over again.

So she went to a little puddle in the corner of the garden, and looked into it to see herself clearly.

When Minny saw her reflection in the water, she was shocked.

“What Betty said is true,” she thought. “I look very dull and plain because I have no colours on my body or wings. I must do something to make myself prettier!”

Minny began to think hard, and after sometime, she got a good idea. She would ask some of the colourful flowers in the garden if they would share some of their lovely colours with her!

Minny immediately flew to an exquisite red rose, and asked the rose, “Can you share some of the bright red that you have on your petals with me?”


The rose nodded her pretty head. “I am willing to give you one of my fragrant red petals,” she replied graciously. “But what will you do with it?”

“I will drape it over my wings,” said Minny proudly, “so that it looks like a fine velvet cloak! I’m tired of being a plain, mousy brown. I want to be bright and colourful like Betty butterfly. She will be so envious when she sees my red cloak!”

The rose shook her head. “Your cloak will not last for very long,” she said. “My petals wilt, and their colour fades very quickly, you know.”

Minny bent her little head in disappointment when she heard this, and sat under the rose bush.

The red rose was moved by Minny’s sorrow.

“Why don’t you ask the sunbird to give your one of his yellow feathers when he flies into our garden?” she suggested. “Feathers don’t fade like petals, and will make a fine cloak too”

“What a good idea,” Minny said brightening up at once. “I’m going to fly around the garden, and see if I can find the sunbird.”

So Minny began to fly around the garden. She soon spotted Betty sitting on a tree stump, looking very beautiful, with her delicate wings spread out.

Betty was busy sunning herself, and was not paying any attention to what was going on around her.

But Minny noticed that a fat garden frog was hiding in the grass near the tree stump and looking greedily at Betty as he smacked his lips! “Look out, Betty!” Minny cried out loudly.

Betty leapt up with a start, and flew into the air just as the frog leapt towards her.


But the frog was just a bit too late! Betty had been saved by Minny’s warning.

“Thank you for warning me about the frog,” Betty said to Minny in a trembling voice. “I’m so lucky that you were nearby to warn me.”

“I was there because I was searching for some colours to drape on my body,”
Minny said thoughtfully. “But now, I’ve decided that I’m not going to continue the search any more.

The frog spotted you so easily in the garden because of your bright colours, but he’s never spotted me because I merge so well into the background. I’m glad I’m
alive, and I think I’m better off and happier just the way I am!”

Animals, bird, and insects often use their colouring to merge into their background, so that enemies will not notice them. This is called camouflage.


Only the Brave Win

Mandy Monkey was known to be very cunning. All the animals of Champakvan would be reluctant to even talk to him. One day Meesha Cat and Blacky Bear were heading for school when Mandy suddenly came in front of them.

Both panicked wondering what would happen next.

Meanwhile, Mandy craftily took out tiffins from inside their bags and quickly climbed a tree.

Before Meesha and Blacky could react, Mandy made an excuse, “You both are
carrying such heavy bags. I felt like helping you. Please proceed to the school and I will come there with your tiffins.”

Meesha and Blacky believed him and went to school, but Mandy didn’t reach there.

Instead he ate their tiffins all alone.

Mandy would bother the animals in some way or the other and pretended to be
brave. Everybody was irked by him. Champakvan’s king decided that he would
teach Mandy a lesson.

The exam date was approaching. Everyone was busy studying, whereas Mandy
was plotting on how to come first without studying.

He thought of scaring everybody in the name of exams so that if they didn’t prepare well, they wouldn’t secure good marks.

He said to Cory Rabbit who was studying English “Study English later. If you study such a difficult subject before, you will forget it soon.”

Cory believed Mandy and left aside English and began studying math.

As soon as Mandy saw Cory studying math, he again brought forth his cunningness and said, “How can you study math now? This is a subject which you can’t understand even on the day of the exam.

How can you understand it only a few days before the exam? You should study math only two days before the exam.” Cory closed his math book too.

In this way Mandy confused and scared everybody.

Now they didn’t know how to prepare for the exam.

One day, Mandy saw Sara Sparrow studying. He went close to her and said, “Study as much as you want, but you can’t beat me. Studying is not so easy.


Only smart animals like me can come first.” With these words, he moved on,
leaving Sara perplexed.

