Hama-Guri Sees Growing Up

Hama-Guri-sees-growing-upHama-Guri and Ma-Door, his best friend and his neighbour, sat in the former’s room looking at old albums. Hama’s mother had taken it out for them. It was raining way too hard outside and she saw no signs of it abetting. So this was one way she could keep the two boys occupied. Even though she wanted to sit and play with them, it was way past 7pm in the evening and she had not even begun chopping the vegetables for dinner.
“Is that really you?” Ma-Door asked as he stared at the picture of a tiny baby wrapped up in a blue cloth.
“Ya.” Hama replied feeling a little shy. These pictures were fun to see but he wouldn’t want his image of being the adventurous lad getting spoilt because of all these picture from eons ago. “I am sure you were like this too Ma-Door.”

“I guess. We all grow up.”
“I wish I could see growing up.”
“See?” Ma-Door asked not really following his friend’s question. “how can you see growing up. It just happens.”
“I know that. But just imagine if we could. Like have a time machine where we could travel to the past and future and see ourselves.”
“ It’s a nice thought Hama. But…”
“Wait! I am sure Dad would have an answer to this. Let’s go and ask him.” Hama said jumping up from his sleeping position.
In no time they had shut the albums and were running downstairs to his dad’s study.
“Hi Dad!’
Hama’s father looked up from behind his spectacles anad cheerfully replied, “Hello boys! What are you both upto?”
“Dad we were looking at my pictures of when I was a baby and I thought of something.”
“I can smell an adventure.”
“I don’t know dad.” Hama replied, a little unsure whether this question would at all turn into an adventure. “Dad, Ma-Door and I wanted to see growing up.”
“See?” Hama’s father scratched his almost balding head. “well, just go look at yourself in the mirror then.” He smiled.
“Oh no no dad. Not that way. I mean I know that I have grown up but I want to see the process.”
“Hmm. Well come on in you two. Let’s see what I can do.” He said getting up from his chair and going towards a book shelf where his animal details files were kept. He took out a few and flipped through the pages. Thought for a while and then came back to sit on his chair with some of the files. “Come here boys. Have a look at these.”
The two boys came near so that they could see what Hama’s father was pointing to.
“This is Mia when she was a calf. You know what a big cow she is now, right Hama?”
The two kids nodded as he continued to flip through the other pages.
“And this lamb is Wooly the sheep. And this foal is Black Star – your favourite horse Ma –Door. And…”
“But dad!” Hama suddenly exclaimed sounding a little exasperated. “But I want to see growing up. These are just pictures. Like my album.”
“Now how do I show you growing up?” His father replied. Completely foxed at his son’s question. He thought hard. There must be some way that he could satisfy hi s curiosity. Just then his mother called for dinner. He was happy to have got some time from the two enquiring six year olds. But given that Ma-Door was staying over at their place tonight, he was sure to face the same question later that again. And sure enough he did. Bu thankfully by then he had found the solution. “First thing tomorrow morning. I’m sure the rain will also stop by then.”
And so the night passed. The two friend’s couldn’t sleep too well though in anticipation of what the answer could be. And finally when they did learn what it was, it left them bth mighty happy.
After morning breakfast, Hama’s father called them to the lotus pond. “What do you see?” he asked.
“Lotus dad.” Hama said, wondering what was coming next.
“And fish too.” Added Ma-Door.
“Look harder boys. There’s something else too.”
They peered into the water. And sure enough there was. Tiny black tadpoles.
“Dad! Tadpoles!” Hama-Guri cried.
“yes. And now here’s a bottle.” He said handing a large glass bottle to him. “Dip it into the water and try and catch a few.”
It took the two youngsters a while but finally they managed – five tiny tadpoles.
“And now you watch them grow!” Said Hama’s father. The glee on his son’s face told him that he had finally, and satisfactorily, answered his son’s question. “But make sure you set them free once you begin to see changes in them. A frog will need more space than this bottle.”
“Oh yes dad, I will!” Hama- Guri replied feeling very happy.
“There’s one more thing. C’mon boys.” The father said leading them to near the flower patch which Hama’s mother had done up wonderfully. “Carefully see under that leaf.”
“It’s a pupa.” Cried Ma-Door. “The caterpillar has turned into a pupa. Soon a butterfly will emerge!”
“very good Ma-Door.” The father smiled. “That’s growing up too. And both these are called metamorphosis.”
“Meta what?” the two boys cried out together.
Hama-Guri’s father laughed and repeated the word. “It’s a new word. It’s metamorphosis. Now go find out more about it.”
The two boys danced away to the house, the tadpole jar in hand, feeling very happy with their discovery.
Learning: We all grow up and when we do we look completely different from when we were born.
Things to teach:
• Parts of a plant – that gros from a seed to a plant too.
• Life cycle of a frog and a butterfly
• Names of other insects, amphibians and water animals
Fun activity:
• Plant a few mustard seeds in a wad of cotton wool spread evenly over a dish and watch the seeds sprout
• Go to nearby ponds to see tadpoles and collect a few in a bottle if you wish
• Listen to the story of ‘The Frog Prince’
• Organize a nice slumber party for a few kids and play quiz master – have a science quiz or word games on different new words that they have recently picked up
• Find oval shaped pebbles and paint them to look like a frog. Turn that into a paper weight.
• Take an empty can and paint it with different colours. Then attach cardboard wings on one end. Colour them and sprinkle with glitter. A butterfly pencil stand is ready.

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