Who’s the Prettiest of Them All?

It was a beautiful morning. All the flowers in the garden were happy basking in the sunlight. The garden had many varieties of flowers-tulips, red roses and daisies besides others. As the flowers were talking, one of the tulips said, “I look so pretty when the sun shines on me. No wonder everyone loves me the best.”

The red rose said, “That is not true. You should see me early in the morning when there are dewdrops on my petals; surely, I am the most beautiful flower here.”

Jamun’s Prudence

“None of you can match up to me and my colourful family. Everybody praises our beauty and fragrance,” said the daisy.

All the flowers kept arguing.

The tulip then said, “Shhh… Keep quiet all of you. There are some people coming this way; maybe they will tell who among us is the most beautiful.”


All the flowers agreed and became quiet. They flashed their best smile to make themselves look beautiful. When the people came by, some praised the tulip, while some praised the red rose and others the daisy. This confused the flowers even more.

“It’s almost time for the florist to come. He will surely be able to help us decide,” said the rose.

Sure enough, soon the florist arrived. All the flowers eagerly waited for him to say something. The florist first went straight to the tulips and plucked them.

“The florist doesn’t even want to keep you in his garden; that is why he plucked you,” said the rose to the tulip.

The tulip was sad. The florist then started plucking roses.

“Now it’s your turn,” mocked the daisy. “Looks like I am the only one he wants in his garden,” it said proudly.

But the daisy was next. The florist plucked it and tossed it into his basket. The flowers were thoroughly confused. “Doesn’t he want any of us in his garden?” they wondered.

More from Champak: The Proud Watermelon

The florist then took the flowers to his shop. He placed the tulips in a vase. He added the roses and the daisies as well. He decorated the bunch with coloured papers and ribbons.

“How wonderful it looks!” exclaimed the florist, admiring his bouquet. “All the flowers are beautiful, and together they have made my bouquet more beautiful,” he said.


The flowers then understood that each of them were just as beautiful as the other and smiled back happily at the florist.


A Green Holiday

Jiya liked reading story books, especially if the stories had to do with forests. But living in a big city like Hyderabad, she had never seen a forest in person. She always wondered what it would be like to live among the trees and rivers.

One of her classmates had lived in several forests, as her father was a forest officer. She had many stories about the forests, that made Jiya want to visit one all the more.

Soon, the summer vacation started.

Nature Springs a surprise!

“I want to visit a forest. Can we have a holiday in some forest? Even a picnic would do,” Jiya requested her parents.

“That’s a good idea. It is getting so hot and a day in the cool forest would do us some good,” replied her father.

“Why don’t we go to Ananthagiri hills? It is so close to Hyderabad,” suggested her mother.

“Yes, we can plan a trip there. I have a friend who has visited that place. I’ll find out the details,” said her father and immediately began making plans.

That very weekend, Jiya and her parents were on their way to Ananthagiri hills which was just a two-hour drive from Hyderabad. As they travelled, she looked out from the window. There were so many big trees that reached up to the sky; many birds and butterflies flew past.


“This place is so green!” she exclaimed as they reached their destination.

Jiya’s father had booked a cottage for them to stay. A caretaker came to greet them at the door. They had their breakfast and set out to explore the place.

They walked along the winding pathways that opened out amid huge trees with their roots spread out across the forest floor, dense shrubbery and even acres of coffee plantations. They saw several species of insects and birds. Jiya was most thrilled to spot a peacock!

After a long walk, they came back to their cottage hungry. While they were waiting for lunch, Jiya heard the sound of flowing water.

“There must be a stream nearby. We must take a look at it after lunch!” she told her father excitedly.


After lunch, Jiya and her parents set off to explore the woods. Soon enough, Jiya was looking at a little ribbon of water dancing down the slope of the hill. It was a beautiful sight!

“Now I know why my friend loves forests!” said Jiya.

More from Champak: Math in Nature

They then trekked up a hill and enjoyed the sunset from up there. Post dinner, thoroughly tired from the day’s adventure, the three of them fell fast asleep.

The next morning, they were preparing to leave. Jiya was sad, but she thought to herself, “When I grow up, I will be a forest officer. The forest is the place to be!”

The Bushy Trap

Summer was at its peak in Champakvan and all the greenery had disappeared. Bushes were reduced to twigs and the leaves that were once green had fallen to the ground. The ponds had dried up and fast-flowing streams were reduced to trickles of muddy water. The sky was dusty and grey with not even a single patch of cloud.

Most of the herbivores had migrated in search of greener pastures and Cheeku, the rabbit was wondering if he should follow them too.

A rumor was floating around Champakyan. Animals spoke of a bush with fresh, green leaves. The only catch was that the animals that were last seen approaching it were never seen again.

Dina, the deer, was a dear friend of Cheeku’s. One morning when they met, she asked, “Do you think it’s safe to go near the evergreen bush? I haven’t eaten any green leaves in so long.”

“My deer friend,” said Cheeku. “I’d warn you against it. There seems to be something fishy about that bush. Why don’t you give me a day and I’ll get to the bottom of this.”

Dina was feeling very hungry, so despite Cheeku warning her, she went straight to the evergreen bush. When Cheeku heard that Dina was heading the direction of the bush, he rushed over there as fast as he could.

Sadly, he was too late. Just as he reached the spot, he saw Dina disappear in to the bush.

Cheeku was afraid. Not only was he scared to approach the bush, he was also afraid he might have lost Dina forever. He watched the bush from a distance when suddenly he got an idea.

He went up to Uncle Horn, the rhinoceros and said, “Hey Uncle Horn, all the animals in the forest were talking about that mysterious bush. They all started saying how even you are too scared to approach it. When I stepped in to defend you, they started calling you a coward.” Cheeku knew that Uncle Horn was very proud and had a bit of a temper too.

“What? How dare they call me a coward?” growled Uncle Horn. “I’ll show them!” Uncle Horn and Cheeku went to the bush, and Uncle Horn charged it with all his strength. He knocked it over and began tearing it apart with his horn.

“No, No! Stop! Don’t hurt me!” said a voice from inside the bush.


When Uncle Horn calmed down, Wily, the wolf crawled out from inside the bush

“I knew there was something fishy about that bush!” cried Cheeku.

Help me, help me!” said a voice from where the bush was before.

When Cheeku moved in closer, he saw Dina, all tied up, at the bottom of a pit. Cheeku realized what had been happening all this while. Wily had dug a deep pit under the bush and would pull in any animal that would come near. He would tie them up and take them away later.

With Dina rescued and Wily chased away, Cheeku, Jumbo and Dina munched on some yummy green leaves, and shared it with the other animals that would come that way.

With so many animals here, Cheeku told them that they should all work together and dig wells so that they could find water and make Champakvan green again. That way there would always be green bushes for everyone to enjoy.

The Visitor from Mercury

One day, I was sitting at home doing my homework. It was around 7 pm and I was really bored. Suddenly, I heard a loud, crashing noise. I went to my backyard and saw a saucer type thing. It was a spaceship! I went closer and a small blue man with two eyes, no nose and one mouth with three teeth came out of the spaceship.

He said, “HMZXG#//…”

I didn’t understand anything he said. The creature was shaking his hand at me. I understood that he wanted to be my friend.

I went in and took my phone and downloaded some Translation software on to it. I handed it to the creature. He said, “Hi, I am Zogo from Mercury and I want to be friends with you. I was going to my aunt, who lives on Neptune, when suddenly, an asteroid hit my spaceship. My spaceship got damaged and crashed into your garden,” the creature explained.

“As I am an alien, I can sense that you are bored of your silly homework. I can also sense that we are both of the same age, and let me tell you, even I get bored of doing homework all the time,” he continued. “My spaceship can be repaired by a potion. First, we have to get some lilies, crush them, burn them and then mix it with some melted iron – and the potion is ready!”

“Then, we have to pour the potion into the cracks of the spaceship and it will be ready as before. Will you help me?”

“Yes, I will!” I said excitedly. We went to the park where there were lilies and we plucked four of them. No one saw us, but I left an apology note and some money just in case.

Then, we went home and I found some iron nails. Zogo pressed the nails in his hand and they started to melt! I crushed the flowers and mixed them with the melted iron. Soon after mixing them, Zogo informed me that the potion was ready.

We went to where his spaceship had crashed and Zogo poured the potion on the huge crack in his spaceship. The crack in his spaceship healed and it was ready to take off!

“Thanks a lot! I never thought that someone would help me on another planet,” said Zogo. “Now I can go visit my aunt. Here is a gift for you. It is my favourite thing, but I know you will like it too. Goodbye!”

Zogo went into his spaceship and started it. Many different bright lights lit up, and the spaceship took off into the air with no sound at all. Zogo waved goodbye to me from the window, and then the spaceship zoomed off into the sky.


During all this, I had forgotten to look at the gift he had given me. I looked at it – it was a saucer. It had a button on it too. I pressed the button, and a cup appeared.

It said,

“Drink milk from me, And you will feel a chill, And will want to do, all your homework still.”

Drake’s Grand Birthday Party

Drake, the deer was a prankster. The animals who knew him well kept their distance from him, but others fell for his pranks.

One morning, he paid a visit to Gina, the goat’s house.

“Good morning, Gina! Today is my birthday but there’s no one at home to celebrate this special day with,” said Drake sadly.

Gina felt bad for him. “Don’t worry, Drake. You can celebrate it with me,” she consoled him. “Tell me, what shall I make for you?” asked Gina.

“I feel like having carrot pudding today. When my elder sister was around, she would always make carrot pudding for me on my birthday,” replied Drake.

“I’ll make carrot pudding for you. You just rest here in my house while I go to the market to buy some carrots,” said Gina and left immediately.

On her way to the market, Gina met Toby, the cat.

“Hey Gina, you seem to be in a hurry. What is the matter?”asked Toby.

“Today is Drake’s birthday and he has no one to celebrate it with. So I offered to celebrate it with him by making the carrot pudding that he was craving for. So I am off to the market to buy some carrots,” replied Gina.

“So, you are Drake’s target today!” said Toby with a knowing smile.


“What do you mean?” asked Gina puzzled.

“Gina, just last month he made Danny, the donkey throw a party for him citing the same reason,” explained Toby.

“I had no idea that he was such a fraud! What should I do now?” asked Gina.

Toby whispered something into Gina’s ear, and they both laughed. Gina then called Drake on his mobile phone.

“Hello Drake! I was thinking that since today is your birthday, why have just a pudding? I want i to throw a grand feast for you,” she told him.

Drake was doubly excited at the thought of more delicious food.

“I am here with Tippy, the squirrel who owns the best restaurant in the forest. I am going to hand over the phone to him; just give him a list of dishes you want to eat,” she said handing over the phone to Tippy.


“Tippy, please send over one box each of all you best dishes,” he said greedily, dreaming of the sumptuous spread.

After Drake got off the phone, he was about to lie down on the sofa to rest when the doorbell rang.

“Who could it be?” he wondered as he opened the door.

As soon as he opened the door, Drake was greeted by several animals—“Happy Birthday, Drake!” they all chorused.


“We didn’t know that today is your birthday!” said Mini, the sparrow. “Who told you?” asked Drake surprised and a bit nervous.

“Gina did. Now don’t think you can get away without treating us,” said Mini flying into the house, followed by all the other animals.

After a little while,Tippy and Gina also reached the house with packets of food. The two were setting up the table in the garden that was big enough to accommodate all the animals.

Drake took Gina aside and asked her “Gina! What is all this?”

“Since you felt bad about not having anyone to celebrate your birthday with, I thought it would be nice to invite all our friends. Now we can celebrate your birthday together,” said Gina.

“But why do you want to spend so much money?” asked Drake.

“I am not spending. You are!” she said and left to make arrangements, leaving Drake shocked.

Just then, Tippy invited everybody over to the table for the lunch.

Drake was feeling miserable knowing that he would have to pay for all the food. But he could not take it any longer.

“Friends, before you begin to eat, I need to tell you all something,” announced Drake.

“Today is not my birthday. I felt like having some carrot pudding this morning, so I lied to Gina,” he confessed.

“He lied to me as well,” said Danny. “Just last month, he made me throw a party for him.”


Drake hung his head in shame. “I didn’t know that I would have to pay such a heavy price for my habit of tricking people. Please forgive me. I will not trick people anymore,” apologised Drake.

“It is wrong to lie and cheat. We only played a prank on you to teach you a lesson,” said Toby.

“And don’t worry, Drake. You don’t have to fully bear the expense of the party. We’ll all be pooling in. It is after all April 1, so this is a Fool’s Day party!” said Gina.

Drake heaved a big sigh of relief and everyone continued to have fun.

Rio’s Magical T-shirt

Rio, the rhino had moved to Lush Meadows recently. Because he was from the city, he considered himself to be superior and more intelligent than the animals in the forest.

One day Chimp, the monkey and Giro, the goat were having tea at the tea shop, when Rio stopped by.

