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Penguin Sweaters

Penguin Sweaters

Oil spills can have a devastating effect on marine life. After an oil spill, one of the most important jobs of rescuers is to fish out oil soaked birds and animals, clean them and rehabilitate them before releasing them into the wild again. Recently, after an oil spill in the Australian waters, environmentalists claimed that the oil slicks were threatening the existence of the little blue penguins in the south of Australia. These tiny, blue-backed penguins are barely 41 centimetres in height – half the height of the world’s biggest, and famous Emperor penguins of Antarctica....

A Friend in Need

A Friend in Need

It happened not very long ago. But when you’re a snail, days move at snail’s pace, too. So, if you were to ask our friend the snail when this happened, she’d tell you, it was y-e-ars ago… Well, to get on with our story. In the shade of a cool, damp log, snoozed a shy snail. She wasn’t alone in her cosy home, oh no. She had company. There was a slug the snail called Cousin Glug because, you see, snails and slugs are part of the same family....

Why don't Birds on a wire get a shock?

Why don't Birds on a wire get a shock?

Now how is that possible? The fact is, for a living creature to get a ‘shock’ there has to be a substantial flow of current through the body. However, there is barely any current running through the bird’s body for two reasons. Firstly, the bird not only forms a circuit with the wire, but it also offers a high resistance to current, so the current passes through the wire instead of the bird. It’s a bit like this, would you prefer going on a smooth road or a road full of potholes?...

The Exotic Peacock

The Exotic Peacock

Come monsoons, and we immediately think about the beautiful peacock, dancing in the rain, with its luscious tail spread out behind it. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful birds in the world and a native of the Indian sub-continent, it is not surprising that the Peacock was anointed as the national bird of India in 1963. The Exotic Peacock [Illustrations by Neelima Bhushan] Hailing from the pheasant family, these exotic birds are cherished for their colourful plumes and eggs....

The Boy with a Catapult

The Boy with a Catapult

Our class at school has an odd assortment of boys. There was Harbans Lal who, when asked a difficult question, would take a sip out of his inkpot because he believed it sharpened his wits. If the teacher boxed his ears he would yell, “Help! Murder!” so loudly that teachers and boys from other classes would come running to see what had happened. This caused much embarrassment to the teacher. If the teacher tried to cane him, he would put his arms round him and implore, “Forgive me, Your Majesty!...

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

On the outskirts of a bustling city near the sea coast was a zoo named Kananvan. It was famous all over the world for its magnificent white tigers, exotic birds and several other rare species. However, there was one special quality that made the zoo different and about which no human knew. The animals of Kananvan practiced a democracy that is quite rare even in the so-called civilised world. A democracy in a zoo? I’ll explain....

King of the Birds

King of the Birds

The birds of the jungle had no king. It was a real embarrassment for them since everyone else in the jungle had kings. A king is someone who heads the flock and decides every thing for them. All the birds decided they too needed a king. The called a meeting to resolve the problem. But who will be the king? The Mynah had an idea. “Let the bird who can fly the highest be made king of the air,” she said....

Monu Makes his Mark

Monu Makes his Mark

Monu the mongoose crawled out of the ditch in the back garden. His mother was already out with his three little brothers. They had long bodies with short legs. They had bushy tails and tiny ears. And they had bright eyes, which shone like beads. They did things fast. They were already good hunters like their mother. But Monu was not smart like his brothers. He didn’t like chasing mice and garden rats like they did....

Magic of Kondapalli Toys

Magic of Kondapalli Toys

Did you know that animals, birds, reptiles and humans learn the lessons of life through play? Any object can be used as a toy. Lion cubs even play with their parent’s tail! Human children play with objects of daily life, like spoons and cardboard boxes. But toys remain the favourite playthings of most children. In India, the oldest toys belong to the 5000 year-old Harappan civilisation. These toys were made with natural materials like clay, wood and stone....

Young Poets

Young Poets

Todd-Michael St. Pierre writes poems, songs and plays for children. He is a storyteller at schools throughout the southern United States. Among his published works are ‘Somewhere: As Told By Garrett The Parrot’ and ‘The Louisiana State Bird Beauty Pageant’. ‘Young Poets’ is part of a collection, ‘A Treehouse On The Moon’, to be published soon, along with other works such as ‘The Prince Of Nonsense: Silly Poems4Kids’ and ‘Put The People In A Zoo And Set The Animals Free: Poems4Kids To Read Out Loud’....

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