Best Teacher

Hey buddy, Roli squirrel, the teacher is too strict. She scolds us all the time,” said Piyu, the tortoise.

Denko, the donkey added, “She lectures all the time.”

Tom, the dog could not stay from saying, “There are so many teachers in school. But, Roli keeps such a stern eye on us as though we are culprits.”

Piyu said, “On Sunday, I met her in the market. She asked me why I was roaming around in the bazaar. She also asked whether I had informed my parents before setting out. She wanted to know about my friends; who they were and where were they studying? I was tired of answering so many questions.”

Denko said, “We can do what we want when we are not in school. Why should that bother our teachers?”

Teachers’ Day Gift

Suddenly, Roli appeared in front of them. On seeing her, Kapil, the mole stammered and said, “Good Morning Madam. I didn’t say anything. I…I…I was just listening to them.”

Hiding her laughter Roli replied, “Classes were dismissed quite a while ago. You should’ve gone to your homes by now.”

Denko, Piyu and Tom quickly scampered away.

Roli said, “Kapil, you are good in studies. Denko, Piyu and Tom have more interest in mischief rather than studies. They don’t concentrate on their school work. You are their friend. While talking with them, advise them to take interest in studies as well. Alright?” Kapil nodded his head in agreement.

The half-yearly exams were over. The results were declared. Kapil’s results were satisfactory; whereas Piyu, Denko and Tom’s results were disappointing.

Soon, it was Teachers’ Day. The parents of all the students had been called to meet the teachers. This was the first time that the parents were meeting the teachers. Denko, Piyu and Tom were sitting together in the hall.

Grinding his teeth Tom said, “Where is Roli? I hope she doesn’t lecture to our parents as well. My father doesn’t like listening the lectures.”

Denko laughed and said, “My father gets angry easily. I hope he doesn’t get into an argument with Roli. Look, she has gone to sit on the stage.”


Piyu whispered, “My father doesn’t like people who talk a lot. He wasn’t even ready to come to school. I had to persuade him to come.”

That’s when Denko exclaimed, “Goodness! What’s happening? Look Piyu, your father is touching her feet!”

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All of them were surprised. Not just their parents, but also many other parents were touching Roli’s feet as a sign of respect.

Roli looked at Kapil and indicated that he should come towards the stage. Kapil ran towards the stage. She said something to him and Kapil immediately ran back to where his friends were standing.

He said, “Ma’am is calling the three of you on stage.”

Piyu said “What’s going to happen now? We have no idea what Roli must have told our parents about us.”

Denko said, “Come on, let’s go. Can’t you see? Our parents are also looking in our direction. Things may not go well for me.”

Tom said, “I am scared. Both of you walk ahead. I will follow you.”

Piyu, Denko and Tom reached the stage. Roli was surrounded by parents.


Seeing Piyu, Denko and Tom on the stage Roli said, “These three students are the pride of our school. They have done well in extracurricular activities. I am confident that they will perform very well in the annual examinations. They will score higher than all the other students.”

Piyu’s mother said to Roli, “You taught Piyu’s father too. He was just telling Tom’s father that whatever he has achieved so far, has been due to your efforts in teaching him.”


Denko’s father said, “Like me, there were several backbenchers, who were motivated by teacher Roli. She gave us advice, as well as a direction to our lives. We are confident that our children will make this school proud of them.”


Piyu, Denko and Tom listened silently. They thought to themselves, “Roli is the Best Teacher.”





Teachers’ Day Gift

Chimpu, the hedgehog, Shanu, the squirrel, Renu, the sparrow and Mani, the rabbit’s favourite teacher was Priya, the jackal. They wanted to gift her a card.

On the other hand, Manu, the pigeon, Pranshu, the mouse and Gopu, the fox wanted to please their teacher Akshay, the bear. They hoped that he would consider them his favourite students and praise them.

The principal of Andavan School, Aju, the lion had already put up a notice in the school that no student was allowed to buy a gift or a card. If the students wished to give their teacher something then it had to be something handmade.

Unlike the other children, Raki, the crow and his friend Chinnu, the eagle were to their usual mischief. They were unaware of the fact that the other children were earnestly preparing to celebrate Teacher’s Day.

They neither paid attention to their studies, nor did they submit homework on time. They didn’t participate in any school activity. Priya, the teacher often asked them to participate in sports, but they usually ignored her.

Trip To Cave

The children also had to prepare for their upcoming examinations. Koko, Shanu and Renu decided to make a card together so that they could make it quickly and save time. They could spend that time studying for the exams.

Priya had also said that working together in a group made each one learn something from the other, as well as saved time.

Manu, Pranshu and Gopu thought of making a huge bouquet of flowers. They gathered a lot of flowers from the jungle and arranged them together. They even decorated the bouquet with a few fancy items they bought with their pocket money. They finally presented this huge bouquet to their favourite teacher on Teacher’s day.


Seeing the huge bouquet Akshay thanked them and also told them that if they had given him a single flower with genuine respect he would have accepted that as well. He told them that the size of a gift, whether it was big or small didn’t matter, as much as the sincere intention with which it was given.

The other children at the school had also brought gifts for their teachers; some had brought sweets, some had brought fruits. All of them presented their gifts to their teachers.

That day all the children were happy. Seeing the others wish their teachers with cards and gifts, Raki and Chinnu thought that they should have brought a gift for their teacher.

More From Champak: Dadaji And Teachers’ Day

They were the only ones who had come empty-handed to class. Priya knew what was on their mind. However, she thought it would be sensible not to say anything to them.

Two weeks later, the examinations began. All the children except Raki and Chinnu worked hard. When Priya declared the results in class, everyone except for Raki and Chinnu, had passed with good grades. That day, both of them felt ashamed. They asked her to forgive them for their poor results.


Priya told them that if they wished to gift her a Teachers day gift they should promise her that they would study every day and they would listen to their elders. Raki and Cheenu promised they would do so.

Priya thought that if these two became studious and obedient, then that would be the best Teachers Day gift.




Kavya’s Umbrella

Since morning, Kavya had been looking out the window to check if Uncle Rakesh had arrived. Every year, Uncle Rakesh would visit from Dubai, and bring Kavya her a unique gift.

“Mummy, Uncle Rakesh is here!” Kayva called out to her mother excitedly, when she saw a cab stop outside the house.

Kavya ran to open the door. Rakesh too was excited to see his favourite niece. He gave her a big hug. They both sat down on the sofa, while Kavya’s mother brought a cup of hot tea and some onion pakoras.

“Kavya has been eagerly looking forward to your arrival. Ever since she got up this morning, she has been looking out the window,” said Kavya’s mother.

Rakesh laughed and said, “That is because I am her favourite uncle! And as always, I have brought a gift for my favourite niece.”

Kavya’s eyes widened with excitement as he took out a gift from his bag.

“Thank you, uncle! Can I open my present now?” asked Kavya impatiently.

“Of course!” he replied.

Kavya immediately unwrapped the present and found a beautiful pink umbrella inside.


“Wow! What a beautiful umbrella!” she exclaimed. “It even has ears and eyes! I shall take it to school every day.”

“I am happy that you like the umbrella,” replied Rakesh.

Next day, Kavya carried her new umbrella to school. She showed it to all her friends. They were happy for her.

Soon, Kavya started carrying the umbrella wherever she went—to school, her friend’s house, the market, and even the garden outside.

One evening, when Kavya returned from her friend, Disha’s house, her mother said, “Kavya, I need to go out for a couple of hours. May I borrow your umbrella as mine is broken?”

Rose Becomes Humble

“Sure, mom,” said Kavya and went to get her umbrella from her room.

“Oh no! I think I left it in the auto-rickshaw while returning from Disha’s house,” she said and began to cry.

“Don’t cry. We will try and find it, Kavya. Till then, you can use your old umbrella,” consoled her mother.


“But mom, it was a gift from Uncle Rakesh,” said Kavya sadly.

“I know it was your favourite. Let’s see if we can find it,” said her mother.

Kavya calmed down a bit but she was still sad that she had lost her favourite umbrella.

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Just then, the doorbell rang. Kavya’s mother opened it and saw a man wearing a khaki dress standing at the door.

“Ma’am, my name is Ramu. I dropped a little girl here in my auto-rickshaw a while ago.

I found this umbrella in the seat and I think it belongs to her,” said the man.

On hearing him speak, Kavya rushed to the door and saw the man holding her new umbrella. She was beaming with joy. “Thank you very much, uncle!” she said with a big smile. “But how did you know it was mine?”


“You were my last passenger before lunch after I dropped you, I went home. When I reached to take out my umbrella from behind the seat, I saw yours. That is when I remembered seeing it in your hand when you got into my auto. So, I immediately came here to return it,” he explained.

“Thank you, sir. It was very nice of you to come all the way back to return the umbrella. Kavya was very sad thinking that she had lost it,” said her mother.

Kavya and her mother fed the uncle some tea. Kavya was happy to have her umbrella back and also to know those good people are always there in this world.

Cheating the Teacher

Abhi and Rishi, King Sher Singh’s sons ran up to him. They were panting and sat down to catch their breath.

The King asked, “What happened?”

Abhi replied, “We are very tired. We lost the game we were playing.”

Sher Singh asked in surprise, “How did you lose the game?”

Rishi replied, “Father, we were playing ‘catch me if you can’—along with Cheetu, Jeetu and Deepu. As we came close to catching them, they climbed up a tree! Since we don’t know how to climb a tree, they defeated us many times. We got tired of trying to catch them.”

“Children, this is our biggest weakness. We tried learning to climb trees, but it didn’t work. Listen to this story,” said Sher Singh and started narrating his tale:

“Long ago, tigers and lions were unaware of different hunting techniques. So, they would often have nothing to eat. Due to starvation, our species became physically weak.

Bondhu Seeks His Own Identity

The cheetah, the leopard and the wild cat had a great reputation in the jungle. They were excellent hunters and experts in hunting techniques like cornering, catching and eating the prey. They were feared. These wild animals had claimed their right over a larger part of the jungle and had huge settlements.

One day, an old tiger thought, ‘Let’s send our children to the wild cats to learn the art of hunting.’

Everyone felt that if their children learnt hunting, they would never have to fear starvation.

The lions and the tigers went to the wild cats with their request. They agreed to teach the children. They put a condition that they would only teach two students!

The tigers and lions thought that this would be enough. In future, those who learnt could come back and train the rest.

A wild cat called Sonu was appointed as the teacher. Two bright and restless tiger cubs started their training. Sonu trained them in different exercises; bouncing, jumping and knocking down each other. Sonu also introduced hunting techniques.

