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Serdar Yıldırım

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THE SQUAD GIRAFFE

A very big place was reserved for giraffes in the zoo which was in Gülhane Park. There lived a mother and a father giraffe with their two children. They were walking with a swaying movement all day long and the visitors were watching them. The mother and the father giraffes had been living in that place for a very long time so that they got used to living there and they didn't complain about it, but their children were bored and they always asked their father: ' How long are we going to live here? When are you going to take us to the places that you have told us in the fairy tales?'.

One day one of his children asked him, 'Daddy, how did we come here? Who took us here?'.

Then the father giraffe decided to tell his children the story of their grandfather who lived very far away from there so that they could be able to understand how they ended up in that place.

And he started:

'All the giraffes are very tall and have long necks but your grandfather was very short when he was born. As the years passed away he become older but he could not get taller and as he got older the desire to be a star in a circus grew more and more in his heart. He did not want to live in that place, and being an ordinary giraffe was not proper for him. So he started to organize shows in the wood where he lived to achieve his goal. All the animals living in that wood were interested in his shows and watched his imitations of different animals happily.

One day hunters came to that wood. They were there to catch some animals and take them to a zoo. While they were watching around with their binoculars on a hill, they saw the squad giraffe making his show. When they saw his admirable acting and excellent show they thought that he was a marvellous juggler so they decided to catch him. After the show they started to follow him secretly. The squad giraffe was not surprised because he knew that to be successful there were some difficulties that he had to struggle with. He thought in details about what he should do to dispose of those hunters in and made a very brilliant plan.

He knew that if he did something without planning it he would have some difficulties and would be caught by the hunters easily. It was impossible to understand what the hunters' intention was and how they were planning to catch him.

The next day the hunters pinched him near a reed bed. While the hunters were moving ahead they were so happy because they were sure of catching him as there was nowhere for him to run away. When they found out that he disappeared, they could not believe their eyes. They realized that the footprints of the squad giraffe disappeared near the reed bed. In fact this was a part of the giraffe's plan. He escaped from there by getting on a trunk of a tree which he had hidden there the day before. The following day he could hear the hunters saying that if he was caught, he was going to be taken to a zoo. After hearing this conversation he became so happy that he appeared jigging up and down on his four feet. Then he howled like a wolf and roared like a lion. The hunters were shocked when they saw him doing such things and behaving like a fool. After that the squad giraffe started doing all the tricks that he knew one after another and finished his show. The hunters liked his show very much so that they applauded him.

When he was taken to the zoo, he started living here where we live now. But he continued making his shows in his new home. In the meantime my mother and he fell in love. After a time I was born. When I was a little giraffe I remember that a lot of people were coming here to see him and to watch his shows. He was making his shows all day long without getting tired. By the way an international circus used to come here on certain dates of each year. Once while the circus was being established here the owner of it started walking around the zoo. When he saw the crowd he what was happening there so he smuggled into the crowd. After watching the squad giraffe making his show he understood that he was very talented and could become a world-famous star so he gave him lots of money to transfer him to his circus. The squad giraffe put this opportunity into good use and after a few rehearsals he appeared on the stage. He was so successful that the number of people who came to the circus increased suddenly.

The circus used to stay for ten days wherever it was established and there used to be only one show during the day. After the small giraffe started working there this changed and four or five shows a day were being made and that year the circus stayed in the zoo for a month.

The next year when the circus came here my father visited us. He was here to see my mother and me and his friends. We were very happy.

We were together for about two hours. He told us that he had been to a lot of countries making shows and attracted attention of everybody. He wanted to become a star in a circus and he did his best for this and finally he achieved his goal. He was so happy. Did you understand how we came here to this place?'
'Yes, daddy we did. We got it very well', the children replied all together and they looked at each other smiling.

There is an undeniable truth that there is nothing which can not be done if you want to do it so much. Nothing or nobody can stop you. You might have some dreams of your own or you would like to be as successful as somebody you admire there is nothing to stop you so you should go for it. The little giraffes followed their grandfather's footsteps and became very successful circus stars. If you look at the sky very carefully at night you can see them blinking you.

