Once solemnly. “It is seven minutes flying distance

Once upon atime, there was a puppy named Tippy who lived with his mother in Tilak Nagar.

Tippy was scared of the dark. But what terrified him more were those awful,hairy creatures that flew in the dark-Bats ! When hismother, came to know of his fear, she scolded him. “Bats areperfectly harmless creatures.

  You havebeen watching too many vampire movies, ” she said. Though shebanned television for Tippy after that, the damage had been done. It almostlooked like he was going to be crippled by these two phobias for the rest ofhis life. Unfortunately, that wasn’t his only problem. He also had a tendencyto think that he alone was right no matter what, and often failed to see thingsfrom another person’s point of view. As a result, he often argued with hisfriends. One dayTippy, ventured a little too far from his home while racing with his friends.

He had gone so far ahead that he could not find his way back. Perhaps he shouldtake the gully to the left ?. He trotted on till he reached a sharp turn to theright—–but that was the turn which led to the dense woods. “Oh dear !”he thought, “I am definitely lost. ” It was verydark.

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Suddenly, Tippy felt something soft and furry fly past him. He barked infright. BATS !!Tippy froze. He just laydown and put his paws protectively over his head.

The minutes ticked by.  Wherever hadthat thing gone? He looked up and saw a Bat clinging in a weird manner to atree branch above him. He was so astonished at the sight that he forgot abouthis fears.  He asked, “Doyou know how far Tilak Nagar is from here? ” “Not toofar, ” the bat replied solemnly. “It is seven minutes flying distance fromhere, if you fly really fast.

“”Err…..I don’tfly at all. I run.””Whatever,”said the bat with a shrug?Feelingannoyed with the bat’s attitude, Tippy asked, “Well, can you tell me how I canreach Tilak Nagar? I have lost my way, you see.

”   “It’s nothard. Just follow the landmarks on the ground above and you will….””The groundabove?” Tippy interrupted incredulously.”You meanthe ground below.

“”No, I mean,the ground above.”At this,Tippy realized with astonishment that the bat was hanging from the tree upsidedown. “All rightthen. Maybe the ground is above,” he replied cautiously. He didn’t want toargue with this strange creature.

After all, he badly needed the directions. “But if youwere to stand straight in a normal manner, ” Tippy continued, “You wouldsee that the ground is below.””The way youstand is normal according to you.

But the way I stand is normal for me,” saidthe bat, gazing at Tippy unblinkingly. Tippy didnot know what to say. He had never met anyone quite like the bat. “This bat isunusual in a rather cool way, ” thought Tippy.Tippy hadalways had a black-and-white view of the world.

Something was either right orwrong. It couldn’t possibly be both. But this bat believed that hisview-literally was correct and, at the same time, agreed that Tippy’s  view could also be correct. “Whichlandmarks should I follow to reach Tilak Nagar?”Tippyfinally asked. “Listencarefully……” started the bat and he gave Tippy the necessary directions. Tippythanked the bat and left for home.

His motherwas relieved to see him. Tippy answered every oned of her anxious questions buthe did not tell her about his encounter with the bat. Children don’t liketelling their mothers everything. It is always fun to have a few secrets.As timepassed, Tippy’s mother noticed that he had lost his fear of the dark.

Therewere other changes too in his personality. He had fewer fights with his friendsand was more tolerant towards others.  Asa result, Tippy made many more friends with creatures of other species too,including bats!