Monday, March 3, 2008

Bunny grows up!

Bunny was a good little rabbit. He always obeyed his parents and his teachers. He used to study well in school. The only thing was that he was sometimes very lazy. He did not like to go out and play. He liked to stay in the house all the time. He wasn’t bored inside, as he loved books, and spent most of his time reading. His friends sometimes teased him, calling him a bookworm, but he didn’t mind that. His mother, though she appreciated and encouraged his reading habit, was worried that he wouldn’t grow up to be a healthy rabbit if he stayed inside all the time.
It was the summer vacation, and the day was nice and sunny… the perfect kind of day to spend with ones friends. Croaky Frog and Quacky duck came to Bunny’s house. “Bunny, it’s a wonderful day…come out and play with us” they said. Bunny’s mother was happy. “Bunny, your friends have come to call you. Go out and play with them” she said. Bunny wasn’t in the mood. He was reading a book, and he didn’t want to leave it and go out. “No mamma, I don’t want to go, I want to read. Let them go and play” he said rudely. Neither Bunny’s mother, nor his friends liked that. They tried to explain to Bunny that he shouldn’t talk like that to his friends, but he wouldn’t listen. Finally, Croaky and Quacky went away sadly. Mamma Bunny was angry and scolded Bunny for being rude to his friends. Bunny didn’t bother. He just wanted to read. So he went into the garden, lay down comfortably on the hammock and began to read.
Meanwhile, Croaky and Quacky were on their way to the lake. They were hurt and angry at Bunny’s behavior. Just then, they saw Bunny come into the garden and lie down on the hammock. “How can he be so calm and cool after behaving so badly with us!” they thought. Croaky was already very angry. Just then, he noticed a pin lying on the ground. All at once he picked it up and decided to stick it into bunny. “That will teach him a lesson!” he thought. Just as he was creeping up to Bunny, Bunny’s mamma came out to hang some clothes and saw him. At once she understood the whole situation. She called out loudly “Croaky!” Both, Croaky and Bunny heard her and looked around. Mamma went straight to Bunny and told him “Croaky was just about to stick a sharp pin into you. Do you know why? He was angry with you, because you were rude” she said. Bunny was about to protest, but then she saw the expression on Croaky’s face, and also his mother, and kept quiet. Then Mamma explained to him that he should never be rude to anyone, even his own friends, or they wouldn’t be friends with him any longer. She also told him that it was fine to read books, as long as it did not stop him doing other things. Playing, going out in the open air, and exercising were necessary for good health. He could read when he was stuck inside the house on rainy days, or when he was alone.
Bunny finally understood what his mother was trying to say. He had hurt his best friends by refusing to spend time with them. “Sorry Croaky” he said. “I shall never be rude to you again. I shall come out with all of you and play whatever you want to play”. Croaky was also very happy. He said. “Great! We can go swimming in the lake and then you can tell us the story that you were reading. Come on!” And then, they all had a wonderful time. Mamma was very happy. Her Bunny had grown up.

The special Egg

Once upon a time, there was a hen that lived on a farm with her family, and many other animals. The farmer was a kind old man who took care of all the animals on the farm. He and his wife fed them well everyday, and made sure that all the animals were healthy and comfortable. The animals too were very fond of their master, and tried to help him in every way. The cows gave a lot of milk, the bullocks helped him pull the carts and the oxen helped him plough the field. The horses were happy to take him where he wanted to go, and the hens laid lots of eggs. The farmer’s wife collected the eggs everyday, except the ones which would hatch chickens. The hen took good care of all her eggs till they hatched, and then took care of the chickens after they hatched.
Once, it so happened that the hen was sitting on a dozen eggs, keeping them warm. It would soon be time for them to hatch, and she was rather getting tired of sitting on them all the time! Soon, she heard a CRACK! And then another, and then another!!! At last, the eggs were hatching. She watched happily as one by one the chicks emerged from the eggs and the shells fell off. She started counting.1...2..3..4..5..6..7..8..9..10..11…just one more, and then she would take the chicks out and get them food, show them how to get small worms…but what was happening ? The 12th egg wasn’t showing signs of cracking at all!! She was getting worried now. What was the matter with this chick? This had never happened before with her. She did not know what to do. The other hens were also watching and understood her worry. One of them went and got the farmer. He took one look at the hen, the chicks and the eggs, and understood the situation at once. He took the egg gently and told the hen to go ahead and feed her newly hatched chickens. He would take care of the egg. Relieved, she took the chicks out and fed them, but she could not get the un-hatched egg out of her mind. As soon as she was free, she went to the farmer. He took her inside the house to the living room where he was watching the television, and gave her the egg. He told her that there was nothing to worry and that the egg would hatch soon, when it was ready. But he realized that she was anxious, and asked her to stay inside with him if it would make her feel better. She agreed and sat on the egg, while he watched a lady singing on the television. She held a wine glass in her hand, and as her voice rose with the music, the glass broke with a tinkle, and everyone, including the farmer, clapped. Soon after, it was time for bed, and the farmer took the hen back to her coop, and again told her not to worry. But she couldn’t help worrying when the egg showed no sign of hatching the next day also. All day long, she wandered around the farm with the egg, asking everyone for their advice. Everyone told her the same thing,--don’t worry, wait and watch, everything will be all right.

As she wandered around, she heard the farmer telling his wife about the programme he had watched on the TV the last night. That gave her an idea!! She started singing. She wasn’t a great singer, but at least she could try. She sang, louder and louder, and all the animals came out to watch. And suddenly, as her voice touched a really high note, CRACK! The egg had cracked at last!! Out came a little yellow chicken, which looked at its mother, and cried “Cheep cheep”!! The hen stopped singing and looked at her chick with love and pride. All the animals, and the farmer, who had gathered to watch, started clapping. After that day, the singing hen became very famous, and everyone asked her to sing and break glasses, just like the lady on the TV!!

