Mirror Magazine

12th October 1997

Junior Times

Hello Children,

Becoming blind or being born blind is one of the saddest things that can happen to anyone. There is a special school for such children and adults so that they can learn to live in this world and and learn other skills. So when you see a little child who is blind do give that person any help you can. For they can't see the beauty of nature you see, they can only hear and imagine what you will tell them. When your parents tell you not to sit close to the TV and ask you to be careful when you play with sticks and stones it is because they don't want you to lose that very special gift of sight.

Until next week,

Aunty Sunshine

The bat

I am a little bat,
I always sit on the mat.
My friend is a rubber ball
I like to play with all.
I always play cricket
I stand in front of the wickets
I have to hit the ball
But I'm not angry with the ball
My body is made of wood
But oh! I never can see
My master is very good
He likes to play with me

Nadeeka Hettiarachchie,
Our Lady of Victories Convent,

The Racing Rabbit

Old Grandpa Tortoise looked wise, and more than anything else, he wanted people to think he was wlse.

So he was forever giving advice, which no one took—until one day, when he began advising a swift little rabbit who was practising his racing.

'See here, Rabbit,' old Grandpa Tortoise said, 'the way you go at it, all swift and breathless, makes me think you've never heard that it's slow and steady that wins the race—'

'Slow and steady?' asked the rabbit, stopping short. 'In that case, I'll never be a champion race-rabbit — unless I find some way to slow down my swift hind legs—' Now while he was saying that, the little rabbit kept looking at Grandpa Tortoise's heavy-looking shell.

And all at once he blurted out, 'Grandpa Tortoise—wise old Grandpa Tortoise—please lend me your big shell. That's the very thing to slow me down!'

Grandpa Tortoise was about to say no, he wouldn't lend his shell, when he noticed that the little rabbit had called him wise! Then he was so tickled that he quickly wriggled out of his shell.And the little rabbit squeezed into it.

A fine looking pair they were now! The little rabbit so weighed down that he couldn't go slow, steady, or at all. And old Grandpa Tortoise looking so bare and silly that the other creatures laughed themselves sick at the sight of him.

If Grandpa Tortoise was humiliated, he did not show it.

'Now you've learned your lesson, Rabbit,' he said in a wise-sounding voice, 'kindly hand me back my shell.'

The little rabbit did, gladly enough—and Grandpa Tortoise more gladly wriggled back in. Then off he trundled, looking as if he'd done a great thing.

And the little rabbit was so glad to be out of that clumsy shell that he raced off, licketysplit, faster than he had ever run before. He was so swift that he raced the champion and won the race, and he became champion.

'My, oh my,' whispered the other creatures, 'Grandpa Tortoise must have taught him a very wise lesson!' And after they had stopped shouting, 'Hurray for the new champion !' they all took a deep breath and shouted:

'Hurray for wise old Grandpa Tortoise!'

Which pleased the old tortoise so much that he stopped giving advice, and just smiled and looked wise, while things went along far better than they ever had before.

The Cobra

When you talk about snakes the most fascinating thing about them is their skin or else how piosonous they are. Cobras are one of those species that are quite deadly.

Cobra 1There are several species of cobra, the venomous snakes of the family Elapidae. They live in the tropical areas of Asia and Africa and are highly dangerous. They are mostly active at dusk and at night, spending the day hidden in the burrows of rodents. Their best-known characteristic is the way they rear up, with the skin round their necks dilated into a hood, in a very aggressive pose.

The Indian Cobra is known for its highly dangerous poison. It lives in central and southern Asia and in the Philippines, not only in dense forest areas but also in cultivated fields and gardens where it is a great danger to Man.

In Africa there are seven species of cobra, among them the Egyptian Cobra, mainly a desert species, and the Black-necked or Spitting Cobra which is more widespread. The Spitting Cobra has a habit of spitting its venom from a distance of up to two metres, aiming at the eyes.

Snake Charmers

The famous Indian snake-charmers mostly use the Indian Cobra. The snakes which rise swaying out of their baskets do not, in fact, follow the music since they are deaf to sound carried through the air. (They can detect sound transmitted through the ground.) The swaying movement is natural as they rear up but the spectator gets the impression that the snake is actually dancing to the music.

Hamadryad or King Cobra

Cobra 2

The King Cobra lives in southern Asia and is the largest poisonous snake in the world, usually measuring over four metres in length but recorded as reaching a length of 5.58 metres. Such a snake brings terror to a community, for its venom can kill quickly and it does not hesitate to attack people. The King Cobra lives mainly in the more dense parts of the forest and always near water. It can move rapidly and feeds almost exclusively on other snakes, even poisonous ones, and lizards.

A Conscientious Mother

The female of the King Cobra prepares a kind of nest about one metre wide, made out of leaves and branches. She lays between eighteen and forty eggs in it and guards it constantly, coiling herself over the eggs until they hatch. The young cobra already measures half a metre in length at birth. During this time, the snakes become particularly dangerous, so much so that in India whole roads are blocked off if a cobra's nest is found.

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