The Toilet Fund

Champakvan jungle was celebrating World Toilet Day on November 19. All the animals had gathered at King Shersingh’s palace.

“Today, we celebrate World Toilet Day to understand hygiene and sanitation. I wish everyone in our jungle constructs a toilet in their home so that no one has to do potty in the open,” announced their king.

“Pardon me, King Shersingh! But it is more fun emptying bowels in the open, rather than using a toilet,” said Jumbo elephant.

“We have to get over this thinking, Jumbo,” said Jumpy monkey. Defecating or doing potty in the open is not fun anymore. Our poop is the main source of water pollution. The problem becomes even more serious during monsoons, when all the poop gets washed down to the river, contaminating the water with harmful bacteria. This polluted water causes infectious diseases like cholera, diarrhoea, vomiting,” explained Jumpy.

“Jumpy is right! That’s why I want all of you to have at least one toilet in your home. We have created a fund to help you construct the toilets,” said King Shersingh. “From tomorrow, my cashier, Bandu jackal will give 25,000 each
to construct a toilet,” he added.

Bandu had been newly appointed as the cashier of Champakvan. When the king gave him the responsibility of distributing the funds for toilets, he was very pleased!

The next day, all the animals came over to collect the funds. Jumpy was first in the queue.

Bandu gave the money to Jumpy, who signed and counted the money. “Bandu, this is only 20,000 instead of 25,000 that King Shersing had announced,” said a surprised Jumpy.

“Oh yes, silly me! I forgot to tell you all that last, night King Shersingh called me and revised the toilet fund to 20,000. The remaining 5,000 will now be used to build public toilets in Champakvan, that can be used by animals and tourists. This way, our jungle will become cleaner,” said Bandu.

“This is a good thought, but we would like King Shersingh to say this to us. Please call him,” said Jumpy.

“I would have called him but he has gone to town for some urgent work. You can clarify with him once he’s back,” replied Bandu.

“No problem. Give us the money,” said everyone.

Jumpy stood quietly in one corner. He felt something was not right. At night, he went to Bandu’s house. There was a new motorbike parked at his gate. He tiptoed to the backyard and sneaked in through the window. He was taken aback at the sight. Bandu was sitting on his bed, counting money and keeping it in a bag.

“It is fun and easy to fool all the animals,” he laughed loudly and said.

Jumpy was angry and thought, “Bandu cheated us. I must inform King Shersingh about what he did. He should be back in the palace by now.”

As he passed from the backyard, he saw Bandu’s motorbike again. He thought of an idea. He pumped out all the petrol from the bike and left for the palace. He found the king’s car on his way and stopped the car and narrated everything to King Shersingh in one breath.

“I had told him to give 25,000 to everyone. How dare he to do that. Let’s go to his house,” fumed Shersingh.

When they reached Bandu’s home, it was locked from outside. “It appears that he has run away with all the money,” said King Shersingh. “He wouldn’t have reached too far as I drained all the petrol from his bike,” said Jumpy,

They went on the road to search for him, and at some distance, they found Bandu’s bike parked near the roadside, but Bandu was not there.

They knew he couldn’t have gone far. Jumpy looked behind the bushes and saw him crouching there. “I found him,” shouted Jumpy, snatching the bag of money from Bandu’s hands. King Shersingh’s bodyguards caught him.

“I trusted you and gave you this job and you cheated everyone,” King Shersingh roared walking towards Bandu.

“Please forgive me, King Shersingh,” Bandu begged.

“This is the rest of the money, sir,” Jumpy said handing over the bag of money to King Shersingh.

“Please give it to Minister Bholu and this is your reward for finding Bandu,” said King Shersingh handing over some money to Jumpy.

“No sir, I can’t take this money. We need to use this money to construct public toilets. That will be the best reward for me,” said Jumpy.

“I am very impressed, Jumpy! Champakvan needs citizens like you,” said King Shersingh and patted his back in appreciation.

Unity Is Strength

Champakvan forest was quiet and peaceful. The animals and birds lived happily. They shared and helped each other in times of need.

A few days ago, a group of hunters came inside the forest and started hunting birds and animals, using guns. The animals were scared and cried over the loss of their friends. The fear of being hunted down troubled them the most.

They all decided to go and meet the king of the forest, Shersingh. King Shersingh heard them patiently and said, “I too am worried about your safety. But these hunters are armed with guns. Even I am afraid of guns. We will have to find a way to fight these hunters,” said Shersingh.

Honey hippo who was listening quietly said, “Your Majesty, I have a plan that can drive the hunters away from the forest.”

“What is you plan Honey?” asked Shersingh “Your Majesty, we must all stand together and fight these hunters. We must show – Unity is Strength,’’ said Honey.

“But even if we stand united, we can’t fight them. They have guns to shoot us,” said Lamboo giraffe.

“I know. We must plan cleverly before we act. My thick skin makes it difficult for the bullet difficult to pierce through it. I will go towards the hunters and distract them by walking towards them and the rest of you can attack from behind,” said Honey.

“If I get hurt, Dr Damru needs to be there to quickly remove the bullet from my body,” said Honey.

“You are putting your life at risk. Let us hope we don’t fail you,” said king Shersingh.

As planned, the next day, the crow took up the duty of a spy. He found out the camping spot of the hunters and passed the message to king Shersingh. All the animals hid in different places as planned by Honey.

Lamboo giraffe hid behind a tree, Fatty elephant hid behind a cluster of tall trees and Jumpy hid behind the bunch of bushy leaves. Cheeku rabbit took cover inside a bush. His Majesty, King Shersingh concealed himself behind a big mound.

The hunters were walking with guns in their hands. They looked alert and ready to shoot at the slightest sound.

As planned, Honey came before the hunters, then turned back and started running in the direction of his friend’s hiding places.

The hunters chased Honey, but Honey quickly gave them an escape and hid between the tall grasses.

One of the hunters reached the mound, where king Shersingh was hiding. As he climbed onto the mound to take a better look, his gaze fell on Shersingh. A chill ran down his spine. He dropped the gun and fell down rolling over the mound. The hunter managed to run away. Seeing the plight of the hunter, King Shersingh could not control his laughter.

The other hunters too were shaken when they saw their friend running. Taking charge of the situation, all the animals came out of their hiding places and attacked the hunters. In the chaos that followed, the hunters dropped their guns and ran away. The animals chased them out of the forest.

When the animals returned back to the forest, they saw the guns lying there on the ground. Jumpy collected all the guns and started imitating the hunters. He held a gun in his hands and by mistake pulled the trigger. The animals were in for a shock when they heard the sound of the gun shot. King Shersingh hid himself in a pit.

All the animals started laughing when they found out the reason behind the gun shot. Lamboo said, “We too have guns to fight now and need not be afraid of anyone.”

But Shersingh was lost in his thoughts. He thought about what could have happened if Jumpy had shot anyone.

He said, “We don’t need these guns that take the lives of others. I don’t want any of us to be killed by a gun shot. Let’s not create a situation where someone thinks they are more powerful because they have a gun. It’s better to dump them in the lake.”

