Trip To The Moon!

One day Baddy fox announced in Champakvan that he would like to take all the animals on a trip to the moon.

Everyone became very excited.

“Are you really taking us to the moon?” Damru donkey asked in amazement.

“Yes. All, but the big and heavy animals. Otherwise our rocket will not be able to take off from the ground.” Most animals started laughing at Baddy’s words.

“But where is your rocket?” Cheeku rabbit enquired. “And also, what would be the cost of taking us to the moon?”

“Our rocket is on an island not far from here. And for the cost, my motive is not business or to make money. I just want to give you the joy of going on the moon.
So you do not have to pay anything for the trip,” replied Baddy.

All the animals started shouting in joy.

“There seems to be something fishy here,” whispered Cheeku to Jumpy monkey.

“We have to be careful.”

Both went to king Shersingh and told him about Baddy’s trip to the moon.

“If Baddy wants to do this, then it is a very good thing. Why are you troubled by his offer?” asked Shersingh and told them to leave the matter.

Cheeku then said to Jumpy, “We will have to keep an eye on Baddy on our own.”

Meanwhile, in the forest there was a fierce competition among the animals to go to the moon. Most of the small animals had registered their names with Baddy.

“Please be ready for the trip tomorrow. I will take you on the motor boat, to the island. From there we will go on the rocket to the moon. If the weather remains favourable, then we will be able to go on the moon tomorrow itself,” said Baddy and all the animals became all the more excited.

“I will take my favorite dress with me,” said Titu butterfly excitedly.

“No, please don’t bring any clothes or anything else. You will have to wear space-suits to the moon that we will provide. And yes, one more thing, leave your money and jewellery back in your house,” Baddy said. “We will return in a week.”

All the animals waited impatiently for the evening.

In the evening Baddy came with a motor boat to take them.

“Cheeku, why are you not coming?” asked Baddy.

“Baddy, please go ahead. I have got some urgent work to finish. My friend Jumpy
will go with you,” said Cheeku with a smile.

As soon as the motorboat left, Cheeku rushed to King Shersingh.

“Sir, here is something very interesting,” said Cheeku opening his laptop. He started the search engine and typed Baddys’ name. Soon many web pages came on the screen. He selected one and clicked on it.

“This is Baddy,” said Cheeku. “But why has the police caught him?” King Shersingh spoke out.

“Because he and his companions had looted the animals of Sonavana. He was even sentenced to jail. But he tricked them and ran away. Now he has come here,” said Cheeku.

“What does this mean?” asked Shersingh.

“It means that Baddy and his friends are thieves. They promise to take the animals to planet Jupiter or to the moon, and take them away from their houses. Then at night his companion steals all valuables from the locked houses. As soon as Baddy is informed that all the valuables have been stolen, he escapes to another forest. And his companions join him there,” explained Cheeku.

“This is a big conspiracy!” exclaimed Shersingh. “Why didn’t you inform me earlier?” asked Shersingh who was visibly angry.

“I tried to warn you earlier sir, but you felt it was alright for Baddy to take the animals to the moon,” replied Cheeku.

“Now what shall we do?” asked Shersingh.

“Don’t worry sir. Nothing will happen. I have sent my friend Jumpy, with them. Tonight Baddy’s friends will try to steal from the houses of these animals. We can catch them red-handed. And with their help we can catch Baddy,” Cheeku explained.

“But we have to be very careful. If Baddy gets the wind of this, he may harm our citizens,” Cheeku continued.

“You need not worry. I am going to talk to Inspector Blacky Bear,” Shersingh assured Cheeku.

At night Inspector Blacky and his team spread out in the forest. They hid outside the houses of the people who had gone on the trip.

Suddenly some movement was seen outside Damru donkey’s house. Inspector Blacky gave the signal, and his team caught Laptu jackal from there and on questioning him they were able to catch all the others.

“But how do we catch Baddy? He is very cunning,” asked Shersingh who was really worried.

“We have a plan for that, too,” said Cheeku and whispered something in Shersingh’s ear.

Laptu jackal phoned Baddy, “Hello Baddy, we have collected all the treasure. Please come here quickly on your motorboat, so that we can get out of here immediately.”

“That’s perfect! I have mixed sleeping powder in the food of the animals. They are all sleeping soundly. I am coming on the motorboat. Meet me at the riverside,” Baddy said on the speakerphone, so that, Cheeku and Shersingh could hear whatever Baddy said.

In a few hours, Baddy was in police custody.

The next day when the animals woke up, they could not understand anything.

“Have we reached the moon?” asked Meeku rat looking around.

“No, you are not on the moon. You are in Champakvan. But Baddy who was taking you on a trip to the moon, is on a trip to jail,” said Cheeku. Shersingh and Inspector Bear started laughing. The other animals could not understand anything and they started looking at each others’ face.

Later when Shersingh told them what had happened, they all praised and thanked Cheeku.

Coco Learns A Lesson

“Oh my, look at all the idlis and dosas over there. Are you ready to have the feast of your life?” Coco, the crow asked his wife, Kiki, as he looked down at the idli stall from a tree.

Just as he was about to swoop down on the stall, his wife stopped him and said, “We’ve been here a few and I noticed that this city is full of mice and other little animals for us to eat. Do we really e really need to spend our days stealing food from the humans when we could feast on all the food we hunt? Besides, what if the humans caught us stealing?”

“Listen, your words have no effect on me. Whether it’s a mouse or free food, I still put in the effort of going and getting it. If you’d rather starve, then be my guest. Just don’t make me feel bad when I work hard to fill my stomach,” said Coco and swooped down.

Sonu’s Ball

A man had just purchased a plate of hot idlis and was having them with sambar. Coco flew past him and in a flash, grabbed an idly with his beak and flew away. The man and all the other people standing nearby were dumbfounded and simply stared at Coco as he perched on a tree and ate the idli.

Kiki shook her head as she watched Coco eat the idli. “It’s not nice to eat food that’s stolen from another,” she said.

“You worry too much,” said Coco after finishing his meal. “Let’s go to the market.

I hear there’s a store called Kallu’s Sweets and that their rasagullas are the best.”

“You’ll never change,” said Kiki, shaking her head. She reached into her back and fished out a golden crown. Placing it on top of her head, Kiki began admiring herself in a pocket mirror.

“Where did you get that from?” asked Coco curiously.

“I was down by the lake, looking for some food and I found this under a tree,” Kiki said.

“Well, I must say, you look fabulous in it. It really brings out your eyes,” said Coco.

Together, the two crows flew back home for the night. Early the next day, Coco was ready to raid Kallu’s sweet shop. Despite Kiki clearly telling him that she wasn’t interested, Coco insisted that she accompany him.

They perched on a lamppost just outside the shop and Coco keenly observed what was going on at Kallu’s shop.

“It looks like Kallu has placed all the rasagullas in that drum full of sugar syrup. I’ll wait here until the moment is right. When Kallu is busy with something else, I’ll swoop down and grab the biggest rasagulla. In a few minutes later, we’ll be enjoying the most delicious meal of our lives,” said Coco.

Even though Kiki tried to dissuade him, Coco was determined to make his plan work. In just a few minutes, the perfect moment had arrived and Coco swooped down towards the rasagullas.

Coco perched on the edge of the drum full of rasagullas and was about to pick out the biggest piece he could see. Sadly, Kallu noticed Coco trying to steal a rasagulla.

Kallu reached for a ladle nearby and in one swift move, threw it at Coco. Coco was a little too slow to realise what was happening and the ladle hit him squarely in the face.

Both the ladle and Coco landed noisily on the sweet shop’s floor. Kallu stepped out from behind the counter and approached Coco.

When Kiki saw Coco fall to the floor, she was shocked. She saw everything that had happened and knew that if she didn’t act fast, her husband would be in some serious trouble. She swooped down from the lamppost and into Kallu’s shop. Fishing out the crown from her bag, she threw it at Kallu. The golden crown caught his eye and he immediately jumped at it.

