It was a fine summer morning in the Animalic Village. The sun was peering over the horizon. The tiny wispy clouds in the sky were turning a beautiful orange. Birds were chirping everywhere. The whole morning looked clean and washed.
And then, quite suddenly, a light gray blur whipped through the trees.
‘Oh no, I’m truly going to be late for school!’ it said, panting as it kept on its rush through the trees.
It was Muhanna, an adventurous gray kitten. She leapt down from the trees as she saw a big building with dark green roofs that seemed to reflect the sky up ahead and began to run.
Down the road, up the steps, pushing open the cream door, panting and sprinting to her golden yellow classroom.
‘Assalamu...alaikum...ustadha. I’m so sorry...I’m late,’ gasped Muhanna for breath. Then she looked around the classroom. Everyone had arrived already. ‘Wait a minute...where is ustadha?’
‘She hasn’t come yet,’ answered Muthanna, a gray and white puppy.
Now all the boys were in the same part of the school as the girls because there wasn’t much money coming into the girls’ part. The Headmistress had decided to join the two schools together so they would have the same privileges. Ustadha Musfirah, a female sky blue Livlot dolphin, a special kind of dolphins that could live without water for nearly a day, opened the door.
‘Assalamu alaikum, students!’ Ustadha Musfirah said, putting a large sheaf of papers onto her desk.
‘Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh, ustadha!’ the students said.
They sat down and gazed at the two new students who had come in after Ustadha Musfirah.
Every child in the class turned towards them, their eyes falling open as they recognized them. Everyone started whispering and nudging each other.
‘Who’re them? They look kind of...familiar,’ Muhanna whispered to Latifah, her elder sister, a dark gray kitten, who was behind her who was so full of surprise that her eyes were almost popping out.
‘Well, we have two new students, Aaila and Aaida. I’m absolutely certain that you know them both already, especially you two, Muhanna and Latifah,’ said Ustadha Musfirah. ‘Now, please sit down, Aaila and Aaida.’
They sat down together at a desk that was at the back of the classroom. Everyone was open-mouthed. They didn’t expect them to come, especially after the last adventure.
‘Now, today’s lesson is about animal groups. Does anyone already know about them?’ Ustadha Musfirah asked.
No one raised their hand. So, Ustadha Musfirah continued with the lesson.
‘Well, we are animals, right? Let’s see, there are so many kinds of animals here. Can...hmmm...Mufazzalah tell us what are those kinds?’ said Ustadha Musfirah.
Mufazzalah, a light brown puppy, stood up and went to the front.
‘Well, Mamoor is a fox and Muthanna, Mufizah, Mutayyib and I are puppies and…..’
‘That’s right. I’m a cunning and clever fox! Nobody here is brave like me not even cowardly Muthanna whom everybody is admiring like for no reason at all!’ said Mamoor, a reddish fox cub, who was very proud indeed about that he was a fox. He was jealous of Muthanna for getting all the attention.
‘Mamoor! What did you say about me? You are the cowardly one!’ Muthanna said, indignantly.
‘Shhh, you two!’ said Ustadha Musfirah. ’Let Mufazzalah continue.
After Mufazzalah was done, Ustadha Musfirah explained all about animal groups.
‘And now, I have a fun project for you all that is due after a month. You all will break up into groups and hunt and live wild. You can even choose your territory. But your groups must be minimum three people or it won’t be a group. Have you all got it?’ said Ustadha Musfirah.
‘Yes, ustadha!’ said the class.
‘But, ustadha, do I have to do this project too? Because cats are solitary,’ asked Muhanna.
‘Yes, Muhanna. You could join another group,’ said Ustadha Musfirah.
‘Yes! Muhanna, you shall join my group,’ said Mufizah, a brown and white puppy and twin of Mutayyib, excitedly.
‘Ustadha, do we choose a leader?’ asked Latifah.
‘Yes, you do but it has to be according to the rules of your animal group,’ answered Ustadha Musfirah.
‘Well, I want my group to include Mushaa, Latifah, Ali, Aaida, and Aaila,’ said Mamoor.
‘What! But I want to be in your group, Mamoor, please! There is no way I’m going to be in a group with Muthanna. Latifah, tell him!’ said Mufazzalah.
‘Okay, okay. So we are seven. Now, what kind of animal group are we?’ said Mamoor.
‘Human group, of course!’ said Aaila.
‘Nooo! Dog pack is better. You two are new so just shut up!’ said Mamoor, crossly.
‘Well, I like that!’ said Aaida. ‘Think we better go and make another group. Latifah, you will come with us to make it three.’
‘Sorry, Aaida, but I’m sticking by Mufazzalah. How dare you ask me about that when you used my own only true sister as a hostage!’ said Latifah.
‘You are such a spoilsport!’ said Aaila.
Seeing that Latifah was beginning to shake with anger, Ustadha Musfirah hurried to keep the peace.
‘Well, please don’t fight, children!’
‘I’m going to make our own group,’ said Aaida, scowling.
‘You can but it has to have minimum three persons,’ said Ustadha Musfirah.
‘They are the Two Asses!’ said Ali, giggling. He was a dark brown kitten and the younger brother of Muhanna.
‘Shhhhh! Let’s continue. Because it is a dog pack, the dogs are going to be the alphas. So that means me and Mufazzalah are leaders,’ said Mamoor.
‘Awww!’ groaned Latifah.
‘Now it is our turn to discuss. Who shall we have in our group, Mutayyib?’ said Mufizah.
‘No, we haven’t finished yet!’ said Mamoor, frowning at Mufizah.
‘You discussed a lot already, so now it is our turn!’ retorted Mufizah.