The tiger cubs learnt skills like cornering the prey, nabbing and the proper use of claws and jaws. The training made the tiger cubs skilled in many hunting techniques. They grew up to be fearsome hunters.


One day, during a practice session, the tiger cubs suddenly attacked Sonu. Sonu was clever. She had already sensed their intentions from their attitude and gestures. As soon as the tigers rushed towards her, she quickly jumped back and climbed up a tree that was near.

The tigers stared at her in surprise. They too tried to climb, but couldn’t succeed. They asked Sonu in frustration, “Teacher Sonu, how come you didn’t teach us how to climb a tree?”


Sonu said, “Dear students, we teachers give the most valuable knowledge only after testing and being sure about our students. Both of you felt that you have mastered everything. However, this one lesson that I had kept for the last saved my life.”

“It’s too bad that you didn’t prove to be good students. If you had, you could have learnt this technique too. Go home now with whatever knowledge I have given you and never come back.”


The Stubborn Sea

He thought that the dirty rivers were polluting him. He warned the mountains to change the flow of the rivers.

Sumit, the chief of all the mountains explained that the river water was clean. It was necessary for the rivers to flow into the sea, as otherwise the land would get flooded. This, in turn, would make life difficult for the birds, animals and humans. However, Sindhu was stubborn.

Once Sindhu got so angry that he told Sumit, “I am warning you. If all the rivers flowing from the mountains on earth do not change their path, I will swallow all the mountains along with their rivers.”

Sumit did not reply. He remained silent and quietly returned to his abode.

Stubborn King

When the other mountains and rivers heard about this incident, they were very disappointed. Everyone knew that Sumit was a peace-loving mountain. He stayed away from fights. The mountains knew that whatever had to be done, would have to be done by the rest of them. They called for a meeting under the leadership of Vindhya, the Mountain of the East.

Some mountains said, “It is necessary to teach the sea a lesson. He has lost his common sense. Many humans live on the banks of our rivers. By refusing to accept the waters of our rivers, the sea is disturbing the fine balance of nature. He spoke rudely to Sumit, a kind-hearted and honourable mountain.”

The leader of the Lahori Mountains, who was also present at the meeting said, “He is proud of his clean and healthy water. Leave it to us to teach him a lesson. We will reduce him to such a state that he will not be able to survive without the help of the rivers.”

The others asked, “What will you do?”

He replied, “Give us your permission to work on a plan. We will find a solution.”


Vindhya looked at the other mountains for their approval. They nodded their heads in agreement.

He said, “Alright, all of us agree to your proposal. However, do bear in mind that the balance of nature should not be disturbed.”

The leader of Lahori Mountains replied, “We will keep your words in mind before acting on our plan.”

The next day all the salt mountains proceeded towards the Sea. One of them said, “How could you speak so rudely to the respected mountain? You spoke of swallowing the mountains and the rivers. What do you think of yourself?”

Hearing this, Sindhu became angry and swallowed the entire mountain. Following this, the other mountains also provoked it. Soon, he ate up all the mountains that had come to him. He did not know that these were salt mountains. Meanwhile, the mountains dissolved in the seawater and became a part of it.

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A group of herons came to drink seawater. The moment they took in a sip of water, they spat it out. The sea looked at them in confusion.

“Why are you looking at us in surprise? Your water is no longer sweet. No one will want to drink it anymore. You swallowed your brothers and sisters in anger, but did you realise the result of your action?” The cranes said.


The sea now realised how foolish he had been. He knew that he had acted carelessly and now he couldn’t undo what he had done.

By then Sumit, Vindhya, Shivalik and several other bigger and smaller mountains had reached the Sea. They saw the Sea hanging its head in shame.

Sumit praised the Lahori Mountains for their sacrifice.

“Now, what is your plan, O Mighty Sea? Will your body become dirty or clean with our rivers flowing into it?” Sumit questioned him.

“Please forgive me. I have made a big mistake and I have paid the price.

My pride has been crushed. I accept the laws of nature. I will no longer try to interfere in nature’s order,” replied the sea.

After that incident, the rivers flowed into the sea happily.

In Search of Uncle Pat

Late one evening, Popo started crying because his father had not yet returned. The neighbours began searching for Pat.

The next morning, Pat had not yet been found. Bobo, the monkey’s father said to Bobo, “Take Popo out to play with you. He has been crying all night. We will continue to search for Pat.”

Bobo, Popo and their friends got together at the ground nearby to play hide and seek. It was Popo’s turn to seek while everyone hid. Popo was peering through a bush looking for his friends when he suddenly heard Ricky, the rabbit’s voice.

“Look what I found! Come over here quickly!” Ricky called out to everyone.

All of them ran towards Ricky who was pointing at something.

“Look! Isn’t this Uncle Pat’s feather?” asked Ricky.

“Yes, this can’t be Popo’s as this feather is much bigger,” said Bobo.


Popo studied the feather and immediately brightened up.

“Yes. This is my father’s feather,” he declared. “This means he must have been here before he went missing.”

“Let’s split up and look for Uncle Pat. Let’s see if we can find more clues,” said Bobo.

All of them agreed and began searching the area.

“I have found another feather. Uncle Pat must have gone this way,” shouted Dana, the deer.

All of them walked together in the direction where the second feather was found. Soon, they found more feathers along the way which led them to the edge of the forest.

“We have reached the outskirts of the forest. If we walk any further, we will enter the village,” said Bobo.

In Search Of the Sparrows

“Come! Let’s go to the village. I am sure my father is there,” said Popo eagerly.

“No, Popo!” said Piku, the parrot stopping him.

“Humans can be dangerous. They have caught animals from our forest earlier too and taken them away,” said Bobo.

“So what? I am not afraid. I want my father back!” said Popo.

“We understand, Popo. But it is not safe to go there now. First, let Piku fly over the village and see whether your father is there or not,” suggested Mimi, the rat.

Popo agreed. Piku flew into the village, while the other children waited anxiously for him to return.


Piku returned after a while. “Popo, I saw your dad! He has been captured by a human. He is tied up to a tree in the courtyard of a house. I saw some humans roaming nearby, so it is not safe to go there now,” informed Piku.

“I want my father back. How do we get him out of there?” asked Popo.

“When the humans were not around, I flew down to talk to Uncle Pat. He said we can help him escape after the humans go to sleep at night. Till then, we will have to wait,” said Piku.

“In that case, let’s start preparing. I have a plan,” said Ricky, discussing his plan with the group.

After the sunset, all of them set out for the village.

“Do remember the house, Piku?” asked Mimi.

“Yes, but once we are in the village, we must walk carefully without making any sound. We should not talk too loudly either,” warned Piku.

As they walked through the village, Piku pointed to a house and said, “This is the house where Uncle Pat is.”

When they reached the house, Bobo said, “Ricky and I will go in and free Uncle Pat. Meanwhile, the rest of you hide here and warn us if you see any humans.”

Piku flew up and sat on a tree to keep an eye out for humans, while the others hid behind the bushes nearby

Ricky and Bobo sneaked into the house where Pat was tied. “Uncle Pat, we’ve come to free you. After we untie the rope, be ready to run,” whispered Bobo.

“Where is Popo?” asked Pat worried.

“Don’t worry, uncle. He is right here, hiding behind the bushes with our other friends,” replied Ricky.


Bobo and Ricky bit through the rope and freed Pat.

“Now run!” said Bobo.

Ricky ran ahead, leading the way for Pat and the others. Bobo climbed up the tree and escaped by jumping from one tree to another. Piku flew above the rest towards the forest.

But as Pat was running, he tripped over a bucket and fell.

“Who is it? Is anyone out there?” called out a man, coming out of his house to check the noise.

Popo quickly grabbed a stone and threw it far away from where they were. The man went in the direction where the stone had fallen. By the time the man got back, the animals were safely outside the village.

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Once inside the forest, everybody heaved a big sigh of relief. Pat gave Popo a tight hug.

“Thank you all for helping me escape,” said a relieved Pat. “I made the mistake of venturing close to the village. I am glad you found the feathers that I dropped along the way. I hoped somebody would follow the trail of feathers and find me.”


“How clever you are, dad!” exclaimed Popo.

All the animals were happy to see Pat back. Everybody appreciated the children’s bravery, but they were told to inform the elders first before they set off on such adventures.


Find or Fined?

Brownie, the fox loved troubling animals smaller than her. She was an expert when it came to turning their weaknesses into her strengths.

Brownie always had her eyes on the rabbits that lived in the forest. She’d walk up to their burrow every day and all the rabbits would run helter-skelter.

One day, Gary, the rabbit worked up the nerve and said, “Hey Brownie, what brings you here at this time?”

“When I was passing through last night, I seemed to have dropped a golden ring. I’ve come to look for it,” lied Brownie.

“You lost a ring? Hmmm, I don’t think any of us saw a ring here,” said Gary.

“Don’t lie,” said Brownie. “I know you’ve hidden it somewhere in your burrow. I can see right through your act.”

“I promise we haven’t seen any ring here. I think you’re looking in the wrong place,” said Gary.

“Well, I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m not going to rest until I’ve explored every single room in your burrow,” said Brownie and stepped forward.

Gary had fortunately seen through Brownie’s plan and said, “Stop! We cannot let you enter our home. You have to believe me when I say that we do not have your ring.”

“If you don’t return my ring immediately, I will have to call the police,” said Brownie.

Manny, the jackal, the sub-inspector of police was a good friend of Brownie. She had won him over promising him lots of rabbits. She brought him to the scene and narrated her version of the story to him.

“If you don’t have the ring then you have nothing to hide,” said Manny without listening to Gary’s version. “You will have no reason not to let her in and check for herself. Now let her in and search your burrow.”

Seeing Manny’s behaviour Gary realized that the two of them were in on it together. He instructed his friends to keep arguing with Brownie and not to let her in and set off to inform the Leo, the lion, the king of the jungle.



“Don’t worry Gary,” Leo assured him. “I will ensure that Browny doesn’t get away with this so easily.” He went with Gary to the burrow in order to sort things out.

Seeing Leo, Browny got scared, but she tried working her story on him as well. “Your Highness, I’m glad you’re here. I have full confidence that you will deliver justice. Gary and his friend have my ring in their burrow and are neither returning it nor are they letting us search their borrow,” she said.

“Alright I will let you search their burrow, but if you don’t find your ring inside, you will need to face the consequences and pay a fine,” said Leo.

Brownie was getting nervous, her plan was backfiring. Leo instructed all the rabbits to step out of their burrows and instructed Brownie and Manny to go in and search. As they entered the burrow, the narrow entrance starched their skin.

Inside, it was completely dark and it was pretty hot too. Brownie and Manny didn’t like being inside and quickly got out.


