The Competition

Vivek thoroughly enjoyed Children’s Day Celebrations at school, every year. He had fun playing with his friends and chatting with them all day long.

Since the school always organised cultural programmes on this day, the whole
school buzzed with activities that started early morning.

But this year, the schools were shut in the wake of coronavirus and the children were stuck at home.

Vivek was upset as he would miss all the fun that he would have on Children’s Day.

“What is it, why are you upset?” asked Grandma.

“It is nothing, Grandma,” replied Vivek.

“Tell mem Vivek. I may be able to help you in some way,” suggested Grandma.

“Grandma, I was thinking about the celebrations in school for Children’s Day and how much fun we had every year. This year, it is so quiet and the schools are shut. Where is the fun in celebrating Children’s Day like this?” said Vivek sadly.

“Is that why you are upset? I think I may have a solution to your problem,” said Grandma.

“What is it, Grandma, tell me fast,” Vivek pleaded impatiently.

“My friend runs an institute called Child Development Institute and this year, they are organising an online Elocution Competition on the occasion of Children’s Day. The winner of this competition and all the participants will be awarded by the organisation. The speech has to be based on the life of Chacha Nehru,” explained Grandma.

As soon as Vivek heard about the Elocution Competition, he started sweating and became very nervous.

“What happened to you? Don’t you wish to participate? It is an excellent opportunity and you can showcase your talent to a huge audience,” Grandma encouraged Vivek.

“Grandma, it’s just that…,” Vivek wanted to say something but he couldn’t.

“Tell me what is it?” Grandma asked again.

“Grandma, I am scared of speaking in public. Whenever I try to speak in front of an audience, I start sweating, my hands and legs start shaking and my voice trembles,” Vivek explained his fear.

“Is that so? Don’t be scared. I will teach you how to speak in public,” Grandma offered.

“Are you sure, Grandma? You think I can learn to talk in front of an audience?” Vivek asked with excitement.

“Yes, why not! All you need to do is have confidence in yourself. Also, you will need to improve your knowledge of the subject you are going to talk about. Then, you have to practice speaking in front of a mirror and you need to look yourself in the eye and speak. If you do this, you will do really well,” Grandma explained.

This made Vivek very happy and he hugged Grandma.

He wrote his speech on the given topic with Grandma’s help. He then took the paper to his room and started practising in front of the mirror.

In the beginning, he found it difficult, but soon he realised that he could speak fluently without fear.

He continued to practice speaking in front of the mirror and soon he had no fear of speaking.

Grandma’s encouragement had helped him to raise his confidence.

On Children’s Day, Grandma video recorded Vivek’s speech for the competition.

Vivek spoke with great confidence. He narrated various interesting incidents related to Chacha Nehru’s life, “Chacha Nehru was fond of red roses and the children called him Chacha affectionately. He loved children a lot and it is on Jawaharlal Nehru’s Birthday that Children’s Day is celebrated. Chacha Nehru appreciated children who were brave, strong and full of confidence.”

After his speech, Grandma congratulated him saying, “Your speech was exceptional. You were scared for no reason at all. Look how you have overcome your fear of taking in front of an audience. I am sure you will win this competition.”

Then Grandma sent Vivek’s recording as a competition entry.

The same evening, she received a call from the institute and they informed her that Vivek had won the competition and that he had stood first.

When Grandma told Vivek about it he was extremely happy. He gave his Grandma the credit for his win and thanked her.

“I am sure this Children’s Day will be memorable for you always,” said Grandma.

“Yes, I will always remember this day. I was worried for no reason.”

“We should always look for opportunities and make efforts to learn new things. Hard work always brings success. Chacha Nehru always encouraged children to work hard,” said Grandma.

Vivek started honing his skills to give more public speeches and to make himself a better orator.

Gautam’s Children’s Day

Gautam had a peculiar habit of never listening to any topic fully. One day, Mummy asked him to buy potato chips from the market. However, due to his habit, he did not hear her properly and bought potatoes instead of potato chips.

That day Mummy was fasting. In the evening, when she opened the shopping bag to take out the chips to break her fast, she was surprised to find potatoes instead.
“I had asked you to bring potato chips, not potatoes. How many times have I told you to listen carefully to what is being said?” Mummy scolded Gautam.

The market was closed now and it was impossible to get the potato chips.

In his class too, Gautam did the same. Whenever the teacher questioned him, he would start replying even before the teacher completed the question. The answer would be wrong and he would often get scolded.

The school decided to celebrate Children’s Day this year. The students were preparing diligently as the best performers would get an award.

“Gautam, have you started preparing for the Children’s Day?” his friend Tanmay asked.

“I have been preparing for it for many days, my friend. I am sure this year’s first prize would be bagged by me,” replied Gautam, confidently.

As the Children’s Day drew near, the children grew more excited.

“What happened, Gautam? You look very troubled,” asked Dr Sinha when he saw Gautam in his clinic. Gautam visited him for regular check-ups.

“Doctor, I am really very troubled. My whole head is itching. I do not know what has happened to me?” said Gautam as he sat on the stool in front of the Doctor.

“A terrible stench is coming from your body. Your hair also has grown too long. Don’t you go for your regular haircut?” Dr Sinha asked while examining him.

“I have not had a haircut in a long time, because I want to win the first prize in the Children’s Day celebrations this year. I am sure I will be declared the winner because of my long hair.”

Dr Sinha laughed heartily when he heard Gautam’s reason for not getting a haircut.

“What is the connection between Children’s Day and the hair on your head?” he asked.

“Children’s Day is a day dedicated to children. On this day activities are organised and it is not a competition of the longest hair.”

“It seems I did not hear the announcement properly about the Children’s Day celebration. And in the effort of growing my hair long, I have an itchy head.” Gautam was ashamed of himself.

Dr Sinha prescribed a few medicines and said, “First go and get a haircut. Then have a good bath and apply these medicines on your scalp.”

Gautam did as he was advised and soon his itchiness vanished. Since he didn’t want to tell Mummy about his stupidity, he spent all his pocket money on the medicines.

Children’s Day was now only two days away. All children were ready and prepared with poetry recitation, storytelling and more.

“What are you going to do for the Children’s Day, Gautam? Or are you going to just sit around?” Mummy asked.

He thought of lying to her but then he decided to tell her everything about how he had planned to grow his hair long and expected to win the first prize and how he had not prepared for anything else.

“I do not know what I can do? I have not prepared anything and don’t know anything,” he added.

Mummy thought for a while and then said, “You are a very good dancer. You can put up a dance performance and maybe you will enjoy your time and show off your talent. It is not necessary to win, but you will have fun.”

This encouraged Gautam. He knew he couldn’t do any last-minute practice so he decided to do whatever comes to mind as he was good at dancing.

He hurriedly dressed and rushed to school.

“Where were you, Gautam? We were all waiting for you,” his friends said as they were waiting at the registration table.

Since Gautam had registered his entry last, his turn to perform came at the very end. But he was motivated.

Finally, his name was announced and he gave a very thrilling dance performance.

The whole hall gave him loud applause and he was awarded the first prize. He was overjoyed.

He decided that henceforth he will pay attention to announcements or instructions and not jump to conclusions so that he does not make a fool of himself again

Jojo’s Confusion

One day in Champakvan, a little monkey was found all by himself. No one in the forest knew whose child he was. Jumbo elephant asked the monkey his name and the little monkey sobbed and said his name was Jojo, and he was lost. 

Jojo had come to Champakvan from another forest. Torti tortoise, who was the eldest member of the forest, asked, “Son, what is the name of your forest?”

But Jojo didn’t know the name. He said that his mother’s name was Timmy and his father’s name was Romi. However, the names of his parents were not enough to search for them. 

Everyone in Champakvan welcomed him in and asked the police to find out about Jojo’s parents from the neighbouring forests. And Jojo started living in Champakvan.

Animals of Champakvan were kind and shared food with Jojo. Children of Champakvan played with Jojo, but Jojo wasn’t happy living there and playing with other kids and eating food with them. He missed his parents and forest and wanted to go back as soon as possible.

The other monkeys who lived in the forest had gone on vacations to visit their cousins and relatives living in other forests. Jojo did not even have their company. The other animals tried their best to take care of him.

One day, Jojo decided from that day, he would search and find his own food.  Since it was summer, watermelons were ripe and growing everywhere. Jojo found a spot where there were many watermelons growing on creepers. He had heard that watermelon was a juicy fruit that fulfilled both hunger and thirst. 

From the creeper, Jojo picked up a watermelon and bit on its hard peel. The moment he bit it, Jojo felt a bitter taste inside his mouth.

Damru donkey who was standing near explained, “Son, this is not the correct way to eat a watermelon.”

“Please don’t try to explain to me. But since you have already interrupted my meal, tell me what you wish to tell me,” said Jojo rudely.

Being older, Damru overlooked Jojo’s behaviour and explained, “For us to relish the taste of this fruit, we need to remove its peel and eat the pulp inside it.”

“Oh, so this is how it should be eaten!” said Jojo. “I have understood how to eat a fruit,” He left from there and jumped to another creeper; a creeper of muskmelons. 

“Now I shall enjoy these!” said Jojo with his mouth watering. 

He picked up a muskmelon from the creeper and as he had learned from Damru, he popped the melon, split open its peel and started eating the pulp inside it. But the next moment, he spat the pulp from his mouth. The pulp was a tasteless, stringy substance with lots of seeds. This time too, he couldn’t enjoy the fruit.

With a frown on his face, Jojo muttered to himself. Camu camel was walking by and seeing Jojo spitting the fruit, Camu understood his confusion. He said, “Son, you need to eat the hull of the fruit, not its pulp.” 

Jojo now thought that Damru had not explained the right way to eat a fruit. So, he decided to follow Camu’s advice.

Jumping all over the place, Jojo climbed a walnut tree. Excitedly, he plucked a walnut from the tree and popped open its shell. But the moment he ate the inside of the shell, he felt a bitter taste and his teeth ached.

He ran towards the river to rinse his mouth with water. Standing nearby, Bullo buffalo was drinking water from the river. She asked, “What happened Jojo? Why are you gulping water?”

“Aunt Bullo, I followed the advice of Camu and tried to eat the shell of a walnut. After eating it, I’m feeling uneasy and my teeth are aching.” 

“Oh ho, Jojo! We need to eat the inner portion of a fruit and not its outer part,” she said. Jojo nodded. “Okay, I shall follow this now.”

This time, he hopped onto a pear tree. As adviced by Bullo, Jojo ate the inner portion of the pear fruit. But it was full of seeds and this time too, his mouth felt nothing, but a bitter taste. 

Walking always with his belly aching with hunger and head full of anger, he felt like crying. Roaming hungry under the bright sun all day long had left him exhausted.

Jojo could not understand what had gone wrong and started crying loudly. Hearing him cry, many animals of Champakvan gathered around him.

