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DateLine Thursday, 12 July 2007

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Y o u n g S c r i b e s:

The clumsy coach

Everyone in our school knows about coach Deli. He was the most clumsy coach in our school. He taught us swimming. Sometimes coach Deli would tell us to do laps of breast stroke and in the middle he would doze off.

Then my friend Brian would always go red. He never liked the coach. When he first came, we all liked him. Then one day, he came for practices and told us to do five laps of freestyle and breast stroke.

while I was doing it I caught him snoring away. Ever since then he always went sleeping in the middle of lessons. No matter how much we complained to Principal Bullstrode, she never listened. But our coach Deli’s bright side, he was a polite and kind-hearted man.

‘I’m positive, Brian! coach Deli would never fall asleep. Besides he’s taking night classes every Thursday!” said Principal Bullstrode quietly. “Alright! But next time I’m bringing you proof!” muttered Brian.

Coach Deli never stopped sleeping. Though he took night classes on Thursdays, he grew more sleepy on Mondays.

Every time I tried to convince Brian that the coach must be a tired man, Brian always went hysterical.

One day, Brian bought some energy drinks. He gave coach Deli one but there was something fishy about it. Once again coach Deli told us to do some laps. But this time he was talking to us in a drunkard way. Same old way, he snored away into a good sleep. We changed and went home. Brian stopped for a while. Next day, coach Deli looked bright.

“I can’t believe I found my self looking into the toilet water!” said coach Deli. I looked at Brian and saw a cunning smile in his mouth.

Harendra Samarasekera,
Colombo International School,
Kandy.

**************************

Upside down birds

Can you see the birds,
Hanging upside down from a tree.
They are lazy bats,
Sleeping the day away
Ready to go food-hunting
When the night comes,
Stealing by.
With their furry faces,
And wings like umbrellas
So waxy and glossy,
They seem well adapted.
But I doubt if they are in good health,
For hanging upside down everyday
Tends to give you headaches!

Nillasi Liyanage
Gr. 8-D
Musaeus College Col. 7

--------------------------------------

F o l k t a l e s o f S r i L a n k a:

The power of ‘Vaskavi’

A Buddhist monk lived in a small temple situated close to the king’s palace in the hill country. The monk was well-known for composing and reciting “Sethkavi” (Poems recited invoking the blessings of gods) and “Vaskavi” (poems recited to bring evil on any person or thing).

As his Vaskavi and Sethkavi had produced the desired results, many villagers were seen visiting the temple. While the monk kept himself busy composing the poems, the villagers performed religious rituals such as reciting Pali stanzas aloud, offering flowers and ringing the temple bell.

The constant ringing of the temple bell irritated the king. So he called some of his guards and ordered him to bring the monk to the palace.

When the guards came to the temple, they saw the monk going on “pindapatha” or alms round.

So they waited till the monk returned.

When the monk returned to the temple, the guards conveyed the king’s order. The monk said he had to have his meals and asked them to wait.

The monk finished having his meals and was about to go into his chamber when the guards interrupted him.

The monk told them he should have his customary nap.

The guards decided to stay outside the chamber.

When the monk finally got up from his siesta, the guards wanted to take him to the palace.

“I can’t walk to the palace like a prisoner. Take me in a palanquin,” the monk said. So the guards went back to the palace and brought a palanquin.

While travelling comfortably in the palanquin the monk saw a huge banyan tree by the side of the road.

At once he composed a Vaskaviya and recited it several times looking hard at the banyan tree.

Hey presto! The banyan tree came crashing down blocking their path. The guards kept the palanquin down and worshipped the monk.

“Venerable monk, please tell us how to take you to the palace. It will take many days to clear the road,” the guards said meekly.

“If you take me before the king, the same thing will happen to him”, the monk said calmly.

When the king heard the news from his guards, he immediately sent his chief minister to apologise to the monk on his behalf. Later the king put up a big temple for the monk and became his chief “dayaka” (benefactor).

--------------------------------------

Mayans and Incas

With the news of the new Seven Wonders of the world, the attention of many were turned towards the ancient civilizations of South America; two of the seven wonders are from Peru and Mexico, the two countries in South and Central Americas.

Machu Picchu is in Peru, Latin America. Located above the Urubamba river valley in Peru, this is an ancient Inca city. Inca is an ancient civilization.

The civilization of Incas, an Ameri-Indian tribe in South America. There are many Ameri-Indian tribes in the two American continents, and the islands in the Pacific Ocean.

In Machu Picchu there are ruins of palaces of kings and queens, baths, storage rooms and about 150 houses carved from the gray granite of the mountain top of Machu Picchu, which means the old mountain top.

These ruins are considered as wonders of both architectural and artistic genius.

Many of the building blocks used in constructions weigh fifty tons or more. They are separately sculpted and fitted so well together that no one can insert even a thin knife blade through the joints.

In ancient times the observatory of the Incas was in Machu Picchu of the Incas.

Among the ruins there are signs to prove that these people knew about space travel and probably did travel in space.

Generally these civilizations are known as Mayan. Mayan cities were well developed and equipped with many amenities for the rich people who lived in the cities. They used highly sophisticated indoor shower houses for bathing and washing themselves.

And there is evidence to prove that they played a ball-game similar to netball or basket ball. Almost every major city had a ball court where two teams would compete in a game.

The object of the game was to propel a hard rubber wall through a stone hoop mounted high on the court wall. This game probably had variations.

Like some of the games played in the villages during the New Year the ball games probably served religious as well as sporting functions.

The spectators enjoyed betting on the outcome. For participants, stakes were high; losing players might have their hands or even their head cut off.

M.G.

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