“I was the smartest animal in the city. Everyone came to me to ask for solutions for their problems,” boasted Rio.

“That’s good to know. We will also come to you if we have any problem,” said Chimp.

“Yes. You must,” said Rio.

“But why should we?” Giro asked Chimp. “Aren’t we as smart as him?”

“Not at all!” replied Rio. “Animals in this forest are illiterate. You have to go to the city and study in order to become smart.”

We may be less educated, but that doesn’t mean we are fools,” said Chimp and walked away.

As days went by, more and more animals were getting annoyed by Rio’s behaviour. He was rude and haughty.

“Chimp, what does this Rio think of himself? He blows his own trumpet all the time!” said Kira, the cat.

“Yes, I am also fed up of his behaviour,” said Giro.

“I have an idea! If you all cooperate, then we can teach him a lesson,” said Chimp and explained the plan to his friends.


Next day, Chimp went to visit Rio at his house. “Rio, you are indeed very smart. You should be the king of this forest. You have all the qualities to be one,” said Chimp.

Rio was beaming with pride.

“But only one thing is missing,” added Chimp.

“What is missing?” asked Rio surprised.

“You look unfit. If only you worked out and became as fit as our King Leo, then no one can stop you from becoming our new king,” said Chimp.

“I think you are right. I need to be fit to become a king. I will start exercising right away,” said Rio eagerly.

Few days later, the doorbell rang at Rio’s house. When he opened the door, he saw Wonky, the donkey with a parcel. He handed it over to Rio and left.

Rio was surprised. He quickly opened the parcel to see a yellow t-shirt and a note inside. It read: “This t-shirt has been manufactured after a lot of research. It has been made with a special type of fabric. The person who wears this and walks for an hour will become fit in two days.”


Rio became happy. He did not have to work hard and tire himself out. Just a walk wearing this t-shirt will do, he thought. He immediately wore it and went out for a walk.

He met Giro along the way.

“You look smart in this t-shirt, Rio. Where did you get it from?” enquired Giro.

“Somebody sent it over as a gift. It’s a magical t-shirt,” said Rio proudly.

“Magical? What’s so magical about it?” asked Giro surprised.

“If I wear this and walk for an hour, I will become fit in just two days. If you don’t believe me, come and see me after an hour,” said Rio and continued walking.

He met Chimp and Kira too and he told them the same story.

After an hour, Rio was walking back home when he spotted a crowd gathered near his house.

Hi Rio. We were eager to see how the magical -shirt has changed you, and hence we all came here. But you look just the same,” said Wonky.

“That’s what I felt too. I don’t feel any different as well. I don’t know what went wrong,” said Rio and turned to go inside.

Immediately everybody laughed.


“Why are you laughing? It may not have worked today, but it will surely work tomorrow!” said Rio, a little embarrassed.

“Rio, we are laughing because there is something written on the back of your t-shirt. You seem to have missed it in your hurry to wear it,” said Chimp.

“What is written?” asked Chimp.

“It says ‘April Fool”,” said Kira. Rio was shocked!

“This is not a magical t-shirt; it is a regular t-shirt. We planned to make you think about becoming the king and sent over the t-shirt through Wonky. We did all this just to show you that you are not as smart as you think,” explained Chimp.

Rio was ashamed of his behaviour. From then on, he stopped blowing his own trumpet and began respecting the other animals in the forest.

A Lesson in Luck

Surya was extremely superstitious. He believed that the number 13 was unlucky, that broken mirrors meant bad luck and he should not get a haircut on Tuesday.

One day, Surya got ready early and left for school. His exam results were going to be announced that day. As soon as he got out of his apartment, a black cat walked by.

“Oh no! A black cat just crossed my path. Surely something bad is going to happen to me today,” he panicked.

At school, Surya remained very worried. Just then, his class teacher, Geeta ma’am, entered the classroom with the exam results. Everyone was anxious.

The teacher called out each student’s name and handed over their papers. When Surya’s name was called out, he went up to her looking sad.

“What happened, Surya? Why do you look upset?” asked Geeta ma’am.

“Ma’am, a black cat crossed my path while I was on my way to school. I am sure that my results are extremely bad,” he replied.

“Not at all! You have scored well. In fact, you have got the second rank. A black cat crossing your path has no impact on your exam results. It is just a superstition. What you have scored is because of how hard you prepared for the exams,” said Geeta ma’am.

“If not for the black cat, I would have stood first,” said Surya sulking.

After she finished distributing the exam papers, Geeta ma’am made an announcement. “We will be going to Elephanta Island for a field trip this tomorrow,” she said.

Everyone cheered.

“Do you know where Elephanta is?” asked Geeta ma’am.

“My mother told me that it is an island in the middle of the sea,” said one student.

“That’s right. Elephanta is an island close to Mumbai. It is also called Gharapuri. We will have to take a ferry from the jetty at the Gateway of India and travel for a distance of about 10 kilometres,” said Geeta ma’am.

She continued, “Be ready by 7 a.m. The school bus will pick each of you up from your house and take you to the Gateway jetty. We will then board a ferry to Elephanta.”

All the students left for home feeling excited about the field trip.

Next day, Surya packed his bag with the delicious snacks that his mother had prepared for him. As he was walking to his stop, the black cat crossed his path again. This time, she also came and stood next to him purring softly.

Surya froze in fear. “Something bad is going to happen today as well,” he thought.

The school bus had already arrived and Geeta ma’am was waiting for him.

“Ma’am, I will not come for the field trip. This black cat crossed my path again, and anything, bad can happen now.

So you please carry on,” said Surya.


Geeta ma’am picked up the cat and said, “Look how sweet this cat is. She will come with us on the field trip. Let’s see what happens.”

Before Surya could protest, she grabbed his hand and boarded the bus.


At the Gateway of India, everyone got into a ferry. Geeta ma’am sat with the cat on her lap.

But Surya didn’t share any of the excitement. He sat in a corner worried about what was going to happen. He kept looking at the cat which seemed to have comfortably settled on his teacher’s lap.

After an hour, the ferry reached the Elephanta Island. After visiting the caves, the students had lunch together and set out to explore the island.

“Children, we will be leaving in an hour. Make sure you assemble back here by that time,” said Geeta ma’am.

The cat was still roaming close to Surya.

Suddenly, an idea struck him! He walked deep into the woods, while making sure the cat followed him. His plan was to leave the cat there and exit the island, leaving it behind.

The black cat too seemed to walk further into the woods by itself.

“Now is my chance,” he thought and quickly turned around to walk out of the woods.

As he continued walking, Surya realised that he had lost his way. It was getting dark and scary.

A bush close to Surya shook. He jumped in fear. The black cat walked out of it and looked at Surya. It began meowing.

It walked a few steps ahead, and turned to look back at Surya as if asking him to follow it. Having no other option, Surya started followed it, and soon the cat led him out of the woods. He then spotted his friends and Geeta ma’am.

“Where did you go? We had been looking for you!” said Geeta ma’am anxiously.

Surya told her everything that had happened. “You were lucky that this cat found you and brought you back to safety. Cats have good memory and they have a sense of direction,” said Geeta ma’am.


“Now I understand how foolish I have been to believe in superstitions,” said Surya, and picked up the cat. “From now on, it will stay with me,” he said petting it. The cat too purred, looking happy in his arms.

Toothless Makes Some Friends

Toothless, the shark was lonely as he had no friends.

“What fun it would be to hang out with the sea horses and flip with the dolphins,” he thought. He daydreamed of chasing ships, watching sunsets and talking to seagulls who always had great stories to share.

It’s not that he hadn’t tried. Once he had attempted to say hello to the clown-fish, who were always clowning around, but as soon as they saw him, they turned all serious and vanished. And the clams…well, they just clammed up, much to his misery.

“How can I make some friends?” Toothless asked his mother. “And why did you name me Toothless when I have a mouth full of teeth? All the fish look confused when I introduce myself.”

“When you were a baby, you didn’t have teeth for a very long time and so the name just stuck,” his mother explained.

Toothless was still sad. Teeth or no teeth, he had no friends.

“The next time you meet someone, why don’t you tell some joke and then introduce yourself?” she suggested.

“Ok, I will try that,” said Toothless swimming away.

Soon, he came across a couple of sea turtles.

“Please don’t eat us,” they said scared, when he cornered them.

“Eat? I’ve already had my lunch,” said Toothless. “Besides, I am a vegetarian. I love sea weed. It’s great for my skin. I eat the occasional fish egg for protein…” his voice trailed off when he realised they were not listening but just trembling with fear.

“Anyway, I came to tell a joke,” he said, flashing his best smile.

“Oh, w-w-well okay. Make it s-snappy,” said the sea turtles, keeping an eye on Toothless’s teeth.

“I am here to present you with a joke. Are you ready? Okay. Why is the sea friendly?”

The sea turtles didn’t reply but just continued trembling in fear.

“Because it waves! Get it?” said Toothless amused by his own joke.

“Can we go now, please? Our mother is calling us,” said one of the sea turtles.

“Of course,” said Toothless courteously. He cleared the way and watched them wobble away as his heart sank.

“Sigh… it’s no use,” he later told his baby sister, Finfin. She was the only one who listened to him. They were playing with her coral set again and he was a little bored. How many times could one stack up the corals and giggle when you pushed them with your fin? “It is that human’s fault. The one called Iceberg or something. He made a film about us and made us look scary. It’s as if we eat humans all the time. If some silly human decides to dangle his legs in the ocean, a curious shark may take a nibble.


That’s no reason to show us as blood-thirsty monsters. In fact, humans hunt us more than we hunt them. But we don’t scream when we see humans, do we?” said Toothless angrily.

“It’s because you are a predator, son,”said his dad, overhearing him. “It means you eat all types of fish in the ocean. That’s why everyone is scared. You can’t do much to change the food chain. But why don’t you play with your cousins? There are over 300 of them, you know. Isn’t that enough company for you?”

“You just don’t understand. I don’t want to eat fish. I want to make friends with them,” he sighed and swam away sadly.

He swam for a few minutes when he spotted a big boat. There were more and more of them these days. “Oh! That can only mean one thing,” he thought. “A fishing net!”

It was getting harder for everyone to swim in peace—so many cousins and friends were missing. Today he had no time to think about all this. He had to help the fish that were caught in the net.

“Help us! Somebody help us!” cried the fish in different pitches.

He swam up quickly and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll save you!”

But one look at his teeth and all the little fish started squealing louder with terror.

“Don’t eat us!” they pleaded.

“Alright everybody, I know I have big teeth, but that can’t be helped. You must not let appearances fool you. Just close your eyes and trust me,” he ordered.

The fish closed their eyes and SNAP!

Next moment, the fish were free. Toothless had bit through the net!

Soon, fish across the ocean came to know about the helpful shark who used his teeth to help others in need. Toothless had become a legend, thanks to his big teeth!


Toothless soon made lots of friends. And he still loved telling jokes. He told everyone that if he ever met Mr. Iceberg, the film director, he would ask him to make another movie about sharks—starring Toothless as a secret agent. And what would the agent be called? James Pond!

The sea turtles always laughed the hardest at this joke.

Ricky Wins a Friend

Every year during the summer holidays, various events for children would be organised at Sunshine Woods. All the children eagerly looked forward to them.

Every year, Tito, the little turtle would participate in several events and would win many prizes. Everyone loved Tito because he was humble and always ready to help. His favourite competition was the spelling bee contest. Curled up in his shell amid stacks of books, Tito would learn the spellings of various words every day.

Ricky, a young rabbit, often came second to Tito in the spelling bee contest. He would become upset whenever Tito beat him.

This year, before the events began, Tito had an announcement to make. “I will not be participating in any of the competitions,” he said.

Everyone was shocked.

“But why? You are so good in all the events,” said one of his friends.

“I feel it’s about time I let someone else win. Others should also get a chance to win and develop their talents,” explained Tito.

But they still wanted Tito to be a part of the event.

“How about I train the other participants?” he offered.

“That is a good idea! You will be the best person for the job and other kids can learn a lot from you,” his friends agreed.

Tito was excited about his new role as a mentor. Weeks before the event, he chalked out a detailed plan, organised the training materials and sorted kids into different age groups and began training them. All the kids enrolled for the training except Ricky.

Ricky was happy to learn that Tito would not be participating in any of the competitions this year. He knew he would finally be able to win the spelling bee contest.

Soon, it was the day of the competition. Tito’s students were all excited to take part and so was Ricky. As the competition began, Tito sat on a chair close to the stage. He watched and cheered all the participants enthusiastically. At the end of the competition, the names of the winners were announced.

Ricky had won the spelling bee contest! As he walked up on the stage to receive his prize, everyone clapped for him. From the stage, he saw Tito also clapping for him with a big smile on his face.

Just then it struck Ricky that winning alone did not make one popular with others. It was one’s talent and personality that made one liked by all.