Everyone agreed with Shersingh and they collected and threw the guns deep into the lake.

Trip To The Moon!

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

Everyone became very excited.

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

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

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

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

All the animals started shouting in joy.

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

“We have to be careful.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All the animals waited impatiently for the evening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What does this mean?” asked Shersingh.

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

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

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

“Now what shall we do?” asked Shersingh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In a few hours, Baddy was in police custody.

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

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

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

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

Forgive And Forget!

Cheeku rabbit and Meeku mouse were playing cricket with their friends on the playground.

Meeku wasn’t paying attention to the game because he was busy talking to Jumpy monkey.

“Meeku, catch! It’s your turn to throw the ball,” said Cheeku, throwing the ball to him. The ball hit Meeku’s head as he didn’t hear Cheeku.

“Ouch! Cheeku, why did you hit me?” asked Meeku, angrily.

“Meeku, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I threw the ball for you to catch it. You weren’t paying attention so it’s not my fault,” said Cheeku.

“Who throws like this? Couldn’t you wait for me to look at you? You knew I was busy talking and still, you threw the ball at me!” shouted Meeku.

“Are you here to play or to talk?” asked Cheeku and they started arguing.

Cheeku pulled Meeku’s tail and Meeku pulled Cheeku’s ear.

Their friends somehow pulled them apart and stopped the fight. Angry, the two of them went home.

They did not talk to each other for several days. One evening, Cheeku went to the playground and saw Meeku sitting alone.

Cheeku picked a corner on the playground and sat there without talking to Meeku. Their other friends hadn’t come.

They both waited for some time for others to show up but no one did.

Bored, Meeku decided to leave the ground and go home. Just then, Cheeku asked, “Meeku, if you want, we can play.”

“You want to play with me?” Meeku replied, shocked.

“Why is that shocking? We used to play together before,” replied Cheeku.

“I thought you were angry with me because we fought,” said Meeku.

“Meeku, you were angry because I hit you with the ball,” said Cheeku.

“No. I know you didn’t hit me purposely and it was my fault too. I should have concentrated on the game. I was hurt that’s why I yelled at you. I am sorry,” apologised Meeku.

“Ah! It’s alright! How foolish of us to not talk to each other for so many days,” said Cheeku.

“Let’s forget what happened in the past! We are friends again and that’s what matters,” said Meeku, smiling.

“Yes. We should try not to fight and if we do, then we should forgive each other,” said Cheeku.

And they both started playing together again.

Soon, their friends came and saw the two playing, just like before. “We purposely didn’t show up as we wanted you two to forgive each other today as it is World Forgiveness Day. Your friendship is so strong. You should not let any small fight break it,” said Jumbo elephant.

Saying this, Jumbo lifted Cheeku and Meeku with his trunk and everyone cheered for them!

Cheeku’s Reformation!

In Nilgiri forest all the animals lived together. All the kids of the jungle went to the forest school to study. Jumbo elephant was the teacher and the students enjoyed learning from him.

But Cheeku rabbit was very lazy. Neither did he like to study, nor did he like to go to school. He only wanted to roam around and to eat carrots the entire day. He would postpone doing both his homework as well as housewash.

The thought of sitting to study made him giddy and whenever his mother would ask him to study, he would make some excuse and get away from there.

His parents were very worried about Cheeku’s dislike for studying. Although Cheeku had reached Class VII, he could not read or write well. He managed to scrape through the exams by copying or looking into his classmates’ notebooks.

His classmates made fun of him. But it did not bother Cheeku.

After his final exams, Cheeku decided to visit his maternal uncle for the holidays. He urged his parents that no matter what happens he would go to uncle’s house this year.

Festival season was fast approaching and Cheeku’s father had a lot of work at office, so he could not go to drop Cheeku. His mother also could not accompany him as his grandmother was unwell.

Cheeku decided to go alone and asked his parents for permission.

His parents allowed him to go alone and Cheeku’s mom accompanied him to the bus-stand. On reaching the bus-stand, Cheeku noticed that there were many buses stationed. His uncle lived in Kajrivan. Since he could not read well he had to ask the people standing there which bus went to Kajrivan for the journey.

Everyone was busy and could not believe that Cheeku could not read. He was ashamed. “You are quite a grown-up boy and yet you can’t even read what is written on the bus? Hasn’t your school taught you anything?”, mouthed Baddy Fox.

Meeku mouse who was at the bus-stand to see off a relative, felt sorry for Cheeku and said, “There, that bus is going to Kajrivan.”

Cheeku thanked Meeku and quickly got on the bus.

As soon as the bus started and was on the road, Blacky bear, the ticket conductor, came to Cheeku and asked him kindly, “Yes son, where do you want to go?”
Cheeku replied, “Please may I get a ticket for Kajrivan.” He handed Blacky his purse and said, “Please take the money for the ticket from here and give me back the rest.”

Blacky stared at Cheeku and said politely, “Son, this bus is not going to Kajrivan; it is coming from Kajrivan and is going to Haritvan via Champakvan. You have boarded the wrong bus.” Then he added, “Also, you should not hand over all your money to anyone. A thief or a cheat would take it and run away. Don’t you know how to read and to count?”

Cheeku became red with shame. He felt bad that he had not paid attention at school and could not read and write. Had he learnt reading, writing and counting, he would not have to face the situation he was in today. No one would have laughed at him.

He felt like crying. Also he was worried because he had boarded the wrong bus and feared that the conductor would be rude to him.

He told Blacky bear that it was true he did not know how to read and write well. He promised that he will do so now.

Blacky felt sorry for Cheeku and asked the driver to stop the bus. Then he stopped the bus that was going to Kajrivan and asked Cheeku to board it.
Cheeku thanked him and when he reached his uncle’s house he told his uncle about what had happened.

Cheeku’s uncle, Shersingh was a teacher. He explained to Cheeku, “Son, to be able to progress in life, studies is necessary. It makes us independent. In current times, one has to be not just literate but also educated. So work hard and study well.

At the start of the new session, Cheeku started working hard in school. He was no longer lazy. Soon he not only surprised his parents but also his teacher and his classmates with his performance in school. He started scoring well in all his tests and no one teased him anymore by calling him lazy or illiterate.

Senior Citizen Award!

Pihu pigeon was everyone’s favourite in Champakvan for her kindness and manners.

She was adventurous and flying off to faraway places to experience things and new lessons. She loved watching trees, hills, rivers and fields while flying. Her dream was to fly like an eagle above the clouds!

Pihu was friends with Mittu maina who lived in the village near the forest, at a farmer’s house. She would visit Mittu with sweet fruits. Once in a while, Mittu would visit Pihu in Champakvan with corns and wheat grains from her house. Mittu understood human language very well and thus, Pihu was able to learn a lot about human lives as well.

One day when Pihu came to Mittu’s house, she saw her relaxing on the branch of the golden shower tree at the courtyard of the farmer’s house. Pihu sat near Mittu and gave her some fruits. At a distance, she could see a small gathering of villagers. They were discussing something very seriously but happily.

