Raju's father bought him a little boat for his birthday. It was a beautiful red boat with a black funnel and a milk-white sail. Raju wound it up. And it sailed in the big white marble bath-tub filled with water.
Raju was excited. He called his friend Suresh and showed him the boat. “It is a beautiful boat. But does it really sail?” asked Suresh. “Of course!” Raju said. He slowly wound the key and put the boat in the bath-tub. With a whirr the boat set off, going round and round, creating ripples. “May I sail the boat just once?” asked Suresh.
“No!” Raju quickly replied. “You will spoil my lovely boat!” Suresh was hurt. He went home. He stopped going to Raju's house. If he saw Raju somewhere on the road, he looked away.
But Raju did not care. He had his little red boat to play with. He spent most of his time near the bath tub. He watched the boat sailing and was happy. After a few days, Raju began to get bored. It was no fun playing with the boat all by himself. He wished Suresh would play with him again.
One day, Raju was sitting by the window. His mother had shut the window because it was raining. Pitter... patter... the rain fell on the closed window. The raindrops streamed down the window pane. Then Raju heard a song,
“Come, come boys, with your boats and play,
I will take your boats far, far away!”
It was the wind singing to children.
In a little while the rain stopped. Raju looked out of the window. All the boys had rushed out to put their paper-boats in a stream by the road. There was pink boats and white boats, big boats and little boats. The boats sailed swiftly down the little stream. They rose and fell with the tiny waves. The weak boats over turned and sank while the strong ones sailed on.
'I will take my boat too,' thought Raju. He washed his boat. It became bright and shiny. He went up to the stream. He wound the the key and carefully put the boat in water. 'Whirr, whirr,' it raced past. It left all the paper – boats behind. Raju looked proudly at the boys. “Look at my boat,“ he clapped.
Suddenly, a piece of wood banged into Raju's boat breaking it into pieces. Raju sat down and cried. “Don't worry. You shall play with my boat!” Raju looked up. Suresh was holding a red boat in his hand, It was just like Raju's boat.
“Papa bought it for me,” Suresh explained. “Come, let us sail it in the bath-tub.” Raju smiled. They were friends again.