The Creature of the Jungle
Once there lived a small boy named Shyam. His village was situated near a jungle. The villagers were very scared of going near the jungle. They believed there were fierce animals as well as unknown creatures living in it.
Shyam lived in a small cottage some distance away from the jungle. His father was a carpenter and his mother was a good needle – woman. Shyam went to the village school and helped his father during the evenings and on holidays.
He was a smart, intelligent and brave boy who always had a kind word for everyone. The elders of the village loved him dearly as he was always willing to help them.
One day while returning from school, Shyam came across a group of people near the centre of the village. They were very agitated and worried. Shyam came to the gathering and asked – “What has happened? Is something wrong?” The man standing next to him said – “Yes beta, Lallan cannot find his small son anywhere.
He was last seen playing by himself near the edge of the jungle. We fear he might have gone into the jungle and has not returned.” “Lallan chacha are you sure Munna ventured into the jungle?” asked Shyam. “Shyam beta, I’m not at all sure but since I have searched every nook and corner of our village and inquired at every house, I think he might have been snatched by one of the creatures of the jungle”, said Lallan in an agonized voice.
“Don’t worry chacha. I’ll go and look for Munna. Keep my school bag with you and I will find your son.” Before anyone could utter a word, the brave boy ran into the jungle. Someone went to inform Shyam’s parents about the latest happening. Ratan and Beena came running after hearing the news.
“Why did you let my son go alone inside the jungle? What if something awful happens to him?” wailed Beena. “We couldn’t stop him bhabhiji”, said someone standing there. “Don’t panic Beena. I have complete faith in God. He will help my son find and bring back little Munna,” said Ratan in a soothing voice.
Meanwhile, Shyam had entered the jungle. It was quite dark there. He started moving forward shouting – “Munna where are you? Can you hear me?” No sound came. Shyam noticed that there was a small area which was clear of fallen twigs and leaves.
He went there and saw that there was a huge rock with an opening on the left side of the clear area. Shyam went inside by crawling in. He found that there was a tunnel, at the end of which he could see some light. As Shyam neared the light, he was blinded by the dazzle and lost consciousness.
When he came to, he found himself looking at a creature which had a huge golden body and a small silver head. The eyes of this creature were surprisingly kind and lips smiling.
“Who are you and where am I?” asked Shyam with a puzzled expression on his face. “You are safe, dear boy. I do not harm people who help others, are kind and brave and are not greedy. You are a good boy so I will help you. Why did you come into this fearful jungle?”.
“I came to look for Munna, Lallan Chacha’s small son. He is lost.” The creature smiled – “Look behind you is this Munna?” Shyam exclaimed happily – “Yes he is. How did you find him?” “He came to me as you did.
He was tired so went to sleep. You can take him back when he wakes up.” “Alright, but tell me why are you golden bodied and silver-headed?” asked Shyam. “I was a very greedy man. I loved collecting gold and silver, even stealing and snatching from my friends and relatives.
Once I hurt my siblings and took away all the gold and silver from them. After collecting all my treasures, I ran away from home, hoarding all my collections onto a small truck.
While traveling, I came across a lonely spot where there was a small cottage. Inside this hut, there were many boxes filled with gold and silver jewellery. I was thrilled on seeing this and started collecting the boxes, ready to load them on my truck. I was about to carry the last box out to my truck when the owner of the cottage arrived. He was a white-bearded man wearing a long white robe. On seeing my surprised face, he introduced himself to me as the White Saint of Satisfaction.
The Saint had a calm and gentle face and said to me in a divine voice – “I hate greedy people who steal from others and think only about themselves. Since you are so fond of gold and silver, I will now turn you into the same.”
“He took away all my belongings and made me like this. He put a curse over me that I would stay this way all my life. If I ventured out, I would be reduced to ashes. I now have a golden body and a silver head but nothing else. You Shyam go back and teach people not to be so materialistic and greedy that they lose their own identity.” Shyam listened fascinated and promised to spread the message of satisfaction Vs greed.
Munna woke up after some time and was happy to see Shyam by his side. Shyam bid goodbye to the creature and returned to the village unharmed. He decided not to tell anyone about his recent adventure since no one would believe him. Munna’s parents were overjoyed to see their son and thanked Shyam wholeheartedly.
Contributed By: Amita loves to pen down her thoughts on various subjects. Her poems, children stories, and Spiritual musings have been published online. She is a homemaker. [email protected]
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