When they stepped out, Leo was waiting. They ended up paying a huge fine which Leo used to buy lots of carrots and gave them the rabbits. He gave both Manny and Brownie a final warning that if they troubled the rabbits ever again, they would end up facing dire consequences.

The rabbits were safe and they thanked Leo for saving them.

Trip To Cave

One afternoon, Anusha came running back from school with a trophy in her hand.

“Mamma, look! I won the first prize in the painting competition at school,” said Anusha excitedly.

“That is great! I am so proud of you, Anusha!” said her mother.

“I must thank Neha didi for this trophy,” said Anusha. “I would always be in a hurry to complete my painting, therefore miss out on the finer details. She encouraged me to take my time and add details. Now my paintings are appreciated by everyone.”

“Yes, you can thank her in person. You can meet her when you go tomorrow for your morning class,” said her mother.

“Oh yes! Neha didi is taking us on a field trip. Last month, she took us to an art gallery. I wonder where she will take us tomorrow,” said Anusha.

“Wherever it is, I am sure it will be as good as your last trip,” assured her mother.

Next morning, Anusha and her art school friends were seated in the van along with their art teacher, Neha didi. Each one carried along with a small bag packed with their drawing tools, lunch box and a bottle of water.


“Didi, where are we going today?” asked Diksha.

“You will know once we reach the place in about 40 minutes,” replied Neha didi with a smile.

After a while, the van stopped and Neha didi called out, “We have reached our destination! Let’s explore.”

The students looked around confused.

“Where are we?” asked Riya puzzled.

“It looks like some historical place,” mumbled Dev.

Ratu, the Artist

“I think I know where we are. This place was excavated by archaeologists just a few months ago. I read about it in the newspaper recently,” said Anusha.

“But what are we going to learn in these old caves?” Anirudh wondered aloud.

Neha didi, who was listening to their conversation, said, “I promise that you will really like this place. There is so much to see and learn here, especially for people like us who are artists.”

“What is this place, didi?” asked Anusha.

“As you rightly said, it’s a recently excavated natural cave shelter. Inside, you will see proof of what great artists our forefathers were, even at a time when there was no technology, said Neha didi, leading them into the cave.

Once inside, everyone was surprised. The walls of the caves had magnificent paintings and sculptures of kings in their chariots, common folk going about their daily lives, and of animals like fish, lion and elephant.


Neha didi turned around to them and said, “Aren’t these paintings wonderful? Natural caves and shelters like this one contain several prehistoric paintings. Some of the paintings here are thousands of years old.”

“How did these paintings survive for so many years?” asked Dev curiously.

“These kinds of caves are generally carved out of tough rocks like granite and basalt which form the perfect base for painting. Since these frescoes—that’s what we call paintings on walls—are made deep inside the cave, they get shielded from harsh sunlight and other weather elements, and so they last long,” explained Neha didi.

The children listened in awe.

More From Champak: Veggie Art

Neha didi continued, “Another reason why the paintings last long, is because of the different techniques used. The stone surface of the famous Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, for example, were chiselled and then plastered with a combination of clay, lime, hay and dung. This formed the canvas for the paintings. The unusual shine was achieved by adding powdered conches and seashells. Kuda Caves—also in Maharashtra—were plastered with a mix of mud and rice chaff.”

“But how is it that they have used so many colours? They certainly must have used some chemicals,” said Anusha.

“The colours are natural dyes made from plants and minerals that don’t change colour when mixed with the lime surface,” explained Neha didi.

“Were all the paintings done by one artist?” asked Anirudh,

“Actually, one artist would draw the outlines, another would fill it with colours and a third artist would give it finishing touches and add details,” said Neha didi.

As they walked along the cave, Diksha took out a pen to scribble something on the cave wall. Neha didi quickly stopped her.


“These paintings are very old and fragile. This type of graffiti can damage them. We must respect the art and the artists,” said Neha didi.

Diksha apologised and put her pen away.

Later, they all sat down in the garden outside the caves and drew some sketches.

“So, did you enjoy the trip?” asked Neha didi, while they were on their way back in the van. “We loved it!” said the students together. “We want to go on more such trips to learn about Indian art.”

“Great! I will start planning the next trip right away!” said Neha didi.



Chirag’s Feathered Friends

When Chirag found out that his dad was getting transferred to the city, he was very excited. He couldn’t wait to start studying at the big schools there, roam in the fancy malls and watch movies at the theatres.

Ma was packing their things and Chirag was helping her. He wanted to move as quickly as possible and live life in the big city. But Ma knew that the novelty of the big city would wear off soon and Chirag would start missing Roohi, a friendly sparrow that lived in a tree outside their home.

Chirag and Roohi knew each other very well and Chirag would refuse to eat before feeding some rice or some grains to Roohi.

Soon it was time to move and Chirag and his parents reached the city and moved into their new home. Dad went to the office the next morning and Ma was busy setting up the house. Since he hadn’t made any new friends yet, Chirag sat at home getting bored.


A couple of days went by but on the third day when Chirag sat down for lunch, he remembered Roohi and felt sad. He remembered how he would leave a few pieces of rotis and how she would pick them up one by one and take them to her nest. He missed her sweet chirps. Chirag missed her so much that he went to sleep without finishing his dinner.

Even though he didn’t say why he didn’t feel like eating, Ma knew the reason. When dad came home that evening, she told him about Chirag. Dad suggested that he should try making friends with another sparrow just like Roohi, here in the city.

The Kind Parrot

The next evening, on the way from work, dad brought home a birdhouse. He installed it outside their home and left a bowl of water outside it for the birds to quench their thirst.

In less than a week, the birdhouse had a tenant- a sparrow. Chirag named this sparrow Roohi too and she’d flit in and out of the sparrow house. Soon, she built a nest and laid some eggs which hatched into little sparrow chicks.

Dad installed another sparrow house for the other sparrows too. Seeing all the sparrows around Chirag’s house, all the kids in the area came to watch. They made sure there were enough food and water for the sparrows and took care of them.

In Search Of the Sparrows

One day, members from the “Save the Sparrows Group’ came to their colony. When they found out that the sparrow populations were rising in the area, they tried finding out how. When they found out that it was because of Chirag’s efforts, they praised him and presented him with an award.


The next morning, the papers carried a story about Chirag and his sparrows. Chirag’s parents were proud of him and praised him for his love for birds. They told him that if he continued his efforts and made the birds and animals around him happy, they would fill his life with happiness.

Chirag hugged his parent and thanked his dad for bringing him a birdhouse and making him happy.


Learn From Your Mistakes

“All this rain has left the entire forest flooded!” exclaimed Coco, the rabbit as he stepped outside.

You should just be thankful that the forest didn’t flood and that we didn’t get washed away,” said his neighbour, Miko, the mouse.

“That said,” continued Miko, “This portion of the forest is lower than the rest and gets flooded easily. Before the next spell of rain hits us, I think we should cross the river and head to higher ground on the other side.”

“I’m afraid this plan of yours will never work,” said Mojo, the monkey.

The animals of the forest quickly turned to him for an explanation.

“I just came from the bridge and it broke in last night’s rain. In fact, it’s in bad shape. We’d never be able to fix it up in time. Also, I’ve got a feeling that this side of the forest is definitely going to flood. I heard that all the bigger animals moved to the other side a couple of days ago.”

“Isn’t that just perfect,” said Coco. “While us smaller animals are the ones who’ll be hit the hardest by the rains, the bigger animals have left us and crossed the river to safety.”

“I think they’ve done the right thing. They must have decided to play it safe and move to higher ground just in case,” said Mojo.

“That’s fine, Mojo, but what can we do now?” asked Coco.

“All we can do is hope that we don’t get any more rain,” said Mojo.

Just then, Piko, the butterfly piped in, “That will just be wishful thinking. I just heard the humans talking, apparently, there’s going to be more rain coming in hours.”

“What are we going to do now?” asked Miko,

“Bridge or no bridge, let’s go to the river anyway. Maybe there’s another way across the river,” said Coco.

All the animals went to the river, but at the riverbank, things were worse than they had expected.

“There’s water everywhere!” said Miko. “And I don’t see any way across the river.”

“You’re right, I don’t see anything either. All I see are these turtles really enjoying themselves,” said Coco, a little annoyed. “But why wouldn’t they? They’re aquatic creatures after all.”

“Why don’t we ask them where the river is the shallowest and try crossing from there?” asked Mojo.

“Do you really think they’ll help us?” asked Miko.

“It’s at least worth a shot,” said Coco and walked up to the turtles.


But when Coco asked for help, the leader of the turtles, Kittu said, “What made you think we’d want to help you? Don’t you remember what you did when we asked you if we could be friends? It’s been a few months, so let me refresh your memory, you made fun of us and chased us away.”

Coco, Miko, Mojo and Piko hung their heads in shame. They turned to go back to their homes and find another way when Kittu turned to the rest of the turtles.

Kittu said, “My friends, we are not so petty that when an animal comes to us for help that we’d turn him away. Coco and his friends need our help crossing the river. Let’s help them out.”

“Kittu, they made fun of us. Do we really need to?” asked a turtle.

“When we offered them our friendship, they brushed it away and that was their mistake. These animals have come to us seeking help because their lives are at risk. If we don’t help them now, it will be the biggest mistake of our lives,” said Kittu.

All the turtles were convinced and they agreed to help them out.

“The water is too deep for you to cross on foot, but I have a plan,” said Kittu.


He ordered all the turtles to line up one in front of the one another from their side of the river to the other. Only their shells peeped out from under the water, forming a bridge. Coco, Miko, Mojo and Piko hopped across to the other side to safety.

“You have saved our lives, Kittu. We’re really grateful and we’ll never forget this,” said Coco. Along with Miko, Mojo and Piko, he apologised for making fun of them. Kittu and the turtles were happy that all of them had become good friends.

Where Are The Rains?

“Few months ago, the jungle was green with trees, rich with water. But today, it is gasping for some fresh, cool air,” Blacky, the crow said.

All of them finally decided to leave the jungle as there was nothing left for them.

“Uncle Banyan, aren’t you going to come with us?” Hoppy, the frog, asked.

“Trees and plants can’t move, didn’t you know that? Don’t make him sad now,” Blacky said.

Uncle Banyan said, “Don’t scold him. But even if I could move, I wouldn’t have left the jungle.”

All the animals were shocked to hear this.

“Would you have stayed in this heat, Uncle Banyan?” Harry, the bear asked.

“Yes, I would have stayed here. I can’t leave the land where I grew up. It has given me everything. This is my jungle and I love it more than myself,” Uncle Banyan said.

Khokho, the monkey then asked, “Uncle, if we stay here, how will the problem be solved?”

