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THE LIFELONG TREASURE by Umamaheswari Anandane

Written for Retell, Remix and Rejoice Contest by Pratham Books

Once upon a time, there lived a Lion who felt sad about the animals in his jungle What a dull life! the Lion moaned . My jungle is no different from what it was a decade ago. My people are uneducated and far behind the other part of the world. And as a king , I feel sad about this fact. he thought.

until I redeem my respect of being crowed as the real king of the Jungle. And for that I should do something for my people the Lion said and he thought of a plan.

He saw the Giraffe, Elephant and Zebra grazing on the fields. The lion went near them and spoke My friends, do you know that there is a secret hidden in a place that belonged to our jungle and told them the directions . The animals stood astounded looking carefully their King. I hope that you will find out the secret that holds a priceless value , the Lion said clearly and then went away

After the Lion has gone, the animals in the jungle began to discuss about what the Lion had said. Well, if there is a secret in the jungle ,then we must sure find it out ,said the Giraffe Oh! No ,what happens if we are been tricked.I must say I dont want myself to be involved in such dangerous treasure findings.You must have heared the hurdles of finding the real treasure said the afraid Zebra and backed off to join his Zebra friend. Dont worry.I will go first and find out the truth since I am strong and fearless said the brave Elephant. And all the other animals agreed .

Soon, the Elephant set out into the directions given by the Lion. He walked deep into the dark forest surrouned by strange looking plants and trees .

Finally, he reached a place that appeared to be like a path to a cave. This must be the exact way thought the Elephant. The Elephant took a deep breath and set forward walking towards the cave .

No sooner than he set forth his travel, the Elephant came running back with his amazing findings . I must tell my friends what I saw, the Elephant thought

The other animals were gathered to hear from the Elephant who was now panting for breath. What is that you saw?Do tell us fast asked the impatient green parrot sitting on the branch . How big was the Treasure?, asked the Monkey. The Elephant could not find words to decribe it.It was the tree , a huge tree that had a door .It had many openings and looked different from the other trees said the Elephant Oh!Wait a minute . Can you be a bit clear? What was it exactly? Did you go inside the door of the tree ? asked the Deer No No..I thought I should tell you first about the Tree and the door said the Elephant Well, then lets set off together to find what is inside the door said the Giraffe.

Then they finally went to the place directed by the Elephant.They saw a board pointing to a door on a Tree. Its a Tree House cried the Monkey Wait , there is something written on the Board , said the Parrot


One by one, the animals tried to read the board. But however up, down or side ways they tried , they could not read it.


Finally, they decided to go into the Tree House and explore it .Each animals sneeked into every door and window they found on the Tree Hey, what did you all find ?.Anything interesting friends ? , asked the Monkey who was guarding outside for them


One or two to say, they are many Treasures all our way sang the other animals. I found a swing said the Caterpillar I found a ring ,said the Parrot I found a pencil said the Giraffe I found a slate said the Monkey who now climbed the tree And I found a Shapes said the Rabbit.


All the animals were excited and they all sang together . Now, we are all set ready to school This is mine and that is your stool We got our bags and our other Tools Learning is fun and Learning is Cool


But wait cried the Parrot. Who is our Teacher? I mean who will be teaching us she asked in surprise . I dont know, said the Money I dont know either , said the caterpillar As every one was searching for their Teacher, they heard a loud deep roar.


The animals were frightened and as they began to run, they were stopped by the presence of a tall thing standing in front of the blac board and writing something on it.


The tall thing turned and the animals were surprised to see a Tiger . Ah..Oooo said the animals . A Tiger is our Teacher they all cried in astonishment. Yes said the Tiger . I will be your Teacher who will help you to discover the real lifelong Treasure EDUCATION , humbly said the Professor Tiger .

And as the sounds of Alphabets and Words grew louder in the Tree House School , the Lion King was happy to have discovered literacy in his jungle and slept peacefully in his Den.


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