Jacky giraffe patted him tenderly and asked, “What happened, Jojo? Why are you crying?” Jojo narrated the entire incident in tears. Listening to his story, the animals couldn’t resist laughing.

“Jojo, not all things come with one exact formula. Every fruit has to be eaten in a unique way. However, don’t you worry! You can stay with us for some days and learn about these things For now, eat
these sweet bananas.”

Then, Cheeku peeled two bananas and gave them to Jojo. With his stomach growling from hunger, Jojo quickly ate the bananas. But even now, he couldn’t understand what went wrong and what was one exact formula. But for now, he just wanted to eat bananas! 

Mintu & Banyan Tree!

After a whole night of heavy showers, the rain stopped. Most trees in Anandvan forest had fallen down. Due to landslides at many places, the roads were blocked. 

Mintu monkey reached his favourite spot – the banyan tree, but was shocked to see it. Due to the previous night’s rain, the tree had been uprooted. The huge trunk blocked the road and its branches were scattered everywhere. 

Mintu sat quietly near the fallen tree. He remembered all the beautiful moments he had spent on the tree with his mother.  He had been born there and had spent his childhood playing with other animals on the branches of the tree. When he became older, he left the banyan tree to stay with his friends. But he came to the tree often to meet his mother. Even after his mother died, he would still come to the tree regularly.

After some time, Pinku parrot passed that way. Seeing Mintu sitting there with his shoulders drooping, Pinku asked, “What happened, Mintu? Why do you look so sad?”

“Pinku, I’m sad looking at this uprooted tree,” replied Minku. 

“The rain has destroyed many trees of the forest. This is not the only one. Come with me, I will show you around. Don’t feel so sad,” Pinku consoled.

“No, thank you Pinku. I am better here,” replied Mintu. 

“Tell me the truth, Mintu. What happened? Were you very attached to this tree?” asked Pinku. 

“Yes Pinku, I spent the best days of my childhood sitting here, on this tree. The memory of my mother also revolves around this tree,” Mintu sobbed and said.

 “That is why you are feeling so sad about this tree,” said Pinku. 

“You are right. The government has cut down so many trees to make the road. But, what is the point of the road if there are no trees?”

“You may not need the road, but there are others who do, Mintu. For the development of the forest, this was necessary,” said Pinku, now getting angry at Mintu. 

“It doesn’t mean that for development, the whole forest should be destroyed,” retorted Mintu. 

“For development, cutting trees is necessary.  We don’t know how many more sacrifices we still have to make to become modern,” said Pinku, sticking to his point of view. 

“Pinku, not only that this tree is destroyed. So many animals, birds and insects living on the tree also are homeless. Where will they go now?” asked Mintu.

“Yes, that’s true,” said Pinku. “But this is what you and I think. The government does not think about all this.”

“We must make them understand. Do you know now?” asked Mintu. 

“Come, let us ask what the other animals of the forest who have suffered because of the rains, say on this,” said Pinku.

Soon, they gathered many animals who had suffered losses because of the heavy rains destroying the trees and their homes in the forest.  

“By building the roads in the forest, many animals have suffered loss of their homes and loss of forest property. We should put our problems before the government. If we carry on like this, we don’t know how much more loss we will have to suffer,” said Mintu.

“Mintu is right!” they said together and decided to go and meet the Minister in charge of roads and development.

Seeing so many animals together the Minister asked, “What happened?  Is everything alright?”

“Sir, because of yesterday’s rains, many of our birds and animals have become homeless. Big trees have been uprooted. We have never seen such large-scale destruction,” said Pinku. 

“But why have you come to me?” asked the Minister. “Sir, because of the construction of roads in the forest, so much destruction of property has taken place,” they said together. 

“Then, you tell me, what should I do? For the development of the forest, we have to suffer some amount of loss,” he said. 

“You’re right, sir. But we request that at the time of building roads, a few points should be kept in mind. Road construction should not kill the roots of trees. The forest’s old banyan tree has fallen down. Many birds and small animals had their homes on it. All of them have become homeless. Many creatures had spent their childhood on or around this tree. Their memories revolved around it. And all this is now over!” they explained. 

“You are right. We should have kept these things in mind. The road should have been planned in a way, so that least destruction of trees and forest happens.

Whatever loss has happened, can’t be undone. But I promise you, In future, we will keep in mind that you do not suffer anymore,” replied the Minister. 

“But what will happen to the old banyan tree?  It is still lying there on the ground,” said Pinku. 

“I have a solution for this. If you wish, I can help you preserve its memories,” said the Minister.

“How?” they asked. “We will cut off the big branches and place the trunk with the roots in a big hole in the ground. Soon, new sprouts will come from it,” said the minister. 

“Is that possible?” they asked. “We have to try. And I also promise, next time, we will be careful in our construction,” he promised. 

Mintu and all the animals too decided to help in the development of the forest and ensure that the forest was not destroyed.

Monu’s Selfie Trouble

One day Monu monkey found a mobile phone in the forest. Monu was excited to find the phone and jumped across to give the news to his friends. But first, he thought of taking a selfie or his own picture with his new mobile.

He switched on the camera, scrunched up his nose and face and took a selfie. He then showed the selfie to his friends and offered to take a selfie with them too.

All his friends praised his picture. Monu was filled with joy to hear this. He thought that he had found a priceless gift. Now, all his friends would do his work, as he would offer to take their pictures.

Now, Monu did dangerous things like walking on one hand and swinging from a tree while taking selfies. The more his friends praised his pictures, the more Monu wandered around the forest to find new spots to take selfies. He had become addicted to his friends praising him and his pictures.

But Monu’s mother knew that Monu was wasting a lot of his time in taking pictures and was not finishing his studies or helping her with housework.

One day when Monu returned from the forest, mother said, “Monu, you’re just busy going to dangerous places in the forest to take selfies. I am really worried about this. You need to pay attention to your studies. If something untoward takes place, what will happen? You need to think about what you’re doing.”

“Ma, you worry unnecessarily. I am not a kid anymore. I can easily differentiate between right and wrong. You be assured, I can take care of myself,” replied Monu and turned a deaf ear to what ma had said.

Monu became crazy for taking selfies in dangerous places and the praises his friends showered on him, added fuel to this fire. 

He had become so bold that he would not think twice to take a selfie near a lion, even. It was common for him to climb on the backs of elephants or giraffes and take selfies.

He was so addicted to taking selfies that he thought himself to be the selfie professional of the whole forest. 

Not only did he take selfies better than any other animal, he demanded appreciation from friends all the time. Most of his friends were now fed up with his habit.

One day Monu thought of taking a selfie from the branch of the tallest tree of the forest. One could view the beauty of the whole forest from there. 

He climbed the top most branch of that tree to take a unique selfie. He held the mobile in one of his forelegs, the branch with the other and posed for a selfie, hanging in the air. He was having fun clicking selfies in various poses. But the branch couldn’t bear his weight.

It broke from the tree with a loud crack. Monu fell hitting the branches of the tree, on the ground with a thud and lost his senses with a loud cry.

On hearing his cry, some animals near the tree came running there. Seeing him lying unconscious, they took him to Dr. Gajju elephant immediately. 

Dr. Gajju examined him and said that he was seriously injured and had fractured his legs. Monu needed to rest for two months.

Monu’s mother, too reached Dr. Gajju’s clinic. She was crying because Monu was hurt and unconscious.

Monu became conscious and realized that his mother was crying. He cried in pain and said, “Ma, please forgive me. I will listen to you and promise not to take selfies all the time. I will not touch the mobile again.”

Monu’s mother hugged him and said, “My child, the mobile has nothing to do with this. You had started to misuse the mobile by putting your life in danger, by taking selfies in dangerous places. That’s why you met with an accident. You escaped with minor wounds and your life is out of danger; this is a great lesson for you.”

Monu learnt a lesson from his mother and decided to leave the addiction of taking selfies. But all his friends gathered there and took one last selfie with Monu lying on the bed, with plaster on his leg, to remind him to be careful!

Vehicles Of Gods

The spread of literacy in Vijayvan had not been good for Pandit Bholaram monkey’s business.

He was no longer called upon to read palms to predict the future, nor to perform rituals for good health, success in studies or before entering a new home. The animals of Vijayvan knew these practices were only so that Panditji could make money and did not guarantee the things they promised. 

He shared this with his friend Bunty monkey who came to meet him.

“Business has been dull, my friend. A week has passed since I have had any customer,” said Bholaram sadly.

“Yes! Everyone has become wiser since the opening of the new library,” agreed Bunty.

“Please sit, Bunty. Let me get some tea for you,” said Pandit Bholaram.

Bunty monkey sat, looked around the room and found a book. He started reading it. The book was called ‘Gods and their Favourite Rides’. The book depicted the favourite vehicles of Gods with colourful images. He flips through the entire book by the time Bholaram comes back with tea. He suddenly thought of something.

“There is another forest, a little far from here, called Devvan. The residents of Devvan are uneducated and very superstitious. Your business can thrive there,” said Bunty, taking tea from Bholaram.

Bholaram looked curiously at Bunty.

“An idea has come to my mind after reading this book!” said Bunty and narrated his plan to Bholaram, who also got excited after hearing it.

“Now, since I came up with the idea, I should be a 50% partner in your earnings. You take half and give the other half of what you earn to me,” said Bunty and Bholaram agreed. 

The duo then left for Devvan. They took a house on rent there and hung a board that said: ‘Pandit Bholaram’s Obstacle Removal Centre’.

The word soon spread that a renowned ‘Pandit’ had come to Devvan and was relieving animals of their pains and problems. A huge crowd started to gather at the centre.

Motu owl heard this and came to visit Pandit Bholaram. Touching Bholaram’s feet, Motu said, “These days my earnings are not sufficient. Please suggest a way to increase them.”

“What are you saying, Motu? Such a thing is not possible! You are the carrier of Goddess Lakshmi herself! How can you suffer? This cannot happen to you!” Pandit Bholaram exclaimed before Motu could finish his sentence.

“Who is Goddess Lakshmi?” Motu enquired.

“You don’t know about Goddess Lakshmi? She is the Goddess of wealth who grants money to all. She rides on your back whenever she has to go somewhere,” explained Bholaram.

This was all very confusing for Motu. Pandit Bholaram, then, looked at his partner Bunty monkey for support. Bunty took out the book and turned some pages. He showed an image to Motu and said, “Look, this is you and this is Goddess Lakshmi riding on you for her visit to a poor man to shower her blessings.”

“Oh yes! That is me for sure! I never knew this,” said Motu, surprised.

“Worship Goddess Lakshmi and you will have so much money, you will never have to worry again,” Bunty added.

This made Motu owl extremely happy. He gave Pandit Bholaram fees for this knowledge and left from there.

