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Shebu and Moonmoon, the Long Haired Goat

"Bajai," as we called grandmother, was the best storyteller in the whole world, says Madhu Gurung. She lived in the foothills of Mussoorie in a tiny village called Johri Gaun. And she always started her stories with a saying, "To the listener a garland of gold, to the storyteller a garland of all forest flowers and this tale that...

Seasons in a Tree’s Rooted Life

 You may be very proud of the fact that the orange tree in your garden only comes up to your shoulders, but that is just one part of the tree that you see. Sometimes a tree’s roots, beneath the soil, are much bigger than the parts you see above the ground. It is with these roots a tree looks...

And Elephants did Fly

A Saora folk tale from Orissa retold from 'When the World was Young', by Verrier Elwin. The book is a fascinating collection of folktales from the tribal peoples of India. Elwin was a pioneering anthropologist; he spent his entire life getting to know the ways of life of the tribal peoples.There was a time when elephants could fly. The...

The Lesson

It was on a rainy day last week that Ravi came running up to our third floor house, pretending he was a fast train. He rang the bell like it was the whistle of a steam engine. Acting as if I was loading a goods wagon, I handed him a bundle of clothes for ironing, with the usual reminder...

Once a hunter in the woods lost his dog…

Once a hunter in the woods lost his dog, so he put an ear to a tree and listened to the bark.

The Priest, the Tiger and the Jackal

One day a priest was walking along a country road when he came upon a tiger, shut up in a strong iron cage. The villagers had caught him and shut him up there because he had started preying on their fowl and cattle.As soon as the tiger saw the priest, he pleaded, "Oh, Brother Brahmin, please let me out...

The Deadly King Cobra

Belonging to the family Elapidae, the name Cobra is popularly applied to African and Asian snakes that are capable of spreading long ribs in their necks into a hood when threatened. There are six species of cobras: the Naja, the south African ringhal (Hemachatus), king cobra (Ophiophagus), water cobra (Boulengerina), tree cobra (Pseudohaje), and shield-nose cobra (Aspidelaps).The king cobra...

A Lucky Hunter

There was once a hunter who, on the seventh birthday of his son, decided to go hunting to get something nice for the feast. But as he reached for the gun on the wall, it slipped from the pegs, hit the stone mortar below and alas, its barrel was bent like the letter L."Father, that's a bad sign," cried...

Sparrows

Sparrows on the mango tree Sparrows on the grass Sparrows on the windowsill And on my looking glass!Sparrows on the gravel path And on the garden chair Sparrows by the lily-pool You find them everywhere!

How Men Lost Their Tails

The hill people have many theories about the origin of mankind. Some say that God fashioned the first people from clay with his own hands; some say that they were hatched from enormous eggs. They emerged from a crack in the ground, from the womb of Mother Earth; they were born of a goddess; they were even born of...

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