Red Squirrel

in Stories

At the bottom of an old banyan, there once lived a gifted squirrel.

The squirrel could change colour like chameleons. The squirrel only had three legs, making it difficult for her to climb the tree.

The banyan was tall and huge. It was the squirrel’s dream to reach to its top.

One day, she decided to climb to its top. So, steadily she climbed.

Illustration: Neha Kumari

After a tiring day of climbing, the squirrel had covered only half of the trunk.

It was dark and the squirrel could go no further. She found a crevice in a tree branch and decided to rest there for the night.

The surface of the crevice was red due to the growth of red fungi in it. The squirrel camouflaged in the red fungi to save herself from predators.

As soon as the squirrel fell asleep, she was woken up by a thud.

When she opened her eyes, a dove with a broken wing stood before her.

The dove lived in the nest, where the squirrel was resting, along with his children.

You cannot rest here as your presence will attract snakes. They can harm my children and I am too weak to defend them,” said the dove, which with his sharp sight had spotted the camouflaged squirrel.

As she had nowhere to go in the night, the squirrel made an offer to the dove.

If you allow me to rest here, I will bring your children nuts till you are fit to fly. This way they will not starve,” said the squirrel.

The dove agreed.

As the sun was up in the morning, the squirrel tiptoed out of the crevice and left. She again began her climb.

The dove is never going to find me. It was so easy to befool him,” the squirrel thought to herself.

As the day was about to end, the squirrel was only a few steps from the top of the tree.

She found another crevice to hide in and soon fell into a deep sleep. This time, a snake’s hiss woke her up.

On seeing the snake, the squirrel was scared. To save herself, she thought of another trick.

I am the king of all the squirrels. If you let me go, I shall bring you one squirrel every day to eat,” said the squirrel.

The snake replied: “I was there when you promised to the dove to bring him nuts for his children. Seeing your kindness, I spared you. But in the morning, I saw how you cheated the bird.”

The snake lunged at the squirrel and ate her.

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