The Fight

Tinku and Pinku Rabbits were headed for the river to bathe in it, when Pinku saw something round floating on the waves.

“What’s that?” He asked Tinku.

Tinku looked closely and said, “Can’t you make out? It is a balloon.”

“How did it come here?” Pinku asked again.

“Maybe some child came here to bathe and left it behind,” Tinku said. “Wait here, I will be back in an instant.”

“Where are you going?”

“To bring the balloon from the water.”

“Wait,” Pinku stood in front of Tinku and blocked his way. “I saw it first. How can you take it?”

“You did not even know what it was! Therefore, I will take the balloon,” Tinku was adamant.

Pinku pushed him violently. “How can you take it? I found it therefore I will take it.”

Tinku punched Pinku’s face, who fell flat on the ground. “I said I will take it.”

While both of them were busy quarreling, Bunty Monkey came. He was very crafty. He said, “Why are you crying? Tell me what happened? I will resolve this fight.”

Feeling relieved, they narrated the entire incident to Bunty.

“Oh, so both of you are fighting over the balloon,” Bunty’s eyes glinted. “Wait, I will provide you with the best solution for this fight.”

He leapt forward to take out the balloon.

“Where are you going?” Pinku and Tinku stood firmly in his way.

“To take out the balloon,” Bunty replied

“With whose permission?”

“I do not need anyone’s permission,” Bunty smiled. “Now that both of you are unable to decide who should take the balloon, I think I should take it. In this way, your fight will be resolved.”

The rabbits caught hold of the monkey’s tail, “We will not let you take our balloon.” |


Bunty was enraged, “Release me, my tail will break.”

“We will not, you will take our balloon.”

“I said let go of me.” said Bunty Monkey

“No way…” echoed the rabbits.

Meanwhile Kalu Crow flew there. He was very cunning and often acted as a spoilsport. He interrupted them, “What happened? Why are you fighting with each other like this?”

The rabbits told him everything.

Kalu said, “Oh, now I understand. You are fighting over the balloon.”

“Yes,” Tinku and Pinku said together. “But this monkey wants to grab our balloon with his slyness.”

“Do not worry,” Kalu said with a mischievous smile on his face. “I have a solution for this problem.”

“What is it?”

Kalu said, “The reason for this entire fight is the balloon. If I burst it with my beak, then the fight will stop automatically, right?”

Kalu flew to the balloon and pecked on the balloon with his beak, but surprisingly the balloon did not burst.


‘It seems it is a very tough balloon, I should hit it with more force,’ thought Kalu and acted accordingly.

“Oh my God… this blacky almost broke my head,” Kalu was startled on hearing the shriek.

Then he saw Mangal wrestler emerge from the river, holding his bald head. “Just today I shaved my head because of the scorching heat, but this blacky did not let me take a proper bath.”

“Stupid animals, what you assumed to be a balloon turned out to be Mangal wrestler’s bald head. Run for your life,” Kalu alerted them.

“Wait, I will teach you a lesson,” Mangal picked up a stick and ran after them.

All four of them somehow saved their lives and went back empty handed to their respective homes.

Gol Guttam Lakkad bottom

Mother!” Vinay called out when he woke up one morning. “Please give me some dugdh jal mishrit sharkara yukt parvatiya booty. And please hurry!”

“I’ll get it right away,” Mother replied from the kitchen.

“What is the matter, Vinay? Are you feeling unwell?” Mother asked when she entered the room with a cup.

Also read: The Fight- The battle for balloon is on its verge between the animals. Read and find out who wins it.

“I’m perfectly fine, Mother,” Vinay said. “What makes you think I’m unwell?”

“Well, you did ask me to get you this concoction of herbs, didn’t you?” Mother said, handing Vinay the cup.

“Huh? When did I ask for a concoction of herbs?” Vinay asked, peeping into the cup.

“Vinay,” Mother said. “Didn’t you just call out to me and ask me to give you some booty?”

“Oh Mother!” Vinay said. “You misunderstood me. I asked you to bring me dugdh jal mishrit parvatiya booty. That’s another name for tea.”

“You’re becoming more and more mischievous, Vinay,” Mother scolded and left the room.

Vinay shrugged and got out of the bed. He then went to take a bath. After a while, he called out to Mother again. “Mother!” he shouted. “I can’t find my kanth langot.”

“What?” Mother said, perplexed.

“I can’t find my kanth langot!” Vinay repeated. “Wherever did you keep my necktie?”

“Please be direct, Vinay!” Mother sighed.

“I won’t be able to finish my household chores if you keep confusing me just because you want to be mischievous.”

Mother then took Vinay’s necktie out of the wardrobe and put it around his neck.

“Mother, I am not being mischievous,” Vinay pleaded innocently. “Really!”

Later that day, Vinay’s teacher was testing the students’ GK in the classroom. “Children,” he said. “Tell me, what is Thomas Edison’s most famous invention?”

Vinay smiled and raised his hand to answer the question.

“Yes, Vinay,” the teacher said. “Please answer the question.”

Also read: The Boring Day of Pickly Wibble the Hedgehog

“Sir,” Vinay cleared his throat and said.

“Edison invented the vidyut prakashiya kanch golak!”

“Sit down if you don’t know the answer,” the teacher said, upset.

“Children,” he then told the class. “Thomas Edison invented the electric bulb.”

“Sir, I was saying the same thing,” Vinay stood up and insisted. “The vidyut prakashiya kanch golak is another name for the electric bulb.”


All the students in the class laughed heartily.

“Be quiet!” the teacher shouted. “Now, answer the next question. Which game is the Ramanuj Trophy associated with?”

“It is associated with ashthkoni kashth falak pe le takatak de takatak!” Vinay said.

“Vinay,” the teacher said angrily. “Are you making fun of me again? I had no idea that you could be so disrespectful.”

“Sir,” Vinay said sincerely. “I would never do that. But please believe me when I say that ashthkoni kashth falak pe le takatak de takatak is another name for table tennis.”

“Please keep quiet for the rest of the class, Vinay,” the teacher said furiously.

Vinay didn’t like being shouted at even though he had answered correctly.

But he obeyed his teacher and didn’t speak again.

“Rahul!” Vinay called out to his friend and neighbour when he returned from school later that day. “Will you come with me to watch the gol guttam lakad battam de danadan match? I have an extra pass.”

“What is that?” Rahul asked curiously.

“Well,” Vinay said. “A gol guttam lakad battam de danadan match is another name for a cricket match!”

Rahul laughed loudly.

“Yes, Vinay!” he said cheerfully. “Even I want to watch the match between India and Pakistan. We will have to go to the stadium by train. So let’s leave right away.”

“It will take time for the sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini to arrive,” Vinay said. “So let us walk towards the sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini viram sthal.”

“Now whatever is that?” Rahul asked, staring at Vinay.

 Also read:BANANAS GALORE- Honey Elephant walked out of his house, wondering where he would find a big bunch of bananas to satiate his enormous appetite.

“Sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini is a train,” Vinay explained. “And sahastra chakra lauh pathgamini viram sthal means a railway station.”

“Which language are you speaking in today, Vinay?” Rahul asked, giggling. He was unable to control his laughter. Vinay’s incoherent jabber had made him feel both curious and thrilled.

“We have a new Hindi teacher in our school, Rahul,” Vinay explained. “His name is Mr. Sharma. He says that our national language gives us values. And that we should be proud of it rather than being slaves to foreign ones. Mr. Sharma has also told us how our national language should be respected. He suggests that we talk in Hindi as often as we can so that we discover what a rich language it is.”

“Ah!” Rahul said and laughed. “So that’s what you’ve been up to today.” Praveen Uncle, who was the boys’ neighbour, saw them laughing.

“What’s making you boys laugh?” he asked good-naturedly.

“Uncle,” Rahul told Praveen Uncle. “Vinay has resolved to talk in a new language from today.”

“Really?” Praveen Uncle said curiously. Rahul then told Praveen Uncle about why Vinay was trying to speak in Hindi.

“Son, your new teacher has taught you the correct thing,” Praveen Uncle said. “But you have not understood what he really meant.”

“What makes you say that, Uncle?” Vinay asked, surprised.

“We should definitely respect our national language,” Praveen Uncle said, “but along with that, we should also know other languages so that we progress in life.”

Vinay and Rahul listened patiently.

“Tell me,” Praveen Uncle then said. “Why do we use a language?”

“So that we can communicate our thoughts to others,” Vinay said.

“Vinay,” Praveen Uncle then said. “Is everybody able to understand you from the way you are speaking today?”.

“No,” Vinay said, sounding disappointed. “Everybody is making their own inferences about what I am saying. Mother thinks I’m being mischievous while my teacher thinks I’m making fun of him.”

“Well, Vinay,” Praveen Uncle said softly.

“A language should be such that it is understood by everyone. Did you know that words from other languages were included in Hindi in order to make it easier to understand? That has made it possible for it to reach out to more people than it originally did.”

“Is that so?” Vinay and Rahul asked, astonished.

“Yes,” Praveen Uncle said. “Not only English but words of Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Marathi and many other languages have assimilated with Hindi. And you will be surprised to know that Hindi is now being taught in schools and colleges all over the world.”

“Uncle, I have now realised that the knowledge of other languages is as important as that of one’s own national language. Knowledge is never a setback in one’s progress. In fact, it facilitates it all the more!” Vinay said cheerfully.

“That’s correct, Vinay!” Praveen Uncle said. “Why don’t we go for some dugdh jal mishrit sharkara yukt parvatiya booty now?’

“What’s that, Uncle?” Rahul asked, confused.

“Tea, Rahul!” Praveen Uncle said. “Your favourite drink!”


“Good idea!” Rahul said, laughing. “And after that, let us all go for the gol guttam lakad battam de danadan match. I can’t wait to see India win!”

Everyone laughed and walked towards the tea shop.

Stay Put Timbu!

The entire stadium was packed with animals. The final round of the prestigious Maharaja Sher Singh Memorial Football Match was about to begin. It was being played between Jumbuvan and Nandanvan. Jumbuvan’s captain Blacky Bear was very worried. “How will we play without Golu Deer?” he told Uchalu Monkey who was the vice captain. “He is our main goal scorer. Why did he have to fall sick today?”

“Why wouldn’t he fall sick?” Uchalu Monkey said, sounding annoyed. “I saw him stuffing himself with deep-fried snacks like pakodas and kachoris at Ballu Ox’s roadside shop just yesterday evening. I know that Golu is one of our best players but I must say that when it comes to his taste buds, he forgets everything and turns very careless.”

“Forget Golu for now!” Blacky Bear growled. He was growing anxious about the match. “Let’s focus on who we could get to replace him at such short notice.”

“Why don’t we ask Timbu Donkey to take Golu’s place?” Uchalu Monkey suggested. “His kicks are really powerful. He is quite good at saving goals too. Our defense line-up will surely benefit if we take him on.”

“Hmm,” Blacky Bear said, sounding slightly unsure. “You are right, Uchalu. Timbu Donkey can kick the ball really well. He can save goals too. But I still don’t feel very confident about him. He acts irresponsibly and can be very stupid sometimes. Even a slight mistake on his part can prove dangerous for our team.”

“Don’t worry, Blacky,” Uchalu Monkey said confidently. “Taga Tiger is Nandanvan’s main goal scorer. We will give Timbu the task of surrounding him so that he doesn’t get to the ball. I think this strategy will work for us. What do you think?”

“Alright then,” Blacky Bear said. He then called out to all his team players and explained the game plan. “Uchalu will attack the Nandanvan team. I will take care of the midfield. Timbu’s job will be to surround Taga so that he doesn’t get an opportunity to get hold of the ball.”

All the players nodded as they understood and approved of the line of attack. When Timbu Donkey heard that he would be replacing Golu Deer in the game, he felt overjoyed. “Hooray!” he cheered to himself. “I have finally got a chance to play in this prestigious match!”

As soon as the game began, Jumbuvan’s Uchalu Monkey scored a goal through a header and made his team lead. Ding! The score on the leader board changed to ‘1-O’. The Jumbuvan fans whistled. “Well done, Jumbuvan!” they cheered. The Nandanvan team grew furious. They decided to become more aggressive in their attack. Taga Tiger roared and struggled to score a goal.


But Timbu Donkey’s powerful kicks ruined all his chances as he kicked the ball faraway from Taga Tiger.

