Mrs Magpie and her family

Mrs Magpie and her brood of seven , Monday, Tuesday , Wednesday, all the way to Sunday !

What if she had an eighth child ? What do you think she will call her ?

Yes, the eighth child is called January Because you never know what the years will bring !




This is the story of a python . The python was a very strange looking fellow. He loved to do strange things too . Every day he would swallow an animal and go to sleep. Now if you only eat and sleep 😴 and eat and sleep 😴 💤 you are going to fall sick. And that is why the python got very very sick 🤒. And his tummy hurt.

So his wife, Mrs Python said, ” Why don’t you go to the doctor Mr. Python ?”

So Mr. Python set off to get himself treated by Doctor Cheetah.

Now we all know that pythons do not have feet so he started to crawl to Dr. Cheetah’s clinic. He crawled and he crawled. It was very hot so he got very tired and lay down under the shade of a tree which had many red fruits hanging on its branches . One of the fruits fell on the python’s head. The python, as was his habit, gulped down the fruit in a jiffy.

After some time Mr. Python felt that he was feeling well. He also had no stomach ache. But by now he had crawled to Dr. Cheetah’s clinic.

Dr. Cheetah, who was always very troubled about his work asked Mr. Python, “Mr. Python, what is your problem ? ”

The python said , “I had a stomach ache but now I am all right . I was feeling very sick but now I am fine.”

Dr. Cheetah said, ” How come you are feeling fine. I have not given you my medicine ? ”

Mr. Python said, “I don’t know. I crawled all the way here. On the way I slept under a tree and when a fruit from the tree fell on me I eat it up. ”

Dr. Cheetah said, “What did the fruit look like ? ”

The python said, ” It was round and red. Inside the fruit there were many tiny red seeds. It was very sweet but it’s skin was very thick .

Dr. Cheetah said, ” It seems to me you eat a pomegranate. The pomegranate fruit is very good for your health. Besides this you came crawling all the way here which is good exercise . Exercise is very good for health . Now bear in mind, eat some fruits and vegetables and also exercise. All right then, give me my fees now. ”

The python said, ” Fees ? Why should I give you fees. I got well on my own.”

Dr. Cheetah thought to himself that if the animals of the jungle start getting well on their own just like this python then what will happen to me, how will I put food on my table ? ”

Dr. Cheetah quickly opened Mr. Python’s mouth and popped in a burger. As soon as the burger went into the python’s stomach it started aching . He started crying loudly, ” Help me, save me ! It feels like a hundred rats are jumping inside and biting my stomach. He started to cry, “Ow !Ow !Ow !”

Then Dr. Cheetah said, “Should I give you some medicine ? ”

Mr. Python understood that Dr. Cheetah was being clever and only wanted to take his money.

Mr. Python said, ” No, I will crawl back home. On the way I will eat a pomegranate. I do not need your services. ”

The other animals who had come to get treated heard what Mr. Python said and were very happy. They thought to themselves , this is an excellent idea. If we can keep ourselves healthy then we don’t have to give Dr. Cheetah his very hefty fees. In a trice they got up and followed the python but kept their distance from him for they did not want to be swallowed by the python in case he got hungry.

When the animals reached the pomegranate tree they all started jumping up to pluck the pomegranate fruits and pop them in their mouths.


Pomegranate fruits – Good for your health !


The pomegranate tree had no fruits left. He thought to himself , ” Goodness gracious , one fruit tree and a hundred impatients! Now what will happen to me if I fall ill ? Boo boo ! ”

A butterfly 🦋 who was flitting by saw the pomegranate tree crying and said, ” Brother Pomegranate tree, don’t worry. The few flowers which are left on you will soon become fruits. That is our job. We will fly from the flowers of one tree to the flowers of another one so that we can help them to become fruits. ”

The pomegranate tree was very happy. He thought to himself, ” It’s quite all right if the animals plucked all my fruits and eat them up. Now they will be cured soon. And, I, too will be well for the person who helps another person stays always well for God helps him. Yes, but God punishes those who rob from other people for no reason at all. Just like that cheetah who is called cheetah for a reason . Now he will always be worried that now that the animals have cured themselves who will come to me for treatment and how will I put food on my table ”

That is why it is said , ” ‘ Cheetahs’ never prosper . ”


Here is a poem written for him ( on the left and a poem by him , ‘MARTYRDOM’ ( on the right )


CRAZY CUCKOO – books with good values

2014-06-28 02.11.26


CRAZY CUCKOO – Story , in the previous post and elsewhere on the blog .

This book, targeted for four- to seven-year-olds, is filled with a number of moral messages, including these:

It is not your skin color that counts, but your skills.

Never, ever give up.

Everyone has a unique talent that needs to be developed.