More from Champak: Fearless Mongoo Gets a New Home

Kiki swiftly landed near Coco and helped him up and the two of them flew away to the safety of the shop’s terrace.

“Thank you for saving my life, Kiki,” said Coco. “If only I had paid heed when you warned me of stealing. If I had agreed to hunt for our food like you had suggested, not only would I have not been hit by a ladle, but you would also still have your crown. Please forgive me.”

“Don’t worry, Coco,” said Kiki. “I’m glad that you’re not hurt and that this turned out to be a learning experience for you.”

Having learnt his lesson, Coco gave Kiki a hug, and the two flew off to hunt for food.

The Mystery of the WATERMELONS

In the forest of Champakvan, Jumpy, the monkey sold watermelons every summer. His watermelons were bright red, juicy and sweet, but for some reason, things looked bleak this summer.

Not only did he not have as big a yield as last year, his watermelons didn’t taste as nice as they did last year.

Jumpy’s friend, Cheeku, the rabbit munched on a watermelon and said, “Your watermelons this year aren’t quite as nice as the ones you had last year.”

“You’re right,” said Jumpy. “It’s giving me sleepless nights. If my watermelons are going to taste like this, nobody is going to come to my shop. I’ll barely be able to make any money.”

Right next to Jumpy’s store, Baddy, the fox had opened his store. He had opened it only a few days after Jumpy had opened his for the season and had placed red, juicy watermelons on display.

The mere sight of these watermelons made all the animals’ mouths water and they all lined up in front of Baddy’s store for some.

The Proud Watermelon

“Your watermelons are so tasty, Baddy,” said Meenu, the cow.

“Thank you, Meenu. I had them imported from another forest. That’s why they taste so good,” said Baddy.

Even Kamli, the camel couldn’t help but praise Baddy’s watermelons. “Juicy watermelons like these are just what the doctor ordered for this heat. I have never tasted such nice watermelons in my life.”

Soon, all the praise led to lots of customers for Baddy. His watermelons were the perfect treat for the hot, sunny days and his business was doing very well. Sadly, this was eating into Jumpy’s business and only Jumpy’s friends came to his shop.

The next day, Cheeku came to Jumpy’s shop. “Why don’t you try importing your watermelons like Baddy?” he asked Jumpy.

“That sounds like a very good idea. If I keep trying to sell these watermelons, I’ll never be able to make any money at all. I’ll go ask Baddy where he gets his watermelons from tomorrow,” said Jumpy.

The next morning, Jumpy asked Baddy where he bought his watermelons. “No way am I going to tell you,” said Baddy immediately. “If I did, you’ll take away all my customers.”

Jumpy was disappointed that Baddy didn’t want to help, but he was determined to find out where the watermelons came from. So, Jumpy started keeping a close eye on Baddy.

A few days later, Jumpy came running to Cheeku’s house. When Jumpy told Cheeku what he had seen, Cheeku was left speechless.

The next day, Cheeku and Jumpy went to Baddy’s shop. They ordered two watermelons and started eating them. As they enjoyed the watermelons, Jumbo, the elephant came to meet them.

“It’s so hot, Jumbo. Would you mind spraying us with some water from your trunk?” asked Cheeku.

Jumbo put his trunk in a bucket of water and sprayed all the water on Baddy’s shop. As soon as the water splashed on the watermelons, they began to lose their colour. Red colour began to flow down to the ground and all the watermelons looked pretty bad.

“What is the meaning of this? Are you trying to sabotage me?” asked Baddy.

“This is us exposing you to the forest as a cheater!” said Cheeku.

Turning to Meenu, Cheeku said, “If you don’t mind, Ma’am, could you please sample some of Baddy’s watermelons?”

Meenu took one bite and spat it out. “These watermelons taste terrible,” she said.

“Exactly,” said Cheeku. “He’s been injecting the watermelons with red colour and sugar syrup. He’s been cheating you all.”

“That’s a lie! I’m being framed,” cried Baddy.

More from Champak: Jojo’s Junk Food Problem

“Then how do you explain what I saw? I followed you home last night. After closing your shop, you went straight to Blacky, the bear’s shop and bought some sugar and red colouring. Then late at night, when no one else was around, you came back to your shop and one by one injected all the watermelons with sugar syrup and red colouring. I’ve been observing you for a few days. To teach you a lesson and let the other animals know that you’ve been cheating them, I came up with this plan with Cheeku and Jumbo,” said Jumpy.

Now that everybody was aware of his plan, Baddy decided to make a run for it. But, he wasn’t fast enough and the crowd was too thick for him to make his way out. Jumbo picked him up with his trunk brought him back to the shop.

Baddy was trembling in fear. “Please forgive me. I only did it because my crop of watermelons had come out badly this year. I just wanted to make them taste juicy. I promise to never do this again,” said Baddy.

It seemed like Baddy had learnt his lesson. Jumpy asked Jumbo to let Baddy go. Baddy apologised to all the animals and ran away from the forest.

Clever Cheeku

Champakvan was going through a massive heatwave. The sun beat down upon the earth, making it terribly hot. It felt as if the animals were living in a furnace. As a result, all the animals spent most of the day indoors and only ventured out in the evenings. The evenings were no cool dip in the pond either. The ground was still as hot as before, but the shade under the trees made life a little better.

Over the years, the summers were getting worse. This year was the hottest, and every evening, all the animals would plan for the next day.

Meeku, the mouse stepped out to stock up supplies for the next day. As he was walking around, looking for some food, he saw that his friend Cheeku, the rabbit was digging a hole.

Meeku found this to be very strange. While the rest of the forest was looking for supplies to last them the next day, Cheeku seemed to be wasting his time digging. After some debate, Meeku decided to go over to Cheeku and find out what he was doing.

Saving Rainwater

“What are you doing, Cheeku?” asked Meeku.

“Digging a hole of course,” said Cheeku.

“I can see that, but what are you digging?”

“A lake,” said Cheeku, continuing to dig.

“You’re joking right?” asked Meeku. “The entire forest is reeling under the heat of the summer and instead of gathering supplies for tomorrow, you’re digging a hole? Why are you doing such a silly thing?” Meeku burst into laughter.

“It is not silly. I’m very serious about digging a lake,” said Cheeku. Meeku stopped laughing

“What’s the matter, Cheeku? What’s wrong with our lake?” asked Meeku.

“Our lake is fine for now, but do you realise that every year, just after the summer, we face a severe water shortage? I’m digging this lake so that there will be enough water for all of us,” said Cheeku.

“I don’t understand one thing though,” said Meeku. “How do you intend to fill this lake up?” “With rainwater of course. Every year when it rains, we let so much water go to waste. In fact, my plan is to dig a pit near my house and send all the water from the drains of my terrace to this pit,” said Cheeku.

“What for?” asked Meeku.

“This will raise the water table and recharge the groundwater instead of letting all the rainwater flow away back to the ocean. Imagine if we saved all that water, we’d never have to worry about going thirsty ever again,” said Cheeku.

“Hmm, you make a good point. But do you really think you’ll be able to finish digging before the rains start?” asked Meeku.

More from Champak: Where Are The Rains?

“No, I don’t think so, but if you work hard now, you can reap the rewards later,” said Cheeku.

Meeku was deeply moved by Cheeku’s actions. After gathering all his supplies for the next day, Meeku came to Cheeku and said, “I would like to help you with your cause. You seem to be doing something great and I want to be a part of it.”

Cheeku was very happy to see that Meeku was also interested and together they began to dig.

Blacky, the bear and Jumpy, the monkey, who were passing by, stopped when they saw Cheeku and Meeku hard at work. “What are you guys doing?” they asked.

When Meeku and Cheeku explained, Blacky and Jumpy wanted to help too. Each grabbed a pickaxe and helped loosen the soil for Meeku and Cheeku to dig. Jumbo, the elephant joined in as well and started digging. Soon, the word spread across the forest and animals joined in from far and wide. Even the King of the jungle, Shersingh, the lion was there.