Bholaram said, “Why has Lord Ganesha’s vehicle take the pain of coming here? I would have visited your house if only you had asked me.”

Bholaram’s words did not mean anything to Chuchu and he started talking about his problem, “I am having a difficult time these days. My wife and kids do not listen to me,” he said.

“This is definitely the dark ages. Lord Ganesha’s ride is having a difficult time! It is definitely not a good time,” Bholaram dramatised.

“I do not understand what you are saying about Lord Ganesha and me being his ride. Please tell me when my luck will change,” asked Chuchu impatiently.

Bunty monkey showed Chuchu a picture from his book and explained, “Look, Lord Ganesha is riding on your back, on his task to remove problems for those who worship him.”

Chuchu was surprised to see that he was carrying Lord Ganesha on his back. This made him realize how great he was!

“Keep Lord Ganesha happy by worshipping him and soon everything will be back to normal,” suggested Bunty.

Chuchu gave money to Pandit Bholaram and left from there.

“Namaste, Pandit ji!” greeted Kalu crow, who visited Bholaram next. “I never get a successful result in any work I do. It seems as if there is an adverse influence of Lord Saturn on me.”

“Lord Saturn can never affect you adversely! You are his ride! He can never let this happen to you!” Bholaram faked surprise.

Like always, Bunty took out his book and showed Kalu an image of Kalu carrying Lord Saturn. 

“Look it is you who is carrying Lord Saturn! The Lord does not have wings to fly and he would be helpless without you. You should go and pray to him and you will be taken care of,” said Bunty.

They suggested Ballu ox to pray to Lord Shiva, Meenu peacock to pray to Kartikey’s, Hansraj swan to pray Goddess Saraswati’s and Golu eagle to pray to Lord Vishnu, as these gods rode on them and advised them to worship their respective Gods and said, “Your luck is going to change very soon. After all, these Gods have to help their rides.”

Now, Chuchu mouse, Motu owl, Kalu crow, Ballu ox, Golu Eagle to Meenu peacock, and others started worshipping their respective Gods. They believed that they would soon become wealthy if they succeeded in pleasing their Gods. 

After several days of praying when none of them got the desired results they went back to Bholaram and complained, “Pandit ji, we have been worshipping our Gods day and night but we have not been rewarded.”

The gathering of a huge crowd made Bholaram nervous. But the clever Bunty immediately came up with an idea and said, “Don’t worry, my friends!  If you haven’t succeeded in the simple method of prayer, then, we will switch to a different and more complicated method. About five kilometres from here, there is a river. On its banks is a tree. You should go there and start a hunger strike. Your strike will make the Gods helpless and their work will come to a standstill. They will not be able to travel from one place to another,” claimed Bunty. 

All the animals followed Bunty’s advice and went to the river bank and sat under the huge banyan tree in a hunger strike. Two days passed but no God or Goddesses came to their rescue.

Rocky rabbit of Vijayvan was visiting Devvan. He was riding on Grandpa elephant’s back. Grandpa elephant was tired as he had been walking continuously and wanted to rest, so they stopped near the banyan tree.

“Rocky, let us rest here for some time and have our food too,” said Grandpa elephant.

Rocky got down from Grandpa elephant’s back. Looking at the crowd gathered there Grandpa elephant said, “What is this? It seems like the whole of Devvan is gathered here!”

“Can’t you see, we are all on a hunger strike? We will not eat or drink anything until God appears to help us,” Kalu crow replied.

“I am Lord Ganesha’s vehicle. Let me see how Lord Ganesha moves out of his house without me,” Chuchu said proudly.

“I carry Goddess Lakshmi around. The Goddess flaunts herself when she sits on me. Let me see how she manages without me,” Motu owl added.

Grandpa elephant and Rocky rabbit understood that animals had been fooled. He noticed that the animals had become very weak from hunger. They were not able to speak properly. Grandpa elephant picked the food kept on his back with his trunk and brought it down. The sweets and the fruits made the animals hungrier. He invited them to eat the food.

“No, we are on a hunger strike,” they said together.

“But you all are the vehicles of the Gods and you are on a hunger strike! How will they come to you if they do not have their rides with them?” asked Rocky.

The animals looked at each other and said, “That makes sense! If we are not with them, how will they come to us?”

But Ballu was suspicious and said, “I think this is a way to disrupt our strike.”

Rocky knew the animals would not survive if they were not fed immediately. He thought hard and came up with an idea. 

He pointed towards Grandpa elephant and said, “He is Eravat-Lord Indra’s vehicle. Your prayers have made Lord Indra happy and he has sent this food with him. But if you all do not wish to eat, we will inform King Indra that.”

Before Rocky could complete his sentence, the animals jumped at the food and polished it off. They felt stronger after eating the food.

“We were not aware that we are vehicles of various Gods till Pandit Bholaram and Bunty monkey told us that we are important as we are the vehicles of Gods,” said Motu owl. On hearing Bholaram and Bunty’s names, both Grandpa Elephant and Rocky rabbit were surprised.

“Chuchu, please help me pick up this empty box of sweets and throw it,” said Grandpa Elephant after a little thought.

Chuchu mouse came and tried to pick up the box but he couldn’t move it.

“Try harder! You claim to carry Lord Ganesha across the universe on your back, so this should not be difficult for you,” said Grandpa elephant.

Chuchu mouse was embarrassed.

Rocky then asked Motu owl, “Can you throw this box outside?”

“Where is the box?” asked Motu looking around but he could not see the box. 

“It’s day time. I cannot see anything when there is sunlight. Let the sun set and it become dark…” he said, trailing his sentence.

“What if Goddess Lakshmi has to go somewhere during the day?” asked Rocky. Motu had no answer.

“Pandit Bholaram has fooled you! You are not the vehicles of Gods and no one will help you succeed if you give money to such pandits. Success can only be achieved with hard work,” explained Grandpa elephant.

Meanwhile in the jungle, Pandit Bholaram and Bunty were busy packing their stuff and getting ready to run away.

Grandpa elephant took all the animals to Pandit Bholaram and Bunty’s house where they saw the duo dividing the money they had earned amongst themselves.

On seeing Grandpa elephant, Bholaram and Bunty understood that they had been caught and returned the money they had charged from the animals.

Grandpa elephant and Rocky rabbit then left for Vijayvan. On his way back Grandpa elephant thought, “We need to open a school and library here, so that the residents of Devvan cannot be fooled easily and keep books that will help them think for themselves.”

New Bicycle

Atul’s old bicycle was too small for him. He had problems riding it, as his legs were too long for the bicycle and would ache. He had been asking for a new bicycle from his father, who was not getting time to buy one.

Atul played badminton on weekends and all his friends came to the court on their cycles. But he had to walk. He, too, wanted to cycle to class like his friends.

At last, his wait ended when his father gifted him a new bicycle on his birthday.

“This Saturday, I too will go for badminton class on my new bicycle,” he said excitedly.

“Not so soon, son. This new bicycle is a bit big for you. Your legs don’t reach the pedal properly. Practice for a few days and then ride it,” father explained.

“But didn’t I ride my old bicycle well? My class is just 2 kilometers away and there is no traffic on that road. I want to go on my new cycle,” Atul insisted.

“You are right, son. But the road to your class is steep. Unless you have full control on the cycle, you may fall. So, practice for a few days near the house and then cycle to class,” father advised.

Atul didn’t say anything but he didn’t like what his father said. ‘I am 10 now but they always think of me as a child,’ he thought to himself.

On Sunday, Atul’s father’s friend came to visit them. Father was talking to him and mother was preparing tea and snacks. Seeing everyone busy, Atul took a chance and took his new bicycle and left for the badminton class.

While placing his racquet and water bottle on the bicycle, he dreamt of being a famous player.

After riding for a short distance, Atul lost his balance, as his legs couldn’t reach the pedals properly and went into a hedge. He and the bicycle, both, fell down. Atul got a minor scratch on his leg. But he still wanted to ride his bicycle to class. He picked up the bicycle. Its handle had got bent, but he didn’t go back and rode to class.

Atul hummed as he rode. The road became steep and he put all his energy and pedaled the bicycle uphill. 

When the road sloped down, instead of applying brakes, Atul got scared. The bicycle raced fast down the road. Another man was coming on his bicycle from the opposite direction. Atul wanted to stop the bicycle but couldn’t because of the slope and collided with the man coming from the opposite direction.

Both the riders fell down with their cycles. Atul’s bicycle fell on top of his leg. His leg hurt. His racquet and water bottle lay on the road. The man with whom Atul collided was bringing milk, bread and eggs from the market. The eggs broke and the milk spread on the road. 

Standing up, the man said, “If I go home without these things, I will get a scolding. I don’t have money to buy them again,” he cried.

Now a crowd gathered around them. Someone asked Atul’s parents’ phone number and called them who came there quickly.

Seeing the whole situation, Atul’s father understood what had happened. Atul was scared to face his parents’.

Atul’s father gave money to the man to buy the things again.

Atul’s racquet and the new bicycle both were bent. His leg had swollen by the time they reached home and his parents had to take him to the doctor.

The doctor said that Atul had sprained his muscles and gave him medicines and asked him to put hot and cold water bags on his legs.

Atul could neither play badminton nor go out to play for 3 weeks. He apologized to his parents and promised to understand when to try new things.

Anti-Child Labour Day

Myra was sitting deep in thought that afternoon when her elder sister, Mandira, who was studying law came into their room. Seeing her sister sitting quietly, Mandira asked, “What’s the matter, Myra? What are you thinking about?”

“In school today, we were given a topic, ‘Anti-child labour Day’. We have to collect and share information about this day. We also have to paste some pictures. Didi, you are studying law. Do you know about ‘Anti-child labour Day’?” asked Myra.

“Yes, sure! But let’s eat our food first, and then we’ll talk,” replied Mandira. 

After lunch, Myra cleaned up and went with her sister to sit on the lawn in front of their house. Her sister pulled up two chairs at the table. Mandira had carried fruits and milk as an afternoon snack for them. 

“The International Labour Organization-is an international body formed to study and talk about labour. It started the ‘Anti-child labour Day’ in the year 2002. Many people take work from small children under 14 years. This is called ‘child labour’. Children are kept as servants in homes. Some children are employed in shops, hotels and garages. Children clean and wash cars. Some children are employed in hazardous jobs like mining; though this has become much less these days. In the olden days this was more common,” said Mandira.

“But why do people take work from small children?” asked Myra. “There may be some compulsions for these children, like they may be poor and may require money. Also, people pay less to small children and hence, don’t mind employing them,” replied her sister.

“But didi, then how do these children go to school? And what about their life, like play and games. What about those activities?” asked Myra.

