Once upon a time in the jungle of Tabaku there were no rains in the rainy season and hence the famine followed. All plants, trees and water sources went dry.
As a result many animals left the jungle in search of water and those who stayed were forced to survive on what ever water they could drink from the muddy river. The river which once overflowed with water and life had today turned quite shallow and muddy.
In such a state of circumstances there was also a rock in the interiors of the jungle under which flew a thin stream of water. Near that rock lived some rats which had no knowledge of the troubled state of the rest of the jungle.
As other animals knew nothing of those rats and the rock, they could also not know of the thin water stream which was helping the rats alone to survive the famine.
Now all the animals which were facing the famine held a meeting to think of measures for survival. Everybody was looking towards Sabu Elephant who was thought to be the wisest of all animals.
“Hmm, ours being a big jungle I think there should be more than one water sources I suggest that if we dig at any such area we are likely to find water”, a despondent Sabu said. “Then should we not dig up the mud of our river?
We might find water there?”, Bhura bear said as he thought over Sabu’s suggestion. “Digging up the river is not the right idea as its muddy water is our only source of survival right now, digging it up might become the cause for its drying sooner hence leaving us all without any water altogether. Of course none of us will want that to happen so the best bet is to search for an alternate water body?,” said Sabu.
It so happened that as all the animals were wandering through the jungle, searching for another water resource, many of them passed by the rock under which the thin stream flowed. All of them wondered noticing the damp grounds but none could make out the nearby water source.
By now many of the rats also had become aware of the calamity which rest of the jungle was facing. So, the rats called up a meeting to discuss the state of affairs and decide upon their next course of action. “Our jungle is facing a famine should we not inform our fellow animals of the little water body under that rock? After all sooner or later they may find it out themselves?,” one of the rats said. The rat community soon got divided in their opinion of helping other animals of the jungle.
“Don’t be stupid, as it is the stream is so thin already and if all animals come to know of it, it will get extinguished too. Other animals are big enough. They can easily shift to other places and search water for themselves. We rats are too small to search ourselves a new place?”, saying this an old rat cancelled the idea of sharing the little water stream with other animals and the meeting was adjourned.
But the destiny had planned something else for the jungle and its inmates. Sabu who was quite heartbroken realizing the impracticality of his suggestion happened to pass by the rock too and his keen perception couldn’t miss the waves generated by the hustling rats around him. One look at them and Sabu couldn’t fail to observe a look of freshness upon rats. Such look Sabu had not seen on other animals of the jungle since the famine broke. “There is water, here!!!” Sabu couldn’t control his excitement as he thought.
Looking around with madness Sabu could find nothing else but a large rock which could be sitting upon the water source, that is, if there was one indeed. Noticing the dampness in the ground surrounding the rock Sabu decided to dislocate the rock. Sabu trumpeted loudly as he displaced the heavy rock.
The rock had remained jammed in the position for years but as Sabu displaced it with all his might it went rolling with great thuds for few meters, thus perishing all the rats that came in its path. Swish, splash, swoosh gushed out a cool and reviving water spring. Filling all that he could in his trunk Sabu splashed it overhead in a playful mood and trumpeted loudly to invite rest of the jungle to enjoy with him
Every animal who heard Sabu?s trumpet couldn’t fail to understand that Sabu had succeeded in his discovery hence they all left what ever they were busy doing and followed Sabu?s call to join him. As expected, while rest of the jungle was rejoicing Sabu’s success, rats were running for their life so as to avoid getting trampled under the feet of other animals. All the animals soon dug around the entire area thus exposing the whole stream. The animals which were until now forced to wait for their death were now enjoying their survival.
Some more time passed, the rain gods happy with survival spirit of the jungle animals blessed them with enormous rains and replenished the jungle with all forms of life, but the rats who had still not been able to make up for the loss they had suffered due to the sudden out break of all jungle animals on their community decided to lodge a complaint against Sabu. King Sher Singh, the lion listened patiently to the King Rat as he complained against Sabu, and then looked at him gravely.
“As being part of the jungle community it was your duty to invite rest of the jungle to partake the benefits of that natural spring, and instead of feeling ashamed of the selfishness shown by you and your community, you come asking me to punish Sabu who was only trying to help the whole jungle to survive the famine.
Before I start considering punishing you for your insolence you must leave my court immediately King Rat”, Sher Singh said as he roared with great anger. Listening to this poor King Rat could not stop even long enough to beg pardon of the Sher Singh and his court and immediately took to its heels fearing that should Sher Singh change his mind there would remain no rat alive in the jungle of Tabaku.
Contributing Story Teller:: Manju I am a parent, seriously inclined to write for children [email protected]