Cody the little hedgehog

(Edited by Scio)

Cody hurriedly picked-up that blue-box-binocular and shot away towards Mrs. Swinton’s cottage. Itim had just brought him news that Mr. & Mrs. Falcon have left for their own jobs. Cody knew that either Mrs. Falcon or Mr. Falcon would come back to check on their nest every half hour. He had this small window to sneak up to their nest—high atop Mrs. Swinton’s Chimney pot.

Cody wanted to become an Oologist, like his grandmother. That blue-box-binocular actually belonged to his granny—Mrs. O’Connor. Even Mrs. O’Connor had not known about this dream of Cody.

Stalking nests was however,  a top secret affair for him; only Itim knew about it. Itim was his best friend, a quail who drifted around collecting news about empty nests.

Few weeks ago, before his summer holiday, Cody had told his friends that he wanted to become an Oologist. Everyone in class had laughed and ooed at him after hearing this. They knew that hedgehogs loved eating bird-eggs but little could they imagine that Cody, the little hedgehog, had planned for spending his life simply watching eggs… Since then Cody had kept his dream to himself.

Mr. Falcon was not particularly well-received either. Only last Thursday he had broken into Pete and Matilda’s nest—high atop Mr. Morgan’s solid brown garrett—and ruined their eggs. Since Pete and Matilda were small sparrows, much smaller than Mr. Falcon, they could not resist him for long and they lost the battle. Matilda cried a lot for the next two days.

Anyway, Cody took that binocular, hopped through the cracked and chipped fence of Mrs. Swinton’s, crawled across her dry rooftop, and reached the chimney-pot.

Cody looked around in brisque, jerky movements—the sparkling bright sky of summer seemed clear of any possible danger. Cody was a little hesitant about taking further risks. So he kept his position and brought out that blue-box-binocular.

Unfortunately he did not know how to use it. Attached to the box were a pair of big round lenses and then a pair of small round lenses to the opposite of those big ones. It usually clunked open when pressing down on a small knob at its side. Cody had put those big lenses to his eyes, thinking that the big lenses would make things look bigger. He had heard his granny talking about binoculars that make things look bigger and nearer.

And as Cody, with much courage and poise looked through it, exactly the opposite happened—the nest was fleeced a mile away! And then, the devil himself—Mr. Falcon—stepped right in front of it. To Cody Mr. Falcon seemed a great distance afar—he could only see his cold beady eyes through the binoculars after all—a distance he could easily run from.

Cleared of doubt, Cody reached his paw out towards the nest but was startled with a loud shrill cry. It was Mr. Falcon! He burst into a frenzy of shrieks and flaps! Before Cody could think of anything Mr. Falcon took a sharp flight and disappeared.

Itim was looking out for Cody from a nearby fig tree. She had seen the entire episode and called in the other birds to celebrate little Cody’s victory over a big Falcon as fast as she could. All the smaller birds cheered his praise, and greeted Cody for his courage in turn.

However, Cody was feeling more starstruck than courageous over what had just happened. He went back to his Granny’s place and told her about the whole incident. Mrs. O’Connor smiled at him and explained that he had held the binocular the wrong way around. Thus, when Mr. Falcon came close and peered into the box, he had found the big scary face of Cody staring at him from the opposite side— as if Cody was very close to him. At the same time, Cody had seen Mr. Falcon’s eye farther away than they actually were, because binoculars work in reverse from the opposite direction. Binoculars can make things look either bigger or smaller, depending on which end you look through. A smaller Mr. Falcon gave Cody the courage he needed, and to Mr. Falcon, it had given the fright of his life!

Everybody in the village was happy with Cody’s daring in face of bullying Mr. Falcon who had then kept away for months! Every bird and animal in the community has lived in peace ever since.

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Fixing the Moon

 

Grade 3

James was not allowed to get out of the tunnel at day time. Everybody told him that day belongs to humans. The little fun he had always took place in night, after the school when George and James strolled around the entire dining area.

George was his bestest friend. Their school was in third cupboard. Humans might have called them third graders.

Tonight when Miss Finn entered the class, she had three balls with her- one blue, one yellow and one white which had some spots on it.

