Hema Rao

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All features, stories and articles authored by: Hema Rao


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The Puppy that wanted to Play

The Puppy that wanted to Play

Bruno, the little, brown puppy wanted to play! He needed a friend. “Come play with me!” said Bruno to the white cow. “No! No! No!” replied the white cow, shaking her head. “I have work to do. I have to give milk for Tinnu and Minnu. Milk for their family, too. Go away. I have WORK to do! MOOOOOOOOO!” The Puppy that wanted to Play [Illustrations by Shiju George] Bruno went to the brown cock....

The Importance of the Mangrove Forest

The Importance of the Mangrove Forest

Tropical coastlines and marshy areas around the world have one thing in common: mangrove forests. These consist of trees and shrubs that throw out many prop roots and sustain a large variety of aquatic animals, birds and plants. These mangroves form a complete ecosystem. That is, they provide a complete base for all the organisms within that environment to live and thrive. That keeps the balance in the larger environment of which humans are a vital part....

The Ride to Bondage

Chintu and Gullu were very, very excited. They were going to ride camels! Both of them worked in a fireworks factory where they made firecrackers for Diwali and other festivals. Their meagre earnings helped their families to make life worth living. Now their lives would totally change. Mr. Ali had seen to that. Mr. Ali was Chintu’s father’s new friend. He lived far, far away. He had told Chintu’s father that Chintu was exactly right for riding camels — the right size and the right weight....

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again

Bunty rabbit hopped home angrily. “What happened?” asked Mama Rabbit. “No school today?” “Why did great-great-great-great-great grandfather lose the race against the tortoise?” shouted Bunty tearfully. “Everyone laughed at me when Ma’am Owl told us the story.” “Great-great-great-great-great grandfather rabbit was a proud rabbit,” said Mother Rabbit sternly. “He was always boasting and never even thought once that someone could outsmart him. That day, the tortoise did.” Bunty Rabbit Runs a Race Again “Slow and steady won the race!...

The Jungle Contest

The Jungle Contest

“ROAR!” growled the lion. “Everyone is scared of me!” “HRMPHH!” trumpeted the elephant. “Everyone is scared of me!” “What about me?” purred the panther. “I, too, frighten everyone!” The Jungle Contest [Illustrations by Shiju George] “No one can run faster than me!” snarled the cheetah. “Everyone is scared of me!” “GROWL!” growled the tiger, baring his teeth. “I dare any one to cross my path! I’ll gobble them up!” “HA! HA! HA!...

How to Bell a Thief

How to Bell a Thief

Sonapur was a small village. It was famous for its little temple. The temple had no deity. All it had was the imprint of a pair of feet. According to folklore, these were of a pious sage. A diya burned brightly, night and day. Seven beautiful bells hung in the little temple, gleaming brightly in the light cast by the diya. The villagers of Sonapur were content and happy. Their fields yielded abundant crops. Earnings were enough to meet the needs of each family....

Follow the Leader

Chimpoo has a balloon. It is a BIG balloon! It is a BIG, RED balloon! It is a BIG, RED, ROUND balloon! Chimpoo has a LITTLE dog. His name is Chutku. Chutku loves Chimpoo. Chutku loves to PLAY with Chimpoo. There is a BIG, BLACK cat! Chutku does not like the cat! There is a TINY, GREY mouse. The BIG, BLACK cat does not like the TINY, GREY mouse! Follow the Leader [Illustrations by Shiju George] Cat loves Chimpoo....

The Holiday

The Holiday

Hooty owl was puzzled. No one had come to the jungle school. “Maybe the little ones are late,” thought the teacher. “I’ll wait for a little while longer.” Hooty owl did not know that her students had decided to miss school. They had started out for school but then changed their minds. “I am NOT going to school. I hate it,” said Squeaky squirrel. “I’m feeling lazy and so I’m NOT going to school,” said Hoppy rabbit ....

The Wolf-donkey

The Wolf-donkey

Chun Chun hated carrots. He felt his anger rise as he heard his mother speak. “How will you grow if you don’t eat your vegetables?” scolded Mama Rabbit. “You won’t have the strength to say BOO to a goose!” “But I eat so many things!” protested Chun Chun angrily. “Just because I hate carrots, you scold me every day!” Mama Rabbit sighed. “How many times have I told you — carrots will improve your eyesight?” she said....

The Sweet-Mad Hero

The Sweet-Mad Hero

A North Indian folktale retold Shyam was a worried man. He had to go to Rampur on work. It happened to be his in-laws village. Shyam intended to stay with them. But being newly married he hardly knew his in-laws. His wife, too, was not accompanying him. Shy Shyam was really worried! He thought hard for a while. Then he smiled. He would force his friend, Karan, to accompany him! “Of course I’ll come with you!...

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