Seeing all the animals working together, Shersingh said, “Looks like next year we’ll have enough water to last us more than a year. All the rainwater will no longer go to waste.”

However, Jumpy had something to say, “Cheeku has started a good thing, but this is only to save water. What will we do about the heat that rises every day? We won’t be able to escape this heat just by digging.” All animals started thinking the same.

Teetu, the butterfly chimed in, “We can plant more and more trees, and this will bring down the heat. We should get started now.”

Cheeku then said excitedly, “Yes! This is a good idea. Before today, all we did was talk about bringing change, but from now on we will dig for water and also plant trees sincerely. This will help reduce the heat.”

After listening to him, all the animals became excited as they had got the solutions to all their problems. All of them started working enthusiastically towards these solutions.

Dr Jeru Giraffe

Dr Jeru Giraffe practised medicine at Champakvan. He was a surgeon and would perform complicated surgeries. Animals would come from faraway places to be treated by Dr Jeru. But, as talented as he was, Dr Jeru was also absent-minded.

One morning, Jumbo, the elephant came in for an appendix operation. He was taken to the operation theatre for surgery before being shifted to the ward. It was only at lunch that one of the doctors asked Dr Jeru what happened to his ring.

Dr Jeru realized that the ring he always wore on his finger was missing. He searched his office, his bag and even his pockets before realizing that he had left it inside Jumbo while he was operating. Jumbo was rushed back to the OT and the ring was retrieved. Fortunately, Jumbo was still under anaesthesia and didn’t remember a thing.

The Greatest Treasure

If you thought that was the end of that story, Jumbo was back in a couple of days with a stomach ache. Dr Jeru was worried that he might have left something else behind. He took an X-ray and realized that he had left the scissors he used to cut the stitches inside him.

Jumbo was rushed to the OT once again and the scissors were quickly removed. Jumbo was shifted back to the ward. He sat in his bed and wondered how much the hospital bills were going to come up to when his phone started ringing.

Jumbo reached into his pocket and pulled it out to answer, but his phone wasn’t ringing. Yet, he could hear the sound of ringing phone loud and clear. Jumbo decided that he was just tired and turned in for the night.

Unfortunately, Jumbo woke up every five minutes to the sound of a ringing phone. It was only at two in the morning that Jumbo finally fell asleep. But three hours later, he woke up to the sound of an alarm.

More from Champak: Damru learns a lesson

The lack of sleep and the ringing alarm had driven Jumbo crazy and Jumbo ran along the corridors waking everybody up. Dr Jeru calmed him down and Jumbo explained what was happening. Dr Jeru slapped his forehead.

“Jumbo, I think we’ll have to take you in for another operation,” said Dr Jeru. “I think it’s my phone that’s been ringing. I may have left it inside you.”

Jumbo was prepped once again and as he was about to be given anaesthesia, he said, “Doctor, maybe you shouldn’t put stitches this time.”

“Why do you say that?” Dr Jeru asked.

“Every time you stitch me up, you have to open me up again. It’s painful. I was hoping you could install a zipper instead,” said Jumbo.

Dr Jeru laughed and apologised to Jumbo for all the trouble. “This time I’ll be extra careful,” he said. “Also, because I’ve caused you a lot of trouble, I promise not to charge you for your stay here.”

Jumbo was relieved and as he fell asleep because of the anaesthesia, there was a big smile on his face.


Blacky, the bear, loved weekends. Weekends meant a trip to his grandma’s house. He liked to walk through the woods to reach his grandma’s house. Little birds and honey bees used to greet him on the way. He always carried some homemade goodies for his grandma. Blacky’s mother used to bake some cakes or cookies and give them to Blacky to take to Grandma. He used to spend the night at his grandma’s house and then come home the next morning. He liked to listen to grandma’s funny stories and play with the rabbits who lived near her house.

The much-awaited weekend came, and Blacky finished his homework as soon as he got home from school so that he could be completely free for two days.

Baddy Steals The Show

Blacky’s mom called out, “Blacky, I have kept some honey buns for grandma. Take them with you when you go, and give my love to grandma. Come soon tomorrow. We are going out for a birthday party.”

Blacky said, “Ok, mom. I will come soon. Don’t worry.” He took the basket of honeybuns and filled his water bottle, and started to walk towards the woods. It was quite a distance but Blacky loved to walk instead of going by cycle. It was a sunny morning and he stopped to watch the tailor bird weaving its nest. Then, he came across two deer playing hide and seek. The elephants were bathing in the river and Blacky waved to them. They too waved back.

After walking for half-an-hour, he felt tired and sat under a tree to rest. The cuckoo bird who lived in that tree was singing a melodious tune. Blacky drank some water from his bottle and settled for a small nap. Soon, he was asleep.

Baddy, the fox, was watching Blacky from behind a tree. Seeing him asleep, he came near him. Baddy’s mouth watered as he could sniff the sweet smell of honeybuns coming from Blacky. He crept up to Blacky and took the basket of honeybuns. He went behind a bush and opened the basket. The honeybuns were very delicious and he ate them all. Then, he took some grass and hay and filled the basket. He kept it near Blacky and left the place.

After some time, Blacky woke up and rushed to reach his grandma’s house in time. His grandma greeted him with a warm smile and gave him strawberry milkshake. Blacky said to his grandma, “Grandma, open the basket and see what I have brought for you.”

Grandma opened to find only grass and hay. She was disappointed. So was Blacky. He said, “Oh, my! I had brought honeybuns for you, Grandma. I do not know what happened. I am very sorry.”

His grandma said, “Don’t worry my child. Come and play with your friends. They are waiting for you.” Blacky went to play with Cheeku, Meeku, and all his other friends and had a good time at his grandma’s house, but at the back of his mind, he was always worried about what had happened to the honeybuns. Blacky left for his home the next day.

More from Champak: The Night Ghost

Next week, Blacky carried some grapes in a tiffin box but the grapes were replaced by pebbles by the time he reached his grandma’s house. Another time, Blacky took some cookies but found only rotten eggs on reaching grandma’s place. Blacky realized then that someone must be replacing his basket of goodies when he takes his nap on the way to his grandma’s house. So, Blacky decided that he would plan a trick to catch the thief in action.

The next time he was going to his grandma’s house, he took some mango juice in a bottle and added a lot of chilly powder to it. Before his usual nap, he said loudly, “I hope grandma likes the delicious mango juice that I have gotten for her this time.” Then, he fell asleep.

Baddy, who was waiting for Blacky to come and fall asleep so he could steal his goodies, heard this. He hurriedly stole the basket and drank the juice inside in one gulp but soon his mouth and throat started burning. He started howling badly. Hearing the noise, Blacky opened his eyes and caught hold of the fox. He dragged Baddy all the way to his grandma’s house, and told her, “See, grandma, this is the thief who has been stealing all the goodies meant for you!”

Blacky’s grandma congratulated Blacky on figuring out a smart way to catch the thief, and called the Police to come and take Baddy to his parent’s house so that he could get a scolding. Blacky never had any problems bringing goodies to his grandma ever again.

Devil in Disguise

In the forest of Champakvan lived Cheeku and Meeku. They were the best of friends. While Cheeku was bright and knew no fear, Meeku, over the days had grown lazy and wasn’t as brave as Cheeku. Nevertheless, they played together every day. Their arch rival was a fox. He’d always try to catch Cheeku and Meeku, but Cheeku would always foil his plans. But the fox refused to accept defeat.

One day, the fox dressed up like a saint and walked up to Cheeku and Meeku.

“Where are you going, children?” he asked them.

The Bushy Trap

Cheeku immediately understood that this was just another ploy to catch them. But, he decided to play along. With his hands joined and his head bowed in respect, Cheeku replied, “We’re off to play sir. But why are you dressed this way?”

