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Off to school……………..

Daddy and mummy were busy with some forms. The current problem was which nursery school to send Jeet to.

‘Well’, Daddy said, ‘I think the New Age school is good, it has a lot of extra curricular activities especially sports.’

‘But currently we should look at a school which will give a good base. Montessori system will be good. He is in his formative stage so we shoul see some school which gives him a good foundation.’ Answered mummy and so they kept on discussing.

And in the night, Octo asked, ‘what is a school?’

‘School is a place where education is given’, answered Pinku.

‘And what is education?’

‘Education is a lot of things, it means to read and to write, it also means learning to behave in a group, discipline, it also means having friends and playing with them’, elaborated Owly.

‘Seems like a yuck place to me’, said Hooty

‘No, Hooty its actually a fun place to be. You get to learn so many things in school, like why the sun shines, the stars twinkle, why we have to eat etc. Also you learn crafts, drawing and best of all you learn to play a lot of games’ said Pinku.

‘If that is so then why don’t we go to school?’, this was Greeny.

‘Hmmm’, said Owly ‘that’s because we live in the open and nature teaches us a lot of things. Like when the morning rays touch our skin, we know that its time to rise. When we feel hungry we know that we have to go and hunt for our food. We also learn to store food for the cold winter months, this teaches us discipline too. When the bigger animals come to prey we learn to defend ourselves. We learn that we have to stay in a group to defend ourselves.’

‘And yes when we stay in a group we learn to share and grow, we play together and grow together. Humans live in closed spaces and so to learn all these things they have to go to school,’ added Pinkoo.

‘Hmm so does it mean that now Jeet will go to school, learn new things, have new friends and forget us,’ this was Hooty who lived in perpetual fear that Jeet will forget him.

‘Partially yes, Hooty. Jeet is growing up he will find new things, have new friends, his interests will change and yes he will slowly lose interest in us. But yes we are his first friends and he will always draw comfort on seeing us.
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Colors

‘Ouch my whole body is aching’, said Pinku.
‘Why Pinku?’ asked Toady.

Jeet cuddled and threw me around so much that I can barely do anything. Each part of me is aching terribly’, he said with a sigh.

‘But you are so lucky, Pinku, he loves you so much that he cuddles and wrestles with you. Me, he barely sees nowadays’, said Hooty in a small voice.

‘there he goes again with his complaints’, remarked Doggy, while Octo and Greeny chorused together- Hooty is being green, Hooty is being green…

‘What do you mean by that, what is being green mean?’ asked Hooty.

‘They mean that you are green with envy’, said Owly.

‘Green with envy?’, asked Hooty

Yes when a person is jealous we say that he is green or green with envy’, answered Owly.

‘Oh that’s nice, so the color green is linked with envy’, said Hooty

‘Yes’, said Pinku,’ there are some other colours too which are linked with some other meanings’.
‘oh tell me, tell me about them’, asked Hooty.

Wll there is white. White is the color of the clouds and the color of dove. White also symbolizes peace’, said Toady.

‘Have you seen a traffic light, Hooty’, asked Doggy.

‘Yes I have seen one in one of Jeets book’

‘Well a traffic light is used to control traffic on a busy road, there are three colors on a traffic light, do you know which all?’

‘Yes I do I do… Green, yellow and Red, answered Hooty.

‘Well, the red tells us to stop, the yellow to be cautious and green is to go or to start.’, said Doggy.

‘But just now you told green is for envy, now you are telling me that green is to start.’ Said a confused Hooty.

‘Well, green is used to signify envy but in a traffic light it means to start’, said the wise Owly.

‘Tell me some more, some more,’ said the eager Hooty.

Hmm blue is the color of the sky and the ocean but its also linked with sadness, like when someone is sad; he says that-I am feeling blue’, said Octo

‘And black is a color of authority’, added Greeny

Hmm is that why when Jeet’s father goes for some important meeting he wears a black Suit,’ asked Hooty.

‘Yes you can say so’, said Pinku.

‘Tell me more, more, said an eager Hooty.

‘My dear Hooty, for the time being this is enough, why don’t you try to remember these at present, and we will tell you more when you have learnt this fully’, said Toady.

Owww’, said Hooty and started giggling.

