Once upon a time, there lived a little boy named Samhith. He loved to listen to stories. His mother and his grandmother told him many stories. He loved them, and kept asking for more. So, his mother started buying him books. She read out stories to him everyday. Soon, everyone in the house, his father, and his grandparents started buying him books and reading aloud the stories. Soon, there were so many books, he did not know where to keep them. So his mother bought him a bookshelf. Soon, the bookshelf was full. So Samhith and his mother made another bookshelf from an old cardboard box that was lying around the house. Soon, that too was overflowing with books.
Samhith loved all his books and knew all the stories by heart. His mother was so proud of him, but there was just one thing--- Samhith never took care of his books. He would never keep his books back on the shelf. He left them lying around and threw them anywhere when he got angry. His mother would keep telling him to take care of his books-- otherwise his precious books would get lost or spoilt. But he never listened to her. Finally, one day, his mother lost her patience and told him that she wouldn’t clean up after him any longer. If he threw the books or anything else anywhere, it would remain just like that, and if he lost something, or something was spoilt or torn, she was not responsible, and she would not repair it.
Soon, Samhith’s room started resembling a pigsty-- things all over the place, a mess everywhere. Samhith did not really mind that as long as he could find the book or toy he wanted at the moment. Samhith liked reading only some books all the time. The others simply lay on the shelves till he got into the mood to read them. Soon, the books on the shelves started piling up haphazardly and dust started piling on them.
One day, a mouse trying to find food in the house happened to enter Samhith’s room, and found a treasure-- papers everywhere, so many books untouched! It was the perfect place to stay hidden from Samhith’s mother, who kept the rest of the house spick and span. The mouse settled in a space under the bookshelves and started feasting on a particularly large book.
Then one day, Samhith was looking for a book on aeroplanes that his mother had gifted him for his last birthday. It was a large book and he was surprised when he couldn’t find it anywhere. Finally, he started clearing up the area near the bookshelves, and he screamed out loud!! There was his book, but there was a mouse sitting right on top of it, and it had also eaten part of his book! His mother came running when she heard the scream, and seeing the mouse, drove it out of the house.
Samhith was shaking with fright! He’d had a shock!! His mother explained that this was what would happen if he didn’t clear up his room, if he didn’t keep things properly. The mouse would never have entered his room if it had been clean, she said, and it wouldn’t have eaten his book if he had been taking care of all his books. Samhith was crying. His beautiful book was spoilt, and all because he hadn’t cared well for it. He promised his mother that he would never be so careless in the future, and that he would help his mother clean up his room. His mother was happy that he had learnt his lesson, and told him that she would buy him the aeroplane book the next time she went to the market.