Written by: Serdar Yıldırım




THE LİON THAT PLAYS THE GUİTAR


The lion, king of woods, didn’t have a son to continue his family and kingdom so that he was very unhappy. If he had a son, his son would grow up in a few years time and walk around in the woods throwing his mane into the air. When he roared to keep the security of the woods all the criminals or the ones who were getting ready to commit a crime would look for a place to hide as they got frightened of his voice and his power. Why didn’t he have a son to leave his crown and kingdom? He didn’t even have a single relative or a child of a relative to whom he might teach how to be a king or manage the woods and who can be the king after he get older. The king must be noble and aristocrat. It wasn’t easy to be a king. Anybody who wants to be a king couldn’t manage the woods. He should have noble descendants. If the king made an ordinary lion the king there would be some problems because that lion might be unable to manage all the animals that lived in his kingdom which might cause a chaos and a rebellion would break up and this might result in death of lots of animals.

The king of the woods thought that he should leave his kingdom and his crown to a lion which was from his family otherwise he would not be relaxed. So that he decided to check out his family tree once more much more carefully. He agreed on controlling every detail about his father, his grandfather and his other relatives in details. I must find a lion that is noble.

He made lots of researches for a very long time and as a result he found out some new information about his family. Four generations ago when the king left his kingdom to his elder son the younger one got really upset and that he abandoned the kingdom. While searching for some information about his family he learned that this lion started to live in a very far away wood which was called Grandr. He started a new life which was very simple there. He couldn’t find any other information about what had happened to that lion afterwards. The king invited the fox to his palace and told him about all those things. Then the king wanted the fox to make an investigation if he could find any of his relatives
in that woods and also he ordered him to bring the youngest and talented one with him to the king’s palace. The fox wasn’t going to tell anyone about his journey to any other animals otherwise it was going to be killed.

When the fox reached the Grandr woods he saw a small group of people who were listening to a small lion playing the guitar. The fox was really surprised because he had never seen a lion playing the guitar before. And the lion was playing it very well. He wanted to see the lion’s performance and listen to him from a nearer place so that he walked along through the crowds and took a seat at the first row. Now he could hear the sound of the guitar much better. He listened to the lion playing his guitar for a while and as a result he thought that it was such a talented lion. He wanted to listen to the lion’s concert till the morning but it was impossible because when it got dark the lion ended his concert and thanked to those who were listening to his concert. The fox was really impressed and it was the best performance he had ever seen and listened to.

The next day the fox started his investigation to find out something about what had happened to the youngest son of the king that had left his homeland many years ago. He talked to each of the animals and asked them if they knew anything about that lion and what might have happened to him, if he had any sons or if he died alone without having a family and children of his own but he couldn’t find the answers of these questions because none of the animals that he talked to didn’t gave him a clear explanation. They all told him that they didn’t know anything about that lion and his story.


The fox’s investigation took ten days and in the end a very old lion confessed that he knew something about the lion that he was trying to get some information about. There was only one lion that survived and all the others had died and that was the lion playing the guitar when he first arrived in those woods. It wasn’t very difficult to find that lion for the fox. He was again giving a concert at the same place. When the concert ended the fox went beside the lion and told him that he was sent there by the king of the woods and that the king had heard about that talented lion so that invited him to give a concert in his palace. The lion accepted the king’s invitation and set off his journey with the fox to go to the palace.

When they arrived at the palace the fox firstly showed the lion his room and then went to talk to the king about what had happened in details. Fortunately a lion that was noble and coming from the royal family had been found. What is more it was really talented. But his being able to play the guitar surprised the kind and he also thought that it was very strange for a lion to play the guitar.

After having dinner in the dining room of the palace the lion started his concert. All the animals that were listening to his concert in the palace were fascinated. Everybody thought that he had supernatural powers as if a magical hand was playing the guitar and sometimes the lion was also singing while playing his guitar and that was really unbelievable.