With the deep sigh, the fox replied, “I have done a lot of bad things in my life. I want to make amends. This is why I have decided to live life as an ascetic and help the little animals of the forest.”

While Cheeku saw through the foxes plan, Meeku was fooled.

“You seem like a weak little mouse,” said the fox, turning to Meeku. “I have the recipe for an amazing tonic that will make you big and strong.”

“Is this tonic the secret behind your strength? ” asked Meeku.

“That’s right my child,” said the fox. “I’d love to share some with you, but I’ve left it at home. Would you like to come to my home with me? I have an extra bottle just for you.”

More from Champak: Cheeku and Meeku are Sitting Under A Tree

Meeku was ready to go, but Cheeku spoke before him and said, “We’d love to. But we can’t come with you until you prove to us that you drink this tonic too.”

The fox was in a fix. Unless he did as Cheeku says, they would never come with him to his house. As he wondered what his options were, Cheeku said, “Do you see that tree over there? If you can touch it and come back before I count to ten, we’ll come with you.”

The fox was relieved. He was glad it was something so simple. “A little exercise before a meal is good for you,” he said to himself and took off. The long, flowing clothes weren’t the best for running, but he still managed to run.

As the fox ran towards the tree, Cheeku turned to Meeku and said, “Run! By the time the fox reaches the tree, we’ll be long gone.”

“But why, Cheeku? That Baba will help me get strong and fast like him,” said Meeku.

“Of course not, Meeku. If there was such a tonic, you think he would be giving it to strangers for free? He is surely a con man – or worse, a predator out to eat us!” explained Cheeku.

Meeku thought about what Cheeku said, and agreed that the two of them should run before the fox got back. Cheeku was relieved that by running home at least his friend Meeku was getting some exercise.

The fox wondered what he should cook when he got home. The thought of the yummy food made his mouth water. The fox touched the tree and turned around only to find that Cheeku and Meeku were missing.

He saw that they had run far away and that there was no way he could catch them now.

The Egg Burglar

Sammy, the bear had a poultry farm. Every morning, he would go to the chicken coops to collect eggs. But one day, when he opened a coop, he was shocked to see many eggs missing and some were broken. The hens looked frightened and were either running around or cowering in a corner.

Sammy immediately filed a complaint at the police station. Inspector Rocky, the dog came to Sammy’s farm to look for clues. He asked Sammy a few questions, but he could not come to any conclusion. Sammy too couldn’t think of anyone who would want to attack his chickens or steal from him. The only thing he noticed was that the door to the coop had the number 2015′ written on it.

Ten days after the incident, Danny, the deer’s poultry farm was also similarly attacked. When Rocky inspected Danny’s farm, he realised that it was the same thief who had struck at Sammy’s farm as “2015′ was written on the coop. But this time too, none of them could come up with any suspects.

One morning, when Pookie, the pig was walking about his farm, he noticed the same writing. He informed Rocky about it, who immediately deployed two officers to keep an eye on his farm.

Fearless Mongoo Gets a New Home

“The thief should attack Pookie’s farm tonight,” presumed Rocky.

But to his surprise, Benny, the goat’s farm was burgled instead. Rocky reached Benny’s farm to investigate.

“That’s odd. Then why was the number written on Pookie’s farm?” pondered Rocky confused.

“Number? What number?” asked Benny.

Rocky then showed Benny the number 2015′ written on one of the doors of others’ farms.

Rocky explained, “You see, when Sammy’s farm was burgled, he noticed the number written. But when I saw it written in Pookie’s farm, I thought it would be attacked. But yours was attacked instead.”

Suddenly, Benny brightened up; he knew who the thief was. “It’s Benji, the fox!” he declared.

“Who is Benji? And why do you think he would’ve done this?” questioned Rocky.

“Benji used to work for me as my farm manager. But he was always careless especially with the calculations and I had warned him several times. One day, I incurred a huge loss because of him and so I fired him. I think he could be behind this,” said Benny.

“But how can you be so sure?” asked Rocky.

“When he writes ‘5’, it looks like the letter ‘S’. If you look carefully at the number written on the gate it is written that way,” said Benny.

Rocky noticed that Benny was right and so he, along with the others, went to Benji’s house. Benji was shocked to see all of them. Rocky walked around the house looking for evidence. He soon found some eggs, chicks and broken eggshells in a corner.

“Benji! You are the one behind all the burglaries at the farms. I am going to arrest you for it,” said Rocky.

“But how did you know it was me?” asked Benji surprised.

“You led us to you by writing the number on the farm doors,” replied Rocky.

“How is that possible? I wrote that to confuse you,” said Benji, still baffled.

“You made one tiny mistake and that’s what gave you away. You always write the number ‘5’ like the letter ‘S,’ said Benny.

More from Champak: Farm trouble

Then, Danny asked, “But why did you attack the other farms? You could’ve just attacked Benny’s farm.”

“If I had attacked only Benny’s farm, everyone would have suspected me right away. So, I decided to attack the other farms to confuse everyone,” said Benji.

“Is that why you didn’t attack Pookie’s farm even after you wrote the number there? To confuse us?” asked Rocky.

“Yes, I did that to divert your attention away from Benny’s farm,” explained Benji.

“But now you will have to pay for the losses and regret your action while in prison,” Rocky said putting a handcuff on Benji.

Baddy Steals The Show!

Hurray! Our experiment is successful!” cheered Blacky, the bear and Jumbo, the elephant as they saw their car floating mid-air.

On hearing their excited shouts, Baddy, the fox came into the garage where the two were working to see what was happening.

“Blacky and Jumbo, is your experiment over? Why do you both look so happy?” asked Baddy.

“Yes! We have successfully built a solar hover car,” said Jumbo excitedly. He then pressed a button on the remote and the car started to rise from the ground.

“Wow! This is incredible!” exclaimed Baddy.

“Day after tomorrow, we shall exhibit it before the entire jungle,” said Jumbo.

“We will become famous and everyone will refer to us as the inventors of this impressive solar hover car,” said Blacky happily.

The Night Ghost

“But we must thank you, Baddy, for letting us work in your garage. Thank you so much!” said Jumbo.

“Yes, Baddy too is responsible for the invention of this solar hover car,” pitched in Blacky.

“I am more than happy to have helped you both. I am happy for your success,” said Baddy.

The three then locked the garage and went home.

The next morning, NEWS when Blacky and Jumbo switched on the television, they saw Baddy all over the news and that everybody was praising him for his new creation—the solar hover car!

“What’s this, Jumbo?” asked Blacky shocked.

“I have no idea. I am quite surprised myself,” replied Jumbo.

Both of them hurried to Baddy’s house where a lot of reporters had already gathered and were waiting to interview Baddy.

“How does your invention work, Baddy?” asked one reporter.

“My latest invention is a car that can be driven with the help of sunlight. But the best part is that it is not to be driven on the road like other ordinary cars; it actually flies! It is a solar hover car,” said a boastful Baddy.

“Fly? Could you demonstrate?” asked the reporter.

“I would have given you a demo but it is very cloudy right now, so it will not work,” said Baddy.

“Does that mean we will not be able to use this car at night?” asked the reporter. “You will be able to operate it in the night but it needs to be charged for which you will need sunlight. Right now, it is not fully charged and so I cannot demonstrate how to use it,” answered Baddy.

“Did anybody else help you build it?” asked another reporter.

“Yes, Blacky and Jumbo helped me. One of them got me tea and the other got me snacks while I was working on the car,” said Baddy with a laugh.

More from Champak: The Case Of The Missing Lotuses

All the reporters started laughing too.

“Liar! We built this solar car!” interrupted Blacky and Jumbo angrily.

“What? Why are you both lying? Now that my experiment is successful, you want credit for it?” asked Baddy.

“No, we are telling the truth. This is our invention and we worked very hard on it,” said Blacky angrily.

“If both of you built this car, why didn’t you inform us earlier and how come Baddy knows all about it?” questioned one of the reporters.