When the ball came into the possession of the Nandanvan players the next time, they raced towards Jumbuvan’s goalpost. As they grew closer, they made a pass. Taga sprinted towards the ball, hoping to score a goal. Unfortunately, he lost his balance and hit the goalpost.

Taga was so badly hurt that he had to be taken to a hospital in an ambulance. Nandanvan’s players felt bad about losing one of their best players. But they tried their level best to score goals. Sadly, they didn’t make any and Jumbuvan won the match. Timbu Donkey was declared as the Best Player of the defense line. Everyone praised his powerful kicks. But where was the Best Player? Timbu couldn’t be seen anywhere on the field. He didn’t even show up when he was called to receive the trophy.

Well, Timbu Donkey had gone to the hospital in the ambulance with Taga Tiger. His sympathetic attitude towards an opponent player impressed everyone.

“We should take a cue from Timbu and meet Taga in the hospital,” Captain Blacky told his team. “We should leave all our differences here on the field and be friends with our opponents outside the stadium, just like Timbu.”

Timbu Donkey was sitting near Taga Tiger’s bed in the hospital room when Blacky Bear and the rest of the Jumbuvan team walked in. He looked very relieved to see them. “Captain, for how much longer do I have to surround Taga?he immediately asked Blacky Bear. Timbu Donkey’s question perplexed all the animals. “What?” Blacky Bear said. “Timbu, have you come here only because I had asked you to surround Taga all the time?”

Yes, of course,” Timbu Donkey replied innocently. “I was following your orders. You are the captain after all.”

The whole room echoed with the sound of laughter. “You silly donkey!” Blacky Bear said, giggling. “When I told you to surround Taga, I actually meant that you should only do so on the playground, so that he doesn’t get too close to the ball! But you took me so seriously that you even followed him to the hospital! And you are ‘surrounding him here too!” Timbu Donkey felt very silly. He didn’t know what to say or do.

Uchalu Monkey, who was known for his sense of humour, decided that it was time for him to crack a joke. “Okay, Timbu,” he said. “Now tell me, if Taga had gone to the washroom, would you have accompanied him to surround him there too?”


Uchalu Monkey’s question caused another of laughter. Timbu Donkey once again didn’t know what to do. He simply hid his long face behind his hands and gave himself one of his powerful kicks.


Timbu Donkey was declared as the Best Player and everyone praised his powerful kicks. But where was the Best Player?He didn’t even show up when he was called to receive the trophy.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Forgetful Pari

Pari, the squirrel, a school teacher was very forgetful. And this was always getting her into trouble.

Once when she was going to the market, she realized that everybody was giggling at her. It was only after she checked her face in the departmental store mirror, she knew why. Pari had forgotten to wash the soap off her face before leaving

Another time, the heater in her room was not working. She called the electrician and said, “Please come immediately. I am in great trouble.”

Within five minutes, she heard a siren and her door was broken down. Two men rushed in with a stretcher and tried loading her on to it. As it turned out, she had called the hospital instead of the electrician.

Needless to say the paramedics were very angry and Pari was very embarrassed.

Yet another time, when she returned from school, she couldn’t open her front door. She tried all the keys she had, but none of them worked.

When the lock was broken and she finally entered the house, she was shocked to find that the furniture looked different. Everything was placed elsewhere.

Later that evening somebody began ringing the bell furiously. When Pari opened the door, she understood why her keys didn’t work. It wasn’t her house.

While she lived on the 16th floor, Pari had mistakenly taken the elevator up to the 17th floor. The house owners were furious and Pari then spent a lot of money fixing the door.

Seeing how scattered her thoughts were, Pari’s friend Leelu, the cuckoo suggested that she make a list of all her day’s chores.


While Pari made a list every morning, more often than not, she would forget where she left her list. She would waste time looking for it and this resulted in her being late.

One morning, when Pari reached the school, the principal walked up to her and told her that she would be giving the annual day speech next week.

Pari was excited and she was determined to prove to the others that she could be perfect for the job if she set her mind to it.

She prepared and finalised her speech the same day. In the evening she went to pick an outfit and even found matching accessories. She spent all her free time rehearsing her every move.


Soon, from getting up from her seat, to delivering the speech, to sitting back down, she knew it all.

On the day of the function she got ready early, and rehearsed again. Worried that she might board the wrong bus, Pari took a taxi to school and kept checking her reflection in the mirror. The last thing she wanted was for somebody to notice that she had applied lipstick on her eyes and kajal on her lips. Fortunately, she had made no such mistake.

She entered the school auditorium ahead of time and waited at her seat. She waited and waited but nobody arrived.

“Such indiscipline,” she thought to herself. She waited some more and repeatedly checked her watch and still there was no sign of anybody. At last the peon, Peeku, the parrot entered the auditorium.

“Why are you so late?” she shouted at him. “Come on let’s get the stage and the microphones ready. We are running late and I haven’t rehearsed even once.”

Peeku was utterly confused. “What are we getting the stage ready for?” he asked scratching his head.

“Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about the schools annual day function today,” said Pari, still angry.


Peeku burst in to laughter. “Ma’am, the function is tomorrow. Today is Sunday. Luckily I came in to pick up my umbrella. Otherwise you would have stayed here all day!”

Pari checked the date on the wall clock and realized he was right. She laughed at her own folly and went home.

Pari returned the next day and told this anecdote as part of her speech and got a big laugh from everyone present. They all appreciated her ability to laugh at herself.

Jay’s April Fool’s Surprise

Jay, the deer was naive. While, he lived peacefully with all the animals of Nandavan, the animals would always try to take advantage of Jay’s innocence. They would play pranks, but Jay would never feel bad and always had a smile on his face.

One day, the animals realized that Jay was missing for a few days. The next day, Sanju, the jackal saw Jay behaving suspiciously. Jay was headed in the direction of the old banyan tree. Sanju followed him and from a distance. He saw Jay hiding a piece of paper. Then, he went away. When Sanju picked up the paper, the note read, “Just two more weeks and victory will be ours. We will rule the forest.

When Sanju showed the note to the other animals, they were shocked. They all wondered what Jay was up to. More importantly, they were all wondering who Jay’s partner was.

Jay was nowhere to be seen for another week until Heera, the parrot noticed him sneaking up to the old banyan tree. Like last time, he placed a note there.


When the other animals read his message, they were even more upset. “The day of our victory is drawing close. I can hardly wait. In a few more days the entire forest will bow their heads before us and obey our every command,” read the message.

Now the animals needed to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible. Heera was given the responsibility of finding out who Jay’s partner was. He watched over the tree for five days, but nobody came.

On the sixth day he realized that the grass near the hollow of the banyan tree was suddenly fresh and green, it had been dry all this while. Heera quickly called the other animals.

There they found yet another note. “Our wait has borne fruit. The day is finally here. All necessary preparations have been taken care of. Meet me tomorrow at 9 o’clock in the morning near the peepal tree by the river. Be careful nobody should know of our plan,” said the message.

All the animals were very eager to find out who the mysterious person was and what Jay’s plan was. They decided that they would all go to the river bank and get to the bottom of this mystery. That night, the animals hardly slept. They gathered around a bonfire and discussed what they could do the next day.


The next morning, when they reached the peepal tree, they were all annoyed. Everywhere they looked, there were signs that said “April Fool!”

When all the animals began to walk back to their homes, they found Jay walking towards them. “What’s the matter?” he asked trying hard not to laugh.

“All these years you played tricks on me and I said nothing and took it in sport. I played along because I realized it made you happy. But now, I have managed to fool each and every one of you,” said Jay.

All the animals apologized for taking Jay for granted and promised not to repeat their mistake. Jay had managed to teach them a valuable lesson.

They all had a hearty laugh and walked back home with Jay on their shoulders.


The Minister of Laughs

The king of Champakvan, Maharaja Sher Singh was under a lot of stress. He stopped visiting the royal court. He just stayed in his chambers, lost deep in thought. He no longer ate or slept properly and barely spoke to the other Ministers.

“What happened to the king?”

“What caused our jolly king’s mood to turn?”

“What will become of our kingdom?”

Such questions spread across the kingdom. The people too were feeling no better. The king had given strict orders not to let anybody disturb him. Animals who set off in hopes of cheering the king up returned disappointed.


One day, the king was standing by his window. He enjoyed standing there as the greenery that surrounded his palace made him happy.

Below his window, he saw children playing. Samba, the cub was one of them.

“Look, over there,” said Samba. “It’s Damru, the donkey. Let’s play a prank on him.”

“Let’s send him to the palace,” said the rest of the gang.

They called out to him and as he walked towards them, Samba said, “Don’t forget to keep a straight face OK? If we burst out laughing, the whole plan will be ruined.”

“Oh Damru, we’re so glad we found you. We’ve been looking everywhere for you. The king wants to see you immediately,” said Samba.

“The king wants to see me?” asked Damru. “But why?”

“We’re not sure, but we heard the news from the Ministers that the King is looking for a new Minister. Your name was being brought up a few times. They asked me to go fetch you,” said Samba.

“Wow! Do you know what this means Damru? The king wants to make you his minister. Go meet the king at once!” said Lambu, the giraffe.

“We will be waiting for you right here. Don’t forget to bring us sweets!” said the children.

Damru could hardly believe his ears. He jumped with joy and quickly set off towards the palace. Once Damru was out of earshot, the children burst in to laughter.

The king remembered it was April fool’s day. He thought of his days as a young cub and all the pranks he had played. They stirred such strong memories that he too began to laugh.

His laughter grew louder and louder. A Minister ran in to the chambers hearing the commotion and found the king holding his stomach and gasping for air.


Before he could raise an alarm, the king managed to say, “I’m fine. Don’t worry. Damru is coming to see me. Ensure he is sent in. I want to meet him.”

When the Minister reached the entrance, the guards were laughing at Damru. “I’m telling you,” he said. “The king sent for me. He wants to appoint me as his minister.”

With a stern voice, the Minister said, “Let him in.”


The guards quickly stood in attention and allowed Damru to pass. They walked together in to the royal chambers where the king waited.

When he saw Damru, the King couldn’t help but smile. Damru felt a little uneasy.

“Don’t be afraid Damru,” said the King. “It seems the children have played an April fool’s day prank on you.”

Damru’s face fell.

“Don’t feel bad Damru,” added the King. “I’m still going to make you my minister. From today, you are going to be my Minister of Laughs. You will be the royal entertainer at my court.” |


Damru was so excited, he could barely control himself. He jumped with joy and danced around the room.

Meanwhile, outside the children were getting worried. Damru had still not returned. They hoped something bad hadn’t happened to Damru. They waited for him by the palace entrance when the gates opened.

The guards announced “Make way for the Royal Minister of Laughs” and out walked Damru. The children were both shocked and surprised; Damru had actually become the king’s minister.

Soon, the news of the king cheering up spread like a wildfire and all the animals of Champakvan ran to the royal court. Damru entertained them and soon, the entire forest was back to being happy.

Once the celebrations had drawn to a close, Maharaj Sher Singh addressed the gathering.

“Laughter is crucial if one needs to lead a healthy life. I have been in a bad mood all this while, it must never happen again. This is why I have appointed Damru as my Minister of Laughs.”

From that day onwards, Damru always kept the king in a good mood. With a happy ruler leading the kingdom, Champakvan prospered.

A Fun April Fools Day

Minku, the mouse was always cheerful and loved to have fun. He had left a good impression on all the animals in the jungle.

Nandu, the elephant on the other hand was jealous that the animals loved Minku more and didn’t love him as much. Out of jealousy, he would not only trouble Minku but all his other friends too. Pandu, the bear, Rana, the monkey, Kanu, the deer and Gillo, the squirrel would face his wrath as well. While Minku and the others tried being friends with Nandu, he never accepted their friendship and would always trouble them.

Minku and the others decided to play an April Fool’s prank on Nandu. According to the plan Rana was supposed to befriend Nandu by the first of April and he had succeeded.

On April 1, Rana was riding on Nandu’s back. Rana came close to Nandu’s ears and said, “Hey Nandu, lets go down to the river bank. I heard the banana trees have borne ripe bananas.”

“Ripe bananas? I love ripe bananas. Let’s go!” said Nandu

When they reached the banana trees full of ripe bananas, they found a basket full of the yummy fruits.

“Look over there, Nandu,” said Rana. “It’s a basket full of bananas. I wonder who they belong to?”

