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The Coconut Grove
Iniya was a little girl with big brown eyes. She lived with her parents in a beautiful coconut grove, next to a small blue lake. She helped her parents by the lake, went to school and then, spent time with them only to wake up the next day.
Each day, she balanced a big empty basket on her head as she walked down to the lake. Her mother followed with the laundry, and her father brought the big fishing net.
Her mother washed the clothes on a stone next to the lake, while her father went fishing. He dragged the net to the shore, and they collected the fish in a big basket.
Sometimes a turtle got stuck in the net, but Iniya always hurried to save it. One sunny morning while fishing with her father, Iniya said, “Appa, if we catch so many fish, what if one day there is no fish left? “Her mother laughed and sent her off to school.
Under the shade of the trees, Iniya’s mother fell into an uneasy sleep.
She dreamt of a lake with no fish. In her dream, every day the father returned from the lake with no fish and the family could not support itself. The wind then said , “The water and the land have always taken care of your family.so you have to take care of them in return.”
She woke up with tears in her eyes. She didn’t know how to bring up Iniya without selling enough fish.
All afternoon she sat, weaving coconut mats and thinking about her dream. That night, Iniya heard her parents whisper as the oil lamp burned deep into the night.
The next morning, her father gave her a smaller basket.
“How can we carry all the fish in this little basket?” Iniya asked.
We will only take as many fish as will fit inside this basket,” he replied.
Iniya was puzzled. “How will this be enough for us?” Iniya Wondered.
When she came back from school, she was happy to find her mother making soap and oil from the coconuts.
Iniya swiftly climbed up a tree to get more coconuts, but her mother said, “Don’t pluck them! We must onlu use what the tree gives us.”.
Her father said, “We have taken only fallen coconuts for making these things. Look, we’ve even made this soap with a jasmine flower inside!”
Iniya learnt a lot about gardening and arts at school. When Iniya grew older, she made cocount fibre packs that could be used to pot plants. She also loved to carve coconuts. She made many toys and idols with fallen coconuts. Her favourite was to carve tiny turtles out of coconut shells. She always wore one around her neck.
Note to the teacher: Read the story to the children. Encourage them to know the name of the tree and its uses.