The hunter of ponds
The hunter of ponds5 mins 149 5 mins 149
Chintu was the youngest son of Ram Singh. When Ram Singh died, the eldest son announced that the house belonged to him. The second son took away whatever riches he could find in the house. Chintu left the house, carrying with him a bundle of ropes that neither brother wanted.
As he walked through the forest, he came across a squirrel. Chintu gave the little animal some nuts. The squirrel took a liking to Chintu and followed him wherever he went.
When he came across a rabbit, Chintu offered a carrot to the hungry animal. The rabbit took a liking to Chintu and followed him.
The three friends came to a pond.
“Be careful, Chintu, in the cave close to this pond lives Bhillu the bear,” cautioned the squirrel.
“You must be careful about the water monster who lives in this pond too,” said the rabbit.
“Now I can put the ropes to some use,” said Chintu. He started knitting a net with the ropes.
The water monster had a son who he lovingly called Lil’ Ogre. Lil’ Ogre put his head out of the pond. He was startled to see Chintu sitting under a tree knitting a net.
“What are you doing?” asked Lil’ Ogre anxiously.
“Don’t you see I’m making a net,” said Chintu, “A big net.”
“How big?” asked Lil’ Ogre.
“Do you see this pond?” asked Chintu.
‘That’s where I live,” said Lil’ Ogre.
“This net will be even bigger than the pond,” said Chintu.
“Why do you need such a big net?” asked Lil’ Ogre.
“How else can I catch the pond and drag it to my village?” said Chintu, tying one more knot.
Lil’ Ogre jumped into the pond and shook his father, Water Monster, who was taking a nap. “You are sleeping like a log while a hunter is all set to capture our pond,” cried Lil’ Ogre.
“A pond hunter! Are you serious?” asked Water Monster.
“I saw him with my own eyes. I talked to him too,” said Lil’ Ogre.
“You should handle him,” said Water Monster.
“How?” asked Lil’ Ogre.
“Challenge him to a race to the top of a tree. Surely you’ll climb faster than him, and he’ll be behind you. Give him a push. He will fall into the pond, and I’ll eat him up,” said Water Monster.
Lil’ Ogre liked the idea. He stood in front of Chintu. “Let’s race to the top of that tree,” he said pointing out a tall tree on the bank of the pond.
“Don’t you see I’m busy,” said Chintu, “You can race with my little brother,” he said.
Chintu’s brother, the squirrel, ran up the tree so fast that Lil’ Ogre had not even started climbing the tree! Lil’ Ogre went back to Water Monster. “I couldn’t beat even his little brother,” Lil’ Ogre confessed.
“Don’t you worry,” said Water Monster. “Invite him for a race around the pond. While racing, you give him a push. He will fall into the pond, and I’ll eat him up,” said Water Monster, licking his lips.
Lil’ Ogre liked the idea. He went back to Chintu. “Let’s race around the pond,” he said.
“Don’t you see I’m busy,” said Chintu once again, “You can race with my younger brother.”
Chintu’s younger brother, the rabbit, ran so fast Lil’ Ogre stood gasping. Sad and disappointed he returned to the pond.
“I couldn’t beat even his younger brother,” Lil’ Ogre confessed.
“Don’t you worry,” said Water Monster, “Invite him to a boxing match. Start pounding him hard. He’ll run for his life.”
Lil’ Ogre liked the idea. He went back to Chintu.
“Let’s box,” he said to Chintu.
Again Chintu said, “Don’t you see I’m busy? If you still want to box, go to my grandpa who is taking a nap in the cave there. Give him a kick.”
Lil’ Ogre thought it would be easier to beat an old man. He went inside the cave where he found the old bear sleeping. He kicked him hard. The enraged bear pounced on him and beat him black and blue. Lil’ Ogre had to run for his life.
“I couldn’t even beat his old grandpa. What chance do I have against this fellow?” he cried to Water Monster.
“He must be really strong then. Find out how much gold he wants to leave this place,” said Water Monster.
Lil’ Ogre ran to Chintu. “How many gold coins do you want to leave this place?” he asked.
“Enough to fill this cap,” Chintu said, taking off his cap.
Lil’ Ogre ran to get gold coins.
Just then the squirrel came to Chintu. “Are you hungry?” asked Chintu.
“I’m always looking for nuts,” said the squirrel.
“I think there are nuts buried here,” said Chintu. So the squirrel started digging.
“I see no nuts,” shouted the squirrel.
“Dig deeper,” advised Chintu.
So the squirrel went on digging. Then Chintu dropped a couple of nuts into the ditch.
“Ah! I got them,” said the squirrel as he jumped out of the ditch.
Chintu quickly punched a hole in his cap and placed it on the ground covering the tiny but deep ditch.
Just then Lil’ Ogre was back with a handful of gold coins. He dropped the coins into the cap. The coins went through the hole in the cap. Lil’ Ogre dived back into the pond to get more gold coins. He kept on filling the cap, but the cap remained half filled.
Lil’ Ogre did not realize that there was a hole in the cap and the gold coins were passing through the hole, falling into the ditch. So he brought more and more gold coins. At last when the cap was full Lil’ Ogre was relieved.
“I’ll leave now,” said Chintu.
To give Water Monster the good news Lil’ Ogre ran to the pond.
Chintu quickly cleaned up the ditch, made a neat bundle of gold coins and left. Chintu returned to his village. He bought a big house and lived happily ever after.