Kalu was the only son of a farmer and his wife.
“I wish I had a brother or a sister, to play with,” he told his parents one day. “Everyone has a brother or a sister. I don’t like it when the children who come to play with me, on our farm, go back to their homes at night.”
“Don’t be silly,” said his father. “Their parents love them and want them back.”
But his words had some effect, because within a year, the farmer and his wife were blessed with twin girls. But Kalu was still unhappy. “I’m fond of my baby sisters,” said Kalu. “They are too small to play with me, just yet. Mother is busy with them, as they take up too much of her time. I’m lonely and bored.”
Around that time, it was lambing season. Sheep were giving birth to little baby lambs. They were cute and fluffy. Some sheep had two or three lambs and some had only one.
“A mother sheep got caught in the barbed wire and is dead,” said the farmer. “What am I to do with her baby? It is too little to fend for itself.”
The shepherd knew that the farmer’s wife was much too busy then, to take on the extra burden of feeding the little white fluffy lamb. He too was busy as the lambing season was not yet over .
“If you take it back to the house,” suggested the shepherd, “maybe Kalu could be convinced to help feed it.”
“Convinced?” laughed the farmer, “Kalu will be only too pleased to help. He is always complaining that he has too little to do. He won’t be lonely or bored anymore.”
The solution was a good one. The farmer took the tiny lamb to his farmhouse, followed by the shepherd, who was leading a goat.
“Why have you brought the goat here, Father? Oh, what an adorable lamb!” said Kalu.
“It’s mother died in an accident,” his father told him, “and I’m afraid that it will not live, unless good care is taken of it.”
“Can I take care of it?” asked Kalu.
“We were hoping you’d offer,” said the farmer, with a contented smile. “That’s settled, then. We’ll show you how to milk this goat and feed the lamb, out of a bottle.”
“I’m going to name it Snowy,” said Kalu.
Snowy and her friend Kalu looked deep into one another’s eyes.
The farmer and the shepherd were very happy that they had brought the baby lamb down to the farmhouse.
“I’ll make a bed for it in the straw next to the goat,” said the farmer. “I’ll help you,” said Kalu. “Then maybe the goat will let down some extra milk, so that Snowy will never be hungry .”
“You’ll grow up to be a fine farmer,” remarked the shepherd. “I can see the makings of a good one in you. ”
“He has always loved the animals,” said his father. “This is the first time he’ll get a chance to look after one on his own.”
Kalu was a quick learner. He learnt how to fill milk in sterilised bottles and cuddled the tiny lamb, as he fed it from its bottle.
“It’s time for the next feed,” he’d call out to the maid, who helped around the house, and she would fetch the bottles she’d boiled and sterilised and kept ready. Kalu would take the bottle from her and go to milk the goat by himself. He would fill the milk in the bottle and feed Snowy with it. The goat would look on, pleased to be of help to Kalu, in bringing up Snowy.
Soon Snowy was not so little anymore. She began exploring the farm with Kalu her friend. All on the farm loved to see the two of them together.
Snowy also made friends with all the animals there.
Porky Pig was very angry with Snowy, because she had disturbed his nap after a very heavy meal.
One summer morning, when Kalu had holidays and was allowed to sleep just a little while longer, he went to give Snowy her bottle. He got a shock. There was no Snowy in the shed near the goat!
He went hunting for Snowy. No one could tell him where she was. No one knew. No one had seen her, and they all were very upset. Kalu stood with the animals in a cluster, around the open door of the shed. All of Snowy’s friends were there.
The goat who gave milk for Snowy, Porky Pig, who had been cross with her, for disturbing his sleep one afternoon, Henny Penny, who laid lovely big eggs, Ducky Lucky, who laid even bigger eggs, and Cocky Locky, who was proud of his loud crow -cock-a-doodle-doo – which was the farm’s alarm for getting up each morning.
Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurkey were also there. Chicken Licken came to find out what the matter was. She came along with Tommy the sheepdog, Mickey Mouse and Totha the parrot, who muttered, “Polly put the kettle on, Polly put the kettle on” again and again, as if having a cup of tea would solve the problem of finding Snowy.
“We must do something,” said Kalu to all of them.
Tommy was the first to move. He went to an old barn where Snowy was fond of playing. The sheepdog was followed by Porky Pig. They did not find Snowy there.
Ducky Lucky went waddling off to her little pond. Henny Penny, Cocky Locky and Chicken Licken followed at a distance.
Henny Penny said, “Cluck, cluck, cluck, why have you come here?”
“Quack,quack,” said Ducky Lucky, “I thought that Snowy might have come this way.” They did not find Snowy there.
Porky Pig looked at the goat who had given so much milk for Snowy. It was shaking its head this way and that way. “What are you doing that for?” asked Porky Pig. “It makes me quite giddy to look at you.”
“I’m worried,” said the goat. Porky Pig grunted in agreement.
A large tear dropped to the ground. Porky Pig was surprised to see the goat crying. “I’m very fond of Snowy,” said the goat. “I don’t know what to do. ” She sighed a great big sigh, and dropped another big tear on the ground.
All this time, Totha the parrot, had been muttering to itself. It turned to Kalu. Kalu gave it an exasperated stare. He did not want to go anywhere near a kettle and put it on! But no, Totha was saying something else now. “I think, Kalu, that its time we told your father, the farmer,” he said.
It was the best bit of advice that Kalu had received. He rushed into the house. His parents were busy searching for the maid everywhere.
“Little Snowy is lost,” he said to them. “So is the maid,” they said together.
Then suddenly Kalu understood. “They must have gone off together, because my little Snowy would not have been able to unfasten the gate, by herself.”
“The maid did say that she had planned to get up early today,” said Kalu’ s mother.
So Kalu didn’t feel so awful any more. He rushed out to tell all the animals.
Kalu led them all down the lane, to see if they could spot Snowy and the maid, and to tell them that it was breakfast time.
Coming down the lane was the maid with her arms filled with flowers. Little Snowy frisked by her side.
Kalu’s mother scolded the maid for giving them such a fright.
“I only went to fetch flowers for your birthday, ” said the maid. “Little Snowy wanted to come with me. She said she wanted to see the field where she was born.”
“It’s all right, this time,” said Father.
“Thank you for the flowers and for remembering my birthday,” said Mother.
“You must never take little Snowy out again without asking us first,” warned Kalu.
The whole lot trooped back to the farm.