Beauty lies within

Daisy was kind-hearted and friendly. She lived in harmony with all the animals and birds. Everybody used to praise her beauty and her pleasant nature. On the other hand, Suzy was an arrogant bird. She was proud of the way she looked.

Daisy often used to tell Suzy that physical beauty was nature’s gift. It wouldn’t stay the same forever. She also said that living in harmony was more important than being beautiful, but all this had no effect on Suzy. Instead, she used to make fun of Daisy.

Suzy said, “You are a fool to live with these animals and birds. Look at me; I live alone on that tree. I am its queen.”

Daisy kept quiet after hearing Suzy’s words, but felt sad for her.

One day, a hunter came to the jungle. He saw Daisy. He had never seen such a beautiful bird in his life. He thought, “It’s a stunning bird, I will take it along with me. I will get lots of money if I sell it.”

He hid behind a tree and waited for a chance to throw his trap on the bird. However, he couldn’t hide from Chintu, the bear’s eyes. He saw the hunter prepare to trap Daisy. He immediately started shouting ‘help, help’. On hearing the alarm, all animals and birds gathered together. They beat the hunter until he ran away. Daisy thanked everyone for saving her life.


After a few days, another hunter visited the jungle. He spotted Suzy. He was surprised to see such a colourful bird with golden wings. He wanted to catch it by all means. He thought, “If I can take it home with me, my children will be very happy.”

After trying hard for quite a while he finally succeeded. Suzy was trapped

Suzy made a lot of noise by chirping helplessly, but nobody heard her voice. She used to live alone and had no friends to look out for her.

As the hunter was walking past the Champa tree, Daisy heard Suzy’s cries for help. She thought, “This is Suzy’s voice. She seems to be in danger.

She called out to all the animals and birds loudly. They collectively released Suzy from the hunter’s clutches.

Suzy finally learnt the benefits of living together. She apologised and thanked all the animals and bird and promised to live together with them.



Deep in the deserts of South Africa was a little oasis garden. Filled with many wild trees and plants, it was full of life and was also home to a cactus plant and a rose bush.

One day, a swift wind brought with it a butterfly. It was new here and introduced itself to the rose bush. “Hi, my name is Nancy. I’m new here and was blown here by a strong wind. Would you mind if I lived here in your garden?” she asked. “Of course,” said the rose bush, welcoming Nancy. Soon, Nancy became a part of the garden and got along well with all the trees and plants. Among all of them, she was best friends with the rose bush.

She’d flit over to her, flapping her big, colourful wings and sip the nectar from the rose bush’s flowers. They’d talk for hours about this and that and their bond grew stronger still.

One day, the cactus turned to the butterfly and said, “Nancy, would you like to be my friend too?”

“What? Me become your friend? No way,” said Nancy, making a face.

“Why not?” asked the cactus, innocently.

“You’re full of thorns. That’s why,” said the butterfly.


“The rose bush has thorns too. How come you’re friends with her?” asked the cactus.

“You dare compare yourself to the rose bush?” asked Nancy, threateningly. “Even though she has thorns, the rose bush also has beautiful roses, full of nectar. You on the other hand have no good qualities.”

“That’s right, you have no good qualities. You’re all thorns,” added the rose bush and the two started giggling

The cactus felt terrible and didn’t bother them again.

Several days passed and the seasons began to change. The garden was getting warmer and as the days passed by, the weather grew hotter and hotter. The plants began to wilt and the leaves began to turn brown and shed. The once green garden became a bland, bed of brown.

Soon, the entire garden had wilted and all that was left was the cactus and rose bush.

Things weren’t as beautiful as before and the rose bush was looking sickly too.

“What’s the matter?” Nancy asked the rose bush. “You haven’t borne any new flowers in days now.”

“It’s the heat. Without any water, I just don’t have the energy to make more flowers. All I have are the ones that are already in bloom,” said the rose bush.

“Oh no, what am I going to do if you’re not going to be bearing any new flowers?” asked Nancy.

“Nancy, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to stay here anymore. The summer has only started and things are going to get much worse. I suggest that you move to a cooler, greener jungle for a few months and return when it rains again,” suggested the rose bush.

While Nancy was keen on moving to greener forests, she was too afraid to make the trip. She was worried that she might not be able to make it that far. As she stayed on for a couple of more days, the dry winds wilted the last few flowers the rose bush had.

Now Nancy was left with no more food. She grew weary and sat on the branches of the rose bush. The expression on her face was enough for the cactus to tell that something was wrong.


“What’s the matter Nancy? Is everything alright?” the cactus asked.

“No,” said Nancy. “I want to fly away to a greener place, but I’m so tired and thirsty that I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it. I can barely fly across the garden.”

“Don’t worry Nancy. I’ll help you,” said the cactus and called his friend, Raaka, the vulture.

Raaka swooped down and asked the cactus what the matter was.

“Oh, nothing much, just helping a friend. Could you use your beak to carve a hole on one of my arms?” asked the cactus.

Raaka did so and out of the cut oozed drops of water.

“Now you can drink to your heart’s content,” said the cactus to Nancy.

Nancy took a sip of the sweet, cool water and felt much better.



“How are you so full of water when all the other trees and plants have dried up in the heat?” asked Nancy.

“That’s because nature has given cacti the ability to store water in their stems. We soak up all the water we can find when it rains and use it during the hot summer months. Cacti may not seem like much on the outside, but we have a lot going for us on the inside,” said the cactus.