Day after day as the king got to know the lion he started to love him much more. He was noble, honoured, well informed besides he was respectful and cultured. Moreover he was the king’s cousin. What else would be expected from a lion that was going to be the king? The king decided to leave his kingdom to this lion. But the king couldn’t find a way to explain this situation to him. It was very difficult for the king to do this. The days were passing by but the king couldn’t talk to the lion about his intention. Fortunately he could find the courage at himself to talk to the lion all about. And he told him every detail.

‘Here is the family tree and these are the names or our grandparents that were the kings before. When my grandfather was requested as a king after his father, your grandfather left the palace and moved to Grandr woods. And you are the only one who survives of his descendants. I mean you are my cousin and you are the only one who will be the king after I die’.

The lion wasn’t surprised when he heard what the king had told him. He had listened to those stories from his father many times. He told the king that he had known everything. The king congratulated the lion because of his honesty. He might have pretended as if he didn’t know anything but he didn’t do so. As a result the king was so honoured because of having a cousin like him and he was very pleased that he could find the right lion to leave his kingdom.

Written by: Serdar Yıldırım
 

Serdar Yıldırım

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THE KİNG WHO İS İNTERESTED İN ASTRONOMY


Many years ago there was a king who was interested in astronomy. He spent most of his time in the observatory which was built near his palace. He wanted to have all the books that were written about the sky, stars, space and astronomy so far and all the maps drown about them in his library. He invited astrologists and astronomers from other countries to his palace and took a share in their discussions about the evolution stages of the world until that time, the adventures of mankind on earth, whether there was an intelligent life on other planets or not and they tried to find out the answers of such kind of subjects.

One day he heard that a Persian man who was called Ebu Salip Efendi invented a kind of telescope and thanks to it he had discovered lots of new stars. The king called for his vizier by his side and said to him ‘I want to know what the new discovered stars look like and every detail about them. I want an ambassador to go to Persia and I want him to invite Ebu Salip Efendi to my palace as my guest’.

After many days and weeks Ebu Salip Efendi who thought the conditions which were written on the letter which was sent to him by the king with the ambassador were favourable, got permission from the Persian shah and set off his journey to the palace. The king welcomed his guest at the entrance of his palace. Then they started talking about the stars which were discovered by his guest and as they continued their conversation the king became more and more curious about the things which his guest was telling him. When the king heard that his name was given to the biggest star which was discovered by Ebu Salip in his honour, he became very excited and was really delighted that he wanted his guest to make a similar telescope for him as soon as possible. The next day they went to the observatory which was next to the palace. Ebu Salip Efendi told the king that the equipments they had were not qualified and the observatory was not big enough for the telescope. He wanted permission to build a bigger observatory from the king. After getting permission, he started the building of the new observatory on a slope of a mountain which was far away from the palace and moved to a village near it.

It took so long to build the observatory and so much money was spent on it that there was no money left in the state treasury. As a result of this, the king wanted his taxmen to collect the taxes belonging to four or five years’ later from the people who lived in that country. Unfortunately the people had lots of difficulties because they had given all their money for the building of the observatory so that they were desperate. And they started fighting with the taxmen but the king could not understand that he was mistaken so that he did not care about the people who tried to advise him of his mistake. He could not realize his false step because of his curiosity about the newly discovered stars and the biggest star which his name was given to. He could not think of anything accept them. He started listening to the meetings which were held in the palace about the stars, space and astronomy much more carefully and Ebu Salip Efendi sometimes attended those meetings.

One day in summer the king and his two men changed their clothes and wore ordinary clothes which were worn by merchants in his kingdom and went to the village where Ebu Salip started living. The owner of the village was a kind hearted, honest and brave man. He was about thirty years old. He invited the king and his two men to his house. They ate different kinds of meals and drank some buttermilk and after that they started talking about ordinary daily things and then the conversation turned to stars and space. The king who was dressed up like a merchant started talking about the first man on the earth and ended up his speech by giving information about all the secrets of earth. He said that the space was infinite and there were countless planets and stars in it and he added that owing to the new observatory which was being built thanks to the great king and the telescope which was really reformed lots of unknown planets and stars were going to be discovered. In addition he said that humanity owed thanks to the king.