Blacky and Jumbo tried their best to convince the reporters but nobody was ready to believe them. Baddy then announced that he would demonstrate the car’s flying capabilities the next day at 11 a.m., following which everyone dispersed. Blacky and Jumbo went home disappointed.

The following morning, Baddy had parked the car in the garden so that it would be charged by the time everyone arrived. When it was 11, he stepped outside to see people already waiting for him.

“I know that all of you have been eagerly waiting to see this car hover in the air. You shall witness it now,” announced Baddy as he sat in the car.

He switched it on but it didn’t start. Baddy tried again and this time, the car slowly started floating in the air. There were loud gasps of surprise from the crowd. And then some started to clap.

Carried away by the applause, Baddy failed to notice that the car was rising fast. Suddenly, he realised what was happening and tried to slow it down but he couldn’t do it. He tried everything but the car just kept rising and rising.

Baddy panicked and started yelling for help. By then, the car had already risen so high that nobody could hear his cry for help. Everyone assumed he was waving his hands because he was excited. As the car flew higher, it became difficult for Baddy to breathe and he eventually fainted.

When Baddy finally woke up, he realised he was lying on his bed at home and noticed the reporters gathered around him.

“How did I get here?” asked Baddy.

“Your car was out of control. We didn’t know what to do when we didn’t see you for a long time. Your car had risen so high that we couldn’t even see you. That’s when Blacky and Jumbo arrived and they brought the car down with the help of a remote,” explained a reporter.

“Yes, and they brought you down in time, otherwise it would have been fatal for you,” said Dr Drake, the deer who was called in to check on Baddy.

“They’re waiting for you outside now,” he informed.

Baddy immediately rushed outside to apologise to Blacky and Jumbo.

“I am sorry. I lied about the invention. It was yours and I wanted to take all the credit for it,” said Baddy regretting his behaviour.

On hearing his confession, everyone who was gathered there became angry with Baddy and started yelling at him.

“Please, stop! We have forgiven Baddy. We request you to forgive him too,” said Jumbo to all the reporters present there.

Baddy apologised to everybody and assured them that he will never try to steal the credit for someone else’s hard work.

Tony Gets a New Friend

It was a beautiful and sunny day. Mini, the bird was flying around cheerfully and then decided to perch on a tree and sing. But when she started to sing, she was rudely interrupted.

“Stop singing!” said Tony, the tiger harshly.

“Oh! But why? I was only singing,” responded Mini politely.

“Keep quiet, will you? Don’t argue with me!” growled Tony.

Mini noticed that the tiger was in a rather foul mood, so she decided to stop singing. Instead, she simply looked around and observed: “This is a zoo; that’s why there are so many animals here. But I wonder why this tiger didn’t want me to sing.”

Just then, Mini noticed that a lot of people came to visit Tony who was in a cage.

“Oh! Now I understand why this tiger is annoyed. He has to live inside a cage. Even though he’s been given a big one, he must be used to the freedom of the jungle where he would take long walks. He really must be unhappy here. And here I was thinking that it must be because I was a bad singer!” thought Mini.

The Parched Jungle

“He still looks very angry,” she murmured as she observed him closely.

Just when Mini was about to talk to him, a few kids came running towards Tony’s cage.

“Look! It’s a tiger. Don’t go near it,” cautioned a kid.

“Hey, don’t be silly! He’s inside his cage. There’s nothing to worry,” said another and walked up to the cage and started teasing Tony.

Tony was now getting angrier. He roared loudly.

“Oh! He’s roaring. What fun! If we tease him more, he’ll roar louder,” suggested one of the kids.

Soon, all of them started teasing Tony which annoyed him more and he roared even louder.

This excited the kids and they continued to tease him. Tony, who finally got fed up of them, got up and moved to a far corner of his cage. Wanting to draw him closer to them, the kids they started throwing stones at him.

“Naughty kids! I will teach them a lesson,” resolved Mini.

She flew straight towards the kids and attacked them by pecking their heads. Scared, the kids ran away.

“Thank you so much, Mini,” said Tony with a relieved smile.

“I didn’t know that it was so difficult living inside a cage. It must be suffocating for you,” said Mini.

“No, Mini. I am used to living inside this cage. I don’t feel sad here. The people who take care of me are good people. I only have a problem with these kids who come to see me every day. Their idea of fun is to annoy me,” explained Tony.

“I always thought the animals that lived in the zoo were happy. But many of you look sad,” said Mini.

“Yes, that’s because of some people’s behaviour, we’re always angry at all the other visitors. The other day, somebody threw a big stone at the crocodile and he was hurt,” said Tony.

More from Champak: Bunty Bear’s Missing Key

“There are some kids who are nice. Not everyone wants to torture you. But these naughty kids needed to be taught a lesson,” said Mini. “And if you get bored, I could come here every day and entertain you. Just don’t be mad at me.”

“Oh!” That would be wonderful! exclaimed Tony. “If you come to meet me every day, I will never be in a bad mood again!” he said with a wide grin on his face.

The Night Ghost

It was quite late in the night when Jumbo, the elephant was walking home along a deserted stretch of road. Suddenly, a strange-looking object appeared before him.

“I am the Night Ghost!” it proclaimed. “Give me whatever you possess.”

“I am not scared of you. You are so puny, said Jumbo waving his trunk at the ghost.

“Puny? You think I am puny?” asked the ghost enraged. It miraculously began to grow bigger and bigger.

“Do I look puny now?” asked the ghost.

Jumbo fainted in shock on seeing the ghost grow bigger. After some time, when he regained consciousness, he noticed that all his belongings were gone. He was now very scared. He quickly rushed home and fell sick immediately.

On hearing about his condition, his friends came to visit him.

The Ghost of Penupuram

“What’s wrong, Jumbo? Are you feeling unwell?” asked Jumpy, the monkey.

Jumbo narrated the entire incident.

“How is it possible? Ghosts aren’t real,” said Meeku, the mouse.

“I thought so too but ever since my encounter with the Night Ghost, I have started to believe in them,” said Jumbo.

“I think you must have been hallucinating. How is it possible for something to just grow bigger in a matter of seconds?” asked Meeku curiously.

“Yes! That’s why I know for sure that what I saw was indeed a ghost,” insisted Jumbo.

“I don’t believe you,” said Jumpy.

Nobody believed Jumbo. But when the other inhabitants of the forest started having similar experiences, everyone began to fear the Night Ghost. No one dared to venture out alone at night, especially on the road where the ghost was usually seen.

One day, Cheeku, the rabbit fell ill. He asked his friends to take him to the hospital, but they were too scared of the Night Ghost. They had to take the deserted road to reach the hospital which they were afraid to do so at night. Instead, they took Cheeku to the hospital the following morning.

There, Dr Pintu, the giraffe checked Cheeku and prescribed some medicines. He said, “I am glad that you got him here on time. If you had been slightly late, it would have been difficult for me to save him.” Everyone was relieved.

Cheeku was in the hospital for a week. During that time, he resolved to get rid of the so called Night Ghost as soon as he got home.

After a week, Cheeku felt better and was back home. That night, he decided to walk down the deserted road hoping to meet the Night Ghost. And as expected, the ghost appeared before him.

“I am the Night Ghost! Hand over all your belongings,” it said.

“Only owls and bats fly around at night. So are you the ghost of one?” asked Cheeku.

This angered the ghost. “Don’t try to act funny or else I will have to teach you a lesson!” it threatened and started changing its shape.

Instead of getting scared by its growing size, Cheeku calmly took out a bottle.

“What’s this? Going to trap me in that little bottle, are you? I am no Genie. I am a ghost!” it howled.

“No! This is magic powder. See what it does,” so saying, Cheeku blew the magic powder into the ghost’s eyes.

“Ow! My eyes! They are burning! What was that powder?” cried the ghost.

