BLOW HOT, BLOW COLD
There was a woodcutter. Everyday in the morning he used to go to the forest to cut wood. In the evening he would sell the wood in the city. One day he went deep into the forest.
It was a very cold winter. His fingers were becoming numb. Every now and then, the woodcutter would put down his axe and bring his hands close to his mouth. Then he would blow hard on them to warm them.
While he was cutting wood Mian Balishtiye was watching him from a corner. Mian Balishtiye saw that the woodcutter kept blowing on his hands.
He began to wonder what all that was about! But he could not understand it. He got up thinking that he would go and ask the
woodcutter. After walking a little, he came back thinking that the woodcutter may not like being asked.
Finally, Mian Balishtiye could not help himself. He went hopping to the woodcutter and said, “Hello brother, if you don’t mind can I ask you
Seeing this tiny person the woodcutter was amazed and amused. But, he hid his smile and said, “Of course, of course, ask what you want to.” “All I want to ask is why do you blow from your mouth on to your hands?” said Mian Balishtiye.
It would be good for the children to know that this story has been written by Dr. Zakir Hussain, former President of India. He has written many stories for children. It could be discussed why an imaginary character like Mian Balishtiye could have been use
The woodcutter replied, “It is too cold. My hands are frozen, so I blow on them to warm them up a little. Then, when they get cold again I warm them again by blowing.”
Mian Balishtiye nodded, “Oh, ho, so that’s it!” And with that he moved off. But he stayed nearby and kept a close watch on him.
Soon it was afternoon.
The woodcutter began to think of lunch. He picked up two stones and made a chulha. He lit a fire and put a small handi (pot) filled with potatoes to boil.
The wood was damp, so the woodcutter bent down and blew on the fire to help it burn. Balishtiye was watching him from a distance. “Arre”, he said to himself, “There he goes again – blowing from his mouth! Does fire come out of his mouth?”
The woodcutter was feeling very hungry. He took out a potato from the handi. He tried to eat it but the potato was too hot. He again began to blow on it – ‘foo, foo’.
“Arre,” said Balishtiye to himself, “He’s blowing again! Now what? Is he going to burn the potato?” After blowing a few more ‘foo, foos’ on it, the woodcutter put it in his mouth and began to eat it.
Now Mian was very surprised! He just could not stop himself and off he went hopping to the woodcutter. “Hello brother”, he said, “If you don’t mind, can I ask you a question again?”
The woodcutter replied, “Not at all. Ask whatever you want.” Mian Balishtiye said, “This morning you told me that you blew on your hands to warm them up. Now you are blowing on this potato, which is already so hot. Why do you want to make it hotter?”
“No, no, my little friend. This potato is too hot. I am blowing on it to cool it down.” When he heard this, Mian Balishtiye’s face became white. He began to tremble with fear, and started to back away.
The woodcutter was a good man. He said, “What’s wrong Mian? Are you trembling because of the cold?” But Mian Balishtiye kept going backwards.
When he was a safe distance away, he said to himself, “What kind of a creature is this? Surely he must be a ghost or a djinn. Blow hot, blow cold with the same breath! It is just not possible! That’s right there are some things which just cannot be – but they are!
The clock inside you
You have all heard the ‘tick tick’ of the clock. Have you seen a doctor using a stethoscope to listen to our chest? What do you think she hears? Where is the sound coming from? Is there a clock inside your chest that keeps ticking away?
Do you want to listen to your heartbeat? Take a rubber tube as long as the distance from your shoulder to your elbow. At one end of the tube fix a funnel. Place the funnel on the left side of your chest. Put the other end of the tube to your ear. Listen carefully. Did you hear a dhak dhak sound?