With his cunningness he had distracted everyone from their studies. He was now acting high and mighty and believed himself to be the most intelligent animal of the forest. He had even started bullying and scaring the smaller animals.

Days passed. One day, when Champakvan’s King Sher Singh, was not around, an elephant from another jungle came there.

He said, “I will uproot all the trees of Champakvan with my trunk.”


Everybody panicked at his threat.

Mandy was the most frightened of all the animals at the prospect of losing his home.

He quickly went to his home and gathered all his belongings. He tried to hide away from the fearsome elephant.

Meanwhile, Bonnie Ant went to the elephant and reasoned with him, “Think before you do something drastic. If you uproot the trees here in Champakvan, somebody can do it in your jungle as well.”

Bonnie said further, “We all should stay friends. If your jungle requires any help in future, then Champakvan will definitely come forward to help you.” The elephant simmered down and gave a smile.

He said to Bonnie, “Don’t worry, I will not harm your forest. I was here on the request of Sher Singh. I did all this only to scare Mandy Monkey.” He also commended Bonnie for her quick thinking and bravery to stand up for her forest mates.

Mandy realised then that confusing and scaring people was not bravery. Distracting them from their studies was not an intelligent thing either.

Real bravery came by behaving in a fearless and responsible manner and intelligence came from studying. He vowed to change his ways.

The entire forest cheered him. Mandy felt truly happy.


Pussy, the cat was feeling glum. She sat under the shade of a tree, looking forlorn. The reason for her sadness was that, over the years she had put on quite a bit of weight and was having trouble catching little mice and birds. Every time she would chase them, she would feel tired almost immediately and stop to catch her breath. By then, the mice and birds would be long gone.

Seeing her friend feeling sad, Lucy the cat walked up to her and asked her what the matter was.

“Oh, I was just thinking what it would be like to get your meals served to you without putting in any effort,” said Pussy. “It’s just that I’ve had so much trouble finding food lately that I haven’t had a single bite to eat in two days.”

“Oh Pussy, don’t be silly,” said Lucy. “Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You will always have to work hard to get the things you want. Stop wasting your time on these stupid thoughts and come with me. I’ll treat you to the yummy milk and cream I have at home.”

The two went to Lucy’s house and were enjoying some milk and cream when an old friend of Pussy’s walked up to them. It was Scruffy, the fox. He had changed quite a bit and had lost a lot of weight too.


“How are you, Pussy? You seem to be living well, your fat tummy proves it so,” said Scruffy.

“I’ve been alright, Scruffy. But tell me, where have you been all this while? You look different and in a good way,” sad Pussy.

“Well, I’ve given up my ways of cheating and living extravagantly and have moved to the himalayas. I spend the entire day meditating,” said Scruffy.

“The Himalayas? Isn’t is far away from civilization? What do you do for food there?” asked Pussy.

“To tell you the truth, food is the least of my concerns. The power of meditation is such that I can have the dish of my choice any time I want. In fact, anything I wish for can be had and all I need to do is meditate,” said Scruffy.

Pussy was in awe of how easy life was as a hermit. She thought of how difficult it was for her to catch mice every day, and how much she missed it. “Will you take me with you and teach me how to meditate? Life here has become too hard and I don’t like it one bit. Please take me as your student, I’ll go with you to the Himalayas and you can teach me your ways,” said Pussy.


“Oh Pussy, you don’t need to come to the Himalayas for this. I could teach you the incantation right now,” said Scruffy. “But…” began Scruffy and trailed off.

“What’s the matter, Scruffy? Please, go on,” said Pussy, earnestly.

“Well, the problem is that I can not teach the incantation to someone without accepting a teacher’s fee. You’re like my sister and I’m just thinking what I should do,” said Scruffy.

“Oh,” said Pussy and began to think. “All I have is this bowl of milk and cream,” she said. That was also all the food she had, and it wasn’t much.

“The teacher’s fee is a sign of respect and love, so the quantity does not matter. This will do just fine,” said Scruffy and whispered the incantation in Pussy’s ear.

“All you need to do is chant this incantation from sunset till sunrise the next day and the power will be unleashed. All you will need to do then is close your eyes and wish for your heart’s desire. When you open your eyes, it will be right in front of you,” said Scruffy and went on his way with the bowl of milk and cream.