Ricky felt ashamed of having been jealous of Tito. He had always considered Tito as a competitor and not as a friend. He also had a new found respect for Tito, who instead of just winning and collecting trophies, wanted to share his knowledge and skill with others.

From that day on, Ricky became good friends with Tito, and even offered to help him with his training sessions.

Nature Springs a surprise!

One day, when Dhruv was playing in the garden, he spotted a hairy worm-like creature on a leaf.

He quickly called out to his grandfather. “Grandpa, look this strange creature! Shall I kill it?”

“Dhruv, this is a caterpillar—the young one of an insect. Why do you want to harm it?” asked Grandpa.

“But grandpa, it looks so ugly. It must surely be bad,” replied Dhruv.

Grandfather laughed. “What looks beautiful may not necessarily be good and what looks ugly may not necessarily be bad. Do you know what this caterpillar will look like when it grows up?”

“Something big, hairy and very ugly!” said Dhruv.

“Well, wait and see,” said Grandpa with a knowing smile. “Now, go ask your mother for a big, empty glass jar; clean it and bring it here.”


Dhruv did as told and returned with a glass jar. Grandpa carefully placed the caterpillar inside it along with a few leaves for it to feed on. He then sealed the opening with a handkerchief and used a rubber band to hold it in place.

Over the next few days, Grandpa and Dhruv regularly removed the dry leaves from the jar and replaced them with fresh ones.

That weekend Dhruv had to go out of town along with his parents to visit his aunt. By then, he had come to care for the “ugly” caterpillar. So he pleaded with Grandpa to take good care of it while he was away.

As soon as he returned on Monday, he went straight to see the caterpillar. But he was shocked to not find it inside the jar. As much as he tried, he could not spot the caterpillar amid the drying leaves. He was heart-broken. Just then Grandpa came in.

“Grandpa, you forgot to feed fresh leaves to my caterpillar and now it is gone!” said Dhruv sadly.

“Your caterpillar is right here,” said Grandpa smiling. He pointed to something brownishgrey in colour stuck to a leaf.

“Your caterpillar changed into this while you were away. This is called the chrysalis—a stage when your caterpillar is undergoing a transformation. It does not need any food for now,” he explained.

Dhruv was astonished. “But how, grandpa?”

“Have patience, my boy. Wait till you see the adult insect that comes out of it,” said Grandpa smiling

From that day on, Dhruv began to keep a close watch on the chrysalis. One morning, he noticed something colourful within it.


After a few hours, a beautiful yellow and black butterfly emerged from the chrysalis. Dhruv could not believe his eyes! “So, the caterpillar was a baby butterfly!” he said surprised.

Dhruv released his butterfly in the garden. “Nature is full of surprises,” he thought as he happily watched it flutter its wings and fly among the flowers.

Mattu’s Trip to Kumbhalgarh Fort

Mattu, the elephant was excited. His mother had promised him weeks ago that she would take him to a place of historical importance and that day had arrived. Together, Mattu and his mother set off early in the morning. They walked through jungles, up hills and across grasslands to reach their destination.

“Here we are!” announced Mattu’s mother. “This is Kumbhalgarh Fort.”

Mattu was at a loss for words. The fort was huge and unlike anything he had ever seen before.

Mattu’s mother explained that this fort is 1100 metres above sea level and was built by Maharana Kumbha who had also designed it. She also mentioned that it was built in the 15th century.

“What? How is it still so strong despite being built so long ago?” asked Mattu, astonished. But before she could answer, somebody had joined them. It was their guide and he’d been waiting to meet them.

Once the introductions had been made, it was time to explore the fort. The guide explained that the fort, built across several mountains was over 36 kilometres long. Mattu noticed that the walls went as far as his eyes could see. The guide also added that the walls were wide enough for four soldiers on horseback travel along it.

“This fort is almost unbeatable. Many kings have tried and failed. The only time this fort has not stood up against its enemies was when the forces of Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, Raja Udai Singh of Marwar and the Mirzas of Gujarat joined forces during a severe water shortage,” said the guide.


As Mattu and his mom looked around, they saw crowds of people in the distance. The guide explained that ever since the fort had been made a UNESCO World Heritage site, it became an important place to visit. He also told them about the Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary nearby and told them about the light and sound show that took place every evening where the history of the fort was explained.

Mattu was enjoying his tour of the fort. They passed through the fort’s seven gates. The first was called Aarothpol, the second, Hallapol, the third and most important gate was called Hanumanpol.


Just as they reached the third gate, the tourists caught up with them. They were excited to see so many elephants and wanted to click photos with Mattu and the others.

Soon, the photos were clicked and they moved on. They passed through Rampol, Bhairavpol, Fagrapol, Topkhanapol and Nimbupol.

As they passed through them, Mattu was astonished by the grand scale in which each of these gates were built. Mattu was equally surprised to see fields, ponds and step wells inside.

The guide then took Mattu and his mother to the Cloud Palace or Baadal Mahal. When they got there, they were high up in on the mountain. It seemed like they were among the clouds.

The room was decorated with beautiful paintings and the guide told them that Maharana Pratap was born here. Mattu had learnt about him and his valiant horse, Chetak in school.

The view from the top was incredible. The interesting thing about the fort was that despite being so high up on a mountain, all the trees made it virtually impossible to spot from the ground.

As the guide took Mattu and his mom deeper into the fort, he explained that despite being several hundred years old, the fort was still just as strong as it was when it was built. Seeing the state of the fort, Mattu and his mom agreed.

The guide explained that the fort was not maintained by the Archeological Survey of India.

Mattu’s mom also told him that many of the palaces in the area had been converted into heritage hotels and that a lot of facilities were available. “The Kumbhalgarh Festival is held here every year where artists from around the world come to perform,” said Mattu reading out his guide book.


Just then, a few children had gathered around them. They asked Mattu’s mom if she could give them a ride. She agreed and took them around a section of the fort. While she was gone, a few other children played with Mattu. When Mattu’s mom returned, the children were very happy and thanked her for the ride.

The guide then showed them the rest of the fort. There were many shops there and Mattu’s mom picked up a little souvenir. All the sights and sounds at Kumbhalgarh had left Mattu and his mom feeling overwhelmed.

As they went back home from their tour of the Kumbhalgarh fort, Mattu’s mom told Mattu all about the bravery of the kings of Rajasthan, and what a great architect Rana Kumbha was.

Mattu had fun, and couldn’t wait for the opportunity to go explore the great old forts and monuments near his home.



The Birthday Adventure

Dina, the deer decided to organise her birthday party on a ferry. She hired a ferry and invited all her friends.

It was a bright and sunny day when they set sail. Everyone on board was having a good time. When Dina was about to cut the cake, the ferry rocked, throwing everybody off balance.

The wind had suddenly picked up speed and was creating strong currents and big waves.

Spot, the deer, who was the captain of the ferry, was trying to control the ferry. From his cabin, he sounded the emergency alarm. “There is going to be a lot of turbulence! Please be alert and safe! I request everybody to wear their life jackets,” he announced.

Ricky, the rabbit ran to Captain Spot and asked, “What is wrong, Captain?”

“The ferry is out of control. The currents are too strong and I’m unable to steer the ferry. If this continues we may have to abandon the ferry,” said Captain Spot.

“Don’t worry, Captain. Please control the ferry as best as you can. I will try to come up with a plan,” said Ricky.

Ricky ran back to the deck. Everyone was scared. Ricky calmed them down. He then looked out to the sea with a pair of binoculars. There was no sign of land nearby but he spotted a school of dolphins. He quickly signalled to them by waving a red flag. Ricky hoped that his friend Dolly, the dolphin would be among them.

A few months ago, Dolly had washed up on the shore because of high tide. She was stuck on the beach, unable to get back into the water. Ricky and his friend Elna, the elephant had happened to see Dolly while walking on the beach.

They pushed her back into the sea. Since that incident, Dolly had become good friends with Ricky and Elna.

The dolphins saw Ricky waving for help and rushed towards the ferry.

“Hey, Ricky! Are you in trouble? What happened?” asked Dolly.

Ricky told her about the problem.

“Don’t worry, Ricky. My friends and I will help keep the ferry stable and we’ll steer

it towards the closest island for now,” she said.

“Thank you, Dolly!” said a relieved Ricky. He rushed to inform Captain Spot about

the plan.

With the help of Dolly and her friends, Captain Spot was able to steer the ferry towards an island. Everyone got off the ferry.

Captain Spot checked the ferry and said, “Oh no! The engine requires some repair and the compass is broken! How will we return home?”

Dina began to cry. “This is my fault! If I hadn’t insisted on celebrating my birthday on a ferry, we wouldn’t be stranded on this island.”

“It’s nobody’s fault, Dina. We’ll come up with a plan,” said Ricky reassuringly. He then turned to Captain Spot and said, “Captain, please try to fix the ferry’s engine. I’ll speak to Dolly and see if she can help us.”

“This is not a problem. Whenever the ferry is ready, just let us know. We’ll guide

the ferry back to your home. We know the way. We don’t need a compass,” said Dolly.

Captain Spot was able to repair the ferry’s engine. All the passengers boarded the ferry again. Dolly and her friends swam ahead, showing the way. Finally, the ferry reached home safely. Everybody thanked the dolphins.

“If it weren’t for you, we would have been stranded. Thank you, Dolly!” said Ricky.

“Yes. Thanks to you, my birthday party can continue. I would like to invite you and your friends to join us,” said Dina.

Dolly and her friends happily agreed. Everyone had a good time at the party.

Jijo’s New Bike

Jijo, the jackal loved motorbikes. He constantly asked his father to get him one.

“You are so little! You should just use the bicycle for now,” was his father’s reply.

Jijo thought he was old enough to use a bike. But all he had was an old and worn-out bicycle.

One day, Jijo decided to ask his father for a bike again. He went up to him and said, “I want a bike. I know how to drive one. Why won’t you buy one for me?”

His father said, “Bike is a lot of responsibility. Will you be able to take care of it? You should assure me that you will drive safely and follow all the rules.”

“Yes, yes, I will!” assured Jijo.

His father had a list of conditions for Jijo: “Every month, I’ll give you money for just four litres of fuel. You should use the

bike only to run important errands. You should always inform us before using the bike and most importantly, you must learn all the traffic rules.”

Jijo was a bit taken aback to hear so many conditions. He reluctantly agreed.

The following month, Jijo’s father got him a new bike. Jijo was overjoyed. He made up different excuses so that he would be allowed to ride it. And as he was allowed only four litres of fuel in a month, he could not ride very far. His friends too wanted to drive his bike. But Jijo felt restricted by all the conditions his father had set for him.

One day, Jijo’s friend, Fredo, the fox came to visit him.

Fredo said, “Jijo, there’s a fair being held on the outskirt of the forest. Why don’t we go there on your bike?”

“There’s hardly any fuel left in the bike. And I don’t have money to buy more fuel,” said Jijo.

“One litre is more than enough for us to go to the fair and return as well,” said Fredo.

“But Dad will not give me permission to go that far,” said Jijo.

“Ask your mother. She might have some errand for you to run and using that as an excuse, we can go to the fair and have some fun,” said Fredo.

Jijo informed his mother that he and Fredo were going to the market to buy some fruits. After she agreed, the two set off for the fair.

Jijo and Fredo enjoyed themselves at the fair. They had lots of fun eating ice creams and fried snacks. They went on different rides and spent the entire day there.

After it started getting dark, they set off for home. They had travelled only a small distance when the bike stopped suddenly. Jijo checked the fuel tank. It was empty.

“How will we go home now?” worried Jijo.

Fredo had an idea.

“Don’t worry! Sit on the bike and I’ll push it from behind.

After a while, I’ll sit on the bike and you push. This way, we will eventually reach home,” said Fredo.

So, the two took turns to push the bike and reached home late in the night. By then, both of them had become tired.

On reaching home, Jijo thought to himself, “My old bicycle is so much better! It looks worn out but it has never stopped working. It was good for my health as well.”

After that day, Jijo got back to using his bicycle and used the bike only when he needed to.

Riya’s Train Journey

Eight-year-old Riya was going to stay with her aunt, Anita for the summer holidays. While Riya stayed at Kurla, a residential area in Mumbai, her aunt lived in Thane, a district neighbouring Mumbai.

Aunt Anita had come to take Riya to her house. Riya was excited and had packed her bags well in advance. As they walked, Riya asked, Will we be taking the bus to your house, Aunt Anita?”

“No. The bus usually takes too long.

We’ll take the suburban train,” replied Aunt Anita.

“What’s a suburban train?” asked Riya.

“Unlike trains that connect one city to another, the suburban trains connect all the important locations within a city. They also connect the towns on the outskirts from where many people travel to the city on a daily basis,” explained Aunt Anita.

“This is going to be my first time travelling in a suburban train!” said Riya excitedly.

