To inculcate the importance of religious harmony among the pupils.
To make them understand the importance of all the animals in the surrounding environment.
To correlate the topic with the essentiality of the food chain to have proper ecological balance.
To bring home the importance of fellow feeling among the pupils for a nice coexistence.
To develop the skill of storytelling of the pupils.
There lived a variety of people in the village Pambupatti.
Once there starts a terrible religious riot in the village of Prem which is several hundred miles away from Pambupatti.
Somehow Prem manages to save his life and reaches at the village, Pambupatti.
There an old man takes a very good care of sick Prem. The old man tells a very old story of the reptiles of his village.
There lived many types of reptiles like snakes, crocodiles, turtles and lizards.
There would be a monthly meeting of all the reptiles. Makara, the giant crocodile of the forest would be the president of the meetings.
Once Makara ordered tortoises not to attend the meeting and leave the forest. Tortoises yielded to Makara’s order and left the forest.
In the absence of the tortoises the forest smelled very badly as there were no tortoises to eat rotten fruit and rotten river animals.
Then the next was the turn of the snakes that too were driven away and in their absence the rats and the frogs made merry like anything creating problems for the crocodiles.
Finally, the lizards too were driven out in whose absence insects became outnumbered, grew bigger and nastier day by day.
At last, the crocodiles even Makara understood the importance of these animals and called them back.
Thus, learning the equal value of all the human beings in the society, Prem who had not wanted to go back to his village, now decided to go back and tell people the importance of everybody in the society.
This lesson is the story of the reptiles which happened to live a long, long time ago in the village of Pambupatti. Their story is being narrated to Prem by an old man.
It so happened that one day a religious riot broke out in the village where Prem lived. Somehow he managed to run away from the riot-ravaged village with his life. There he came now to the village, Pambupatti several hundred miles away from his own. There he is taken care of by an old man who narrates the story of the reptiles to Prem. The old man thinks the story would dissuade the minds of the people from rioting.
A long ago there lived reptiles like snakes, crocodiles, turtles, lizards in Pambupatti forest. Every month there would be the meeting of reptiles whose president would be Makara, the biggest crocodile of the forest. Once before the meeting he ordered the tortoises not to attend the meeting and leave the forest. Fearing the horrible looking Makara, they did as they were instructed. In the absence of the tortoises the forest smelled very badly as there were no tortoises to eat rotten fruit and rotten river animals.
Now it was the turn of the snakes to be driven off from the forest .They too received the letter of Makara as the tortoises had. They too were ordered not to attend the meeting and leave the forest. They too had to follow the strict ultimatum of Makara.
Now in the absence of snakes, rats and frogs that outnumbered than every other animal in the forest, created a nuisance for the crocodiles.
In a short while the poor lizards too were driven off from the forest. Because of their absence now insects grew in millions, growing bigger and more and more unpleasant day by day.
It being a complete disorder type situation in the absence of these animals, the crocodiles even Makara understood of being in the forest. But he was adamant enough not to accept it openly. However, all the gone reptiles are called back to come, sending them urgent messages. They came and in a short period of time the derailed train of the forest came on the track.
Thus, the hesitant Prem became ready to go back to his village. As he thinks that if
he tells this story to the people there, they will learn the importance of all the classes,strata and their dire requirements in the society.
Yet he has a doubt whether people would listen to the story or not. However, the old man tells him he should do his duty with complete belief irrespective of the fruit he may get from it.
short answer questions
Where is the village Pambupatti situated?
The village Pambupatti is situated on the edge of the jungle. It is on a cliff and the forest that stretches below like a mossy green carpet.
What happened in the village where Prem lived?
0ne day suddenly the people of Prem’s village went mad as their place of worship, a temple or mosque was burnt down. They became so violent that they started fighting with one another.
How did the old man help Prem when he ran away from his village to Pambupatti?
When Prem ran away from his village to Pambupatti, an old man helped him. He took care of Prem, putting food in his mouth and bringing him sweet, cool water from the stream. He even rubbed his feet gently and made his pain disappear.
Why did the old man insist Prem on listening to his story?
The old man insisted Prem on listening to his story because he was confident if he told Prem the story, he would certainly take the story back to his own village which in turn might heal some of the wounds of riot of it.
Why were the animals happy to see the snakes going?
Animals were happy to see the snakes going because they had been a bit afraid of the snakes as one could never know when the one would be bitten and spat venom at the one by the snakes. And really it takes a little poison to kill anybody.
Who sent urgent messages all over for the tortoises, snakes & lizards to come back?
It is crocodiles who sent urgent messages all over for the tortoises, snakes and lizards to come back; because in their absence there was a complete disorder in the forest and it is now that all the crocodiles especially Makara too understood their importance in the forest.
textbook questions and answers
In what way is Pambupatti different from any other village?
Pambupatti is the village which was very different compared to other villages; because it is seen in most of the places people support a particular religion and promote a certain caste, creed or language. But Pambupatti was so unique that all the people lived together peacefully and harmoniously irrespective of their caste, creed, language, food habits etc. It was a secular village. Thus Pambupatti was different from other villages.
Why is Prem determined not to return to his village?
Prem was determined not to return to his village because the villagers of the village had started a fight with those who prayed to another God. They had burnt the temples and mosques. Many of them were crushed in that terrible incident. This condition of the village had made Prem burn with shame. So, he was unwilling to return to his village.
Why did Makara dislike tortoises, snakes and lizards?Write a line about each.
Makara disliked tortoises because they were stupid and slow. They carried their houses on their backs.
He disliked snakes because they were very slimy and weird.
He disliked lizards because of their strange habits. Moreover, some of them could change their colour.
What went wrong when the tortoises, snakes, and lizards left the forest?
Many awful things started happening in the forest. With no tortoises, the jungle seemed to be rotting. Earlier, the tortoises used to eat the rotting fruits and the rotting animals in the river. When the snakes left, the rats and frogs increased. They became the biggest nuisance. Similarly, when the lizards left, there was no fear to the insects. There were now millions of them growing bigger and nastier day by day. So, the whole forest seemed to have gone crazy when the tortoises, snakes and lizards left it.
Why do you think Prem wants to tell the story of the reptiles to the people of his village?
In Prem’s village people of one religion fought with another. The people of one religion hated and were violent towards another religion. The people had gone mad. Their emotion of hate was so strong that they burnt the holy places of others. So, in my opinion he thought that after telling this story to the people of his village unity, peace and non-violence might come back and all will live happily. So, Prem wants to tell the story of reptiles to the people of his village.
Do you agree that it is difficult not to go along with someone who is strong and powerful? Express your views frankly and clearly.
Students may attempt the answer on their own.
If you were a baby crocodile, would you tell Makara that he was wrong? What would you say to convince him?
Students may attempt the answer on their own.