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Zizu, the zebra came from the city to Sonavan. Soon he became friends with Banjo, the elephant and Rebu, the rabbit.

Zizu liked the atmosphere of the forest. It was less polluted and there was greenery all around.

Zizu had no place to live. He spoke to Rebu about this problem, “Rebu, can you please help me find a house?”

“Don’t be troubled. There is a vacant house near my home. You can stay there,” said Rebu.

Zizu came to the new house with his luggage.

Early next morning, Zizu was sleeping when Banjo and Rebu came in.

“Zizu, it is morning. Wake up! Let’s go for a walk,” said Rebu.

Zizu woke up rubbing his eyes.

“Why did you wake me up so early? I have not slept properly. I never woke up before ten o’clock in the city,” Zizu complained.

“Zizu this is not a city, it is a village. Here everyone sleeps early and wakes up early. You should get into the habit of waking up early too.

It is good for your health,” explained Banjo.

“I do not want to go anywhere. Let me sleep,” refused Zizu.

“Excuses won’t work. We will not leave without you,” said Rebu.

Zizu had to agree after Banjo and Rebu insisted.

“Okay. I will come along,” said Zizu.

They started to take rounds of the ground. Upon completing just half a round, Zizu started to pant, “Stop! Stop! I can’t walk anymore.”

“Walking in the morning is beneficial for your health,” explained Rebu.

At first, it was troublesome for Zizu to wake up early in morning. But later, he started to enjoy his morning walks.

“Banjo, the environment here is so fresh,” Zizu said with a deep breath.

“Yes, there are a lot of differences between a city and a village,” Rebu said with a smile.

One day, the three friends planned a picnic along the river.

On Sunday they packed things to eat, a ball and bat to play with and also a football. When they reached the river, a cold breeze was blowing.

Spotting a place, Rebu put laid a mat and placed all the things on it.

Banjo too started to relax. Just then Zizu spotted a mango tree, a little far away.

“You both wait here. I will go and get some ripe and juicy mangoes,” said Zizu as he ran towards the tree.

“Zizu, that is a dangerous spot. Please stop. There are muddy puddles around,” said Banjo trying to stop him.

Zizu was greedy for the mangoes. He ignored them and ran towards the tree.

“Wow! I’ve seen ripe mangoes after a long time. I will eat them till my stomach is full,” said Zizu looking at the mangoes.

There were many mangoes on a low branch. Zizu started to pluck them with his arm extended.

He filled his pockets with the mangoes and grabbed some with his other arm. He leaned a little forward to pluck the mangoes when suddenly his foot slipped.

He lost his balance and fell down. His legs got stuck in the muddy puddle.

Zizu tried to free his legs with all his might but he was unsuccessful.

Banjo and Rebu ran to help Zizu.

Banjo shouted angrily “I told you not to go there!”

“Banjo please calm down. This is not the time to get angry. Zizu is in danger. We should think about how to pull him out,” explained Rebu.

Hearing the noise Chirpy, the bird came down. Seeing Zizu stuck in the puddle, she got worried.

“There is a dangerous marsh near the mango tree. That is why no one goes there. If someone gets stuck in the marsh, then it is difficult for them to get out,” said Chirpy.

“Chirpy, Zizu is new to the forest so he did not know about the marsh,” said Banjo worriedly.

“But you are not new to the forest. You should have stopped him,” scolded Chirpy.

“Honestly, even we did not know about the marsh. What has happened cannot be undone but we must think of a way to save Zizu as fast as we can,” said Banjo softly.

On the other hand, Zizu looked nervous. He was continuously trying to pull his leg out. But because of his heavy body he was sinking deeper in the marsh.

Rebu tried to explain to Zizu, “Zizu, do not worry. We will get you out. Please don’t move around.”

Rebu collected some tree vines. He tied them together to make a rope.

He threw the rope to Zizu and said, “Zizu, hold on to the rope.”

At the other end, Rebu and Banjo slowly started to pull the rope. But, Zizu’s body was stuck deep in the marsh. Despite many attempts Zizu could not be pulled out.

“What should we do now? Zizu is stuck quite deep in the marsh,” said Banjo.

“Rebu, if we put water in the marsh then the mud will loosen up. It will be easier to pull Zizu out,” Chirpy suggested.

Everybody liked Chirpy’s suggestion.

Banjo immediately rushed to the river. He filled his trunk with water. He started to spray water near the marsh. Banjo repeatedly poured water in the marsh.

After half an hour, Banjo’s hard work started to pay off. The mud started to loosen up a little because of the water.

Rebu and Banjo made another attempt to try and pull Zizu out. This time Zizu started to come out slowly.

After a while, Zizu was pulled out of the marsh without any injuries.

Rebu and Banjo sighed in relief once Zizu was out.

With teary eyes Zizu said, “Please forgive me. You all had to suffer because of my mistake.”

Rebu smiled and replied, “Zizu, your life was saved because of Chirpy’s practical thinking.  It was upon her suggestion that we were able to save you from the marsh. You should thank her.”

Zizu thanked Chirpy. Chirpy too fluttered her wings and started to chirp.