Ratu, the mouse loved to draw and paint. His two best friends were his brush and his set of paints. While he had a lot of fun drawing and painting all day, his parents and family members were worried. They believed that Ratu was wasting his time drawing and painting all day.
They wanted him to study hard and become a successful engineer or a famous doctor.
The only animal in the entire forest who appreciated Ratu’s drawing and painting was old Lambu, the monkey, who was a painter himself. One day, Lambu said, “Ratu, I just heard that the king is going to conduct a big painting exhibition.”
“But Lambu Uncle, why are you telling me this?” asked Ratu.
“Why Ratu, because you’re one of the best painters this jungle has ever seen. This exhibition will be a great platform for you to showcase your work,” said Lambu.
Ratu thought Lambu was pulling his leg. Nobody had ever told Ratu that his paintings were good, let alone call him a good painter.
Ratu said, “I know you’re making fun of me Lambu Uncle. Why would anybody allow somebody like me to showcase my work in one of the biggest art exhibitions in the jungle?”
Lambu understood that Ratu was yet to realise his true worth. He was yet to understand the true potential of the talent hidden deep inside him. Lambu asked Ratu to meet Kaalu, the jackal, the animal in charge of the exhibition.
Kaalu was a famous painter too. He had put up several exhibitions and had gathered lots of fame and fortune. Ratu showed Kaalu some of the paintings Lambu had asked him to take with him. Kaalu realised that Ratu was an excellent painter. Jealous, he decided to put Ratu down.
Kaalu tossed Ratu’s paintings aside and said, “You call this art? Anybody with a brush and a paint set could produce drawings like these. If you put these up at the art exhibition, it would be a disgrace.”
Thoroughly dejected, Ratu walked back home. On the way, he met Lambu Uncle. With tears in his eyes, Ratu narrated everything that had happened. Lambu Uncle was wise.
He knew exactly why Kaalu had behaved this way.
Lambu Uncle took Ratu straight to the jungle’s art college. His good friend, Nathu, the bear was the arts professor there. Nathu took a look at Ratu’s paintings and was blown away.
“Ratu, I must say, you have a lot of potential. Seeing that at such a young age, you have so much talent, I’m sure you’ll become a great painter very soon,” he said. “Tell me, are you taking part in the art exhibition?” he asked.
Lambu told him everything that happened at Kaalu’s house. Nathu immediately went to his computer and began typing. He printed out a sheet of paper and said, “Ratu, you are going to present your work at the art exibition. If Kaalu stops you, just show them this letter of recommendation from me,” said Nathu and wished him luck.
Ratu and Lambu went straight to Kaalu. Seeing them Kalu said, “What are you doing here once again? Did I not tell you that your paintings weren’t good enough for the exhibition? If you think Lambu’s recommendation is going to get you a spot here, you’re sadly mistaken.”
“No sir, I’m just here to give you this letter from Prof. Nathu from the arts college,” said Ratu handing Kaalu the letter.
Kaalu had no choice now but to let Ratu in. Nathu was too powerful and well respected to cross.
On the day of the exhibition, Ratu had displayed all his best paintings. King Babbar dropped by to see all the paintings being displayed and had brought the famous painter, Lumumba, the giraffe, from Africa.
Among all the paintings at the exhibition, Babbar and Lambu loved Ratu’s paintings the most.
They bought one of Ratu’s paintings for two lakh rupees and soon, all of Ratu’s paintings were sold. Ratu had never been happier and both Lambu and Nathu couldn’t help but hold back their smiles. They were proud of Ratu.
As King Babbar and Lumumba left the exhibition, they praised Ratu’s skill and called him a diamond in the rough. Kaalu, jealous at first soon realised the error in his ways. He understood that like diamonds, true talents shine brightest only after they have been discovered.