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P.D. Eastman 

Philip Dey Eastman was an American screenwriter, children's author, and illustrator. 

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A mother bird sat on her egg. The egg jumped. “Uh oh!” said the mother bird. “My baby will be here! He will want to eat. I must get something for my baby bird to eat!” she said. “I will be back!” So away she went.

The egg jumped. It jumped, and jumped, and jumped!

Out came the baby bird!

“Where is my mother?” he said.

He looked for her.

He looked up. He did not see her.

He looked down. He did not see her.

“I will go and look for her,” he said. So away he went.

Down, out of the tree he went.

Down, down, down! It was a long way down.

The baby bird could not fly. He could not fly, but he could walk.

“Now I will go and find my mother,” he said.

He did not know what his mother looked like. He went right by her. He did not see her.

He came to a kitten.

“Are you my mother?” he said to the kitten.

The kitten just looked and looked. It did not say a thing.

The kitten was not his mother, so he went on.

Then he came to a hen.

“Are you my mother?” he said to the hen.

“No,” the hen said.

The kitten was not his mother.

The hen was not his mother.

So the baby bird went on.

“I have to find my mother!” he said. “But where? Where is she? Where could she be?”

Then he came to a dog.

“Are you my mother?” he said to the dog.

“I am not your mother. I am a dog,” said the dog.

The kitten was not his mother.

The hen was not his mother.

The dog was not his mother.

So the baby bird went on. Now he came to a cow.

“Are you my mother?” he said to the cow.

“How could I be your mother? I am a cow.”

The kitten and the hen were not his mother.

The dog and the cow were not his mother.

Did he have a mother?

“I did have a mother,” said the baby bird. “I know I did. I have to find her. I will. I WILL!”

Now the baby bird did not walk. He ran!

Then he saw a car. Could that old thing be his mother? No, it could not. The baby bird did not stop. He ran on and on.  Now he looked way, way down. He saw a boat. “There she is!” said the baby bird. He called to the boat, but the boat did not stop. The boat went on.

He looked way, way up. He saw a big plane. “Here I am, Mother,” he called out. But the plane did not stop. The plane went on.

Just then, the baby bird saw a big thing. This must be his mother! “There she is!” he said. “There is my mother!” He ran right up to it. “Mother, Mother! Here I am, Mother!” he said to the big thing. But the big thing just said, “Snort.”

“Oh, you are not my mother,” said the baby bird. “You are a snort. I have to get out of here!” But the baby bird could not get away. The snort went up. It went way, way up. And up, and up, and up went the baby bird. But now, where was the snort going? “Oh, oh, oh! What is this snort going to do to me? Get me out of here!” Just then, the snort came to a stop.

“Where am I?” said the baby bird. “I want to go home. I want my mother!”

Then something happened. The snort put that baby bird right back in the tree. The baby bird was home!

Just then, the mother came back to the tree.

“Do you know who I am?” she said to her baby.

“Yes, I know who you are,” said the baby bird.

“You are not a kitten.”

“You are not a hen.”

“You are not a dog.”

“You are not a cow.”

“You are not a boat, or a plane, or a snort!”

“You are a bird, and you are my mother.”

Jack, a poor farmer, lived alone in his small hut.  He was dedicated to his work and whatever he earned was enough to fulfill his needs.

One evening, after returning from work, Jack was hungry.  “What shall I cook tonight” he thought. Just then he heard a hen clucking outside his hut. “That hen would make a great feast for me” thought Jack, and prepared to catch the hen.

With a little effort, he was able to catch the hen. As he was about to kill the hen, it squeaked, “please do not kill me, old kind man. I will help you.” 

Jack stopped. Though he was surprised that the hen spoke, he asked “how can you help me?” 

“If you spare my life, I will lay a golden egg everyday for you.”

Jack’s eyes got widened in delight. Jack was surprised to hear this promise, a golden egg! That too everyday! “Why should I believe you?  You might be lying,” said Jack.

“If I do not lay a golden egg tomorrow, you can kill me.”

After this promise, Jack spared the hen and waited for the next day. The next morning, Jack found a golden egg lying outside his hut, and the hen sitting beside it. “It is true. You really can lay a golden egg.”