“This is the objective of ‘Anti-Child Labour Day’, so that we recognize rights of children. Every child has the right to go to school, to play and enjoy life. We cannot deny them these rights by employing them for work. Childhood has a great impact on a person’s personality. The people who employ them often do not treat them well. For their small mistakes, they shout at them. Very often, they beat them. That is why Anti-child labour day is celebrated,” explained Mandira.

“Didi, after hearing you, I just remembered one thing. Near our school there is a hotel. I have seen a small boy working there,” remembered Myra.

“Really? Tomorrow I will come to pick you after school. Then we will go to the hotel and meet the boy. In the meantime, you can use the information I shared with you and prepare your report. I will help you download pictures from the internet or take them from magazines,” said her sister.

Next afternoon after school, Mandira and Myra went to the hotel. They saw the boy cleaning tables and serving food to the customers.

Mandira asked the hotel owner, “Who is that boy?” The hotel owner replied, “He is Ram, my elder brother’s son. My brother who lived in the village passed away last year. His mother also lives in the village. His education cost had increased and she was unable to meet the expenses. So I brought him here. He goes to school in the morning and helps me with my work in the afternoons. In the morning my wife stays here to help me. But she has the house to look after. So, Ram helps me take good care of the hotel.”

Mandira said, “You brought Ram to study here. That is very good. But along with the studies you are taking work from him and this is wrong. Do you pay him? Does his mother know all this? It is a crime to take work from him. From tomorrow you must stop asking him to work for you.”

Then the hotel owner said, “How does this matter to you? He is my own nephew. His mother will not say anything.”

“You are snatching his childhood from him. He needs rest after coming from school. Besides, he needs to complete his homework and studies. And for him play and games are also necessary. His childhood will not come back,” insisted Mandira.

The hotel owner then said, “Alright, didi. From tomorrow I will not take work from him.” They saw a smile on Ram’s face.

While going away Myra told her sister, “At least, Ram benefited from my project.” “Yes!” said Mandira and they returned home happily.

Humans In A Cage

There was silence all around. Streets were deserted and parks, abandoned. No one could be seen on the roads. It seemed like all humans were holed up inside their houses.

The black smoke from the skies had disappeared and the air was less polluted. Rivers, too, were cleaner than before.

The animals of Champakvan couldn’t understand what was going on. They were called for a meeting by Blacky bear in the morning on the banks of Crysty River.

After greeting everyone, Blacky asked, “Where are the humans? What has caused this sudden change? Why do all the cities look deserted? What has caused the noise and air pollution to reduce?”

Blacky Bear asked many questions and looked at the other animals for answers.

“I have heard that a disease has taken over the cities, villages and towns. It is forcing the humans to stay in their houses,” said Jumpy monkey who had returned from the city last week.

“What kind of a disease? How can a disease cause the cities to shut down?” asked Jumbo elephant.

“I do not have much information. It is just something that I heard from somewhere,” replied Jumpy.

“Our water is cleaner too. It seems like nobody is working at the factories as the water is not as dirty as it used to be,” said Wooky alligator, popping his head out of the water.

“It surely means that something really serious has happened, otherwise humans don’t change so easily,” Elvy python added.

“Yes, Rocky rooster also told me that humans don’t come out of their houses even after the morning rooster call,” said Cheeku rabbit. 

After listening to all of them, Blacky took some time to think and then said, “We should try and find out what is happening. I hope this silence is not a warning for some kind of danger approaching our forest. Let’s find out if this is a conspiracy against us. We should send someone from our forest to the city.” 

“Meeku mouse can go. He is fast and small and can enter any house,” said Dumpy pig. 

“Yes, I agree. Meeku will be good for this job,” added Dodo Peacock. 

“Can you do it, Meeku?” asked Blacky. “Sure, I can. It will be my pleasure to be able to do something for our forest,” replied Meeku and left for the city immediately. 

On reaching the city in the afternoon, he noticed that many shops were shut and very few people were on the roads wearing masks. He went inside one of the houses and saw a family watching television. 

A news programme was announcing the rising number of cases and listing the precautions people should take. Meeku left from there and entered another house. 

Here, the television was on but no one was watching. He heard the news host saying, “Coronavirus is spreading fast. Those who have symptoms like runny nose, cough or fever should report immediately. An infected person needs to maintain distance from others. People should stay at home and only step out to buy essentials.” 

Meeku went into yet another house where he saw a little kid drawing and talking to his grandfather. 

“Grandpa, how do you like my drawing?” 

“Wow! Karan, this is lovely. You have shown how all the animals are roaming freely and humans are sitting at home,” said grandpa. 

“It’s true, grandpa. Now, humans are locked in cages while the animals are merrily roaming outside. They are free and not afraid of any virus. When will this coronavirus leave us, grandpa?” asked Karan.

“My dear Karan, until we find a vaccine that can save our lives, we have to follow certain rules of maintaining social distance, washing our hands regularly and eating healthy food. We cannot stop the virus but we can stop it from spreading and hope that this pandemic gets over soon,” explained grandpa.

“Why is it called a pandemic, grandpa?” asked Karan.

“Because it is a disease that has spread to all the countries in the world,” replied grandpa.

Meeku understood the situation. He left the house and ran towards the forest. Another meeting was called in the forest where Meeku explained the whole situation to everybody in detail.

He told them, “Champakvan is not under any threat. It is the humans who are facing a threat from a disease called coronavirus. Let us hope they learn something from this situation.”

This eased the unknown fear that the animals of the forest felt. They hoped that the helplessness the humans faced goes away for good.

Modern India

We live in a modern, progressive and independent India. But who was the first Indian who laid the foundation to this modern nation where people are allowed to talk freely? Undoubtedly, it was Raja Ram Mohan Roy.

Ram Mohan was born on May 22, 1772, in the Hooghly district of Bengal. His father, Ramakant Roy, was a wealthy landlord and his mother, Tarini Devi, was a religious woman.

When Ram Mohan was born, the condition of the country was miserable. People in India practised several evil acts like the purdah system where women had to cover themselves from head to toe or be hidden behind high walls and curtains outdoors and even inside their homes; Sati—a practice where widows had to jump in the funeral pyre of their dead husbands; child marriage, an act where children below the age of 18 were married; and female infanticide where newborn female babies were killed. These social evils were practised throughout the country.

Many people in the country were not educated and believed in superstitions, which made the society unsafe, especially for women who had to do what they were told. There was no hope of improvement.

But just when all hope was lost, Ram Mohan came forward and took the responsibility to reform the society. But his path was not easy. He faced constant resistance everywhere, be it at home or outside.

He, too, was a victim of child marriage. He was first married when he was 9 years old. His first wife passed away at a very young age and soon his second marriage was held at the age of 10. He had two sons—Radhaprasad and Ramaprasad. His third marriage was with Uma Devi in the late 1820s.

At the age of just 14, he wanted to become a monk. But his mother opposed his decision and he let go of his ambition.

Soon, he travelled to Patna to study Arabic and Persian languages.

In Kashi (now known as Varanasi), he learned Sanskrit from the pundits and also studied the Vedas and the Upanishads— ancient Sanskrit literature that taught him to believe in the truth and accept nothing but the truth. The Vedas taught him that idol worship is unnecessary as God doesn’t have a body and is pure and cannot be created by man.

These lessons had a great impact on Ram Mohan and he began to question idol worship and several religious rituals.

This led to a life-changing incident in his life. His father was a devoted idol worshipper while Ram Mohan wasn’t. One day, a debate broke out between him and his father about idol worship.

Ram Mohan said, “Father, why do you worship idols? You should only believe in god. The idols are created by man and worshipping them is meaningless!”

His father was deeply offended and said, “Where did you learn such nonsense? Idol worship is a means to reach God.”

“Father, why not worship him directly? What’s the need for a medium for that?” asked Ram Mohan.

The argument enraged his father and Ram Mohan left his house.

In 1803, when his father passed away, he began opposing idol worship and rituals openly.

He supported monotheism as described in the Vedas. Monotheism means all gods are one and only have different names.

He deeply believed in it and wrote a book in Persian called Tuhfat-ul-Muwahidin or The Gift of Monotheism.

In 1805, he met John Digby, a British officer who taught him English. This helped him understand the lifestyle and practices of people in English-speaking countries.

From 1809 to 1814, Ram Mohan lived in Rangpur city (now in Bangladesh). While earning for his family, he met people of all religions. He understood that to fight social evils, he would not get any support from society. So, he kept increasing his knowledge and experiences.

In 1814, Ram Mohan moved to Kolkata. In 1815, he founded the Atmiya Sabha—an organisation that invited people to share their ideas.

In 1817, he founded the Hindu College in Kolkata to promote modern education and English language. He wanted the number of literate people to increase as only then would they question the society and its evil practices. He believed that educated people will think rationally.

Ram Mohan’s work against the practices of the society was not welcomed by many and he had to face several challenges but he never lost courage and kept fighting and spreading awareness.

To reach the masses with his teachings, in 1821, he launched a Bengali newspaper Samvad Kaumudi and a Persian newspaper Mirat-ul-Akhbar in 1822.

In these newspapers, he wrote about the evils prevailing in the society like Sati, child marriage, purdah system and many others. His writings encouraged people to think about reforming the society.

People were forced to think:

“Why do we get children married when they are supposed to play at that age?”

“Why do we burn women alive on the funeral pyre?”

“What is the need for keeping women behind the purdah and separating them in society?”

“Why can’t we let widows have a new life of dignity by getting them remarried?”

The exact answers to such questions could be found in the writings of Ram Mohan. This marked the beginning of a reformed society.

In 1828, he founded the Brahmo Samaj and continued to fight for various social reforms through this organisation.

He achieved success in some parts of the country.

But Ram Mohan’s biggest success was the abolition of Sati. The practice of burning the wife alive on the husband’s funeral pyre was carried out for hundreds of years. It was a terrible practice where the woman was forcibly burned.

Ram Mohan took the battle of Sati from India to England. Due to his efforts, the British government banned Sati on December 4, 1829.

In 1831, the Mughal Emperor Akbar II gave the title of ‘Raja’ to Ram Mohan Roy.

He died on September 27, 1833, in Bristol, England. In his honour, the British government named a pedestrian path in Bristol as ‘Raja Ram Mohan Walk’.

Rabindranath Tagore, a famous poet, described him as the Father and Maker of Modern India.

Rose Becomes Humble

Hurrah! I’m on top of the sky,” the red kite said flying high.

“Hey, don’t go higher. There is a chance of strong wind. You may tear apart or break your thread,” advised the black kite.

“You are just jealous of me because I am higher. Accept that I am the queen of kites. I declare myself the Rose Queen,” said the red kite.

The black kite did not like this boasting.

The black kite tried again to make Rose understand, “Don’t be silly. I only want you to be safe.”

Pando’s Kindness

“You are talking too much. Wait, I will teach you a lesson,” said Rose as she suddenly swirled in the air and came near the black kite. She started circling the black kite and said, “Fun starts now.”

