Story Contest 2018 #1 Results » Highly Commended - Senior Category
“... And Award Goes To...” by Aishvarya Dinesh Choumal, India, is the Highly Commended story in the senior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2018.
... And Award Goes To...
The annual competition for selecting “Green Forest Best Bird for the Year” had been announced. This time the judge was King Lion Sherkhan. All the birds were seriously preparing for the competition. One impressive group performance was required to participate in competition.
The eagles started their practice using innovative methods to achieve the award for their hunting skills. The peacocks were fully confident that they would create a record by winning the award this year for the second consecutive time with their extra ordinary dancing skills. Pigeons which were famous for their aerial dance started their rehearsal. The parrots and cuckoos were always renowned for their singing. The swans were always proud of their white feathers and beautiful eyes. Also, the ducks cannot be ignored; they were famous for their water dance. The cranes were very well known for their fish hunting skills. Thus every group believed that its skills would be duly recognized.
But among all these birds only the crows had never participated in the competition and had always been treated as low class amongst the different bird communities. The water birds such as swans, cranes and ducks used to treat them as untouchables. Their harsh voice had been considered inauspicious by the singing groups such as parrots and cuckoos. Due to eating left-over food of most of animal and birds avoided them.
Just one day was left for the registration. One by one, all the groups got their names registered for the competition. This time a team of young crows decided to get themselves registered for the competition. When all the other birds came to know about this they laughed and started making fun of them.
The swans said, “You ugly bird, you are untouchables! How can you dare to compete with the most beautiful birds like us? We are white whereas you all are black, the dirtiest colour. What is in you to show off?”
The parrots said, “Do you know about your harsh voice, Kanw-kanw-kanw. When we sing, the forest environment is filled with sweetness. What is in you?.... Haha..haha… Kanw-kanw-kanw…. Hahahhaaa..!!”
In one way or the other, all the birds and animals insulted them. That night the crows discussed the matter in their meeting. Their old leader said, “Absolutely they are right. What is in us? We don’t have any special skill. We shouldn’t participate.”
However, a young intelligent crow said, “I think we should get us registered first. The skill to compete with others can be thought about later.”
Finally, the competition day arrived. All the participant bird groups gathered in the stadium. By the permission of the honorable Judge King Lion Sherkhan, the competition started. The audience which was in huge numbers consisted not only of birds but also of animals. The first participant group was of the peacocks which performed its beautiful show and dance. The second group was of the eagles, and they displayed their hunting skills from very high in the sky. The third group was of the pigeons, which performed its aerial dance. The fourth group was of the swans, which performed its beautiful show on the water. The fifth group was of cranes which performed its fish hunting skills. The sixth group was of the parrots, which sang a melodious song. The seventh group was of the cuckoos, which again rendered a classical song. In this way, all the bird groups performed their skills. The host announced the last participant group, the crows. When the announcement was made, all the groups as well as the audience laughed. The judge requested everyone to keep silence.
The young crow group flew down from the sky and started cleansing the stadium. Within the blink of an eye the crows cleaned the stadium completely giving it a neat and clean look. Then they said: “Our performance is over, Thanks.” Everybody laughed, but the judge kept his silence.
It was time for the announcement of results, of the “Green Forest Best Bird for the Year Award”. All the participant groups were eager to hear their names. The Judge took the mike and said, “Every individual or group possesses skills. We shouldn’t underestimate others on the grounds of their colour or looks. We are all God’s children and discriminating our brothers or sisters is an insult to God.” He then took a break for a second and looked around. Then he said, “This time the winner is the crow group for its best performance in cleansing and keeping the jungle neat and clean.”
On hearing this, all the other groups were shocked, while the crow group danced in joy. The judge said: “Dear friends, you may be shocked by my decision. Perhaps you all forget that the crow group is the only group providing its service to the jungle. They keep not only the jungle clean but also the towns and the cities. It is indeed a great service. I am sad that since long their work has not been recognized. Showing off one’s natural beauty, hunting skills, dance skills, singing skills etc is not a great achievement. But making and keeping our surrounding neat and clean is a service. So, ‘Green Forest Best Bird Award’ goes to the Crow Group.”
Moral: We are all God’s children, and so we must love and respect our fellow beings.