Venki, the bear, kept his luggage in his car and turned to his wife, Shyamali, “Hurry up, darling! It is already six, and we need to start any minute now! Where are Blacky and Browny? Are they ready?”
“They have gone out to the beach. They wanted to say goodbye to their friends before leaving, since they won’t be seeing them until after the holidays,” said Shyamali quietly.
“They had to do this now! It is a long way to Nandavan, the long journey there is so tiring. We will have to take a break along the way too, and that will take more time. I want us to reach home by afternoon and eat lunch there,” Venki explained to Shyamali.
“I know, but you know how our two boys are. Besides, they have become good friends with the Otter’s children Chintu and Mintu. They should be back soon, just you wait,” Shyamali consoled.
“I have a better idea. Let’s put all our things in the car. We’ll go over to the beach, pick up the kids and start for Nandavan,” Venki said.
Shyamali and Venki packed everything in the car, and drove to the beach. They spotted Blacky and Browny talking to their friends, Chintu and Mintu.
As Shyamali and Venki neared the children, Chintu and Mintu greeted them, and introduced their friends to them. “Uncle, aunty, this is Shweta, the swan, Kaku, the tortoise and Sonu, the fish,” said Chintu.
They greeted the children, and the children went back to their conversation. They had brought gifts for Blacky and Browny. Before Venki could ask the children to come, Chintu and Mintu’s parents Uday Singh and Billo also came there. They were carrying a package with them. They introduced themselves to Shyamali and Venki.
“The children informed us that you are all going to Nandavan today. We packed some seafood for the journey. Hope you like it.” Said Uday Singh.
“We do not get seafood in Nandavan, thank you so much!” said Venki. He really enjoyed seafood and his mouth had already started to water. “This is very kind of you. I hope it wasn’t too much trouble?”
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“Oh no, it is no trouble! Consider this a gift from us. We have plenty of seafood here.”
A thought crossed Venki’s mind: ‘It is so kind of this family to give us gifts. And there I was, getting angry at my children for taking so long to say goodbye to them.
“Venki,” said Uday Singh, bringing him back from his thoughts, “Why don’t you go keep the food in your car. That way you’ll be ready to leave as soon as the kids are done talking.”
Venki went over to his car to put the food in it, when he noticed that a tyre was completely flat. He figured that it must be punctured, and he set about changing the tyre.
Venki had changed tyres before, and it didn’t take him long to change the punctured tyre. He turned around, and was shaken by what he saw – a saltwater crocodile was creeping up behind Uday Singh and was about to eat him!
He had to think fast! Venki grabbed the nearest thing – the car jack – and ran towards the crocodile with great speed.
Uday Singh was astonished to see Venki do this. He turned around, and he too was frightened at the sight of the crocodile, who was almost about to eat him!
But, thankfully, by that time Venki had already reached the mouth of the crocodile and had put the car jack inside its mouth. No matter how hard the crocodile tried, it could not close its mouth! That gave Uday Singh and Venki enough time to escape, and take their families and the kids with them.
Somehow, the crocodile managed to spit out the jack and go back into the sea. But, thanks to Venki, everyone was safe and sound.