Sunday, 21 August 2011

Bibi is busy in her herb garden when the children knock at the door.   As soon as they come in, Saba takes them to see Bibi.   They were astounded by the huge leaves of the herbs in the little garden.  The green plant had quite unusual shine to them. 
“Saba dear, could you please bring some more water for the herbs.” said Bibi with a smile.
Saba came back holding a golden bowl which looked quite old.  The water inside it had a kind of sparkle to it.    There was certainly something different about this bowl!

****The Magic Bowl and Greedy Merchant****


Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a farmer who had a lot of hens and roosters.     Every day he used to take lots of freshly laid eggs to the market and sell them for quite a good price.  These eggs were quite special because, without exception, they each had three yolks, which were quite a rich golden colour. 
Everyone was puzzled as to how the hens lay so many eggs and the fact that they all had three yolks and such a rich colour.   One of the merchants at the market was quite jealous and was determined to find out the secret of these eggs. 
One night he quietly sneaked into the farmer’s land and went towards the hen house.   Everywhere was pitch-black and he could hardly see anything.   From far away he suddenly saw a beam of light shining through the wooden walls of the hen-house.    He started walking faster and faster until he finally reached his destination.
He quietly went closer and peeked through the cracks to find out where the light was coming from.   He saw the farmer wearing a golden cape and singing in a language that the merchant couldn’t understand!    He put his eyes closer to the cracks and looked more carefully to find out what was happening. 
He suddenly saw a golden bowl on the ground full of glittering water from which all the hens were drinking.    It was as if they were dancing to the tune of the farmer’s song. 
When the song finished, the farmer took the bowl out and walked towards his house. 
The whole hen-house turned dark and the merchant realised that the light was coming from the golden bowl.    Greed and envy took over him and he was determined to get his hands on the magic bowl.    
He waited in the dark outside the farmer’s house, until the lights were all out and he was sure the farmer is sleep. 

He slowly crept into the little courtyard leading to the entrance of the house.     He saw the bowl sitting close to the little pond.    His eyes sparkled with joy and happiness at the sight of the precious object.    He got closer and closer.  As he put his hand on the bowl, his fingers got stuck as if someone was holding them tight.    He tried to pull himself free, but couldn’t move.   His hand and arm was getting heavier and heavier.  He pulled himself away again, but couldn’t move.   This is when he realised his body is turning into gold.   His greedy eyes were shining even more to see the gold.   In fact he was so thrilled that he didn’t realise what trouble he had gotten himself into!   Almost half his body had turned into the heavy metal, when he suddenly realised what was happening.    He shouted for help and was quite scared.    At this time the farmer who had heard the cries of the greedy merchant ran out of his house.     He quickly wore his cape and started singing the same song that he had sang to the hens.   Luckily for the merchant the song worked and the gold started to melt gradually.    
As soon as his arm and hand were freed, he started running as fast as the wind.  He was never seen close to the farmer’s house or in the village again. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Bibi’s little garden had lots of fruit trees and colourful flowers.   Amongst them there was a pomegranate tree, which had quite a lot of juicy pomegranates.   The fruits were so ripe and sweet that forced the tender skin to crack open.  The seeds were shining like bright red rubies.  This tree looked so healthy and happy as if she was smiling at everyone.   All the children were staring at it, as if she was talking to them.
“There's an interesting tale about this tree.  Bibi will tell you all about it.” said Saba excitedly. 
The children ran inside the little cottage to learn more.  So Bibi started the story as soon as the children sat on the Persian rug.