Rose crossed the Black kite’s thread. The black kite was shocked by Rose’s attack. She did not get a chance to escape. Her thread broke and she fell on the ground.

“Wanted to teach me a lesson, did she?” said Rose, making a face. “I am the queen of the sky. I don’t have to listen to anyone.”

After seeing this, the other kites kept their distance from Rose.

“I want nothing to do with these small kites,” said Rose to herself, looking up at the sky.

Aarav was flying Rose. He was still learning to fly kites but Rose was smart. The moment Aarav gave her a free hand, Rose would go up in the sky and that’s how she was flying on the top.

Rose thought to herself, “The scene below me is so beautiful.”

Flying in the sky, she was unaware of the trouble approaching her.

“Hey look, those clouds are coming towards us. There may be a storm coming,” said the other kites to each other. Kite flyers started getting down their kites.

Aarav also saw the darkening sky and started to pull on Rose’s thread but Rose wanted to be in the sky longer.

While Aarav was trying to pull her down she was using her full strength to fly in the sky. Aarav got tired and stopped pulling the thread.

Suddenly the wind pitched up. Rose was unable to control herself. She started fluttering like a leaf in the wind.

When Rose turned her back, she was stunned to see the entire sky covered with dark clouds.

“Hey Aarav, what are you looking at? Get me down fast,” shouted Rose but Aarav was not looking at her.

Suddenly, a storm hit. Now Rose was blowing away with the wind. She was scared of falling down in faraway place. It started to rain.

“What should I do now?” thought Rose. The rain made her paper heavy and she started falling down quickly.clever-rose-kite

In the midst of this, Rose got stuck on a tree’s branch and there was a tear in her. Rose’s arrogance had washed away. By the time she reached the ground, she was hurt.

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Luckily, a boy saw Rose soaking in the rain and took her home with him.

“I will mend this kite and fly it,” he said to himself as he applied tape on the torn places to mend her.

“Thank you,” Rose said slowly.

“I may have been pretty earlier, but now I have become humble,” Rose said to herself. “I will never be arrogant again.”


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.


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.”

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“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.

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.


One morning, Honey Elephant woke up craving for some soft and sweet bananas. Though he liked all kinds of fruits, bananas topped his list. He walked out of his house, wondering where he would find a big bunch of bananas to satiate his enormous appetite. Honey walked towards a park. He saw a group of monkeys sitting inside. They were eating some ripe yellow bananas. Honey immediately stopped and looked at the bananas and licked his lips.

One of the monkeys, whose name was Jumpy Monkey, looked up at Honey Elephant and grinned. “Would you like a banana, Mr. Elephant?” he said impishly. Honey Elephant nodded his big head.

“Yes, I really would!” he said. “Then eat this!” Jumpy Monkey said cheekily. He then threw a rotten banana towards Honey Elephant. It fell near Honey Elephant’s big legs and smashed on the ground. Honey Elephant felt quite hurt. He walked away quietly.

Suddenly, Honey Elephant heard someone singing, “Buy bananas! Sweet bananas! Golden bananas!” It was Peelu Deer. He was pushing a cart full of yellow bananas to sell in the market. The sight of the plump and fresh bananas made Honey’s mouth water.

“I don’t have any money to pay you,” he told Peelu Deer politely. “But will you still give me a few bananas for free?”

Peelu Deer got very upset. “Hey! I am trying to make a living here and you want my bananas for free!” he scolded Honey Elephant. “Go away from here, you beggar!”

Honey Elephant walked away without saying a word. After being admonished by many more animals in the jungle, he felt very disheartened. “If I had the money, I could have bought an entire cart of bananas for myself!” he said to himself wishfully. Suddenly, Honey Elephant heard someone laughing. He turned around and saw that it was Goru Rabbit.

“Money doesn’t grow on the trees, Honey!” Goru Rabbit said. “You have to work for it to come to you.” Chunmun Sparrow, who was flying in the sky, saw Honey Elephant and flew down. She was one of Honey Elephant’s closest friends. “Hi Honey!” Chunmun Sparrow chirped. “I have some good news for you! I bet it will make you very happy!”

“Is that so?” Honey Elephant said. “What is it? Tell me quickly, Chunmun!”

“Well,” Chunmun Sparrow said. “A truck has turned over on the highway that’s behind the jungle. It was carrying a load of bananas to the nearby town. There are thousands of bananas lying on the road now. Just the sight of them made me think of you. I know how much you love bananas. And so, I flew all the way here, just to give you the news.”

“Wow!” Honey Elephant said excitedly. “That really is good news! I’ll go there right away and have a feast.” Honey then ran towards the highway. He found the spot that Chunmun Sparrow had told him about. A big truck was lying overturned there. Honey Elephant blinked. There were thousands of ripe bananas scattered there! When the truck driver and cleaner saw Honey Elephant, they panicked. “A wild elephant! Run!” they shouted as they ran to hide. “He might be dangerous!” Now, Honey wasn’t one bit dangerous. But he didn’t bother to tell them that. He had his eyes fixed on the bananas. He had never seen so many of them together. And there was no one to stop him from eating them now.

“I can eat the bananas to my heart’s content now,” Honey Elephant said as he walked towards the overturned truck. But when Honey Elephant reached the truck, he found that he didn’t want to eat the bananas anymore!

“The truck driver and helper must have been startled by the accident,” he muttered. “They will feel worse if I eat their bananas now.” Honey Elephant then straightened the truck and put the bananas back into it.


The truck driver and cleaner were surprised to see what Honey Elephant was doing. “Huh?” they said, scratching their heads. “This elephant is putting the bananas back into the truck instead of eating them!” When Honey Elephant finished putting all the bananas back into the truck, he blew the dust off the truck with his trunk. He then turned to go back to the jungle.

“Wait!” the truck driver and cleaner told Honey Elephant. Honey Elephant stopped, wondering what they would say. “Mr. Elephant,” the truck driver and cleaner said. “Thank you very much for your help. If it was not for you, the bananas would have rotted on the road. We would have lost our jobs too. Please accept some bananas as a token of our gratitude.” The truck driver and cleaner then gave Honey Elephant several bunches of plump bananas.

“I don’t know why,” Honey Elephant said as he thanked them, “but I have never been happier than I am today. And I think it’s only because I chose to help you.” The truck driver and cleaner smiled. “Mr. Elephant,” they said. “We travel on this highway very often. And from now on, we’ll stop by every time we are here and leave some bananas for you to eat. You really are a helpful friend.” They then drove away, feeling quite happy. .

Honey Elephant walked back to the jungle with the bananas. He was feeling quite happy too. He had more bananas than he could eat now. And so, he invited all the animals and birds of the jungle to share them with him. He even invited Jumpy Monkey who couldn’t believe that Honey Elephant was being so generous when he had been so nasty to him.

“Thank you for inviting us over,” Goru Rabbit, Chunmun Sparrow and all the others told Honey Elephant later that day. “We had a feast today. And it was just because you chose to be honest and helpful.”

“Achieving something by being honest and helpful is much better than getting it for free,” Honey Elephant told them all. “I have learnt this very important lesson today!” All the animals and birds nodded and smiled. They were happy to see this positive change in their friend.

Stubborn King

Champakvan’s new king, Sheru Singh, was a very just and caring ruler. However, he was also extremely stubborn. Very often he was struck by new ideas and would forget everything and stubbornly concentrate on accomplishing them. This habit often entrapped him in troubles; still Sheru Singh could not free himself of it.

Minister Happy Elephant was always worried because of the king’s habit.

One day when Happy went to pay a visit to the king, he found Sheru Singh sitting solemnly under a tree in the royal gardens.

“Maharaj, what are you gazing at in the sky sitting under this tree?” Happy asked.

“Happyji, I am thinking of something,” King Sheru Singh replied, still looking at the sky.

His words caused a wave of panic in Happy’s mind, thinking that some new idea had germinated in Sheru Singh’s psyche. “Maharaj, please do not think, sitting alone like this,” he said.

“Ministerji, at least listen to me. I was thinking how can the birds fly in the sky?”

“Maharaj, the bodies of the birds is made in a way that they can easily fly,” Happy grew more suspicious.

“That is true, Ministerji, but birds can also fly because they have wings. If I had wings, could I have flown?” King Sheru Singh asked, still lost in thoughts.

“I don’t know Maharaj, but why think about it, when it is impossible? Think about the various schemes you are planning for the masses,” Happy suggested.

“But Happyji, just imagine that if I had wings, then I could fly, right?” Sheru Singh asked again.

“Maharaj, I am very heavy, so maybe I would be unable to fly, but I think you can,” Happy pondered and said.

King Sheru Singh’s face beamed with happiness at Minister Happy’s words.

“Ministerji, I want to fly,” Happy could not believe his ears at King Sheru Singh’s declaration.

“What are you saying, Maharaj?” Happy expressed his disbelief. “How can you fly? You have no wings!”

“That I do not know. I just want to fly. Ministerji, you are so sharp. Think of a way so that I can fly,” Sheru Singh was back to his stubbornness.

“But Maharaj, how can you…”

“Umm… Umm… What kind of a minister are you, who cannot even fulfill a small wish of your king. I just want to fly somehow,” Sheru Singh began crying like a small child.

Happy became nervous at the sight of the king crying. “Maharaj, what are you doing? If anybody sees you crying like this, what will they think? Please stop crying. I will think of something.”

“Maharaj, I will lift you up with my trunk and walk from one place to another. This will make you feel as if you are flying,” Happy came up with this bright idea after contemplating for a long time.

“No, not like this,” said the king petulantly. “I want to actually fly like the birds.”

“Maharaj, do not be stubborn. You are trying to do the impossible. Can I think it will be possible for me to become slimmer than a bear if I am on a diet? In the same way, your flying is also impossible.”

“Okay, tell me why I cannot fly?”

“Maharaj, there are many reasons for it. You do not have wings and your body is too heavy.”

“I have a solution for this problem,” King Sheru Singh exclaimed happily.

“What solution, Maharaj?” Happy asked in despair.

“I need a pair of artificial wings. Since I am huge, the wings too have to be big,” King Sheru Singh declared.

“No Maharaj, this is impossible.”

“Everything is possible, Ministerji. Just wait and watch,” King Sheru Singh said and went to the weaving bird. He got two big wings made out of many palm leaves.

King Sheru Singh took the wings to Minister Happy, “Ministerji, look at these. I have especially got them made for myself.”

“Maharaj, you will not be able to fly with such heavy wings. Even the birds will be unable to fly with such heavy wings,” Happy said, after inspecting the wings.

“Ministerji, do not worry, just come with me. I will jump from the hill and fly with the help of these wings.”

King Sheru Singh’s words gave Happy enough reason to panic. He realized it would be pointless to make Sheru Singh understand the gravity of his action. He would never listen to him.