Samhith learns a lesson

Once upon a time, there lived a little boy named Samhith. He loved to listen to stories. His mother and his grandmother told him many stories. He loved them, and kept asking for more. So, his mother started buying him books. She read out stories to him everyday. Soon, everyone in the house, his father, and his grandparents started buying him books and reading aloud the stories. Soon, there were so many books, he did not know where to keep them. So his mother bought him a bookshelf. Soon, the bookshelf was full. So Samhith and his mother made another bookshelf from an old cardboard box that was lying around the house. Soon, that too was overflowing with books.
Samhith loved all his books and knew all the stories by heart. His mother was so proud of him, but there was just one thing--- Samhith never took care of his books. He would never keep his books back on the shelf. He left them lying around and threw them anywhere when he got angry. His mother would keep telling him to take care of his books-- otherwise his precious books would get lost or spoilt. But he never listened to her. Finally, one day, his mother lost her patience and told him that she wouldn’t clean up after him any longer. If he threw the books or anything else anywhere, it would remain just like that, and if he lost something, or something was spoilt or torn, she was not responsible, and she would not repair it.
Soon, Samhith’s room started resembling a pigsty-- things all over the place, a mess everywhere. Samhith did not really mind that as long as he could find the book or toy he wanted at the moment. Samhith liked reading only some books all the time. The others simply lay on the shelves till he got into the mood to read them. Soon, the books on the shelves started piling up haphazardly and dust started piling on them.
One day, a mouse trying to find food in the house happened to enter Samhith’s room, and found a treasure-- papers everywhere, so many books untouched! It was the perfect place to stay hidden from Samhith’s mother, who kept the rest of the house spick and span. The mouse settled in a space under the bookshelves and started feasting on a particularly large book.
Then one day, Samhith was looking for a book on aeroplanes that his mother had gifted him for his last birthday. It was a large book and he was surprised when he couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally, he started clearing up the area near the bookshelves, and he screamed out loud!! There was his book, but there was a mouse sitting right on top of it, and it had also eaten part of his book! His mother came running when she heard the scream, and seeing the mouse, drove it out of the house.

Samhith was shaking with fright! He’d had a shock!! His mother explained that this was what would happen if he didn’t clear up his room, if he didn’t keep things properly. The mouse would never have entered his room if it had been clean, she said, and it wouldn’t have eaten his book if he had been taking care of all his books. Samhith was crying. His beautiful book was spoilt, and all because he hadn’t cared well for it. He promised his mother that he would never be so careless in the future, and that he would help his mother clean up his room. His mother was happy that he had learnt his lesson, and told him that she would buy him the aeroplane book the next time she went to the market.

Montu's Talent

Once upon a time, a troupe of monkeys lived in a jungle. Among them was a young monkey named Montu. While Montu’s friends spent all their time jumping on trees and chattering at the top of their voices, Montu quietly listened to the sound of the jungle – the leaves swishing in the wind, the sound of the river as it ran over the rocks, the birds singing sweetly—and he tried to sing too. All the monkeys laughed at him. They told him that singing was not something monkeys did. Yes, his voice was not as shrill as that of the others, but then, who wanted to hear a monkey sing? Singing was for birds, that too, birds like the nightingale. They advised him to give up such useless activities and concentrate on being a good monkey.
Thus discouraged, Montu stopped singing in front of his friends and relatives. But he could not give up his love for music. So, he went to the riverbank when he knew it would be deserted, and sang to his hearts content. He observed how sounds were made by nature, and tried to imitate them using the reeds on the riverbank, bamboo shoots and hollow logs. As time passed, he became a better and better musician and singer.
One day, as he was singing, a tiny bird heard him, and stopped to listen. She was so impressed that she went to him and said “You sing and play so well, you should have a real musical instrument like humans do.” Montu was curious. He knew very little about humans, and had never heard of anything like that. The tiny bird told Montu that there were musicians in the village at the edge of the jungle, and took him there so that he could have a look. Montu was fascinated by them, and started going there everyday. He never troubled them, but simply sat and watched them practicing. He was very observant, and soon, he understood how those men used the various instruments. No one paid much attention to him, as he never disturbed them in any way. One day, the men went inside the house leaving their instruments unattended outside. Montu saw his chance, picked up the instrument he liked the most — a guitar—and ran away into the jungle before anyone could follow him.
Now Montu practiced with the guitar everyday. The tiny bird also joined him regularly. Soon they were singing and playing the guitar so well, other animals who heard the sound came to listen. In no time at all, the whole jungle had heard about the monkey who could sing and play a musical instrument, just like the humans. One day, some animals came to Montu and told him that the Lion, the king of the jungle, wanted to hear him. He was to play at the court. Montu was overjoyed. He and the tiny bird replied that they would be honoured to play at the court.
The big day dawned. All the animals had gathered to witness the amazing spectacle. There was a pin-drop silence as Montu began to sing, and when he stopped, the applause was deafening! They all wanted to hear him again and again and again!!!

When at last he was allowed to stop, the king himself got up from his throne, appreciated Montu, and announced that Mont would now be the court musician. Montu was so happy that there were tears in his eyes. He thanked the tiny bird, who was the only one to have encouraged him, without whom he could never have done it. Montu’s friends and relatives were ashamed that they had teased him and discouraged him. But he forgave them, and they all lived happily ever after.
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