The owner of the village who was listening to the king who was dressed up like a merchant quietly and then he said ‘Why should the humanity owe him thanks? We must think about where the money which is spent for the building of the observatory comes from. It is not fair to get lots of taxes from the people who are hard up and it is not legal and this is cruelty. When new stars are discovered will it be useful for the poor? Will they eat the new discovered stars to get rid of their hunger? And everybody knows that Ebu Salip spends one tenth of the money for the building and buys lots of birds with the remaining of it’.

These words were so irritating that when the king heard them he stood up with anger. When his men saw him standing up they stood up as well holding their swords and taking them out of their spear carriers as well. They were ready to attack the owner of the village because it was obligatory to kill this indiscreet and rude man. The man’s speech affected the king deeply that’s why the white part of his eyes disappeared because of hatred and anger.

After he got rid of the shock he cries out to the man, ‘How dare you speak about the king this way? It is the duty of every citizen to pay tax for his country. If everybody says I don’t care who will find out the secrets of the universe?’

The owner of the village who was sitting on a cushion answered back:

‘Everybody should pay tax in accordance with their income. It is not fair to get this much tax from those poor people and they gave all their money in tax. Ok! I know that the people who try to find out the secrets of the universe serve mankind a lot but they can not get the results of their discoveries in less than two years time. As the scientific researches and technical achievements progressed, those secrets will be discovered day by day. May be centuries are required for this. I mean more time is needed for it’.

The things he said were very logical so that the king became so silent and calmed down. Then he asked if one tenth of the money was being spent for the observatory how could the remaining be spent on birds.

The owner of the village replied, ‘On the last day of each month lots of gunny bags full of birds are being sent the Persian shah. The king could not speak any more. He greeted the owner of the village with his head and went out. He and his men hopped on their horses and set off speedily to the capital city. They learned that everything which was claimed by the owner of the village was true. Thanks to the plan which was made cleverly by the king, on the last day of the month they found out bags full of gold which was prepared to be sent to the Persian shah. All the criminals were captured. It was understood that Ebu Salip Efendi was a liar and he did not know how to make a telescope and anything about stars and that he had not discovered any stars and also all the things that he mentioned in the meeting were made up and memorized by him. Ebu Salip sold all his possessions in his country and gave all his money to the king in order to be forgiven by him. The king forgave him and let him survive in one condition. He was going to be followed by the king men until he died. All the money taken from Ebu Salip and gold coins which were found out the last day of the month were handed out to the people. They were so pleased.

The king and his men continued visiting the owner of the village and staying in his house dressed up like ordinary people. During these visitations neither the king who was dressed up like a merchant told the owner of the village that he was the king, nor the owner of the village told the king that he understood that he was the king at first sight. They swapped information all the time and the king stopped thinking about the planets and the stars. Moreover, he started taking care of his people.

Written by: Serdar Yıldırım




THE CHAMPİON DUCK


There lived thousands of ducks around a lake. These ducks organized different competitions and competed gently and they awarded the ones who came first. Gadro was winning all the competitions which were organized for the last few years. He was coming first an all competitions such as swimming, diving, walking beautifully etc. many years ago while his friends were playing around; Gadro was training alone and was very ambitious about being the champion one day. He didn’t attend any of the competitions without being sure of himself and he came first in all the games that he attended.

Recently, Gadro started to say his friends that he was planning to migrate somewhere far away. In fact he wasn’t happy there. It was such a small place and he thought that the world was so big. His aim was to be famous all around the world. Being famous in that place was not enough for him. He wanted to be a world famous duck.

One day Gadro left his homeland without telling anyone. He was walking so fast and what is more he didn’t turn back to look at the places where he was born and grew up once more. As he was going away from his homeland that was by the lake he realized that a pain in his heart was growing bigger and bigger. Whenever he saw some animals on his way through the woods he immediately went near them but when he realized that those animals were behaving him as if he was an ordinary duck and they were laughing at him when he told them about some of his plans. So that he was really unhappy and desperate.