“If we think of a solution, we could do something about this grave issue. All of you have lost hope and this is why you are leaving. Don’t forget that we are responsible for damaging our own environment. The reason for late monsoon is pollution,” Uncle Banyan explained.

All the animals were shocked to hear this.

“Would you have stayed in this heat, Uncle Banyan?” Harry, the bear asked.

Our Own Land

“Yes, I would have stayed here. I can’t leave the land where I grew up. It has given me everything. This is my jungle and I love it more than myself,” Uncle Banyan said.

Khokho, the monkey then asked, “Uncle, if we stay here, how will the problem be solved?”

“If we think of a solution, we could do something about this grave issue. All of you have lost hope and this is why you are leaving. Don’t forget that we are responsible for damaging our own environment. The reason for the late monsoon is pollution,” Uncle Banyan explained.

All the animals agreed that this was true.

“Uncle Banyan is right. It is because the environment has been polluted that the rains are late. Earlier, it used to rain regularly, and we never had any problems,” Harry said.

“Please understand that it is not possible to change the condition of the environment in a day. But slowly and steadily, we can surely improve the situation,” Blacky added.

Everyone agreed.


“We should plant more trees here,” Khokho, the monkey said.

“We will also have to see that the ponds don’t dry up. We should dig up new wells to store rainwater, so we don’t face this same problem next year,” Hoppy, the frog said excitedly.

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“Yes, let’s work towards improving and helping the environment, so we don’t have to suffer next year,” Harry, the bear said.

Everyone agreed and decided not to leave the jungle. Just then, a few drops of water fell from the sky. Everyone looked up and saw that it had started to drizzle. All the animals were happy and started dancing in the rain.

Fearless Mongoo Gets a New Home

“May I stay here for a few days?” asked a trembling voice.

Beaky, the crow turned to see who this was. She saw a mongoose sitting below the tree.

Beaky asked, “Who are you? Why do you want to live here?”

“My name is Mongoo. The forest is flooded. The rains washed away my home. I have nowhere to go. May I live here for a few days?” Mongoo, the mongoose replied.

“I can’t let a stranger stay here,” Beaky said.

By then, other birds had gathered and tried to shoo Mongoo away.

Chilli, the parrot said, “We have eggs in our nests. You can’t stay here. We can’t trust anyone these days.”

Popo, the pigeon said, “Also, you aren’t clean. You have mud on you and it looks as if you haven’t taken a bath in a while.”

Mongoo was upset. She had tears in her eyes. She said, “Please, believe me. I’ve just lost my home and my belongings. Let me stay here for a day or two. I promise I won’t be of any trouble. I will leave once the water drains out.”

Owlie, the old owl was sitting on the branch and watching all this. He said to everyone, “Let her stay for a while. She needs help, can’t you all see that? Mongoo, you can stay here for tonight. There are a few stones below this tree. Make space for yourself there and sleep.”

Friends Of A Feather

The other birds didn’t say anything. Mongoo was relieved to hear this and thanked the old owl. She burrowed herself between the stones.

However, Mongoo couldn’t sleep very well. She kept tossing and turning. She was too hungry to sleep. She got up and sat to think what to do. Just then, she noticed a large black snake. It was crawling up the tree and was very close to Beaky’s nest.

Without thinking twice, Mongoo climbed the tree and pounced on the snake. They both fell on the ground. The snake was long and it wrapped its tail around Mongoo. But Mongoo did not give up.


With the help of her teeth, she bit the snake’s tail. The snake loosened its tail and Mongoo managed to escape from its grip.

All the birds woke with the clatter.

“Oh, what is this noise?” Chilli, the parrot asked.

“I think there is a fight going on,” Popo, the pigeon said.

The birds were shocked when they saw Mongoo fighting the snake. No one knew what was going on.

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The snake tried to attack Mongoo but she dodged its attack. She pounced on the snake and bit it. The snake shook itself loosely, retreated and was gone in a few seconds.

Mongoo was wounded. There were many marks on her body.

“Why were you fighting that snake?” Popo asked.

“That snake was about to attack Beaky’s nest. I had to fight the snake, otherwise it would have eaten her eggs,” Mongoo said.


“I don’t believe what you’re saying. What if you are just pretending to be on our side? You will say that as you wanted to stay here,” Beaky, the crow said.

“Yes! That’s what I think too.” Popo said.

Chilli agreed with them too. None of them wanted to believe her. Mongoo didn’t know what to say. She felt too weak to say anything.

Owlie, the owl had seen all that had happened. He came down and said, “I watched Mongoo fight the snake to save your nest and eggs, Beaky. She could have died today. She did this in front of you and still, you don’t believe her.”

Owlie continued, “She needn’t have done that. You all were rude to her, but she still helped us.”

And They Became Friends

Chilli, Popo and Beaky realised their mistake and apologised.

“I’m sorry that I thought you were our enemy. But you turned out to be a true friend,” Beaky said to Mongoo.

Chilli got medicines and cotton. They gently treated Mongoo’s wounds. They gave her some food to eat as well.


“Mongoo, you don’t have to go anywhere. Please live with us,” Popo said.

Mongoo was delighted to hear this. She didn’t just get home, but a family as well.


The Power of Intelligence

There was a dense forest on the way. While the old woman was walking she met a tiger in the jungle. The tiger said, “Granny, where are you going? I am hungry.”

The old woman smartly answered, “Grandson, what is the point of eating me now? My thin bones won’t satiate your hunger. I am going to my daughter’s home. She will feed me delicious food. When I will come back after a month, I will have gained a lot of weight. You should eat me at that time.”


Saying so, she kept walking. The old woman had just gone a little further when she met a bear. The bear said, “Come, Granny, come. Satisfy my hunger.” The old woman gave the same reason to the bear too. He too got fooled into thinking that she was saying the right thing. The bear too let the old woman go like the tiger.


When she had walked further, she saw a lion. The lion said, “Granny, it seems to be your turn today.” The old woman fooled him too in the same way and reached her daughter’s village.

She didn’t say anything about what had happened on the way to her daughter. When one month passed, she became worried about how she would dodge the tiger, bear and cry lion now.

One day her daughter asked, “Mother, I am taking good care of you, making such scrumptious meals for you, but even then you are regularly losing weight. What is the matter?”

Then the old woman told her about whatever had happened on the way. “Daughter, Sam the tiger, bear and the lion will be waiting for me in the way. Even if I’ll be lucky to escape from one, the other will surely eat me. That is the reason why I am worried.”

The daughter said, “Worrying won’t help you in any way, mother. I’ll tell you about a plan. Just follow it and those animals won’t be able to harm you at all.” The daughter took a huge pumpkin and made it hollow. She made her mother sit in the hollow pumpkin and gave her a bag of salt and chilli powder. Then she closed the pumpkin properly and rolled it on the way.

The pumpkin kept rolling and rolling. The lion saw it first. He asked, “O Pumpkin, an old woman was supposed to come on this way today. Did you see her?” The old woman replied from inside, “Pumpkin, keep moving. What do I know about the old woman?”


The lion moved aside for the pumpkin and the pumpkin rolled over again. It met the tiger on the way. The tiger too asked the same thing from the pumpkin. The old woman replied from inside, “Pumpkin, keep moving. What do I know about the old woman?”


The bear too was waiting for the old woman. He asked the same question as soon as he saw the pumpkin. The old woman too replied the same from inside the pumpkin. The bear got furious upon hearing the answer and hit the pumpkin hard with his leg. The pumpkin broke into two pieces and out came the old woman!

By that time, the tiger and the lion too came over there in search of the old woman. They saw the old woman sitting inside the pumpkin. All of them leapt towards her and began fighting among themselves to eat her.

The old woman said, “If you will fight like this, who will eat me? I will climb up on that big tree. All of you stand underneath it. I will jump from above. Whoever will catch me will be eligible to eat me.”

They all agreed on this. The old woman climbed a tree and they sat under it. When they all were looking up, she opened the bag and said, “Here I come.” Instead of jumping down, she began throwing salt and chilli powder.


When this powder went into the eyes of the lion, tiger and bear, they couldn’t open their eyes. They went mad with the pain and burning it caused. The old woman quickly got down from the tree and hurried towards her home. That is why they say, neither the tiger nor the bear is the most powerful. It is intelligence which is the most powerful of everything.

Our Own Land

There were dark clouds in the sky. The winds were blowing fast and the clouds were moving with it. Even though all the signs of rain were there, it didn’t rain.

Vaasu, the sparrow was looking up at the clouds. A partridge peered through his glasses and counted the number of clouds in the sky. The woodpecker counted the days on his feathers. It had been a month since the signs of rain had started but not a drop had touched the earth.

Everybody was suffering because of the heat. The ponds and rivers had dried up and the leaves had all turned yellow. All the animals were gloomy and there was not a single light moment to be shared.

“With each passing day, the forest looks worse than it did before. I really don’t feel like staying here,” said Minnie one day. The animals of the forest felt the same and they all decided that it was time to move to another place. They decided to give it one last chance and waited for the rain. But seeing that not a single drop fell from the dark sky, they started packing

“Mr. Banyan tree, aren’t you coming with us?” asked Chutku, the frog.

“Stop talking nonsense,” said Danny, the bear. “Don’t you know that plants and trees can’t walk? Don’t make him feel bad by asking such silly questions.”

“Don’t scold him, Danny,” said the banyan tree gently. He’s asked a very good question. But even if I had feet, I wouldn’t have joined you son.”

“But why?” asked all the animals.

“What would you do staying here in this heat?” asked Meechu, the mouse.


“I’d stay right here,” said the banyan tree. “How can I leave the very land that has got me where I am? Sure it has shown me some bad times, but the good times I have had here more than make up for it. Also, if I leave this land, then it will become even worse than it is right now. I cannot allow this to happen. I’d rather forgot my comfort than see this land become fallow.”

Hearing the banyan tree’s words, all the animals hung their heads in shame.

Lallu, the langur said, “But staying here isn’t going to make things any better. What’s the point in staying back then?”

“You feel this way because in your mind you’re certain that going somewhere else will make things better and that there’s no other solution. But if you put your mind to it, you’ll certainly think of a solution. Let’s also not forget that we are responsible for making our forest like this. We throw our garbage everywhere and are polluting everything. If we trouble Mother Nature, she will fight back.”

Saving Rainwater

“It is up to us to make things right,” said the banyan tree. “If we start now, then we can change things soon. It will definitely take time, but it will be time well spent.”

Silence spread among the animals of the forest. They realized the mistake they have made and felt bad for deciding to leave their beloved forest.

“He’s right. If it hasn’t rained yet, it’s due to our actions,” said Danny.