“Why don’t we ask?” suggested Nandu.

Rana called out loud, “Hey! Is there anybody here? Is this your basketful of bananas?” Rana called out loud a few more times but he got no answer. There was nobody nearby.

Nobody except for Minku and the rest of the gang who were hiding close by, ready for phase two of the plan to begin.

Nandu was finding it hard to control himself. The smell of the bananas was driving him crazy and if he could, he would eat all the bananas in one go. “I don’t think anybody is coming to claim these bananas Rana. Let’s just eat them,” he said.


He gave Rana a few bananas and quickly began peeling the rest. “Such fresh bananas!” he exclaimed before putting them in his mouth.”

Behind them, Minku and the others were trying hard not to laugh. Nandu popped banana after banana into his mouth.

Suddenly Nandu stopped. There was a foul, bitter taste in his mouth.

“What’s the matter, Nandu?” asked Rana.

Nandu immediately began spitting the bananas out of his mouth. When he noticed that the bananas were stained bright red, his heart skipped a beat.


“What is that Nandu?” asked Rana looking frightened.

Nandu took off in the direction of Dr. Max, the dog’s clinic paying no attention to Rana’s cries asking him to stop.

Minku, Rana and the rest of their gang ran behind Nandu to witness what was going to happen at Dr. Max’s clinic.

When Nandu reached Dr. Max’s clinic, he was out of breath. With difficulty, he managed to say “Doctor… my mouth.”

Dr. Max was taken aback by Nandu’s state. “How did you hurt your mouth Nandu?” asked Dr. Max. “Do you still feel any pain?”

“No doctor, I didn’t hurt myself,” said Nandu.

Dr. Max took a closer look inside Nandu’s mouth with a torch. He found no injuries there. But when he noticed the little pieces of betel leaves in his mouth, he laughed.

“What is it doctor?” asked Nandu. “Will I be ok?”

“You are going to be fine Nandu,” said the doctor. “It seems like somebody has played an April fool’s day prank on you. It seems you have eaten a whole bunch of betel leaves along with the bananas. That is why your mouth is red.”

“It was a prank?” asked Nandu looking confused. “But who would want to play a prank on me?”

Nandu heard Minku, Rana and all the other animals burst in to laughter behind him. It didn’t take Nandu long to figure out who was behind the prank now. He realized that if he got upset, the others would make even more fun of him. So instead, he began to laugh too.

Danny, the donkey brought out a huge bouquet with a card that read “Happy April fooľs Day!” Nandu graciously accepted it.

“Tell me, how did you guys pull off the prank?” he asked.

“It took a little effort, but it was worth it.” said Minku. “We picked the best bananas and soaked them in neem leaf and bitter gourd juice. We filled another set with betel leaves and the third set we left as it was.”

“We placed the ones with the neem leaves at the bottom,” Rana added, “the ones with the betel leaves in the middle and left the plain bananas at the top. This way you would spit the bananas out only after eating the betel leaves and Rana could eat a few without any trouble.”


They all had another hearty laugh and took Nandu out for ice-cream to make up for the prank. Ever since that day Nandu was accepted as part of the gang

Bondhu Seeks His Own Identity

There was a donkey named Bondhu (meaning foolish). Bhondu was named aptly, as he would often behave foolishly. His favourite activity was to copy others. He knew nothing else. When he saw monkeys leap about he would copy them, although he would fall down and hurt himself. Seeing horses race he would try to run as fast as them. Even the passersby would laugh at his antics.

One morning, Bondhu was walking past a peepal tree. He heard Ginni, the cuckoo’s melodious voice coming from there. Her cooing was melodious.

“Wow, what a sweet song. I will also sing like her,” Bondhu thought to himself.

The next morning, Bondhu placed a chair in front of his house and began singing loudly. However, instead of cooing, he brayed hee-haw, hee-haw.

“Why is this happening?” he wondered. “I am trying to coo, but all that I can do is bray.” He was puzzled. He wanted to sound just like Ginni.

He met Ginni and asked, “Ginni, what does one do to sing like you?”

She replied, “You should learn to sing. A music teacher can teach you to sing well.”

He said, “So that’s what it is. I was thinking that I was incapable of singing. All I need is a teacher. I will learn and become a good singer.”

He soon found a teacher who taught several animals in the jungle. He sat with the others and learnt the basic musical notes. He went home and practised what he had learnt. However, his voice still sounded like a broken flute.

Bondhu thought for a long time. Finally, he remembered that his teacher had used a guitar while teaching them to sing. He realised that he was trying to sing without the guitar. He then sat down with his guitar and started singing again. His neighbour, the crow, screamed, “Grrr… I have been tolerating Bondhu’s harsh voice for so many days. I can’t tolerate it anymore.”


Unfortunately for Bondhu, all his neighbours nodded their heads in agreement and told Bondhu to stop disturbing them.

“I have to face so many insults I just want to learn to sing.” Bondhu’s face fell. How could he practice if everyone around was objecting to it. He was almost in tears.

Mittu, the parrot who was passing by, asked, “What happened, Bondhu? Why are you so sad?”

Bondhu narrated the recent developments to the parrot.

Mittu replied, “If you want to learn to sing; listen carefully to the songs you want to learn and sing along with them. Then you will become a singer. Have you heard me mimicing everyone?”

Bondhu’s eyes were shining in anticipation. He bought some music discs and began singing along with them. However, he was still out of tune. He began to sing loudly. Although he realised that he couldn’t hold a tune, he still continued singing. After some time, no sound emerged from his throat. It was very sore.

“Well, Bondhu, are you enjoying your singing?” asked Minni, the bird, who was sitting on a branch nearby.

He replied sadly, “Go ahead, make fun of me and laugh at my helplessness.”

“I am not making fun of you. I am laughing at your foolishness. You cannot imitate everything. Nature blesses all individuals with certain unique gifts. Try as much as you can, you cannot get them by copying others. Since our brains are different we speak different languages. We also grasp things differently and at different paces.


Thus, a cuckoo cannot speak the language of a crow, nor can a crow speak the language of a cuckoo. Therefore, instead of copying others find your own identity. Make a name for yourself,” Minni advised him in a kind tone.

Bondhu understood. He thought, “By trying to copy the cuckoo, I lost my voice.” “Although it’s a bit late, I can still change myself.”

“Better late than never,” thought Bondhu, and he went in search of developing his own identity.

Jojo’s Junk Food Problem

“Young Jojo, the elephant was excited as he had been invited for his friend’s birthday party.

“It is Ronny’s birthday on Sunday. He is organising a pool party. We’re going to have a blast!” he said to his mother.

“Did you say, Sunday?” asked his mother, flapping her large ears.

“Yes. He says that there will be delicious food and lots of games,” said Jojo, now facing his mother.

“Jojo, I am sorry, but we may not be able to go,” said his mother. “Sunday is the Forest Elephant Day. I want you to come along. You’ll get to meet all your distant relatives and cousins.”

“No, mommy. I don’t want to go for that,” said Jojo, extending his trunk to touch his mother’s. “I cannot miss Ronny’s party. Please!” he said, making a cute face.

“The celebrations will be fun, Jojo. All the animals will assemble at the main ground. There will be a speech by our lion king praising the efforts elephants take to protect the forest. There will be delicious food,” said Jojo’s mother, trying to convince him.

“What food?” questioned Jojo, twitching his trunk.

“They will have watermelons, musk melons, pineapples, bananas of all varieties and jack fruits. Isn’t that great?” mother tried to impress Jojo.

“Oh, mommy!” said Jojo, rolling his eyes. “That is the food we eat every day. Such dull and unattractive food!” he said with a slight snort.

His mother was silent for a second. She then asked, “What is the menu at Ronny’s pool party?”


“He has ordered pizzas, burgers, wafers, noodles, and French-fries. There will be lots of cola drinks, too!” answered Jojo. “I’ll have a few bottles of cola once I reach Ronny’s house. Then I’ll have some after the cake-cutting. Then, I’ll have more while playing and finally, some more bottles of cola before leaving the party,” he rattled off in excitement.

“You know what you call this menu?” asked Jojo’s mother concerned. “It’s called JUNK! And junk food is not good for your health. By the way, what do they have for dessert?”

“Fruit salad,” replied Jojo, in a sad tone.

Jojo realised that his mother would not allow him to eat junk food.

His mother sensed that Jojo was sad. So, to lighten the mood, she asked him, “Didn’t you mention games? What games are you going to play at the party?”

Jojo immediately brightened up and replied, “We’ve planned a swimming competition. Then, there’ll be a throw ball competition and finally, a card game.”

“The games sound interesting,” said his mother, trying to cheer him up. “But avoid eating junk food. You can attend the pool party and then rush to the main ground to join me for the buffet.”

Jojo was happy that mother allowed him to attend the pool party.

Finally, Sunday arrived. Jojo and his mother got ready and left for their respective events.

Jojo and his friends had a great time at the pool party. Though mother advised him to avoid junk food, the temptation was too much for Jojo to resist.

“Mommy won’t find out. I’ll eat some fruits at the elephant festival. That way mommy will not doubt me,” he thought to himself.


Following the competitions, Ronny was declared the fastest swimmer, while Jojo was judged the best player in throw ball. Jojo was given a big bottle of cola as a prize. He was elated.

After the party, Jojo rushed home to hide his prize and then went to the main ground to join his mother for the Elephant Day celebration.

By the time Jojo reached the main ground, the celebration was in full swing. King Leo was thanking all the elephants for their role in maintaining the forest’s ecosystem. After his speech, the animals proceeded to the buffet.

All kinds of fruits were piled up to form big mountain-like structures.

Jojo’s mother carried a big watermelon and dropped it on the ground before him. But Jojo could hardly eat. His tummy was already full.

“If I eat even one more bite, I will puke,” he thought to himself.

“Why aren’t you eating?” asked Jojo’s mother concerned.

“I’m very tired, mommy. I just want to sleep,” said Jojo.

His mother quickly bid all her friends goodbye and walked home with Jojo. By this time, Jojo was already going through a terrible tummy ache. His stomach was rumbling quite loudly.

“I can hear your tummy, Jojo,” said his mother. “I’ll get you something to eat.”

“It is okay, mommy,” said Jojo, looking down. He could not face his mother as he had lied. He also realised how concerned his mother was regarding his well-being.

“It’s not okay,” said Jojo’s mother, leading him to the stream. “Drink some water. You’ll feel better.”

His mother was right. Jojo felt better after drinking the cool water from the stream.

Once they reached home, both of them went to bed. Jojo’s mother fell asleep almost immediately. But Jojo woke up and walked silently to the spot where he had hidden the cola bottle.


Jojo carried the bottle out and dumped it in a garbage bin. The bottle was gone and so were Jojo’s guilt and weakness for junk food!


Milo’s Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Great idea, Milo!” said Kiki.

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

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

“This is perfect!” exclaimed Milo.

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


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

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

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

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

“Kiki! Kiki!” shouted Milo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

The two had a hearty laugh.

Holi in the Forest

Manu and Moosa, the mice had recently been to the city. There, they were awed by the grand preparations that were going on for the upcoming of Holi festival.

Once they returned to the forest, it was all they spoke about to any animal they met along the way.

“You should see the arrangements that were going on in the city. There were banners, flowers and decorations everywhere!” they said to the animals who had gathered around.

“You two are right,” said Kanu crow, who flew to the city every day. He had seen the preparations too. “With the variety of colours, food and music, the celebration is a treat to watch,” he said.

“Holi is in two weeks and we are the only ones who are not celebrating,” said Bani parrot glumly.

“In that case, why don’t we organise a Holi celebration in our forest?” suggested Bittu bear.

“Yes, let’s celebrate!” the other animals agreed enthusiastically. So, a meeting was fixed to discuss the details and all the animals of the forest were invited.

Within an hour, all the animals gathered, including King Rana the lion. Sona deer, Rinu fox and Jitu jackal were put in charge of the decorations, while Bittu bear, Dhanu elephant and Tinu tiger volunteered to clear the ground where the celebrations would take place. The birds were put in charge of collecting fruits for the feast.

“My dear friends, I have a suggestion,” said King Rana. “From what I understand, humans use artificial colours that are difficult to wash off, and also stain the water and soil. Taking a lesson from that, why don’t we use natural colours from flowers and berries? That way, even when we wash ourselves at the river, the water will not be polluted with artificial colours.”