If you do not practice your gifted talent, you will lose it.

Selfish people end up very lonely.

An adopted mother who loves and cares for you is more important than the mother who gives birth to you and then abandons you.

A cage is a cage, even if it is a golden one. Fly free!



Interview of the author SHIPRA SHUKLA by Brian Feinblum of MEDIA CONNECT

1. Shipra, what inspired you to write Crazy Cuckoo?
God inspired me to write ‘Crazy Cuckoo.’ Having said that some characters that inhabit Jungle Land did pop out when I used to tell my children bedtime stories. There was a particularly naughty 🐒  who would take them in a rocket 🚀 to different planets. And some sketchy plot lines were told to sundry people over the years.
2. What happens in the story?
A cuckoo bird with stars in her eyes abandons her baby in a single mom crows’ nest. The crow mom wants her four crow children to become singing stars and hires a frog to teach them. Their  caw- caw and the ribbid- ribbid drive the jungle folks nuts and they, in turn, drive them out of the jungle.. But mother crow is not one to give up. The crows do become singing stars but not in the way you would expect ! The prima donna cuckoo is in for a shock too !
3. What’s the book’s message and why is it so important that we teach this to young children?
The message is that it’s not your skin but your skill that is important. The mother crow and her children were able to drive away the pesky rats which plagued the town. For that service they became heroes for the town folks. Later their raucous voices were taped to drive away the pests from the fields.
Children should realize that everyone has a talent that is unique to them . An earthworm only twists and turns but he makes the soil fertile. A tree only stands in one place but who can deny the usefulness of a tree. So, everyone is special. If they don’t believe this, they are welcome to ask their parents!
4. One of the book’s themes centres on adoption. What do we want children to understand in regards to this topic?
A mother who loves you and takes care of you is far more important than one who merely gives birth to you and leaves you.
5. There is a mother-child relationship in the story that is very strong. What really bonds a child and the one who raises him or her?
  Love, love and  love !


( This post has been written by “ Bella’s sister” – the budding writer – Ambika. Six years ago A was the first one who had written to Cuckoo and Banana – Drama ; I have reproduced the letters below . Now she brings forth her own take on Bella’s activities and they are as fresh as the first rain after a long dry spell  ! Children always have their unique view of the world . )

Bella writes ( through Ambika’s pen ) –

Since this new season has come around, my sister’s friends have been hanging around. Honestly, the first time all of them came was fun because they ( like everyone else ) loved me and gave me so much attention . But after the third time of so many people coming , I’m exhausted. If I’m just relaxing , almost every time I am disturbed . Why am I always the one who has to get up. I feel these people don’t apppreciate me enough. Like they act they are doing me a service.

Anyways , as I was saying . When her friends come they sometimes jump into this huge water bowl in my backyard/territory. But my assistants never let me go out with them, it’s ridiculous. I mean, when I’m let out by “accident “ I want to join the fun as well but I get in trouble for that. How fair is that ? They get to have fun and I don’t ? There was one time when I jumped in the water , then one week later the water bowl was emptied, it was just a bowl !

The last thing I am going to talk about are those darn squirrels that think it’s ok to come into my territory. When they come, my retriever side comes out. I start barking and banging outside the door until one of my assistants open it for me, then I bark my tail off. For some reason they always come back for more. Every time I protect my assistants from these vicious creatures.

Now I’m signing off !













( who translates the human language to ‘critter’ language and vice versa )


Dear Banana drama,
Why are you so crazy? Why did you put skates on Mr. Tittle Turtle? You are very cute and one day, I hope you travel to the moon


Banana Drama

Banana Drama


Yo, A

I am not only crazy but also cool, I am a crazy cool monkey.

I was just helping Mr. Tittle Turtle to walk faster, he is so slow that sometimes by the time he has reached his own birthday party and blown out the candles it is time for his next birthday party and we don’t have so much time like he has. Do you know a turtle can live up to 150 years so he can take things slow but not us monkeys.

I do want to travel to the moon one day but I would like to do it on a full moon night. What if there is half a moon and I land on the dark side, how will I see stuff. And on a night when there is no moon, what if I don’t find it? I think I better ask my science teacher about this, you do that too.


Banana Drama.


Dear Cuckoo,

You are very pretty. But it is not nice to give your baby to someone else.

Your funniest fan,


Cuckoo Cool

Cuckoo Cool


My dear A

Thank you! Lots of my fans have told me I am pretty, very pretty. I also have a beautiful voice. Now if you have some talent you have to let it shine. I had to go to King Tweety –Fruity’s kingdom to be a star and a baby would have been a bother. So, I did the best thing for Melody, I left her with Maggie Hatchery.

