Stories about Love
Who is our best friend?
as told by Vayu Naidu

There once lived a writer and his wife and all their 27 children in a great big banyan tree. The writer wrote lively plays and could also make pots. People enjoyed watching his plays. But he never got paid for his good work. One day he decided to set our for the city and find some gold. He walked through the forest and came by a river. He dipped a pot into the river and it began to sing and gurgle and dance and swim. The writer was delighted. He watched the orange and yellow butterflies, the parrots and colourful birds and his heart was filled with joy, even through his stomach was soon growing empty.

He suddenly heard a strange sound. He saw a huge pit in front of him, there were animals and a man trapped inside. He took off his head cloth and dangled it into the pit. Out came a tiger and said, “Hello! My name is Broadstripe ” , the next was a monkey who climbed up the long cloth “Hello, my name is Longtail, thank you for saving us”, . He was followed by Spreadhood the snake. Then the animals warmed the writer not to save the evil man inside the pit. But the kind-hearted writer did. The man was a goldsmith who worked in the city across the forest.

Broadstripe took the writer to his cave and gave him a gift of gold which he had got from the prince. The writer was delighted. The Longtail came through the trees with armfuls of fruits. The writer felt loved by his new found friends and off went the writer, now in search of the goldsmith so that he could he could exchange it for clothes and books and blocks for his family, but when he met the goldsmith, he was arrested. The goldsmith told the police that the writer had “stolen” the goldsmith’s gold and was now trying to sell it back to him at a higher price.

The writer had to spend the night in prison . He thought hard about who his friends were. He remembered Spreadhood the snake. As a writer he knew many magical words and took out his water pots and began drumming a beat on it, the snake appeared in his prison cell. She knew what his problem was, “you must cure the queen of snake bite” she said as she went away to the Queen’s place”.

When the rumour came to the prison cell that the queen had been bit by a snake, the writer told the police that he had special cures. When he was taken to the queen, he cured her the of her snake bite by uttering a magic word. The king was so grateful he told the writer he could have anything he wished. The writer said to the king: “I just want the singing of my water clay pot beside me and to create poetry. After that I wish to roam freely, throughout the forest with my special friends Broadstripe, Longtail and Spreadhood. But please see to it that my family are always well cared for. I know who my real friends are”
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