More from Champak
Solve the mystery of the blue dye with Cheeku and Meeku!

Long, long ago, in Champakvan, the animals were not aware of any advancements in technology. They lived simple, happy and satisfying lives in
the forest.

Meeku mouse was a resident of the forest. He had completed his education in England and recently returned to Champakvan.

He had brought back with him a box, three times larger than himself, and called it a ‘fridge’.

After he settled in, his neighbour Skippy squirrel came to visit him. “Oh! What have you brought with you? It is huge! What will you keep in it?” she asked, laughing heartily.

“This? It is called a fridge. It will cool things in no time. I can keep whatever I want to store, like vegetables and fruits. Open it and see,” Meeku replied, looking proudly at his shining new fridge.

Skippy opened the door of the fridge and was filled with joy when she got a cold blast of breeze. “Wow! This fridge is wonderful!” she exclaimed.

She was called a tale-carrier in the forest as she was good at spreading news. So the news of the new fridge spread in the forest like a wildfire.

Soon crowds started gathering outside Meeku’s house to see the fridge. After all, it was the only fridge in the forest. Everyone would enter the house one-by-one and enjoy the cold blast of air from the fridge.

Meeku was forced to demonstrate his fridge to everyone. He would say to himself, “If only I had not told Skippy about the fridge! I should have told her that it was a simple box to store things. Then the word would not have spread this fast. So many animals wouldn’t gather and I would use my fridge for storing
my food.”

Soon, as time passed the number of visitors to see the fridge declined and now he could easily use it for storing.

One day, Skippy said, “Meeku, do you know my house is under the open sky?”

Meeku nodded his head in agreement.

“The tree I stay on is placed right under the harsh sun. My house becomes an oven in the afternoon and I get baked like bread. Can I live in your fridge instead?”

“How can you live in a fridge?” Meeku was shocked at this unusual request. “That is a fridge, not a hotel. You will be frozen inside.”

“Oh! I have enough warm clothes with me,” said Skippy, waving her sweater. “I will squeeze in a small corner, please….”

How could Meeku refuse her? “Okay. Bring your luggage,” Meeku frowned.

Skippy was overjoyed. She ran and quickly gathered her belongings. She came and dumped them in the vegetable container of the fridge and closed it from inside.

The very next day, Cheeku rabbit arrived at his house. He was a farmer and Meeku bought vegetables from his farm.

“Hello, how are you? I need a little help from you,” he said and Meeku understood, looking at the juice bottles in his hand that he needed his fridge for storage.

“This is carrot juice. Will you keep these bottles in your fridge? In my home, we all are very fond of cold drinks.”

Meeku was frustrated and it was now visible on his face.

“What happened, Meeku? Any problem?” asked Cheeku.

Meeku didn’t want to refuse Cheeku’s request. What if he stopped selling him vegetables. So, he managed a weak smile and said, “Keep them inside and consider it your own fridge.”

Cheeku promptly filled the fridge with his containers and made this a daily routine.

Skippy loved her stay in the fridge. She only went out to gather food and quickly returned. All the vacant place in the fridge was taken up with Cheeku’s juice jars. Meeku was unable to completely utilise his fridge.

Frustrated with the situation, he went to Blacky bear’s ice shop.

“Oh, Meeku, why are you here? You have a fridge at home, don’t you? What do you need here?”

Meeku narrated his plight.

“You are too nice, Meeku. These people are not bad, however, they are taking advantage of your hospitality. Sometimes you have to learn to refuse,” said Blacky.

“They have been good to me. I don’t understand how I can refuse them,” Meeku said to him.

“I have a plan. Come close and I will tell you.” Meeku’s face brightened when he heard Blacky’s plan.

He quickly reached home and set the freezer at maximum. Soon Skippy came out shivering and almost frozen.

“How did this fridge suddenly become as cold as Antarctica?” she asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe something is wrong with it,” he said slowly, “And it will take a long time to get it repaired.”

“In that case, I better go back to my own house.” And she left in a hurry. Meeku laughed to himself.

After a while, Cheeku came, as usual, to fetch his juice and keep some more. But as soon as he opened the container, he knew something was wrong.

“Why has this juice become hard?” he asked in surprise. He knew very little about how the fridge worked.

“Maybe it is frozen,” said Meeku.

“Now, how will I drink it?”

“No problem. Just eat the ice cubes,” said Meeku.

But Cheeku picked up his containers and angrily walked away. Meeku shouted from behind, “Cheeku, you can keep it in the sun to melt and drink the juice.” And he started laughing aloud.

For a few days, no one came to Meeku’s house. But later when they noticed him comfortably using his fridge, they realised their mistake and went over to apologise.

“Forgive us, Meeku,” said Skippy, “We have misused your kindness. We had forgotten that this fridge was yours and you had every right to use your fridge completely. But you were unable to do so because of us.”

“It’s alright!” Meeku said humbly.

“You are free to make use of my fridge whenever you need to. Just think of
me, too.”

Meanwhile, Blacky bear too arrived there and Cheeku served them all cold drinks. They happily drank and chatted together