“Let’s plant more trees,” suggested Vaasu, the sparrow. “This will help bring down 5 the heat.”

“Yes! And let’s dig more wells and ponds. We will collect rainwater in these and use them in the summer months,” said Minku, the mouse.

“You’re right. Let’s bear the heat this year and when it rains, let’s not only collect water in ponds and wells, let’s also save water by spending it wisely.” Jaggu, the elephant said.

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All the animals decided to stay back and get started on conserving rainwater. Suddenly, a drop landed on Minnie’s head. She looked up and a few more drops landed on her head. Soon, everybody had their heads turned up to the sky and were greeted by raindrops.


Soon, the few drops grew to a drizzle and then into the rain. All the animals enjoyed the refreshing rain. They picked up their belongings and went back home.


True Beauty

Penny, the rabbit had just given birth to a baby boy. A fluffy ball of fur, with big blue eyes and the rosiest cheeks anybody had ever seen, he was instantly loved by everyone. As soon as he was born, Penny’s husband Donnie received a huge raise at work. Linking the inflow of wealth to the arrival of their new baby, they named him Richie’.

Richie was so cute and so loved that all the neighbourhood kids wanted to play with him. He was also an instant hit at all the places he would visit with his parents. With all the attention he was getting, Richie grew up to be a spoilt little rabbit.

Soon, Richie turned four and started going to the nearby school. Though he was loved by all, they all had only one complaint about him. Whenever he would get angry, Richie would lose control and say mean and hurtful things. His parents tried to explain to him that it’s not nice to be mean to people but nothing changed.

Days passed in a flash and the news he just heard left Richie hopping around in excitement. Richie’s aunt, Aunt Bonnie, who lived abroad was coming to visit next Sunday. He loved her a lot and she loved him very much too. Richie was sure that she’d bring him a lot of gifts and chocolates too.

When Sunday arrived, so did Aunt Bonnie. She came with lots of gifts and even more love for Richie. He was very happy.


In the evening, Richie’s friends Yaami, the bulbul, Kaachu, the mouse and Chinki, the sparrow had come over to play. As they were playing together, Chinki damaged Richie’s eraser by mistake. Richie grew furious and shouted at Chinki.

Richie’s parents tried explaining to him that it’s wrong to treat guests this way. But Richie was still upset.

Aunt Bonnie had heard of Richie’s foul temper from his mother. So the next morning, Aunt Bonnie called Richie to her side.

No Fee for This Chore

She had two boxes in her hand. One was beautifully packed with wrapping paper and the other was a plain, uninteresting box. Both contained sweets and she asked him to pick one.

Richie immediately reached for the gift-wrapped box and ate a piece. It tasted bad and he returned the box back to her.


When she offered the plain box, he popped a piece in his mouth. It tasted wonderful and he took the box to school, promising that he would share it with his friends.

In the evening, when he returned, Aunt Bonnie asked him which box of chocolates he liked better? He immediately said “The plain one.”

When she asked him why he said it was because it tasted better.

“Do you think other kids would feel the same way too?” she asked.

“Of course, it’s the taste of the chocolate that matters. Not the packaging,” said Richie feeling proud.

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“Do you know why I made you choose between the two boxes?” asked Aunt Bonnie

Richie shook his head.

“You see Richie, we may be praised for our looks, but if we aren’t nice to others, nobody would want to be our friend. True beauty lies on the inside,” said Aunt Bonnie.


Richie understood what she was saying. He felt bad for the all times he hurt someone by saying mean things to them. He apologized to Chinki and to his parents and promised never to be mean to others ever again.


Rango, the fox had just returned to Sundarban from the city with brand new clothes and an expensive car.

Rango’s friend Dummy, the donkey said, “What’s the matter? Did you win any lottery?”

“I got a job in a big bank. They’ll soon open a branch in Sundarban and I shall be the bank manager,” Rango said.

“Oh, that’s great news! A bank will do good to everyone here,” Dummy said.

Within a few days, there was a bank in Sundarban. Dummy along with his friends Montu, the monkey and Ricky, the rabbit went to the new bank to get their accounts made.

“Our bank has a new scheme. If you deposit Rs. 1,000 in your account, it will get doubled in a month,” said Rango.

They were shocked to hear this.

“Yes, of course. It will get doubled. Each of you will get Rs. 2,000. You can get your money after a month, Rango assured them. Dummy and Montu decided to deposit Rs. 1,000.


“How is it possible for money to double in a month? I have a bad feeling about this,” Ricky said to Dummy and Montu.

“You’re just doubtful about everything. The bank manager wouldn’t lie.” Dummy said.

“All right, then. Both of you go ahead and double your money, but I won’t. I don’t trust Rango,” Ricky said.

Both Dummy and Montu deposited Rs. 1,000 each. A month later, their money got doubled. They were very happy to receive double the amount they had deposited. However, Ricky was still suspicious about the whole thing.

Slowly, the news about the money being doubled reached everyone in the forest. Rango soon became popular among everybody in the forest. Customers started queuing up at the bank in the hope of getting their money doubled. One day, he put up a board outside the bank that said “There is a new scheme. Deposit one lakh rupees within two days and get three lakhs after one month!”

The Expedition to RoboPlanet

On reading the notice, Dummy and Montu each decided to deposit one lakh. Dummy tried convincing Ricky but in vain.

Dummy said, “I understand you were suspicious the first time but didn’t you see how we got back double the amount then?”

Ricky replied, “Yes, I did see. But this is a huge amount, Dummy. And you are thinking of depositing your entire life savings.”

Dummy wasn’t worried and both he and Montu deposited their savings.

After a month, they went to the bank to collect their money. But they were shocked to see a big lock on the door. Other customers who stood there looked worried.


“This bank has shut down. Bank manager Rango left the forest yesterday,” the security guard said.

“What do you mean? Now we’ll never get our money back! Has he really run away with our money?” Montu exclaimed with fear.

“Oh no! I had put all my savings into this. What am I going to do now?” Dummy said.

Ricky said, “There’s no point crying now. I tried to warn you. All this happened because of your greed.”

Montu and Dummy didn’t know what to do. Ricky tried to console them.

“But what do we do now? Where do we find Rango?” Dummy asked.

“I think the best thing to do now is to file a complaint against Rango at the police station,” Ricky said.

All the animals went to the police station together. Upon hearing everyone’s complaint, Inspector Gummy, the bear said, “It’s your fault. You should have been careful with your money,” Inspector Gummy said.

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“Inspector, we are aware of our mistake and we regret depositing all this money in that bank. But please help us,” Montu said.

“All right, I will help you. But do not repeat this mistake ever again,” Inspector Gummy said.

All the animals promised that they would never repeat this.

At that, Inspector Gummy smiled and said, “You’ll be happy to know that Rango is behind bars now. And your money has been recovered too.”

All the animals breathed a sigh of relief. Dummy asked, “How did you catch him, Inspector?”


Inspector Gummy said, “Actually, it’s because of Ricky. He had informed me about Rango. We had our eye on him since then. When he was trying to run away with all the money last night, we arrested him. We found all the money and documents too.”

Everyone congratulated Ricky and pledged to never be greedy again. They learnt that there is no quick way of earning lots of money.


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.

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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.


Greedy Brownie

A family of bears lived in the Bandavan forest. Brownie, the youngest bear, had soft brown fur and was loved by everyone. He loved to play outdoors. He also had a huge appetite and was never satisfied with the food he ate and always wanted more.

His mother gently explained, “Brownie, you’ve become chubby. You need to remain fit.”

However, Brownie never listened to her as his mind was always on food. One day, a few bears were talking. One said, “There is a Banyan tree close by, where the honeybees have built a huge honeycomb. It will be filled with honey.”

Brownie, who was passing by, heard this. His mouth began to water. His mind was filled with images of the delicious honey. He decided to go and feast on some.

One night, the bears celebrated Blacky the bear’s wedding. There was a lavish party with a delicious spread. Brownie was the happiest, as he could indulge in lots of yummy food.

It was all in FUN

The bears returned after midnight. They only woke up the following afternoon.

“Where is Brownie?” His mother asked, rubbing her eyes.

“He was sleeping with us,” said his father. “Check the bathroom.”

She went to check the bathroom, but couldn’t find Brownie.


“He isn’t in the bathroom. I don’t know where he is,” said his worried mother. His father set out in search of him.

Just then, Cuckoo, a neighbour, entered saying, “Brownie sneaked out early this morning to eat honey. He is surrounded by the bees at the Banyan tree.”

“Really?” His mother cried out.

“Brownie is taking honey from the honeycomb, with the honeybees present inside. We need to save him,” said Cuckoo.

Brownie’s parents were terrified. They rushed to the Banyan tree. They found Brownie sitting on the tree and enjoying the honey while the bees were buzzing around him.

“Brownie, come down!” His mother screamed.

Brownie got scared, as he thought that his mother would scold him.

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“We won’t spare him. He was stealing honey from our honeycomb,” said the Queen Bee. “Our young ones will be hungry because of him.”

“Please forgive him, Queen Bee,” pleaded his mother. “He is a baby. He is a little greedy and that is why he came here.”

“Yes, Queen Bee. He is innocent. Had he intended to steal honey, he wouldn’t have come here at this time of the day,” said the Cuckoo. “You know that thieves strike only when no one is present in the house.”


The Queen Bee thought, “The Cuckoo is right. The bears who steal honey strike only when the bees are away.”

Brownie agreed. He was glad that he was not going to be punished. He then whispered into his mother’s ears, “Mamma, my stomach is full and I’m feeling very sleepy. Please take me home or else I’ll doze off here itself.”

Everyone laughed at Brownie’s innocence.


It was all in FUN

In the forest of Kumudvan, all the animals lived in peace and harmony. All this was until Rambo, the elephant decided to wander in.

Rambo lazed around all day. When he was bored, he ate as much as he could and roamed around the forest looking for the next animal he can play a prank on.

One day, Cheechee, the sparrow had flown away in search of food for her chicks. Rambo picked up her nest with the chicks inside and left it by the riverside. The scared little chicks cried a lot and attracted all the birds in the area.

Rancho’s Challenge

It was only after they shouted at Rambo for doing such a mean thing that he put them back. “Don’t take it personally. It was all in fun,” he said and walked off into the forest.

Day by day, his antics grew worse. One time, he destroyed an entire ant colony and another, he flooded the rabbits’ burrow with water. When the animals asked him why he did such things, he would simply say, “Don’t take it personally. It was all in fun.”

With time, Rambo realized that the rest of the animals were scared of him because of his size. He started taking advantage of this. When Chimpy, the monkey was taking a bunch of bananas to his sister’s house, Rambo stopped him and took them from him.