Miss Finn held the blue ball up and asked the class to imagine it as the earth. James always thought that Miss Finn had the sweetest smile on earth. Then she held the yellow ball up and said “this is the Sun. Our earth travels around the Sun in 365 days and 6 hours.” Then she took up the white ball and said “imagine, this is our Moon that runs around our earth in 27 days and 7 hours”. And then she went on explaining how Tides are created on earth. James was very surprised to realise that The Sun and Moon attracted water on earth from millions and millions mile away.

The School ended in two hours and James came out of the third cupboard with George. Tonight they had a plan for exploring the sink area in the kitchen. On their expedition they found a toaster kept at the right side of the sink- both James and George tried their luck – there was a little bit of bread-crumb left inside, which they ate. Then they found a fruit basket. Both James and George did not like fruits, so they ignored it. And then they saw another basket. On their search, they discovered that the basket contained a white round object, similar to the one that was brought in class by Miss Finn. James quickly recognised it- A MOON! It had the exact same spotted skin -they saw on the sky- many times.

James looked at George. George of course knew what James was thinking- Treasure Hunt!

George instantly grabbed that white round thing, asked James to lie on his back, put the thing on his lap, and started dragging him by his tail.

An exclusive Rat-Work.

It was all fine till george missed the sink. Plouch! George toppled, straight into the sink, along with James- the white round thing broke into pieces and a yellow jelly like matter came out from inside it- somewhat like an egg yolk.

James was scared to death. He thought that he probably had broken the Moon itself. This meant that days would never end and nights would gradually stop coming in. If that happened then James would never be allowed to move out of the tunnel ever in future. This thought made his spine chill.

George almost cried. It was all his fault. Although James never did blame George for his mistake- they were bestest friends after all!

They both became very sad, both were looking at the still vacant sky, visible from the window, behind the sink. Indeed there was no Moon in there, even after a long wait.

This proved that they really broke the Moon and soon there will come an everlasting day.

They waited, waited and waited in anxiety but no Moon came up in the sky. They collected all those broken pieces when the light sipped in at the dawn, and then they went back into their tunnel.

A peculiar thing happened inside the tunnel- it looked as if every other mouse knew what terrible crime they had committed or at least that was what they were expecting from others.

They rushed into their play room, avoiding everyone else. James said “we must put the Moon back in the sky, no matter what.” George said “then let’s put these pieces together.” So they bought the strongest glue and started rearranging the white-round-thing. It was a much difficult puzzle. They could remake only a part of it. Sadness grew on them but they decided not to lose hope and they must put the Moon back in the sky, even if the Moon was only partial.

Next they went to the window porch behind the sink and threw the white thing into the sky but Alas! It immediately it came down on the grass lawn. They tried again but it never stayed in the air and so the Moon did not come up in the sky.

They tried again, again, and again, they even threw it from the roof top but with no difference in the result- the half Moon came back on the ground.

They had  to find an idea to keep it in air. While searching for an idea James remembered that Mr. Steinbeck had once told that a hot air balloon stays up in the air for long, in their crafts class. He also taught how to make a hot air balloon in home.

So, James and George decided to make one. They went up and down, collected candle, scissors, plastic bag, plastic straws, and a foil.

They measured the foil, placed four candles on it, fixed those straws to make a the base structure, put the plastic bag above it and placed those candles on that structure. Also they kept the broken Moon on that foil thus it could be taken along into the sky as soon as the hot air balloon was lit.

Then they went to the window porch and launched the balloon. This time, in much of their delight, the half-moon did not return on the ground. It went high in the air, floating and rising.

James and George kept observing the glowing dot of light that took their moon up in the dark blue sky, sprinkled with sparkling tiny dots about which Miss Finn had once said that they had been thousands and thousands of big burning Suns.

The dot of light slowly went up and up and at a time it went out of their visibility but still the Moon had not appeared yet.

James was just about to lose hope, at that very second George said “look, look there at the left corner of the sky- there is our Moon- exactly half- like the one one we sent up! It has got stuck there in the sky!! The Moon is back!!! The Moon is back!!!”

They both jumped in joy and shook their little paws till morning- dancing and jumping and laughing in their happiness to celebrate their triumph.

 

 

Can you guess what was that round-white-thing? It was a Quail egg. It has spots on its shell, just like the Moon. The boy who lived in that house found that egg in their garden, he was trying to catch those Quials, but that is all another story.