Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Children's book: Bahadur, The Tiger

This book for children came out in 2002, copyright Pauline Publications, Mumbai(www.paulineindia.org)
It has three stories.

(A story about a tiger, who, contrary to expected norms, is not at all brave. He seeks a solution to his problem, in magic.)

In a jungle, there once lived a tiger cub. His mother had named him Bahadur. He was a scared little tiger who jumped when he saw his own shadow!
He went and hid behind his mother when his father roared. He froze when the leaves rustled. He didn’t like it at all when the monkeys chattered at him. And the monkeys, being monkeys, teased him all the more for it. They pulled his tail. They swung down suddenly from a tree above him, making him back away in alarm.
His mother, the tigress, was very upset about all this.
“Oh, Bahadur,” she would say sadly, “You are a TIGER! Other animals are supposed to be scared of you!”
“But I’m so little Ma,” Bahadur would say miserably.
“So what? All animals are small at first. If you carry on like this, you will grow up into a great big tiger, of whom nobody will be afraid! Would you like that?”
“No, Ma,” Bahadur shook his head and slunk away. He wandered aimlessly until he came to a quiet pool. He looked down into it and saw himself. No, he was not a baby any more. Soon he would be a young tiger. Did he want all the other animals to laugh at him? No! They were supposed to tremble with fear at the mere mention of his name.
If only he could become brave by some kind of magic! -----


(A baby rhino has no friends because he is perceived as ugly.)

Ramu Rhino was sitting all by himself again, his back to the others.
"What is the matter Ramu," his mother asked. She had sent him out to play and now she found him sitting away from the other baby animals. “Don’t you want to play with your friends?”
“Friends? They are not my friends, Ma. Nobody wants to be my friend. They say I’m too clumsy and big. When I run, the others are afraid I’ll crush them.----And they say I’m ugly too!” Ramu sniffed.------

----Now, among the playmates was a handsome young peacock named Parimal. He had just grown a beautiful long tail and was very proud of it indeed. All day, he strutted around, showing off his plumes.He kept twisting around so that he could admire it himself. He would not pass the smallest pool or puddle without stopping to look at himself adoringly. Oh, how he preened! The other animals and birds made him even vainer. They would admire his tail, his rich blue colour and beg him for any fallen feathers.------



(A lazy crow neglects his studies at school, with dire consequences)


Papa and Mama Crow were very excited. They had built a cosy little nest up in a shady tree and mama Crow had laid three eggs in it. Now they seemed ready to hatch.
“Yes, I think our babies are ready to come out,” mama Crow cawed in joy. Papa Crow looked on with his beady eyes shining. A tiny tapping sound came from within one egg. Soon a crack appeared and the egg shell split open to reveal a fuzzy little crow-chick. This was soon followed by another egg splitting. The crows had two daughters. But mama Crow was worried about the third egg. Why wasn’t it hatching? -------

-----Old Grandfather Owl held a school for young birds. As soon as the birds were strong enough to fly up, they joined the Treetop School!
Oh, the things that were taught there! The birds learnt a lot from the old owl. What things to eat and what to avoid; how to clean their beaks. A class was held separately for those birds who could sing. Madam Koel was the music teacher.-------
------Shyam just spent his time playing hide-and-seek with his friend Chalu Cuckoo.----



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