From that day onwards, the hen would lay a golden egg every day. In return Jack took good care of the hen. Very soon Jack became rich but he became greedy. He thought, if I cut open the hen’s stomach, I can get out all the golden eggs at once. I do not have to wait for the hen to lay the golden eggs one by one.

That night, he brought the hen to the interior portion of his house and killed the hen. But to his dismay, he found no golden eggs, not even one.

"What have I done? My greed had made me kill the hen," he wailed, but it was too late.

There was once a hare who was so proud of how fast he was, he told everyone he met. “Excuse me, did you know I’m the fastest hare in all the land?” “Hello, sir. Did you know that I can outrun a lion?” Worst of all, he always teased a tortoise about how slow he was. One day the tortoise had had enough. “Even you can be beat,” the tortoise said. “I bet I could beat you.” The hare laughed and laughed. “Alright,” he said, “then let’s have a race.” 

The tortoise and the hare went outside, the hare still cackling about the tortoise’s challenge. They stood at the starting line and the race began. The hare took off, shooting ahead of the tortoise easily. He looked back at the tortoise and shouted, “See you at the finish line, slow poke!” He ran like that for a few minutes, until he couldn’t see the tortoise anymore.

The hare took a deep breath. “I didn’t get much sleep,” he said to himself, “and I’m so far ahead, a little nap wouldn’t hurt.” He hopped off to one side and laid down to rest. 

Meanwhile, the tortoise slowly kept on walking. An hour later, the hare jerked awake, only to see the tortoise pulling ahead. He couldn’t let that happen, so he bounded off again. Once he was ahead he called back, “You’ll never beat me!” But then, once he got ahead again, the hare decided to take another break. “I’m getting hungry,” he said, and he headed off into the forest to collect a late breakfast. He took his time, sitting down to enjoy it all.

When he finally got back to the path, he screeched, “Oh no!” The tortoise was almost to the finish line. The hare ran as fast as he could, but he just couldn’t do it. The tortoise stepped over the finish line and won the race. 

The hare couldn't believe he had been bested. "How did this happen?" he wondered out loud. The tortoise smiled. He said, "Slow and steady wins the race."

(Snoring…) One day, a lion was sleeping in the forest. A tiny mouse passed by and saw the lion. He liked the lion’s mane and started playing with it. 

The lion got up and got very angry. He caught the mouse in his paws and roared loudly “Roar!! Roar!! How dare you touch my mane?! I will NOW eat you! Roar!! Roar!!”. (Screaming….) “PLEASE don’t kill me. I shall help you whenever you may need help.” The lion started laughing “HAA…HAA…How can a tiny mouse ever help me?” He allowed the mouse to go away. 

Somedays later the lion got caught in a hunter’s net. He roared loudly and tried to break free but, he couldn’t. “Err…HELP me! Somebody please HELP me!” The mouse heard the lion’s roar “OOOH! My friend the lion is in danger! I have to save him NOW!” He then came running to help the lion. “Don’t worry my friend, I shall free you from this trap.” He bit and tore off the hunter’s net with his sharp teeth. 

The lion was free and happy. "Thank you, my little friend. You saved my life!"

In a small forest, lived a hare, who was very popular.  He had many friends.

An ant also was his friend.

One day, the hare went to meet his friend, Ant.  “Dear Ant, I always see you working. Don’t you take any rest?” “Who will help me, when I starve?  I should take care of myself.”

“Are we not there?”

“Of course you are good. But not everyone is like you.”  “But, listen, I have lot of friends. When I am in trouble or in need they will certainly help me. “But, I don’t believe in all these.”

“You are wrong.  You should have a lot of friends.” One should not be like you. Even if we have few friends, they should be good. That is true friendship.”

“You are wrong. If we have more friends, everyone will help us in some way or the other.”

The ant kept quite.

The next day, the ant came running to the hare.  “Hi, what happened? Why are you in haste?” “Some hunters are approaching our forest. They have caught many animals in the nearby forest. You have to shift to some other place. Fast.”

“Thank you friend.”

The hare hurriedly went to the horse. “Friend, can you carry me on your back to the next forest? The hunters are fast approaching our forest.”