“Excellent suggestion!” said Tinu. “We should also avoid using plastic plates and cups for the feast. The ground will be littered with plastic after the celebration and it will be difficult to clean. If one of the kids swallow a plastic cover by mistake, it is very dangerous.”


Everyone agreed and set about executing the tasks assigned to them. The monkeys collected fruits and berries to prepare different colours for the Holi celebrations. Some animals sewed leaves together to make plates and cups. Meanwhile, the koels and cuckoos practised their songs, and the horses practised their drums. The entire forest began to wear a festive look.

Finally, the day of Holi arrived. King Rana was impressed by the effort put in by all the animals.

Soon, the celebrations began. There was a riot of colours as the animals splashed colours on one another.

The kids sprayed each other with their pichkaris and some danced to the music.

The news of the grand Holi celebrations reached the animals in the neighbouring forests. Some of them dropped by to see the celebrations. They too were invited to take part in the festivities.


“Celebrating Holi is a lot of fun. I wonder why we didn’t do it before. Henceforth, let us celebrate any festival or event that spreads cheer and happiness, not just in our forest but in all the forests,” declared King Rana.

All the animals cheered the King Rana’s announcement. They continued celebrating through the day.

Holi in Champakvan

Champakvan was in a festive spirit! It was the colourful festival of Holi. Sweety Nightingale had perched herself on the branch of a tree. She was singing songs and reciting poems about Holi, while Jumpy Monkey was beating a drum with his tail.

Teetu Butterfly was dazzling everyone with her wings. They were even more colourful today for they had been drenched in bright shades of red, yellow, green, blue, pink and other Holi colours.

Cheeku Rabbit came out of his house. He looked around and saw everyone having fun. He then smiled and blew the saxophone that he had with him.


“Friends!” he shouted cheerfully. “Come here please.”

All the animals rushed towards Cheeku Rabbit. Jumbo Elephant, who was in a hurry, put his big leg in a tub and spilled some redcoloured water out. Anty Ant, who was sitting inside the tub, shrieked. “Jumbo! You stupid elephant!” she shouted. “Can’t you see where you’re going?”

Jumpy Monkey somersaulted in his haste to get to Cheeku. He tripped in the bargain and broke his drum. It went right over him and only his naughty little face stuck out.

Harry Frog and Tarry Frog jumped from one tub to the other and made themselves as wet as sponges. And Dumpy Donkey ran so fast, that he accidentally kicked Baddy Wolf with his strong legs. The string of Dumpy Donkey’s pajamas came loose too, and his pajamas almost fell down! All the animals looked so funny by the time they reached Cheeku Rabbit that they all burst out laughing.

“OK! Calm down now and listen to me,” Cheeku Rabbit said with a smile. “I have an announcement to make! We will celebrate Holi with King Sher Singh this year!”

“Celebrate Holi with King Sher Singh?” the animals said, confused. “How can we do that, Cheeku? King Sher Singh doesn’t go out of his palace on Holi day. And he doesn’t allow anyone who has water or colours to go in either.”

“We will surprise King Sher Singh,” Cheeku Rabbit said and grinned. “And when he plays with us, he will have plenty of fun too!”

“It will be like putting a bell around the cat’s neck,” Dumpy Donkey said. “Whoever has the courage to do that?”

“Be quiet, Dumpy!” Jumpy Monkey scolded. We will work together to put the bell around King Sher Singh’s neck. Er…I mean to play Holi with him.”

They then discussed some ideas. Soon, all the animals marched together towards King Sher Singh’s palace. Gajju Elephant was leading the procession. He was carrying a special chair made of balloons. The other animals were carrying colour pistols and were dancing on the way.

Sweety Nightingale was singing a song that she had made up,

“Holi is here!

Holi is here!

It’s a time to be with those who are near and dear! And so Champakvan’s procession is here!”

All the animals stopped when they reached King Sher Singh’s palace.

“We want to meet King Sher Singh,” Cheeku Rabbit told the guard outside the palace door.

“I don’t think I can let you go in,” the guard said, hesitant to let the animals into the palace. Before the guard could say anything else, Teetu Butterfly sprayed some coloured water on him. “Yikes!” the guard shouted and ran inside to inform Sher Singh.

A few minutes later, King Sher Singh stepped out of the palace. “What are you all doing here?” he roared. “You very well know that I don’t play Holi.”

“Er… Your Highness,” Jumpy Monkey said in a respectful voice. “We have just come to convey our good wishes.”

“Thank you,” King Sher Singh said politely. “I wish you all well too but please leave now.”

“Your Highness,” Cheeku Rabbit said suddenly. “Now that you have come out, please sit with us for a while. We will be happy if you talk to us for a few minutes.”

“Alright,” King Sher Singh said. He then began looking for a chair to sit on.

Gajju Elephant immediately offered the chair of balloons that he was carrying.

“Why don’t you sit on our special chair today?” Gajju Elephant said. King Sher Singh looked at the chair. “What a unique chair this is!” he said.

But as soon as he sat down, there was a loud sound! And the balloons that the chair was made from burst, squirting coloured water all over! King Sher Singh’s jaw dropped once he realised that he was drenched from head to toe in coloured water.

And then, all the animals picked up their water pistols and threw tiny jets of water at King Sher Singh. King Sher Singh felt ticklish and giggled.

Cheeku Rabbit then went forward and put gulal on King Sher Singh’s cheeks. “Happy Holi, Your Highness!” he said. “From all the animals of Champakvan!”



King Sher Singh laughed heartily. “Oh Cheeku!” he said happily. “Your wit has worked again today when I was trying my best to hide indoors!”

King Sher Singh then invited everyone into his palace for a cup of tea and special Holi sweets. All the animals were very happy. Holi was more fun when they celebrated with their dear King Sher Singh.

Unique Colours

Whitey Rabbit was very proud of his skin. It was as soft as silk and as white as snow. He took good care of it and always tried to keep it clean. He was even more careful now that the festival of Holi was approaching. Whitey Rabbit still shuddered when he recalled the terrible experience he had just the year before.

Whitey Rabbit had been watching his friends playing Holi. They had been throwing colours and water on each other. It was then when Gappu Elephant had suddenly turned around and thrown a bucketful of blackcoloured water on Whitey. Whitey Rabbit had screamed. His delicate, white skin had turned black because of the colour in the water. He had scrubbed himself with soap many times and used countless buckets of water. But the black colour just wouldn’t go. Whitey Rabbit learnt that Gappu Elephant had mixed a dye meant to darken clothes and not a regular Holi colour in the water. It had taken three whole months for the colour to come off. Whitey Rabbit had started dreading Holi after that.

The day before Holi, Whitey Rabbit went up to his friends. “Please don’t think I’m a spoilsport,” he said. “But I won’t be playing Holi with you this year.”

“Why not?” Whitey Rabbit’s best friend Catty Cat asked, surprised.

“Don’t you remember what happened last year, Catty?” Whitey Rabbit said with tears in his eyes. “Thanks to Gappu Elephant, I ended up looking like a ghost for three whole months! I had turned as black as coal. Everyone made fun of me for months and called me names!”

“But Gappu Elephant had drenched Bunty Monkey with the same coloured-water too,” Toto Parrot remarked. “And Bunty had managed to look clean in just a day! You mustn’t have used soap or washed yourself properly, Whitey.”

“I had!” Whitey Rabbit said firmly. “I had used several bars of soap and plenty of water too!”

“Bunty Monkey had applied mustard oil on his body before he came out to play!” Meenu Starling explained. “It had formed a coating on his skin. That’s why he could wash the colour off so easily.”

“Whitey, why don’t you apply mustard oil on your body this time?” Toto Parrot suggested. “You will be able to play Holi with us without spoiling your skin.”

“No!” Whitey Rabbit shouted and shuddered. “I will never ever apply mustard oil on my beautiful white skin. It will only make my fur oily and my body stink!”

“Then how will you protect yourself from the colours of Holi, Whitey?” Meenu Starling asked, seeming very concerned. “We all know that Gappu Elephant is hoping to put more coloured water on you this year.’

“I’ll hide somewhere on Holi day and come out only when it’s safe,” Whitey Rabbit said.

“Don’t be silly!” Toto Parrot said. “Gappu Elephant will surely find you. You won’t be able to hide from him for very long.”

Whitey Rabbit shuddered. The thought of his precious skin turning black again scared him to no end.

“Don’t worry, Whitey,” Catty Cat said reassuringly. “You needn’t be afraid of Gappu Elephant or anyone else on Holi day. I have an idea that will surely help.”


And so, Holi day finally arrived. All the animals in the forest were having a good time. They were playing with colours and throwing buckets of water and water balloons at each other. Some of them were even squirting water out from water pistols. Nobody was left out.

Happy Hippo was singing Holi songs that were completely out of tune, and some of the animals were dancing too. There was joy and laughter everywhere.

Gappu Elephant was part of the celebrations too. And even though he was enjoying the singing and dancing, his eyes were quietly scanning the forest. He was looking for Whitey Rabbit. And just like the year before, Gappu Elephant had a bucketful of black coloured water ready to pour on him.

When Catty Cat saw Gappu Elephant looking around so carefully, he understood what his intentions were.

Catty Cat slowly sneaked up to where Gappu Elephant was.

“Gappu,” he whispered. “I have brought some special colour for you to put on Whitey. I know how you have been waiting to colour him.”

Gappu Elephant’s eyes grew wide. “Special colour?” he said, curiously. “Show it to me please!”

“I’ll need to use your bucket for that, Gappu,” Catty Cat said, taking Gappu Elephant’s bucket away. He then threw the black-coloured water out and filled it with some tap water. Catty Cat then pulled two bottles out of his pocket.


“Here it is, Gappu!” Catty Cat said, pointing to the white solutions in the bottles. He then poured the solutions into the water which turned a dark pink.

“This is a nice dark colour to put on Whitey!” Gappu Elephant said gleefully.

Gappu Elephant then grabbed the bucket. He soon found Whitey Rabbit hiding behind a bush. Gappu Elephant quickly turned the bucket over and poured each and every drop of the dark pink-coloured water on Whitey Rabbit

“Please don’t do that!” Whitey Rabbit begged. “Please! You’ll ruin my skin!”

But Gappu Elephant simply laughed and ran away.

Whitey Rabbit found that he had turned a dark pink.

He was coloured right from head to toe. No one else bothered to put any more colour on him after that.

At noon, all the animals went to the lake to wash up. The sun was shining in the sky and the animals’ bodies began drying in the warmth of the sunlight.

Whitey Rabbit found something strange happening to the colour on his body. It was fading away on its own. And by the time he reached the lake, he found that there wasn’t a trace of the dark pink colour left on him.

Gappu Elephant couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw that Whitey Rabbit was his clean, white self already. “How did Whitey clean himself so quickly?” he wondered. “He must have applied some mustard oil before coming out to play.”

Catty Cat whispered to Whitey Rabbit, “That wasn’t any ordinary colour. It was a special colour made of two white solutions. Magicians often use it for their magic shows. It evaporates on its own when it dries!”

Whitey Rabbit smiled and thanked his friend. “That was a wonderful idea you had, Catty!” he said gratefully. “I played Holi without spoiling my skin. Thanks to you. You really are a true friend!”

Catty Cat smiled. Happy Hippo then began singing a song that was completely out of tune again.

All the animals burst out laughing and then went to eat the special Holi feast.


Sunny was a rich sheep who owned several farms. Everyone in the forest was in awe of his wealth. Some were even jealous of his success.

One night, when Sunny was on his way home, he saw a monkey tired and shivering in the cold.

When Sunny enquired about him, the monkey replied, “My name is Monty. I belong to the neighbouring jungle.

My home was destroyed in a forest fire. I managed to escape and arrived here. I would be grateful if you could give me a place to sleep tonight. I will leave first thing in the morning,” said Monty.

“Don’t worry. You can stay with me in my farm,” said Sunny

Sunny took Monty to his farm and served him dinner. Monty ate happily and went to bed.

When Sunny woke up the next morning, he was surprised to see all the chores done—the hedge was trimmed, the weeds were removed and the crops were watered. He realised that it was Monty who had done it all.

“Good morning, Sunny,” Monty greeted him cheerfully. “Thank you for allowing me to sleep in your farm. I will leave now.”

“No, wait!” Sunny stopped him. “Where will you go? Do you have friends or relatives here? It will be a while until your forest grows back.”