“Maharaj, you carry on. I will follow you,” Happy said and went away.


When he reached the hill after a while, King Sheru Singh was ready with his wings to fly.

“Maharaj, tie this rope to your leg,” Happy gave one end of a rope to the king.

“What is it for, Ministerji?”

“So that you do not fly away too far,” Happy replied. King Sheru Singh did as Happy had asked him and jumped from the hill.

He could not, fly, and started falling down into the valley below with great speed. Happy saw this and quickly pulled the rope with his hands.

Sheru Singh did not fall in the valley due to the rope but was badly hurt because of colliding with the rocky hill. By the time Happy pulled him up the hill, he was bleeding profusely.

“Maharaj, are you all right?” enquired Happy with concern for his king.

“You saved my life otherwise I would surely have fallen down very far,” King Sheru Singh groaned with pain.

“Maharaj, you are safe, I am happy about that. These wounds will soon heal,” Happy said as he began untying the knot of the rope from Sheru Singh’s leg.

“Ministerji, I am thinking about something.”

“Maharaj, such a big mishap was about to happen and here you are again thinking!” Happy was shocked.

“Ministerji, this time my thoughts are of good intention. I am thinking that one should not blindly ape others but try to be happy just the way one is.

“Now look at me. I tried to copy the birds and wanted to fly like them, without even thinking that it is impossible. See, I am so badly hurt. I have decided that now I will never imitate others and not be stubborn about anything. What is the point of being stubborn, if it gets one into trouble?”


King Sheru Singh’s words made Happy breathe a sigh of relief. After all, his king had left behind his bad habit of being stubborn without reason.

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.

The Girl Who Loved to Learn

Kaveri loved to read. Learning about new things always excited her. At the beginning of the new school term, her mother picked up her books from the bookshop, and Kaveri spent the first couple of days wrapping them in brown paper. She stuck the labels, and wrote down her name, class and subject.


Then the fun began! Kaveri picked up her English book and eagerly read all the stories. She also made a note of interesting lines or ideas as she read. She found out more about the author and the other stories written by him/her from the local library or the internet. The additional information made for an interesting read.

Soon, Kaveri managed to read all the other subject books as well. Her friends wondered how she always seemed excited about reading the textbooks while they found finishing even one lesson tiresome! She read extra just for fun!

Kaveri’s teachers were happy with her work and her performance in the exams. It was not just the marks that impressed them. They liked how she would pack interesting facts and information in her answers. This was because she read not for exams but to gain knowledge. So she was never tensed before any exam.

Kaveri’s parents were proud of her. Her mother said each subject should be understood. Language was important. If she was learning poetry, then her mother would suggest that she try and write poems—that made learning fun.

One day in class, the English teacher asked the kids to write a short story. Kaveri finished it in a flash!


“I have written a scary story,” she announced, and began reading: Two people were travelling in a train. One asked the other “Do you believe in ghosts?”

“No,” replied the other.

“Oh really?” said the first and vanished!

The class thundered with laughter.


Kaveri was popular with her classmates because she would always share with them a joke or story that she had read. She was curious about things and had an open mind. She was good at vocabulary too!

Exam jitters? No way! Kaveri saw learning as fun and she was not afraid of exams. Learning was fun for her!

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!


A Fearful Lesson

Chimpu, the young monkey was known to be a troublemaker. He would never miss an opportunity to play tricks on others or make fun of them. He would trip Tinu rabbit’s kids when they hopped around and snatch food from Binky squirrel’s young ones.

Chimpu’s mother constantly received complaints from all the animals. She tried telling that if he rubbed everyone on the wrong side, he might get into trouble someday. But Chimpu did not listen to his mother. He continued to come up with new ways to annoy the animals in the neighbourhood.

One day, Monu deer was sitting outside his house and eating a guava. Chimpu noticed him from up a tree nearby and had an idea to annoy Pinku. He tip-toed up to Monu, snatched the guava and rushed back up the tree.

“Give me back my guava!” cried Monu.

On hearing him cry, his mother Dina rushed out to see what had happened. When she saw Chimpu up on the tree with Monu’s guava, she understood.

“Chimpu! Return the guava to Pinku right away,” said Dina sternly.

Chimpu laughed and continued to eat the guava. This angered Dina.

“That’s it! I’ve had enough of his antics. Everyone in this neighbourhood is also fed up of his behaviour. Let me teach him a lesson,” Dina thought to herself and went back inside along with Pinku.

A couple of days later, Chimpu was playing near a tree when Dina quietly came up from behind and caught him. Chimpu was taken by surprise. Dina swiftly carried him deep into the forest.

“What are you doing, Aunt Dina? Where are you taking me?” asked Chimpu, struggling to escape from her grip.

“Stay quiet, you naughty monkey! It’s high time someone taught you a lesson and I am doing just that!” said Dina.

Dina walked quite a distance into the forest and tied Chimpu to a tree.

“You can stay here till you learn how to behave,” said Dina, turning to walk away.

“Aunty, wait! Please don’t leave me here. I am scared!” cried Chimpu. “I promise not to play pranks on anyone anymore. Please take me back to my mother.”


Dina turned a deaf ear to his pleas and walked away.

Chimpu continued to cry for help, but no one could hear him. Gradually, darkness fell. Chimpu was scared and tired from all the struggling and screaming.

Suddenly, Chimpu heard some footsteps. He became scared. Sheru tiger stepped out from amid the bushes. Everyone in the forest was afraid of him.

“Please don’t eat me, Uncle Sheru!” cried Chimpu. “I am sorry for all that I’ve done. I promise not to trouble anyone anymore.”

“What do you mean?” asked Sheru puzzled. He was surprised to see Chimpu tied to a tree in the middle of a forest. He immediately freed him and said, “I came here because I heard someone crying. What happened? Who tied you up?”

Chimpu narrated everything to him. Sheru became angry.

“Come with me!” he said, dragging Chimpu along to Dina’s house.

Dina was surprised to see Sheru at the door. She became nervous when she saw Chimpu along with him.

“Is this any way to treat a child?” roared Sheru. “Whatever he may have done, you could have explained his mistake to him in a nice way. How would you feel if someone punished your child this way?”

Dina hung her head in shame.

Sheru calmed down a bit and said, “What you did was irrational. If something had happened to him, imagine his parents’ plight. There are ways of dealing with a problematic child. Inducing fear is certainly not a solution.”


“Forgive me, Sheru. I was acting out of impulse and anger. He is a child and I should have treated him like one,” said Dina. She turned to Chimpu and said, “I am sorry, Chimpu. I didn’t mean to scare you. I just wanted you to learn that what you did was wrong and I explained that to you nicely.”

“It is okay, Aunt Dina. I know I pushed you to do this. I need to change my behaviour and I promise to do it,” said Chimpu smiling.

That day on, Chimpu stuck to his promise and everyone was happy for him.

Milo’s Adventure

Milo, the mouse was watching a programme on television about hot air balloons and how humans travelled in it. Milo was awed by it and thought, “This is such a great idea! Animals like me who don’t have wings can fly in a hot air balloon!”

That evening, he met his friend Kiki, the bird to discuss it.

“Hey, Kiki! I have found a way to fly!” Milo said excitedly.

“How? Are you going to grow a pair of wings?” asked Kiki amused.

“Don’t be silly, Kiki! I saw a programme on the television about hot air balloons on which people float in the sky and even travel great distances,” said Milo.

“Wow! I have only seen aeroplanes do that. Are these hot air balloons like aeroplanes?” asked Kiki.

“No. A hot air balloon looks just like a regular balloon, but much bigger. There’s a basket attached underneath it, in which people can stand,” explained Milo.

Kiki was intrigued. She asked more questions about the hot air balloon: “How does it work? What if the person wants to land? And how does the balloon know which direction to go?”

Milo laughed. “So many questions! Okay, let me explain,” he said. “There is a burner below the opening of the balloon, the flame from which heats up the air trapped inside the balloon. Since hot air is lighter than the relatively cooler air outside the balloon, it slowly rises, lifting the balloon and the basket along with it. A person controls the burner depending on how much hot air is required, thereby adjusting the height at which the balloon floats. The wind helps gently blow the balloon in a particular direction.”

“Wow! You know so much!” said Kiki amazed. “But what I don’t understand is how are you going to fly?”

“I have some balloons left over from my birthday party. I will inflate them, tie them to a big cup or basket in which I will sit and fly!” said Milo.

“Great idea, Milo!” said Kiki.

“But I don’t have a big cup or basket,” said Milo, wondering what else he could use.

“Wait here. I’ll be right back,” said Kiki. She flew away and came back in a short while with a paper cup.

“This is perfect!” exclaimed Milo.

Milo pierced four holes on the cup and tied a lengthy piece of rope to each.


“The basket is ready. Now, for the balloons,” said Milo.

Together, Milo and Kiki blew into the balloons and inflated them. When they had enough, Milo asked Kiki to hold the four ropes together while he tied the balloons to them. He then sat inside the cup and asked Kiki to let go of the ropes.

Much to Milo’s excitement, the balloons began to rise, carrying him along. As they continued to rise, Milo looked down and saw his home getting smaller in size. He floated over his neighbourhood. Kiki clapped in glee. She began to fly along with Milo.

As the balloon went higher, the ground seemed far away. Milo began to panic.

“Kiki! Kiki!” shouted Milo.

“I am right here, Milo! What happened?” asked Kiki.

“I am scared. I am too high up in the air. Also, I hadn’t thought of a way to get down!” panicked Milo.

“Oh! Even I didn’t think of that!” said Kiki.

“I have an idea! Why don’t you sit on the balloons? Your weight will stop the balloons from going up any further,” said Milo.

“Yes, good idea,” said Kiki and sat on the balloons. Just as they had hoped for, the balloons stopped rising any further.

Now, how do we get you to land?” asked Kiki.

Milo thought for a while and asked, “Would you be able to pop a couple of balloons?”

“Oh, yes! With fewer balloons, you will be able to descend gently,” said Kiki.


She popped a couple of balloons and gradually, Milo began to float towards the ground.

But they were far from Milo’s house. Kiki flapped her wings and guided the balloon in the direction of his house. Soon, Milo landed safely right outside his house.

“Phew. Thanks, Kiki! That was quite an adventure we had today,” said Milo relieved to be back on the ground.

“Imagine if you had watched a programme on rockets! I wouldn’t be able to fly to space to fetch you back,” joked Kiki.

The two had a hearty laugh.

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.

Friendship is Necessary

Santu and Mantu squirrels were close friends. They used to play together every evening in the lawn. They also studied in the same school and same class. They went to school together in the bus chatting all the way long.

They made fun and laughed at everybody in the bus including the driver and the conductor. While some animals grumbled and complained about going to school, Santu and Mantu were happy to go to school because they wanted to have fun in the school. because they wanted to have fun in the school.

