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Chapter 3
A Day with Nandu

Nandu Wakes Up

Nandu woke up and opened his eyes. For a few seconds he was not sure where he was. It seemed to him that he was surrounded by a forest of big grey tree trunks. He blinked his eyes and looked around. Oh! There was Amma.

The grey forest that he had imagined he was in, was actually the legs and trunks of his family members.

An elephant.

The sun was overhead and it was getting hot. Nani ma trumpetted – made a loud sound. Nani ma is the oldest in this herd of elephants. She started moving towards the jungle. The other female elephants saw her and started to follow her. Nandu also went with them.

For the teacher: Mother’s mother is called nani ma. Ask children what they call their mother’s mother.

When they reached the jungle, the members of the herd started spreading out. Each member went to eat her favourite leaves and twigs. After they had eaten, the herd moved towards the river. The baby elephants enjoyed playing in the water. The mothers lay down in the water and mud on the river bank.

A herd of elephants in the river.

Do you know that an adult elephant can eat more than 100 kilograms of leaves and twigs in one day? Elephants do not rest very much. They sleep for only two to four hours in a day. Elephants love to play with mud and water. The mud keeps their skin cool. Their big ears also work like fans. The elephants flap these to keep themselves cool.

Find out

  • Nandu is only three months old, but he weighs 200 kilograms. What is your weight?

  • Can you find out – the weight of how many children like you will add up to Nandu’s weight?

Elephants playing in water.

Fun and Games

Nandu saw his brothers and sisters pulling each other’s tails. He thought, “I better not go near them. What if they fall on me? I am still small.” He quietly went and stood near his mother.

Amma gently pushed Nandu towards the water, as if she was telling him to go and play. Nandu loved to play in the water. His cousins were already there. Just as he reached near, a strong fountain of water fell on his head. He got wet. Oh, this was the work of his naughty cousins. Nandu joined them in the game.

Before sunset, the herd started back towards the jungle. By then, Nandu was very tired. He settled himself between his mother’s front legs and fell asleep as he drank her milk.

You have read about Nandu and the elephant herd. An elephant herd has mainly females and baby elephants. The oldest female is the leader of the herd. A herd may have 10 to 12 female elephants and young ones. Male elephants live in the herd till they are 14–15 years old. Then they leave their herd and move around alone. Nandu will also leave his herd when he is that old.

Like elephants, some other animals also live together in groups. These animal groups are called herds. Animals in herds usually move around together, searching for food.

  • If you were Nandu, and you lived in a herd, what kind of things would you do?

  • In the elephant herd, the oldest female elephant decides everything. Who takes decisions in your family?

  • Make a collage of a herd of elephants in your notebook. For this, collect as many pictures of elephants that you can. Cut out the elephants and stick them in the notebook.

  • Nandu did things that he liked to do. If you could spend a whole day with your friends, what all would you do?

  • Find out and write, which other animals live in herds.

  • Do you also live in a group? Do you like to live together like that? Why would you like or not like to live in a group?

Why I would
Why I would
not like

  • How do elephants feel when they kept in chains? Discuss and share your feelings.

  • Have you ever taken a ride on an elephant? How did it feel?

  • Which animals have you sat on? Write their names.

  • You must have seen many animals around you – in books, in movies. Some may be alone, some in groups. Find out more about any one of these animals and write about it.

Few people riding on elephants.

An egret sitting on a buffalo.

Think and Write

Why do you think the egret is sitting on the buffalo?

  • Have you seen any animal riding on another animal? Write its name.

    • The animal which is riding.

    • The animal which gives the ride.

  • Which animals do we use for riding?

  • Which animals do we use for carrying loads?

Make Your Own Elephant

Copy the drawing of the elephant given on the next page in a bigger size on a thick sheet of paper.

  • Make small cuts where it says “cut” (✂) in the picture. Be careful not to cut off the part.

  • Fold along the dotted lines [……….]

  • Fold the part with [/////////] pattern and push them underneath.

  • Cut out the tail and stick it on.

Your elephant is ready.

  • Colour and decorate it.

  • Put up an exhibition in class of all the paper-elephants that you have made.

Steps to make elephant with a paper.

What do They Say?

Look at these pictures and read what these animals are sharing with their friends. Discuss these narratives sensitively in the class.

A reptile whose world is mostly a basket and a snake charmer.

The basket is the only home I have. I have forgotten what it is like in the open jungle and fresh air. For me it is only the basket and the snake charmer!

An animal who is seen in circus dancing and jumping through rings of fire.

You see me in circus – dancing and jumping through rings of fire. You clap and enjoy. Do you think that I also enjoy all this? If I do not do this I will get no food, only get a beating!

The animal who runs very fast.

You have only seen how fast I run. Have you seen my ‘shoes’? Do you know how much pain I get when they fix the horseshoes to my hooves?

Animal who is made to dance even in pain and empty stomach.

They make us dance and dance and dance. Even if we don’t want to, or we are in pain. That too, with an empty stomach!

Animal who does Meow! Meow! Meow!

Meow! Meow! Meow! I can just roam around everywhere. Children love me a lot. They pat me and also give me milk.

A bird who does Gutargoo! Gutargoo!

Gurtargoo! Gurtargoo! Do you know people specially call out to me to feed me with grain.


  • You have read what these animals say. Why do you think that some of them are sad?

  • How do you think they are different – the monkeys that dance to entertain people and the monkeys that are free?

How many legs does this elephant have?

An elephant.

Do you know?

Elephants help each other when in trouble. They join together to care for and rescue their young ones.