Namaste! [ Hello! ]
A long time ago, when all the world was new,
the animals were not like they are to-day.
For instance, the
elephants, they had grey leathery skin, just like to-day; they had
big flappy ears, just like to-day; but their noses were no bigger than
Now, living in India, was a herd of elephants,
big ones, medium ones and small ones.
The smallest one of all was known as "Chota
Hathi", little elephant. Chota Hathi was always asking questions,
every day he would think of a different question to ask.
He would ask his Uncle
Rhinoceros: "Oh Genda Chacha, why have you got that tooth on
the end of your nose?" And Genda Chacha didnt know, so he spanked
Chota Hathi with his hard, hard hoof.
Another day Chota Hathi asked his Auntie Leopard
"Chhita Chachi, why are you covered in spots?" And Chhita Chachi
didnt know, so she spanked him with her graciously waving tail!
day he met his Uncle Peacock, "Mora Chacha
why is your tail such beautiful colours?" And Mora Chacha didnt
know and he spanked Chota Hathi with his sharp, sharp claw! But all this
spanking did not stop Chota Hathi asking questions.
One morning Chota Hathi woke up with a brand
new question, he wanted to know what the Crocodile
had for dinner.
He asked all his friends and relations "Please
do you know what Shriman Muggr Mach has for dinner?" He asked his
cousins the Deer "Oh Hiran Bhai do you know
what Shriman Muggr Mach has for dinner?" But they just ran away,
they were very shy. At last Chota Hathi remembered his Great Grandmother
She was the oldest and wisest of the herd,
surely she would know what Shriman Muggr Mach had for dinner. "Oh
Vadanani Hathi please can you tell me what Shriman Muggr Mach has for
Now Great Grandmother Hathi was very wise,
she said to Chota Hathi "I dont know what the Crocodile has
for dinner, but I can tell you how to find him.
You will have to go on a long journey across
a grassy plain, through the jungle, over a high
mountain, until you come to the Great Grey Green Greasy Limpopo River,
all set about with fever trees.
There you will find Shriman Muggr Mach and
you can ask him what he has for dinner."
So Chota Hathi set off. He went across the
grassy plain, until he came to the jungle.
As he went through the jungle, the Monkeys
in the trees called to him and asked him where he was going. He told them
he was going to find Shriman Muggr Mach, to ask him what he had for dinner.
He asked the Monkeys if they knew, but they
just laughed and threw coconuts and bananas at him!
Next he came to the mountain, and up, up,
up he climbed.
From the top he could see a river in the
distance. That must be the Great grey green greasy Limpopo river, he thought.
Down he went and came to some trees on the
He saw a large snake
wound around one of the trees. "Namaste, Naga Chachi," said
Chota Hathi, "I am looking for Shriman Muggr Mach, I dont suppose
you know where he is, I want to ask him a question." Naga Chachi
said "See that brown log in the water, that is Shriman Muggr Mach,
you can ask him now, but be careful." "Thankyou, Naga Chachi
" said Chota Hathi.
He called out politely "Namaste, Shriman
Muggr Mach, Ive come to ask you what you have for dinner."
The brown log opened two eyes, and said "Come
a little closer, I cant hear you."
So Chota Hathi took a step closer, and said
"Ive come to ask you what you have for dinner, Shriman Muggr
Mach." "Come a little closer, I still cant hear you."
said Shriman Muggr Mach.
So Chota Hathi took another step closer and
said, "Ive come to ask you what you have for dinner, Shriman
Muggr Mach." "Come a little closer, I must have got some water
in my ears!"
So Chota Hathi took another step closer ...
and Shriman Muggr Mach opened his wide mouth and said ... "To-day
Im having Chota Hathi!"
He grabbed Chota Hathi by his little nose
and began to pull him into the river. "Helb, helb, youre hurtig
be!" said Chota Hathi "Leggo of my dose!"
But Shriman Muggr Mach kept pulling Chota
Hathi into the river.
Luckily, Naga Chachi heard Chota Hathis
calls for help, and unwound half of her long body from the tree and wound
the other half around Chota Hathis back legs. "Now, pull, Chota
Hathi!" she said.
So Chota Hathi and Naga Chachi pulled up
the bank, and Shriman Muggr Mach pulled into the river.
There was a tremendous tug
of war, but with one last great heave, Naga Chachi pulled Chota Hathi
up the bank and safe from Shriman Muggr Mach.
"Oh thankyou very, very much."
said Chota Hathi "But oh dear, what has happened to my nose?"
Chota Hathis nose had been stretched into a long trunk. "I
wonder what my friends and relations will say? I expect they will spank
me! Namaste Naga Chachi, and thankyou again for saving me." Chota
Hathi set off back home.
He went over the high mountain.
He came to the jungle.
The monkeys saw him coming and they laughed
and laughed when they saw his long nose. Without even thinking about it,
Chota Hathi picked a coconut off a tree and threw it at the Bandar, using
his long nose! This trunk was going to be quite useful after all!
Through the jungle he went and across the
grassy plain, until he met his friends and relations.
They all got ready to spank him, but Chota
Hathi was too quick, he picked up some mud and dust from the ground and
What a surprise his family got. They saw
how useful a long nose was.
One by one, they all decided to go and ask
Shriman Muggr Mach what he has for dinner ... and one by one, they all
came back with long noses ... just like all the elephants have to-day.
Namaste! [ Goodbye! ]
Animals in the story