Pihu was curious to know and learn new topics. Mittu knew her friend’s habit. So, she took Pihu to the old mango tree under which the meeting was taking place. Pihu requested Mittu to listen carefully and translate it into bird’s language.

Pihu and Mittu sat quietly on a big branch of the mango tree listening.

Pihu could not understand anything, yet she enjoyed the actions and reactions of the villagers. Finally, there was a huge applause and the crowd dispersed.
Now, it was Mittu’s turn to explain to Pihu.

“The villagers were discussing about celebrating World Senior Citizens Day,” said Mittu.

“When is that?” asked Pihu.

“Hey Pihu, please don’t interrupt. I may forget all the points,” warned Mittu and continued – “I heard about it for the first time. World Senior Citizens Day is celebrated on 21st August every year. The idea of celebrating this day is to raise awareness about the factors and issues affecting older people and also to study issues that affect their lives. Elderly people, these days, are abused in many ways and hence activists have come up with assistance to protect and shelter the elderly.”

Pihu got excited and asked Mittu – “Why were a few people clapping and cheering at the end of the meeting?”

“Your observation power is really praiseworthy,” appreciated Mittu.

“It is also a day to recognize and appreciate the contributions that older people make to the society. Hence, the Village Head has approved the proposal of honouring such important personalities during the celebration,” Mittu stopped her talk and took a long breath.

“This is really wonderful. We must always respect, support and love our elders. I am lucky to have visited you today or else I would have never learned about it,” said Pihu.

Mittu and Pihu flew back to the golden shower tree. Both of them enjoyed swinging to the waves of the cool breeze. Red dragonflies and yellow butterflies were fluttering around the wheat fields. Sapna, the farmer’s little daughter came out of the house and called Mittu with strawberries in her hand. Mittu asked Pihu to join her to eat the delicious strawberries. Sapna greeted Pihu as well. After a while, Pihu left for Champakvan happily. Her mind was full of thoughts and plans.

Pihu shared the information about Senior Citizens Day with her parents and beloved friends Pyaree peacock, Princy parrot, Sweety siskin and Chinju cuckoo. Pihu too wanted to celebrate the day in Champakvan for the first time by giving a surprise to the older animals and birds. Pihu’s parents loved the idea.

Pihu took up the responsibility of inviting all the birds and animals for the occasion. The big banyan tree near the waterfalls was selected for the venue. Pihu requested Princy parrot to accompany her. Pyaree peacock and Sweety siskin took up the responsibility of arranging food and gifts.

Finally, the Senior Citizens Day was here. All the animals and birds were clueless as to why they were invited. While the birds sat on the branches of the trees, the animals sat under the trees and a few on the black rocks near the waterfalls. There were little monkeys and squirrels who played around joyously.

As soon as Raja Gabru lion came with his minister Jambu elephant, the function began. Chinju cuckoo welcomed all with a melodious hymn.

Pihu told the crowd about the significance of the day and the purpose of the celebration. All were quite surprised on hearing about Senior Citizens Day. There was a big round of applause when Pihu announced about honouring the elderly and old members.

Chinju cuckoo invited the very old Mottu monkey, Bittu bear and Cheeru crow on the stage. Pihu read out the contributions made to Champakvan. Regardless of age and other health issues, Mottu, Bittu and Cheeru had worked hard for the betterment of the inhabitants and the development of Champakvan.

Pyaree peacock and Sweety siskin requested Raja Gabru to present the awards to the honourable guests. All the animals and birds clapped for the guests of honour.

Raja Gabru appreciated the organizing committee for their initiative and goodwill. He presented a bouquet to the little pretty Pihu who had introduced the idea of celebrating Senior Citizens Day in Champakvan. Everybody enjoyed delicious food and chatted happily.

Suddenly, Pihu heard the flaps of her dearest friend Mittu main a. “Well done, Pihu” appreciated Mittu. Pihu and her friends welcomed Mittu to join their celebrations

Champakvan’s Flag

King Shersingh was relaxing in his den while watching a program on television. The program was about historical events that happened in India and the history of the Indian flag. Suddenly the thought that flashed across Shersingh’s mind was that Champakvan too should have its own flag.

He immediately called his chief advisor, Jumbo elephant who came quickly, worried why Shersingh was calling him urgently. When Shersingh shared his idea about Champakvan having its own national flag, Jumbo relaxed and became excited about the idea as well.

They both discussed, that the next day Shersingh will make an announcement in Champakvan about the idea of adopting a Champakvan flag and invite designs for the flag, with the reasoning behind the design. The winner would be announced a week before the Champakvan National Day and would receive a certificate and prize during Champakvan National day celebrations.

The next day, Shersingh made the announcement on TV and radio. All the animals of Champakvan were excited about designing the flag. Rangeela peacock, Kitty squirrel, Gini giraffe, Meeku mouse, Fishy fox and many others became busy thinking about the design for the flag.

In every nook and corner of the forest, the only topic one could hear was about flag designing. Finally, the day came and all the participants submitted their designs of the flag. The collected designs were displayed so that all the animals could see the flag ideas.

Shersingh along with Jumbo and other ministers started reviewing the designs of flags submitted by everyone. They found many creative work like Rangeela’s design that showed the rainbow as a national flag with each colour meaning something, Gini’s design had a flame as a symbol of illumination. Most of the ministers were impressed with Fishy’s design in which she had put king Shersingh’s photo in the center of a red colour triangle in the flag.

Shersingh asked Jumbo what he thought about Fishy’s design. Jumbo was puzzled at the direct question but said that in his opinion, Fishy’s design was not ethical. Shersingh and all the ministers were surprised by Jumbo’s answer. Shersingh again asked Jumbo to explain.

Jumbo said, “Your majesty, I do not agree with Fishy’s flag design because it is person-specific. It only shows the strength of Champakvan as its King. A flag should be used to represent the place and its people. It should talk about shared values, history and moral standing of the people in the kingdom.”

Jumbo then moved to the simple design made by Meeku that had a tree on a white background. The white represented light, goodness, innocence, purity, and the tree symbolized the generations of a family. A tree sprouts from a seed, grows and branches out, sees how far it can go, and then creates a new fruit that gives life to the next generation. Tree is a symbol of growth and strength. So I would suggest that we should select Meeku’s design for Champakvan’s flag,” said Jumbo.

Shersingh liked Jumbo’s reasoning and they all declared that Meeku’s flag design would be officially adopted as the flag of Champakvan. It would be hoisted on the upcoming Champakvan day celebrations.

All the animals congratulated Meeku for creating a wonderful and thoughtful flag for the forest and Shersingh and Jumbo for selecting such a flag.

Rainwater Harvest!

This summer had been very hot in Champakvan. All wells and ponds had dried up. 

Due to water scarcity, King Shersingh announced, “All citizens of our forest are requested not to waste water. Until the rains start, water will be supplied just for one hour in the morning and evening everyday. Everyone will have to manage with it.”

All the animals of Champakvan realised that the water problem was serious and started using water sparingly. 

