The Cactus Grows Thorns


A long time ago, in a far away land there was a huge forest. It was green and lush and filled with juicy fruits and beautiful flowers. The fragrance of those flowers filled the surrounding areas with a beautiful perfume. In the middle of the forest there lived a big mountain. He was a huge mound of rock. He was covered with a thick rich coat of velvety moss that was Emerald green in color and looked very grand. As a result he was very proud and arrogant. He sniggered at the little ants that crawled up his rocky slopes and booed away the birds who came to hum a beautiful tune they had picked up from far away lands. He laughed at the little deer that trudged up his sides to play awhile and showered them with stones to scare them away. He had a fierce face and always looked angry and glum. The wind shivered when it had to blow its way and the rain quivered and poured down in a different direction.

Soon with no water and no wind, the lush green forest around the big, fierce mountain became dry and barren. Slowly all the grass dried up and the trees stopped bearing juicy fruits. All the animals and birds left the forest in search for better places.

The mountain however continued to stand in its place. It lost its coat of velvety moss and had begun to look dull and brown. Nevertheless, it still looked as fierce as an angry bull and gloomy like the stormy sky.

Slowly, as days went by, the mountain began to feel lonely and deserted. With no ants building their homes on his rocky face , no bird singing in his ears, no rabbit nibbling on the fresh grass growing on him, no deer dancing on his mossy shoulders, the poor mountain became sadder and sadder.

“Oh Poor Me!” cried the mountain one day.
“Will nobody ever come my way?”

Well, you know what happens if you wish for something that bad, don’t you? Your wish is granted.

So one day, our poor mountain, who was no longer as fierce and as gloomy as before, was weeping bitterly.

“Boo Hoo hoo! I didn’t have a clue!
For when the grass grew
They did love me true!
And now I have no friends,
Not even a few
Boo Hoo Hoo !
Why did I have to be such a Shrew!”

His tears trickled down, down , and further down its rugged and stony sides and into the dry, broken soil at the foot of the mountain. As the thirsty soil received the first drops of water after a long long time it cried out in joy –

“Ahh!” it rejoiced
“The joy of being drenched
The thrill of being quenched”

After days of being moistened and drenched in the mountain’s tears, the soil slowly cracked and out sprouted a little green head. It pushed its little stub of a head out of the soil and blinked at the sunlight. It looked this way and that way for it did not know which way it should look. Because no matter where he looked , it saw flat land and more flat land. There was just miles and miles of flat brown soil stretched out on all its sides. Till one day, he turned his neck to look behind him and finally saw the big brown mountain, standing tall and sad.

“Hello up there” the little green head quipped.
“Tell me why the buds are all nipped
and the land of grass is stripped”

The mountain was about to shed a fresh shower of tears. He stopped midway on hearing an unknown voice after a long long time. It looked on its left and then on its right. But could not see anyone. He looked up in the sky but found no sign of anyone there either. It was only when he looked down that he finally saw the green sapling. The mountain was so happy to see life sprouting near him once again. In his excitement he began to rumble in joy and welcomed the sapling with a shower of stones from its heart.

“Watch Out!” shrieked the little plant
“Don’t bury me like an ant”
“Never! Never ! My friend”

“In no way do I wish to offend” rumbled the Mountain laughing heartily.

Very soon the mountain and the sapling became fast friends. The sapling was happy to have the old mountain as a friend. They had so much to talk about didn’t they? The green sapling was enjoying his first moments on earth and had so many questions for which he needed answers. The mountain told him all that. He also told him , how and why the land that was once a lush, green gorgeous forest had turned into this barren, deserted land. He told the little plant how his pride had turned the beautiful forest into a dry desert like area.

Then one day the Mountain noticed the little green sapling was not looking his usual young, fresh self. He was looking weak and shrivelled up.

“What’s wrong young friend” asked the hill
“Do you feel like you have the chill?”

“Oh no dear hill
I just feel ill
Will pop in a pill
I sure will” said the green one.

The mountain however was old and wise enough to understand that a pill was not what the sapling needed. It needed water to feed itself. And water was rare in this desert. But the Mountain knew what to do.
[Image Credit:]

To know how the mountain helped his young friend listen to the full story on my YouTube channel Tales for TotsWhere Tales come to life.

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