English class was going on and Ms. Lucy Leopard, their English teacher suddenly announced that there was going to be a dictation in that lesson. She gave them ten minutes to study.

Santu and Mantu realized that while Santu had brought his English textbook, Mantu only had the notebook where they would do their schoolwork.

“Let me study from the textbook, Santu,” said Mantu.

“No, I will study from the textbook, you study from your notebook,” replied Santu. Santu turned his back to Mantu and started studying from the textbook, while Mantu could only study from the notebook.

After 10 minutes, the teacher started dictating the words. She said “Necessary.”

Santu wrote “Nursery” and Mantu wrote it correctly. Santu looked over to Mantu, and saw him writing the answers down without with stopping, while Santu was having trouble with every word.

Soon, the teacher corrected all the papers and Santu had got one wrong answer. But, Mantu got all correct.

Santu had to write the word “Necessary” 100 times. Santu’s hands were aching due to the imposition. He told Mantu, “It is all because of you. I am not going to talk to you. You wrote all the correct answers without studying.” Santu tried to say something but Mantu left the class angrily.

That evening, Santu’s mom went to see her sister. Mantu’s mom also went to her friend’s place.

Santu was feeling hungry. He opened the fridge. All the nuts were over and only butter and jam were there. “I can’t wait till mom comes. I will go and buy some bread from the bakery.”

Mantu was also feeling hungry. He opened the fridge. He saw some bread slices but there was no butter or jam. He also went to buy some butter and jam. Both of them met in the lift but they turned their faces in the opposite sides.


When the lift opened, they went to Sams Bakery. But, Uncle Sam was closing the bakery.

Santu said, “Please uncle, I just want bread. Nothing else.

“Mantu said, “ Uncle, just a bottle of jam for me.” But, Uncle said, “I am sorry boys. My stock is over. I have just got some broken biscuit pieces. Come tomorrow morning, you will have whatever you want.” Both Santu and Mantu were disappointed. They went to Linda’s Grocery stores. Linda was sitting on a chair and her face was very sad. Santu asked her, “What happened Madam Linda? Why do you look so sad ? I want some bread. “Mantu said,” And Madam Linda, butter or jam for myself. I have bread at home.”

Linda said in a feeble voice, “Santu and Mantu. I cannot help you because this afternoon, when I had gone for lunch, somebody looted my shop. I have made a police complaint dear. I am sorry.”

Santu and Bantu finally went to Robin’s “Cakes and Bakes” shop. Robin looked so furious and was shouting loudly. Both Santu and Mantu went near him.


They were scared to see him in a fit of anger. So, they asked slowly, “Robin uncle, can we get some bread and butter?” Robin screamed at them, “Hey boys, leave this place at once. I am already troubled by these wicked and cunning rats, who eat away all my pastries and eatables. I am myself so confused thinking about how to get rid of this rat menace. Leave me alone.”

Santu and Mantu started walking back to their homes. Their tummies were roaring with hunger.

Suddenly, they heard somebody giggling from behind. It was Patty Pig. Santu looked at her and said,”Why are laughing, you silly Patty? I am already very hungry and do not tease me by laughing like this.” Mantu also said, “Patty, why are you following us? I saw you at Sam’s Bakery also. Don’t you have any useful job to do?”.


Patty said, “Okay, I thought I will help both of you by giving an idea. But, if you are calling me silly, then I will have to go.”

Santu said, “Oh, I am sorry. What is your idea, by the way?” Patty said, “Santu, you have butter and jam at home. Bantu, you have bread with you. Why both of you are roaming here and there. Santu, share the butter and jam with Mantu and you Mantu, share your bread with Santu. Problem solved.”

Mantu looked at Santu and Santu at Mantu. Then, they shook hands with each other. They told Patty pig, “Hey Patty, thanks for the idea and also for making us friends once again. “Patty pig said, “Okay, but I do not give ideas free of cost. I charge one bunch of lettuce leaves for my wonderful ideas. Bring them when you come to school tomorrow. Bye!”


Both Santu and Bantu had Bread with butter and strawberry jam. “Friendship is Necessary. I won’t make this spelling mistake again” said Santu and Mantu laughed loudly.

The Flying Rabbit

Terry the Rabbit was very upset. He felt that he was inferior. He looked at the flying sparrows and thought, “These Sparrows are so lucky. How I wish I could fly like them! They can fly to places. They don’t even have to walk to school like me. I become tired by the time I reach school. I wish I could get wings somehow so that even I can fly.”

One day Terry was playing near the bank of a river. He happened to look around and found two feathers of a pigeon. Terry looked at them and felt immensely happy. He picked them up and brought them home. He carefully stuck the feathers onto his back using glue. Then he walked to the garden. Daisy the Sparrow was sitting on the branch of a Mango tree. Terry called out to her and said, “Daisy, now even I can fly like you.”

“Really? How come?” asked Daisy.

Terry hurriedly climbed up the Mango tree.

He tried to fly by fluttering the feathers, and with a thud he fell on the ground. Daisy burst out laughing. She said, “Terry, one can’t fly just by attaching two feathers.”

Terry got up and said, “Let’s bet on this. What would you give me if I start flying within a month?”

“Oh forget it!” said Daisy, “You shall never win the bet.”


“I will surely be able to fly within a month. I can vouch for that,” replied Terry.

“Well, if you win the bet, then I shall become your servant for a month,” said Daisy with a confident grin.

Terry agreed to the condition and walked away. He reached home thinking of ways to start flying. He spent a sleepless night thinking about the same thing; however, he couldn’t come up with a solution.

The next day he went to school. His science teacher Sammy, the Deer was talking about the year 1930, in which a balloon was made to fly by filling it with helium gas. He also mentioned that it was after this that the Wright brothers invented the aeroplane.

Terry got inspired by this and started thinking on the same lines. He went to the market and bought a big, transparent balloon and got it filled with helium. The moment it was filled with helium it rose up in the air. Terry held one end of the string in his hand and started flying off with the balloon. The birds who were flying at that time noticed this, and Daisy saw it too. They flew closer to Terry and were thrilled to see him flying. Daisy shouted out to Terry, “You have won the bet. You can come down to the ground now.”


Terry was unable to come down as the balloon was going higher up in the air. He was thoroughly enjoying the flight. Moreover, he was afraid that the birds and animals would see the balloon if he came down. After a while, the gas from the balloon started depleting and Terry fell on the ground with a thud.


He was bruised badly during the fall. Everyone saw the balloon lying beside Terry. Daisy said, “You deserved this because you tried to win the bet through unfair means.”

Teacher Sammy said, “Terry, nature has made everyone unique. Just like some birds cannot walk or run like us; similarly we too cannot fly like them. Therefore it is foolish to imitate anyone. Now let us all take Terry to the doctor.”

Terry had learnt a lesson. He apologized to Daisy and acknowledged the lesson learnt.

The Wise King

There was once a king in ancient China. He was a very cruel king and would punish his subjects for the slightest of mistakes. The punishments were extraordinarily cruel and he would take great pleasure in delivering them. Many of his ministers tried advising him against such punishments, but he never listened.

One day, one of his ministers suggested that he should expand the size of his kingdom. This seemed like a good idea to the king and called for an army to be put together. Soon, the army was ready and all the soldiers were well built, strong men. The king marched his army straight into his neighbouring kingdom.

The sheer size of the army was enough for the neighbouring king to surrender.

In exchange for peace, the king also offered him his soldiers and a lot of wealth. It was the same story is many other kingdoms and the king grew even more powerful. One of the king who had surrendered suggested that the king conquer India.


India was a land of wealth and the king was very tempted to gain control. So, he marched his soldiers all the way across China. They stopped at what is now modern day Singapore. From the coast, the king’s troops set sail across the waters, in search of India.

News of the impending attack reached the ears of the Indian king. He had heard about the size of the Chinese army and knew that he wouldn’t stand a chance against them. Hence, he gathered all the scholars and economists in his kingdom and asked them to think of a plan.

The scholars and economists thought about and discussed their plans for several days until they had the perfect plan.

When the plan was narrated to the king, he was pleased and gave orders to carry out the plan. This, in a few days, a huge ship reached the coast of Singapore. As soon as it arrived, it was captured by the Chinese king’s troops.

When it was discovered that the vessel was from India, they crew were presented to the king.

The Chinese king demanded that the sailors tell him the route to India if they valued their lives. The sailors agreed to tell him the route and asked to be executed. They said that they’d never be able to see their homeland ever again and burst into tears.


When the king enquired further, the sailors revealed that when they had sail, they were all young men. They had been at sea for so long that they had grown old. Another sailor pulled out a few needles and said that when they had set sail, these needles were iron rods. The trip to Singapore was so treacherous that the salt water had corroded them and that all that was left were these needles.

A third pulled out a dried up piece of fruit and said that when they had set sail, he had planted a seed. He went on to explain that over the years, the seeds had grown up and borne fruit too, All they had left was a Nihil fruit from the second tree.


The king was shocked to learn that the journey to India was full of so much trouble and would take so long. He realised that by the time his troops landed on Indian shore, they’d no longer be fit for a fight.

The Chinese king immediately canceled his plans and ordered his troops to march back to China and also gave the sailors lots of money and restocked their ship so that they would be comfortable in their old age. Thus, a few intelligent people defeated an entire of army with just their brains.

A  lot can be achieved by not giving in to fear, and thinking with a cool mind and a little imagination.

A Thief of Champakvan

Champakvan, a once peaceful forest, was in deep trouble. Lately, somebody had been stealing the animals’ belongings. Damru, the donkey’s motorcycle, Meeku, the mouse’s gold chain and Blacky, the bear’s four pots of honey had all mysteriously gone missing.

The king, Shersingh was very upset with this and called for a meeting. He also invited Damru, Meeku and Blacky.

“Tell me exactly what happened with your motorcycle,” said Shersingh to Damru.

“Well your majesty,” Damru began. “When I turned in for the night, I had just       checked on my motorcycle, it was right outside my house. But, when I woke up the next morning, it had disappeared without a trace.”

Meeku went next and said, “Your majesty, I had spent the day with my friend, helping him with some work. When I returned that evening, I noticed that my cupboard was open and found that my gold chain was missing.”

“With great difficulty I managed to gather four pots of honey. I woke up one morning to find that they are all gone. My hard work has gone to waste,” said Blacky and burst out crying.

The king, Shersingh turned to the chief of police, Inspector Jumbo, the elephant. “Give us a few days, your majesty. We will investigate and get to the bottom of this,” said Inspector Jumbo.

“You have three days to find out who the thief is. If you fail, be prepared to step down from your position,” said the King and left the court. Jumbo, wiped the sweat from his brow. There was a lot at stake here and there was only one person he could turn to.