“No, I don’t know anyone here. But I will figure out something. I will find a job and then rent a place,” said Monty.

“If that’s the case, why don’t you work with me? I need someone to help me manage my farms. And you can stay at my farm,” said Sunny.

Monty was elated! He immediately agreed. That day on, Monty started to work at Sunny’s farm.

One evening, as Monty was returning from the farm, he heard someone call out to him. It was Ray, the rhino.

“Hey, Monty! We hardly see you around,” said Ray.

“That’s because the work at the farm is keeping me busy,” said Monty.

“You, poor thing. You work so hard and yet Sunny does not trust you,” said Ray.

“Why do you say that?” asked Monty.

“Sunny only gives you work to do around the farm. He does not let you handle the money,” said Ray.

“Yes. He is taking advantage of you,” said Harry, the horse, joining them.

“By the way, what are you doing now? We were planning to get together and gossip. Why don’t you join us too?” said Ray.

Monty hesitated at first, but agreed after Monty and Harry insisted.

“You stay in Sunny’s farm, right?” asked Krokie, the crocodile, who joined them.

Monty nodded.


“Let me be straightforward with you. We don’t like Sunny. He is arrogant and looks down on everyone. He has even insulted us many times,” said Krokie.

“We want to teach him a lesson and we need your help. We have a plan. If we succeed, we can send Sunny to jail and enjoy his wealth,” said Harry.

“I will surely help you! Like you have rightly pointed out, he is indeed taking advantage of me. Tell me what to do?” said Monty.

“Glad to know you are with us!” said Ray.

Krokie then handed a packet to Monty and said, “All you have to do is keep this packet in Sunny’s farm and we will take care of the rest. But make sure Sunny doesn’t see you.”


That evening, Monty placed the packet in a tree in Sunny’s farm and informed Ray and the others about it. The following afternoon, Sunny was surprised to see the police at his farm.

“We have received information that you have stolen King Leo’s jewellery. We need to search your farm,” said Inspector Freddy, the fox.

The police found the stolen jewellery in Sunny’s farm. Freddy handcuffed Sunny and took him to the police station. Everyone in the forest was shocked, except Ray, Harry and Krokie who secretly cheered.

That night, the three went over to the farm to celebrate with Monty.

“Monty, you did a great job. As a reward, we want to give you the biggest share in our loot,” said Krokie, opening his bag.

“All the jewellery in this bag has been stolen from different farms in this forest. Let’s divide these among ourselves,” said Harry. “And tomorrow, let’s divide Sunny’s valuables!” he laughed.

Suddenly, the door slammed open, taking them by surprise. Ray, Harry and Krokie were shocked to see Inspector Freddy and Sunny walk in.

“Surprised?” asked Monty smiling. “The moment you revealed to me that you wanted to take revenge on Sunny, I came up with a plan to get you three caught red handed. Inspector Freddy and Sunny were also in on the plan,” explained Monty.

“But you said Sunny was taking advantage of you!” said Ray disbelievingly.

“I lied to you. Sunny has been a true friend to me. He helped me out when I had nothing or knew no one. I would never break my friend’s trust,” said Monty.

Inspector Freddy arrested the three crooks.


Sunny hugged Monty and said, “Thank you, Monty! You are indeed a true friend.”

Mountain Exercise

Fatty bear was very sad because he was fat. He loved eating food because of which his weight kept increasing, even though he tried to control his eating habits.

The gym trainer Sam told him to join the gym, but Fatty did not want to.

Fatty said, “They will make me do difficult exercises in the gym, and there is a restriction on the food. The gym is also expensive for me.”

Fatty thought for a while and came up with an idea. “There is a mountain in front of my house. There is fresh grass on it on which I love to roll. I will climb the mountain to roll on the grass and this will help me lose weight.”


But there was a problem. The mountain’s slope was steep that made it difficult to climb it.

Fatty called his friend Gaplu deer who said, “Try and climb the mountain from the other side. It is flatter and easier to climb from there and then you can roll on the grass as much as you like.”

Fatty waited for a sunny day and then walked to the back of the mountain. Before climbing it, he looked at his body and said, “Hello my body weight. The time has come to say bye-bye to you.”

Soon, he was climbing the mountain, and though it was less steep here, he was breathless. But he climbed to the top of the mountain and from the top he could see the fresh green grass and his beautiful house.

His body was shaking with excitement.

He lay down and started to roll on the grass. In his excitement he forgot the slope was steeper on this side of the mountain. As he rolled down, his body picked up speed and soon he was rolling down the mountain like cannon ball. He tried to stop himself with his legs and hands but could not.

Finally, he reached the bottom of the mountain near his home. Luckily, the grass all along had been soft and fresh, so Fatty was not injured badly but his whole body was sore and he was crying.

Hearing his groans, his parents came out and on seeing him covered in grass and mud, they were shocked.

Fatty’s parents asked, “What happened to you Fatty?”

Heaving and weeping Fatty said, “I came rolling down from the top of the mountain. Oh mom! My back is completely sore and is hurting badly.”

Fatty’s father asked him, “How did you climb the mountain? It is such a steep climb.”

Poor Fatty could not give any answer.


Sam was coming that way and overheard Fatty’s father. “I will tell you about this. Fatty had climbed the mountain to lose his weight, but unfortunately, because of the steep slope he got hurt. He was scared to go to the gym and wanted to save on money. But what he has done is more remarkable.”

Poor fatty was in pain and was sweating

His mother patted and his father soothed him.

Fatty said, “I am saying bye bye to this mountain exercise. I will come and join your gym or run in the park and eat healthy to lose weight.”

Soon Fatty became better and joined the gym. The other animals who exercised with him teased him and said, “You are most welcome to the gym but do tell us about your mountain experience. Did you enjoy rolling down the mountains?”

Everyone including him, laughed at his mountain exercise.


Boxy cat was very happy today. It was his birthday and everyone who met him, wished him as they passed by. Though naughty by nature, Boxy was an innocent and sincere cat. He would always lend a helping hand to anyone in need.

“Happy birthday, Boxy. You are looking quite handsome today, buddy!” said Mangu jackal as he wished Boxy.

“Hello Boxy, wish you a very happy birthday!” shouted Gappu elephant who was carrying a big bunch of bananas in his trunk.

Thank you Gappu. But why did you take so much trouble for me?” said Boxy.

“Wish you a very very happy birthday, brother Boxy,” said Golu bear as he entered.

“Hey Golu, how did you know that today is my birthday?” asked Boxy.

“Boxy, all the animals in the forest are aware about it. It’s the birthday of the most unlikely friends, Mini mouse and Boxy cat.”

Hearing that, there was big smile on Boxy’s face.

“Boxy!” he suddenly heard his mother calling his name and rushed home.

“Your father has been searching for you since a long time. He is planning a special dish for your birthday party,” she said.

“Mother, please tell me, what dish is father cooking for me?” asked Boxy.

“I, too, don’t know son, but he was sure that you will definitely like it.”

“Okay mother, then I will just go and meet my best friend. Today is her birthday too,” said Boxy.

“Who is your new best friend, son?” asked his mother.

“Not now mother. I will give you a surprise by introducing her to you in the evening,” answered Boxy as he raced towards Mini’s house.

Mini mouse lived with her parents, brother and sister on the banks of the river.

She was waiting for Boxy to come. Both of them let out squeals of excitement on seeing each other.


“Happy birthday to you!” “Happy birthday to you!” they both said to each other.

Mini hugged Boxy and said, “Come, mother and father are waiting for you since morning. Mother has made your favourite sweets.”

Happy birthday Boxy! Both of you are celebrating your birthday today. May you both remain together forever,” said Mini’s mother to both of them.

“Thank you aunty. You are so nice. You have made my favourite sweets too! Hey Mini, now let’s play outside,” said Boxy after eating and they rushed outside to play. They were so lost in playing that they did not realise that it was past afternoon now.

Boxy told Mini, “Hey buddy, I am getting late. My father must be waiting for me. He is making a special dish for me. You must come home in the evening. We will have a lot of fun.”

Saying so, Boxy ran in the direction of his house. Boxy thought he would be scolded for coming late but his father cuddled him lovingly.

“Father, what is the special dish that you have cooked for me? Please tell me. I have invited all my friends to come home today.”

“It is a surprise for you, Boxy. You will miss the fun if I tell you about it. Your mother also does not know about it. Go and play with your friends. I still have to make a lot of arrangements for your birthday party,” said his father.

Both his parents started discussing about the arrangements to be done for the party.

Boxy left them alone and went into the kitchen to drink milk. As he came out, he overheard his father talking.


“I am thinking of hunting down the plump and healthy mouse family living near the bank of the river for Boxy. I have heard that someone in their family too is celebrating their birthday today. I have even traced a secret way to enter their hole.”

Boxy was astonished to hear his father say so. His father was about to hunt down his best friend’s family!

Boxy thought about it for a while. He then asked his mother’s permission to go out and ran towards Mini’s house. He told everything to Mini and her parents. He told them to be careful and asked for their forgiveness.

“You are facing all these problems because of me. Alas! If only I could help you!” he said.

Mini’s mother hugged him and said he had done his best and should not worry.

Boxy was sad after coming home. He went and sat in a corner of the house.

Seeing him like this, father asked, “What’s the matter, Boxy? Why are you so sad? You were so excited a while ago.”

Boxy didn’t answer him.


When his father questioned him again, Boxy mustered courage and asked, “Father, how much do you love me?”

His father said, “I love you more than my life.”

“Father, today is my birthday. How would you feel if something happens to me today?” he asked.

Boxy’s mother stepped in at this moment and said, “You should not say such things. We won’t be able to bear it if something happened to you.”

Boxy said, “Then I want you to promise me something.”

Boxy’s father thought for a while and smiled and said, “Tell me, what do you want?”

Hearing his father say so, Boxy had tears rolling down his eyes.

Boxy said, “The family that lives near the river is my best friend, Mini mouse’s family. I don’t want a birthday gift in return for this promise. Mini is my best friend. I will feel lonely without her. Please father, don’t hurt her or her family.”

Boxy’s parents were happy to see this love of Boxy for his friend, Mini and her family.

Boxy’s father promised he will not ever harm them.


He said, “Now go. Run to your friend Mini’s house and tell her to come here along with her family and friends. We will celebrate both your birthday. Every person has the right to live happily and enjoy his freedom.”

Both of them celebrated their birthday together with a lot of noise and happiness.

Bholu’s Invention

There was once a beautiful forest called Haritvan. In Haritvan lived Tinku, the monkey. Tinku was a prankster and nobody really liked him. His favorite pastime was to climb up a mango or a jamun tree and pelt passersby with the seeds. He was also very adamant and would always throw a tantrum if he didn’t get what he wanted.

Also living in the same forest was Bholu. Bholu was a wellknown scientist and was also the smartest animal in the forest. But, Tinku didn’t really like him and always went out of his way to make fun of Bholu and his inventions. Bholu would be working up in the trees putting together his inventions with wires and pulleys, and all of a sudden Tinku would show up, pelting Bholu with sticks and undoing all his hard work. Bholu believed this was because he had complained to Tinku’s uncle about his behaviour.

One afternoon, Tinku ran out of his house because the food served for lunch was not to his liking. He set off in search of bananas when lo and behold, there was a whole bunch of them right in front of him in a clearing under a tree.

Thinking that somebody must have forgotten and left their bananas behind, Tinku ran up to them and bend down to pick them up.

But, as he stepped close to the bananas, he was swept off his feet and before Tinku could understand what was going on, he was hanging upside down from the tree above him and there was a rope tied to his leg.


Tinku tried hard to free himself, but he couldn’t. The rope was made of nylon and he couldn’t break it or cut it with his teeth. He realised that he had been trapped by hunters who put him in a cage and went away. From their discussions, Tinku gathered that they intended to take him out of the forest.

As the hunters prepared for their trip out of the forest, they were suddenly hit by fruits and vegetables.

The attacks seemed to be coming from the trees. Completely confused, the hunters decided it was best to run away. As the attacks continued, Tinku was glad he was in the cage, safe from the attacks.


Kiku, the sparrow happened to be passing by when she noticed Tinku stuck inside the cage.

The attacks had stopped by then. She flew up to him and calmed him down before flying off to find Tinku’s uncle Cheeku.

