Roots

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The Mighty

The Mighty

At the edge of a forest, stood a big tree. Its branches spread out majestically and so did its roots. It shielded people from the sun under its shady leaves, and provided shelter to countless birds and other small creatures in its branches. It buzzed with activity all the time. At the foot of the tree grew a little plant. The plant was willowy and delicate, and tended to keel over at the touch of the slightest breeze....

The Apple Tree

The Apple Tree

There was an old apple tree in a farmer’s garden. It was so old that it had stopped bearing fruit a long time ago. The only purpose it served was to provide shelter to the sparrows, grasshoppers and squirrels in the neighbourhood. One day, the farmer decided to cut the tree down. He felt it had become completely useless. Besides, he wanted to get some furniture made and what better way to ensure the wood supply from the tree?...

Is Potato a Fruit or Vegetable?

Is Potato a Fruit or Vegetable?

Pick up a potato and you notice eyes with little lashes on it. In fact, the lashes look like tiny roots. Have you ever wondered why the potato has roots on it? The potato is actually a stem. A stem in disguise, that grows under the ground! Many plants are masters at adapting themselves to their surroundings. They can change their structure to suit their needs. Farmer holding harvested dirty potatoes in his hands....

The Importance of the Mangrove Forest

The Importance of the Mangrove Forest

Tropical coastlines and marshy areas around the world have one thing in common: mangrove forests. These consist of trees and shrubs that throw out many prop roots and sustain a large variety of aquatic animals, birds and plants. These mangroves form a complete ecosystem. That is, they provide a complete base for all the organisms within that environment to live and thrive. That keeps the balance in the larger environment of which humans are a vital part....

It All Began with Drip Drip

It All Began with Drip Drip

A tiger was caught in a storm, he had wandered into the fields looking for something to eat. He huddled close to the wall of Naini’s hut for shelter. Naini was an ill-tempered old woman who lived on the outskirts of the village. She was feeling especially ill-tempered that day, because her roof leaked badly. “This drip-drip!” she muttered, pushing her tin trunks and bed from place to place to keep them dry. “Is there no escape?...

Can Plants be Parasites?

Can Plants be Parasites?

All living things are dependent either on other animals or plants for their food. Animals must constantly go in search of food. But plants remain fixed at one place. Some plants make their own food by using energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil to make sugar. Green leaves of the plants contain chlorophyll that carry out this process called photosynthesis. But a large number of plants are unable to produce their own food because of the absence of chlorophyll....

Which Insects Live the Longest?

Which Insects Live the Longest?

Take a look around. Which insects do you see? A fly sitting on your computer screen, a mosquito buzzing in your ear just as you drop off to sleep, a butterfly flitting about in the garden outside, or how about the ants that made off with the remains of a dead moth? Most of the insects we see around us have rather short lives. A few hours, a few days, that’s about how long most insects last....

What is Vetiver Grass?

What is Vetiver Grass?

If you ask someone what vetiver is, chances are that you might get a blank look. But mention the word khus, and most people will be all-smiles. For this grass have the sweetest and coolest fragrance that beat the summer heat. That is why for centuries Indians have had vetiver or khus mats and screens in their homes. A steady sprinkle of water is enough to keep the hot summer wind out. Chrysopogon zizanioides, commonly known as vetiver found abundantly in India, is of Asian origin....

A Lucky Hunter

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 the boy, “please don’t go hunting today.” “You are silly!” said the father. “That’s a good sign....

What is a Kangaroo Rat?

What is a Kangaroo Rat?

It looks like a small kangaroo for its hind legs are longer than its fore legs. And it uses its tail to balance itself. In fact, unlike other rats it does not run on all four legs but jumps around from bush to bush in search of food – like a kangaroo. And that’s why it is called the kangaroo rat. It has another unique feature. Unlike most animals, the kangaroo rat does not need to drink water....

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