But Titu butterfly did not care, and would wash the leaves of her plants and sprinkle the ground with water daily. She loved playing with water.

All tried to persuade Titu not to waste water but she continued to use water carelessly. 

All the animals complained to King Shersingh who called her.

He said, “Titu, you are so small. You need just a little water for drinking and bathing. Then why do you use so much water? Though you are using the water given to you, when you use it for this purpose, it makes all the others angry in the jungle. 

Titu said, “I suffer from dust allergy. When dust is around, I get sick and start sneezing and am unable to breathe well. I cannot sleep. That is why I have to sprinkle water around my house.”

“Even then Titu, try to save water as much as possible. If you can, instead of washing the leaves, wipe them with water. 

In front of the king, Titu agreed but when she went home, she kept using water as per her wish. 

All the animals wanted to go to King Shersingh to complain against her. 

Cheeku rabbit lived near Titu’s house. 

He said, “It is not wise to trouble the King for every small thing. I have thought of a plan so that Titu can continue playing with water and yet it will not be wasted.”

“How is that possible? asked Meeku mouse.

“Let’s see. I will not talk about it!” said Cheeku.

Next day, the animals saw that Cheeku was burrowing beds under Titu’s tree. After two days, he planted vegetable seeds in the beds.

Titu did not realise that she was watering vegetable plants because she was busy watering her leaves and home. 

In a few days, small shoots appeared from the beds. The vegetable garden grew under Titu’s home. 

When Shersingh learnt about it, he too was happy. 

At that moment, he received an invitation from Dara rhinoceros, the Minister of their neighbouring forest, Kanchanvan.

The invite said, “Like every year, this year too, we are organising water sports in our big pond. We request you to be Chief Guest at this year’s water sports.” 

Shersingh was bewildered. He asked the messenger, Nitu porcupine, “In our forest, with great difficulty, we are able to provide water. Our wells and ponds are dry and you are having water sports. How have you kept your ponds full of water?”

“If you too celebrate the Forest Festival like us, then there will be no scarcity of water in Champakvan,” said Nitu.

“Forest Festival? What is that?” asked Shersingh.

“We plant plenty of trees in our forest. And we take care of our existing plants and trees, make the best possible use of objects made from wood. Pencils and paper that are made by cutting trees, are not wasted, so as to avoid cutting trees. Because of this, our forest is quite cool and we don’t need to run air conditions and coolers. That way, we have water and electricity. Most importantly, we collect and store rain water by water-harvesting. We use the stored water for all our needs, and the wells and ponds in our forest never dry up. All these help us in organising water games even in summer.”

“Now I understand. We too will plant trees in abundance in our forest and will collect rain water by water harvesting. We too will celebrate Forest Festival. Please tell Dara that I will surely come and enjoy the water sports. I thank him for the invitation.”

Problem Solved

“See, Nini, what I got. We can use it as a boat.” shouted Pilu mouse, joyfully dragging half a coconut shell that looked like a cup.

“Won’t this sink in water?” asked Nini.

“No, it does not,” and Pilu dropped the coconut shell in the river. It floated.

“Oh, good. Now our work is done,” said Nini taking it out of water. “Come, let us fill it with maize and wheat grains.”

Both got busy and filled the coconut shell with grains and put it on the water.

“Where are you going, taking these grains?” Kalu crow asked from the
tree above.

“Kalu bhai, some of our friends live across the river; we are taking these grains to them and will bring barley and millet from there,” Pilu explained.

“Yes, millet and barley grow in plenty there,” Nini completed the information.

“But why don’t you use the bridge?” asked Kalu.

“The bridge is very far from here. And we will have to carry the grains all the way to the bridge. It will take a lot of time and effort,” Pilu said.

“Taking the grains across the river is closer and easier. That is why we got this boat,” Nini explained.

“But how will you row it on water?”

“See these two sticks. We will use them as oars,” said Pilu, showing him
the oars. Then both of them got on to their handmade boat and left.

The next day, the king of the Champakvan forest, Shersingh lion, called a meeting of all forest dwellers.

He then called Pilu and Nini to the front.

Both started trembling with fear, “What mistake have we made, your majesty?” they asked.

“Don’t be afraid, Pilu and Nini. You have made no mistake. Your intelligence has made me think of a solution for the forest.”

“We didn’t understand, your majesty.”

“I’ll explain,” Shersingh addressed the audience. “You all know the roads of our Champakvan forest are crowded. Because of the traffic jams, our animals are not able to reach their workplaces on time. Pollution has also increased. We tried to solve the problem by making more use of two-wheelers, car-pooling, using double-decker buses on busy routes and constructing flyovers. We made green corridors by planting trees on both sides of the roads. We also made vertical gardens on the pillars of the flyovers. There has been some difference by these methods but the problem has still not been solved. Yesterday, you both showed me a way to solve the problem with your intelligence.”

“And what is that, your highness?” asked Minister Jumbo elephant.

“You all know the river that flows through many parts of our forest. If we use the river for our transport, then we can solve the traffic problem.”

“Transport on the river? I do not understand,” said army general
Blacky bear.

“We will operate boats on the river. Small boats can ferry light goods and passengers and bigger boats will carry heavy goods. This will also provide employment to many persons, ease traffic jams on the roads and reduce pollution. We will construct ports where passengers and goods can embark and disembark from the boats.”

All applauded.

“I am not the person you should applaud. Pilu and Nini deserve it. Yesterday, when I was on tour of the forest, I saw these two using a coconut shell as a boat and exchanging grains with their friends across the river. I wish to award them
for this.”

Pilu and Nini were thrilled. They had been of use to their Champakvan forest.

A Cyclone In Forest!

I need to speak to the King right away! I must meet him now,” said Cheeku rabbit to the King’s guards.

King Shersingh heard and called him in. “Cheeku, what’s the matter?” he asked.

“A cyclonic storm is gaining speed and will soon reach Champakvan. We should take precautions or we’ll end up in big trouble. Many homes will be destroyed,” said Cheeku in a hurry.

King Shersingh was worried. This was the first time a storm was approaching Champakvan forest.

“What will happen when this storm hits Champakvan?” asked King Shersingh as he wanted to know what they should be prepared for.

“The cyclonic storms are moving towards us and will hit Champakvan in 2 days. It will bring heavy rain and strong winds that will destroy trees, homes and may cause floods,” informed Cheeku.

“That’d be terrible! We should alert all the animals right away and build a shelter for them to stay till the storm calms down,” said King Shersingh.

And soon, the news about the approaching cyclonic storm spread through Champakvan. All the animals stocked up on food in their homes.

“What can we do, Cheeku?” asked Blacky bear.

“We have to stay alert. It’ll start raining before the storm arrives. There’ll be strong winds. We have to ensure all the animals have moved to the safe shelter before that. We must keep our mobiles fully charged. We have to move the animals who live in weak houses.”

“Why so, Cheeku?” asked Meeku mouse.

“Because weak houses might break due to strong winds. Not just that, electric poles can also fall during thunderstorms and cause more damage so the electricity supply to the entire forest will be cut until the storm passes. There may be floods, so we have to stay on higher grounds,” explained Cheeku.

