Gopi was a cow. She had a happy life. Every day her master allowed her to roam in the village to look for titbits. In the evening she returned home, warm and dusty and looking for a drink of water. In the morning her master milked and fed her and, patting her backside, he sent her off into the world.
“Go and see what you can find, Gopika”, he would say. “Get some nice tasty leaves, but don’t steal anybody’s vegetables.”
Of course, Gopi did not understand what the master said to her, but she knew he was kind and that he loved her.
One day, when Gopi was wandering the streets, a young boy stopped her. He stroked her. He was very thin. Normally Gopi did not allow anyone else to touch her except her master. Somehow she knew that her milk belonged to him and that if anyone else tried to take it, she would keep on walking. This day the young boy with the skinny body touched her heart. He had a little cup in his hand. He stroked her nose and held the cup out to her as if to ask, “Please, Mrs. Cow, can I have some of your milk?”
Gopi stood still and allowed the boy to fill his cup. When he stood up again, she looked back at him. He patted her rear and off she went. She made her way to the pile of vegetable leaves outside the market. It was her lucky day! One of the stall holders saw her coming and threw her a lovely leafy stalk from a cabbage. Gopi munched contentedly at the treat.
All day long Gopi wandered. A group of well-fed children ran after her. One had a bucket. “Hey, nice cow, give us some of your milk,” one shouted.
Gopi kept on walking. Finally she returned home.
Her master patted her and stroked her udder which was filling up nicely with milk. “Ah, Gopika, I see you have had a good day. Well done! You don’t seem to be at all hungry. Your hay will keep for another day.
Gopika looked lovingly at her master as she nibbled on a stalk of grass. If she had been able to speak, what do you think she might have said?
- How did you feel when you heard the story?
- Did the story remind you of anything in your own life?
- How did Gopi and her master co-operate? What did they do for each other?
- What ways do other animals and people co-operate?
- How did Gopi’s master show respect for Gopi?
- How did the skinny boy show respect for Gopi?
- Why do you think Gopi gave milk to the skinny boy?
- Why do you think Gopi did not give milk to the children with the bucket?
- What name would you give this story?