“I’m the strongest in the forest. I can do whatever I want,” he said and walked away.

At the watering hold, he had terrorized all the animals. “I am the strongest in the forest. I will always be the first to drink water. You can come and drink only after I leave. Or else, you will have to face the consequences,” he said to them.

All the animals of the forest were getting tired of Rambo’s ways. They called for a meeting and by the end of it, knew exactly how to put Rambo in his place.

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They arranged for a pot which Chimpy hung on top of a tall tree. The animals announced that they were conducting the competition and the winner would be the animal who manages to break the pot.

Lots of animals tried and failed. The pot was too high up for them to reach. Then, it was Rambo’s turn. He walked up to the tree, fully confident that he would reach the pot without any effort. He stretched out his trunk but couldn’t reach. He tried again and again from different angles and still couldn’t reach.


The other animals watching began exchanging whispers. Rambo knew it was about him and was determined to show them who’s boss. He stood right under the pot and reached up with his trunk, standing on his hind legs. As he caught it, a big smile spread across his face. But his smile didn’t last long and was quickly replaced by a shock and surprise.

As he grabbed the pot, it tipped over and stinky, slimy mud splashed all over his face. Seeing Rambo, all the animals began laughing

“What is the meaning of this?” bellowed Rambo.

“Don’t take it personally. It was all in fun,” said the animals together.

“You thought you were the strongest in the forest, didn’t you? But we tiny animals of the forest have had the last laugh. We are a peace-loving bunch and we don’t like trouble. That’s why we remained quiet all this while. If you want to stay here, then you will have to change your ways Rambo and live with us is peace and harmony,” said the animals.

Rambo felt embarrassed and ran away.


The next morning, he walked up to Chimpy, with a big bunch of bananas and apologized. He walked up to each and every animal he had troubled with a gift and apologized to them. He promised never to trouble anyone ever again.

The Magic Ring

“Hey, where are you off too in such a hurry?” Tillu asked.

Bholu, who looked lost, said, “It is 8’o clock. I am going home as I am already late.”

“You run around all day long. Is there any benefit from all your hard work?” Tillu asked.

“What do you mean?” Bholu asked.

“I have a magic ring. If you wear this ring, you can do whatever you want,” Tillu whispered into Bholu’s ear.

“That doesn’t happen,” said Bholu and burst out laughing.

“If you don’t believe me, come and see for yourself.”

Tillu then lifted his hand on which he had worn the ring and pointed it towards the moon and said, “Make the moon disappear.”

Bholu stared at the sky and immediately the moon started to disappear from one end. An astounded Bholu said, “Wow! How did you do this?”

He couldn’t believe his eyes that the moon completely vanished.

“Please bring back the moon. I believe you! The ring is indeed magical,” Bholu pleaded.

“All right, if you say so. I will bring back the moon right away,” Tillu said. Within seconds, with the help of the ring, the moon was back to where it was. Bholu was amazed.

Lattu Gets Fooled

“I am ready to sell it for Rs. 5,000,” Tillu said.

“I have Rs. 5, 000. Please sell the ring to me,” Bholu said.

Tillu gave him the ring and immediately snatched the money from him.

When Bholu reached home, his wife, Rani, asked, “Why are you so late today?”

“Get a big bag now!’ Bholu said excitedly. He then kept the bag on the bed, wore the ring and said, “Fill this bag up with lots of money.”

Rani was irritated with what he was doing, She said, “Tell me what the matter is.”

He repeated the entire procedure. But the bag was still empty. “Now, tell me what is happening,” Rani said. Bholu was almost teary-eyed. He told Rani the entire story. ”


“Why did you listen to Tillu? Don’t you know that it is lunar eclipse today and that the moon will disappear for some time?” Rani said.

Bholu understood that Tillu had made a fool of him. He was angry with himself. The next day, he talked to his friend Bunty, the monkey and told him the whole story. Bunty was disappointed with his friend for falling into Tillu’s trap. He decided to teach Tillu a lesson.

Couple of days later, Tillu was happily sitting at Jimi, the giraffe’s restaurant when he noticed Bholu walking towards it. Tillu hid his face with a newspaper. At that moment, Hanu, the elephant appeared in front of the restaurant and asked Bholu to get out of his way.

“Hanu, don’t bother me. I have a magic ring. Go away or I’ll make you disappear,” Bholu said sternly.

“Magic ring?” Hanu laughed out loud.


Bholu was so angry that he kicked Hanu. Hanu fell to the ground. All the animals, including Tillu stood still. They were in shock that a donkey could fight an elephant.

“This ring is indeed magical,” Tillu thought.

“How are you, Bholu?” Tillu asked.

“Tillu, thank you for giving me this ring,” Bholu said.

“That’s okay, Bholu. But I want the ring back,” Tillu said.

“Why? I paid for it. I’ll not return this magic ring,” Bholu said.

“I will give you Rs. 10,000 for it,” Tillu said.

Bholu was hard to be convinced but he eventually agreed and gave the ring to Tillu. Tillu was very happy. He then went to Rocky, the rhino’s sweet shop and started to eat a lot of sweets.

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“You have eaten a lot. Now pay for the sweets.” Rocky said.

Tillu was confident that the magic ring would work and so argued with Rocky. Upon hearing the commotion, many animals came ahead to figure out what was wrong. At that moment, Tillu kicked Rocky but it was Tillu who got hurt. Rocky was annoyed and kicked Tillu. This time, Tillu fell to the ground with a thud.

Tillu didn’t understand what was going on. He thought his ring had stopped working. He then noticed Bholu, Hanu and Bunty laughing across the window.


Hanu stopped laughing and asked, “Is the magic ring not working, Tillu?”

Tillu understood everything and was so embarrassed that he ran off to another jungle.

Saving Rainwater

The sweltering heat had reached its peak and all the animals of Sonavan were going through a hard time. This year too, there was a shortage of water in the jungle. Ponds and lakes were drying up. Sona Lake was the only water body in the jungle that still had some water.

Sitting under the shade of a tree and wiping away his sweat, Bebu, the monkey said, “As if the heat wasn’t enough, now there is water shortage as well. I hope it starts raining soon!”

Pinto, the dog said, “I haven’t taken a shower in a week. It’s all because of this heat.”

“I can understand. There is hardly any water to drink and bathing seems like a faraway dream,” Golu, the elephant said.

The King of Sonavan, Yuv, the lion was worried about the situation as he was receiving complaints with each passing day.

A meeting was organised to resolve the entire situation. Yuv urged everyone, “There is a scarcity of water in the jungle. We are trying hard to get rid of this problem. If any of you have a solution, please let us know.”

Ronu, the rabbit said, “We’re responsible for this problem.”

“How?” Yuv asked.

“We have sacrificed nature for our own comfort and now we will have to pay the price. Most trees have been razed down for new buildings. The ones that are left should be conserved. As they have been cut down recklessly, there are no rains anymore,” Ronu said.

“Ronu is absolutely right. Also, a few years ago, there were many lakes and ponds in the forest and now there are none;’ Golu said.

“It’s true, Ronu. But is there a solution to this grave issue?” Yuv asked.

“We will have to understand the value of water. Maybe if we conserve rainwater, we will be able to solve our problem,” Ronu said.

“You’re right!” Yuv said.

“The monsoons will start soon. We will have to place tanks on the terraces of all houses to store rainwater. Later, we can boil the water and use it regularly. The water bodies that have dried up to be filled with water,” Ronu said.

“Your solution is brilliant. We never thought of storing rainwater,” Golu smilingly said.

Next day onwards, everyone got together to work towards saving water. Due to everyone’s effort, within days there were new water bodies and tanks available in the forest. Now, everyone was waiting for the rains to arrive.

After a few days, the sky was filled with dark clouds and it started to rain. The water bodies were filled with water again and the tanks were full of water.


The animals of Sonavan understood the importance of saving water and pledged to be more careful about it. They all danced happily in the rain.

Saving Tini

Tinku, the monkey lived with his wife and daughter atop a mango tree in Samratvan. Tinku was a spendthrift. He would uselessly spend his money here and there, and when his money got over, he would borrow from his friends.

His wife, Jenny, would often be worried about him. She said, “Spending without thinking is not good. We need to save something for the future.”

But Tinku wouldn’t pay any attention to that.

One day, he got back home with lots of vegetables. Jenny asked, “What is the point of buying so many vegetables when there are just three people at home?”

“I don’t like going to the market every day, so I got everything at one go,” Tinku said.

“But the market is not far away. You’re spending a lot instead of saving, which will help you during tough times,” Jenny argued.

“All right, all right. Stop giving me advice. I know what I’m doing,” Tinku said to Jenny.

Jenny, however, was smart. She would try to save a bit of money every day.

One day, on a sunny afternoon, Tinku was walking back home along with Mitku, the rabbit. Tinku decided to eat an ice cream on his way but ended up buying 10 ice creams at one go.

“Isn’t it great to be able to enjoy an ice cream in this heat?” Tinku said looking at Mitku.

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Mitku asked, “That’s fine, but why did you have to buy so many of them?”

“I am not a miser like you. Money is for enjoying life,” Tinku said.

And by the time, Tinku reached home, the ice creams had melted. Jenny was angry. She said, “We will be on the road one day for this habit of yours.”

So what if the ice creams melted? I will get more,” Tinku said carelessly.

One day, Tini, Tinku’s daughter, was playing on the tree. She suddenly slipped and fell off.

Tini was taken to Nino, the bear’s nursing home where Tinku was informed that she has to go through an operation immediately. “You will have to deposit Rs.2,000,” Nino said. Tinku was shocked.


“Yes, that is the admission charge. You will have to pay more after the operation is done, but she needs to be operated soon,” Nino said.

“Doctor, I don’t have the money right now. But please start the procedure. I will arrange for it,” Tinku pleaded.

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“All right,” Nino said. Mitku told Tinku to borrow money from his friends. “I had already borrowed money. I don’t think I’ll get any more from anyone,” a worried Tinku said.


At that moment, Jenny said, “Don’t worry, I had saved up some money that might help.” Tinku was surprised.


Jenny came home and counted the amount of money she had. She had almost saved up Rs.3,000. Later, they deposited the money in the hospital. Tini’s operation was a success and she was fine in two days.

This incident changed Tinku. He said to Jenny, “I now understand that it is really important to save up. I will not spend uselessly anymore. I promise.”

City’s Lungs

Raunak went to his Grandpa’s house in Lucknow for his – summer holidays. Grandpa lived there with Raunak’s uncle. Every morning, Grandpa would go out for walks and Raunak would laze around on his bed. His exams had just got over and he was in a holiday mood; he would wake up late in the morning and watch movies all day long. His aunty too would pamper him a lot.

