There was a large pond in the middle of a jungle. All kinds of animals came to drink water from it. A small turtle had been living by the pond for many years. And he had become good friends with two cranes who lived there too.
Turtles and tortoises have been on planet Earth even before the dinosaurs. They are that old. The difference between a turtle and tortoise is that the turtle stays in water while the tortoise stays on land.
One winter afternoon, a little boy sat below a ‘neem’ tree, next to a river. He was returning from school, and carried a large bag on his back.
He looked very sad. And as he sat staring at the water, big fat tears started dripping from his eyes creating little round ripples in the pond.
In a certain lake there lived two fish, Multiwit and Centiwit by name. In course of time they became friendly with a frog named Uniwit. The three of them would spend some time by the lakeside, experiencing the pleasures of good conversation; then they would return again into the water.
Can you name an animal that returns to the place of its birth, every single year, journeying more than 1,000 km to do so? Well, here is another hint: this animal is a sea creature that originated on earth more than 200 million years ago- making the species older than the oldest ever dinosaur.
Hooty owl was puzzled. No one had come to the jungle school. “Maybe the little ones are late,” thought the teacher. “I’ll wait for a little while longer.”
Hooty owl did not know that her students had decided to miss school.
If you thought today’s pollution and environmental damage was just as old as the coming of industrial factories, smoke and chemical waste, you were wrong. A recent report in the journal ‘Science’ says that environmental pollution is as old as human existence itself, though industrialisation certainly hastened the process.
A few months ago, a turtle in Thailand was grievously injured when it was run over by a truck. The animal hardly seemed to have any chance of survival. However, with the immediate help of the Thai Animal Guardians Association, it did survive.
July 15: Heroes are people admired for certain noble qualities. Like standing up to wrongs committed by others. And doing something to right those wrongs.
Recently, a few men were honoured as earth heroes for what they have done for wild animals.
Born to Love Animals  The House Where Cockroaches Live to a Ripe Old Age
Written by Yoram Kaniuk; Translated by Yoram and Miranda Kaniuk
Illustrations by Tapas Guha
Published by Scholastic India Pvt.
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