“My house is in a bad shape,” said Jumbo elephant. “Where can I stay when it rains?”

“We have built shelters for the animals on the hill. Food has also been arranged. There’s enough space for everyone to move there,” said Cheeku.

“My house is on the mango tree. And the mango tree is very strong. Be it cyclone or thunderstorm, I’ll stay right there!” said Jumpy monkey with a grin.

“Jumpy, your house is closer to the sea. It’s important to keep ourselves safe. Come to the shelter with us,” said Cheeku.

But Jumpy did not listen.

Two days later, all the animals took shelter on the hill except Jumpy.

Soon, strong winds began to blow and it rained heavily. The animals were happy that they were safe. At the end of the day, the winds grew stronger and stronger.

Meanwhile, Jumpy was still in his house. When the storm hit the mango tree, he began shaking terribly.

“Oh, dear!” Jumpy trembled in fear.

He regretted his decision. He, too, should have gone to the shelter along with the other animals.

The strong winds uprooted the mango tree. Jumpy’s house collapsed. He managed to escape but there was a flood.

He took shelter on a strong tree as he was injured and couldn’t travel too far.

After some time, the storm was calm.

“Looks like the storm has passed. We can go back now. But we need to be careful. A lot of trees may have fallen on the way,” said Cheeku to all the animals.

“Be careful!” said King Shersingh. “If anyone needs help, my guards are around to help you.”

The animals returned home.

“Who knows what condition Jumpy is in?” said Cheeku. He was worried about him and set out in search of him.

“Cheeku, look! The mango tree has fallen down! The storm must have uprooted it,” said Roma sparrow.

“Jumpy’s house was on this tree! I hope he’s fine,” said Cheeku, anxiously.

All the animals started looking for him. Jumpy was lying on the branch of another tree. His head was bleeding. They rushed him to the hospital.

He was weak as he had not eaten anything the entire day and had hurt his head. The doctors gave him medicines and saved him.

“I’m sorry, Cheeku,” Jumpy apologised as soon as he woke up. “If I had listened to you, I wouldn’t have had to suffer like this.”

“Come on! You are fine now!” said Cheeku, patting his head.

Jumpy smiled and hugged him.

Greeting Card

Champakvan had an orphanage devoted to the care of orphans. It was home to a lot of children. The boarding, lodging and studies of these children was completely undertaken by King Shersingh.

Shanno cat was employed as the caretaker of the orphanage.

King Shersingh visited the orphanage once a month.

One Sunday, when Shersingh reached the orphanage, Shanno was waiting for him at the gates to welcome him.

“Shanno, I hope the kids are well taken care of?” asked Shersingh.

“Yes, my King! I take care of them like my own kids. I am at their service throughout the day. I am always concerned about them,” replied Shanno.

“My King, I request you to come and see for yourself how well these kids are taken care of,” she continued taking Shersingh to the kitchen.

Lunch was being prepared in the kitchen. There was chapati, rice, dal, vegetables and rice pudding on the menu.

“This food smells good here!’ said Shersingh, taking in the aromas of the food.

“Yes, my king! We serve tasty and nutritious food to the kids every day. They are also served milk, nuts and fruits in the morning,” Shanno added.

“That is excellent! I wish that these kids never face any inconvenience while they are here. Let me know if you need any help,” offered Shersingh.

Then, Shersingh visited the kids in their rooms. Cheeku rabbit, Meeku mouse, Jumpy monkey and the other kids greeted the King.

“Children, are you all comfortable here?” asked Shersingh.

“Yes!” said the kids and nodded.

“My King, like I said, the kids here do not have any problems. We care for them like our own kids. Each and every need of theirs is taken care of,” Shanno added quickly.

As soon as Shersingh got up to leave, Cheeku interrupted and said, “My king, we have made a greeting card for you and we would like to present it to you.”

Shersingh happily accepted their request and said, “Yes, of course! Bring it quickly. I want to see what my lovely children have made for me.”

Meeku brought the card and presented it to Shersingh.

Shersingh opened the greeting card and smiled and said, “It is a very beautiful card. I have never been presented with anything like this before. I will always treasure it.”

“Shanno, you are working really hard to help these kids. You deserve a reward for your efforts. I will return soon,” said Shersingh as he left.

That night Shersingh visited the orphanage with Inspector Tommy Dog and his team.

Shanno was surprised to see Shersingh with the police. She came out quickly and asked, “What is it Inspector? Is there a thief here?” 

“Yes, we are here to catch a criminal. A crime has been happening for many days and now we have the proof for it,” said Inspector Tommy and hand-cuffed Shanno.

“Why are you taking me in, Inspector? What crime have I committed? I look after the kids in the orphanage. I am not a thief,” cried Shanno.

“You should be ashamed of yourself! I trusted you and you took advantage of my trust. Now you will spend the rest of your life in prison,” roared Shersingh, his eyes red with anger.

“My King, there is some misunderstanding. I have not done anything. Please leave me!” pleaded Shanno.

“There is no misunderstanding. The children of the orphanage gifted me the card and it mentioned all the details of your wrong doings. You have been torturing these little children by hitting them and threatening them. How you fed them stale food that too, just once a day. 

All the food that was being prepared was just to fool me. You have been keeping all the money that was sent for the welfare of the kids, for yourself. Your misdeeds have finally come to light now,” Shersingh growled.

Seeing his rage, Shanno admitted to her crimes. Shersingh demanded a tough punishment for Shanno.

Then Shersingh praised Cheeku, Meeku and Jumpy for their presence of mind and said, “We were able to uncover Shanno’s wrongdoings due to your intelligent thinking. I assure you, that you will never face such a problem again. You will all be looked after well!”

Shanno was sent to prison and the children lived happily with another caretaker.

Environment Day

Baddy fox wanted to cut the trees of Champakvan. He did not know why, but he disliked the animals of Champakvan and was always thinking of new ways to harm them.

“If there are no trees, then the forest will be destroyed by itself. The animals will suffer from hunger, heat and shelter. And that’s what I want,” Baddy told this to the woodcutter with a cunning smile.

“Yes, and I will get to sell the tree in the city for a profit,” said the woodcutter picking up his axe.

“We must work cleverly and no one should know our plan,” said Baddy.

“No one will know. Otherwise, it will be tough to cut the trees,” the woodcutter agreed.

“Tomorrow, I shall go to Champakvan and figure out which day you can begin cutting the trees,” said Baddy.

“Let me know when you think the time’s right and I will come with my companions and axes and saws,” replied the woodcutter and bid goodbye to Baddy.

Next day, Baddy went to Champakvan. The forest was beautifully decorated. Colourful ribbons were tied to the trees. Fairly lights hung from every branch. The animals had decorated their homes. Baddy was curious and wanted to know why the forest had been decorated.

Just then he saw Blacky bear handing balloons to Jumpy monkey on the tree.

“Blacky, what is happening in the forest? Why is it decorated so beautifully? Is there a wedding happening?”

“Don’t you know?” asked Blacky looking at Baddy in surprise.