“In that case, let me explain everything about the suburban train system as we go,” said Aunt Anita. “But first, we need to buy the ticket.”

As soon as they reached the Kurla suburban railway station, Aunt Anita and Riya stood in a queue at the ticket counter.

“This is where we have to buy the tickets. However, there are also vending machines from which you can buy tickets faster. Passengers who travel regularly can buy a season ticket, which is valid for a long period like one or three months,” said Aunt Anita.

After purchasing the tickets, Aunt Anita said, “We can now board any train that will take us to Thane. There are fast trains with fewer stops or slow trains that stop at every station and take longer. Once we decide which train to take, we’ll need to check the board and find out which platform we need to go to.”

Riya and Aunt Anita climbed the stairs leading to the platform.

“Aunt Anita, when was the first suburban train service started?” asked Riya.

“The first local train service was started by the British in the year 1653 from the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus in South Mumbai to Thane,” said Aunt Anita.

After reaching the platform, the two found an empty bench and sat down. There was still some time for the train to arrive.

Aunt Anita pointed to an electronic display board and said, “Look up there. That board shows which train is coming next and where it is headed to.”

Riya looked at the board. The train to Thane was due to arrive at the platform.

Aunt Anita started telling Riya about the different train routes in Mumbai. “Mumbai has four train routes: Western line connects the western suburbs or residential areas; Harbour line connects the suburbs of Navi Mumbai to the central areas of Mumbai; Central line connects the areas within the centre of the city; the Trans Harbour line connects the suburbs between Thane and Panvel.”

Riya then looked around the train station. She noticed a cobbler shining a customer’s shoes, a vendor selling peanuts and several stalls selling food and magazines.

Soon their train arrived at the platform. Riya and Aunt Anita stepped onto the train and found a seat by the window.

“Being a weekday afternoon, the train is quite empty today. Good for us,” said Aunt Anita.

“Why were some people running to board a different compartment?” asked Riya.

“That is because there are different compartments in the train: the First Class compartments have tickets that are more expensive than the other compartments; Second Class compartments have relatively cheaper tickets; Ladies compartments are specifically reserved for women; and there’s one for the physically challenged, cancer patients and senior citizens for them to travel safely,” explained Aunt Anita.

“I also saw a couple of boys climbing onto the train’s rooftop. Why were they doing that?” asked Riya.

“It is against the law to travel on the roof of the train. But some do it to avoid getting caught for travelling without a ticket and some do it for fun. This is dangerous. You might also see some people hanging out of the train and waving their hands. That is very unsafe,” said Aunt Anita.

“Our train is so dirty!” said Riya, looking around the compartment.

“Yes, it is. But we are responsiblefor this dirt. Over 70 lakh people commute by local trains every day. It is we who litter the trains. Some passengers even chew paan and spit inside the compartment. We should be more responsible and stop dirtying our trains,” said Aunt Anita.

After an hour, the train reached Thane station. Riya and Aunt Anita got off the train.

“My first local train journey was so much fun. I got to learn so many things. Thank you, Aunt Anita!” said Riya, happily.

Aunt Anita smiled and said, “I am glad you enjoyed your train journey. Mumbai’s train services are constantly changing. So, in a few years’ time, the trains and the stations could be very different from what you see today. The government is introducing free Wi-Fi in the stations and installing escalators too. There are also plans to have air-conditioned compartments. This will greatly improve the experience of travelling in a train.”

Riya agreed. She could not wait to tell her friends about her experience of travelling in a local train.

A Happy Reunion

One day, a fawn was roaming around the forest with his mother and the rest of the herd. A colourful butterfly caught his attention and he began chasing it. After sometime, when he turned around, his family was nowhere in sight. They had moved on. He became scared and ran around in search of his mother. As he ran, he slipped and fell, hurting one of his legs. It was late in the evening. He did not know what to do.

The fawn noticed a light coming from far away. He started limping towards it. The light was from a house. When he reached the gate, a dog started barking. This scared the fawn, but since he could not run and was too tired, he simply sat down.

Eight-year-old Ankur came out of the house on hearing his dog bark. He saw a small animal sitting in front of the gate. But in the dark, he could not make out what it was.

“Dad, look! There is an animal in front of our house,” Ankur called out to his father.

Armed with a stick and torchlight, Ankur’s father approached the animal cautiously.

“Oh! This is a fawn! And I think he has hurt his leg,” said Dad.

Ankur walked up to the fawn and saw him staring back at them.

“He needs help. Ankur, hold the torch while I carry him inside,” said Dad.

Ankur’s father was a forest officer and therefore, he knew how to give first aid to injured animals. He picked up the fawn and brought him into the house. With Ankur’s help, his father cleaned the fawn’s wounds and covered them with bandages.

“He must have got separated from his herd. What do we do, Dad?” asked Ankur.

“We cannot do much now as it’s already dark. The fawn can stay in our house tonight. Tomorrow morning, we’ll look for his herd and return him to his family,” said Dad.

“But Dad, can’t we keep him with us?” asked Ankur.

“Son, you know how worried your mother and I get when you don’t return from the playground on time. Similarly, just imagine how worried this fawn’s mother would be. Just like you, he needs his family, too,” said Dad.

“You are right, Dad,” said Ankur. “Can I come along with you tomorrow?”

“Of course!” replied Dad, smiling. Next morning, Ankur and his father woke up early. Dad put the fawn inside a large box.

“Dad, why did you put the fawn inside a box?” asked Ankur.

“The fawn cannot walk properly as his wounds haven’t healed yet. So, we’ll need to carry him. It is easier to carry him with this box; this way, he will also be safe from being attacked by other animals in the forest,” explained Dad.

Ankur and his father then set off into the forest with the fawn. They searched the forest floor for tracks that may have been left by the herd of deer. After walking a short distance, they found the tracks.

“Look, Ankur! These hoofprints belong to the herd of deer. It must be around here somewhere. Walk quietly and keep an eye out for the herd,” said Dad.

Ankur and his father followed the hoofprints. Soon, they found the herd grazing in a small clearing. They stopped a short distance from the herd and took the fawn out of the box. They nudged him in the herd’s direction. As soon as the fawn saw his family, he cried loudly and limped towards them. His mother ran towards him and licked him all over. Ankur and his father were elated to see the fawn reunited with his mother.

Cheeku Breaks the Spell

Cheeku rabbit went to the palace to meet King Shersingh.

“What’s the matter, Your Highness? Why did you want to see me urgently?” asked Cheeku

“I’m sorry to have disturbed you so early in the morning, but have you read today’s newspaper?” asked King Shersingh.

“I haven’t read the paper yet, Your Highness. I was still sleeping when you called and I came immediately,” replied Cheeku.

“There is a report in Champakvan Times about a theft that took place last night. The thief has stolen lots of valuables from Blacky bear’s jewellery shop,” said King Shersingh, pointing at the newspaper.

“Two more robberies have also took place recently. The police needs to be more vigilant,” said Cheeku.

“Yes, you are right. However, I want to draw your attention to something else mentioned in the report. Here, read the newspaper report,” said King Shersingh, handing the newspaper to Cheeku.

According to the report, the thief entered Blacky’s shop at around midnight and stole all the jewellery. It also mentioned that the thief’s face was captured by the CCTV cameras installed in the shop and he was identified as Baddy fox.

Cheeku was astonished. “How is this possible? Isn’t Baddy in jail?” he asked.

“This is what I wanted to discuss with you, Cheeku. Yes, Baddy is in jail. The guards have also confirmed that he was in jail last night,” said King Shersingh.

“Could it be possible that Baddy escaped from jail for a few hours and somehow managed to get back by morning?” asked Cheeku.

“No, Cheeku. That is not possible as the jail is well guarded and there are cameras installed everywhere. There is no way he could have got out unseen,” informed King Shersingh.

“Maybe a guard may have helped him to get out of jail,” said Cheeku.

“That’s not possible either. I have full faith in all the guards working at the jail,” said King Shersingh.

King Shersingh hesitated for a moment and then said, “There is one more thing. Baddy knows black magic. Do you think he could have used it?”

“Black magic? Have you also started believing in such things?” asked Cheeku.

“A few days ago, Champak Times reporter Sonu deer had interviewed Baddy. At that time, Baddy claimed that he knew black magic and that he could use it to travel to any place and do anything. Now, more questions will be raised after these robberies,” said King Shersingh.

“This is indeed a complicated matter,” said Cheeku.

“Cheeku, you are the only one who can solve this. Please do something,” King Shersingh said.

“I’ll start working on this right away,” assured Cheeku.

Cheeku called up Meeku and requested him to help. The two then went to Blacky’s jewellery shop. After asking the police for permission, Cheeku and Meeku went inside and saw that everything was in a mess.

Cheeku then repeatedly played and checked the camera recordings. When Meeku saw a smile on Cheeku’s face, he said. “I think you have found a clue. Do tell me as well,” said Meeku.

Cheeku paused the recording and pointed to the screen. “Look carefully,” he said. “Three animals walk in to steal the jewellery. Two of them have covered their faces with a mask. However, only Baddy’s face is not covered. He also keeps looking at the camera. It appears as if he wanted his face to be captured by the camera.”

“You are right. But how is it possible for Baddy to be in two places at the same time?” asked Meeku.

On that “I am confused as well. Let’ go talk to Baddy,” said Cheeku.

Cheeku and Meeku went to the jail.

“What is the matter, Cheeku?” asked Baddy casually.

“I want to ask you a few questions,” replied Cheeku. “Where were you last night?”

“I was right here, practising black magic,” replied Baddy.

“So, it wasn’t you that broke into the jewellery shop last night?” asked Cheeku.

“Ha ha! That was me! Using black magic, I can travel to any place. These bars can’t restrain me!” replied Baddy.

“I am sure there is some explanation behind all this. I will find out soon,” said Cheeku.

“What if Baddy puts some spell on you?” asked Meeku nervously.

“Black magic is a hoax. He is trying to fool us. Come, let’s meet Jumpy monkey, the jail warden,” said Cheeku.

Jumpy was eager to meet Cheeku. He asked, “Were you able to find out how Baddy was able to get out of jail? Does he really know black magic?”

“I haven’t fully understood what is happening but I know that there is some trickery going on. Please give me the list of people who came to visit him recently,” said Cheeku.

“Only Laptu jackal comes to meet him. Both of them speak for a long time, but the guards don’t understand what they talk. They talk to each other in a different language,” said Jumpy.

Cheeku was intrigued. Meeku noted the date and time of Laptu’s visits. They then went to meet Titu butterfly. Cheeku requested her to keep an eye on Laptu. Next morning, King Shersingh called Cheeku and Meeku to the palace.

At the palace, King Shersingh said, “There was a robbery again last night. Items worth lakhs of rupees have been stolen from Damru donkey’s shop. The cameras in the shop show Baddy and two other masked animals stealing everything.”

Cheeku and Meeku were astonished. They immediately went to Titu. She told them everything she had observed about Laptu.

Cheeku and Meeku returned to their house and devised a plan. Then, he called some of the animals to help.

“We have to spread a rumour about a diamond that is kept in the Champakvan museum. Let it reach Laptu’s ears that since there are so many robberies happening, King Shersingh has ordered it to be shifted to another museum in the neighbouring forest. As this is being done in a hurry, there won’t be much security and there will only be a few cameras in the room,” Cheeku told the animals.

As planned, the rumour reached Laptu. So, he rushed to the jail to meet Baddy.

When Titu informed Cheeku about it, he said, “We will get to know everything tonight.”

That evening, Cheeku and Meeku went to the museum and hid behind some bushes from where they could see the entrance clearly.

By midnight, a vehicle came to halt outside the museum. Three animals alighted from the vehicle and entered the museum.

Cheeku quickly phoned the police. The police arrived and arrested all the three animals inside the museum. King Shersingh too arrived at the scene.

“How come Baddy is here when he should be in jail?” asked King Shersingh.

“That is because this is not Baddy, but his look-alike,” said Cheeku smiling.

Everyone was shocked!

“The look-alike is the one who committed all the robberies. While committing the crimes, Baddy would pretend to use black magic. Thus, everyone started believing that Baddy was using black magic to move in and out of jail.”

The look-alike said, “Yes, he is right. My name is Bobo. I recently came to Champakvan in search of a job. When Laptu saw me and he befriended me and then told me about this plan. I agreed to do this as I was in need of money.”

Bobo added, “Laptu would meet Baddy and make plans. They communicated in some secret language so that no one would be able to understand them.”

Meeku turned to Cheeku and asked, “How did you figure out Bobo is a look-alike?”

“Bobo’s face was clearly seen in the camera recordings of all the shops. Although Bobo looks like Baddy, if you observe carefully, you will find some differences. Also, the recording shows Baddy with long nails, but that afternoon when I visited him, he had short nails. That is why I thought that the robber was not Baddy but his look-alike.” Everyone praised Cheeku for his intelligence.

