Mrs. Kapur has a lovely garden at the back of her house. She has grown many beautiful plants and flowers in her garden. She loves to sit there in the evening, after her day’s work.

One evening, after dinner, Mrs. Kapur was sitting in her garden. Her little daughter, Savita, was also with her. Savita wanted to pluck one big flower. She said to her mother, ``Mummy, many I pluck this flower? It is very beautiful.’’

Mother- it is no, dear. Don’t pluck any flower at this time. Don’t you know plants sleep night?

Savita- mother, do plants also sleep?

Mother- yes, they wake and sleep as we do. They feel sad and happy like us. J.C. Bose proved it by his experiments. He proved that plants feel plain and pleasure as we do.

Savita- who was J.C. Bose?

Mother- he was a great scientist of India. He proved that plants grow and die like men. If you give them a blow, they feel pain. They eat and drink as we do. They drink water by their roots. They get their food from the soil. They are breathing through their leaves. Thus plants grow, eat, drink and feel like us. Only they don’t move like us.

Savita- thank you, mummy, you are for telling me so much about plants. I shall never give them pain. I shall love them and take care of them.

Mother- yes, that’s like a good girl. Now I shall tell you a very strange thing about plants. Some plants are very clever. They hunt for their food. They catch insects and eat them.

Savita- really!

Mother- yes! But it is true. There are many plants that eat flesh. They catch insects and other tiny animals for food. The pitcher plant, the sundew and the Venus flytrap are all flesh-eating plants.

Now let’s go in, Savita. I think your father has come. He knows a lot about plants and he will tell you how these plants catch insects.

Savita- yes, mother, I will ask him all about it.

The banyan tree

He banyan tree is often called the Lord of the forest. It is found all over India. The banyan tree is a very large tree. It has a smooth, grey bark. It gives off aerial roots from its branches. These roots touch the ground, take root and grow into separate trunks. The tree, thus, covers an ever –increasing area.

One giant banyan, nearly 550 years old, stands in the village of Thimmamma Marrimanu in the state of Andhra Pradesh. From a distance it looks like a small forest.

The banyan tree is loved worshipped. A banyan tree is grove favorite spot in villages for the young and the old alike. It is here that the elder of the village meet and discuss their day-to-day problems. Teachers hold open-air classes under its spreading branches. Special prayers are offered to the tree on special days. Garlands are tied to the branches as prayer offerings.

Besides providing shade, food and shelter, every part of the banyan tree is of medicinal value. Its figs, when they ripen, are a great favorite with birds and bats, alike. Its wood is used for making cheap furniture. Rope is made from the fiber taken from its bark and aerial roots. Even the dried leaves come in handy as plates.



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