¡°Thank you and if there is anything we can ever do
we shall do it¡± said the mouse.
a friend in need
Once upon a time there lived a
group of mice in a forest. They lived happily and peacefully
until something happened to destroy their peace. A group of wild
elephants also came to live in the same forest. Now, as a rule
all forests have creatures that are both big and small. Although
they confront one another and sometimes kill each other,
nevertheless all kinds of animals manage to coexist in the same
forest. The same might have happened to the mice and the
elephants. But unfortunately there was a drought that year. Most
of the pools and ditches from which the animals drank dried up.
There was only this stream which had a little water.
As all the elephants rushed to
the stream whenever they were thirsty they did not bother to
look which way they were going. In their mad rush most of the
mice got crushed under their feet and their homes were
destroyed. The leader of the mice was really worried. He was
sure that if things continued the same way very soon there would
be no mice left at all! Something had to be done to stop the
elephants and soon. But what could they do? The little mice were
no match for the huge elephants. So how could they possibly make
the elephants listen to them?
At last the leader of the mice
had an idea. It was rather daring but it was the only thing to
do. The leader went to see the chief of the elephants and said
that he had an urgent request.
¡°You?¡± cried the elephant chief
in surprise looking at the mouse, ¡°what can you possibly have to
say to me?¡±
¡°Sir, couldn¡¯t you please ask the elephants to take the direct
route to the river instead of rushing there anyhow? As they rush
by among the trees they tramp on the mice and kill them. Those
of us who are lucky enough to escape are rendered homeless. I am
sure they don¡¯t intend to kill us. Probably they are not even
aware of the damage they cause. That is why I thought of
requesting you to speak to them.¡±
The chief of the elephants gave him a searching look. ¡°I am sure
you are right. The elephants are not likely to gain anything by
killing mice or destroying their homes. You are far too tiny to
be of any use! It is possible that they are not even aware of
¡°That is what I thought, sir¡± said the leader of the mouse.
¡°I shall speak to them and ask them to go by the direct route to
the river¡± said the chief of the elephant, ¡°I think it was brave
of you to have come to me, little mouse.¡±
¡°Thank you and if there is anything we can ever do to help, we
shall do it¡± said the mouse.
The elephant burst out laughing!
The mouse who looked so serious was really too funny for words!
¡°Thanks for the offer¡± said the
elephant looking amused, ¡°though I can¡¯t imagine how a tiny
creature like you can possibly help someone as huge as an
elephant! But it was nice of you to have said it.¡±
The elephant chief kept his
promise. He told the elephants to be careful and go to the river
by another route without hurting the mice. The mice soon
breathed in peace and went back to their carefree life. Before
long things took an unexpected turn. This time it was the
elephants who were in trouble. A band of elephant trappers
sneaked into the forest and trapped the elephant in their huge
nets. Even the elephant chief was caught unawares. He was really
upset and blamed himself bitterly for not being careful enough
and for not having warned the others. Darkness had set in and
the trappers had gone off to rest for the night. They planned to
take away the elephants the next morning.
¡°Isn¡¯t there anyone who can come
to our rescue?¡± asked the trapped elephants.
¡°I can¡¯t think of anyone¡± said the chief shaking his head in
despair, ¡°if only there was someone we could turn to!¡±
Luckily for him the leader of the
mice was passing by just then. He was amazed to find all the
¡°How did this happen, sir?¡± he
asked the elephant chief.
¡°We were careless¡± said the elephant gloomily, ¡°and now we are
all caught with no hope of being rescued.¡±
¡°Don¡¯t worry, we¡¯ll have you free in a trice¡± said the leader of
the mice as he cut the net with his sharp teeth.
¡°That would be wonderful¡± said the elephant chief, ¡°Can you
really do it?¡±
¡°Of course¡± said the mouse with confidence, ¡°Wait a while. I¡¯ll
go and call the others.¡±
The leader soon returned with his
entire troop of mice and they attacked the nets with vigor. They
worked all night and by the time it was morning they had freed
all the elephants from the traps.
¡°I thank you with all my heart¡±
said the leader of the elephants gratefully,
And everyone returned home
¡°I did not think that someone so small could help us out of such
a dire situation. But now I know that mere size does not
matter. A friend in need is a friend indeed!¡±
1. What was the leader of
the mice worried about?
2. Why did the elephant
burst out laughing?
3. What happened to the
4. How did the mice rescue