Inspector Jumbo called one of his best agents, Cheeku, the rabbit. Inspector Jumbo gave him all the information he needed and off Cheeku went towards Champakvan.

Cheeku began to investigate and headed towards the hills surrounding Champakvan. As he climbed up the narrow path, he noticed a few shards of a broken pot. Upon closer examination, Cheeku found trace amounts of honey. He was on the right track. As he climbed higher up the mountain, Cheeku noticed footprints. As it was growing dark, Cheeku decided to come back the next day and investigate.

Cheeku came back to the same spot the next day and was just about to follow the footprints when he hear the sound of footsteps behind him. Off in the distance was Bobby, the ape. He had something in his hand. As soon as Bobby saw Cheeku, he fled.

“That’s strange,” Cheeku said to himself. “Why did he run away? What was that in his hand? I must report this to the inspector.”

Cheeku went back to Inspector Jumbo’s office and told him everything that had happened.

Inspector Jumbo was pleased and praised Cheeku for doing a good job. The next day, they would go to King Shersingh’s court.

All eyes were on Inspector Jumbo who was beaming with pride. As soon as King Sher Singh sat down on his throne, he asked Inspector Jumbo what he had learnt.


“Your majesty, I sent Cheeku, the rabbit to investigate and he found Bobby, the ape near the mountains and enough evidence to prove that he is the culprit,” said Jumbo.

“Bring me Bobby, the ape,” roared King Sher Singh.

Bobby was immediately brought to the court. “Why did you steal?” asked King Sher Singh.

“Your majesty, I am innocent. I have been framed,” said Bobby.

“Your majesty, Bobby is lying,” said Jumbo.

“Your majesty, may I ask Bobby a few questions?” Cheeku interjected. The king agreed and the cross examination began.

“Bobby, were you not at the mountain path yesterday afternoon?” asked Cheeku. “What did you have in your hands and why did you suddenly disappear?”

“Yes I was. I had my bicycle with me and I suddenly remembered that I had forgotten to do something, which is why I had to go back,” said Bobby.

“Were you going back to the place where you had stored Damru’s motorcycle, Meeku’s bangles and Blacky’s five honey pots?” asked Cheeku.

“Five? There were only four and I dropped one on the way,” said Bobby before realising what he had said.

Bobby knew there was no turning back now. He immediately fell at King Sher Singh’s feet and asked not to be punished. “Your majesty, I didn’t seal on purpose. I was made to steal,” he said and burst out crying.


“You have five minutes to tell me everything,” said the king.

“Your majesty, my son has been ill for many years now. I have spent all my money on his treatment and he is still not cured. I only stole enough for his treatment. Please don’t put me in jail. Without me, there will be no one to take care of him,” said Bobby.

King Sher Singh forgave Bobby. He released him and also asked his ministers to ensure that Bobby’s son received treatment from a good doctor.


Lattu Gets Fooled

Bhola, the donkey worked at Kaalu, the elephant’s sweet shop.

One day, Bhola came into work looking upset.

“What is the matter, Bhola? Why do you look worried?” asked Kaalu.

“I am worried about my son Lattu,” replied Bhola.

“What happened to him? Is he unwell?” asked Kaalu concerned.

“He is fine. I am worried because he does not show any interest in studying. I am tired of trying to make him understand that going to school is important. But he does not listen to me,” said Bhola.

“We have to think of some other way to make him understand. Bring him to meet me tomorrow. And don’t worry, everything will turn out alright,” said Kaalu.

Next day, Bhola brought Lattu to the sweet shop to meet Kaalu.

“Hello, Lattu. Your father tells me that you are not interested in going to school. Why is that so?” asked Kaalu.

“I don’t like studying, Uncle Kaalu. I want to start working right away and earn some money like my father,” said Lattu.

“Alright, you can start working in my shop. What sweets and snacks can you make?” asked Kaalu.

“I don’t know how to make any sweet or snack,” replied Lattu.

“In that case, why don’t you sell some papads? You can carry some with you and sell them to the animals you meet along the way,” said Kaalu.

“Yes! I can do that,” said Lattu.

Kaalu gave him 20 papads in a basket and said, “Sell each papad for Rs.10. After you’ve sold them all, come back to the store to collect your payment for the work done. Just remember: Don’t give the papad to anyone without taking Rs.10 first.”

“Okay, Uncle Kaalu,” replied Lattu and went out to sell the papads.

Lattu met his school friend Munnu, the fox on the way.

“Hey, Lattu. What do you have in the basket?” asked Munnu.

“These are papads from Uncle Kaalu’s shop.

One papad is Rs.10. Do you want to eat one?” asked Lattu.

“Uncle Kaalu’s papads are famous. I do want to eat one. But I have only Rs.5. Will you give me half?” asked Munnu. “No. If someone does not buy the other half, it will go waste. Uncle Kaalu has asked me to sell all the papads,” said Lattu.

“You’re right, Lattu,” said Munnu. He had an idea. “Do you have Rs.5?” he asked.

“Yes, I do. My father gave it to me before we left home this morning,” said Lattu.

“Why don’t we pool our money to buy one papad and eat a half each?” suggested Munnu.

“This does not seem like a bad idea,” thought Lattu and agreed.

Lattu collected Rs.5 from Munnu and put it in his pocket along with his money. Then, the two shared a papad.


“That was yummy! I feel like eating some more,” said Munnu.

“So do I!” said Lattu.

“Then let’s share another,” said Munnu.

“But we don’t have any money,” said Lattu.

“Yes, you do. Didn’t we just pool in our money to buy one?” asked Munnu.

“Yes, but that’s the money I made from selling the papad we just ate,” said Lattu.

“Half of that money is mine. So, take our money again and buy another papad,” said Munnu.

“That seems logical.Uncle Kaalu did ask me to take money before selling a papad. So I am taking our money with which we bought one papad and buying another one,” said Lattu, considering the idea. “You are right, Munnu. Let’s buy another papad with the money I made from selling the first.”


Lattu “took” the money from his right pocket and shifted it to his left, after which the two shared another papad. The two applied the same logic and ate up all the 20 papads. Finally, Munnu bid Lattu goodbye and continued on his way to school, while Lattu returned to the shop.

“Uncle Kaalu, I sold all the papads!” Lattu announced proudly.

“That’s great. Can you give me the money?” asked Kaalu.

“Sure,” said Lattu, handing over Rs.10.

“Where is the rest of the money?” asked Kaalu.

“This is all the money I made, Uncle Kaalu. Like you said, I did not take out a papad without taking Rs.10 first,” said Lattu.

“If you had 20 papads and you sold them each for Rs.10, then how much money should you have made?” asked Kaalu.

Lattu could not answer as he did not know how to calculate.

“You should have Rs.200,” Kaalu answered for him. “Tell me what exactly happened.”

After Lattu narrated what he and Munnu had done, Kaalu laughed. He said, “So, you thought you could use the same Rs.10 to buy papads from yourself? And since you did not know that selling 20 papads would get you Rs.200, Munnu tricked you easily.”

Lattu was ashamed.


“This is a lesson for you to realise why going to school is important. At school, you would have learnt to calculate and Munnu couldn’t have tricked you,” said Kaalu.

“Yes, you are right, Uncle Kaalu. I will start going to school from tomorrow,” said Lattu.

Bhola was surprised to see the change that had come over his son. “Thank yousir! Because of your idea, my son has finally realised the importance of going to school.”

“You should thank Munnu, as well. He, too, was in on the plan,” said Kaalu smiling.

The Aliens Are Coming!

What was that?” asked Squiggy, the squirrel startled.

“What? Where?” asked Danny, the deer, looking around.

“There!” said Squiggy, pointing to the sky. “It flew over the tree to the other side.”

“I didn’t see anything,” said Danny, still confused. “What did you see?”

“I don’t know. It looked like a plane but there was no sound,” said Squiggy.

Danny came to the conclusion that it must have been an alien spaceship. He immediately told his friends about it and the news spread like wildfire across the forest. Even the news channels started reporting it.

“Did you really see an alien spaceship?” asked King Tammy, the tiger.

“I did see something fly past but it was unlike anything I had seen before. So, I am not sure what exactly it was,” said Squiggy, thinking hard.

“Did it make a sound?” asked Minister Monty, the monkey.

“No, it did not,” replied Squiggy.

“Hmmm…then Danny must be right. They are aliens!” declared Monty. “If aliens have come to the forest, we must welcome them. I’ve heard that they are very powerful.”

“You are right, Monty. Even I’ve read that their technology is several years ahead of ours. Let’s organise a grand welcome party for them,” said Tammy.

The entire forest prepared for the welcome party. A large open spot was chosen where balloons and banners were put up. Then, all the animals waited patiently for the aliens to show up.

Three days had passed and there was still no sign of the aliens or their spaceships.

“I don’t think the aliens are going to come,” said Tammy disappointed.

“Perhaps Squiggy lied about seeing the aliens,” said Monty.

“I think so too. Squiggy made a fool of us!” said Tammy angrily. “Bring him to me!”

Squiggy went up to Tammy and said, “I did not lie, Your Highness. I really saw something, but I did tell you that I am not sure what it was,” said Squiggy scared.

The aliens are coming

“We trusted you and made so many arrangements, and now we look like fools! It was an utter waste of our time. You will be punished for it,” roared Tammy.

“But…but…,” Squiggy tried to explain but Tammy wouldn’t listen.

“I give you a day’s time to find out what it really was or get ready to face your punishment,” said Tammy, before walking away.

“This is my fault!” thought Danny, realising what he had done. “If I had not spread the news, my friend would not have got into trouble,” he regretted.

Danny too began looking for the spaceship. He came across a clearing where he finally found the aliens!

That evening , Tammy  was taking a walk, when  all of a sudden, he saw something fly swiftly over his head.

“The aliens are here!” he screamed in joy.

Hearing  the commotion, the other animals  of the forest quickly  gathered around.

“I just saw the alien spaceship! It flew over my head,”  said Tammy excitedly.

“Squiggy was speaking the truth”,  said Monty.

“Yes.  There’s no need  to punish him now,”  said Tammy, waiting  for the aliens to show up again.

Suddenly, a small helicopter  flew over  Tammy’s head and landed before him. Everyone was puzzled.

The aliens are coming

“That’s not alien spaceship, Your Highness,” said Danny, making his way through the crowd. “While looking for the alien spaceship, I found a few kids playing with their remote-controlled toy airplanes and helicopters close to where  Squiggy and I were talking the other day. Squiggy must have seen one of these toys and got confused.”

The realisation downed Tammy. “So the aliens were actually living among us,” he said smiling. He then turned to Squiggy and said, “Please forgive me for accusing of you lying. I should have verified the rumour instead of trusting  it blindly.”

“You are right, Your Highness. This is a lesson for all of us,” said Monty.

All the animals agreed.