Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Jumbo Sneeze

It was a lazy afternoon in the jungle. There was a cool wind blowing. All around, it was very quiet. The only sound was of the leaves rustling as the young branches on the trees swayed gently from side to side. The animals in the jungle had all settled themselves for an afternoon nap. Jacky the jackal was resting under a coconut tree after a good meal.
Ribby the rabbit was resting in his hole.  
Piyu the peacock was perched on the tree, his head nodding up and down. 
Also taking a nap were Pinky squirrel and Minky monkey.

Jumbo elephant was sprawled on the jungle floor, deep in sleep.

Suddenly out of the stillness, there came a sound of a  giant sneeze "Aaaaaaachhhooooooo!!!" 

Piyu screamed and jumped in the air. Jacky leaped back in fright. Ribby shivered and crept deeper into his hole. Pinky the squirrel and Minky the monkey were thrown away from the tree on which they were resting. All the animals looked around to see who had sneezed so loudly and they saw Jumbo the elephant rubbing his trunk which was also his nose. And just at the very moment the earth shook. The trees shook, the birds and monkeys screeched, animals ran here and there in panic and Jacky, who was too surprised to move, fell down unconscious as a few coconuts fell on him. A few seconds later, the earth stopped shaking. All the animals gathered around Jacky. 

"Oh look at Jacky!! O, What happened to Jacky!! the animals exclaimed.

"It's all his fault" said Minky, pointing at Jumbo.

"Yes, yes, it's his fault" agreed Pinky.
"My fault?? What did I do" asked Jumbo taken aback.

"You sneezed so hard the earth shook and all the coconuts fell on Jacky making him unconscious" said Pinky.

"I don't think it was my faaauuu..." said Jumbo as he felt another sneeze coming on.

"Don't you dare" screeched Piyu.

Jumbo buried his nose in the thick grass and tried to stifle his sneeze as best as he could. But the sneeze wouldn't go away. It kept itching and clawing inside his nose. He shook his head hard from side to side, he thrashed his trunk against the trees, he rolled about on the ground, he even stomped on his trunk but the sneeze just wouldn't go away. 

The sneeze was driving him crazy but he dared not sneeze.

"Run and save your lives. Jumbo has gone mad" screamed Pinky. All the animals ran away from there in fear.

Jumbo hurried to the river and buried his trunk in the water thinking the cool water might stop the sneeze. But the sneeze still did not stop. What's more, the twigs floating in the river tickled his nose and he just had to sneeze.

"Aaaaashoooo" he sneezed in the water. Water sprayed all over startling the water birds. Fishes, turtles and tortoises swimming nearby were thrown into the air.


"How dare you come here and sneeze? You almost killed us!" the fishes shouted at Jumbo.

"Oh, I am sorry" said Jumbo dismayed.

All the animals were very angry at Jumbo. Wherever he went, they looked at him angrily and did not talk to him or play with him. Jumbo felt very sad.

Tipu the lion, who was the king of the jungle, called a meeting of all the animals. Dhrona the owl sat beside him.


"So, what complaints do all of you have against Jumbo"? Tipu asked.

"My Lord, Jumbo sneezed so hard, we were thrown away from our tree" said Pinky and Minky.

"My Lord, I along with many other fishes were thrown out of the water" said Tooti the turtle.

"My Lord, not only that, he sneezed so hard, he caused an earthquake and coconuts fell on Jacky making him unconscious and injuring him badly. He has still not recovered fully" said Piyu.

Hearing this, Dhrona laughed. 

He said "My dear Piyu, the earthquake had nothing to do with Jumbo's sneeze. The earthquake was caused due to some disturbances under the earth. It would have come even if Jumbo had not sneezed".

"But we are hurt because of his sneeze" said Piyu.

"That may be true but Jumbo cannot help it. He is so big, his sneeze will also be big like him" said Dhrona.

"So, all of us need to show some compassion towards Jumbo. He is big and he has a cold. So he will be allowed to sneeze whenever he feels a sneeze coming. None of us should be angry with him when he sneezes. That is my order" said Tipu.

Jumbo felt relieved. He no longer had to stop his sneeze.

The other animals now understood it was wrong on their part to blame Jumbo. All of them hugged and patted him and said sorry to him.

Just them Jumbo felt another sneeze coming.
"Quick...turn the other side" said Dhrona.

Jumbo turned away from the animals and sneezed "Aaaaaachhooooo". How good it felt!

All the animals laughed and Jumbo was happy to be their friend again.

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