One morning Rana the rhino, was eating his breakfast when Jhana, the oxpecker, landed on his back for her breakfast. She liked to eat the insects on his thick skin. She was hungry that morning, so, she ate really fast. When she had finished, she saw Rana was still eating.
“You are still eating?” she asked.
“Yes, what’s the hurry? Today is Sunday,” Rana said.
“It’s Sunday! So, we have to play. I have a lot of ideas!” says Jhana.
“I am not in a mood to run and play. After a leisurely breakfast, I will go sit in the water, close my eyes, and relax.”
“Don’t be so boring, Rana. Come on, let’s play!”
“Okay. What do you want to play?” said Rana, looking bored.
“Let’s play hide and seek!”
“What! That’s not fair. You can hide anywhere and I won’t be able to find you. As for me, I can’t really hide anywhere. You always find me,” complained Rana.
“Okay, let’s do something else. Let me think.”
“I thought you said you had a lot of ideas.”
“Yes! I need to search through all those ideas to decide which idea I like the best at the moment.”
Call for help
Rana started to move towards the water with Jhana on his back. Rana stepped into the cool water and was about to close his eyes when Jhana chirped loudly.
Rana opened his eyes and asked, “Why are you screaming? I was just beginning to relax.”
“No time to relax! My friend who is still learning to fly is caught in a high branch. She will fall if we don’t help. She looks terrified!”
“How can I help? I can’t teach your friend to fly!” said Rana becoming more and more irritated.
“Don’t be silly! I have an idea. Go towards the tree,” said Jhana.
“Come on!” Jhana kept shouting instructions.
Soon, they were close to the tree. Rana looked up and he thought he saw a tiny oxpecker hanging on to a branch high up in the tree.
“What’s your plan? You know I can’t climb trees,” he said, laughing.
“Now is not the time for jokes! Do as I say! Stand here and be still until I ask you to move,” said Jhana sternly. Jhana then collected leaves and twigs and placed them on Rana’s back.
“Why are you putting all my food on my back. How will I eat if you put it there?”
“Who said anything about food? We are on a mission to save my friend. Don’t forget that. Focus!” shouted Jhana.
When Jhana got angry, she got really angry and it was best to keep quiet and follow instructions.
Jhana quickly built a nest on Rana’s back. She flew up to help the bird. The bird told her how a giant bald eagle had picked her off the ground and that while trying to free herself, she had fallen on the branch. She had somehow managed to hold on to the branch but did not know what to do next.
Jhana comforted her and then gave her a gentle push. The bird came down screaming in fear. She landed right into the soft nest on Rana’s back. She was safe and sound.
Later, the bird’s mother came looking for the little bird and learnt about the great rescue. She thanked them and hugged her little baby.
Soon, Rana and Jhana fell asleep. After all it had been a tiring day.