After a while Gadro realized that other animals were laughing at even the way he walked so his unhappiness grew more and more. He thought that they were a few stupid animals and he found it ridicules how they could dare to laugh at a champion duck that was really talented and could be a world famous sportsman one day.

He was known by thousands of ducks that lived by the lake and he was admired by them. What about those animals. None of them was famous and known by any other animals. They didn’t even know who or what they were. Was it possible for an animal that forgot its own name to remember Gadro, even if he was known by everyone? They were all poor, pitiable creatures.

For five years Gadro travelled and lived in lots of different places. And then he turned back to his homeland by the lake. He wasn’t walking around the lake any more as he did in the past and at nights he was training for swimming and diving in the lake. During the day he was watching the ducks that were swimming in the lake at the top of one of the hills around.

One day Gadro climbed on that hill again and to his amazement he saw that there were about forty or fifty ducks by the lake and five of them started competing in the lake. Rarely could he hear some of the ducks were applauding the competitors. Gadro thought they must be training. After a short time Gadro realized that an old duck was approaching him. He pulled down his hat on his eyes in order to be unknown by this old duck. After greeting Gadro the old duck sat next to him.

‘This year very few ducks are showing interest in competitions’ the old duck said. ‘As you see only five ducks are competing and hardly fifty ducks are watching and trying to courage them.’


Gadro was confused.


‘What did you say? Are they competing at the moment? I don’t believe it. I thought they were training!’ replied Gadro.


‘They are really racing my son. What is more this is the most important competition of the year. The duck which comes first in swimming will get the big prize. There used to be amazing competitions in this lake. This hill, those hills and the ones behind used to be full of spectators and hundreds of ducks used to attend the competitions which lasted for days and all the competitors tried to do their best. The ones that came first became perceptible in the competitions which were held on the next day and they used to get their awards while everybody was applauding them. After Gadro left here, the excitement of the competitions ended. If it goes on this way, in a few years time there will be nobody attending the races. It is really hard to find a duck to compete if there is no spectator.’ the old duck explained sadly.

Gadro was really touched while listening to the old duck and there were tears in his eyes. He pulled up his hat a bit to clean his tears. The old duck who had seen Gadro many times while he was competing and training around the lake realized that the duck sitting next to him was Gadro. He was the champion of all the games. It was unbelievable. Ha turned back to his homeland many years later. At first Gadro denied that he was the champion duck but in the end he confessed that he was because the old duck insisted on him a lot. Also he accepted to publicize his being back to other ducks.

The next day, thousands of ducks gathered by the lake. They were all waiting for Gadro so that he didn’t make them wait for too long. He came there and he started swimming in the lake with the old duck and he met all the ducks in the lake and greeted them, made some compliments and a short speech to the ducks.

Then he started coaching the young ducks that were getting ready for the next competitions. The did his best to make each of them good competitors. Hundreds of ducks started to attend the competitions again as it used to be in the past. Gadro entered the competitions as well. He was coming first in most of them and sometimes he let others to beat him because he wanted to courage the other young ducks and everybody knew that he was being beaten on purpose.

That year Gadro was twenty-four and he got really old. He could attend the short distance swimming competitions for the past few years. In his last competition although he had some problems at the beginning of the game he didn’t give up swimming. He came last. When the other ducks turned back after completing the race they saw Gadro. The champion duck was falling on his back as he tried to swim and he was struggling desperately. Other ducks were shocked and they knew that Gadro had done lots of things for them to be a champion. He coached them day and night. And their coach was in a difficult situation. They swam quickly back towards Gadro and they took him in their arms. He could hardly speak as he was nearly unconscious. He was saying that he had to finish the race. He managed to finish the race in the arms of other ducks while thousands of ducks were watching him silently.

Normally average life expectancy for a duck is about twenty five years but Gadro lived longer than that. He couldn’t compete any more but he was always there to support the other duck.

Written by: Serdar Yıldırım
 

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