“It was chilli powder. Show yourself and I will give you water,” said Cheeku waving a bottle of water in front of the ghost.

More from Champak: The Sugarcane Ghost

“Ok! Ok!” exclaimed the ghost and immediately removed the costume. And out emerged Baddy.

“Now give me the water!” he said and grabbed the bottle from Cheeku and washed his eyes.

He then tried to escape but Cheeku caught hold of him and produced him before everyone. Cheeku asked Baddy to confess and he did. He told everyone about his plan to dress up as a ghost and steal everyone’s belongings.

“But how did Baddy become bigger than me?” Jumbo asked.

“When Baddy was hiding inside the big black robe, he also kept a balloon hidden along with him. Whenever he wanted to appear to be growing bigger, he would loosen the string of the balloon and it would float upwards lifting the robe along with it,” explained Cheeku. “So that is why it looked as if it was becoming bigger right in front of your eyes, and you were all convinced that it was a ghost.”

“You are right, Cheeku. We shouldn’t have blindly believed it. If I ever come across another ghost, I’ll lift it with my trunk and toss it away,” said Jumbo waving his trunk about much to everyone’s amusement.

The Greatest Treasure

One day, Baddy, the fox was walking down the forest trail, lost in thought.

“Where are you off to so early in the morning, Baddy?” asked Cheeku, the rabbit who was on his morning walk.

“I’m glad I ran into you, Cheeku,” said Baddy.

“Why? Were you looking for me?” asked Cheeku.

“I wasn’t exactly looking for you, Cheeku. I’m actually looking for a well,” said Baddy.

“You’re looking for a well? Why? Are you thirsty?” asked Cheeku.

“No, no, let me explain,” said Baddy. “I had a dream last night that there’s a well somewhere in the forest and it’s all dried up. I’m looking for that well.”

Cheeku gave Baddy a confused look. Baddy further explained, “In my dream, the dried-up well is filled with treasures. I need to find that well and dig out all the treasure. With it, I’ll become the richest animal in the forest.”

Things made sense to Cheeku now and he said, “Baddy, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think there’s any treasure or even a dried-up well in Champakvan. It was just a dream. So instead of running around the forest looking for some treasure, why don’t you join me? We’ll run together. It’ll be good for your health.”

Baddy said he’d rather continue his search for the well and walked away, and Cheeku went back to his morning walk.

Baddy spent some time wandering around Champakvan, until he saw a well. Baddy ran to the well and peered inside. It seemed to be dry.

“I’ve found it! I’m rich! I’m rich!” he shouted and danced. “Now I’ll climb into the well and search for that treasure!” he said and peered inside once again.

The well was deep, but its walls had rocks jutting out in different places. “I can use these rocks as footholds and climb down,” Baddy said to himself and began to climb down.

The well was deeper than he thought and it became dark very fast. Baddy almost made out of the well but one of the steps gave away and he fell into the well.

At the bottom, there were rocks and stones and Baddy was badly bruised. But he was so keen on finding the treasure that he paid no attention to his injuries and began digging the ground. All he found were stones and rocks.

Baddy looked at the walls of the well, and just then he saw a big black snake come out of one of the holes in the wall.

“Oh no! A snake!” he shouted and began to tremble with fear.

Fortunately for him, the snake was good-natured and meant no harm to him.

“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you,” said the snake reassuringly. “What are you doing here in this well?”

Baddy told the snake about his dream and that he was looking for the buried treasure.

“Hmm…you seem to believe in superstitions,” said the snake.

“You’re so keen on finding the treasure that you’re not bothered by how difficult or dangerous the situation might be. Well, let me spare you the effort of digging and tell you that there is no buried treasure here.”

Baddy felt dejected. He decided to head back out of the well, but he realised that he didn’t know how he was going to do that.

Baddy scratched his head, looking for a solution. Even after thinking for several minutes, Baddy had no idea of how to get out of the well. He sat down and started to cry.

The snake said, “Why don’t you shout for help. Maybe someone will hear you and help you out.”

When Baddy called for help, Meeku who was passing by heard his cries. He put his hand out and asked Baddy to grab on.

“Give me your hand and I’ll pull you out!” Meeku said.

But Baddy refused to put his hand out. Meeku didn’t know what to do. He called Jumbo.

Jumbo offered to help and said Baddy, “Here! Give me your hand and I’ll pull you out with my trunk.” But Baddy refused again.

“I think he’s gone crazy,” Meeku whispered to Jumbo. “He called for help, and when we offer it, he refuses!”

Meeku saw Cheeku going home and he called out to him. He told Cheeku everything.

Cheeku realised what was happening and told the others what to do.

Cheeku said, “Baddy has always taken. He doesn’t know how to give. Ask him to take your trunk, Jumbo and you’ll be able to pull him out easily.”

Jumbo told him, “Here you go, Baddy! Take my trunk. I’ll pull you out.”

Baddy didn’t refuse this time. After Baddy was rescued, Cheeku told him, “Baddy, Do you know what the biggest treasure is? It is friendship. We’ll always help you out, Baddy, and we know no treasure can replace our friendship.”

Baddy realised his mistake and apologised to others. He realised there is no bigger wealth than friendship. He was changed and began to help others and was not greedy anymore.

Cotton Football

Meeku, the mouse came back Champakvan after spending his summer vacations in the city. He rushed to the ground to play with his friends in the evening.

“Look what I got from the city!” he said to his friends pointing at his football.

“Oh wow! Let’s play now,” Jumbo, the elephant said. “Let’s make two teams first. Without two teams, we can’t play,” Meeku said and they immediately formed two teams.

“Tarry, pass me the ball,” Meeku said to Tarry, the frog.

Tarry passed the ball to Meeku who quickly converted the pass into a goal.

“Hurray! I scored!” Meeku shouted excitedly.

“Good job, Meeku!” Tarry congratulated his friend.

Stay Put Timbu!

The match continued heatedly. Jumbo ran to score but Meeku stopped him. In the process, both of them fell on the ground. Jumbo thought Meeku would get squashed by his weight, he tried to fall on the other side. The football came under Jumbo and burst and seeing this, Meeku was in tears.

“I didn’t have a choice, Meeku. If I had not diverted my fall, you would have been squashed. But don’t worry. I will go to the city and fix your football in a day or two,” Jumbo consoled Meeku.

“I am sad because today is the first time I scored a goal. I would have definitely become the player of the week. Now, we will not be able to play anymore,” a dejected Meeku said.

“Don’t worry about it Meeku. If you play well the next time, you will be the player of the match,” Tarry said.

“But the match was fun. Now, what do we do?” Cheeku, the rabbit asked.

“Should we play with a coconut?” Baddy, the fox suggested.

“Baddy, that sounds like an idea to send us to the hospital. How can we play football with a coconut? If it falls on our head, we will surely get injured.” Tarry told Baddy.

“Let’s use a pumpkin instead?” Jumpy, the monkey then suggested.

“Jumpy, first of all, the shape of a pumpkin is not proper for playing football and even if we do play football with it, it will soon be a squish squash football.” Jumbo laughed.

“We need something made out of cotton,” Damru, the donkey then suggested.

More from Champak: No Place to Play

“Fine, Damru, but where do we find a football made out of cotton?” Baddy said and everyone started laughing at Damru.

When everyone started making fun of him, Damru started crying.

Just then, a weaver bird was sitting on the tree and overhearing this conversation between friends. She came to Damru and said, “Hey, why are you making so much noise here? My children are sleeping. You will wake them up.”

“Sorry, dear. Damru here is crying. He gave us an idea, which sounded quite funny. So everybody laughed at him,” Jumbo said.

“What idea?” the weaver bird asked.

“Our football burst. We were thinking of what to do. Damru said that we could make a football out of cotton,” Jumbo explained the sequence of events.

“Why not? That may be possible,” the weaver bird said looking at them.

“But how?” everyone asked.

“Go get some cotton. I will make a football for you,” said the weaver bird.

