Third Prize Winner - Sub-junior Category
“The King Of The Jungle” by Zahra Juzer Gandhi, is the Third Prize winning story in the sub-junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2016.
The King Of The Jungle
Sheru, the king of Kakadu jungle died one day, and now the animals in the jungle did not have a king. There was no discipline in the jungle. The animals followed their own rules. Some animals began to say that when king Sheru was there, everything was perfect. Now it was hard to live in the jungle. If any outsider came to attack the jungle, what would happen to the animals?
Golu bear came forward with a solution. He told the animals, “We can hold an election, to select our king.” All the animals agreed with Golu bear, but the problem was that everyone thought themselves as a king. Pinku peacock thought of a way out and said, “Whoever wants to stand for election has to do their assigned work in a timely and nice manner.” Everyone agreed with Pinku.
Every candidate was given work according to their ability. Sonu fox was given the job to clear the dust from the forest. Bablu monkey was asked to clear the spider webs from trees. Kanu elephant was given the job to fill the holes in the ground with stones. Candy rabbit was asked to clean the grass around the trees.
One month passed. All the animals & birds gathered to see the progress. Candy, Bablu and Sonu had completed their work on time. But Kanu elephant did not put stones in the hole. The question was raised about whose work was to be praised. Candy rabbit came up with advice, “Lets vote for these candidates. Whoever gets the maximum votes will be our next king.”
The next day, all the animals and birds assembled together, to vote. Voting was completed peacefully and counting was started. Kanu was ahead in the counting and secured more votes. Finally Kanu was declared as the winner.
Everyone was shocked. At that time Eagle, the king of birds, said, “You all are shocked how Kanu won? Correct! The reason is that every day Kanu brought stones near the hole according to his assignment, but he saw that the eagle’s eggs were in the hole. Kanu gave up his desire to become king and saved the eagle’s egg by his kind act. As you know, in the jungle there are more birds than animals. So Kanu got more votes and became the king of the jungle. Learning from Kanu’s example, we the birds have decided not to be jealous of others in the jungle, and to care for each other.”
After listening to this, everyone accepted Kanu as the king. A simple act of kindness by Kanu made him the leader by winning the hearts of his followers.
Moral of the story - A Random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on your life, and the lives of people around you.