The Kind Cow and the Tiger King of the Forest

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
July/August 2011

Arjun Pillai Hausner
The Kind Cow and the Tiger King of the Forest animals around a tree

What a lot of disturbance and noise he was making

There is a special place in the old Kingdom of Nepal where the plains meet forests that goes on up to the Himalayan Mountains until the tree line stops and it is very cold, where the daphne bird, the rhino, and the tiger are close to grazing cows.

Gopa was a beautiful cow with kind bright eyes who lived in this amazing place. She spent her time grazing in the grass and occasionally wandering into the forest to explore new types of grass to eat or new views of the forest to gaze at. Gopa loved spending time wandering through the forest, gazing up at the trees and searching for new flavors to nibble on. Sometimes Gopa would just stare out into the distance at the peaks of the Himalayas, just admiring their height.

One day Gopa was wandering around in the forest when she heard the sound of stamping feet. To see where the sound was coming from, Gopa went out to look. Quickly, she walked into a clearing and saw a rhino with its horn stuck in a tree, stamping his legs behind him, trying to free himself. What a lot of disturbance and noise he was making. Nearby birds screeched and monkeys made howling noises, making fun of him. The rhino yanked and pulled in a great panic as hard as he could, trying to get his horn out of the trunk of the big tree.

“Dear Rhino, please calm down,” Gopa said. “If we both pull at the same time the horn will come out.” The rhino thought it was worth a try so Gopa and Rhino both pulled as hard as they could. Gopa pulled Rhino by his tail in her mouth as hard as she could. With little effort the horn slipped out of the tree trunk.

“Dhanyavad,” said the relieved rhino. “Without you I would be stuck there all day, and would feel hungry too.”

“You’re welcome,” Gopa replied. “I was happy to help.”

Exhausted, Gopa returned home to her barn. Feeling good that she helped the rhino, she fell quickly to sleep.

The next day Gopa went out and grazed in the field. When she was full she wandered into the forest. After a while of just walking around she heard a daphne cry. Gopa went and looked and saw a daphne on the ground with a branch on top of his wing. The daphne told Gopa that he was looking for food when the big branch fell from a tree and landed on his wing, pinning him to the ground. Gopa comforted and assured the daphne that he could roll the branch off and the daphne’s beautiful wings would be fine. But he was still worried. Gopa was determined to help Daphne. Gently, Gopa nudged the branch off of the daphne’s wing.

“Dhanyavad,” Daphne cried, while thinking to himself that Gopa is not bad for a cow. “Thank you again,” he said as he tried to spread his wings to fly home.

But when the daphne tried to get up and fly he got into the air and then spiraled back down like an airplane with a broken engine. He was caught by Gopa.

“Gopa,” Daphne chirped, “what will I do? I need to rest before I can fly. Would you please take me to my nest?”

“OK,” replied Gopa.

So Gopa walked till they found the nest of the daphne, where she gently placed him back into his home.

“Gopa, would you kindly wait nearby for a little bit?” chirped Daphne.

Gopa waited near the nest as Daphne asked. Daphne went inside and when he came out, he had a leaf wrapped around his wing like a bandage. Daphne flew around to show off his new wing.

After that, Gopa went home to the barn and went to sleep. That night Gopa dreamed a very strange dream.

She dreamed that an invisible force with a tiger’s tail was pulling her out of her barn into the forest clearing. Then the Holy Cow came into the clearing and said that Gopa was going to be eaten. Gopa woke up with a stir and then the dream went blank. When Gopa woke again it was early morning and she was being dragged into the forest.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!” Gopa screamed. ‘‘Who are you and how did I get here?”

“I am the Tiger King of the Forest,” roared the tiger. “While you were asleep I dragged you out of your barn and into the forest. Now I will eat you!!!!!!!”

“Help!!!!!” Gopa screamed.

The Kind Cow and the Tiger King of the Forest animals talking

“Gopa, would you kindly wait nearby for a little bit?” chirped Daphne

Just then, Rhino happened to walk by and heard Gopa scream. He remembered how Gopa had saved him. He was determined to help Gopa in return, even though he was very scared of the tiger. Just at that moment Daphne was passing overhead and saw what was happening to Gopa. He remembered how Gopa had saved him. He thought to himself, What can I do to help Gopa? I am just a bird! He was also afraid of the tiger. But he joined the rhino. Together they were determined to help Gopa.

Rhino charged at the tiger while Daphne swooped around and pecked at the tiger. Tiger dodged Rhino’s horn and swatted Daphne. Rhino skidded to a stop, turned around, and charged again, grazing the tiger’s shoulder and creating a cut. At the sight of his own blood, Tiger darted away into the depths of the forest, followed by his long tail.

Rhino and Daphne led Gopa out of the forest and back to her barn.

“Dhanyavad,” Gopa said, “for saving me from the Tiger King.”

“No problem,” Daphne and Rhino replied. “You helped us, and we helped you.”

The Kind Cow and the Tiger King of the Forest Arjun Pillai Hausner

Arjun Pillai Hausner, 12
New Delhi, India

The Kind Cow and the Tiger King of the Forest Libby Marrs

Libby Marrs, 12
Albuquerque, New Mexico

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