‘Why what happened, asked Doggy.

Ocot and Greeny are green, does it mean that they are always jealous’, said Hooty with a twinkle in his eye.

And everyone smiled except the two Octopuses.

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For more on Jeet and his animal farm check on http://bhagyashree-searchingself.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-addition.html

A new addition

Today I am embarking on writng short stories for kids. Lets see how I fair
A NEW ADDITION

Jeet’s Animal Farm

‘Jeet see what I have got for you.’

‘What is it daddy?’, asked Jeet.

‘I have got 2 octopuses for your Animal Farm. Lets see what all you have got in your farm now. You have Pinku,-the Teddy Bear, then You have Toady, then there is Doggy, there is Owly the big owl and Hooty the small owl and now these two,’ said Daddy.

‘What is an Octopus, Daddy?’, asked Jeet.

‘Hmm . Octopus live in the ocean like fish and have eight feet.’

‘What is an Ocean, Daddy.’

‘Ocean is a big body of water, remember when we had been to India we flew over lots of water, that’s called an ocean. And before you ask any more questions I have to freshen up and we will have lunch. ‘

The whole day Jeet played with the Octopuses. He named one as Octo and the other as Greeny and night he slept with one on each side. When mummy was sure he was fast asleep, she slowly removed them and kept them with the other toys and switched off the lights.

As soon as it was dark, there came a sound-bam and someone said ‘Ouch’.

‘What happened Octo?’, asked Owly.

‘Someone kicked my back and it hurts’, said Octo.

‘Haa ha ‘, laughed Doggy.

‘Croak, croak’ said a disgruntled Toady

Pinku and Hooty said nothing.

And so it was the whole night either Octo was pushed or Greeny was kicked and so on. Owly knew what was happening but thought that whoever was misbehaving would stop.

The next day too Jeet was engrossed with his twin Octopus, he would put one on his head and one on his shoulder or talk to them and so on.

That night too Someone kicked Octo so hard that he crashed on the wardrobe and something shook inside it and a tiny sound came- ‘tring’

Mummy was awake in an instant and switched on the light. ‘I heard some noise—oh poor Octo has fallen down but how come it has fallen so far from the sofa, is there a mouse here?’ And she picked Octo up and kept with the other toys and switched off the lights.

‘Help me , help me’, cried Hooty. Greeny was on Hooty’s head and all his feet were around his neck.

‘What happened Greeny, why are you on Hootys head?’, Asked Pinku.

‘That’s because from yesterday Hooty has been bothering Octo and Greeny’, the wise owly said, ‘isn’t it Octo?’

‘yes, ‘ said Octo.

‘Leave him Octo and Hooty, you tell us why you have been behaving so badly?, said Doggy.

‘I hate those two, said Hooty.

‘But why Hooty’, asked Owly in his deep gruff voice.

‘Because of them Jeet has stopped playing with me, oh how I hate them,’ said Hooty.

With this answer everyone started laughing except Hooty.

‘Why are you laughing’, screamed Hooty.

‘Because you are jealous’, said Doggy, ’but you shouldn’t be.’

Why not’ , asked Hooty

‘Children are like that, new things attract them. Before you came I was his favourite, and before me Toady. In short Jeet is attracted to new things.’ Said Doggy.

‘Is it like that Owly’, asked Hooty.

Yes my dear. Jeet always plays with new things but it does not mean he forgets the others. Now and then doesn’t he play with me or the others. Don’t you see when he is sad he hugs Pinku and when he wants to talk he comes and talks to me?’ Said Owly.

‘Yes’ said Hooty.

‘Its because Octo and Greeny are new that he is paying so much attention to them. After some time he will get some other toy and he will start playing with them. And one fine day he wont like playing with tus- his soft toys and will stop playing with us’, Said Owly.

‘Oh is it’, said Hooty

‘yes’ said Toady in his croaky voice, ‘ he will like to play with cars, and guns and other big boy stuff.’

‘oh no ‘, said Hooty in a small voice.

‘But we are always ther for you Hooty and we will always be together, you will never be lonely.’ Said Doggy, ‘ssso come you three be friends and we will all stay together.

‘Oh ok said Hooty and hugged the two octopuses and they all became friends.

And peace reigned again in Jeets Animal Farm