The Special Pooja

All the animals of the forest of Doodlevan were worried about the late arrival of monsoon. The pond had dried up, so they had to go far in search of water. Every day, all the animals and birds would gather around the biggest banyan tree, looking up at the sky for any sign of rain.

One day, Loki, the eagle informed the animals that he saw Jacky, the jackal walking towards Doodlevan with two monkeys who looked like babas.

“Why are they coming here?” asked Popo, the parrot.

“To make it rain in our forest,” said Loki.

“Who told you?” asked Eddie, the elephant.

“Jacky told me. They are all well-known babas. After they perform a special pooja here, it will begin to rain and all our worries will be over,” replied Loki.

“I don’t believe it,” said Charlie, the rabbit.

“Why do you say so?” asked Miko, the mouse.

“This seems suspicious. This could be a trick. These monkeys will rob everyone and escape from the forest,” said Charlie.

“How do you know?” asked Loki. “I believe these babas can do anything. They have divine powers.”

“So, let them make it rain wherever they are. We didn’t ask for it,” said Charlie.

“Come on, Charlie. It is just a pooja. Everyone believes it will rain after the pooja,” said Loki.

“Everyone?” asked Charlie.

“Yes, even King Leo, the lion believes it. That’s why he has asked me to inform everyone about it. The pooja will start tomorrow itself.”

“What?!” exclaimed Charlie and Miko.

“There is nothing to be surprised about,” said Loki, flying away to tell others.

By evening, the news had spread throughout the jungle. Jacky and the two babas, Chimpu baba and Chiko baba, began preparing for the pooja.

“Chimpu baba is always in meditation and does not like to be disturbed. It was only on Jacky’s request that he agreed to come to Doodlevan to

perform the pooja,” said Chiko baba.

“It is very kind of him. If the monsoonis delayed anymore, we’ll all be forced to move out of this forest,” said Loki.

“It has not rained here because the values

of honesty and justice are not followed. This has displeased the gods. That is why the clouds have changed their path,” said Chiko baba.

“You are right,” said Loki.

“Now, we will need different items for the pooja. A feast must be organised after it pooja,” said Chiko baba.

“What is Chimpu baba’s fee?” asked Loki.

“That depends on your devotion. The more gifts you give Chimpu baba, the more you will benefit. Though Chimpu baba wishes well for everyone, the one who gifts him the most will receive special blessings,” explained Chiko baba.

Charlie listened to the conversation from a distance. He called Miko and asked him to keep an eye on Chimpu baba.

“But why do you not trust the babas?” asked Miko.

“My friend in Riddlevan told me that a couple of months ago, two notorious monkeys cheated many animals in their forest by selling fake gold bars. Once the animals complained to the police, the monkeys vanished. The police are still looking for them. So, I have a suspicion that these two babas could be those monkeys in disguise,” explained Charlie.

Charlie went to talk to Boko, the bear about his suspicion. Since Boko worked for King Leo, he would be able to alert him.

“Are you sure?” asked Boko.

“Yes. Look here,” said Charlie, showing Boko a photo on his phone. “My friend just sent me the photos of the two monkeys wanted by the police at Riddlevan. Don’t they look like Chimpu baba and Chiko baba? We need to arrest them.”

“But what about the pooja? What if it does rain after it?” asked Boko.

“Boko, delayed monsoon has got nothing to do with angry gods wanting to be pleased. It is to do with us mindlessly cutting trees and using up groundwater. We must harvest rainwater, plant more trees and use water sensibly,” said Charlie.

“You’re right. We need to stop these monkeys before they cheat us. I think Jacky too is involved. I’m going to inform Inspector Giro, the giraffe right away,” said Boko.

As soon as Jacky, Chimpu baba and Chiko baba saw the police, they tried to escape but Inspector Giro managed to catch them.

The other animals were surprised. Boko then explained everything to them. Everyone thanked Charlie for his alertness.

“Now I hope everyone has understood that we cannot make it rain by performing some pooja but only by planting trees and harvesting rainwater,” said Charlie.

A Lesson under the Lake

One day, during the summer vacations, sisters Ashna and Prachi, went to Lumbini Park in Hyderabad to see the statue of Gautama Buddha, built on a small island in the middle of the Hussain Sagar Lake next to the park.

To see the statue up close, visitors had to take a ferry from the park to the island. Being vacation time, there was a long queue for the ferry ride.

Ashna was bored. “When will we get on the boat, Didi?” she asked her sister.

“It looks like it is going to take a while. That is why I asked you to bring a storybook to read,” replied Prachi, looking at the long queue.

Prachi liked to read books. She carried one wherever she went. It came in handy while waiting—be it at the doctor’s clinic, the salon, or even at the supermarket check-out counter.

Ashna too liked to read books, but she preferred making up stories in her head over reading.

As the sisters waited in the queue for their turn to board the ferry, Ashna heard someone calling out to her. She turned around and saw a girl in the lake.

“Hello, Ashna!” greeted the girl.

“Hello,” Ashna replied hesitantly.

“I am Mandira,” said the girl. “Are you waiting for the ferry ride?”

Ashna nodded her head.

“It’s going to take you a while to board the ferry. In the meantime, why don’t you come visit my house? I live in this lake,” said Mandira.

“Really?” asked Ashna surprised. “How can I visit you?”

“Just hold my hand,” said Mandira.

Ashna held Mandira’s hand and slipped into the water. That’s when she saw that Mandira did not have legs. She had a tail fin like a fish! Ashna realised that Mandira was a mermaid.

Ashna and Mandira held hands and swam all around the lake. Mandira led Ashna deep underwater. There were many fish, frogs, tiny crabs and some small water snakes as well.

“Mandira, is that a lizard?” asked Ashna, pointing to a lizard-like animal.

“No, Ashna. That is a salamander. It looks like a lizard but is actually an amphibian,” said Mandira.

“What is an amphibian?” asked Ashna.

“Amphibians are creatures that live on land as well as in water, like frogs. Although salamanders look like lizards, they are comfortable both inside and outside of the water,” explained Mandira.

Ashna was amazed. The salamander waved at her before walking away. Another sight caught Ashna’s eyes.

“Look, Mandira! There is a snail stuck in the mud near the edge of the lake,” said Ashna.

“No, Ashna. That’s not a snail; it’s a slug. A snail has a shell on its back but slugs don’t,” said Mandira.

“You know so many things, Mandira!” said Ashna in awe.

“That’s nothing, Ashna. The lake is my home. So, I know all my neighbours,” said Mandira.

“But why do they look unhappy?” asked Ashna.

“This is because of the pollution caused by human beings who dump garbage and other waste in the lake. This makes the lake dirty and dangerous for us to live in,” said Mandira.

Ashna saw a beautiful palace ahead, but the walls were very dirty. “Is this where you live?” she asked Mandira.

“Yes,” replied Mandira.

“Why is it so dirty?” asked Ashna.

“Not just mine; everyone’s house is dirty. We clean our houses every day, but by evening, they become dirty again. Polluted water from factories, homes and hospitals flows into the lake. Many creatures have died because of this. They cannot breathe in this dirty water,” said Mandira sadly. “See those children standing at the edge of the lake? They are throwing empty plastic covers into the water. These covers choke small fish and turtles.”

“Oh!” Ashna was very sad to hear all this. “Please tell me how we can help you, Mandira.”

“You can start by asking you family and friends to protect the lake by not throwing garbage into lakes and rivers; recycle and reuse plastic; dispose them responsibly.

Besides keeping our water bodies clean, it is also important to plant trees to ensure adequate rainfall,” said Mandira.

“I will surely tell my family and friends to do their bit for our planet,” promised Ashna.

“Thank you, Ashna,” said Mandira, who was back to her cheerful self again. “Come, I’ll take you back to your sister. Hold my hand.”

Suddenly, Ashna heard her sister calling out to her. “Wake up, Ashna! It is our turn to board the ferry.”

Ashna woke up and looked around dazed.

“Oh, Didi! Was this all a just a dream?” asked Ashna.

“What was?” asked Prachi puzzled. Ashna narrated her dream to Prachi.

Prachi smiled and said, “Though it was only a dream, there was a harsh truth in your dream. Our planet is full of garbage that is harming the environment.”

“Yes, we must speak to our parents, teachers and classmates, and tell them to keep our rivers, lakes and ponds clean. We should plant more trees as well,” said Ashna. The sisters agreed to take steps to make the planet greener.

Greedy Cockroaches

A group of cockroaches lived in a garbage bin outside a five-star hotel. They were leading a happy life, feasting on a variety of tasty food discarded from the hotel’s kitchen. They were growing fatter by the day.

Cockroaches love to eat. In fact, there may be no other creature as gluttonous as the cockroach. It can eat almost anything—from decaying plants and dead wood to sweets, meat, vegetables and rice. Because of this unique quality, cockroaches have been able to outlive dinosaurs and may even outlive humans.

Mojo, one of the cockroaches that lived outside the hotel, was the fattest. He dreamed of entering the hotel and living a life of luxury—eating fresh food and partying like the humans.

One day, Mojo was looking into the hotel from the window as usual when Rojo came up to him and said, “Mojo, stop dreaming about entering the hotel. This is a five-star hotel. Cockroaches are not allowed inside!”

“I know that. But no one can stop me from entering it. You just wait and watch,” said Mojo stubbornly.

“Mojo, this is for your own good. You have no idea how scared humans are of cockroaches. They worry about us spreading diseases. So, they use insect sprays to kill us,” said Rojo.

“Don’t worry, Rojo. Nothing will happen to me. I am too smart for the humans,” said Mojo confidently.

Right then, an employee of the hotel came out and emptied the garbage bin. On seeing this, Mojo and the other cockroaches hungrily jumped on the pile of discarded food to eat it.

After that day, Mojo began looking for ways to enter the hotel. One day, Mojo noticed an opening in the ground. He entered it and realised he was inside a water pipe that led directly into the hotel. He eagerly walked along the pipe. After walking a short distance, Mojo succeeded in reaching the hotel’s restroom.

As soon as he was inside the hotel, Mojo screamed and danced happily on the toilet seat in the restroom. He felt like he had won a lottery.

That day on, Mojo would hide in a dark corner and sleep all day. At night, he would come out of his hiding spot and enjoy the parties, dance and eat all the fresh, delicious food.

After two months inside the hotel, Mojo missed his friends. So, he decided to pay them a visit. Mojo wore a suit and went outside through the water pipe to meet them.

All the cockroaches were surprised to see him.

“Hey, Mojo! You look great! Where have you been all these days? Have you been roaming around the city?” asked Rojo.

“What will I do roaming around the city in this heat? I have been living comfortably inside the hotel. I missed all of you and so, I came to see you,” replied Mojo.

“What? Have you been living inside the five-star hotel? Didn’t the humans chase you out?” asked another cockroach surprised.

“Humans are not that sharp. I’m having so much fun hiding right under their noses. They have no idea of all the mischief I have been up to. I am clever, aren’t I?” said Mojo proudly.

“Yes, you indeed are. But tell us, what have you been eating and doing inside?” asked another cockroach. They were all curious.

“You have no idea of the variety of food I get inside. I eat fresh fruits, cakes, pastries, ice creams and vegetables. I also enjoy listening to good music and dancing during their parties,” said Mojo.

“Wow! You must take us with you when you go in again. We are all fed up of staying in this smelly garbage bin. We also want to live a comfortable life like you,” said all the cockroaches.

Mojo thought about it and said, “Okay. I will take you inside the hotel but under one condition—you have to accept me as your leader.”

“That’s no big deal. From this moment onwards, you are our leader. Now, lead us into the hotel,” they said.

Rojo was not happy about the plan. He was worried for his friends’ safety. He tried to make them understand.

“Friends, please listen to me. Don’t go inside the hotel. If the humans see you, they will kill you,” reasoned Rojo.

“Rojo, you are just jealous of Mojo because he lives a life of luxury and that we made him our leader. You can stay here if you want, but we are going,” said the other cockroaches.

“Do as you wish. As your friend, it is my duty to caution you,” said Rojo.

Mojo waited till it became dark and then said, “Friends, now is the right time to enter. Nobody will see us. Just follow me.”

He led the other cockroaches through the water pipe and into the hotel. Once they were inside, the cockroaches were elated!

“Wow! Imagine the kind of food we will get to eat hereafter!” they said.

Mojo was proud that as their leader, he was the one to have led them into the hotel. He too celebrated with them.

Soon, the big group of cockroaches became hungry. They found lots of food laid out on a table. They swarmed it and started feasting on it.

The humans got scared on seeing so many cockroaches. They started screaming for help.

The manager of the hotel rushed to the spot. “This has never happened before. We’ll quickly kill all the cockroaches and clear the place. Please do not worry,” he assured the guests.

Since the cockroaches were busy eating the delicious food, they were unaware of the danger that lay in store for them. The employees sprayed an insect-repellent on the cockroaches.

