The Banyan Tree is written by Ruskin Bond. This is a story about what the author saw, as a young boy, when he was sitting in an old banyan tree in his grandfather’s house.
The author was living in his grandparents’ house in Dehradun. There was a huge banyan tree in the yard. The tree was home to squirrels, snails and butterflies. The author also made a platform on it for hiding and reading.
His first friend was a small squirrel. He offered it pieces of cake and biscuit. It grew bold and began to take out food items even from his pocket. During the fig season, the tree was a very noisy place made by parrots, myna, nightingales and crows. From his banyan tree platform, the author used to look down at the world below.
One day he saw a big cobra coming out in search of prey. Just then a mongoose also came out from the bushes. The two came face to face under the tree. (They are sworn enemies.) Both were great fighters, swift and clever.
The cobra raised its body three feet off the ground. The mongoose kept its eyes fixed below the cobra’s hood. The fight between the champions began. There were three onlookers of the fight—the author, a myna and a wild crow.
The mongoose moved swifter than the snake. It bit the snake on the back. The two birds flew down to feed on the dead cobra. But they hit against each other. They made a second attempt but in vain. In the third attempt the crow was bitten by the snake and it fell dead. Myna kept sitting on the cactus plant.
The fight went on for quite some time. The cobra grew tired and weak. The mongoose caught the cobra by its mouth. The cobra coiled itself round its enemy. But it could struggle no more. The mongoose dragged it into the bushes. The myna flew down and looked into the bushes. But it had no success. It flew away.