Today, Shammi, my dear old-student, happened to pass by and she thought of paying a casual visit to me. Her junior-KG son was as excited as her mother was. “Mohit beta, I told you about my sir, do you remember?” Shammi held her little one’s chin.
“Gerry sir!” the little angel announced.
“Correct!” the mother patted little Mohit’s head.
“Smart boy!” I too patted his back.
“Sir, you also tell stories? My teacher tells us many stories,” Mohit said.
I looked at his mother and smiled.
“Sir, Mohit loves stories,” Shammi declared. Then, looking at the little son, she said, “Beta, can you tell sir one of your favorite stories?"
“YESS! The Lion and the Mouse… I will tell?” the little one’s face lit up!
“Oh, darling! It is my favorite, too… Please tell,” I pampered the little fellow, “I am waiting.”
Shammi and I settled down on our chairs, and the little master stood at the centre, like a real prince. The story began.
“Long time ago, one afternoon, the Lion, the mighty king of the Jungle, was sleeping out side his den. He was fast asleep.
A small mouse saw the big Lion and decided to play some mischief. He pulled his tail, touched his paw… but, the king of the jungle was lost in his deep sleep.
The little mouse got more courage, and he decided to climb on his king’s back. The Lion did not come to know about it… He was fast asleep.
The mouse started jumping on his king’s back… He went close to Lion’s nose and started tickling him…
And, suddenly, the Lion woke up, disturbed from his sleep!
“Who could be so foolish to disturb my sleep?” the king roared with anger, “He has invited his trouble!”
The little mouse froze with fear!
“You stupid, little rat!” the mighty Lion thundered grabbing the tiny mouse with his hand, “How dare! I am going to crush you to death!”
On hearing this, the mouse began to cry loudly, “My lord, I am sorry for my mistake. Please forgive me… I will not repeat my mistake.”
“But, you little fool, didn’t you know that you were insulting your king?” the Lion blasted.
“My lord, I realize my mistake, now… Please let me live,” the frightened mouse pleaded, “One day, I will surely come to your help when you need it.”
“Come to my help?” the king of the jungle mocked, “Who, you?”
However, the Lion felt sorry for the scared mouse, and said, “Go.”
Some days later, the Lion got trapped in a hunter’s net. He tried hard and long to come out of it. But, he could not. Finally, the Lion got scared and started crying loudly, “Can someone help me?”… “Can some one help me?”
But, no one came to help the Lion. But, when the little mouse heard the cry of his king, he rushed to the spot where the Lion was trapped.
“Don’t worry, my Lord,” the little one consoled the mighty one, “I will free you from the net.”
Then, the mouse began to cut, with his sharp teeth, the hunter’s net, bit by bit… till the king of the jungle could come out free.
Once he was out, the Lion could not control his tears. He felt very thankful to the little mouse who had kept his promise. “You are my true friend,” the king of the jungle said, “I will always remember you for your help.”
Our little one, Mohit, had finished telling his favorite story to me.
“Excellent!” I cupped little Mohit’s face, “you are a great story-teller, dear!”
“But, beta, you have not told the moral of the story,” Shammi reminded the little one.
“Oh! I forgot,” Mohit tapped the back of his head. So, he concluded, “the moral of the story is: A friend in need is a friend in deed.”
The mother was very happy!
“Shammi, God has blessed you with a wonderful child,” I complimented her, “may he shine in life.”
“Thank you sir,” Shammi turned a bit sentimental.
“But sir,” the little fellow pulled my shirt. It meant that the story was still not over!
“Yes beta?” I encouraged.
“Sir, my daddy says
that the moral of this story is:
We never know who may come to our help
“Your daddy is also right, sweetheart,” I caressed the innocent one, “we never know, really!”
Pics.: Manohar Kadam
P.S.: “What goes around, comes around!”
“Beta Mohit, it means that if you do good to others, good things will come back to you. And, yes, like that little naughty mouse, we all do make ‘big’ mistakes, sometimes… But then, if we say ‘Sorry’ from our hearts, we become very, very strong! And, one more thing: never forget to keep the small promise you make to someone, okay dear?... LOVE.”