Meeku got some cotton and the weaver bird started filling the busted football with cotton. Then, she stitched the end that had burst and gave the football back to them.

“Here, your football is ready. It will not bounce so much but you can still play with it and entertain yourselves,” the weaver bird said.

“Oh wow!” Jumbo exclaimed.

Everyone was very excited and impressed with the weaver bird. All of them thanked her.

“Don’t make fun of others without thinking about it. Doing so hurts their feelings,” said the weaver bird.

“You’re right. We promise we will not do so in future,” said Tarry and all of them hugged Damru.

“Okay, I’ll take your leave now. But don’t make any more noise. My children will wake up,” the weaver bird said and flew back to her nest.

“Let’s re-start our match. I was playing well today,” Meeku told the rest of the team. They all went back to their game.

The Case Of The Missing Lotuses

Tarry, the frog lived in a small pond. He was very fond of flowers, so he grew lotuses, water lilies and many other kinds of water plants in his pond. For any special occasions such as birthdays, he would readily give his flowers to anyone who asked.

One day, Blacky, the bear was walking past Tarry’s house as Tarry was cleaning his pond. He would remove weeds and other waste from the pond frequently.

“What are you doing?” asked Blacky.

“These weeds do not allow the good plants to grow well. They feed on the nutrition that these other plants could use,” Tarry replied. “In a way, they are parasites. So, it’s important to rid the pond of them.”

“Tarry, the lotuses of your pond are very exotic. Nothing can match them,” said Blacky.


Tarry, as always, replied modestly, “Thank you so much, Blacky.”

Just then Cheeku, the rabbit came there and asked Tarry for some lotuses. “Tomorrow is Meeku’s birthday. I want to gift him some lovely flowers,” said Cheeku.

“OK, I shall give you these flowers in the morning,” said Tarry. “These fresh buds would bloom by tomorrow.”

“Thank you! I’ll meet you tomorrow then,” said Cheeku and bid him goodbye.

But the next morning proved to be a surprise for Tarry. All the lotuses were gone!

“Oh my!” cried Tarry. “Where have the flowers gone?”

Cheeku too was sad on not getting the flowers. He said, “Don’t worry, Tarry. Whoever did this will soon be caught.”

Cheeku was on his way back, thinking to himself, “I’ll have to think of something else to gift Meeku.” He noticed Baddy, the fox selling lots of flowers. There were also many lotuses and water lilies there.

Cheeku was curious, and so he asked Baddy where he got all these flowers. “I have started selling flowers to make money. I do not own a garden or a pond but I get these from my friends in other forests,” replied Baddy.

Cheeku looked at Baddy with suspicion, “Well, who are these friends?”

Baddy laughed slyly, “I can’t disclose my business secrets to you.”

It was getting late, and Meeku’s birthday party was about to start, so Cheeku bought five lotuses from Baddy and left.

At Meeku’s birthday, everyone praised the beautiful lotuses, which were placed in a vase at the centre of the table.

Blacky complained, “Even I had gone to Tarry’s house to get flowers but he had none. I wonder how he gave you these flowers.”

Cheeku said, “I got these from Baddy, the fox.”

Blacky sniffed the flowers and said, “I don’t believe it. These flowers are surely from Tarry’s pond, I can recognise their fragrance anywhere.”

Cheeku said, “Even I had my suspicions about where Baddy got these flowers from, but I don’t know how I can prove it.”

“Let’s go to Tarry’s house to look for clues tomorrow,” suggested Meeku.

“Yes!” everyone agreed.

The next day Cheeku, Meeku and Blacky went to Tarry’s pond. Tarry was standing outside his gate with a worried look.

“Hello, Tarry. What’s up?” asked Blacky.

“My flowers have been stolen again! This time even the buds have been snipped!” wailed Tarry.

“Did you lock your gate properly?” asked Meeku.

“Of course, I did!” cried Tarry.

Cheeku had a thorough look at the pond and said, “We all should guard Tarry’s pond tonight to catch the thief red-handed. But first, I need to do some investigation.”

Everyone worked together and they were shocked to find Crocky, the crocodile stuck in the net.

“Crocky, you!” said everyone in disbelief.

Crocky was very embarrassed.

“I… I am sorry,” he said. “Baddy promised me a bag of fishes if I help him steal flowers,” he blurted.

“But, how did you come into the pond unnoticed?” asked Meeku.

“From the underground tunnel inside the pond, right?” answered Cheeku instead.

Crocky nodded.

More from Champak: Naughty Baddy Gets Caught

Looking at the surprised glances of his friends, Cheeku explained, “I knew it because the theft was done even with the gates locked, so the thief was coming in through another route. I asked Jumbo, who used to live here before, and he told me about the underground tunnel under the pond. So, I realized that the thief was someone who was a good swimmer.”

They all went to Shersingh, the King of Champakvan and explained to him all that had happened. Shersingh was very angry at Baddy and ordered him to return the flowers he had stolen and the money he had made selling the stolen flowers.

Baddy was also sentenced to clean weeds in Tarry’s pond for six months as punishment, and Tarry and his friends got to share his beautiful, fragrant flowers once again.

Work With Patience

Jumbo, the elephant was ambling along swinging his trunk. He passed a sugarcane field on his way. He stopped by and pulled out some sugarcane and moved ahead.

After walking some distance he saw Kittu, the squirrel with a pile of coconuts beside her.

“Kittu, what are you doing?” asked Jumbo.

“Jumbo I am shredding coconut to make coconut ladoos.”

“Wow! I like coconut laddoos too. May I have some of your coconut ladoos?” asked Jumbo in a pleading tone.

“Surely, but first let me prepare the ladoos. Since you are here, help me in shredding the coconut,” said Kittu and Jumbo agreed readily.

Jumbo started shredding the coconut, but soon got fed up.

Work Without Risk

“How boring! I don’t want to shred the coconut,” said Jumbo and got up and went away from there, before Kittu could say anything. After he had gone some distance he saw Dabbu, the rabbit standing in the field.

“Dabbu what are you doing in your field in this scorching sun?”

“Jumbo, today we are preparing carrot halwa at our house. I came to collect some carrots for it,” said Dabbu pulling out a carrot.

“Halwa! Dabbu can I come to your house to eat halwa?” Jumbo asked, his mouth already watering

“Yes, why not, but then we will require more carrots to prepare the halwa. Jumbo, please help me grate the carrots. That way we will be done with our work sooner.” They walked to Dabbu’s house and entered his kitchen.

“I will be done in a giffy,” said Jumbo and started grating the carrots. Just as with the coconuts, Jumbo enjoyed it for a while, but soon felt bored.

‘It takes so long to grate the carrots. Who knows how long it will take to grate enough to make enough halwa for the both of us,’ thought Jumbo and moved on from there.

“What happened? Where are you going?” asked Dabbu, when he saw Jumbo go.

“I just remembered I have to do something important,” Jumbo made an: excuse and went away from there.

Going, further along, he saw a banana tree. He broke a bunch of bananas and sat under the shade of a tree eating it.

‘Such tasty bananas!’ thought Jumbo as he ate them and threw the banana peels on one side. Then he peeled one banana after another and ate the whole bunch.

After a few moments, Jumbo felt a slight movement on his leg. He shrieked when he saw ants moving on his leg.

Yikes! So many ants! What will happen if they go into my trunk?’ Jumbo shouted and he flicked them from his legs and threw them far.

Jumbo saw that the ants were taking the pulp from the banana skin to their ant holes in the tree.

Most of the ants lost their balance and fell off the tree, when they tried to climb the tree carrying the pulp. However, not accepting defeat, they got back on their feet and climbed again. However, the same thing happened again.

When this happened three or four times, Jumbo felt pity for the ants.

“Oh! Why are you working so hard just to get a bit of pulp? I will keep a peeled banana near your hole,” said Jumbo and he kept a peeled banana near the ants’ hole.

