Friday, April 19, 2013

The Kevum Tree

The Kevum Tree

By Manoshi de Silva
Achchi-amma was frying kevum for Avurudu. The sweet aroma of it drifted across the village. A Ginger-cat who was passing by the house peeped through the kitchen window because he was unable to ignore the inviting smell. Next to the window was a basket full of freshly fried kevum. Achchi saw Ginger staring at the basket and felt sorry for him, so she gave him a freshly fried kevum.
Ginger was very happy. He went to the garden and smelled the sweet delight which was still hot and crispy on the outside. “What is that wonderful smell?” asked a little bird who was sitting on a branch of a nearby tree. “Is that what I think it is?” “No. It’s just a rock I picked up by the road!” lied Ginger, hiding the kevum behind him. He had no intention of sharing it at all. So he quickly ran into the corner of the garden. He held the kevum near his nose and sniffed it again, purring loudly.

“Oh how sweet it smells�I can imagine how tasty it must be!” said the brown dog appearing out of nowhere. “I don’t understand what the fuss is all about. It’s only a rock!” lied Ginger and ran into the small jungle next to the village. “Here no one will bother me!” he thought. “I can finally enjoy this all by myself. I am not going to share this at all. It’s too small to share anyway.”
So he opened his mouth and before he could take a bite a bunny-rabbit peeped from behind a tree. “What is that wonderful smell? What is that you were about to eat?” he asked smacking his lips.
“Nothing! I was not about to eat anything,” lied Ginger hiding the kevum behind him. He quickly ran away further into the jungle. “Isn’t there any place for me to enjoy this?” he thought sadly, as he heard some other animals coming his way. He quickly wrapped the kevum with a leaf, dug a small hole in the ground and buried it. “I’ll come when everyone is asleep at night and eat this all by myself,” he thought.
It started to rain in the evening and it continued to rain throughout the entire night. Ginger sighed. “Never mind, I’ll go there early in the morning and enjoy my kevum!” he thought. So the next morning as soon as he woke up, he went into the jungle where the kevum was buried. He didn’t meet anyone on his way through the jungle.
The little bird, Brown the dog, bunny-rabbit or anyone else was not to be seen. “Everyone must be still asleep!” he thought happily. “If I get there quickly, I’ll finally get to enjoy it all by myself!” But as he got closer, he heard voices and laughs of different animals.
“Oh-no! Have they discovered where I buried my kevum?” he thought miserably as he ran towards where it was. A lovely smell spread through the air. It was the sweet smell of fresh kevum. There was more laughter. “What is going on in there?” he asked himself as he peeped through the bushes to see what was going on.
What a big surprise there was! Where Ginger buried his kevum stood a tall tree. And hanging from its branches was some kind of fruit. No! Those were no fruits! Those were kevum. All the animals were near the tree. They were plucking kevum and gathering the fallen ones. The branches had enough kevum to feed a village. Ginger was too shocked to move a step forward.
“Come and enjoy these kevum with us!” the animals invited Ginger. “They are the tastiest ones we’ve ever had!” Ginger was confused and upset at the same time. “How did this tree get here? This is just where I left my kevum!” “Come over here Ginger and enjoy the kevum!” shouted the animals. Ginger felt very guilty. He remembered how he lied to all his friends. Although he never wanted to share his kevum, all the other animals were more than willing to share the kevum-tree with him.
“Why are you looking so worried Ginger? Aren’t you going to enjoy those sweet kevum with your friends?” asked Uncle goat from the village. Ginger decided to confess. “You see Uncle goat, Achchi-amma gave me a freshly fried kevum yesterday. Because I didn’t want to share it with anyone, I buried it right there and today there’s a tree full of kevum. I can’t understand this�”
Uncle goat chewed a piece of kevum and smiled. “I think I know why this happened. This tree must have magically grown here to teach you a valuable lesson. Sometimes when you share things, you can enjoy it a lot more than having it all to yourself. Just look at how happy everyone is� how cheerful it feels just to be here. Isn’t this a lot better than when you had it all to yourself?”
Ginger looked down feeling very shy. “You are right!” he said meekly. “Well now that you realized your fault, you don’t have to feel bad anymore,” said Uncle goat with a chuckle. “What are you waiting for? Go enjoy yourself with the others!” Ginger went and plucked a fresh kevum from a branch. Soon he too started laughing with the others while enjoying his kevum. “Uncle goat was right. The kevum was very nice. But not as nice as the feeling you get when everyone else is enjoying it with you!”


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