Cheeku ran to the spot where Tinku had been trapped and rescued him. Meanwhile, Kiku had arrived with few more animals from the forest. When Tinku told them about the mysterious attacks on the hunters, everybody was curious to find out who saved Tinku.

Kiku then told everyone that the attacks were from one among many machines that Bholu had installed across the forest. Using a network of wires and sensor, Bholu’s animal security system could detect whether there were any hunters coming into the forest.

Once the location of the hunters was fixed, the machines in the trees would fire fruits and vegetables at them to scare them away.

Tinku realised that the very machine he had made fun of, a long time ago, had saved his life.



He realised that making fun of others wasn’t a nice thing to do and neither was throwing fruits at others. Tinku vowed that he would be more responsible and not hurt others in any way.

Gus Yearns for Freedom

“What lovely weather!” exclaimed Gus, the grasshopper, while on his usual morning walk.

Along the way, his eyes fell on a glass bowl placed on the window of a house. Some fishes were swimming in it.

“What are these fishes doing inside a bowl? Don’t they usually live in a pond or river?” Gus wondered. He flew up to them to ask.

“Hello!” the fish greeted him cheerfully.

“May I ask what you are doing in this bowl when you could be living happily in a big pond?” asked Gus.

“We are happier in this bowl!” replied one of the fish.

Gus was surprised. “How is that possible?” he asked them.

“In the bowl, we don’t have to go looking for food. We are fed two times a day by the humans. Moreover, we don’t have to worry about predators. All that my friends and I do is play, eat and sleep all day long,” said another fish.

“It does sound like all play and no work. It must be fun to live like that,” thought Gus.

He bid the fish goodbye and was about to fly out when something caught his leg. It was a human! Gus was quickly trapped inside a glass jar and placed by the window.

Gus tried to get out, but the jar was too heavy and strong. He was dazed at first, but soon calmed down.

“Perhaps, it won’t be so bad. I may have a good time like the fishes and best of all, I will be served food right here,” he thought and became cheerful.

Gus was lazing inside the jar and looking out when he saw a honey bee hovering nearby.

“Good morning, Miss Honey Bee. I am Gus. How are you doing?” he greeted her.


“Good morning, Gus. I am Holly. You do look quite cheerful for someone stuck inside a glass jar,” said Holly.

“Yes. What is not to like about it? I will get free food, good views and don’t have to worry about being eaten up by some slimy frog,” said Gus.

“That’s true. But don’t you miss the freedom of going wherever you feel like and eating whatever you want?” asked Holly.

Gus became irritated. “You are asking such a question because you are jealous of me! I don’t blame you. You have to work all day gathering honey and take orders from your queen. But I can sit here doing nothing other than singing and watching the scenery outside,” he said.

“Why are you getting angry at me?” asked Holly offended. “I was just asking to know how you feel. What you do is up to you. Anyway, I have work to do. Goodbye!” she said curtly and flew away.

Around afternoon, Gus was fed some grass and leaves. They were not fresh like the ones he had in the fields. But he was hungry and had no choice.


After lunch, Gus lay on his back looking outside. The day dragged on and so did the night. He missed the soft bed of grass that he slept on. He looked endearingly at the garden outside the house when he noticed a centipede walking by.

“Hello, Mr. Centipede!” Gus called out from the window, hoping to chat.

“Hello! Sorry, I do not have time to stop and chat. I am already late and have to reach home before my kids go to bed. And my wife is waiting with hot dinner,” he said, continuing to walk swiftly.

The mention of home and family made Gus miss the comfort of his house. He missed his friends Betty, the butterfly, Lola, the ladybug and Cary, the caterpillar.

“Holly was right. I do miss being free,” Gus thought sadly. He could not sleep that night.

Early next morning, Gus was woken up by a familiar voice.

“Gus! Wake up!”

Gus opened his eyes and saw his friend Betty fluttering outside. He felt elated to see her!

“Betty! How glad am I to see you!” Gus cried in joy. “How did you find me?”

“Yesterday, Lola, Cary and I were waiting for you all evening at the spot where we meet every day to chat. When you did not show up, we went to your house to check, but you weren’t there too. That’s when we began to worry. It was already dark by then, so we couldn’t go out looking for you.

This morning, the three of us set out in different directions to search,” explained Betty. “But how did you get stuck inside this jar?”

“I was talking to the fishes when a human trapped me inside this jar. I thought it would be fun being inside, not having to do anything, but it’s not so. I miss my home, my friends and most of all, I miss being free. Please let me out,” pleaded Gus.

“I have an idea,” said Betty. She murmured something to Gus.


After a while, the human in the house woke up and came to window to feed Gus. But Gus was lying limp at the bottom of the jar.

Thinking that the he had died, the human removed the lid of the jar to check. In a flash, Gus got up and flew away.

Betty was waiting for him in the garden.

“Thank you, dear friend,” Gus said to her. “I am so happy to be free again!”

The two then flew home together.

Minny Moth’s Search For Colours

One day, a butterfly came and perched on a lily in the garden where Minny, the Moth lived. The butterfly’s wings were purple, yellow and red, and as she fluttered them, they glowed in the sunlight.

The butterfly was so pretty that all the flowers in the garden nodded their heads eagerly and urged the butterfly to come and sit on their petals. After a while, the butterfly flew to a bright pink zinnia.

Minny was sitting on the stem of the zinnia plant, but she was so quiet that the butterfly didn’t notice her at first. But when Minny flapped her wings, the butterfly spotted her.

“Hello!” said the butterfly with a smile. “I’m Betty, the Butterfly! What’s your name?”

The moth said, “My name is Minny.”

Betty the butterfly asked Minny curiously, “Why are your body and wings such a dull brown? Have you lost your colours?”

Betty raised her wings proudly, and showed off her colourful wings. “

“I’ve never had any colours,” Minny said softly. “I’ve been this way ever since I came out of my cocoon.”

“I’m glad I don’t look as dull as you do,” Betty said, with pride. “I am so pretty that every flower in this garden wants me to sit on it! It must be awful to be as plain and unattractive as you are!”

Now, until this time, Minny had not thought about her appearance at all, and had been quite content with her life in the garden. But Betty’s scornful words kept ringing in her mind over and over again.

So she went to a little puddle in the corner of the garden, and looked into it to see herself clearly.

When Minny saw her reflection in the water, she was shocked.

“What Betty said is true,” she thought. “I look very dull and plain because I have no colours on my body or wings. I must do something to make myself prettier!”

Minny began to think hard, and after sometime, she got a good idea. She would ask some of the colourful flowers in the garden if they would share some of their lovely colours with her!

Minny immediately flew to an exquisite red rose, and asked the rose, “Can you share some of the bright red that you have on your petals with me?”


The rose nodded her pretty head. “I am willing to give you one of my fragrant red petals,” she replied graciously. “But what will you do with it?”

“I will drape it over my wings,” said Minny proudly, “so that it looks like a fine velvet cloak! I’m tired of being a plain, mousy brown. I want to be bright and colourful like Betty butterfly. She will be so envious when she sees my red cloak!”

The rose shook her head. “Your cloak will not last for very long,” she said. “My petals wilt, and their colour fades very quickly, you know.”

Minny bent her little head in disappointment when she heard this, and sat under the rose bush.

The red rose was moved by Minny’s sorrow.

“Why don’t you ask the sunbird to give your one of his yellow feathers when he flies into our garden?” she suggested. “Feathers don’t fade like petals, and will make a fine cloak too”

“What a good idea,” Minny said brightening up at once. “I’m going to fly around the garden, and see if I can find the sunbird.”

So Minny began to fly around the garden. She soon spotted Betty sitting on a tree stump, looking very beautiful, with her delicate wings spread out.

Betty was busy sunning herself, and was not paying any attention to what was going on around her.

But Minny noticed that a fat garden frog was hiding in the grass near the tree stump and looking greedily at Betty as he smacked his lips! “Look out, Betty!” Minny cried out loudly.

Betty leapt up with a start, and flew into the air just as the frog leapt towards her.


But the frog was just a bit too late! Betty had been saved by Minny’s warning.

“Thank you for warning me about the frog,” Betty said to Minny in a trembling voice. “I’m so lucky that you were nearby to warn me.”

“I was there because I was searching for some colours to drape on my body,”
Minny said thoughtfully. “But now, I’ve decided that I’m not going to continue the search any more.

The frog spotted you so easily in the garden because of your bright colours, but he’s never spotted me because I merge so well into the background. I’m glad I’m
alive, and I think I’m better off and happier just the way I am!”

Animals, bird, and insects often use their colouring to merge into their background, so that enemies will not notice them. This is called camouflage.


Brave Marty

“What is happening?” Little Rabbit Marty thought. Marty watched birds every day after coming from school, sitting at the lakeside. He didn’t play bat and ball or hide and seek with his friends. He was afraid that he would get hurt. And anyway, he didn’t have any close friends. Everybody called him a coward; and so was isolated in school too.

But he sensed something amiss when he reached the lakeside today. Herons, cranes, parrots…nobody was there. Only two crows were present there. A foul smell had spread in the atmosphere. Two trucks full of garbage came over and started dumping the garbage in the lake.

This act on the part of truck drivers angered even the fearful Marty. He ran towards the drivers and said, “What are you doing? Everyone drinks water from this lake. So many birds come here. You are polluting the lake.”

“Keep quiet,” Driver Gurg, the Wolf shouted at him. “My master, Seth Wiley Wolf will make flats on this area and sell them. So many people will live here. What will this dirty lake serve anyone?”

What could Marty say? He ran towards his home with tears in his eyes and told everything to his mother. Mother said, “Such greedy animals! They will even sell away the air of this jungle!”

“Where will the poor birds go, Ma? They will never come back here again.”

“Who will stand up for this cause? What will you do, son? You don’t even go out for playing for the fear of getting injured.”

Marty felt a pinch at his mother’s words. He thought, “So even mother thinks of me as a coward! Damn!” He quietly went on the terrace. Migo, the Monkey saw him and got down from the tree, “What’s the matter? Why are you looking so glum?” Marty told him everything


“This is bad news for Timberland.”

“Can we do nothing?” Marty was feeling very helpless.

“Come. Let’s complain to the jungle police.”

But to their dismay, Inspector Jared, the Jackal began laughing at them, “Kid, concentrate on your studies. This matter is not your lookout.”

“But the lake will get destroyed!”

“Let it be. Why are you bothered? Many flats too will be built there. Go, run. Do not bother me.”

When they came outside, Migo said, “It seems he is helping them. That’s why he didn’t listen to us. Now we will have to do something.”

“What can we do? Nobody even knows us.”

“My uncle’s friend Skipper, the Flying Squirrel, who lives on the Peepal tree, is a TV reporter. I will contact him with Mama’s help. He will talk about the lake getting polluted on his news channel and inform other animals.”

Skipper heard both the children and gathered some of the animals and birds of Timberland. A long discussion took place. Next day, two trucks stopped at the entrance of the jungle. Jared, who was sitting on his bike, smiled and began talking to Gurg. Unknown to them two porcupines came and punctured all the truck tyres. Skipper was recording everything on his camera.

“How did this happen?” Gurg jumped down. “All the twelve tires of both the trucks are flat! Unbelievable!” Flapping his wings, Parry Parrot began encircling around Gurg’s head, “Ha..ha..ha..have fun, son!”


“Really?” Gurg tried to pounce on Parry Parrot, but no avail. Sam and Shade, the two kangaroos reached the spot and started pelting the drivers with small stones they had carried in their pouches.

“Oh! Aah!” both the wolves, Gurg and Wiley fell flat on the ground.


Now it was Marty’s turn. Migo’s friends had pinned the wolves tightly to the ground and all the rabbits were tickling them with grass. The wolves couldn’t decide whether they should laugh or cry. Then two bears came who threw them inside the garbage of the truck. “Oh! Such a foul smell!” Both began feeling nauseated.

“Why? You were throwing this in the lake?” Marty said.

Now the last of the warriors were the birds. All the crows began throwing the garbage on the wolves. “Please leave us now,” they cried.

The Elephants got together and threw the trucks out of the jungle. Marty asked the wolves, “Will you come again to throw the garbage in the lake?”

Both said, “Never. Please forgive us.”

Marty, Migo and all the animals clapped and said, “Keep Timberland clean and never be afraid of rogues.”


