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Stories. 
Hard Work
by Ankita Kumar
Kulfi the parrot was very talkative. He always explained each and every thing he said. If you asked his mother why Kulfi was such a chatterbox and always gave elaborate explanations, she would wink and say "He was probably a teacher in his previous birth." 

Once Kulfi had an idea. He went to Yash the Lion who was the King of the jungle.

"Your majesty, you are the king of both animals and birds. But the birds should have another king," Kulfi declared.

The lion roared "You mean to say I am not able to manage birds and animals?"

"I don�t mean that, I mean birds are different from animals so they should have a different king. They can fly while the animals can�t. They are so beautiful and when they fly, so graceful. 

"Now stop explaining, and let me think," Yash said.

After a few moments of deep thought he smiled and declared "Yes, we can have a king for the birds. This would be quite �human-like�. But he should report to me. He will be the king of birds and I will be the emperor of the jungle."

Kulfi nodded, "I think it�s a great idea. A great idea means....." 

"Stop. One more word of explanation and I�ll kill you," the King roared. A few minutes later he lowered his voice and said, "Let us chalk out a plan to choose the king of birds."

They decided that a competition would be held in front of the King�s den. The judges would be Ghanshyam, the elephant and Yash. The audience would be all the animals and birds of the jungle. 

Kulfi called a meeting of the birds and made an announcement.

"My feathered friends King Yash, on my advice has decided to select a king for the birds. The selection will be on the basis of a competition in which all the birds can participate. After two days we will hold the qualification round. In this round there will be flying competition in which the speed of the contestants will be tested and a gymnastics round in which the birds will have to demonstrate their skill and grace. The final round will comprise the singing round and Question / Answer round."

Only two birds cleared the qualification round. They were Barfi the cuckoo and Champ the crow. The Judges went for inspection every day. And everyday they saw the same thing. Champ the crow was busy throughout the day. Every day he would go to Mini the Mynah to learn how to sing. He would also spend time with grandpa owl, the eldest and cleverest bird in the forest, gathering as much information as he could for the question / answer round. While Champ spent the whole day preparing for the competition Barfi the cuckoo lazed all the time. Yash sent Kulfi to ask him the reason why he was not preparing for the competition.

"Competition? What competition? I don�t consider that ugly and stupid crow to be my competitor in any way. The minute he opens his mouth in the singing round he will be disqualified. And even if he some how manages reaches the question answer stage he will be no match for me. I am far wiser than he is."

After one month the competition started. 

First was the singing round. When Barfi came on to the stage there was a lot of expectation. After all she was known as the melody queen of the jungle. But when she started singing the audience found she wasn�t all that good. The response she got was luke warm.

Next was Champ�s turn. He sang quite sweetly and everyone was pleasantly surprised. He received a thunderous applause. 

In the question answer round both Champ and Barfi were asked the same question. "Which is more important - Hard work or Talent?"

Barfi said, "Only talent is important. If one is talented one doesn�t need to work hard."

Champ replied "Both hard work and talent are important. Talent without hard work can never bring success."

Ghanshyam said "Before I announce the winner, I want to say a few words. Hard work and Talent both are important. Even if one doesn�t have talent with sheer hard work one can achieve success. But talent without hard work can never achieve the desired results. And this fact has been clearly proved by today�s contestants. One contestant, in spite of having a wealth of talent couldn�t prove her worth whereas the other competitor by sheer dint of hard work outshone his rival in all respects. So my dear animals and birds you now know who the winner is."

"Champ," there was roar from the audience. 

Champ the crow was crowned the king of birds. And Yash the emperor. 

After the ceremony Kulfi went to Champ and said "Congratulations! Do you know why you won?" Before Champ could answer Kulfi took a deep breath, puffed up his chest, and declared, "I�ll explain.....," as the animals and birds howled with laughter. 
22-Apr-2001
 
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