Immediately, the spray started to take effect. The cockroaches began to feel giddy and started swaying.

“What is happening? Are we dying?” they panicked. “We shouldn’t have come here at all. We only came because Mojo lured us into the hotel. See what our greediness has cost us. We should have listened to Rojo.”

“Why are you blaming me?” snapped Mojo. “You asked me to take you inside the hotel. Because of you all, even I have been exposed.”

The cockroaches were struggling to breathe.

“My head is spinning.”

“I can’t see clearly!”

“I need fresh air!”

After all the cockroaches became unconscious, the employees swept them into a bag and threw them out into the garbage bin.

Rojo was shocked to see his friends lying unconscious in the garbage bin. He rushed to check on them. He tried to revive them up by shaking their heads and legs. One by one, the cockroaches woke up.

As soon as he saw Rojo, Mojo started crying. “Oh, Rojo! I should have listened to you. Instead, I took others with me into the hotel and put their life in danger. Please forgive me. I will not do anything foolish again,” he said.

“I hope you have learnt that we all have our own place. The dustbin is ours, while the hotel belongs to the humans,” said Rojo.

That day on, the cockroaches did not complain about their life. They were happy to look at the hotel from the outside.


Monty mouse was the leader of Miceville where many mice lived. One pleasant morning, Monty was having tea when a messenger from Elephant Town arrived with a message from Eddy elephant, the chief of Elephant Town.

The message read:

Dear Monty,

I hope you are doing well. As you may be aware, humans are cutting down trees in Elephant Town. This has forced us to move out our forest in search of a new place to live. But when we move to other forests, the animals there complain that we occupy too much space.

I heard that there is an unoccupied patch of land near Miceville. I checked the place and it looks large enough for the elephants. Since that land belongs to you, I request your permission for the elephants to live there.

We won’t come into your town unnecessarily and intrude. We will set up our own shops; that way, we will not need to visit your town. I would also like to request you to help us whenever hunters try to capture us.

You could cut the nets with your sharp teeth and rescue us. If you allow us to live in your forest, we will help you whenever cats threaten you.
I hope you will agree to my plan. Look forward to your reply.

Monty found the proposal agreeable. So, he immediately replied to the message inviting the elephants to live in the forest. The elephants were happy to receive a positive response.

After one week, the elephants moved into the forest. The elephants and the mice lived together peacefully and happily. The elephants saved the mice from cats and the mice saved the elephants from hunters.
After a few years, the mice changed the name of their forest to Friendsville.

The Proud Red Car

The stylish new red car was proud and boastful.

“I am much more beautiful than you,” it showed off to the other cars.

“Yes, you are,” agreed the old white car. “You are beautiful and technologically advanced than the rest of us.”

“And I forgot to tell you something,” said the red car. “My rear view mirror also doubles up as an electronic monitoring system. When I am reversing, it shows me if there is a vehicle or an object behind me. It makes a sound to alert me if it is too close to me.”

Does this help avoid accidents?” asked the white car.

“Yes,” replied the red car proudly.

Just then, Tommy, the dog walked by. Every day, he would climb up the hood of the white car and sleep for a while. Today, too he climbed up the white car. But then, he saw the red car and thought, “Here’s a new car today. Maybe I should sleep on it.”

The red car got scared on seeing Tommy preparing to jump on it. “If that dog jumps on me, he’ll cause dents and scratches. I must avoid him,” thought the red car.

As Tommy jumped, the red car quickly moved forward, taking him by surprise. Tommy fell on the ground. He was hurt. He got up, barked at the car and then walked away.

After a while, “I am going for a drive now,” said the red car.

“I’ll come with you, too,” said the

white car.

Just then, the red car had an idea. “Why don’t we have a race?” it suggested excitedly.

“You are sure to win,” said the white car. “I am old and heavier than you. I cannot move as fast as you.”

“That’s no excuse. Are you scared to race with me?” asked the red car.

“Not at all! Let’s race,” said the white car.

The cars took their positions next to each other. On the count of three, they set off fast down the highway. Initially, both the red and white cars were neck to neck, driving at the same speed. But the red car slowly increased its speed and raced ahead.

“See how fast I am!” said the red car, taking its eyes off the road to look back at the white car.

“Look out for that truck!” shouted the white car alarmed.

The red car saw a big goods truck heading straight for it. Since it was travelling too fast to apply the brakes on time and the road was narrow, the red car had no option but to veer off the road to avoid crashing into the truck. As it did, the red car skidded and toppled.

The white car rushed towards the red car which lay on the side of the road with its wheels up in the air. It was shaken up by the accident.

The white car, being heavier, pushed the red car and made it upright.

“Are you okay?” asked the white car.

“Yes, I am. Thank you!

If you hadn’t warned me, I would have been crushed into that truck,” said the red car gratefully.

“Speeding may be fun, but it is dangerous. Don’t worry. Except for a few scratches and dents, you still look beautiful and bright. Speed is your strength; learn to use it wisely,” said the white car.

“You are right. My pride blinded me from seeing how each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses,” said the red car. “I promise to drive more carefully hereafter.”

From then on, the red car was humble about its strength and appreciated everyone else’s too.

A Friend in Need

“Children, I have an announcement to make. A new student is joining our class today,” said Neha Ma’am.

A strikingly fair boy walked into the classroom.

“This is Varun,” introduced Neha Ma’am.

Varun smiled shyly. Some students smiled back while others turned their faces away.

“He looks like a ghost! I don’t want to be friends with such a weird-looking person,” said Rahul.

“Me neither,” said Shriya.

Rahul and Shriya avoided Varun. They would have lunch together and play together, but they did not invite Varun to join them. They began to avoid Sandeep as well as he was friends with Varun.

“Because of me, Rahul and Shriya have stopped talking to you,” said Varun sadly.

“So what? You are such a good friend to us. We don’t understand why they don’t speak to you,” replied Sandeep.

Soon, most of the students became friends with Varun. He was friendly, helpful and good at studies too. But Rahul and his friends constantly gave him trouble.

One morning, in class, Shriya saw Varun talking to a classmate. She went to Rahul and said to him, “Now is your chance. Varun is busy talking to Sheetal.”

When Varun got up to go for the assembly, Rahul quietly stuck a label on his back. As Varun walked towards the auditorium, the other students laughed at him. Varun was puzzled.

Sandeep pulled the label off Varun’s back and said, “Rahul stuck this on your back.”

The label read “Snow White”. Varun became sad.

Later that day, Varun and his classmates were in the Chemistry lab. Their teacher, Shilpa Ma’am was demonstrating the reactions caused by combining different liquids.

“Observe what happens when I mix these two liquids,” said Shilpa Ma’am, adding liquid from one test tube to another. “See how its colour changes and its gives off a pungent smell. Now, all of you try this for yourselves using the liquids set on the table before each of you. I will be back in five minutes,” she said and went out of the lab.

Rahul opened the cupboard and took out a beaker with some liquid in it. He poured the liquid into the test tube he had in his hand.

“Rahul, don’t!” Varun tried to stop him. But it was too late.

The smoke from the liquid scared Rahul. He screamed and fainted. The other students gathered around Rahul helplessly. Varun held him up and loosened his shirt.

“Open all the windows. Rahul needs to breathe fresh air,” Varun told his friends.

Shilpa Ma’am rushed into the lab. On seeing Rahul lying unconscious, she sprinkled some water on his face. Rahul slowly woke up.

“Are you alright?” asked Shilpa Ma’am. Rahul nodded his head weakly.

“Why did you use the liquid that was inside the cupboard? The reaction it caused was too strong. That is what made you faint,” said Shilpa Ma’am.

Rahul apologised to his teacher.

“You must thank Varun. His timely actions helped you recover faster,” said Shilpa Ma’am.

Rahul went up to Varun and said, “Please forgive me. You helped me despite the way I have been treating you. You are a good friend. ” Varun smiled and hugged him.

Detective Damru

One evening, Damru donkey was watching a movie on television starring the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. He became so inspired by the movie that he decided to become a detective too.

Damru went to the market and bought a long overcoat and a hat, similar to the one worn by Sherlock Holmes. He also bought a beautiful cane and a magnifying glass.

He looked in the mirror and said to himself, “I look like a perfect detective now!”

Damru walked around the market, but no one seemed to notice him. He was puzzled.

Damru walked past a shop selling spice powders. The smell made him want to sneeze. Right at that moment, a thief was running away with some stolen jewellery.

As Damru sneezed hard, his cane accidentally hit the thief who fell down, crying in pain. The crowd caught the thief and started beating him. Though initially taken by surprise, Damru quickly got into the act.

“Friends, please do not take the law into your own hands. Hand the thief over to the police. Let me call the police and tell them that I’ve caught the thief as planned,” said Damru coolly.

The crowd stared at Damru surprised.

“You knew about the theft, Damru?” asked Monty jackal.

“Don’t call me, Damru; call me Detective Damru 008. I knew a theft was going to take place in that shop, so I was standing here to catch the thief,” said Damru, adjusting his hat.

“Wow! Great job, Detective Damru!” said Dina deer admiringly. “But how did you know that a theft was going to take place?” me such information,” said Damru.

Everyone was very impressed with Damru. Many approached him with requests to help solve their problems. Damru asked them all to meet him in his office.

Damru’s office was a shed with a big board outside that read, “World-famous Detective Damru 008”. It also had a stunning photo of Damru in his overcoat and hat, with a magnifying glass in hand.

To manage the flood of clients, Damru hired Jumpy monkey and Meeku mouse as his assistants. Both of them were intelligent and hence were able to solve the animals’ problems easily. Damru merely pretended to supervise them.

Gradually, Damru became famous. He had spread word around Champakvan that his informants would know in advance about any thefts that were going to take place and inform him accordingly. So, promptly all the thefts stopped. The animals were relieved but all the thieves began to worry.

Late one night, Laptu jackal, Baddy fox and a few other thieves were discussing the situation.

“How long do we sit quietly without planning a theft?” asked Laptu.

“If we plan a theft, then Detective Damru’s informants will come to know about it,” said Baddy. He then had an idea. “Let’s not plan our next theft. Let’s just go rob Champakvan bank right away. That way Damru will not be prepared,” he said.

All the thieves agreed to the plan. That night, Damru was unwell. He was on his way to the pharmacy to buy medicines. Just as he was walking past Champakvan bank, he became too tired to walk. So, he stopped and called his friend Blacky bear for help.

Blacky was a police officer. He was on his usual night patrol when Damru called.

“Hello, Blacky! Can you come to the bank now? I need help with something… What?…The constables are with you? Yes, bring them as well,” said Damru.

The thieves who were breaking into the bank overheard Damru. Assuming that he was alerting the police, the thieves ran away. As they were running, they came face-to-face with Blacky and his constables who immediately arrested all of them.

By morning, the news about how Damru helped catch the thieves in spite of being unwell spread all around Champakvan. to everybody. He was the talk of the forest.

There was another gang of thieves that lived on the outskirt of Champakvan. The leader of the gang, Hiru hyena, hatched a plan to steal from King Shersingh lion’s royal treasury.

“I’m scared! What if Detective Damru learns about our plan?” asked Roko racoon.

“Damru’s network of informants is small. He won’t know about our plan. Moreover, he won’t dare to confront a dangerous gang of thieves like us,” said Hiru.

That night, Hiru and his gang broke into the palace and robbed the treasury.

Next morning, when King Shersingh came to know about the robbery, he was furious. He summoned Damru right away.

“You get information about all thefts beforehand. Why didn’t you stop the thieves from stealing from my treasury?” roared King Shersingh.

Damru was nervous. He could not reveal to King Shersingh that he had been bluffing about getting information from informants. So, he made up another lie.

“Your Highness, it is true that my informants alert me about all thefts beforehand. But in this case, it looks like the gang of thieves do not belong to Champakvan. They must have come from the neighbouring forest of Sundervan, where I do not yet have a network of informants,” said Damru seriously.

“You have two days to find and arrest the thieves. I will send four soldiers to help you,” said King Shersingh.

“As you say, Your Highness,” said Damru and went back home.

Damru knew that if he did not catch the thieves, he would have to face King Shersingh’s anger. On the other hand, he did not have the courage to catch the thieves.

“Now I realise that being a detective is not easy,” thought Damru. “Perhaps I should run away from Champakvan!”

Damru looked out of his house and saw King Shersingh’s soldiers standing outside.

“I won’t be able to run away either. What do I do now?” he wondered sadly.

Damru’s anxiety increased with each passing moment. Meanwhile, Hiru got to know about King Shersingh’s order to Damru.

“Can Damru catch us in two days? Is he really that smart? I must go and see for myself as to what Damru is up to,” thought Hiru.

At around midnight, Hiru sneaked up to Damru’s house. He climbed up a tree from where he could look into Damru’s house.

Hiru could see Damru looking out the window. He seemed to be saying something.