The same evening, Pussy started chanting just when the sun set, chanted throughout the night, and only stopped when the sun’s rays touched the ground the next morning. She was ecstatic. She ran to Lucy’s house and said, “You treated me to milk and cream yesterday and today, I’ll be treating you to the same.”

Pussy closed her eyes tight and wished for two bowls of milk and cream. She opened her eyes expecting to see the bowls in front of her, but there were no such bowls anywhere.

Pussy tried again and once again, there were no bowls of milk and cream.

Pussy tried once more before giving up. “Scruffy said this would work,” said Pussy, feeling let down.

“What did he tell you?” asked Lucy.

“He asked me to chant an incantation and said that if I wished for something it would appear in front of me,” said Pussy.

Lucy laughed and said, “It seems like Scruffy’s been up to one of his tricks. How could you believe him?” she asked, laughing. “Nothing ever comes from nothing. For everything you need to do work, or in Scruffy’s case, dupe someone out of their hard work and trick them into giving it away.”

Pussy realised that Scruffy had cheated her out of her bowl of milk and cream and felt silly for believing him.


“Come on,” said Lucy. “Let’s go to the jungle and catch some mice.”

Pussy agreed and off they went. Pussy had learnt that the only secret to fulfilling your heart’s desires is hard work.

The Plants Started Smiling

Kiku was a notorious child and each time he entered the garden all the flowers- marigold, jasmine, gulmohar and rose felt scared and angry. They whispered to each other, “The naughty boy is here. He will pluck us and pull off our tender leaves.”

The marigold plant on the side said, “Jasmine dear, he tramples my tiny plants under his feet. It hurts me so much.”

And soon what the flower plants were saying came to be true as Kiku started plucking and breaking all the flowers one by one.

Just then his sister came into the garden and saw him plucking the flowers and shouted at him, “Kiku, you are again breaking the flowers and the plants. How many times I have said that you are not to pluck and break the flowers! What do you get by breaking them?”

Unaffected by his sister’s words he laughed loudly.

“Wait, I will teach you a lesson,” she said and ran after him. Kiku started running in the garden while his sister tried to catch him.

Suddenly, he bumped into a flowerpot and fell down with a big thud and hurt his hand against the stone fence. At the sight of his bleeding wound, Kiku got scared and started to cry in pain. On hearing the noise his mother came out of the house and looked at Kiku’s wound.

“Look, mummy, Kiku plucked all the flowers again,” his sister complained to their mother and told her everything.

“Go inside quickly and bring some cotton and antiseptic cream,” mother told the sister.

“See, Kiku, how much it pains when you get hurt! And you hurt these flowers and plants everyday. They too feel the pain as you do,” Kiku’s mother tried to explain him.

Kiku was confused by what his mother was saying about plants. He said “Mummy, how can plants feel pain? They are lifeless like my toys.”

“No son, they too have life in them like us,” said his mother.

“If they have life like us, why do they keep standing in one place? Why don’t they walk and run like us?” Kiku asked his mother.

“Kiku, they are fixed to the soil with their roots. They get their nourishment from the soil. You have seen that if we do not water the plants, they dry up and die. The green leaves become yellow or grey,” his mother explained.

“Do the plants also eat food? Who cooks food for them?” Kiku asked innocently.

His mother smiled. She replied, “The plants make their own food with the help of sun rays. They get their energy from the sun. And with the help of this energy their roots take the nourishing matter from the soil and send it to the stems. From the stems the nourishing materials go to the branches and then to the leaves, which are the food factory of the plant.”

Kiku still could not understand. So, his mother said, “Okay, tell me one thing. When you pluck flowers, then don’t new flowers grow again on the plants in a few days? This is because they have life in them. You must have seen small plants growing and becoming big. Do your toys ever grow?”


Kiku realized what his mother was trying to make him understand. “I had not thought about this, he said.

Meanwhile his sister brought the medicine and cotton. Kiku’s mother cleaned the wound with water and cotton and put ointment on it.

Kiku apologized to his sister and said, “Now I have realized my mistake. I will not pluck flowers or break their leaves or trample on plants. I did not realize they were living things and get hurt.”

Hearing this not only his mother and sister became happy, with them all the plants too started smiling in relief.