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“See, Nini, what I got. We can use it as a boat.” shouted Pilu mouse, joyfully dragging half a coconut shell that looked like a cup.

“Won’t this sink in water?” asked Nini.

“No, it does not,” and Pilu dropped the coconut shell in the river. It floated.

“Oh, good. Now our work is done,” said Nini taking it out of water. “Come, let us fill it with maize and wheat grains.”

Both got busy and filled the coconut shell with grains and put it on the water.

“Where are you going, taking these grains?” Kalu crow asked from the
tree above.

“Kalu bhai, some of our friends live across the river; we are taking these grains to them and will bring barley and millet from there,” Pilu explained.

“Yes, millet and barley grow in plenty there,” Nini completed the information.

“But why don’t you use the bridge?” asked Kalu.

“The bridge is very far from here. And we will have to carry the grains all the way to the bridge. It will take a lot of time and effort,” Pilu said.

“Taking the grains across the river is closer and easier. That is why we got this boat,” Nini explained.

“But how will you row it on water?”

“See these two sticks. We will use them as oars,” said Pilu, showing him
the oars. Then both of them got on to their handmade boat and left.

The next day, the king of the Champakvan forest, Shersingh lion, called a meeting of all forest dwellers.

He then called Pilu and Nini to the front.

Both started trembling with fear, “What mistake have we made, your majesty?” they asked.

“Don’t be afraid, Pilu and Nini. You have made no mistake. Your intelligence has made me think of a solution for the forest.”

“We didn’t understand, your majesty.”

“I’ll explain,” Shersingh addressed the audience. “You all know the roads of our Champakvan forest are crowded. Because of the traffic jams, our animals are not able to reach their workplaces on time. Pollution has also increased. We tried to solve the problem by making more use of two-wheelers, car-pooling, using double-decker buses on busy routes and constructing flyovers. We made green corridors by planting trees on both sides of the roads. We also made vertical gardens on the pillars of the flyovers. There has been some difference by these methods but the problem has still not been solved. Yesterday, you both showed me a way to solve the problem with your intelligence.”

“And what is that, your highness?” asked Minister Jumbo elephant.

“You all know the river that flows through many parts of our forest. If we use the river for our transport, then we can solve the traffic problem.”

“Transport on the river? I do not understand,” said army general
Blacky bear.

“We will operate boats on the river. Small boats can ferry light goods and passengers and bigger boats will carry heavy goods. This will also provide employment to many persons, ease traffic jams on the roads and reduce pollution. We will construct ports where passengers and goods can embark and disembark from the boats.”

All applauded.

“I am not the person you should applaud. Pilu and Nini deserve it. Yesterday, when I was on tour of the forest, I saw these two using a coconut shell as a boat and exchanging grains with their friends across the river. I wish to award them
for this.”

Pilu and Nini were thrilled. They had been of use to their Champakvan forest.