“You have landed yourself in deep trouble! The soldiers will surely catch you and behead you! You better confess right now before things get out of hand,” said Damru.

Hiru was alarmed.

“Oh no! Damru has seen me! That’s why he is threatening me. I better surrender. I don’t want to be beheaded!” thought Hiru.

Hiru ran to Damru to ask for forgiveness.

“Please don’t make the soldiers behead me. I’ll return all the valuables that I stole from the treasury,” pleaded Hiru.

Damru was surprised. “I was talking to myself about confessing to King Shersingh that I’m not really a detective. But the thief thought I was talking to him!” he thought to himself.

But Damru pretended that he had indeed spoken to Hiru. “Okay. Since you have surrendered, I will talk to King Shersingh and ask him to give you a lenient punishment,” assured Damru.

Hiru was grateful to be spared from getting beheaded. He revealed the spot where the other thieves were hiding as well. Damru informed the soldiers who then arrested Hiru and his entire gang.

King Shersingh congratulated Damru.

“You have proven that you are an excellent detective. I wish to honour you by making you the official detective of my kingdom,” said King Shersingh.

Damru was shocked. “Oh no! Looks like I really have to plan my escape from Champakvan this time!” he thought.

The Missing Pen

“See what my father gifted me!” said Sonal, excitedly waving a red pen.

Her classmates gathered around to see it.

“Wow! What a beautiful pen!” exclaimed Ruhi.

The others nodded their heads in agreement.

“Let me show you a trick,” said Sonal. As soon as she unscrewed the pen’s cap, a light shone from the pen—like torchlight—and a song started to play. Everybody stared at the pen in disbelief.
Later that day, after the lunch break, Sonal looked for the pen in her bag, but it was missing. Bewildered, she checked every compartment in her bag, but her pen wasn’t in any of them.

“Where could it be?” Sonal wondered to herself. Just then, the class teacher, Rashmi Ma’am entered the class.

“What happened, Sonal? You look worried. Have you lost something?” asked Rashmi Ma’am.

“Yes, Ma’am. I have lost the pen that my father gifted me,” said Sonal.

“You may have kept it somewhere and forgotten about it. Why don’t you check your bag thoroughly again?” suggested Rashmi Ma’am. Sonal searched her bag again but she still couldn’t find the pen.

“It isn’t there, Ma’am. I kept it inside my pencil box before stepping out during the lunch break. But when I came back it wasn’t there,” said Sonal.

It may have fallen down. We’ll help you look,” said Raman. All the kids in the class began looking for the pen.

When it still wasn’t found, Sonal began crying. “What if someone stole it?” she said.

“Don’t cry, Sonal. If somebody has taken it, then we’ll surely find out,” said Rashmi Ma’am. She then turned to the class and said, “I want all of you to form a queue. I’m going to check you all one by one.” The students started queuing up. Suddenly, they heard someone say, “What is going on here?”

It was Principal D’Souza. He was walking by when he heard the commotion inside the classroom and decided to check. After Rashmi Ma’am told him about Sonal’s pen, Principal D’Souza said, “But making everyone stand in a queue and checking each one of them is not right. It’s like giving punishment to all of them instead of the wrong-doer.” Addressing the children, Principal D’Souza said, “It’s wrong to take others’ things. See how bad Sonal feels about losing her pen. If any of you have taken her pen, admit your mistake and return it to her; I assure you that you will not be punished.”

Ruhi stepped forward hesitantly. She took the red pen out of her pocket and held
it out.

“I’m sorry. I stole the pen when Sonal had stepped out during the break. I liked the pen so much that I wanted it for myself,” said Ruhi and burst out crying.

“I am proud of you, Ruhi. It takes a lot of courage to admit one’s mistake, that too in front of everyone,” said Principal D’Souza. “I hope you will not repeat
the mistake.”

Sonal felt bad for Ruhi. She went up to her and said, “Ruhi, if you like this pen so much, then please keep it. My father got my brother a similar one. We’ll share.”

“Well done, Sonal!” said Principal D’Souza and Rashmi Ma’am. All the children clapped appreciatively.

Woes of the New Coach

The station master blew his whistle. The train was about to start. People rushed to board the new coach attached to the end of the train. Seeing the crowd, the new coach got scared.

The new coach had comfortable seats, clean curtains, high-speed fans, and LED bulbs. The windows, flooring, and ceiling were newly designed. It had internet connectivity as well!

The engineer looked at the new coach and said, “Your strength will be put to test today.”

The train chugged along and it stopped at many stations on its way. More passengers preferred to board the new coach and soon, it was full.

When more people tried to enter the new coach, it screamed at them.

“Hey stop! There’s not enough room for everyone! Why don’t you go and sit in the older coaches?” it said.

But none of them listened to it.

“Wow! You look beautiful,” said an old coach next to the new coach in one of the stations.

“I know I am! But you are so dirty!” said the new coach, making a face.

“I didn’t choose to be dirty. It’s the passengers who made me dirty. If they stop throwing trash and instead treat me like they do their homes, I too would have looked bright and clean,” said the old coach.

“You are just making up excuses,” said the new coach arrogantly.

Just then it saw a passenger blow his nose and wipe his dirty hand on the window. The new coach became angry.

“Hey, you! Stop making me dirty!” it shouted.

But the passenger didn’t listen. It then understood what the old coach had said was true.

“You are right! It is people who make us dirty,” it agreed.

The old coach was very happy that the new coach understood its problem.

“I am being taken for a wash today. But even after that, I will not become as beautiful and clean as you,” said the old coach.

When it was time to leave again, many passengers crowded the new coach.

“Enough! Please stop,” screamed the new coach. But the passengers didn’t listen.

The new coach was so angry that it refused to move. The passengers and the engineer wondered what was wrong.

“Please don’t do this,” warned the old coach.

“Why shouldn’t I?” asked new coach stubbornly. “It is not my responsibility to carry so many people. I will only take 50 people otherwise, I refuse to move. I will not take anyone beyond my capacity,” said the new coach.

The old coach tried to make the new one understand but it refused to listen. The engineer checked the new coach and found nothing wrong with it. He was puzzled.

He then finally said, “This coach cannot be used anymore. We’ll have to take it to the shed where the other useless coaches are kept.”

At the shed, the new coach was happy. But its happiness was short-lived. It was gathering dust and its metal frame was beginning to rust as it lay on the tracks unused.

The new coach waved to the other trains that passed by pleading them to stop.

“Please take me along,” it would cry.

The old coaches would respond saying, “Sorry but we cannot take you along with us. You are new, but you are not able or ready to take the load that we carry.”

That is when the new coach remembered what the old coach had said: “People only care about things that work and are of some use to them. No one cares about things that are lying around unused.”

“The old coach was right. Now, I’m doomed to spend the rest of my life in this shed without being used or cared for,” the new coach thought to itself.

A few days later, the new coach saw a flurry of activity. It was fastened with ropes and lifted from the shed by a crane. When the new coach learnt that it was being taken to the workshop to be fixed and used again, it became elated.

This time, the new coach resolved to work without a protest.

The Happy Bus of Champakvan

The animals of Champakvan had become grumpy and tired.  They had turned selfish and stopped helping each other.

Damru donkey was unhappy about this change that had come over all the animals. He decided to do something about it.

Damru decided to start a bus service to help tired animals reach different places within the forest. This would save their time and energy.

The fares were kept low to ensure that everyone could avail the bus service. Cheeku rabbit was appointed as the driver of the bus and Damru was the conductor.

Early morning, each day, the big brown bus would start from one end of Champakvan with the grumpy Cheeku at the driver’s seat and the cheerful Damru standing by the entrance.

At every stop, Damru would open the door and welcome the animals inside. Once inside the bus, he would help them find seats.

This happy attitude of Damru continued throughout the journey.  Inside the bus, the grumpy animals jostled for space. They would cling on to the handles dangling from above.

Some animals like Baddy fox would place their bags on the seats, not making space for other animals to sit.

“Arrey, Baddy,” Damru would say, gently but sternly. “Please keep your bag up in the luggage cabin and allow Squiggy some space to sit.”

Baddy would grudgingly obey his order.

If Cheeku resorted to rash driving, Damru would warn him about the consequences.  “Speed thrills, but kills,” he would say.  “Moreover, think about your family. What will they do if something happens to you?”

The grumpy animals of Champakvan did not like Damru’s sunny attitude.

“He is new to this bus business. That is why he is pretending to be nice to everyone,” said Baddy.

“Yes, yes, he is pretending,” said Laptu jackal.  “No one is good to anyone unless they have a hidden motive.”

“You’re right. Damru will show his true colours in a few days,” Baddy said with a grin.

When Damru’s attitude did not change with time, it only made all the animals grumpier.

One bright morning, Jumpy monkey got into the bus. As usual, Damru walked up to him to issue the ticket. Jumpy looked in his pockets, bag and pencil box for the money.  When he couldn’t find it, he realised that he must have forgotten to carry money that day. He was sure that Damru would kick him out of the bus.

“Damru, I forgot to bring the money…” Jumpy said apologetically. “Actually, it’s my mother’s mistake.  She forgot to put the money in my pencil box.”

The other animals were eagerly watching the incident play out.  They believed that they would finally get to see Damru’s true nature.

But then, Damru did something unthinkable.  “Never mind, Jumpy. Next time, don’t forget your money,” he said and moved on to the next passenger.

Jumpy was taken by surprise, and so was everyone else in the bus. Jumpy felt a wave of relief and gratitude wash over him.

When Kangy kangaroo, with a baby in her pouch, hopped into the bus after a few stops, Jumpy immediately stood up and offered his place to her.

Jumpy had done something selfless after a very long time. Kangy, too, felt happy because for the first time she felt like someone cared for her.

While getting down at her stop, Kangy thanked Jumpy wholeheartedly. She had been polite for a change.  The other passengers, who witnessed this, liked what they saw. After a long time, all of them felt genuinely happy.

“I didn’t realise that being polite and well-behaved is so easy,” said Blacky bear, squeezing into his seat to make space for Squiggy. Both Blacky and Squiggy exchanged happy glances.

Gradually, the goodwill and friendship that the animals shared inside Damru’s bus, spread outside as well. One day, Roby, the old rhino, was struggling to get into the bus while Damru was busy issuing tickets. Meeku mouse quickly got up from his seat and held Roby’s hand, helping him board the bus. He even gave up his seat for Roby.

Damru was watching all of this from the corner of his eye. Observing the animals interact politely with each other brought a bright twinkle in his eyes and a wide smile on his lips. His heart hummed a happy tune.

Damru’s bus service helped the grumpy animals of Champakvan look at the happy side of things again!

Zizu’s sticky situation

Zizu, the zebra came from the city to Sonavan. Soon he became friends with Banjo, the elephant and Rebu, the rabbit.

Zizu liked the atmosphere of the forest. It was less polluted and there was greenery all around.

Zizu had no place to live. He spoke to Rebu about this problem, “Rebu, can you please help me find a house?”

“Don’t be troubled. There is a vacant house near my home. You can stay there,” said Rebu.

Zizu came to the new house with his luggage.

Early next morning, Zizu was sleeping when Banjo and Rebu came in.

“Zizu, it is morning. Wake up! Let’s go for a walk,” said Rebu.

Zizu woke up rubbing his eyes.

“Why did you wake me up so early? I have not slept properly. I never woke up before ten o’clock in the city,” Zizu complained.

“Zizu this is not a city, it is a village. Here everyone sleeps early and wakes up early. You should get into the habit of waking up early too.

It is good for your health,” explained Banjo.

“I do not want to go anywhere. Let me sleep,” refused Zizu.

“Excuses won’t work. We will not leave without you,” said Rebu.

Zizu had to agree after Banjo and Rebu insisted.

“Okay. I will come along,” said Zizu.

They started to take rounds of the ground. Upon completing just half a round, Zizu started to pant, “Stop! Stop! I can’t walk anymore.”

“Walking in the morning is beneficial for your health,” explained Rebu.

At first, it was troublesome for Zizu to wake up early in morning. But later, he started to enjoy his morning walks.

“Banjo, the environment here is so fresh,” Zizu said with a deep breath.

“Yes, there are a lot of differences between a city and a village,” Rebu said with a smile.

One day, the three friends planned a picnic along the river.

On Sunday they packed things to eat, a ball and bat to play with and also a football. When they reached the river, a cold breeze was blowing.

Spotting a place, Rebu put laid a mat and placed all the things on it.

Banjo too started to relax. Just then Zizu spotted a mango tree, a little far away.

“You both wait here. I will go and get some ripe and juicy mangoes,” said Zizu as he ran towards the tree.

“Zizu, that is a dangerous spot. Please stop. There are muddy puddles around,” said Banjo trying to stop him.

Zizu was greedy for the mangoes. He ignored them and ran towards the tree.

“Wow! I’ve seen ripe mangoes after a long time. I will eat them till my stomach is full,” said Zizu looking at the mangoes.

