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Published on 17 May 2011 | over 7 years ago

Four friends: a deer, a tortoise, a crow and a mouse are worried about the hunter's traps. Will they outwit him?

The Four Friends
Retold by BookBox
Far from any town,
there was a forest,
in which all the animals and birds
lived together peacefully.
The forest was home to four
inseparable friends:
a deer, a tortoise,
a crow and a mouse.
Every evening they met
to discuss the events of the day.
But one day, the deer became
very frightened.
“Hunters are laying traps
everywhere.
Is there anything we can do
to escape?”
“Yes there is,” the crow cried out.
“As our friend the mouse knows!”
The crow began telling everyone
what he had seen.
“Just the other day,
I saw the most amazing thing.
A flock of doves
got trapped in a hunter’s net,
their wings flapping wildly.
Then suddenly, all together,
the doves picked up the net
in their beaks
and flew into the sky.
And where did they go?
Straight to our friend the mouse!
With his sharp teeth,
he tore the net to pieces.
Free at last,
the doves flew away.
They were very grateful
to our friend.”
After the story ended,
the deer went in search of water
while the three friends
started nibbling on the fruits,
shrubs and leaves
of the forest.
They chatted late into the night,
still waiting for the deer to return.
But the deer
was nowhere to be seen,
and the friends began to worry.
At dawn,
while the others called out
to the deer,
the crow flew in every direction
looking for her.
In a clearing,
he spotted the deer
with her foot caught in a net.
“Don’t worry,”
he told her calmly.
“We’ll think of something.”
The crow rushed back
to his friends.
The tortoise had an idea:
“Mouse, hop quickly
on the crow’s back.”
And they flew off
to rescue the deer.
Without wasting time,
the mouse bit through the net.
Just then, the anxious tortoise
reached the spot.
“Why did you come here?
If the hunter returns,
you’ll never escape!”
the deer exclaimed.
And the hunter did return!
Hearing his footsteps,
all of them ran away,
but the tortoise was too slow.
The hunter picked him up
and tied him to a stick.
“Oh no! Because of me,
poor Tortoise is in trouble,”
said the deer.
Suddenly, the deer leaped up
and ran to the pond
near the path.
She lay down absolutely still,
while the crow pecked at her.
When the hunter dropped
the tortoise
and picked up the deer,
the mouse quickly cut the cords
and released the tortoise.
While the tortoise
slipped into the water,
the deer darted off
and the crow simply flew away.
The hunter trembled with fear.
He had never seen an animal
come back to life.
Thinking that the forest
was haunted,
he ran for his life.
The four friends went home
and were happy
to be together again.

Narration: Pala Pajor
Illustrations: Jyothi Fucile
Music: Holger Jetter
Translator: BookBox

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