Oola and the night patrol

Oola and the night patrol

Forest diary: Meet Oola, the nice but lonely little owl

Jadoomasti is a beautiful forest that lies beyond the river and the hills. Here, the trees grow so tall that only a few stubborn rays of the sun make it through them. The forest is home to plants that have beautiful flowers, rare and common birds, creepy-crawly insects and wild animals.

Oola lives in her house on top of the lovely sandalwood tree right in the middle of Jadoomasti forest. This part of the forest is very dense. Oola is a lively young owl who loves to make friends.
Till a few weeks ago, she was constantly hooting and talking to her parents. She pleaded with them to play with her. She was bursting with energy. Her favourite game was ‘flying tag’. She would fly as fast as she could and her mom or dad would fly after her and try to catch her. She loved the way her mom hugged her once she got ‘caught’. She also loved playing hide-and-seek. Her heart would race with excitement when dad would try to find her among the big leaves of the tree.

But, of late, she sensed that her parents were too tired or too busy to play with her. She wanted new friends who could play with her all the time. But, Oola had a strange problem. Whenever she was awake, all the animals were asleep!

Her mother explained to her that it was because owls were nocturnal birds. Oola did not understand any of this. What good was it to be nocturnal if she could not find anyone to play with?

Many of the small animals who shared the tree with them avoided Oola. When Oola asked Swirly Squirrel why no one talked to her, Swirly told her that her eyes were big and scary. What good was it to have such big eyes if they were going to scare others away? Oola was a very sweet but lonely and sad owl.

One night when Oola was sitting on her tree, alone and lost in thought, she heard some strange noises. She listened carefully and heard footsteps approaching her tree. She looked closely for a better view. She saw some creatures who were as tall as Gerry Gorilla, but did not look as scary as Gerry did! She had never seen such creatures before. They wore clothes, boots and hats and carried many sharp instruments with them — all of which were strange to Oola! She was a little worried now for her parents had gone out to look for food and there was no one around. She continued watching the strange creatures. One of them took out a long, shiny and sharp object from his bag and started sawing a sandalwood tree nearby.

Oola was shocked. Who were these strange creatures and why were they harming her neighbours’ homes? Why were they trying to bring the huge tree down? Couldn’t they hear the tree screaming with pain? She was sure even Gerry Gorilla was not so bad, even though he looked scary.
Oola thought hard. She realised that they could be scared away by old Lenny Leopard who slept on a tree close by.

Oola hurried to Lenny’s tree and found her sound asleep on one of the sturdy branches. She poked Lenny with her sharp beak to wake her. Lenny was very angry to be woken up and growled  with irritation. That was enough to send the strange creatures scurrying away in fright!

Oola was really glad that her plan had worked!

When Oola’s parents returned, she told them about her adventure. They wise owls told her that the creatures she had seen were called ‘humans’. They told her that humans valued sandalwood and this was why they had tried to cut down the sandalwood tree that Oola saved.

Her parents praised her for her presence of mind and bravery. The news of her courage spread like wild fire. Many animals and birds came up to her and thanked her for saving their homes. They  decided to team up and keep vigil every night.  Oola was an active part of the night patrol that ensured that no human invaded their forest and destroyed  their homes.

Oola is now a very happy owl. She has many friends to play with. Her friends no longer think her eyes are big and scary. She is loved by all. And she is very thrilled to be a nocturnal bird!

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