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In order to encourage the inhabitants of Champakvan to plant more trees and spread awareness about the environment, King Shersingh announced a competition wherein whoever had the best garden would be awarded a prize. It was announced that in a month’s time, Shersingh would personally visit each citizen’s garden and judge it.

All the animals became excited about the competition and started planting several trees and shrubs with beautiful flowers in their homes.

“It’s useless, Jumpy! All your hard work is going to be for nothing,” said Baddy fox upon seeing Jumpy monkey plant trees in his garden.

“What do you mean?” asked Jumpy.

“I mean that I have the most beautiful garden in this entire forest. It has some of the prettiest flowers you would have ever seen! So, I am going to win the competition hands down,” said Baddy proudly.

Jumpy merely ignored Baddy’s remark and continued tending to his plants.

“Oh, look there! That simpleton Damru donkey is walking by with his leaky bucket again,” laughed Baddy. “Almost half the water he carries in it is wasted along the way.”

“I don’t understand why he doesn’t buy a new bucket to carry water instead. What a miser!” commented Jumpy.

The two of them started making fun of Damru but Damru paid no heed to their comments and continued on his way.

After a month, on the day of the competition, Shersingh walked around the forest and visited each house and looked at their garden.

“Your garden is very beautiful, Baddy. I am impressed,” said Shersingh appreciating Baddy’s garden. Baddy was overjoyed and was sure that he was going to be adjudged the winner.

“You are right, Your Highness! But there is another garden which is also beautiful and has lots of different varieties of flowers,” said Minister Blacky bear. “I request you to take a look at that one as well. It’s on the South path leading to the river.”

“The South path? But no one uses that path to go to the river,” said Shersingh surprised.

“That’s true, Your Highness. But on that very path, there are many plants with plenty of beautiful flowers of different colours,” said Blacky.

Shersingh wanted to see the flowers for himself and walked towards the path followed by Blacky and the other animals.

There, Shersingh was mesmerised by the sight—several varieties of colourful flowers lined the path. It was the most beautiful patch of the garden he had seen so far.

A Walk in the Garden

“This is undoubtedly the prettiest flower bed in the forest! If someone had planted these, I would surely have declared them as the winner,” said Shersingh.

“Your Highness, I don’t know if someone has planted these, but someone surely has watered them. This part of the forest couldn’t have gotten water on its own. I would advise that whoever has watered these plants should be announced as the winner,” said Blacky.

“You are absolutely right, Blacky. The aim of the competition is to promote a love for nature and encourage citizens to plant more trees. And someone seems to have done just that, even if it’s not in their own garden,” said King Shersingh.

Just then, Damru walked towards them with a leaky bucket from which water was leaking and falling over the plants along the path.

“Your Highness, there he is! I think he’s the one who waters these plants,” said Blacky.

“But he’s not watering the plants! His bucket is leaking and the water is falling on the plants because of it,” said Baddy in protest. He was afraid that he may not get the prize.

“We’ll find out about that,” said King Shersingh and went up to Damru. “Damru, don’t you know that your bucket is leaking? By the time you reach home there won’t be any water left,” said Shersingh.

“Your Highness, I only need half a bucket of water, and by the time I reach home, the bucket still stays half full,” said Damru.

“But why waste so much water? And why do you bother using this long route to go to the river? There is a much shorter path which everyone else uses,” said Blacky.

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“The thing is, I love gardens but I don’t have space at my home to plant new trees. A few months ago, I accidentally found this spot and decided to plant some saplings here,” explained Damru.

“But the leaking bucket…” Blacky began to ask.

“Actually, I am quite busy these days, and I don’t get time to water these plants. That’s why I carry this leaky bucket to the river so that on my way back, the plants get watered automatically,” said Damru.

Baddy and Jumpy were astonished that Damru, who they thought to be foolish, turned out to be very smart.

Shersingh was impressed by Damru’s efforts and declared him the winner of the competition. Everyone congratulated Damru, including Baddy and Jumpy, who also apologised for making fun of him.