But the ants continued trying to carry the banana pulp to their hole.

‘It seems they haven’t seen the whole banana,’ thought Jumbo. At that moment he saw a few ants go near the banana.

Good, the ants have come to know about the banana. Now they will not come down and trouble me,’ thought Jumbo happily. But the ants continued to carry the little bit of banana pulp.

‘Is one banana not enough for them, that they are still working so hard for that bit of pulp, thought Jumbo and kept another banana near the ants’ hole. But the ants continued to bring little bits of pulp.

More from Champak: Unity Is Strength

One by one Jumbo kept five bananas near the ants’ hole. But the ants continued to carry a little pulp to their hole. Seeing this Jumbo lost his temper.

“Either you’ll are foolish or greedy. I have kept five bananas near your hole, but all of you are still toiling for a bit of pulp,” Jumbo said in anger.

A tiny voice spoke up. “We are neither foolish nor greedy but we just do not want to change our way of working patiently.” Jumbo was shocked at hearing this because it was coming from an old ant who had stepped out of the hole to speak to Pappu.

“Today you have given us bananas, but if we get used to getting things easily, we will not be able to look for food late, when there is no one to give it to us so easily. So we do not want to leave our habit of working patiently,” said the elderly ant.

On hearing these words Jumbo realized that he neither had any patience nor did he believe in working. If the small ants facing such difficulty can do such hard work with patience, then why can’t I?’ Jumbo thought and went to help Kittu and Dabbu with their work.

In return, they let Jumbo have some coconut ladoos and carrot halwa and Jumbo finally understood that hard work and patience always pays off.

Aman Cooks Up a Solution 

It was a Saturday. Usually, Aman would be out playing with his best friend, Rohit. But today, he was busy in the kitchen. Since his mother was unwell, Aman had taken her place, preparing simple meals for his family. His little sister, Neelam, was the happiest.

“Aman, the aloo parathas you had packed for lunch yesterday was so yummy that all my friends gobbled it up within minutes. I had to make do with eating their lunches,” said Neelam.

“Ha ha! Next time, remind me to pack some extra for your friends as well,” said Aman. “I am happy that you have taken over the kitchen duties now. Imagine having to eat Dad’s boring bread and jam for a whole week like he made us eat last year when Mom had gone out of town!” said Neelam.

Dad, who had just walked into the kitchen, overheard Neelam’s comment and asked in mock anger, “Who is complaining about my cooking skills?”

“Not complaining, Dad, but just sighing in relief,” said Neelam cheekily.

The three laughed. Aman then prepared tea for his parents and served it to them.

“Thank you, Aman, for helping Dad with the housework while I have been unwell,” said Mom. “I hope it has not been too much trouble for you. Hope you are not missing out on your schoolwork because of this.”

Hip Hip Hurray

“Don’t worry, Mom. You just relax. I have more than enough time to study in the evenings,” said Aman.

That evening, Rohit dropped by to invite Aman over to play.

“I can’t come out now to play, Rohit. I am quite busy,” said Aman.

“You didn’t come out to play in the morning as well! Why are you wasting your time in the kitchen doing girlie things?” asked Rohit, making a face.

“It’s not a girlie thing to be in the kitchen, especially if you are pitching in with the housework when your mom is sick. Our moms do all the house chores for us without complaining. So, when they are unwell, it is our turn to help them without complaining,” said Aman.

Rohit gave it a thought and then said, “I guess you are right. I won’t trouble you anymore.”

In a couple of days, Aman’s mother recovered and took over the kitchen duties.

Aman continued to help around the kitchen by chopping the vegetables and kneading the dough. Mom taught him a few new recipes. Even Neelam helped with whatever little she could like washing the vegetables and peeling the skin of garlic pods and potatoes.

“Aman, now that I am well, you should start focusing on your studies again,” said Mom.

“I love cooking, Mom. It is fun and also helps me relax before I sit down to study, replied Aman.

A couple of months later, Aman, Neelam and their school friends were on their way to a day-long picnic organised by their school. The picnic spot was a few kilometres away from the city. Once they reached the picnic spot, the kids divided themselves into groups and began playing.

More from Champak: Unique Picnic

Close to lunchtime, the teachers looked visibly worried. The cooks who were supposed to prepare the lunch had not reached as yet. The van they were travelling in had broken down. By the time they reach, it would be way past lunchtime, and the three teachers weren’t skilled at cooking for a large number of people.

While the teachers debated the options, Aman stepped forward and said, “If you do not mind, I can help you.”

“How? Do you know how to cook?” asked one of the teachers surprised.

“Yes! He cooked for us for a whole week when our mother was unwell,” said Neelam.

“And we will help in whatever way we can,” volunteered a few of Aman’s friends, including Rohit.

“Okay. There’s no harm in giving it a try,” said another teacher.

Aman divided his friends into groups and put each group in charge of a task—the first group washed and peeled the vegetables, the second group chopped them, and the third group helped grind spices and stir the pots in turns—all under the supervision of their teachers who handled the major portion of the cooking. To make it more fun, Aman and his friends sang songs and played word games as they cooked.

Within no time, lunch was ready! Even though it was simpler than the one planned for the picnic, everyone ate it with relish.

The next day, during assembly, the school principal appreciated the students for helping with the picnic lunch. He made a special mention of Aman for coming up with the idea and mobilising his friends.

The principal said, “Times have changed. Cooking is not a woman’s job anymore. Today, it is a basic skill that everyone needs to learn to be able to survive on their own. To encourage all the students to learn cooking, I plan to organise an annual cooking competition starting this year. Let’s schedule it for next month.”

Everyone cheered at the announcement. Neelam beamed at her brother with pride.

Wise Little Gittu

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

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

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

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

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

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

Megha’s Gift for Mom

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

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

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

“Help!” Golu screamed.

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

“Where are you?” Motu yelled out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More From Champak: Help Yourself

Gittu climbed down again but this time with another rope.

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

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


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

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


Raju And the Firefly

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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




Jambu’s Special Mother

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

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

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


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

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

“Good riddance,” muttered Mantru.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

More from Champak: The Naughty Duckling

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

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


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

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

The Best Mother’s Day Gift

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


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

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

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

The Naughty Duckling

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

More From Champak: Animal Mothers of the Wild

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

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


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

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

Trixie Gets Tricked

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

Both the friends then continued to chat in peace.

Monu’s Airlift

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

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

Sonu tickled Monu in the tummy.

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

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

Humans Can Fly Too!

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

“Mom! Help me! Mom!” he cried.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Mini and Tina did as told.

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

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

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

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

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


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

Humans Can Fly Too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The three giggled at the idea.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

The Parched Jungle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mili to the Rescue

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

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

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

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

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

More from Champak: Clouds to the Rescue

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

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

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

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

The Secret of the Haunted Farmhouse

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


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

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

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

Meanwhile, the brothers had already started packing.

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

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

“How are things, Ramu?” asked Dad.

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

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

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

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

The Ghost of Penupuram

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

“That’s strange,” mumbled Ramu.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

More from Champak: THE GHOST IN THE ROOM

Back at the house, the two brothers had lunch.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

More From Champak:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ramu hung his head and remained silent.

“What about the ghost?” asked Mom.

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


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

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

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


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

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

The Clever Chimpanzees

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabu ate the nut and was very happy.

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

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

Dub Dub Turtle

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

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

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

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

“Ow! My finger!” cried Sabu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Mili to the Rescue

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Isha’s First Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Your shoes are so nice,” said Chotu.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes, ma’am, I am,” said Isha.

Courageous Brother

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

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

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

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

“Is Chotu your brother?” asked the teacher.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Hip Hip Hurray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

The Mystery of the Missing Pineapples

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

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

“I’ve got burgers!” Roco pitched in.

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

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

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

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

And They Became Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyone was confused.

More From Champak: The Egg Thief

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

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

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

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

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

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

More From Champak:  A Thief of Champakvan

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

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

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

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

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

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


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