Gandhi Quiz


The Impossible Magic!

Kaku had a donkey, Donku. Everyday Donku followed the same routine. In the morning he carried dirty clothes to the river. Kaku then washed the clothes. Both Kaku and Donku had to wait till the clothes dried. This was the most boring part of the day for Kaku! "If only dear Donku could talk!" sighed Kaku unhappily. "We could crack jokes and have fun while we waited for the clothes to dry!"
But Donku was a donkey. He could only bray.
"The sun is hot today!" exclaimed Kaku, as he vigorously beat the dirt out of the wet dhoti he was washing.
"Hee-haw!" brayed Donku, swishing his tail to chase away flies.
"Don't let any sparrow hop on the clothes!" warned Kaku. "I am NOT going to scrub them again!"
"Hee-haw! HEE-HAW!" brayed Donku happily.
"I do ALL the work, while you laze around!" grumbled Kaku.
"Hee-haw! HEE-HAW!" brayed the donkey happily as he munched the grass. "HEE-HAW!"
"I am sick of your hee-haws! Why can't you SPEAK, you foolish creature!" said Kaku angrily.
Kaku sighed. He loved Donku donkey. The hot sun and the never-ending pile of dirty clothes were making him feel irritable. If Donku spoke, time would have passed quickly!
"HEE-HAW!" shouted Kaku.
"HEE-HAW!" brayed Donku, surprised to get a reply he understood!
Everyday while walking towards the river, Kaku passed by the village school. Children were always busy writing on their slates while their stern teacher, Mohandas, kept a watchful eye on them.
One day the children were not scribbling on their slates. Their teacher was giving them an oral test.
"1+1?" asked Mohandas.
"3!" shouted Munnu.
"4!" yelled Guddu.
"0!" said Minni.
"A nice bunch of donkeys I have in my class!" shouted Mohandas angrily. "Add, Minni! ADD! 1+1 is 2! So take out your slates. Start writing. 1+1=2. 1+2=3. 1+3=4. Keep writing. I know I can make intelligent men of donkeys!"
Kaku was astonished! He never knew that all those little boys and girls in Mohandas' class had originally been donkeys! Kaku ran home, as fast as he could.
"Mohandas can make Donku into a man!" said Kaku to his wife.
"Then Donku will TALK with you!" exclaimed his wife happily.
Next day Kaku waited outside the school. Donku donkey was at his side. The moment school was over, Kaku ran towards Mohandas.
"Masterji! Please teach my dear donkey too!" beseeched Kaku.
Mohandas was astonished. He looked at Donku donkey and then at Kaku. The man must be mad! Donkeys NEVER went to school!
"Please Masterji! Yesterday I heard you say you knew how to make men of stupid donkeys! I want Donku to become an intelligent man!" pleaded Kaku.
Mohandas shook his head in amazement.
"Please... PLEASE!" begged Kaku, bending down and touching the teacher's feet respectfully.
Mohandas scratched his head thoughtfully. Then he rubbed his chin and gravely looked at Donku donkey.
"HEE-HAW!" brayed Donku, glad at all the attention he was getting!
"He brays nicely!" remarked Mohandas.
"He is VERY intelligent!" said Kaku proudly.
"You pay me hundred rupees and give me your donkey for 3 months," said Mohandas. "I need some time to make him into a man!"
Kaku happily agreed. He paid the money to Mohandas and left Donku donkey with him. Then Kaku went home. He was not upset that he would now daily have to carry the huge bundle of dirty clothes to the river. Finally his dear wish was coming true. Donku was going to become a wise, talkative man!
Three months passed by. Mohandas had kept Donku donkey at his sister's farm, in the adjoining village. Donku donkey could NOT become a man.
Mohandas knew that.
Donku knew that.
Only Kaku DID NOT know that!
Soon it was time to bring Donku home. Kaku rushed to the school. He waited impatiently for Mohandas to finish his class.
"Is Donku here?" asked Kaku eagerly.
"He has become the sarpanch of the village on our east!" said Mohandas gravely. "The village near the lake."
"Will he remember me?" asked Kaku.
"Take the bag in which you kept his food and wave it in front of him!" replied Mohandas. "He will instantly recognize you!"
"Thank you, Masterji! THANK YOU!" said Kaku gratefully.
So Kaku went eastwards, towards the village near the lake. The sarpanch was sitting under a tree listening to the complaints of the villagers. He was amazed to see Kaku wave a bag at him! The sarpanch smiled but continued to listen to the villagers. He did not get up to greet Kaku.
Kaku was very upset! He waved the bag vigorously. The sarpanch gave him a curious look but ignored him. Kaku shook the bag violently.
"Look stupid donkey! LOOK!" shouted Kaku, holding the bag high up in the air. "I have FOOD for you!"
Everyone looked at Kaku.
"ME?" shouted the sarpanch angrily. "Are you calling ME a DONKEY?"
"YES DONKU!" yelled Kaku. "YOU ARE A DONKEY!"
"HOW DARE YOU CALL OUR SARPANCH A DONKEY!" screamed the villagers angrily.
"HE IS MY DONKEY!" shouted Kaku angrily. "MY DONKU!"
The furious sarpanch and the villagers picked up their lathis and chased Kaku out of their village! Kaku ran all the way home vowing revenge on the sarpanch.
"I will turn him back into a donkey!" vowed Kaku angrily.
He rushed to Mohandas' school.
"But he IS your dear donkey!" said Mohandas.
"HE'S RUDE! HE IGNORED ME. ME! HIS MASTER!" yelled Kaku, trembling with rage.
"It will cost you another hundred rupees!" warned Mohandas.
Kaku paid Mohandas the money. Mohandas asked him to return after two hours.
"It's very easy to make a man into a donkey!" said Mohandas.
Kaku came back after two hours. Donku was in front of the school.
"HEE-HAW! HEE-HAW!" brayed Donku, happy to see his master again.
"NOW you recognize me!" said Kaku sarcastically. "I will NEVER EVER make you into a man again, you ungrateful creature! You will always remain a donkey. That's your punishment for being so proud!"
"HEE-HAW!" brayed Donku, nuzzling Kaku's face affectionately. "HEE-HAW!"
Mohandas laughed heartily as Kaku and Donku went home. The wise donkey was back with his foolish master!

An Indian FOLKTALE Retold by Hema Rao

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