******* The Unhappy Tree*******

It was late Spring when the blossoms on the pomegranate tree were turning into sweet, juicy fruits.
It had been raining for a few days.  The pomegranate tree was fed up and couldn't stand the wet grounds anymore. 
“I'm so tired of this rain.  It’s been pouring down non-stop for more than two days.  Can you please go away” said the tree to the clouds.
The clouds felt so sad.  They decided to take their backpacks and go away to faraway lands.
The sun came out.  She scattered her brightness and warmth everywhere.  The birds started singing again.  The Pomegranate tree was very happy.   The fruits were now growing faster and becoming bigger. 
“Ah… that’s better.  It’s a bit warmer and drier now.” Said the pomegranate tree with a sigh of relief. 
She and her friends were quite happy and warm.  A few days went by.  It was starting to get quite hot and dry.     There was no breeze to keep them cool.   Other plants were getting thirsty. 
“Look what you've done now.  We’re hot and thirsty” they said.
“Stop complaining.  What’s wrong with you lot?   There’s lots of water underground for all of us.” The pomegranate tree said to the plants. 
Another few days went by.  The Pomegranate tree started to feel hot and thirsty.   “I’m so tired of the sunlight.  It’s been getting hotter and hotter every day.  I’m getting very thirsty now.  Can you please go away” she said to the sun.
The sun felt so sad.  She decided to take her backpacks and go away to faraway lands.
The moon, which hadn’t been seen for a while, started to show his face.   He scattered his light over the fields.
“Ah, that’s better.  It’s a bit cooler now.” Said the pomegranate tree.
The nights passed by and the plants were feeling better. 
The pomegranate tree started complaining again “I can’t sleep when there’s so much light.  I haven’t slept for a few nights now.  Could you please go away and let me rest?” 
The moon felt so sad.  He decided to take his backpacks and go away to faraway lands.
Suddenly everywhere got quite dark.   It was pitch black and nobody could see anything.   
“Ah, that’s better.  Let’s have a good night’s sleep.” Said the pomegranate tree.
A few nights passed by.   It was getting quite cold. 
All the other plants turned around and said to the pomegranate tree:  “Look what you‘ve done now.  Everywhere is so dark, we can’t see anything.  We are cold and thirsty.”
“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to cause any problems.” She said.  “I’m not feeling well either.  The pomegranates are not growing anymore and are getting dry.   I wish we could have the moonlight, some rain and sunshine again.” 
As soon as she said these words, suddenly the moon felt happy and came back, followed by sun the next day and some rain the day after. 
The pomegranate tree and all the other plants were happy .  The birds started singing again. The pomegranates started growing again and became quite juicy and sweet.    The flowers were blooming.  Everything was back to normal again. 
The pomegranate tree realised that she has to be grateful and appreciate what she’s got.  She realised that everything in nature happens for a reason.  Since then she has always been happy and smiling. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Today Bibi has many visitors from the nearby villages.  Saba is so excited to see  lots of new faces.   She invites everyone into the courtyard, where  something immediately attracts their attention.   Everyone gathers around it.  

"Bibi asked me to take you all inside." said Saba with a friendly smile.  "She's just baked a cake for us.  We can listen to the tale while we eat".  

Everybody stepped into the cosy room and sat around Bibi on the Persian rug.  Bibi started the story of the little donkey.
**The Little Donkey and His Master**
Once upon a time there was an old merchant who was living with his only son and a donkey in a little village.   His donkey had just given birth to her foal.    The little foal was quite cute, but there was something strange about him.   One of his ears was much smaller than the other one, almost the same size as a little mouse’s ear.   Also his front teeth were much larger than usual.   The merchant wanted to sell the foal, but his son insisted that he wants to take care of him.

So the merchant decided to keep the little donkey.   The son used to take his pet everywhere he went, even when he wanted to play with his friends.   Everyone used to laugh at the little donkey because of his ear and teeth.   Of course he didn’t know the reason for their laughter and just thought they were just being friendly.
The son tried so hard to keep his little donkey away from any lake or spring, so that he wouldn’t see his own reflection in the water and feel sad.
One day the son was playing with his friends, while the little donkey was standing by an old cedar tree.    A wicked wolf was passing by when he suddenly saw the donkey.
He quietly walked close to him and said “Good morning my dear friend.  Why are you standing here all alone?”
“I’m watching my master play with his friends.” said the donkey. 
“I have a better idea.   Chasing after big butterflies is so much fun.”  said the wolf.  “They guide us to so many nice places with lots of fresh juicy fruits to eat.”
“Good idea.  I’m also a bit bored and hungry.” said the donkey.
So the wicked wolf started running after the colourful butterflies.  The little donkey followed him without even thinking that his master might be looking for him and get worried. 
Finally they reached a bright blue lake, which was surrounded by lots of fruit trees and flowers.    While the donkey was so busy eating the juicy apples he suddenly saw his own reflection in the water.   He turned his head from left to right and right to left, trying to see both ears.  He was quite puzzled and didn’t know the reason why his ears look different from one another.   His huge front teeth looked so weird that made him open and close his mouth a few times to see if that makes a difference.    
He suddenly realised why everyone laughed when they saw him.    While the donkey was busy trying to find answers, the wicked wolf was thinking of how best he can eat him.    He slowly approached the donkey from behind and got very close to him.   The donkey suddenly saw the wolf’s reflection in the water and realised the wolf’s intentions.   As he started running away to safety, he saw his master running towards the lake, followed by all his friends.   They had all come to his rescue.    
The vicious wolf started running away as soon as he saw them coming.   The boy ran towards his little pet and put his arms around him.   Other children also gathered around the donkey and gave him lots of cuddles. 
The little donkey wasn’t sad anymore when he saw how much everyone loved him.  He then realised that it doesn’t matter how you look on the outside, it’s the inside that counts and makes everyone love and respect you.