“I’m sorry for saying mean things to you,” said Nancy. “I was under the impression that the only special beings on this planet are the ones who have beautiful wings or bear beautiful flowers. I never realised that there could be so much more. Please forgive me.”


The cactus accepted Nancy’s apology and said, “Don’t worry about flying away to another forest for now. Stay here and drink to your heart’s content. I’ll keep you safe here until the next summer.”

Nancy and the cactus spent the summer and the rest of their lives as best friends.


Unique Picnic

Mony and Tony had come with their friends Antu and Jojo for a picnic near a lake.

Antu and Jojo found an old motorboat and took it out to the lake, while Mony and Tony stayed at the lakeside to cook.

Chickey and Mickey were two young crocodiles who lived in the lake. They were fascinated to see the old motorboat speeding in the lake after so long. They decided to race with the motorboat much to Antu and Jojo’s delight.

Antu was quite a mischievous fellow. He began to increase and decrease the speed of the motorboat, just to tease Chickey and Mickey.

“You will tire yourselves,” Jojo teased. “You will not be able to compete with our speeding motorboat.”

“I know,” Chickey said. “But listen to me now. You don’t know much about this lake. It has many hidden reefs. We’ve had a lot of fun racing but I suggest you slow down now. If you continue speeding, there are chances that you might run into a reef and have a mishap.”

“Thanks for the advice,” Antu said with a laugh. “But we both are experts when it comes to riding motorboats. Don’t worry! Nothing will happen to us!”

Chickey and Mickey realised that the foxes were overconfident and wouldn’t pay any attention to their warning. They stopped following the motorboat.

“Very well then,” they then told Antu and Jojo. “We are going to swim home now. But please take care of yourselves. The weather seems to be deteriorating too. We hope that you’ll reach the lakeside safely.”

Mony and Tony had decided to cook some almond pudding at the lakeside.

They were singing songs and chopping almonds and whipping cream when Julu Elephant saw them.

The warm and sweet aroma of the pudding and the fun Mony and Tony seemed to be having, compelled Julu Elephant to march towards them.

“Hello!” Julu Elephant said in a friendly voice. “I couldn’t stop myself from coming here! You seem to be having so much fun! And I see that you’re making something that looks delicious too. May I join your picnic? I’d like to be your friend.”

To Julu Elephant’s surprise, Mony grew very angry.

“No!” Mony shouted rudely. “We have come here with our friends. I am sorry but you’re not welcome to join us or be our friend. Please go away.”

“Well ok,” Julu Elephant said, looking disappointed. “But at least let me taste some of your pudding. It smells scrumptious!”

“You will not get a morsel of our pudding, you greedy fellow,” Tony said angrily. “Go away from here! Don’t spoil our fun.”

“Okay,” Julu Elephant said, sadly. “I’m leaving. I’m sorry to have bothered you.”

Just then the sound of screaming pierced the quiet of the lakeside.

“That sounds like Antu and Jojo,” Mony said, looking quite alarmed.

“They seem to be calling for help from the motorboat!” Tony said as the screaming continued.

Chickey and Mickey suddenly leaped out from the lake and ran towards Mony and Tony. They both looked very worried.

“Hi! Do you have a long rope?” Mickey asked in a worried voice.

“Er… no, I don’t,” Mony replied. “But what do you need one for? Is everything ok?”

“Well, the motorboat has hit a reef,” Chickey said, looking quite shaken. “The engine has stopped working.”

“Oh no!” Tony cried with fear. “What will happen to our friends now?

They don’t know how to swim! They will surely drown if the motorboat sinks!”

“Well, we are trying to help them,” Mickey said. “But we will need a long rope to pull the motorboat out of the lake.”

“Don’t worry,” Julu Elephant piped in. “I have a long rope. It’s quite thick and strong too. I’ll get it right now.”

“Thank goodness!” Mickey said, sounding relieved. “You’re a big help!”

And so, Julu Elephant hurried home and returned with the rope in no time.

Julu Elephant then joined Chickey and Mickey in the rescue operation. He held one end of the rope with his trunk and gave the other end to Chickey and Mickey.

“Tie the motorboat to the rope tightly. Call out to me when you finish. I will pull it towards the lakeside with my trunk,” Julu Elephant said politely.

Chickey and Mickey dived into the water and swam towards the motorboat as fast as they could. Antu and Jojo were relieved to see them. The motorboat was beginning to sink and they were quivering with fear.

Chickey and Mickey called out to Julu Elephant once they had tied the motorboat to the rope. Julu Elephant then used all his might and pulled the motorboat towards the lakeside.

As soon as Antu and Jojo reached the lakeside, they jumped out of the motorboat and ran towards their friends.

“Chickey and Mickey had warned us about the reefs but we didn’t pay any attention to their warning,” they both admitted, feeling ashamed of their carelessness. “We are sorry, Chickey and Mickey,” they said, apologising to the two young crocodiles.

Mony and Tony turned towards Julu Elephant. They looked quite ashamed of what they had done too.

“Well, we made a mistake too. We were rude to Julu Elephant when he asked to be our friend. Please forgive us, Julu Elephant.”

Julu Elephant smiled. And so did Chickey and Mickey.

“Don’t worry!” they said cheerfully. “We were happy to help!”

After that, everyone sat down together and had a bowlful of the almond pudding that was quite delicious. They then played games and sang songs and enjoyed their unique picnic.