Moral Stories in English - Hero Little Squirrel

 Hero Little Squirrel

On the branches of an old banyan tree in the forest lived a squirrel couple. A bonny child was born to them. It was as handsome as it was frolicsome. "He ought to grow up into a remarkable creature, not remain a squirrel-like us forever," his mother told his father. "Yes, he has every sign of becoming great like one of those deer here," agreed the little one's father. He did not wish his son to become anything else because they had not known any other animal. And because the deer had hair and stripes like those of the squirrels, the squirrel couple thought that they were just bigger squirrels though known as deer! "But how can he grow up to become a deer?" asked the mother squirrel. "Well, how do other kids grow into deer? There must be some method!" observed the father squirrel. He was always logical like this and the mother squirrel could not contest his wisdom. "Better we ask them," she said. 

At night a herd of deer slept around the banyan tree, amidst bushes. The place was surrounded by rocks or tall anthills, with very few openings. So, the considered the cozy place quite safe. It was a moonlit night. The deer gathered there as usual. The squirrel couple addressed them from a branch of the banyan tree and told them all about their ambition regarding their son, drawing their attention to the little one. The first to speak was a hefty deer. "I too was a little squirrel when I was born. But through sheer willpower, I grew to what I am." "And look at me," rejoined a heftier deer, "I grew up to this stature through regular exercise, discipline, and wrestling with some stout boars." "And if all the tigers of the forest are scared of me today, it is because I have gathered more muscle power than them," said a third deer who was no less hefty. The squirrels of course did not know what was meant by tigers. Nevertheless, they were impressed. "That is fine, but how can our little baby become like you? What should he do, to begin with?" asked the mother squirrel. "To begin with? Hm!" said the hefty deer.

"Well, to begin with, um, um..." the heftier deer stopped there. "It is late enough tonight. We will pass on the secret to you another time," said the no less hefty deer and he added in a commanding voice, "Now, all to sleep!" And all fell asleep, but not the little squirrel. He kept on gazing at the deer. He wondered how they could become so big. Yes, they too had stripes and they too had hair like their parents, though their hair slightly differed in color. His parents were asleep. He hopped down to a bush and then leaped on a rock to have a closer look at the deer. But does he see? Two human beings were stealthily doing something. He knew the human beings were clever animals who lived outside the forest. He observed that these two human beings had closed all the openings with their nets. They were now putting a finishing touch to closing the last opening. Why were they doing this? Surely not to catch the squirrels! They must be planning to catch the deer. They worked so cautiously and quietly that no deer was aware of the terrible fate awaiting them.

As one of the two men was tying the last knot, the little squirrel jumped onto his nose. The man gave out an involuntary shriek. The net fell from his hand. The deer woke up. They found all the openings shut, but got away through the solitary opening which had not been shut. The little squirrel's parents too hand woken up. They became anxious when they found that their son was missing. But soon the little one was back with them and he told them what he did. An old owl who lived in the hollow of the neem tree opposite, told the deer folk when they were back, "You loud-mouths! What happened to your muscle flexing and frightening the tigers? Today all of you would have been captured by human beings. You would have been killed for flesh or imprisoned in a zoo. The little squirrel saved you. Bow to him and confess your lies to him. Nature has made him a squirrel as Nature has made you deer and made me an owl. Our ideal should be to be good and brave, not to become someone else. Just as a squirrel can be a noble squirrel, a deer can be an ignoble deer or vice versa." The deer stood ashamed. They apologized to the squirrels. The little squirrel smiled and the parents were proud of him and felt sorry for their thinking to change him to a deer.

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