“No other work for me, than to carry him to the next forest. What will I gain, by taking him to the next forest?  My master has given me an important work. I am sorry dear. All your other friends would come to your assistance. Don’t bother.”

He then applied to the cow, and hoped that he would repel the hunters with his horns. “Dear friend, can you take me to the nearby forest? The hunters are approaching our forest.”

“I am very sorry. I have an appointment with the lady of this house; but I am sure that our friend Goat will do what you want.”

The goat, however, feared that his back might ache, if he had to carry him on his back.

“Can you please carry me dear friend?”

“Can I take you, another time, my dear friend?  I do not like to interfere on the present occasion, as hunters have been known to eat goats as well as hares.”

The hare then applied a last hope, to the calf. “Dear friend, I am too small for you. Can you take me to the nearby forest, as hunters are approaching our forest?”

“Dear friend, all the other bigger animals have declined and if I take you now, they will not like it. So please do not mistake me.”

The hare felt bad and was tired.

Just then, the ant comes running to the hare. “Dear friend, don’t wait for anyone. Start running. You can only save your life. The hunters are close by and I can sense it.”

“Thank you, dear friend.”

By this time, the hunters were quite near, and the hare took to his heels and luckily escaped.

He that has many friends, has no friends.

One day, Maya, the crow was flying over the trees. She was hungry.  She was looking for something to eat. She found a piece of cheese under the tree.  “How lucky I am.” She picked up the piece of cheese with her beak and flew to the top of the tree. “I should eat this piece of cheese slowly.  I have not eaten cheese for a long time. I love cheese.”

Foxy the fox was walking near the tree.  He too was hungry. 

“I haven’t eaten anything all day.  I am so hungry.  I hope I find something to eat.” Foxy saw Maya sitting on the tree and he also saw the cheese. “I must get back piece of cheese from Maya. But Maya is very clever. I have to make Maya drop the cheese.”

 

Foxy thought of a plan.  He went to the tree when Maya was sitting. “Oh what a beautiful bird you are. I am sure you have a beautiful voice too. Why don’t you sing for me?”

 

Maya was very happy when she heard these words.  She forgot the cheese in her mouth. She opened her mouth to say “Caw, caw” and the cheese fell down. Foxy ate the cheese.  He laughed at Maya. “You have an ugly voice. I only wanted the cheese. You are a fool.”

One warm spring day, a grasshopper was playing in a grassy green field when he noticed a line of ants marching along carrying some seeds. “Where are you going with that big load?” the grasshopper asked one of them. “We’re taking these seeds to our nest,” squeaked the ant. “But it’s such a beautiful day,” said the grasshopper. “Come and have fun with me.” “No,” said the ant. “I think you should come work with us. It’s going to be a long winter with lots of snow. You would better start storing your food now!” “Why worry about the winter? It’s only spring, and there is lots of food everywhere,” said the grasshopper as he chewed on a large blade of grass. All through the spring the grasshopper did nothing except eat, and sleep, and play. He became quite fat. 

One day, during the summer, the grasshopper saw the long line of ants again. They were all carrying grains of wheat. “Where are you going with all that wheat?” the grasshopper asked. “We are taking it to our nest to save for winter,” said one of the ants. “You should gather some wheat, too.” It’s going to be a long winter with lots of snow.” “I have all the food that I need right now,” said the grasshopper. “Why worry about winter? It’s still summer!” 

All summer, the grasshopper did nothing but eat, sleep and play. He became even fatter! 

One day, the grasshopper noticed that leaves were falling from the trees. Autumn had come! Among the leaves he again saw the long line of ants all carrying kernels of corn. “Where are you going with that corn?” the grasshopper asked one of the ants. The ant replied, “We are taking it to our nest to save for winter. You should gather some corn, too. It’s going to be a long winter with lots of snow.” “That’s too much work,” said the grasshopper. “Winter is not here yet, and when it comes, I am sure I will be able to find some food.” 

A few weeks later, winter came, and the snow began to fall. Just as the ants had predicted, the snow was very deep. This was not a problem for the ants, though. They were all snug in their nest with lots of good food to eat. The grasshopper, however, had trouble finding food. He was very hungry and very miserable all winter. 

By the time winter had ended, the grasshopper had learned a valuable lesson: It is important to prepare for the future.

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