She is going to have four babies so she can look after one more. Maggie is a good mom so she is in good hands.


( this is my star name)





One day Bella was snoozing in the corner which was her usual habit when she heard that familiar bark. “ Oh ! No ! Toby is visiting again ! He is so boisterous! It’s not his fault, he is only two which in human years is fourteen . A teenager ! Ye gods ! His over active hormones are making him run around and bark and jump and he can’t stop.”

Bella looked up and saw Toby scampering in and sliding to stop when he spotted a ball.

“There he goes. Obsessing about balls all the time. So that’s his weakness. ⚽ 🏈 🏀 BALLS !

Now Bella may be a laid back dog but she is also very intelligent.  She knows that your enemies weakness can be made into your strength. So what do you think she did to keep Toby away from her ?

She took each and every ball and hid them in the laundry room. Now the laundry room is very small and really there is no place to hide anything, especially not balls of every shape and size. So there they were filling up the laundry room with Toby snuffling at them and nosing them around.

The help who had loads of laundry to do was getting quite irritated 😠  😣  😤 . Every time she came in with a load to wash there was Toby who is rather big, big enough to fill up the laundry room, going at his balls. The help was muttering and kicked out Toby’s balls. But when she got busy in the kitchen Bella would nose it back into the room. Sometimes she nosed one of balls into the kitchen so that Toby would scamper there and get in her way.

Soon the  help was fed up and started to complain to Bella’s owner. “ Too much disturbance, too much trouble, this “perro” ( dog 🐕 in Spanish ) too big. He make too much trouble. Me no work with this dog !”

Poor Toby. Bella was happy. Now she would have the house all to herself.

But then the children ( A & A ) were distressed. If Toby was banned from the house then Toby’s owner ( yes, unlike Bella who has assistants some dogs have owners ) who was the children’s friend ( another A ) would not be able to come so often. They prayed to DOG spelt backwards to help them.

Now Bella being Bella was also a very kind hearted dog and she did not like her assistants to be unhappy 🙁. So guess what she did ? Come on, take a guess !

She took each and every ball and nosed them into the garage every time the door leading to the garage would open. She only left a small blue ball for Toby to play with. Now Toby no longer had any interest  in the laundry room or the kitchen. He flapped his ears , wagged his tail and pounced on his blue ball.











Toby was happy, the children ( A & A ) and their friend ( A ) were happy and most important Bella and Toby were no longer enemies.

DOG spelt backwards is in his heaven

And all’s well with the world !

( This last sentence is from a very famous poet , Robert Browning . It goes like this :

The year’s at the spring

And day’s at the morn;

Morning’s at seven;

The hill-side’s dew-pearled;

The lark’s on the wing;

The snail’s on the thorn;

God’s in HIS heaven —

All’s right with the world.

In those days , sometime in 1800’s or so , people were quite happy looking at birds in the sky and snails on the ground . They didn’t need phones and video games to be happy. You should try it sometime !!



Hello folks, I bet you are wondering where this dog diva has vanished. I have been away for a bit. No, not on a vacation unfortunately. I just had a massive writer’s block which just means I didn’t know what to write.

I kept wondering what brings on this situation which is particular to dogs and writers or dog writers. And then I realised it was brought on by disturbance and that caused me stress. I was going round and round chasing my own tail.






Then I thought what was it that was causing this condition ? Could it be my diet ? I am eating dog food only and that is not a happy situation for a dog who has had a taste of human food once. They just can’t go back. But then, it’s not up to us , is it ?

Is it the environment ? I have been at the receiving end of a lot of unwanted attention recently. When it comes to company, I am very choosy. I like human company or dogs who are more human than dog which means they have to be civilized and well mannered and not boisterous.


Watch this and you don’t have to make any wild guesses as to the source of my angst ( angst means distressed 😩  in spirit – now you can use this word casually in a conversation and impress your mom and dad e.g . There is so much angst in me because  I can’t play video games for 14 hours ! Just kidding . Don’t play more than 13 hours ! Kidding again. Only what your parents  permit  you )


So that’s it. I have found the root of my disturbed state. It is Toby. He has become a frequent visitor and he is making me uncomfortable. He is just not my type. To add to my woes he has been slurping water from my bowl and crunching food from my plate without so much as by your leave.



Okay, now that I have got to the root of my stress I am going to do something about it. Wait for my next post about ” Bella plans to get rid of Toby.” If you have read the story, “All about cats” where Bella was saved from the machinations of a wily cat by divine intervention then you know it’s not in a DOG’S hand/paw to save herself but in a DOG spelt backwards hand to help this dog !

( Of course, we all know that DOG spelt backwards helps those who help them selves. So let’s see if DOG spelt backwards will guide the intellect of this DOG with his shining knowledge ! )