This came as breaking news in the afternoon. Everybody helped in cleaning the lake. Mother hugged Marty when he returned home. “I didn’t know that
my son is so brave!” she said.

Marty had tears in his eyes – tears of happiness

Only the Brave Win

Mandy Monkey was known to be very cunning. All the animals of Champakvan would be reluctant to even talk to him. One day Meesha Cat and Blacky Bear were heading for school when Mandy suddenly came in front of them.

Both panicked wondering what would happen next.

Meanwhile, Mandy craftily took out tiffins from inside their bags and quickly climbed a tree.

Before Meesha and Blacky could react, Mandy made an excuse, “You both are
carrying such heavy bags. I felt like helping you. Please proceed to the school and I will come there with your tiffins.”

Meesha and Blacky believed him and went to school, but Mandy didn’t reach there.

Instead he ate their tiffins all alone.

Mandy would bother the animals in some way or the other and pretended to be
brave. Everybody was irked by him. Champakvan’s king decided that he would
teach Mandy a lesson.

The exam date was approaching. Everyone was busy studying, whereas Mandy
was plotting on how to come first without studying.

He thought of scaring everybody in the name of exams so that if they didn’t prepare well, they wouldn’t secure good marks.

He said to Cory Rabbit who was studying English “Study English later. If you study such a difficult subject before, you will forget it soon.”

Cory believed Mandy and left aside English and began studying math.

As soon as Mandy saw Cory studying math, he again brought forth his cunningness and said, “How can you study math now? This is a subject which you can’t understand even on the day of the exam.

How can you understand it only a few days before the exam? You should study math only two days before the exam.” Cory closed his math book too.

In this way Mandy confused and scared everybody.

Now they didn’t know how to prepare for the exam.

One day, Mandy saw Sara Sparrow studying. He went close to her and said, “Study as much as you want, but you can’t beat me. Studying is not so easy.


Only smart animals like me can come first.” With these words, he moved on,
leaving Sara perplexed.

With his cunningness he had distracted everyone from their studies. He was now acting high and mighty and believed himself to be the most intelligent animal of the forest. He had even started bullying and scaring the smaller animals.

Days passed. One day, when Champakvan’s King Sher Singh, was not around, an elephant from another jungle came there.

He said, “I will uproot all the trees of Champakvan with my trunk.”


Everybody panicked at his threat.

Mandy was the most frightened of all the animals at the prospect of losing his home.

He quickly went to his home and gathered all his belongings. He tried to hide away from the fearsome elephant.

Meanwhile, Bonnie Ant went to the elephant and reasoned with him, “Think before you do something drastic. If you uproot the trees here in Champakvan, somebody can do it in your jungle as well.”

Bonnie said further, “We all should stay friends. If your jungle requires any help in future, then Champakvan will definitely come forward to help you.” The elephant simmered down and gave a smile.

He said to Bonnie, “Don’t worry, I will not harm your forest. I was here on the request of Sher Singh. I did all this only to scare Mandy Monkey.” He also commended Bonnie for her quick thinking and bravery to stand up for her forest mates.

Mandy realised then that confusing and scaring people was not bravery. Distracting them from their studies was not an intelligent thing either.

Real bravery came by behaving in a fearless and responsible manner and intelligence came from studying. He vowed to change his ways.

The entire forest cheered him. Mandy felt truly happy.

The Wise King

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Tiblu Tiger Goes Mountaineering

Tiblu was a tiger baby, and was very fond of exercise. In Champakvan, parents used to compare their babies with Tiblu and cite his example when they talked about fitness and good health.

Once Tiblu came to know that a mountaineering camp was being organised in the nearby jungle. So he told his mother that he wanted to go. The Blue Mountain was not too far from Champakvan, and was a well known place for adventure trips. Mother Tiger was a bit worried to hear this.

She said, “But Tiblu, Blue Mountain is very tall.”

“Yes, mother, and that is why I want to reach the top of the mountain. Many of my friends, Freddie the Fox, Zimba the Leopard, and Tony the Wolf are going for mountaineering. And we shall travel only for four days.”

This became a very exciting news, and everyone felt that this was a moment of pride for Champakvan animals.

Special arrangements were made for the animals that were going for mountaineering.

King of the Jungle, Lambart the Lion announced special food facilities for them, which included a high protein diet. The Rooster family, who was in-charge of providing eggs to animals, made an extra delivery of eggs for the mountain climbers.


Gardener Percy the Peacock made sure that healthy fruits reached them for good nourishment.



In a short time, the mountaineers’ team was well fed and healthily prepared for the mountaineering mission.

A week before the mountaineering mission was to start, Freddie and his father came to meet Tiblu’s father to discuss the planning for children’s travel and safety.

After some general discussions, Daddy Fox spoke to the Daddy Tiger, “I have heard that Billy the Goat, who lives in our jungle, is a very avid mountaineer. Should we take his advice?” Tiger Dad frowned. He could not see eye to eye with Billy, for which the reasons were unclear.

Tiger Dad coughed, and said, “Oh yes! How could I forget Billy? But I have heard that he prefers to be domesticated and does not live in our  jungle anymore.”

Fox Dad  hastily added, “No, Sir. He is still staying in the jungle. Can we talk to him tomorrow?”

Tiger Dad agreed finally, “Okay, okay! We will  meet him tomorrow.” Freddie and his father happily returned home. The next day Tiger Dad and his son Tiblu, Freddie and Fox Dad, as well as Tony with his father and Zimba with his mother went to see Billy.

Billy’s house was on a slope in the jungle. It was little difficult for the guests to climb to his house. However, as the Goat family saw the guests coming, Billy and his wife stood welcoming them.

It was difficult for the tiger to gulp down the ego while seeking help from a goat.

But considering that it would help his son, he spoke to Billy, “Hello Billy Goat! We have come to seek your advice on mountaineering. We have heard that you have climbed many tall mountains. Kindly provide my son and his friends the right guidance for it.”

Billy was a kind animal. He smiled and said, “Welcome to my home, dear Tiger. I can understand that as a father you will be anxious to send your son for mountaineering, but let me tell you that it is not at all difficult to climb a mountain.”


All the four children and their parents looked gapingly at Billy as he described some of his adventures of climbing very steep mountains.

At the end, Billy concluded, “If you have a strong will, nothing is impossible. Another important thing is good food. Your food should not be too heavy when taken before starting and during the mountaineering activity. You must also carry food which can provide for instant energy and light luggage. Make sure to carry a battery for night safety, and some woolens for warmth as mountain tops are cooler than the land.”

He continued, “I understand that a tiger, a leopard or a fox do not have paws with a good grip like us to climb the steep slopes, but do not worry. Blue Mountain is a simple climb, and your children will enjoy it.”

Tiger Dad, Fox Dad as well as Wolf Dad and Leopard Mother were really happy to listen to the advice given by Billy goat.

Tiger Dad realised that he had wronged Billy till now. He was not a dangerous animal though he had long horns. In fact, he was very kind and helpful to animals who sought his advice.

Mountaineers followed Billy’s advice, and started to prepare for their adventure. This helped them a great deal. When the day arrived, they were all well prepared for the task.

Tiblu, Freddie, Tony and Zimba left for the mountaineering camp. They looked happy, and even their parents seemed to be relieved by their preparations.


Mountaineers reached to the top of Blue Mountain on the third day as per the schedule, and the whole team jumped with joy and happiness! Their dream had come true!

Then they started descending the mountain. Tiblu, Freddie, Tony and Zimba safely returned back to their parents in Champakvan after a long and tedious trek.

The next day Tiblu, Freddie, Tony and Zimba went to thank Billy.

They said, “Uncle, your advice was a great help to us. We were really motivated by that. Thank you for your guidance and tips for preparations.”

Billy smiled and said, “Children! No task is difficult in life, whether it be sports or studies or anything else. If you plan and prepare for it in advance, even climbing a mountain becomes a joy ride!”.

Mountaineering friends then hugged each other and started jumping joyfully! It was now time for celebration in Champakvan!


Pussy, the cat was feeling glum. She sat under the shade of a tree, looking forlorn. The reason for her sadness was that, over the years she had put on quite a bit of weight and was having trouble catching little mice and birds. Every time she would chase them, she would feel tired almost immediately and stop to catch her breath. By then, the mice and birds would be long gone.

Seeing her friend feeling sad, Lucy the cat walked up to her and asked her what the matter was.

“Oh, I was just thinking what it would be like to get your meals served to you without putting in any effort,” said Pussy. “It’s just that I’ve had so much trouble finding food lately that I haven’t had a single bite to eat in two days.”

“Oh Pussy, don’t be silly,” said Lucy. “Everybody knows that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You will always have to work hard to get the things you want. Stop wasting your time on these stupid thoughts and come with me. I’ll treat you to the yummy milk and cream I have at home.”

The two went to Lucy’s house and were enjoying some milk and cream when an old friend of Pussy’s walked up to them. It was Scruffy, the fox. He had changed quite a bit and had lost a lot of weight too.


“How are you, Pussy? You seem to be living well, your fat tummy proves it so,” said Scruffy.

“I’ve been alright, Scruffy. But tell me, where have you been all this while? You look different and in a good way,” sad Pussy.

“Well, I’ve given up my ways of cheating and living extravagantly and have moved to the himalayas. I spend the entire day meditating,” said Scruffy.

“The Himalayas? Isn’t is far away from civilization? What do you do for food there?” asked Pussy.

“To tell you the truth, food is the least of my concerns. The power of meditation is such that I can have the dish of my choice any time I want. In fact, anything I wish for can be had and all I need to do is meditate,” said Scruffy.

Pussy was in awe of how easy life was as a hermit. She thought of how difficult it was for her to catch mice every day, and how much she missed it. “Will you take me with you and teach me how to meditate? Life here has become too hard and I don’t like it one bit. Please take me as your student, I’ll go with you to the Himalayas and you can teach me your ways,” said Pussy.


“Oh Pussy, you don’t need to come to the Himalayas for this. I could teach you the incantation right now,” said Scruffy. “But…” began Scruffy and trailed off.

“What’s the matter, Scruffy? Please, go on,” said Pussy, earnestly.

“Well, the problem is that I can not teach the incantation to someone without accepting a teacher’s fee. You’re like my sister and I’m just thinking what I should do,” said Scruffy.

“Oh,” said Pussy and began to think. “All I have is this bowl of milk and cream,” she said. That was also all the food she had, and it wasn’t much.

“The teacher’s fee is a sign of respect and love, so the quantity does not matter. This will do just fine,” said Scruffy and whispered the incantation in Pussy’s ear.

“All you need to do is chant this incantation from sunset till sunrise the next day and the power will be unleashed. All you will need to do then is close your eyes and wish for your heart’s desire. When you open your eyes, it will be right in front of you,” said Scruffy and went on his way with the bowl of milk and cream.


The same evening, Pussy started chanting just when the sun set, chanted throughout the night, and only stopped when the sun’s rays touched the ground the next morning. She was ecstatic. She ran to Lucy’s house and said, “You treated me to milk and cream yesterday and today, I’ll be treating you to the same.”

Pussy closed her eyes tight and wished for two bowls of milk and cream. She opened her eyes expecting to see the bowls in front of her, but there were no such bowls anywhere.

Pussy tried again and once again, there were no bowls of milk and cream.

Pussy tried once more before giving up. “Scruffy said this would work,” said Pussy, feeling let down.

“What did he tell you?” asked Lucy.

“He asked me to chant an incantation and said that if I wished for something it would appear in front of me,” said Pussy.

Lucy laughed and said, “It seems like Scruffy’s been up to one of his tricks. How could you believe him?” she asked, laughing. “Nothing ever comes from nothing. For everything you need to do work, or in Scruffy’s case, dupe someone out of their hard work and trick them into giving it away.”

Pussy realised that Scruffy had cheated her out of her bowl of milk and cream and felt silly for believing him.


“Come on,” said Lucy. “Let’s go to the jungle and catch some mice.”

Pussy agreed and off they went. Pussy had learnt that the only secret to fulfilling your heart’s desires is hard work.

Ratu, the Artist

Ratu, the mouse loved to draw and paint. His two best friends were his brush and his set of paints. While he had a lot of fun drawing and painting all day, his parents and family members were worried. They believed that Ratu was wasting his time drawing and painting all day.

They wanted him to study hard and become a successful engineer or a famous doctor.

