RED FLOWER: Hello friends. I am Red Flower. I live here in these fields. All the trees, animals, birds, clouds, winds and the sun are my friends. But my best friend is Sun. It is morning now and time for him to come.

(Morning comes.)

SUN: Hello Red Flower. I bring a good morning to you. Did my sister Night give you any good dreams in your sleep?

RED FLOWER: Yes, more than you dear Sun. She gave me so many dreams from the countries you go to every day. Tell me what you really saw on the other side while I was sleeping?

The Red Flower [Illustrations by Mona Rai]
The Red Flower [Illustrations by Mona Rai]

SUN: Yes, I saw many lands. Come, I’ll tell you.

(Red Flower and Sun talk and play. Night comes. Sun goes. Red flower sleeps. It is morning again.)

RED FLOWER: Oh! What a pain in my neck. I can’t open my petals. I can’t even get up and stand.

(Red Flower weeps. Sun comes in.)

SUN: Red Flower, get up. It is morning. Look what is shining from me.

(There is no answer.)

SUN: Red Flower, what’s the matter? Why don’t you talk?

RED FLOWER: O Sun, my dear bright sun, what shall I do? I cannot get up. My neck is paining. There is a horrid little worm in my neck. And it won’t come out. I am feeling ill. I can’t get up.

(Red Flower lies down again.)

SUN: What shall I do now? I don’t know how to help my friend. I don’t feel like shining. I’ll go and sleep in my tent of clouds.

(Clouds come.)

CLOUDS: We are the clouds. We are the tent for Sun when he is lazy. And when he is sad he comes and hides his head in our folds.

(They cover Sun.)

RED FLOWER: Now Sun has gone to hide in his tent. And I am alone with this pain in my neck.

(Wind Sisters come.)

WIND 1: Where is brother Sun?

WIND 2: Why isn’t he shining today?

WIND 3: Brother Sun! Where are you?

WIND 4: Brother Sun! Brother Sun!

SUN: I am here, behind the clouds.

WIND 4: Why?

WIND 2: Why are you hiding?

SUN: I am very sad today. My friend Red Flower is ill. She has a pain in her neck because a worm has got in.

WIND 2: If brother Sun does not shine

WIND 3: …we shall not blow either

WIND 4: We will sit under those trees.

(Wind Sisters sit.)

(Cock comes in. He tries to crow but cannot.)

COCK: Oh dear! it is so stuffy. Why don’t the winds blow? Dear winds, do blow a little. It is so stuffy.

WIND 1: We will not blow today.

WIND 4: Our brother Sun is sad.

COCK: Why?

WIND 2: Because Red Flower is ill.

WIND 3: There is a worm in her neck.

COCK: I can’t crow today. I am feeling out of sorts. I’ll sit by the pond. Maybe it will make me feel better.

(Cock sits.)

(Enter Cat.)

CAT: Meeow! Hello friend Cock. How are you? Let’s have a game of gulli danda.

COCK: Leave me alone. I am not well at all. I have a stuffy throat.

CAT: Well why don’t you sing loudly? It will clear your throat. Haven’t you crowed today?

COCK: No. I haven’t. I can’t

CAT: Why not?

COCK: It is too stuffy. I tried to crow, but I just could not. It is so stuffy. Because Wind Sisters won’t blow.

CAT: Why not?

COCK: Because Sun is unhappy and has hidden behind the clouds.

CAT: But why is Sun unhappy?

COCK: Because Red Flower is ill.

CAT: What’s happened to her?

COCK: A worm has got into her neck. And it is paining.

CAT: Everything has gone wrong today. Never mind. I’ll sit here and keep you company, friend Cock.

(Cat sits. Suddenly Frog laughs.)

CAT: Who dares to laugh?

FROG: I laughed, sister Cat.

CAT: Well! What is so funny?

FROG: You are!

CAT: Meeow! Don’t be so smart. I’ll gobble you up.

FROG: Wait, sister Cat. Listen to me. So many of you are unhappy because Red Flower is ill. Why don’t you make her well again?

CAT: How can we?

FROG: Brother Cock can pull out the worm.

CAT: Yes. That’s a good idea.

COCK: Now why didn’t I think of it before?

(Cat helps Cock get up. Cock goes to Red Flower.)

RED FLOWER: Please don’t bother me. Let me be.

COCK: Please let me help you. I promise I won’t hurt you.

(Cock pulls out the worm.)

RED FLOWER: Aaah! What a relief. I am well again. How nice it is. Thank you.

ALL WINDS: Red Flower is well again. We must blow now. We shall blow so hard and we shall blow so fast that the tent of clouds in which Sun is hidden will blow open.


(Winds blow. Clouds disappear. Sun comes out. Cock crows. Cat jumps. Frog laughs and Claps.)

ALL: It is easy to sit and cry when things go wrong somewhere.

but if someone has the sense and cares to make a try

things will come right again.

All shall be happy and gay.

All shall be happy and gay.

All shall be happy and gay.

By Safdar Hashmi; Published by SAHMAT.

891 words | 10 minutes
Readability: Grade 2 (7-8 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: stories
Tags: #clouds, #throat, #sleep

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