Maya Ramaswamy
age group: 
7+ yrs
Number of pages: 
value education nature and wildlife Nagaland deer
picture book, folk tale


On the plains at the foothills of the Khasi range, lived U Sier Lapalang, a male deer, the only son of his doting mother. Soon, he grows to be a beautiful stag, with great big antlers. However, he was also vain and self-centered.

Soon, he became restless. Bored of the same surroundings and having heard about the beauty of the mountains and the delicious vegetation that grew on its slopes, he determinedly sets off, much against his mother’s plaintive pleadings and warnings.

At first, all was well, he enjoyed grazing on the special plants that grew there. However, one fine day, he was spotted by some villagers. Having destroyed all the deer and other small animals they were very excited to find a big fine stag and gave chase with expected results.

This popular folk tale from the land of clouds, Meghalaya, is actually two stories rolled into one. One, is about a doting mother’s excessive love for her son and how she spoilt him to the extent that he became disobedient and heartless. The second is about Man versus Nature and brings to attention the widespread killing of all animals that at one time lived freely in the surrounding wilderness.

What is the solution? Should Man keep asserting his supremacy over the flora and fauna to cater to satisfy his greed, or, should there be a live and let live solution?

At the end of the book one finds an answer through the story of Khonoma, a tiny village in Nagaland, and how they have successfully allowed nature to regenerate and have found creative solutions that benefits both man and beast.

A touching tale.

Reviewed by Sunanda Sharma