Lavanya was a little girl. She was ten years old, and she went to school. She wasn’t very clever, but she was sweet and good and everyone loved her.

One day Lavaya’s school teacher said: ``I am going to give a special prize this term’’.

``What is the prize for? - asked all the pupils.

``I am not going to tell you!’’ said the teacher. ``You must all be very good and try to do your best at everything, and at the end of the term I will tell you what the prize is for’’.

The children were all very happy, and talked about the prize.

a) ``I hope it is for writing,’’ said one. ``I can write very well’’

b) `` I hope it is for reading’’, said another. ``I am good at reading’’.

c) `` I hope it is for singing’’, said a third. ``I like singing’’.

d) But poor little Lavanya was sad. She was not very good at anything. ``I shall never win the prize’’, she thought.

*She went home to her mother and told her about the special prize. `` I can read and write and sing’’, she said to her mother. ``But I can not do any of these things as well as some of the other children. Mala sings sweaty, and Lela writes nicely.’’

`` The prize may be for being good’’, said her mother. `` try to be very good this term.’’

So Lavanya tried to be very good. Ut small girls cannot always be good, and sometimes the teacher was angry with her.

`` I shall never win the prize,’’ thought Lavanya sadly.

One day Lavanya was going to school and she saw a little bird. It had fallen from a tree and broken its wing.

`` Oh, poor little bird!’’ said Lavanya. She took it in her hands and carried it to school. The teacher put the bird in a box. She tied the wing very carefully. And after one week the bird flew away. Lavanya was sad to see it go, but she was very glad that its wing was better.

Another day Lavanya was going to school and she saw a small dog. Some boys had tied a can to its tail, and the can made a noise when the dog ran away. The boys were all laughing at it.

``You bad children!’’-Lavanya said. She caught the poor little dog and tried to untie the string, but she could not. Then the boys saw the teacher coming. And they ran away.

The teacher saw Lavanya with the little dog, and she said: ``what is it, Lavanya?’’

``Please, someone has tied this can to the dog’s tail, and I cannot get it off’’, Lavanya answered.

``That was a very unkind thing to do’’, said the teacher. She united the string and the dog ran happily away. ``Do you like animals?’’ the teacher asked Lavanya.

`` Yes, I love them,’’ said Lavanya. `` I want a little dog, but we haven not enough money to buy a nice one’’.

`` I have a dog, and she is going to have some puppies soon’’, said the teacher. ``Would you like to see them?’’

``Oh yes, I would,’’ said Lavanya.

Three weeks went by, but the teacher did not speak to Lavanya again about the dog, and Lavanya did not like to ask her if the puppies had come. ``She doesn’t remember that she said I could see them,’’ thought Lavanya.

Then the last day of the term came. All the children were laughing and talking. Now they would know who had won teacher’s special prize.

`` You won’t win anything,’’ one unkind girl said to Lavanya. ``You are not clever enough.’’

``I know I am not’, said Lavanya sadly.

The teacher came into the room. She was carrying a bag, and there was something inside the bag.

``What is it? What is it?’’ the children asked.

``This is the special prize,’’ said the teacher. ``And I am giving it to Lavanya.’’

``Lavanya’’ the children said. ``Why Lavanya?’’

`` The prize is for kindness to animals,’’ said the teacher. ``And Lavanya is always kind to animals. She saved a bird with a broken wing, and she helped a little dog. Come, Lavanya, and take your prize’’.

Lavanya went to the teacher and opened the bag. There was a very, very small puppy inside.

``ho!’’ said Lavanya. ``Is this for me? Is it for me?

``Yes,’’ the teacher said. ``I like children to be kind to animals and I shall give a prize every term. The prize won’t always be a puppy, but I want you to have this one, Lavanya.’’

`` Thank, very much,’’ Lavanya said. `` I will look after it always’’.

``Go home and ask your mother if you can have the puppy,’’ said the teacher. `` it is not old enough to go away from its mother now, but come and see me next month and then you can take it home with you’’.

Lavaya’s mother said she could have the dog, and Lavanya was very happy and proud of her lovely little puppy.





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