Written by Laraba Murey

Short story: The wise pigeon

Once upon a time there was a king named Varsha who owned a pigeon and its name was Sibi. This pigeon was so wise that King Varsha would always consult him before attending his court. Sibi was also very good at predicting the weather and days of good fortune. King Varsha and his ministers whenever they wanted to go out hunting or on a long journey would consult the wise pigeon Sibi.

 

 

 

 

One afternoon when Sibi was sitting in the court, a flock of pigeons flew past the open door and settled noisily in some apple trees that grew in the garden. King Varsha was most surprised when Sibi turned to him and said, "Those are my people perched on the apple trees. They have come to ask me to visit the country where I was born and bred. Please give me permission to take a holiday so that I may visit my old home and see my parents and relatives again."

But King Varsha was disturbed by the pigeon's request.

"If you go away, Sibi," he said "who will advise me and help me to make correct decisions? How do I know that you will return from that distant country where your people live?"

Sibi felt hurt that King Varsha had doubted his loyalty.

"You know King…that I never break my word", he said. "If I promise that I will return upon a certain day, you know that I will keep it. Moreover, on my return I will bring you a truly wonderful fruit which has the rare quality of giving immortality to those who eat it."

King Varsha's curiosity was aroused by Sibi's description of this rare and wonderful fruit. Although he was reluctant to part with Sibi even for a short time, he agreed to let him go for a week. Sibi flew off with a shrill scream of delight and joined the flock of pigeons on the apple trees. For a few minutes there was a great chattering in the trees and then they all rose into the air and flew off.

Sibi's father was the king of all the birds in his native country. He and his queen were delighted to see their son again. There was great feasting and rejoicing in honour of his visit. Time passed all too quickly and at the end of a week, Sibi told his parents, "I must now return to my King Varsha. He is expecting me back tomorrow and I must not disappoint him."

"Go. my son", said the king of the pigeons, "and if your king can spare you again, come and visit us next year."

"I will try to come", said Sibi. "And I have one favour to ask you… Will you allow me to carry back to my king a specimen of the fruit of immortality which grows in these forests?"

"Most certainly", said the king of the pigeons and he gave his son one of those wonderful fruits. Some hours later, while King Varsha and his Chief Minister were together in the council chamber, the pigeon flew in through the open window and settled at the king's feet. In his beak Sibi carried the golden fruit.

 

"A thousand welcomes, my dear Sibi!" said King Varsha caressing his beloved Sibi. "And is this the fruit of immortality of which you spoke?"

"Yes, it is", said the pigeon, laying the fruit on King Varsha's throne. "Those who eat it shall never die." All eyes in the council chamber turned enviously upon the golden fruit. King Varsha considered for a moment and then said. "This precious fruit must not be wasted. Let us plant it in the ground and raise from it a tree which will bear more fruits upon its branches. In this way, many people will benefit from it."

 

KIDS AND HEALTH

Coronavirus: what kids can do

With all the talk about coronavirus, you might be wondering what kids can do. Here are the 4 best ways everyone (including kids) can help stop coronavirus:

Wash your hands. Use soap and water. Wash for 20 seconds. You can count slowly to 20. Or you can sing the happy birthday song twice. Be sure to wash the tops of your hands and between your fingers. Get your thumbs, and even your fingernails.

Always wash your hands after you use the bathroom. Wash them whenever you come in from outside, before you eat, after you play with a pet. Wash your hands after you blow your nose, sneeze, or cough. Cover your sneeze or cough.

Sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hand. Then wash your hands anyway. It's always fun to drown a germ with soap and water! Only do the activities that your parents and the local people in charge say are safe. This can help slow down the spread of germs. Wear a mask and keep your distance.

Wear a mask or cloth face covering when you go out. Kids younger than 2 years old shouldn't cover their faces. But everyone else should because this helps prevent the spread of the virus. It's also important to stay at least 6 feet away from people you don't live with when you're out in public.

Washing hands isn't so hard. But changing our routines can be tough. It means not being with people you like to be with. And not going places you like to go.

So here are some more things kids can do: Notice your feelings. Missing things — like playdates, school trips, and sports — can make you feel sad. But it won't be forever. For now, you can feel better if you stay in touch with people you miss. Talk on the phone or visit by video. You can draw pictures that show how you feel. Or talk about it with someone you feel close to.

Do things you enjoy. Try to have fun spending extra time with the people you live with.

When you're indoors, you can play games, read, do puzzles, make art, write a story, do a craft. You can dance, do yoga, build, learn, and play or listen to music. Go outside to ride bikes, run, walk, or hike. Take some chalk and write happy messages on trails and sidewalks for other people to see.

Be kind and helpful. All the changes due to coronavirus can make kids and adults feel stressed. Kids can help by doing little things that make a big difference.

 

Here are a few ideas:

Help take care of a little brother or sister. Keep them happy. Read to them and play with them. Put your stuff away. Make your bed. Do your best with schoolwork. Ask (nicely) for help. Use kind words. Take your bath or shower without a fuss. Share. Offer to help with meals or cleanup. Show love to your family. Give hugs. Help take care of your pet.

Be kind to yourself too. Relax. Get outside to play when you can. When you're kind and helpful, it's nice for others in your family. And it helps you feel good too.

 

 

DID YOUR KNOW?

1.Your heart is about the same size as your fist?

 

2. A Tiger’s skin is striped, like it’s fur?

 

3. Frogs drink water through their skin?

 

4. International Day of girl child is celebrated to raise awareness issues girls are facing and provide solutions around the world

 

5. A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out?

 

6.  Water covers 70% of Earth?

 

QUIZ

 

1. What sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers?

 

2.Which is the largest city in Nigeria?

 

3. Which was the country that first made the use of paper money?

 

4. Things fall when you drop them because of …?

 

5. Who was the first president of Nigeria?

 

ANSWERS

1. Honey 2. Lagos 3. China 4. gravity 5. Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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