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The Shadow Of The Banyan Tree
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Once upon a time, far far away, in the dense forest of Assam, there lived a buck named Nattu.
He lived with his mother in a deep hole under a big banyan tree.
When the sun shone high in the sky, the banyan tree was so big that it cast its shadow over a large area beneath it.
Little Nattu was always afraid going out, seeing the big circle of deep shadow around the tree.
It was not that he was timid in nature, he was just afraid of this particular thing.
In the morning, when there was no shadow as the sun was just rising up, Nattu wandered here and there so merrily that everyone in the forest thought that he must have something special to be happy about.
It was the month of June and the sun was shining brightly high in the sky.
The shadow of the banyan tree was dense.
Birds were resting in their nests in the long and close-knit branches of the tree.
Among all the birds on the tree Tweety, a handsome parrot, was the best friend of Nattu.
However, both Tweety and Nattu found very few occasions to meet.
In the morning, when Nattu came out of his home, Tweety was out with his parents to get food, and when Tweety came in at noon, little Nattu didn't come out as he was afraid of the dense shadow of the banyan tree.
It was noon and little Nattu was in his home all alone, thinking about his best friend Tweety.
He had an intense desire to tell his best friend about something that happened in the morning, when Tweety was out with his parents looking for food, but he couldn't gather enough courage to come out.
It rained half an hour ago but little Nattu was not aware of it as he was in his home.
Tweety was two years older than Nattu.
He had tried many times to help Nattu overcome his fear, but he hadn't had any success so far.
Little Nattu never came in the middle of the day.
Tweety too was feeling a terrible urge to meet his buddy, but he could not do anything.
Suddenly Tweety had an idea, seeing something beautiful in the sky he approached Nattu's home, which was deep in the roots of the banyan tree.
"Nattu, what are you doing? It's me, your best buddy Tweety" he said from the entrance of Nattu's home.
"Come on in my best buddy, I was thinking about you." Nattu said from his bed.
"You come outside; look it's really nice out here, a cool breeze is blowing and it must be hot inside."
"Nope, I will not, I'm afraid." Little Nattu said in low voice.
Tweety sensed his fear, but he was determined to take Nattu out that day.
He wanted to overcome his friend's fear forever.
"OK, don't come outside, but can't you come to the door? I have to tell you something, it is very interesting." said Tweety.
"Alright my friend, I'm coming to the door," Nattu said, leaving his soft bed.
He came to the door and saw that Tweety was standing outside smiling at him. Nattu felt his smile a little suspicious, but he couldn't control his curiosity.
"What is the matter, why are you smiling at me that way?" Nattu said.
He felt a cool breeze on his face as he reached the door.
'Outside the weather must be beautiful', Nattu thought.
"Why can't I smile my friend?" Tweety said. "Nattu, do you want to see some magic?"
"What magic?" Nattu said.
"A big beautiful and colourful painting, so big that the whole sky is covered with it. Everyone is very happy out here."
"The happiest is peacock. He is so pleased that he has been dancing since morning." Tweety continued in his chirpy voice.
Just then, there came a sweet sound of a nightingale.
Nattu was standing at his door and he could feel the coolness of the wind on his forehead.
The air was so fresh that he was filled with energy and his drowsiness disappeared.
He could feel the change in the weather, he wanted to go out with his friend but an unknown fear was holding him back.
"What are you thinking Nattu?" Tweety sensed both his friend's hopefulness and fear.
"Let's go out and see the magic." Tweety said.
"No, Tweety you know I am frightened of that big dark shadow of the banyan tree." Nattu said.
Tweety thought that Nattu would not come out as he had never done so before.
He would have to do something.
"OK, just come little outside and see the magic, then you can go inside."
Nattu gathered his courage and said "OK, OK, let's move a little way out."
He was getting excited about what Tweety would show him.
Nattu was fascinated about the magic from the beginning.
They walked for a short distance from Nattu's home.
The first rain of the season made everything in the forest beautiful.
Birds were chirping, frogs were shouting excitedly in a nearby pit, and a little squirrel was running merrily from one branch to another.
The clouds were covering half of the sun, so the shadow of the banyan tree was not too dense.
Little Nattu felt relieved seeing no shadow, and he was thrilled seeing everyone in high spirit.
"Where is that magic you told me about?" he asked Tweety.
"It is past those bushes, but you have to close your eyes, and open them when I say." Tweety said, pointing to the bushes.
Little Nattu had no choice except to close his eyes; Tweety sat on his back and guided him towards the bushes.
Nattu was wondering what it was that Tweety wanted to show him.
His curiosity was increasing with every step he took.
"Now you can open your eyes." Tweety said.
Nattu was amazed at seeing the beautiful rainbow in the sky.
The seven colours of the rainbow were so splendid that Nattu was finding it difficult to look away.
"It's so pretty." said Nattu.
"I wanted to show you this, but I was not sure that you would come."
"I don't come out of my home at noon; the shadow of banyan tree is frightening.
When the leaves of the tree tremble, the shadow seems to be a big frightening animal." Nattu said.
"It's just a shadow Nattu, look now; the clouds have covered the sun so the shadow is not too dense."Tweety said, pointing to the weak shadow of banyan tree.
Nattu looked under the tree, and he was not afraid as the shadow was very weak and there was no trembling of leaves of the banyan tree.
"When the sun shines high in the sky the shadow becomes darker and you feel fear, there is nothing to worry about, it's just a shadow." Tweety said.
"How are you Nattu, it is wonderful weather isn't it?" Giny, the squirrel said. She was bathing in the water in the pit, and she seemed very happy.
"Yes it is Giny." Nattu said smiling.
They returned to Nattu's home.
Under the banyan tree Nattu's mother was waiting for him.
"Where were you, I have looked for you everywhere?" she said.
"Mom, Tweety and I saw magical painting in the sky, which has seven colours." "It's called a rainbow, my son." his mother said smiling.
They all talked about the rainbow and its beautiful colours.
Time passed quickly and now the sky was clear, the sun shone as usual.
There was a dense shadow under the banyan tree, but Nattu didn't notice it.
He was busy chatting with his mother and his best friend, discussing the beautiful colours of the rainbow.
Nattu is not afraid of anything now!
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