“No. That is why I am asking you,” said Baddy, rolling his eyes.

“June 5 is Environment Day. We are making these preparations to celebrate that great festival in Champakvan,” replied Blacky.

“Oh! So these decorations are for Environment Day,” whispered Baddy to himself.

“Did you say something?” asked Blacky.

“No, no! I didn’t,” muttered Baddy and walked away.

At the Brave Hardy Crossing, the main crossing of Champakvan, named after one of its scientists, many animals had gathered. They were discussing something important amongst themselves. Baddy wanted to know what they were talking about, so he sat down quietly at one side to listen to them.

“We should ask King Shersingh to be our chief guest,” said Dola deer.

“But he is from our forest. How can someone from our forest be the chief guest? We should look for someone else,” said Cheeku rabbit.

“You are right, Cheeku. If we get someone from Sundarvan, it will be better. When they see the environment celebrations, they will go back and praise our forest in their forest,” said Greta giraffe.

“Whom can we invite?” asked Cheeku and scratched his head.

“How about Baddy fox?” suggested Dola.

“No! No! Baddy always wants to harm Champakvan. How can we make him our chief guest?” Cheeku objected.

“Maybe Dola is right. Baddy may be planning against Champakvan, but we never think of harming him. Perhaps, when he is invited as our chief guest, he may improve and become a good person,” said Greta.

All agreed with Greta’s suggestion. Suddenly, Cheeku caught sight of Baddy, sitting behind a bush, quietly.

“Look! Baddy is here. Let us go and invite him for the function,” he said excitedly.

All animals went to Baddy and invited him to be their chief guest.

Baddy had been feeling uneasy listening to the conversation, and now he was more troubled. He could not even think how of a fitting reply.

“I…I…,” he stammered and then said, ‘’I will surely come.”

On his way back, Baddy started wondering about what had happened. “Here, I was thinking of harming Champakvan and these animals are inviting me to be their chief guest.”

On the day of the function, Baddy came to Champakvan forest. He was given a very warm welcome and presented a garland of fresh flowers and made to sit on the sofa comfortably.

The animals of the forest put up skits telling everyone the importance of trees and why more trees should be planted. They said in chorus, “Fewer trees means heating of the atmosphere, less rain and homes will disappear.”

Baddy became thoughtful and realised he would have done something horrible if he had cut the trees. He decided that he would never again harm the trees of any forest.

He would also stop the woodcutters from cutting trees.

The function came to an end and the animals requested Chief Guest Baddy to address the gathering with a few words.

“I am very happy to be here and I promise that from today, I will not harm the trees in any way. I promise to plant 100 trees in Champakvan and look after them.”

Hearing him, all the animals were very happy. Baddy had truly been transformed.

A Thief of Champakvan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



King Sher Singh was generally very cheerful. But there were days when he turned sad and irritable. This usually happened when he remembered his old friend Ramu Singh.

King Sher Singh would grow so miserable that he would even forget to eat his meals and lose interest in important matters.

“Ramu, my friend,” he would murmur in his sleep. “Where have you gone? Please come back and forgive me.” King Sher Singh would then wake up with a jolt and start crying softly

On days like that, King Sher Singh would even stop coming to his court. He would keep to himself and sometimes even neglect urgent official matters. His ministers and Queen Sherni would grow worried, for they knew that King Sher Singh couldn’t afford to neglect his kingly duties. But they couldn’t do much and they would patiently wait till he felt better.

But of late, Minister Chatur Jackal had noticed that King Sher Singh’s bouts of sadness were lasting for very long. And that, they were not only was affecting his duties as a king, but also his health.

Chatur Jackal couldn’t stop himself from going up to King Sher Singh. He was very concerned about him.

“Your Majesty,” Chatur Jackal said politely.

“I don’t mean to be inquisitive but may I ask what exactly makes you so upset sometimes? Why don’t you share your worries with me? You’ll feel much better if you do. And who knows, I might just be able to help you solve your problem.” King Sher Singh trusted Chatur Jackal and thought of him as a friend. And so, he decided to share his problem with him.

“Well, Chatur,” King Sher Singh said as a few tears rolled down his eyes. “I had a very dear friend in my childhood. His name was Ramu Singh. He was my best friend. We played games and studied together everyday. But one day, we had an argument. I lost my temper and said some very harsh things to my friend. Ramu Singh was hurt. He left the forest without telling anyone where he was going. I think of him sometimes and wonder where he went. How I wish that we were still friends.”

“Oh!” Chatur Jackal said to himself after hearing King Sher Singh’s story. “So, King Sher Singh is missing his old friend. Well, it is indeed sad. But he isn’t doing anything about it. There are many animals and birds in Champakvan who have been separated from their parents, siblings and children. I should introduce King Sher Singh to them and tell him what they do.”

Chatur Jackal then listed out the names of some of the animals who had been separated from their loved ones.

“Blacky Bear was lost when he was just a cub,” Chatur Jackal recalled as he noted the names down. “He has been looking for his parents ever since then. And Roopi Deer’s son had been kidnapped by Kalu Jackal a long time ago. She hasn’t given up hope and is still searching for him.”

Chatur Jackal then took King Sher Singh to meet Blacky Bear and Roopi Deer. After hearing their stories, King Sher Singh realised that he was not the only one who had lost someone he cared about. There were others too. But unlike him, they were working hard to find them.

King Sher Singh decided that he too would look for his long-lost friend. He then sent his soldiers to look for Ramu Singh.

“Go to all the rivers, mountains, fields, forests and lakes in the land!” he ordered. “Leave no stone unturned. You must find Ramu Singh.”

And so, the soldiers did as they were told. But they didn’t find Ramu Singh anywhere. King Sher Singh didn’t lose heart. Instead, he joined his soldiers in the search.

One day, King Sher Singh came across a rocky hill covered by trees. He noticed the marks of a lion’s paws on the ground.

“Hmm,” he wondered. “Could my long-lost friend be here?” King Sher Singh then ordered his soldiers to search the entire area thoroughly.

The soldiers soon spotted a lion sitting outside a small cave. He was dressing the wounds of some injured birds and animals. They went and told King Sher Singh about it.

King Sher Singh recalled how his friend Ramu Singh had always wanted to be a doctor. “Could that be Ramu Singh?” he said hopefully. He then ran to the cave.

King Sher Singh’s happiness knew no bounds when recognised the lion sitting there. Yes, he was his friend Ramu Singh.

“At last! There’s my long-lost friend,” he said to himself. “I can’t wait to talk to him!” King Sher Singh started to walk towards Ramu Singh. But then he hesitated and stopped mid-way. He remembered the last time they had met, and the harsh words that he had spoken. Chatur Jackal, who had accompanied King Sher Singh, understood his dilemma.

“Go on, Your Majesty!” he said and encouraged King Sher Singh to go further. “You have been waiting for this moment since very long!” King Sher Singh nodded and slowly walked towards Ramu Singh. Ramu Singh looked up and wondered who, dressed in royal attire, was coming to meet him.

