Hama-Guri refused to try his spellings again. “No Mumma. I won’t do it again. I’m tired.”
“I know Hama. But…” His mother began saying but stopped mid way. This was not working. Hama-Guri was a bright boy. But he was just not getting his spellings correct. And his term end exams were just round the corner. She knew she had to do something about it. Thankfully tomorrow was a Saturday and they would have the entire day to get his studies back on track. For now, she decided to just let it be. “Oh alright baby. Let’s leave this for today. You go and play for a while and let me get dinner ready.”
Hama-Guri nodded. He felt tired. And also a little worried. He didn’t like not doing well in class. But somehow spellings of this new chapter were getting the better for him.
Soon dinner followed. Hama-Guri was hungry. And so he quickly ate up even his vegetables.
“Hey Hama, let’s go to the jungle to pick up some berries.” His father suddenly said. “Then mother can bake us a pie for the night.”
“Ya dad!” He squealed with delight. Suddenly Hama-Guri felt better. He loved these adventures with his dad. And since the small jungle patch in front of their farm had only deer, wild boars and a few stray rabbits, it never posed any threat to anyone either.
The night passed slowly and Hama didn’t sleep too well. He was excited about berry picking and also the spellings were still bothering him. But morning did finally arrive. After a quick breakfast, father and son were off for their expedition.
While they were collecting berries from the bushes, Hama-Guri heard a sound from a tree above. He looked up to see a nest. “Dad see…A nest…I think birds are in it…”
His father smiled. He knew what was coming. “And you wish you could see it right?”
“In that case we need to get onto that tree there.”
The young boy nodded. He had hurt himself many times before but he was almost an expert at climbing trees by now. He had been doing that ever since he was three.
The father and the son began to climb up and soon were perched on a sturdy branch. It gave a good view of the nest and also hid them from the birds.
“See father. Those birdies are so tiny.” Hama whispered.
“And can you see what they are doing?” His father replied back. “Just look at how hard they are trying to fly while the mother sits and watches.”
Hama nodded. True enough the little ones kept trying and kept toppling off. But they didn’t give up. They kept going. And lo and behold! Finally two of them managed to fly out. Hama watched them soar up in the sky. They flew as if it had been so easy. If he hadn’t seen how hard they had tried to achieve this he would have never known about these little birds’ efforts.
“I think we should get down now.” His father said. “My legs are hurting now.”
Hama climbed down in silence. They picked a few more berries and then walked back home. But Hama remained silent. His father decided not to speak to him now. He knew that the young chap was thinking of something and he wanted to let him do that.
That evening, after a bowlful of delicious berry pie and hot custard, Hama-Guri sat down with his spellings once again. This time, his alertness and determination much more. He knew he had to keep trying till he succeeded. Giving up was not allowed.
• Keep trying till you succeed. Don’t give up easily.
Things to teach:
o Which bird builds and nest which ones don’t
o Different types of nests that birds build
• Can all birds fly?
o Egg sizes of different birds
• Trivia about various birds – For example the Koel keeps its eggs in a crow’s nest
• National birds of different countries
• Don’t give up or quit easily. The important point is to try hard.
• Family stories where someone tried hard to achieve something
• Teach to be honest while trying – don’t choose the path of cheating
• This one is for parents: See that the kids have fun in what they are doing and are not being pressurized to perform in any way.
• Tell the story ‘The Don’t-give-up kid’ by Jeanne Gehret or ‘The Littlest Owl’ by Caroline Pitcher
• Watch the movie ‘The Brave Little Toaster’ or even ‘The Lion King’
• Give a difficult puzzle or a word game and ask the kid to try his best to solve it
• Take up a sport – games teach kids and adults not to quit and become a better person
• Go climb a tree!
• Cut out different coloured paper into tiny pieces. Jumble it all up in a bowl. Now draw a picture and ask them to stick the paper pieces to fill the right colour to it. Finding those tiny pieces from the bowl and sticking them will require a lot of effort, time and patience.