Raunak loved eating and most of all, he loved fast food due to which he was gaining a lot of weight. “A little bit of exercise would do him good”, thought Grandpa. He was worried about Raunak’s health. He asked Raunak to wake up early in the morning and go running. But he wouldn’t listen. Thus, Grandpa thought that he must teach Raunak a lesson.

One day, Grandpa asked Raunak, “Have you seen the city’s lungs?” Raunak said, “The city’s lungs? No, I haven’t even heard of it.”

“Do you want to see it?” Grandpa asked.

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“Yes, why not! Where will I get to see it?” Raunak asked inquisitively.

“Here in Lucknow itself,” Grandpa said.

“Here in Lucknow itself,” Grandpa said.

Raunak asked, “So when will you take me out to watch it?”

“Tomorrow morning but you will have to wake up early. Will you?” Grandpa asked Raunak.

“Yes, Grandpa. Why not?” Raunak said.

The next day, Raunak woke up on time because he was scared that Grandpa might go out for his morning walk without him.

Raunak said, “I am ready, Grandpa.”

“Oh, very good,” exclaimed Grandpa.


Both of them took a walk to the Buddha park. “Here we are. We’ve arrived at the city’s lungs,” Grandpa said.

“Where? But this is a park, Grandpa. I have come here a lot of times before,” Raunak said.

“Parks built inside the city are called city’s lungs,” Grandpa said.

“Why so?” asked Raunak.

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At that, Grandpa asked Raunak, “What do our lungs do?”

“Our lungs throw away the toxic carbon dioxide from our body,” Raunak said.

“Very good, and what else?” Grandpa asked.

“They pull in the fresh air, through which our body receives oxygen. Without oxygen, we will not be able to survive, Grandpa,” Raunak spoke with a lot of excitement.

“Very nice, Raunak. You know everything. But just like your lungs, these parks do the same thing. The parks in the city absorb all the carbon dioxide. Do you know what the process is called?” Grandpa asked Raunak. “Yes, it is called photosynthesis. Plants make their own food. For this, they need chlorophyll, carbon dioxide and sun. While they make their food, they release oxygen, Raunak said.

“So, doesn’t that make parks the city’s lungs?” Grandpa smiled and asked.

“Yes, Grandpa. You are right. I never thought about it that way. These parks give us oxygen just like our lungs do,” Raunak said.


“So, what do you think of our morning walk?” Grandpa smiled and asked.

“It was a lot of fun, Grandpa. Now, I shall always come along with you for morning walks,” an excited Raunak said.

Taking Indian Music Global

Ravi Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on 7 April 1920 in Varanasi to a Bengali Brahmin family. He was the youngest of seven brothers. His father, Shyam Shankar, was a barrister who worked in London. Shankar met his father for the first time when he was 8 years old!

Every day as a child he would wake up to the sounds of songs on the ghats of the Ganges. This instilled in him a deep love for music. He was a quick learner and soon, began to play a number of instruments.

As a boy of 10, he joined his brother Uday’s dance troupe in Paris. There he was exposed to a whole new world of music and he started to understand and appreciate Western classical music, jazz and cinema. He met great musicians and dancers, including Anna Pavlova, the famous Russian ballerina, the prima donna of The Swan Lake!

In Paris, he shortened his name, Ravindra, to Ravi, which means, “sun”.


His world changed when his brother Uday persuaded Allaudin Khan, the great sarod player, to tour Europe as a soloist along with them. Shankar was fascinated by the great maestro and began taking lessons from him. Seeing his interest and talent, Baba, as Allaudin Khan was affectionately known, offered to teach Shankar.

Shankar went to live with Baba’s family in Maihar, Madhya Pradesh. Under his guidance, Shankar’s talent bloomed. He learnt to play not only the sitar but also the surbahar. He learned ragas and the musical styles like dhrupad, dhamar and khyal. He was taught the techniques of the instruments like rudra veena, rubab, and sursingar.

A Dance for Granny

And finally, six years later he had his first public performance on the sitar in December 1939—a jugalbandi (duet) with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

After that, Shankar was unstoppable. He went on to win many national and international awards and also composed several new ragas, including Tilak Shyam, Nat Bhairav and Bairagi, which are still very popular. He also incorporated ragas from the South Indian Carnatic music.

Later, he moved to Mumbai and joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association, for whom he composed music for ballets. He recomposed the music for the popular song “Sare Jahan Se Achcha at the age of 25! He began to record music for HMV India and worked as a music director for All India Radio (AIR).

As luck would have it, one day, the director of AIR introduced the Western violinist Yehudi Menuhin to him. Menuhin invited Shankar to perform in New York City (United States of America).

Seeing the great interest in Indian music, Shankar toured the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States of America, educating the western audiences on classical Indian music. No wonder he was invited to perform during the 10th anniversary of the United Nations and the UNESCO* music festival in Paris—a great honour!

Even George Harrison, of the Beatles band, the heart-throb of millions, the world over, became attracted to Shankar’s music and became his disciple.

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Harrison’s wife once said, “His meeting with Ravi was not just between two individuals, but of two cultures.”

In 1968 the Beatles won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Ban. It included “Within You Without You” by Harrison, a song influenced by Indian classical music.


Shankar opened a Western branch of his Kinnara School of Music in Los Angeles, California and also taught music in many universities in the United States of America. Shankar also performed at the Woodstock Music Festival, but the hippie culture did not appeal to him.

“Get high on music,” Pandit Ravi Shankar always urged the audiences. Even at the age of 90, one would often see him strumming the chords of the sitar in riyaaz.


Mice in a cage

Fanny, the cat, had just come back from the city, and she had completely changed. She wore a fancy hat, had on a pair of dark sunglasses and wore a bright pink suit.

All the other cats at Kittyville surrounded her. “Where have you been?” “You look so stylish!” “Were you at the city, mausi?” they asked.

“Call me aunty,” said Fanny. “I was in the city. I had a fashion show there. I just got back.”

“Aunty, what did you get us from the city?” asked Gullu.

“A mouse cage trap,” said Fanny.

“A mouse cage trap?” the other cats murmured amongst themselves.

“With this, chasing mice is a thing of the past. All you need to do is put some food on the hook inside. When a mouse enters and pulls on the piece of food, the door slams shut and the mouse is trapped,” explained Fanny.

“That’s amazing!” exclaimed Minnie, the cat.

“I’ve brought enough for everybody and it can be yours for the tiny sum of Rs. 1000, only,” said Fanny pulling more traps from her car.


Soon, all the cats began using the mouse traps to catch mice. Wherever they would see a burrow, they would leave a piece of bread in the mousetrap and place it nearby. The mice being simpleminded would get caught.

Seeing the number of mice in the area dwindling sharply, Manny, the mouse decided to bring all the mice together for a meeting.

“Brothers and sisters, you must be aware of the trap Fanny, the cat has distributed among all the other cats. We need to get the word across to all the mice that they need to avoid the trap at all costs,” said Manny.

“But how?” asked Jimbo, the mouse rubbing his fat tummy. “We are mice. If we see food, we jump at it immediately.”

“We have begun maintaining a stockpile of food in the burrows,” said Pinky, the mouse. From now on, the only thing we must worry about is not getting trapped.

Soon, all the mice began thinking twice before approaching any food placed inside a cage. The cats were very unhappy about this.

With the cats no longer needing to chase after mice, they had all grown fat. They would grow short of breath very quickly. They realized that their lives were much better before Fanny brought them the traps.

“I have a solution to this,” said Fanny. “The problem is that you have all grown fat. But I have a special tea that I brought back from the city. If you drink it for a month, you’ll be as slim as me and it only costs Rs. 1000, only!”


The cats may have fallen into her trap before, but they weren’t going to this time. They all ran after her and chased her away back to the city.




No Place to Play

The first park was used by Jimmy who had set up a gym there. Every morning, he and many other people would exercise at the park. Jimmy earned a lot of money from his clients.

When the children told him that they wanted to play inside the park, he replied, “What is the use of playing? If you want to stay fit, join my gym.”

“But uncle, this is a public park. It is meant to be used by everyone. You should set up your gym somewhere else,” said the children.

Jimmy got angry at their comments and turned them away.

The second park was used by Raju and his friends. They would sit there the whole day and play cards. They did not allow the children to come into the park. When the children tried to reason with him, Raju would shout at them and shoo them away.

The third park was used by a political party for their meetings. They locked the gate when they did not use it so that no one could go inside. The children tried talking to the party secretary, Manish but he paid them no heed.

“Manish uncle, please let us use the park. We want to play,” the children requested.

The Problem in Champakvan

“We have an important meeting coming up. I have no time for your silly pleas. Go away!” replied Manish.

Rahul, Nayan, Riya and Nina decided to do something about the problem. They held a secret meeting.

“We will have to stop them from using the parks,” said Riya.

“But what can we do? No one listens to us,” said Nayan.

“How about we publish a newspaper?” suggested Rahul.


That’s a good idea! We can report the news and let others in the colony know about this,” said Nina.

“Exactly! We will have to write, print and distribute it ourselves,” said Rahul.

“But where do we get the money for all this?” asked Riya.

“We will collect money from all the children in the colony. We will do some chores at home and earn extra pocket money as well,” explained Rahul.

Everyone liked the idea. They formed a team and divided their work. Nayan and Nina went around collecting money and Rahul and Riya prepared the content for the newspaper. Nina and Riya then got the newspapers printed.

Early in the morning on a Sunday, the children went around delivering the newspaper at everyone’s doorstep.

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When the people opened their doors to collect the daily paper, they were surprised to find an extra newspaper. The newspaper had essays, sketches, and poems by the children of the colony—everyone loved it! There was even an article about how the parks were taken over by Manish, Jimmy and Raju and how others were not allowed to use the parks.

Slowly, the residents of Akash colony understood that they too had the right to use these parks, and especially the children who had no other open space to play in. The children had made them understand that public spaces such as these parks belonged to everyone.


The children’s newspaper became popular and the residents soon began looking forward to each week’s issue.

The residents stopped using Jimmy’s gym due to which he had to shut it down. The Mayor of the town came to know about the issue and immediately took action against Jimmy, Raju and Manish, who were banned from using the parks. The parks were now free to be used by everyone. People began enjoying going to the park again.


The Mayor appreciated the efforts of Rahul, Nayan, Riya and Nina for solving the problem in a novel way.

A Holiday without Computers!

It all began one evening when Kala said to her mother. “Why can’t we take a break and go for a holiday somewhere? All my friends are off-  ‘getting away from it all’ they call it.”