When King Sher Singh came closer, Ramu Singh’s eyes twinkled. He recognised his friend immediately and jumped up and hugged King Sher Singh.


Soon, the two friends had tears in their eyes. “I wish I hadn’t been so harsh, Ramu,” King Sher Singh said. “Please forgive me.”

“And I wish I hadn’t walked away in a huff and not kept in touch,” Ramu Singh said. “I’m sorry too.” The two friends then sat together and laughed and talked happily. Chatur Jackal and the soldiers were happy to see King Sher Singh look so cheerful once again.

“Your Majesty,” Chatur Jackal told King Sher Singh later that day. “Don’t you wish that you had looked for Ramu Singh right after he left, and apologised immediately?”

“I wish I had,” King Sher Singh said. “Had I done that, I wouldn’t have felt so miserable for so many years.”

After that, King Sher Singh never felt gloomy or irritable again. He didn’t neglect his duties either. He now understood that any misunderstanding in a friendship should be sorted immediately. He stayed in touch with Ramu Singh and was careful not to lose his temper or say anything that was harsh again. He didn’t want to lose his friend again.

Kirtivan Becomes Hi-tech

“Chamku, will you get down or not? How long will you hang like this?”  Lion Singh roared at Chamku Bat. He was hanging down the roof out of fear. What else could he do? It was a big thing that at least his life got saved. He was cleaning the palace along with Janglu the Jackal a little while back when Singh the Lion pounced on them in anger, accusing them of not working properly. Janglu got caught, but Chamku managed to escape.

Janglu pleaded for his life. Even Queen Liona requested Lion Singh to leave Janglu, but he did not relent. Janglu had to die. The King made him his prey. Had Chamku gotten caught, even he would have faced the same consequence. In order to save his life, Chamku kept hanging on the roof. He was aware that Lion Singh couldn’t reach there. And for him, it was not a problem at all. After all, he was a bat!

This was happening very frequently. If Lion Singh would get annoyed with any of his servants, he would kill and eat them. On the days when he would not find any prey, these incidences would further increase. Due to this the animals of the jungle stopped working in the palace.

Queen Liona was very upset with the happenings in the palace. She even tried to make sense with the King, but he would not listen. So the poor Queen had to live without a single helper and had to do all the chores herself, despite being a Queen.

Prince Leo came home during his vacations. He was studying in a city college. He saw his mother doing household chores all through the day. He asked in surprise, “Mother, you are the Queen of Kirtivan and you don’t even have a single servant…?”

Queen Liona told him everything and said, “Now tell me, Son, who would want to work with us?”

The prince felt very bad at his mother’s situation. He contemplated on the problem and assured his mother, “Don’t worry, Mother. When I come back on Jungle Day’, I will bring 3 servants with me.”

“No, Son, no…don’t do that. Your father will eat them up. I don’t want any animal to lose his life unnecessarily.” Liona refused her son’s offer.

Leo laughed loudly upon hearing his mother’s words. He said, “Don’t worry, Mother. The servants whom I will bring will work a lot. They will do whatever you will ask them to do. And father would never be able to prey on them!”

“Son, what are you saying? Can any animal be stronger than the lion that he will be saved from being prey to your father?” Liona was surprised. She began wondering which animals Leo was bringing as servants. However, Leo kept mum about it. He told his mother again, “I promise that this time I will definitely bring servants with me.”

Prince Leo was studying computer engineering in the city. He built three robots after getting back and gave them the appearance of animals. They looked and behaved like real animals. And they could do any work!

When the prince took them home on Jungle Day’, nobody could make out that they were not animals. Queen Liona got worried, “Son, how will these poor animals stand in front of Maharaj? He will make them too his prey.”

The prince said, “Mother, don’t worry. Forget killing. Maharaj won’t be able to go even near to them.” Then Leo explained that these were robots. They neither felt hunger nor thirst They were not scared of anyone and nobody can eat them.

The prince put a computer in the Queen’s room. Bluetooth devices and cameras were installed in the robots. The Queen could see everything because of that. They even had GPS System. The prince had put in the maps of their palace and the jungle and the programs of the chores to be done inside the robots. He had even explained to his mother how to get work done and keep a control on them. Meanwhile Maharaj Lion Singh was very happy upon seeing the servants.

Prince Leo returned back to the city after Jungle Day’. By that time, the Queen had learnt to control the robots very well. Maharaj wasn’t told about the reality of the robots.


One day, Lion Singh was in a furious mood. He pounced on a robot, but what was this? He received a jolt and was thrown away and hit the wall. Lion Singh couldn’t understand what happened. He thought that he was imagining things and so he pounced again, but this time the jolt was even more powerful.

It was an electric shock. The robots had a system which caused high electric current when somebody attacked them. Lion Singh’s entire body shook violently. He felt so weak that he had to rest for many days to recuperate. It was then that Queen Liona told him everything about servant robots. Ironically, Maharaj became better after being cared for by those servant robots.

Lion Singh was very impressed with those robots. The electric shocks too had a favourable effect on him. He calmed down and began behaving nicely with everyone. He made a plan with the help of the prince to tighten up the security of Kirtivan. Robots were deployed everywhere in the jungle, even at the border. All activities were monitored with the help of the GPS System of the robots. They even had guns installed in their mouths which could be used if required by Cheetah Singh, who remote-controlled them.


This is how Kirtivan’s security system became excellent under the able guidance of Lion Singh and Cheetah Singh. Kirtivan became the ‘hi-tech’ jungle of the twenty first century. Nobody could harm animals in any way in Kirtivan due to this ‘hi-tech’ security.

The New Santa Claus

The residents of Silver Forest were eagerly awaiting their king, Leo, the lion’s announcement that came a few days before Christmas every year.

Next day, the king called everyone and said, “As you all know, every year we select one animal among us to be Santa Claus. So please start preparations, as only two days are left for us to decide who will be the Santa this year.”

For the animals, being Santa Claus was a matter of honour. Everyone began preparing for the competition. Some started decorating their houses, while others started dressing up smartly.

Piku, the peacock, was drying his feathers after taking a bath. Suddenly, he heard a voice.


“Help me! I can’t carry this bag alone!”

Piku looked out to see who it was. An old and dark animal was carrying a heavy bag on his shoulders and was saying, “Please help me! I can’t carry this bag by myself.”

“Help? I’m sorry, but please ask someone else. This bag is so heavy and dirty as well. I have just taken a bath. I don’t want to get dirty again,” said Piku, declining to help him.

“My house isn’t far. Please help me. I’m too old to take this bag,” pleaded the animal.

“I just said no. Can’t you hear me?” said Piku, losing his temper. “Now get moving from here. I’m preparing for the competition to become Santa Claus. Don’t disturb me!”

The animal walked away sorrowfully. Some distance away, he came across Hinni, the deer.

“Please help me! I can’t carry this bag anymore,” the animal cried out. Hinni saw that an old animal was asking for help, but declined. “Please ask someone else. Can’t you see I’m busy preparing for the Santa Claus competition? I’ve just applied the cream on my body. If I help you now, the cream will get dirty and my skin will not shine anymore,” said Hinni, and turned away.