The only animal in the entire forest who appreciated Ratu’s drawing and painting was old Lambu, the monkey, who was a painter himself. One day, Lambu said, “Ratu, I just heard that the king is going to conduct a big painting exhibition.”

“But Lambu Uncle, why are you telling me this?” asked Ratu.

“Why Ratu, because you’re one of the best painters this jungle has ever seen. This exhibition will be a great platform for you to showcase your work,” said Lambu.

Ratu thought Lambu was pulling his leg. Nobody had ever told Ratu that his paintings were good, let alone call him a good painter.

Ratu said, “I know you’re making fun of me Lambu Uncle. Why would anybody allow somebody like me to showcase my work in one of the biggest art exhibitions in the jungle?”

Lambu understood that Ratu was yet to realise his true worth. He was yet to understand the true potential of the talent hidden deep inside him. Lambu asked Ratu to meet Kaalu, the jackal, the animal in charge of the exhibition.

Kaalu was a famous painter too. He had put up several exhibitions and had gathered lots of fame and fortune. Ratu showed Kaalu some of the paintings Lambu had asked him to take with him. Kaalu realised that Ratu was an excellent painter. Jealous, he decided to put Ratu down.

Kaalu tossed Ratu’s paintings aside and said, “You call this art? Anybody with a brush and a paint set could produce drawings like these. If you put these up at the art exhibition, it would be a disgrace.”


Thoroughly dejected, Ratu walked back home. On the way, he met Lambu Uncle. With tears in his eyes, Ratu narrated everything that had happened. Lambu Uncle was wise.

He knew exactly why Kaalu had behaved this way.

Lambu Uncle took Ratu straight to the jungle’s art college. His good friend, Nathu, the bear was the arts professor there. Nathu took a look at Ratu’s paintings and was blown away.

“Ratu, I must say, you have a lot of potential. Seeing that at such a young age, you have so much talent, I’m sure you’ll become a great painter very soon,” he said. “Tell me, are you taking part in the art exhibition?” he asked.


Lambu told him everything that happened at Kaalu’s house. Nathu immediately went to his computer and began typing. He printed out a sheet of paper and said, “Ratu, you are going to present your work at the art exibition. If Kaalu stops you, just show them this letter of recommendation from me,” said Nathu and wished him luck.

Ratu and Lambu went straight to Kaalu. Seeing them Kalu said, “What are you doing here once again? Did I not tell you that your paintings weren’t good enough for the exhibition? If you think Lambu’s recommendation is going to get you a spot here, you’re sadly mistaken.”

“No sir, I’m just here to give you this letter from Prof. Nathu from the arts college,” said Ratu handing Kaalu the letter.

Kaalu had no choice now but to let Ratu in. Nathu was too powerful and well respected to cross.

On the day of the exhibition, Ratu had displayed all his best paintings. King Babbar dropped by to see all the paintings being displayed and had brought the famous painter, Lumumba, the giraffe, from Africa.

Among all the paintings at the exhibition, Babbar and Lambu loved Ratu’s paintings the most.

They bought one of Ratu’s paintings for two lakh rupees and soon, all of Ratu’s paintings were sold. Ratu had never been happier and both Lambu and Nathu couldn’t help but hold back their smiles. They were proud of Ratu.


As King Babbar and Lumumba left the exhibition, they praised Ratu’s skill and called him a diamond in the rough. Kaalu, jealous at first soon realised the error in his ways. He understood that like diamonds, true talents shine brightest only after they have been discovered.

Lazy Coco

Coco was a lazy bird who lived in Sunshine Woods. He would fool unsuspecting animals and get his work done. While some animals were aware of his ways and would stay clear of him, many fell prey to his tricks.

One day, a cyclone hit the forest. It rained heavily for days. Nobody could step out. All the animals were given a prior warning about the cyclone and were asked to stock food at home. But Coco hadn’t paid heed to the warning, so he was stuck in his nest without anything to eat.

After three days, it finally stopped raining. Coco flew out of his nest to look for some food. He was starving.

After searching for a few minutes, Coco decided it was too much effort to look for food. So, he went to meet his neighbour Becky, the cow.

“Hello, Becky! How are you?” asked Coco.

“I am okay. The cyclone was severe, wasn’t it?” said Becky.

“Yes. I was quite scared,” said Coco.

“I just met our neighbours. They were all terrified, too,” said Becky.

“I don’t care about them. I was talking about myself,” said Coco. “I haven’t eaten since the cyclone hit. I am very hungry.”

“Then what are you doing here? Hurry up, and go find some food before it starts to rain again,” said Becky.

“Where will I look for food in this slush? Why don’t you share your food with me?” suggested Coco.

“Sure. If you will eat grass, I’ll be happy to share some with you,” said Becky.

“I can’t eat grass! I’ll figure something else,” Coco said irritatedly and flew away.

“That lazy Coco always tries to reap the benefit of someone else’s hard work. He had enough time to stock food before the cyclone but he didn’t. And now he wants my food,” Becky said to herself.


Meanwhile, Coco was in search of someone who he could fool into giving him food. Just then, he saw Billy, the goat.

“Hello, Billy! How are you, my friend?” greeted Coco.

“I am doing great!” said Billy.

Coco was surprised. “Really? Didn’t you go hungry from being stuck at home for days?” he asked.

“Not at all. The moment they issued a warning about the cyclone, I collected enough food to last me for days and stored it at home,” said Billy.

You are very smart, Billy,” appreciated Coco. “But you have overlooked an important problem.”

“What problem?” asked Billy.

“When it rains, the moisture in the air increases. This moisture will spoil stored food,” said Coco.

“Oh! I didn’t know that!” said Billy.

“You need to check your food right away. I can help you if you like,” offered Coco.

“Thank you, Coco. That would be great. Please come along,” said Billy, leading the way to his house.

At Billy’s house, the two checked the sacks of food.

“This sack is full of worms,” said Coco, inspecting a sack of grains.

“Where? I can’t see anything,” said Billy.

“Your eyesight is weak, Billy. Trust me. I’ll clean this up for you,” said Coco, quickly gobbling down fistfuls of grains.

“What are you doing?” asked Billy shocked.

“Can’t you see? I am cleaning the grains,” said Coco.

“You’ve cleaned it enough. Give it back to me!” said Billy, snatching the sack from Coco. By then, Coco had emptied half of it.


“See? The grains have become clean,” said Coco.

“You think I don’t know what your plan is? You are lazy to find your own food, so you fooled me into giving you some. Why didn’t you just tell me so?” asked Billy.

“Where’s the fun in that? All you animals would have anyway stocked loads of food, so why should I take the effort to look for food,” replied Coco coolly.

“I should have listened to the other animals who warned me about you. Get out of my house, you sly bird!” said Billy angrily.

“Fine! Bye, Billy!” said Coco, flying away.

This time, it was Billy who had learnt a lesson about not trusting those who mean no good.

The Road to Change

Shersingh lion, the King of Champakvan, was watching the news on television. There were several incidents of road accidents being reported. He became upset and thought to do something about it.

Shersingh invited Jumbo elephant to discuss the issue with him. Jumbo was well versed in the matters of road safety as he was the head of Champakvan’s Road Safety Patrol.

“Champakvan is witnessing an increase in the number of road accidents. This disturbs me greatly. I want your advice on what we can do to make Champakvan safer for all,” Shersingh said to Jumbo.

“Don’t worry, sir. I will definitely help you make Champakvan safer. First, let me study the situation and prepare a report. Based on that, I will be able to suggest some measures,” said Jumbo.

“Take all the time you need, Jumbo. The report has to be detailed,” said Shersingh.

Jumbo set to work right away. He went around all the roads in Champakvan observing the traffic movements and making notes. He compiled all of them in his report.

After a couple of weeks, Jumbo presented his report to Shersingh.

“One of the main issues I observed is that the residents of Champakvan do not follow traffic rules. They do not stay within the speed limit, they disregard traffic signals, do not follow lane discipline and park their vehicles wherever they find space, thus blocking traffic. Several signals at the main junctions are not working, causing a lot of chaos. They need to be fixed immediately. We also need to appoint traffic policemen at these junctions to facilitate the smooth flow of traffic,” said Jumbo.

That ambulance that came to halt

“Good work, Jumbo. I will ask my ministers to fix the signals right away. But what can we do to get the citizens to follow traffic rules?” asked Shersingh.

“I feel there is a lack of awareness about traffic rules and road safety among the citizens. Through campaigns, we can make our citizens aware of the benefit of following the rules. Wearing helmet for two-wheeler riders and seat belt for those driving cars should be made compulsory. If they do not follow the rules, fines should be levied,” suggested Jumbo.


“That is an excellent idea, Jumbo. Let us also put up signs indicating speed limits near schools and hospitals, and prohibiting parking in congested areas,” said Shersingh.

“That will surely help, sir,” said Jumbo. “Another thing I observed is that though kids under the age of 18 are prohibited by law from riding motorcycles or cars, there are many of them who do so.

This is causing a lot of accidents. We can tackle this problem by penalising their parents for allowing them to drive in the first place,” said Jumbo.

“Yes, underage driving is a major cause of concern,” agreed Shersingh.

More From Champak: Public Transportation in India

“There’s one more thing, sir. You could also consider allocating a separate lane for cyclists and pedestrians so that they can travel safely,” added Jumbo.

“Consider it done! Thank you for your suggestions, Jumbo. These steps are sure to make Champakvan safer for motorists and pedestrians alike. In celebration of this change, I declare the last week of February as Road Safety Week. Every year, during this week, we shall organise competitions, workshops on road safety and a survey on traffic trends and accidents,” said Shersingh.


Next morning, the front page news on Champakvan Times was about the changes introduced by Shersingh with Jumbo’s suggestions. It read that besides setting up a dedicated accident helpline, Shersingh had created a new department to look into the traffic activities at Champakvan, under the leadership of Jumbo. He was commended for a job well done.

Everyday Valentine

Sudha’s grandfather, whom she fondly called Dada, had recently retired from work. Being an engineer, he had worked with an automobile company for the last 35 years. His colleagues held a grand ceremony to felicitate Dada and bid him farewell.

Mummy told Sudha that retiring from work meant not going to office any more. It was like taking a long vacation from work. But Sudha was confused. “Sure, Dada doesn’t go to office every day now; but he still seems to be busy the whole day!”

When she asked Dada about this, he smiled and explained, “Retiring means ‘re-tyreing’ our worn-out wheels and starting a new journey in our life.”

Dada attended yoga classes every morning, and his instructor Ms. Dina said he was one of her best students!

Although Dada was 65, he did not like being called a “senior citizen.”  Dada was an expert at repairing household gadgets. In the last one month, he had repaired Papa’s phone charger, Mummy’s hairdryer, Didi’s keyboard, Deepa aunty’s electric kettle, Kaalu’s pocket radio, Ramesh uncle’s electric shaver—phew! That was a long list!

Dadi joked that Dada should set up a repair shop of his own. She also said that she would never retire. Homemakers had to remain homemakers all their life, she said.

“That is not fair! When I grow up, I will take Dadi for a long vacation at the beach,” Sudha decided. After all, Dadi did love the seaside. And Sudha loved Dadi’s cooking. North Indian, South Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Mexican—whatever the cuisine, Dadi could whip up the tastiest fare. Sudha’s friends at school were always eager to peep into her lunchbox to see what mouth-watering snack awaited their tummies!

Of course, Dada and Dadi had their share of fights too. But they also patched up almost immediately after it.

“You should never carry your fights to the bed or the pillow will swallow your head!” Dadi would joke.

So after their fights, Dada and Dadi would sit hand in hand on the swing in the veranda and talk about the fun they had in their youth. Today, as Sudha crouched under the window, trying to eavesdrop on her grandparents, she remembered that she had to make a Valentine’s Day card as part of her class assignment.

Skipping back to her room, she saw Mummy and Papa huddled on the couch, sharing a laugh over a newspaper article. Through the window, she spotted Didi cuddling and feeding biscuits to Rancho, the neighbourhood mutt, whose tail wagged vigorously in excitement. Mali kaka was busy talking to his plants as he watered and weeded them with great care.

Sudha smiled, knowing exactly what she wanted to draw on her card. “When you are with someone you love, every day is Valentine’s Day!” she thought. As she sat down to work on her masterpiece, Rani, the house cat gave out a soft purr, wrapped herself around Sudha’s leg and drifted off to sleep.