Once upon a time, there was an island called the ‘Land
of the Sun’. People of all shapes, sizes and appearances lived there. Everybody knew
everybody and they were like one big happy family.

But slowly, as time passed, the children grew bigger
and had more children who grew bigger and had more

Things reached a stage where there were so
many people in the island that not everybody knew
everybody else.

People started doing their own things,
talking in their own languages and writing their own

So the elders of the island came together and
decided to open a school where the children could be
taught about the history, geography, rules, rituals
and languages of the people of the ‘Land of the Sun’.

However, when it came to deciding on the teacher, the
group of elders was equally divided between two of the
candidates – Ms. Know-it-all and Ms. Find-it-out.
Since they couldn’t decide on which candidate to go
with, and being an amicable group of people, the
elders decided to have two schools, each being run by
the two candidates.

Know-it-alls and Find-it-outs [Illustrations by Anup Singh]
Know-it-alls and Find-it-outs [Illustrations by Anup Singh]

The islanders then sent their children to the schools
of their choices.

Misses Know-it-all and Find-it-out ran their schools
very differently from each other. As a matter of fact,
they were poles apart in their methods of teaching.

Miss Know-it-all was a total disciplinarian who
believed that children should be only seen and not
heard. Unless, they were asked a question and they
were replying to it. Her belief was simple. She was
there to ask questions and the children were there to
answer it, after she had taught them the lesson.

And god forbid, if they were to disagree with any of her
teachings. You see, the children were not allowed to

On the other hand, Ms. Find-it-out believed that she
did not have all the answers. So everybody was allowed
to ask questions and everybody tried to find the
answers, individually or together.

Slowly, the islanders became aware of this distinction
and started taking sides. They broke up the island
into two different zones and built up a wall so that
one set of people did not interact with the others.

Time passed and the children grew bigger. They in turn
had children who went to the same schools. People on
one side of the island came to be called ‘Know-it-all’
and people on the other side of it ‘Find-it-outs’.

But as the population grew, the space available for
the people to live in got smaller and smaller. Till
one day the people in the ‘Know-it-all’ land had no
standing space. As they pushed and shoved each other,
the wall dividing them from the people of the
‘Find-it-out’ just gave way. The wall broke down and
the two divided people looked at each other for the
first time in the century.

And what did they see?

The people of the ‘Find-it-out’ land saw a whole lot
of identical looking people staring at them with
similar expressions on their faces. These were the

They had the smug expressions on their
faces which suggested that if there were something to
know, they knew of it and whatever they didn’t know,
was not worth knowing anyway. They were all similarly
dressed, moved identically and gasped together, as
though on cue.

Also, they were cramped together like a
pack of sardines in their part of the island. Except
for their ages reflected in their physical condition,
they could all have been copies of each other!

On the other hand, the people of the land of
‘Know-it-all’ discovered that the ‘Find-it-outs’ were
very different. Not just from them but also from each

They wore different coloured costumes, had different
expressions on their faces, moved differently, talked
differently and behaved in a manner that was not at
all alike.

What they also saw was the difference in the physical
lands. Whilst the land of ‘Know-it-all’ was full of
nothing but human beings, the land of ‘Find-it-out’
had its entire space planned out. There were areas for
playing, schooling, working and housing. They were not
cramped. And they did not seem to be too many people!

The people from the land of ‘Know-it-all’ wondered how
things had turned out so differently in their two
lands. Their elders came forward and enquired of the
elders of the land of the ‘Find-it-out’ as to how they
had managed to be so diverse and still be apparently
happy and prosperous.

The friendly elders of the land of ‘Find-it-out’
called on their aging teacher and requested her to
share the secret of their prosperity. The teacher
smiled and said, ‘Oh! We have a simple way of living
and teaching .’ And this is how she described it.

‘If you don’t know
ask a question
seek an answer
and you’ll find one.

WHO will tell you of the people
WHY will give you a reason
HOW will tell of the manner
And WHEN of the duration.

WHAT describes, well, what happened!
WHERE describes destination.
So we learn and so we progress
And the whole life’s an education.’

She said that her pupils had gone all over the world
with their questions and come back with answers that
helped them in better living.

The ‘Know-it-alls’ realised that there was a lot more
in the world that they did not know of. And it helped
to share knowledge and ask questions. It was not a
sign of ignorance but an indication of a desire to
know more!

They promised never to build a wall again between the
two lands and decided to share their knowledge.

Today, the ‘Know-it-alls’ and the ‘Find-it-outs’ look
very similar to each other, and are very different
from one another. If you don’t know what that means, ask
a question!

976 words | 9 minutes
Readability: Grade 6 (11-12 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: stories
Tags: #space

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