(Disha’s imagination knows no bounds. She is back yet again, with an amazing story.)
One lazy morning Hare got up and saw Grey Rabbit was busy making strawberry jam. Since Hare did not like making jam, he told Grey Rabbit that he was going for a walk. He strolled off to the meadows, skipped away and tried to catch butterflies. As he slowed down, he saw a frail lady reading a fat book. On the cover page, there were pictures of plants and animals, and it read “Encyclopedia”.
Hare peeped at the lady curiously from behind a tree. Suddenly a page from the book flew away. Hare ran after the page and tried to catch it. Finally, when he caught hold of it and hopped back to return the page to the lady, she was not there anymore. So he went home with the piece of paper. When he reached home, he found Grey Rabbit, Squirrel and Water Rat on the couch and nibbling at bean-jam buns. “Hello Hare, What’s that in your hand?” Squirrel asked. Hare explained to them about what had happened and showed them the piece of paper. It was titled “Rubber”. “What’s written on it?” asked Grey Rabbit. “Let’s see,” said Water Rat. He took the paper from Hare and started reading it aloud. He pointed at the picture on the page and said “This is a rubber tree”. “Hey! That looks like the tree in our backyard” exclaimed Squirrel.
“I have an idea,” said Water Rat. “Let’s extract some rubber from the tree, then make a boat and go for a water picnic”. “Great idea!” shouted the others. Squirrel got a knife and Grey Rabbit picked the wooden bucket. Squirrel made a small cut on the rubber tree and the white coloured sap oozed out. Grey Rabbit quickly put the bucked underneath and collected all the sap. Then they let it dry to make rubber dough and finally Water Rat shaped the dough into a two-layered boat. Hare blew air into the boat and Grey Rabbit got two thick and strong sticks for oars. In the end, they painted it shiny red and stacked some blue cushions on the sides to make the boat ready for their picnic sail.
Grey Rabbit put some sandwiches into a basket and carried some fresh strawberry jam. Hare took his fishing net and Squirrel wore a hat and ribbon. They pushed the boat into the water and jumped into it. Hare put his net inside the water and Grey Rabbit splashed at it. Squirrel looked at her clear reflection in the water, and the Water Rat rowed the boat. Suddenly they heard some quacking noises. A flock of ducks was coming towards them. “Quackie Quack, where are you going in a pack?” they asked. Before they could respond, one duck took Grey Rabbit’s apron and snatched the pot of strawberry jam. One took Squirrel’s hat and ribbon, and the other took Hare’s fishing net and swam away with quacking laughter.
“Oh! No, the jam, the net” cried Grey Rabbit. “What shall we do now?” asked Squirrel worriedly. “I don’t know” wailed Water Rat. Hare just sat quietly and thought for a while. Then he asked “do we have anymore rubber left? If we do, we can use them and some paint to make duck shaped costumes. Then we can get our things back”. “Great idea! Yes, I carried some rubber; quickly get your paints Squirrel” cried Water Rat.
Squirrel got her paints, and all of them started making duck shaped costumes for themselves. They quickly got into the costumes, jumped into the water and started paddling towards the ducks. Once they caught up with the ducks, they exclaimed “Wow! Such pretty things you have got. Can we please borrow them to show to our family?”
“Quo-K, OK, but remember to return them to us” replied the other ducks as they handed Hare the net, Squirrel the hat and ribbon, Grey Rabbit the apron and Water Rat the jam. The four friends hurried back to the bank.
“Yay! We got our things back” cheered Grey Rabbit as they removed their costumes. “Come on, let’s eat our sandwiches and start the actual picnic” smiled Squirrel. Hare opened the picnic basket and gave everyone two potato and cheese sandwiches. They happily munched at them. After finished eating, Squirrel and Water Rat played a game of SNAP and Hare and Grey Rabbit collected some mangoes from a nearby tree. They relished the juicy mangoes and played in the water. They splashed around and talked to the fishes. Finally when it was time to go home Hare asked, “shall we use the boat or …” looking at the duckie costumes, as a mischievous smile ran across his face.