The Bathing Friends


It was early summer in the forest. On the mango tree near the foot of the hill lived two parrots. One day a sparrow visited their area in search f food and sat one of the ranches of the mango tree. The sparrow is very small and beautiful. Its presence on the tree attracted the parrots. One of the parrots asked the tiny sparrow: Where are you from?

The tiny sparrow: I am from the nearby lakeside. I heard that some new type of worms had infested this tree and I found them here and feasted on them. But this place is very hot, may be because of the rocky hill adjacent. Why don’t you join me for the evening bath in the lake?

Evening bath in the lake – both the parrots inquired surprisingly.

Yes. You seem to have not gone to the lake so far: said the tine sparrow.

Yes. We are excited about it. But tell us how you take bath, as you are very small?

No problem at the edge of the lake it is very shallow and I take bath for several times a day.

Then please guide us to the Lake.

It was already noon and the sun was very severe. The parrots invited the tiny sparrow to their place on the mango tree to rest and protect it from the very bright sunlight. As soon as they settled down, they all had fallen asleep.

When the rays of the setting sun touched their eyelids they all woke up and fluttered their wings. Now its time to take bath and cool down from the effects of the scotching sun: said the tiny sparrow.

All three of them headed towards the lake.

As they reached the lake, the parrots to their surprise saw thousands of birds taking bath in the lake and some are enjoying their play in the water. It was a scene that cannot be described. Soon the tiny sparrow introduced the parrots to its family that was taking bath in the lake and guided them to a safe edge of the lake. Soon the parrots understood the significance of bathing in the lake and enjoyed their bath thoroughly. It has become a habit for the parrots to visit the lake thereafter.

One day the parrots were late to arrive at the lake. As they approached the lake they found on the banks of the lake several birds murmuring and watching the several elephants taking bath. The parrots were also afraid of reaching the lake and joined their friend the tiny sparrow.

Seeing these birds on the banks of the lake a baby elephant emerged from the group of the elephants taking bath in the lake. The baby elephant came out and straight it went up to the tiny sparrow. Some birds got disturbed but the tiny sparrow was not in the company of the parrots.

Hi birds you are so cute. Are you enjoying watching us in the lake?: asked the baby elephant.

We are not enjoying seeing you in the lake. Your presence in the lake caused us immense disappointment and inconvenience. This lake has been of great help to us to cool down in this summer. Now we are afraid of entering the lake because of all of you.

After hearing the tiny sparrow the baby elephant too felt sad about their plight. It stood there for sometime watching all the birds.

It went back to the lake and joined the elephants. The birds watched helplessly.

In the lake, the baby elephant started crying. All the elephants stopped taking bath and circled the baby elephant and started inquiring:

What happened?

Is there a crocodile?

Did any one of us hurt you?

No: said the baby elephant. I want you all to watch at the bank of the lake. elephants

All the elephants turned their heads towards the banks and were surprised to see the colourful birds watching back at them.

We are bad yelled the Baby elephants. We should not have caused inconvenience to these birds that are waiting to cool themselves in this summer by bathing in the lake like us. I spoke to them and they are all angry with us and since we are huge they are helpless.

Hearing this the grand parents of the baby elephant felt very proud of their grand child. They kissed the baby elephants and asked: Darling you have opened all our eyes we should not have caused any inconvenience to these birds, as they too need to chill out. Now we can go there and ask them to join us.

No. No. No. They are all afraid of us. The moment any one of you approach them they all will fly away in fear. I have an idea if you all agree we can follow that.

To this, again the grand parents kissed the baby elephant and cuddled it with their trunks.

We shall go a bit deep into the lake and leave the banks to the birds to take bath. We shall not disturb the birds in any way. Now we shall move in.

This proposal received a thumping support from all the elephants. The bay elephant came out of the lake and again straight went to the place where the tiny sparrows along with its new friends the parrots from the goa tree were sitting.

Hey! I have good news for you. Look at the lake now. All the birds looked at the lake that was emptied at its edges. The elephants moved inside the lake.

Now listen to me. I have told all the elephants not to disturb you in any manner. We all shall take bath deep in the lake and you all can enjoy at the edges – as usual. Hope this is OK with you.

Hearing this from the baby elephant all the birds fluttered at once. The tiny sparrow alighted on the trunk of the baby elephant as a mark of its confidence and trust in the words of the baby elephant. The parrots too perched on the head of the baby elephant and started parroting what the baby elephant said. Seeing this all other birds too took liberty to approach the baby elephant. The sudden and lovely touch of the birds giggled the baby elephant. It is a scene worth watching.

The elephants – particularly the grand parents of the baby elephant jumped with joy while watching the birds surrounding their grand child. Soon the birds and the elephants have become friends and they bathed in the same lake thereafter for the whole of summer, year after year.

©2007 IVNS Raju


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