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Roses And Cacti

Granny's garden was in full bloom. The golden yellow marigolds, the colourful hibiscus and the shy jasmine creeper in a fragrant bloom, all seemed to beg Maya to look at them!
But Maya's favourite was the rose corner. Every morning she ran into the garden to watch a bud blossoming into a pretty flower. She kept gazing at the beautiful colours and the soft petals as she inhaled the scented breeze to fill her lungs.
She wished she had a garden at her home too. But all they could keep in their tiny balcony on their fifth floor apartment in the city were two potted palm trees. Last year she had taken two rose plants (one with bright red flowers and other yellow) from Granny. Mummy had helped her plant them in earthen pots. She diligently watered them, kept the pots in sunlight as Granny advised and patiently waited for them to flower. Every morning she would rush to the balcony in the hope that she would see a rose bud. She dreamt of gifting a beautiful red rose to Rekha Miss, her loving teacher at school on teacher's day. Teacher's day came and went by, but the rose plants refused to bud. Maya never realized when she stopped her daily morning ritual of peeking at the rose plants.
"Maya did you see this Cactus leaf?" Granny called out from the other end of the garden. Maya hated the Cactus plants. She wondered why Granny loved them so much. Those fat leaves with the big thorns and no flowers did not deserve a place in this beautiful garden. "No, Grandma, I prefer to be with my roses" Maya replied as she chased a beautiful yellow butterfly.
"Eeeeeks!" Maya shrieked from a bush. "What happened?" Granny rushed to her. "Granma, look at this creepy creature here" Maya pointed her finger to a long crawling insect with several tiny legs! "Oh, that is a caterpillar! It is a harmless thing" "Shall we throw him out? He spoils your beautiful garden" Maya said screwing up her nose.
Granny laughed as she patted back Maya's tussled hair. "Maya, every little living being deserves to be in this garden. Accept them the way nature made them. Do you know this same caterpillar will grow into a beautiful butterfly?" "Oh, is it so?" Maya wondered.
The next morning as Maya rushed into the garden she could see a blue flower in a corner. She rubbed her eyes as she went closer to have a look at it. It was a beautiful flower, peeking out of a Cactus plant! She couldn't believe her eyes. Granny smiled at her as she sensed what was going on in Maya's mind. "Granny, isn't it a pretty flower? I cannot believe such a thorny plant can sprout such a lovely flower!" Maya confided. "Maya, a Cactus is a plant that is found in deserts. Spells of rain are scarce in a desert. That is why the plant has thick, fleshy leaves so that it can store water for long periods. The thorns on it prevent water evaporation so that it does not wither away and also protect it from rodents which might come to eat the leaves. It may not look beautiful to you, but this sturdy plant can survive the harsh climate of the desert all alone!" Granny explained as Maya listened spellbound.
"Oh, there is your favourite red rose blooming too! You can pluck one if you want" Granny said as she pointed towards the rose corner. Maya ran to the rose plant. "Ouch!" she cried! As she plucked the lovely rose, a hidden thorn pierced her finger! "Granny, now I know what you meant. All things that look beautiful are not always so. Even a rose has a hidden thorn. A harsh looking cactus bears a lovely flower too." Maya said. "Maybe nature put those thorns under the rose to protect it from girls like me who keep plucking them!" she laughed.
"What a wise girl, my little darling is!" Granny said. "Do you want to take a red rose plant home, this time too?" she asked. "No, Grandma, I am going to take home a Cactus plant this time" Maya chuckled as Granny looked at her dumbstruck!

Dr. Reeta Mani
Bangalore

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STORY LIST

A Parrot and A Crow
Speaking Garden and Speaking Well
The Mysterious Voice
Be Helpful
When Trees stopped speaking
Gujarati Dhokala
Village Leader and the Fallen Berries
Lucky Pandit Tida Joshi
The Coconuts story
A Dream Saved the King!
Lazy Pigeon
A Scary Cold Water Drop
Intelligent Merchants
A Clever Old Woman
Father, Son and a Crow
The Mystery of Twin Town
Miracle
Bhola Bear Gets Honey
Fear of LIZARD
Rinku Rabbit Teaches A Lesson
Every Tiger Has It's Day
Mrs. Squirrel's Beachy Holiday
Bella, Billu And The Billi
A Suitable Match
Chimpu- The Jungle Detective
The Case of The Hidden Treasure
Daring Sia and The Theft of The Twisted Candles
Chimpu-The Jungle Detective
The Case of The Stolen Honey
The Princess of the Blue lotus
Inspiration
A Better Place to Live
Sid And The Pirates 1
Sid And The Pirates 2
Sid And The Pirates 3
Rinku
Tula Wants To Grow Up!
Shining In The Dark
The Guru
O.D.D.
The Girl With X-Ray Eyes
An Eerie Experience
Scared Speechless!
The Haunted House
The Lily Pad(dle) Boat
Little Tom And His Pets
Deepa And The King of The Ocean
Magic Rose
Charlie's Pet Lion
The Three Princesses
The Ring
Traitors You Can't Sustain!
Friends And Enemies
Bruno, The Sheep Dog
Roses And Cacti
Hardwork Pays
No Pain, No Gain!
The Magical Pond
Everything For Something
The Eavesdropper
The Crow That Boasted
The Golden Bird
Asha And Aadesh In Frogindom!
Moon's Magic
Baby Tree Wants Ice Cream!
Jackal And Birds
Roll Model
When The Teacher Became The King
The Blind Beggar
A Night of fun in the Desert Village
The Blind Woman
The Pirate's Mistake
Team Work Wins
Bobby Turns Brave
The Two Princess
God Everywhere
The Mongoose And The Snake
The Missing Sweetmeat
The Mule
The Wishing Tree
The Magic Potion
King And The Three Sons
An Old Lady And The Lamp
The Kindhearted Villager
Christopher's Encounter With The Aliens
The Mysterious School
The Coconut Tree
Count The Blessing Not The Curses
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The Magic Hole
A Mysterious Memory
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Home Alone
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Sleepovers
The Secret of Work
Little Friend
Mr. Twinkle Transforms
April Fool
The Call
The Thief Caught Atlast
The Monkey And The Dolphin
Toko Castle
Elephant, Croc And Toad
Vice of Dice!
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
My Meet With God
The Impossible Magic!
Encounter with the Friday Ghost
The Last Wish
A Fearful Event
A King's Costly Mistake
The Clever Pussy Cat
The Dangerous Silky Bed!
The Magical Ink
The Magic Of The Map
The Stormy Night with my Cousins