There were many mangoes on a low branch. Zizu started to pluck them with his arm extended.

He filled his pockets with the mangoes and grabbed some with his other arm. He leaned a little forward to pluck the mangoes when suddenly his foot slipped.

He lost his balance and fell down. His legs got stuck in the muddy puddle.

Zizu tried to free his legs with all his might but he was unsuccessful.

Banjo and Rebu ran to help Zizu.

Banjo shouted angrily “I told you not to go there!”

“Banjo please calm down. This is not the time to get angry. Zizu is in danger. We should think about how to pull him out,” explained Rebu.

Hearing the noise Chirpy, the bird came down. Seeing Zizu stuck in the puddle, she got worried.

“There is a dangerous marsh near the mango tree. That is why no one goes there. If someone gets stuck in the marsh, then it is difficult for them to get out,” said Chirpy.

“Chirpy, Zizu is new to the forest so he did not know about the marsh,” said Banjo worriedly.

“But you are not new to the forest. You should have stopped him,” scolded Chirpy.

“Honestly, even we did not know about the marsh. What has happened cannot be undone but we must think of a way to save Zizu as fast as we can,” said Banjo softly.

On the other hand, Zizu looked nervous. He was continuously trying to pull his leg out. But because of his heavy body he was sinking deeper in the marsh.

Rebu tried to explain to Zizu, “Zizu, do not worry. We will get you out. Please don’t move around.”

Rebu collected some tree vines. He tied them together to make a rope.

He threw the rope to Zizu and said, “Zizu, hold on to the rope.”

At the other end, Rebu and Banjo slowly started to pull the rope. But, Zizu’s body was stuck deep in the marsh. Despite many attempts Zizu could not be pulled out.

“What should we do now? Zizu is stuck quite deep in the marsh,” said Banjo.

“Rebu, if we put water in the marsh then the mud will loosen up. It will be easier to pull Zizu out,” Chirpy suggested.

Everybody liked Chirpy’s suggestion.

Banjo immediately rushed to the river. He filled his trunk with water. He started to spray water near the marsh. Banjo repeatedly poured water in the marsh.

After half an hour, Banjo’s hard work started to pay off. The mud started to loosen up a little because of the water.

Rebu and Banjo made another attempt to try and pull Zizu out. This time Zizu started to come out slowly.

After a while, Zizu was pulled out of the marsh without any injuries.

Rebu and Banjo sighed in relief once Zizu was out.

With teary eyes Zizu said, “Please forgive me. You all had to suffer because of my mistake.”

Rebu smiled and replied, “Zizu, your life was saved because of Chirpy’s practical thinking.  It was upon her suggestion that we were able to save you from the marsh. You should thank her.”

Zizu thanked Chirpy. Chirpy too fluttered her wings and started to chirp.

The Best Plan

A long time ago in a village called Bulgaria, there lived a trader named Kultaai. He was very intelligent. He had a horse named Koni, upon whom he would travel for his business trips.

On a cold day, Kultaai was riding the horse on his way to the city. The horse was galloping, so it did not feel cold. But, Kultaai was shivering.

Kultaai wanted to reach the city as soon as possible. He patted the horse’s back and said, “Koni! Run faster.”

Koni ran as fast as it could but Kultaai ended up feeling colder and started shivering even more.

Just then Kultaai passed a hotel outside the city and noticed some people sitting around a campfire, feeling its warmth. He stopped outside that hotel.

Kultaai went near the campfire, but there were too many people already sitting around it. There was no space left for him. He then shook his hand with the people there and said, “Hello! I am Kultaai.”

The people also said, “Hello!”

Kultaai had imagined that people around the campfire would scoot over and ask him to sit next to them. However, he was in for a rude shock as they didn’t invite him to join them. He felt upset and was left shivering in the cold.

Kultaai then thought of an idea to ensure that he too got a seat around the campfire to bask in its warmth through this cold evening.

Kultaai went inside the hotel.

“Is there anything to eat?” asked Kultaai.

“Yes! Why not?” said the hotel owner, “What will you eat? We have roti, sabji, soup among other things,” said the owner as he recited the names of the food items on the menu.

“My horse is very hungry. Can I get some hot soup for him?” he spoke loudly.

Hearing what Kultaai said the people sitting near the campfire started to wonder if a horse could drink soup too.

Just then the waiter who was sitting around the campfire went in and got some hot soup for the horse.

All the people got up from around the campfire and went close to the horse and said, “Let’s see how it drinks the soup.” But the horse didn’t drink the soup.

Right then the waiter screamed and said, “Sir! The horse is not drinking the soup.”

“No problem! Maybe Koni does not feel like drinking soup today,” said Kultaai loudly.

“Bring the soup here, I will drink it. You can give the horse some chickpeas and grass,” said Kultaai and sat near the campfire, soaking in its warmth and feeling better in the chilly weather. Everybody came back and sat around Kultaai.

The intelligent Kultaai got a seat near the campfire because of his clever idea.

Mimi’s Mistake

Mimi, the young mouse lived with his parents near a tree on which Squeaky, the squirrel lived with her son, Neo. Mimi’s parents and Squeaky were good friends. Whenever Mimi’s parents went out of town, Squeaky would look after him. She loved Mimi like a son.

One day, when Squeaky was returning home from the market, she saw Mimi on the way.

“Hey, Mimi! Could you please help carry the bag to my house?” asked Squeaky.

“I’m sorry, Aunty! I have a severe stomach-ache. Please ask someone else,” said Mimi and ran away.

“How strange! He has a stomach-ache and yet he can run so fast!” Squeaky thought to herself. After she reached home, Squeaky handed the bags to her son, Neo and requested him to put the things in their place.

“Mum! I hope you remember your promise to buy me a bicycle,” said Neo while arranging the items on the shelf.

“Yes, I remember. I will buy you one soon,” assured Squeaky.

Neo had been asking for a bicycle for several days now. Since Squeaky was running short of money, she was unable to buy one as yet.

One evening, Mimi was riding his bicycle outside his house.

“Mimi, can I please ride your bicycle for some time?” requested Neo.

“If you want to ride a bicycle, why don’t you buy one?” said Mimi and rode away. Squeaky who heard the two talking, went up to Neo and explained, “Mimi’s bicycle is too big for you. You won’t be able to ride it until you’ve grown a bit older.”

“All right, mum!” said Neo and went away to play with his friends. Right then, Mimi’s mother, Milli stepped out of her house and saw Squeaky standing outside.

“Hello, Squeaky! I need your help. I’m going out for a few days. Mimi is old enough to stay home alone. But if something comes up and I give you a call, will you be able to check on him?” asked Milli.

“Of course, Milli. Don’t worry. I will keep an eye on him,” assured Squeaky.

A couple of days after Milli left, Mimi fell ill. Milli called Squeaky at once and requested her to take Mimi to the doctor, as she would take another two days to return. Squeaky rushed to Mimi’s house and called the doctor. The doctor arrived and checked Mimi. The doctor prescribed some medicines and advised him to take good rest.

Squeaky did not want to leave Mimi alone, so she brought him to her house. She took great care of him by giving him the medicines as prescribed and cooking his favourite dishes. When Mimi saw how Squeaky looked after him without expecting anything in return, he felt ashamed.

Mimi apologised to Squeaky. “The other day, I did not want to carry your bag. So, I lied about having a stomach-ache. I did not let Neo ride my bicycle either. But you still love me and take great care of me. I’m really very sorry, Aunty,” he said.

“You don’t need to apologise, Mimi. I didn’t feel bad when you refused to carry my bag. If Neo refuses to help me out, will I feel bad? Of course, not!” said Squeaky.

“But I should have helped you, Aunty. You are older to me, and I should have listened to you. I shouldn’t have lied to you either. You are too kind to me,” said Mimi and hugged her. Squeaky smiled and hugged him back.

The Cunning Monkey Milo

Milo, the monkey was very cunning. He enjoyed taking away things from others.

One day, he chanced upon Freddy, the donkey. Freddy had recently shifted to Sundervan. As he was new, he did not know about Milo’s cunningness.

Namaste Freddy! How are you?” Milo said with a loving voice, so Freddy greeted him with a smile too.

“I just came here to tell you to be careful in this forest. I will take your leave now,” said Milo and he started to leave.

Now Freddy became very restless.  He stopped Milo and asked, “What do you mean?”

“I cannot tell you about it out here,” said Milo after checking both sides for onlookers.

“Ok. Please come inside. Let’s have tea and snacks, and talk,” said Freddy as took Milo to his house.

Taking sips of tea, Milo said, “It’s not a good idea to make friends with anyone in this part of the forest. They are all selfish. They spread false rumours about each other.”

Listening to Milo, Freddy got cautious. He started believing trusting Milo’s words. In the beginning, Milo would come only once a week to meet him, but slowly he started coming over every day. Freddy was a kind person and he believed everything that Milo said.

But Milo had not changed his nature.

One day when Freddy was about to leave for work, he was surprised to see Milo at his doorstep.

“Oh! Milo, you’re here at this hour? Do you have some important work?

“Freddy, actually there is no water in my house. I thought I might take a bath at your place.”

“Ok, I am leaving for my office. You can take a bath. I will take the keys from you later.”

Freddy handed over the responsibility of his house to Milo and left. Now Milo was free to have fun. After taking a bath he comfortably lay down on the sofa and started to eat his breakfast. He took out all of the food and drinks from Freddy’s freezer and tasted them. When Freddy returned in the evening, he was surprised to see Milo in his house.

“What happened Milo? Are you feeling well?” he asked.

“Actually, I felt so dizzy that I could not get up from the sofa,” said Milo holding his head. “Now that you have come back home, I will leave for my house,” said Milo as he got up and reached for the door stumbling.

Just then Freddy stopped him and said, “Are you crazy? Stay here tonight. You can leave tomorrow morning.”

Freddy forgot about his exhaustion and started taking care of Milo.

The next day, Milo kept sleeping till late in the morning.

“How are you feeling now?” Freddy asked Milo.

“I feel better but still a little dizzy,” said Milo making an excuse again.

Freddy was concerned.  “I’ll take a leave from work and stay with you at home,” said Freddy and started to call his boss.

“Oh Freddy! Why would you go through all that trouble? I’ll be fine. You should go to work. I will return to my house anyway. Can you just get me some juice before you leave?” said Milo slowly.

He did not want Freddy to stay back at home or else he would not be able to eat his favourite food or watch his favourite TV channel.

“Ok!” said Freddy and before leaving for his office, he went to buy juice from Meera, the mouse.

“What happened Freddy? You always buy curd. Why are you taking juice today?” asked Meera casually.

“Milo is not feeling well. I am taking this juice for him.”

Hearing Milo’s name Meera replies angrily, “Don’t talk about him. He is a very cunning liar.”

Listening to Meera say this Freddy got very angry. “Meera! How can you say these things about my friend?”

Meera was baffled at Freddy’s loyalty and said, “Okay, tell me the whole incident.”

Freddy then told her everything that had happened until now.

Meera understood that Milo was fooling around again. She explained, “Look Freddy, you need to be careful. Have any of your belongings disappeared? Just confirm that. If you find something missing then understand that Milo is fooling you.”

After buying the juice, Freddy returned back home. He gave the juice to Milo and checked the refrigerator.  He saw that the stored food was missing, so he became very alert. He thought of something, looked at Milo and said, “I am leaving for work. It will be very late before I return. Take care of yourself.”

“You don’t need to worry. I will return to my house soon,” said Milo.

Now Freddy left his house and went around to the back. There was a small window from where he could easily see what’s happening inside the room. He saw that Milo immediately got out of the bed, switched on the TV, took out some ice cream and juice from the refrigerator and started to eat.

“Now I understand what he was up to,” said Freddy.

Freddy was very angry at Milo. He immediately called his friend Dani, the bear who was a doctor and asked him to come to his house. Soon after, he entered the house with Dani.

Seeing Freddy and Dani in front of him suddenly, Milo got confused.

“I was not feeling too well so I was watching TV. But why did you come back so early?”

“I thought that we should get you treated by Doctor Dani,” said Freddy as he gestured.

Dani immediately made Milo lie on the bed and started to examine him.

“Oh! His health does not look too good. He needs an injection quickly,” said Dani. He took out an injection from his briefcase.

“After taking this injection, you will have to get admitted in my hospital. You treatment will go on for a week. Then you will be perfectly alright. Now give me my fees of 500 rupees”

Listening to Dani, Freddy immediately took out and gave a 500 rupees note from Milo’s jeans.

“What did you do? Why are you giving my money away?” said Milo protesting.

“Milo, you shouldn’t get angry. If you are alive, you can earn a lot of money.” said Freddy. “I will get you admitted in the hospital. At the most it will cost you 3-4 lakhs. But your health will be perfectly alright.”

Listening to this, Milo started to shiver. He understood that his actions had been exposed. Immediately, he began to run away.