Neighbours in the jungle
Maulana Shahzayb Attari Madani
In the jungle, animals usually live with their own kind. But this jungle was very different. It was mostly empty, except for a row of three houses next to each other. In the middle house, there lived two cheetahs. In the house to the right, lived two dogs, and in the house to the left, there lived two zebras.
They all lived together peacefully. In the morning, they would all go out to find food before returning home in the evening.
One day, the two cheetahs were enjoying their dinner when suddenly Little Cheetah cried out, ‘Brother! This house seems small now.’
‘What do you mean?’ asked Big Cheetah.
‘The two dogs next door live in a huge house,’ he mumbled, ‘and I want to join it to our house so that our house becomes very big and we can live in comfort and play in it.’
‘Little one!’ Big Cheetah bellowed as he stood up, ‘They are our neighbours! If we seize their house, where will those poor dogs go?’
Little Cheetah stood up too. ‘Enough! Enough! Don’t be so considerate of others,’ he shrieked, ‘the only thing I care about is my own enjoyment. If others are harmed then that’s their problem.’
These words convinced Big Cheetah who replied, ‘Yes, you’re right. If we have a larger house then I won’t need to travel to large fields to do my running exercises – I could just run in the house!’ He paused for a moment, then remarked, ‘What if they refuse to leave?’
‘That’s not an issue,’ said Little Cheetah confidently, ‘We are cheetahs! We are much stronger than those dogs! We will eat them and seize the house.’
‘Yes! Yes!’ shouted Big Cheetah in excitement, ‘This way, one dog can live in my belly and the other in yours!’ They laughed, then they laughed some more, and then continued to laugh until the morning.
‘Get up, little one! The sun is out and it’s a beautiful day!’ said Big Dog as he franticly tried to wake up his brother, Little Dog.
They were having breakfast together when suddenly the front door slammed open and Little Cheetah raced in. ‘We have decided to take your house,’ he asserted angrily. ‘You have two days to empty this house and find another home.’
The dogs were in shock. They could not understand how their friends could change so much overnight. They left their breakfast and sat down to think of a way out of this predicament.
‘How did we get ourselves into this situation,’ whispered Big Dog. ‘If we don’t give in to their demands, they will eat both of us!’
‘I have an idea brother,’ said Little Dog. ‘Let’s ask our neighbours, the zebras, for advice.’
Big Dog was sceptical. Turning to Little Dog, he said, ‘How can our neighbours help? They are not strong enough to challenge the Cheetah Brothers.’
Little Dog reassured him, ‘We will think about that later. Let’s tell them what has happened. I’m sure they will help us in this time of need. Come on!’
Dear children! If you are worried about something or if someone is threatening or bullying you, speak to your family and friends about it.
Will the neighbours help the dogs? Will the cheetahs actually eat the dogs?
To find out, stay tuned for next month’s issue!