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When termites take wing

by Abinand Reddy The summer had beaten the valley. Everything looked thirsty – the animals and trees. Even the ground looked parched. Except for the occasional rustling of the tired and dusty leaves, the valley stood still. The calls of birds and squirrels weren’t to be heard today. Maybe they had found a nice shady […]

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The fall of a squirrel

by Suhel Quader I was in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, named after the beautiful river that flows through it. In October, the trees in the forest were already beginning to shed their leaves, and the landscape looked brown and drab. Except, that is, the part of the sanctuary through which the river flows. The silver […]

Sing me a folktale

The calls and songs for birds are beautiful and distinctive, and are the subject of folklore in different parts of India. There are various interesting folklores based on some of the bird calls and songs. In some parts of Tamil Nadu, the Common Hawk Cuckoo is called Akka Kuyil (Akka means elder sister and Kuyil […]

Birds that call their names

Imagine having our names based on the shape of our nose, our hairstyle, our body color, or based on the way we speak and behave! It would be funny and possibly even horrible, don’t you think? Fortunately our parents did not do that. But this is exactly what ornithologists did while naming most of the […]

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Shekru sees a blazing issue

by Geetha Ramaswami Shekru the giant squirrel sees a massive plume of smoke rising from the far side of the forest. He can sense waves of smaller creatures living in the soil fleeing impending doom… Shekru is very content hanging upside down from a teak tree branch, decimating his loot of newly procured seeds, his […]

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Rendezvous with Gabbar

by Nisarg Prakash The river cut across the heart of the landscape, flowing past rich green paddy fields and ancient forests. Her blue-green waters looked inviting in the dry heat. Scattered hills in the landscape resembled slumbering giants. The school was an old, tiled building close to the river. A grove of large trees hid the river […]

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An urban menagerie

by Geetha Ramaswami In a city crowded with concrete monsters, an unbuilt patch of land is sometimes the only green in a sea of grey. A little walled plot of land sitting three storeys below my home serves as the backyard to many buildings and as a compost pit to everybody living here. From the […]