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The Tale Of A Tail: Why Humans Do Not Have Tails

Team 2 of the Workshop for Writing for Children, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival - Manoj Sood, Jennifer Alphonso, Nandita Banerjee and Raamesh Gowri Raghavan
Mumbai, 2 & 3 February 2008

In the land of Old Uvai,
In the Ngoro Ngoro forest,
Lived a nasty naughty boy,
Who was never at a rest.

His name was Konoo-Monoo,
He lived upon a Dhonoo,
He ate mongongo nuts
And ripe chamanchaputs.

He was fond of irritating,
Whoever slept a wink
For if he saw you sleeping,
He would tickle you pink.

He had a proud, long tail,
A really long, long tail,
All humans then had tails, you see,
But them they lost 'em.
How?
Just see!

He washed his tail with water,
He thought it very fine.
He said, “everyone oughter,
Have a Tail like mine!”

Huma the Head-Elephant,
Said, “Do not be arrogant,
Now mind my sound advice,
Lest you be cursed thrice!”

“Once cursed you may be,
A second you may catch,
But if it comes to three,
Your tail shall detach!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

He saw Donkey Dee sleeping
And went up to her creeping
He took her tail, And he
Tied it to the Slonkey-Tree.

When Donkey Dee woke up,
She could not move an inch,
Konoo-Monoo strode up,
And gave her a big pinch!

Donkey Dee was very cross,
She said, “This is so gross.
So this cannot become worse,
I put on you this curse:”

“Llama llama lloy,
And gamma gamma goff,
You nasty naughty boy,
May your tail come off!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

In a tree called Budapest,
Parrot Pot had built a nest,
With a lot of care and love,
In a big hole high above.

Upto her nest once stole,
Konoo the horrid blight,
He poked his tail into the hole
And gave her chicks a fright!

The little chicks were crying,
And Parrot Pot came flying,
She pecked him and she chased him,
And thus loudly she cursed him:

“Llama llama lloy,
And gamma gamma goff,
You nasty naughty boy,
May your tail come off!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

Once he saw Turtle Tell,
Under the Dingley-Dell,
He thought he'd joke a little,
And turn the turtle turtle.

He climbed into the Dingley,
He looped his tail a whittle,
He swung down like a monkey,
And turned Turtle Tell turtle!

Turtle Tell lay on the ground,
Till Huma turned him round,
And through his terrible pain,
He spoke the curse again:

“Llama llama lloy,
And gamma gamma goff,
You nasty naughty boy,
May your tail come off!”

But Konoo-Monoo giggled,
He tickled and he jiggled,
He said, “Hoof”, he said, “Hoff”,
And quickly scampered off!

He sat upon his Dhonoo,
And ate chamanchaputs.
So naughty was young Konoo
Full of mongongo nuts.

Huma the Head-Elephant,
Said, “You've been very arrogant,
You heard not sound advice,
Now you are cursed thrice!”

“Once cursed have you been,
A second did you catch,
A third too you have seen,
Now watch your tail detach!”

He turned around in horror,
And watched his tail in terror,
Llama lloy and gamma goff,
His tail really came off!

Donkey Dee brayed out big,
Parrot Pot screeched in joy,
Turtle Tell danced a jig,
All of them booed the boy.

They booed him in the morning,
They said, “Now heed this learning.”
They booed him in the night,
And then put him to flight.

He left his favoured Dhonoo.
He left his mongongo nuts.
Poor tailless Konoo-Monoo
Left his chamanchaputs.

His children and their children,
Have not had tails since then.
All because of that one!
And now my friends, I'm done.

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