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The Lesson

by Sharmila Roy Ghosal
(Dehradun, India)

Rono was a cute and lovable boy but he had one bad habit he was always late everywhere.

He was late for school, late for his coaching class and even late for a game of badminton with his friends.

No amount of pleading or scolding had any effect on him. Till one day his friend Raja thought of a brilliant idea, to teach Rono a good lesson.

The school had closed for winter and everyone decided to go for a picnic. They selected a cosy spot in one corner of a park, near their neighbourhood and invited Rono to join them.
Rono was beside himself with happiness for he loved picnics.

On that special day, Rono arrived at the park, a full half –an hour late.

He carried with him a basket full of cheese sandwiches. On entering the park, Rono was surprised to see no one there.

Minutes ticked by, still there was no sign of the others.

A rag picker in the park looked at him, Rono’s heart missed a beat. A stray dog bounced up from somewhere and stood near him sniffing at the basket of sandwiches.

‘Oh, how horrible it is to keep someone waiting. Have my friends no sense of time?’ Rono thought in anguish. Minutes ticked by, the park was empty except for the rag picker and the dog, fear seized him, Rono covered his face with his hands and started crying.

Someone placed a hand on his shoulder. Looking up in fright Rono saw Raja and with him Sanjay, Sekhar and his other friends.

“Actually, we were always, in front of you behind the bush, keeping an eye on you”. Raja said “We wanted you to learn the value of time. Remember in everything you do in life, time counts and punctuality is considered a virtue.”

Rono nodded. “Thank you, my friends, for having taught me the value of time, in such a unique way. I now realize how awful it is to be late. I was thoughtless and selfish before. You have made me learn a good lesson”.

The next day, the school was in for a surprise. For the kid who entered the school gate first in the morning, looking prim and proper was none other than little Rono.


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