“Why not?” said her mother with equal enthusiasm, adding, “On one condition—no computers! Once in a while, you have to get off that gadget for health reasons. I shall take my mobile only for an emergency.”

“Sure,” replied an excited Kala.

Her mother had only to get in touch with her elder sister Sunitha and her husband Prabhu who lived in Pune. “Come over and we will plan something,” they said. So Kala and her mother took a flight to Pune. The holiday had begun!

There were discussions. “Let’s go by road to Mahabaleshwar. It is just a short drive from here,” said Uncle Prabhu. “It’s a nice hill station with pleasant weather. We have our own cottage there and that makes it all very easy!”

Sunitha added, “We have already alerted our caretaker to get the place ready.”

So they set off in their car and reached the place in no time. Kala was in awe at the spectacular scenery that spread before them. Nestled in the Western Ghats, it was a serene place with lush vegetation, thick woods, hills, forests, valleys and wonderful views of the river winding its way through the green landscape.


The cottage itself was in the middle of the woods, just like in a fairy tale. Their caretaker had the place sparkling clean for them; he had laid out new sheets, pillows and even stocked-up the kitchen.

“This is simply marvellous!” exclaimed Kala.

Breakfast was hot and delicious, piping vegetable upma a—South Indian special and filter coffee. Her aunt said, “Tomorrow, we’ll have masala dosas. A new menu every day! ”

Uncle Prabhu took Kala to explore the woods around their cottage. Kala was very happy strolling along the little pathways among the woods wearing a woollen jersey and cap—all given by Aunt Sunitha!

A Green Holiday

Soon it was time to get back and lovely smells greeted them as they stepped in.

Gopi had made parathas and a pulav with a delectable vegetable preparation and curds to go with them. Strawberries and ice cream were served for dessert! Aunt Sunitha had brought an array of chutneys and pickles.

She said, “This place is famous for strawberries! It’s been years since we took a holiday like this.”


After lunch, Aunt Sunitha brought out two board games for them to play. One was ‘Snakes and Ladders’ and the other was called ‘Ludo’.

“Aunt Sunitha, you are great, planning so many surprises for us!” Kala exclaimed gratefully.

Her aunt said, “I looked in an old cupboard and took only two out for your sake, Kala. Your mother and I used to play these games as youngsters. I find many people going back to these games because computer games are sometimes violent!”

Later the elders went off for a snooze. But thoughtful Uncle Prabhu gave Kala a nice book to read. “I have some more books. You can take your pick.” He offered kindly.


It was the first time she was reading a book on plants and trees. In the evening they took a ride on ponies to reach some particular points for gorgeous views. It was 6:00 p.m. when they got back. Aunt Sunitha said “Music time!” and switched on her shruti box* and sang a few songs for her audience.

“How well you sing!” exclaimed Kala in admiration. She had an ear for classical music. She liked some ragas, too.

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“It’s good to have a hobby!” remarked her aunt. “Kala, I think you are the nicest teenager I have met. You are so full of compliments.”

Kala was quick to say, “But that’s because you are so full of goodness yourself and you keep us engaged with all nice things!

The brief holiday packed with a lot of fun things was almost over. How nicely time had flown by! Her loving aunt and uncle had opened her eyes to new things and new experiences!


There was another big surprise on the day they caught their flight, as her Uncle had packed two cartons of fresh strawberries and mulberries for them to take home.

*A shruti box is a small wooden instrument that works on a system
of bellows. It resembles a harmonium and provides an even-toned hum.
It is used in during practice sessions of Indian classical music.

Billy, the wise goat

When Manmanjari had given birth to kids last time, the jackal had taken them away. Since then, Manmanjari had been despondent.

She gave birth again, this time to two cute kids, but her past experience made her extremely worried.

She was apprehensive about the jackal killing her kids. Which mother could bear that?

“Think of something soon so that the jackal can’t take away our kids,” she expressed her fear to the billy-goat. “I won’t even go for grazing. I’ll just stay with the kids and protect them.”

“We can’t live in fear all the time. I have thought of a plan,” the billy-goat assured Manmanjari. “I’ll climb the hill and watch. As soon as I see the jackal coming, I’ll call out to you ‘Manmanjari, why are the kids crying?’ Then you pinch the kids so that they cry even harder.

The Escape Plan

“Then you say ‘What should I do? The kids are demanding a fresh, jackal liver to eat. There is a stale liver available in the house, but from where should I get a fresh one at this hour?’ Then I’ll say ‘Be quiet. Don’t make a noise. A jackal is coming here. I’ll get his liver for the kids to eat.”

After explaining the entire plan to Manmanjari, the billy-goat went on top of the hill. When he saw the jackal, he shouted loudly, “Manmanjari, Manmanjari, what’s the matter? Why are our kids crying?”

Manmanjari pinched the kids and said as already planned. The billy-goat shouted again, “Ask them to stop crying. I’ll go and get the liver of a jackal for them to eat.”


Upon hearing his words, the jackal got so terrified that he didn’t even wait for a second. He ran as fast as he could with all his might.

While the jackal was running, he met a gibbon on the way. “Brother Jackal, what happened?” The gibbon asked. “Why are you running like this?” The jackal narrated the entire incident to him.

The gibbon burst out laughing, “Brother Jackal, you must be out of your mind! Is it possible for a goat to kill a jackal?”

“Dear friend, I heard quite distinctly that the billy-goat told his wife that he was going to get a jackal’s liver for their kids to eat,” the jackal replied petulantly.

“If that is so, then I would like to see that billy-goat,” the gibbon declared. “You tie our tails together, and I’ll sit on your back and come with you.”

They knotted their tails to each other, and the Jackal set about carrying the gibbon on his back.


When the billy-goat saw them coming from the hilltop, he pondered at the new development and came up with a solution to the problem. He called out loud to Manmanjari, “Manmanjari, please pacify the kids somehow. My friend, the gibbon, is bringing the jackal here itself by tying their tails together. Do not worry at all. I’ll get the jackals liver in just a short while.”

The jackal got alarmed upon hearing the billy, goat’s words. The billy-goat again called out, “Hey Gibbon! You are so useless! You had told me that you would get many jackals, but what is this? You have just got one!”

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Now the jackal couldn’t wait any more. He began running at full tilt.

The gibbon couldn’t keep his balance and fell off the jackal’s back. Furthermore, as their tails were tied, the gibbon got dragged behind the jackal.


In an attempt to run away quickly, the jackal jumped downhill, but this move proved fatal for both of them. The gibbon and the jackal lost their steadiness and died after falling in the trench below.

Now Manmanjari felt relaxed as she felt her kids were safe and secure.




Bathing in the Tea

Several biscuits kept in a plate were dozing. Suddenly Motu got up from his sleep and counted the number of biscuits just to find that one of them was missing. He then asked Miss Tea in the cup, “Where is Chhotu?”

“I do not know any Chhotu, Motu,” replied Tea.

To this, Motu said, “I am Motu but you tell me where is Chhotu? Is it that you have eaten him up?”

“I do not eat biscuits,” said Tea.

Motu did not believe her and went ahead to find Chhotu inside the teacup. The moment he came in contact with the tea, he started drowning.

“Fool!” said Tea with a grin.

Hearing the murmur, Teetu got up and found that Motu and Chhotu were not to be seen in the plate. So he asked Tea, “Where are my two friends?”

Tea replied, “One sank in me and I do not know about the other.”

Teetu said, “You are telling a lie, Miss Tea. Both the fools must have drowned in you. I will find them out.”


Teetu called out to Chhotu and Motu, “Friends, do not worry. I am here to save you.”

Saying this, he inserted his hand inside the tea and he too sank into it.

Gol Guttam Lakkad bottom

Petu was the last biscuit left in the plate. After a couple of minutes, he too woke up and found himself alone. So he asked Tea, “Where are all my friends?”

“They are all taking a bath here,” said Tea.

Petu laughed at her reply and said, “Biscuits never take a bath. They all might be drinking tea and having a good time. Let me join them too.”

He said this and bent down to drink tea. No sooner did he come in contact with Tea, he too sank into it.

Tea could not help laughing and said, “That was a big gang of fools!”

Just then Chhotu came running and stopped near the plate. He seemed tired and was gasping for breath.

Tea asked him, “What happened to you Chhotu? Why are you so scared?”

“That rat I tell you…..” said Chhotu trying to calm down and regain his balance, “He had pulled me away to his hole while I was asleep. With great difficulty have I freed myself and come back.”

Chhotu looked at the plate and found no one in it. He, therefore, asked Tea, “Where are all the others? The last I saw them, they were all dozing in here. Where have they suddenly disappeared?”

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Tea replied, “Chhotu, they have all drowned in me. You must help them come out of it.”


“No, no, Miss Tea….” Said Chhotu, “If I come near you, I am sure to sink in too, so I shall not commit the same mistake that my friends committed.” Saying this, he sat into the plate and went off to sleep.

Tea smiled the widest and thought, “What an intelligent little biscuit!”

The Apples

By the time the fall season came, there were only three apples left, waiting for someone to pluck them. When the wind blew, the tree sang, “We are apples three, anyone who uses one, shall a treasure see!”

One morning, as Gaurav was passing, he saw the tree with the apples and wanted to taste one. Just then, the wind sang through the leaves, and a plump, an apple fell to the ground!

Gaurav picked up the sweet fruit, took a great bite and threw the core away. The wind in the apple tree sang, sorrowfully, after him: “Here in the orchard are apples two, but gone is the treasure that fell for you.”


The next day, Heena too came down the lane that passed by the orchard wall. She saw the two beautiful apples that hung on the branch.

She heard the wind sing in the branches, “We are apples two, a treasure they hold for you.”

With a plonk, an apple fell down. Heena picked it up and held it carefully. She thought it was a pity to eat it and decided to keep the apple instead and left.

No Pain, No Gain

The wind sang after her, “Only one apple where once there were two. Gone is the treasure I gave to you.” When she reached home, she hid the apple in her drawer and, after many days, it spoiled.

On the third day, Rudra too went down the lane and spotted the last apple. The wind in the tree also sang to him, “On the apple tree, a wonderful treasure, hanging, just see!” Suddenly, the wind blew harder and down fell the last apple.

Rudra took his jack-knife out and cut it in half. Inside, he could see the small black seeds.



He carefully took out all the seeds and climbed over the orchard wall, holding them in his hand.


The earth in the orchard was still soft, for the frost had not yet come. Rudra made holes in the earth and in each hole, he dropped an apple seed. Then he covered up the seeds and climbed back over the wall to eat his apple.

As he walked down the lane, the orchard wind followed him, singing to him from every tree and bush, “A planted seed is a treasure won. The work of the apple is now well done.”