Suddenly, Dabbu, the donkey arrived at the scene. He was passing by and stopped on hearing the old animal’s cry for help.

“Let me help you,” he said. Dabbu took the bag from the old animal.

“Yes, please help him out,” said Hinni, laughing. “Anyway, who’ll choose you to be Santa Claus?”

Dabbu did feel bad, but he chose to ignore her.

“Careful! The bag’s quite heavy!” said the old animal to Dabbu.

“Not a problem,” said Dabbu.

“And it’s dirty as well.”

“Don’t worry! I will wash it afterwards,” said Dabbu, smiling at him. “Where is your house?”

“It’s quite far. You can put the bag down if you want. I’ll ask someone else for help,” said the old animal.

“Don’t worry at all. Let’s go,” said Dabbu, and started walking behind him.

After walking some distance, they arrived near an old house.

“Please keep the bag down here,” said the old animal. “Thank you so much!”

As Dabbu was about to leave, the old animal called out, “Haven’t you prepared for the Santa Claus competition?”

“Who will make me Santa Claus? Neither am I good looking nor do I have any special skill,” saying that Dabbu left.

Dabbu then went and cleaned his house and set up a Christmas tree.sanat-claus

That night, all the animals, including Dabbu, gathered on the ground to hear the results of the competition.

“This time I’ll surely be Santa,” said Piku, spreading his feathers. “Who’s more beautiful than me?”

Everyone admired Piku’s beautiful and colourful feathers.

“You’re really handsome,” some of the animals complimented him.

“Oh, but wait till you’ve seen me! Look how fair I look,” said Hinni, the deer. Everyone turned to her.

“Yes, yes, you too could be Santa Claus,” said the other animals. Hinni was elated.

“Hey, even Dabbu has come! You’ve come just as you are, Dabbu. You should at least have dressed up,” said Piku, laughing at him.

“He’ll never change!” said Hinni, laughing as well.

“Friends!” said Leo, their king from the stage. “The results this year can come as a shock to all of you. This time our Santa Claus is…”

Piku and Hinni both were ready to go on to the stage.

“…Dabbu!” Leo announced.

“What?” everyone at the gathering, including Dabbu himself, was shocked. Leo knew that all the animals were asking why.

“Please Dabbu,” Leo said. “Come up to the stage.”

“All of you must be wondering why Dabbu and no one else can be a better Santa than him. He is kind and helpful. He helped a weak and old animal who was refused help by many others.” Saying this, Leo narrated the whole story.

“But how can you be so sure that Dabbu actually helped out that old animal? It sounds like a made-up story,” said Romy, the squirrel.

“He’s right! He’s right!” said a few others in support.

“No, it’s not a story. Because that animal was me,” said Leo.

Everyone was quiet.

“Yes,” said Leo. “I had set out in disguise to search for this year’s Santa Claus.”

All the animals praised king Leo for his smart decision.

“We’re sorry for being rude, Dabbu,” said Piku and Hinni. “You truly deserve to be Santa Claus.”

“Yes, Dabbu, I wish we realised our mistake sooner,” said Hinni.

“Forget it, friends,” said Dabbu. “Come, let’s celebrate Christmas together!”

Everyone cried out in joy, “Merry Christmas!”

Flashing Fireflies

There was no electricity in Satpudavan. Darkness gripped the whole forest as soon as the sun went down. There was nothing but pitch blackness after sunset. The animals that lived in the forest faced a lot of trouble during the nights without any light.

One day, Makalu Fox went up to King Sher Singh of Satpudavan. “Maharaj,” he said. “I saw a huge colony of fireflies near a swamp outside the forest last night. They made such a bright sight. I think these fireflies have a lot of electricity. If they come to our forest and give us their electricity, we won’t have any trouble seeing at nights.”

King Sher Singh sent his messengers to call the fireflies to his palace. The fireflies were humble and came as soon as they received the message.

“Please give us whatever electricity you have,” King Sher Singh said to the fireflies. “We will pay you whatever you ask for. We want to utilize your electricity to light up our forest at nights.”

“I am sorry, Maharaj. But this cannot be done. We have inherited the light. It is part of our bodies. We cannot just give it away,” Jagmag Firefly said. He was the leader of the colony of fireflies.

“How dare you decline our King’s request? Makalu Fox said in a threatening voice. “Give us your electricity or you will be punished!”flashing-fireflies

“Please don’t get angry,” Jagmag Firefly pleaded. “You must understand. Even if we give you the electricity we have within us, it won’t be of any use to you. It won’t work without us. We will perish if we give it to you.”

Minister Gajju Elephant heard the commotion and came to see what was happening.

He greeted the King and then said, “Maharaj, the fireflies are right. It is true. The light fireflies have is made by a biological action. They can’t give it away.”

“Is that so? King Sher Singh said. “I don’t understand. Please tell me more.”

“Maharaj, the fireflies belong to the arthropods community,” Gajju Elephant explained. “I read about them in an encyclopedia. They have a special element coming out of their bodies which can be seen at night. It is because of this element that they appear to flashlight at night.”

“That is why I have called them here. I want them to illuminate our forest with their light,” King Sher Singh said. “They must share their element with us.”

“Maharaj, the fireflies can’t give you their element even if they wanted to,” Gajju Elephant explained patiently. “The fireflies’ light is known as ‘bioluminescence’. It means ‘organism light’ which is emitted because of a special kind of chemical product found in the fireflies’ bodies.”

“I will tell you more about this, Maharaj,” the leader of the fireflies said respectfully.

“That’s a good idea, Jagmag,” Gajju Elephant said. “It will be best if you explain.”

“The chemical element in our bodies is called ‘Luciferin’ It is present in our cells. We can use it as many times as we want. It doesn’t get over.”

“So, the Luciferin stays constant and doesn’t get over?” Sher Singh asked, looking very surprised.

“That’s correct, Maharaj! The Luciferin supply in our cells remains even after we make light.” Jagmag Firefly explained.

“Okay, but how does the light go on and off?” King Sher Singh said.

“Maharaj, this entire process is governed by our nervous system. Luciferin is present in the inner surface of our respiratory tracts.” Jagmag Firefly continued. “When we breathe in and out, our nerves let the air go out with gaps. And so, it seems like our light is flashing or going on and off.”

“I think I understand now,” King Sher Singh said.

“Maharaj, please understand our problem. If we give this chemical substance of ours to you, it will be of no use. We will perish instead,” Jagmag Firefly folded his hands and said.

“I won’t let you perish, Jagmag,” King Sher Singh said kindly. “But can you and your friends do me a favour?”

“Of course, Maharaj!” Jagmag said. “Please tell us what we can do for you?”

“Spread out in our forest instead of staying together in one place during the nights. The whole forest will be lit up that way.” King Sher Singh requested.

“Yes Maharaj, we will do that,” all the fireflies said together.

From that day onwards, the fireflies scattered themselves throughout the forest at nights. The whole forest was illuminated with little sparks of light.

All the other animals thanked the fireflies and rejoiced.