Written by Laraba Murey

Short story: The root of the matter

A porcupine came and asked a dog for food. The dog said he had no food but showed him a field of sugarcane belonging to a judge.






"Eat as much as you want," said the dog, "but leave the roots intact so that the plants will grow again." The porcupine found the sugarcane sweet and juicy. He began to visit the field every day. In the beginning he ate only the stems, as directed by the dog, but after a few days he began to eat the roots too. One day the judge saw the destruction in his field and was very angry.

He called the dog and accused him of destroying his crop. The dog said it was the porcupine that was to blame. The porcupine said he was innocent and suggested that the matter be settled in court. The judge agreed.

The porcupine waited till winter set in. Then one chilly morning he went to the dog's house and told him the judge had summoned them.

When they entered the judge's chamber the dog began to shiver with the cold.

"See how he trembles, Your Honor," said the porcupine. "Isn't that a sure sign of guilt?"

"What do you have to say for yourself?" asked the judge, looking sternly at the dog.

But the dog's teeth were chattering with the cold and he could not speak. Thinking that his silence was an admission of guilt, the judge pronounced him guilty and kicked him out of the house.

Whenever a dog barks incessantly, Africans say he is warning the judge that the porcupine has got into his field.




What Is a Headache?

Although it may feel like it, a headache is not a pain in your brain. Your brain tells you when other parts of your body hurt, but it can't actually feel pain. Most headaches happen in the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles that cover a person's head and neck. Sometimes the muscles or blood vessels swell, which means they get larger.


They also can tighten or go through other changes that stimulate or put pressure on the surrounding nerves. The nerves send a rush of pain messages to your brain, and you end up with a headache.


What Are the Kinds of Headaches?

The most common type of headache is a tension, or muscle-contraction, headache. This happens when stressed-out head or neck muscles keep squeezing too hard. When you get this kind of headache, the pain is usually dull and constant. It might feel as though something is pressing or squeezing on the front, back, or both sides of your head.

Pain that's especially sharp and throbbing can be a sign of a different kind of headache called a migraine (say: MY-grayne). Migraine headaches aren't as common as tension headaches, especially in kids, but they can still happen. Sometimes, just before a migraine happens, the person sees wavy lines or bright spots of light. This is called an aura (say: AWR-uh). Also, kids who get migraines often feel sick to their stomachs and sometimes throw up.


What Causes Headaches?

Sometimes a headache is just a part of another illness, such as a cold or flu or strep throat. When you get better, the headache gets better, too.

If you're not sick, other triggers may cause a headache. For example, staying up too late, skipping a meal, or playing in the hot sun too long can set off a headache.

Excitement about a special event or worry about something (a school exam, for instance) can also cause headaches. Some kids get headaches from riding in a car or bus or from straining their eyes by spending too much time watching TV or using a computer.

Strong odors, such as perfume, smoke, fumes, or the smell of a new car or carpet, can start a headache.

Some foods can cause headaches in some kids, such as bacon, bologna, and hot dogs. The caffeine in sodas, chocolate, coffee, and tea may cause headaches, too. Kids don't need caffeine, so it's a good idea to limit it in your diet.

Sometimes no one knows why a kid gets headaches, but if you get them, chances are someone in your family gets them, too. The tendency to get headaches is often inherited. In other words, it runs in the family.

Headache Help

Most headaches will go away after you've rested or slept awhile. When you get one, the first thing you should do is tell an adult, so he or she can help. Lie down in a cool, dark, quiet room and close your eyes. Put a cool, moist cloth across your forehead or eyes. Relax. Breathe easily and deeply.




1.      What falls often but never gets hurt?


2. A baby cow is known as?


3. In Lion King, what was portrayed as the villain?


4. Fear of closely packed holes is known as?


5. How many seas in the world?



1. Snow 2. A calf 3. Hyenas 4. Trypophobia 5. 7 seas




1. I am white when I am dirty, and black when I am clean. What am I?


2. What goes up when the rain comes down?


3. I have no feet, no hands, no wings, but I climb to the sky. What am I?


4. If you have me, you want to share me. If you share me, you haven't got me. What am I?


5. What are moving left to right, right now?



1. A blackboard.  2. An umbrella. 3. Smoke 4. A Secret 5. Your eyes!



1. Your fingernails grow faster when you are cold?


2. Goats have rectangular pupils in their eyes?


3. There are 31,556,926 seconds in a year?


4. A tsunami can travel as fast as a jet?


5. All babies are born with blue eyes?

















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