A bedtime story on adventures of organic cotton to be read for 5-8 yr olds

by Anakha Arikara at Little Green Kid

Edited by Rashmi Vittal

Cotton was a small seed. He lived with his family in a packet, in a shop. One day, a farmer came into the shop and bought Cotton and his family.They were thrilled! Finally, they could be put to work. The farmer took them home, and started to plant Cotton and his family in the soil. It was very comfortable for them, as the soil was fresh, and it felt nice after being cooped up in a packet for so long. Cotton started growing. But there was a problem. Cotton was not growing fast enough for the farmer. So the farmer went to the store and asked the shopkeeper what he should do.

The shopkeeper said, “Use this. This will make your cotton plant grow twice as much. Your crop will make all the farmers in the world jealous!” and gave him a bag of fertiliser.

A fertilizer is something that helps a plant grow faster. The farmer felt like that was a good deal, so he bought the fertilizer. He went to his farm and sprayed the fertiliser on Cotton. At first, Cotton felt good, and started to grow faster. But soon the chemicals in the fertiliser started hurting him. Cotton was feeling dizzy because of the chemicals in the fertiliser. After a while bugs came to eat him too. It hurt Cotton! He began to cry. The farmer did not know what to do. He decided to go to the store again. The shopkeeper told him to buy something called a pesticide.

A pesticide is something that helps keep bugs and insects away from the plant.

“But will that get rid of the bugs?” the farmer asked.

“Oh yes”, said the shopkeeper,” If you use this, the bugs will disappear for miles around. You shall never have to lay your eyes on adisgusting insect again!”

“Hey! That seems like a great idea”, said the farmer. He bought some pesticides for Cotton, hoping it would kill the bugs.

When the farmer sprayed the pesticide on Cotton, the bugs all ran away. But it tasted bad and made Cotton very sick. He was tired, and did not feel like growing. Now the farmer asked Cotton, “Why are you sick? I brought you your tasty food – the fertiliser and also pesticides to keep the bugs away, but why are you not growing as the shopkeeper told me”.

Do you know why? (ask your child and give a pause and then read on)

It was because the pesticide and fertiliser were made of bad chemicals!!! Some pesticides and fertilisers have bad chemicals in them. The bad chemicals got together and decided, “We will help keep the bugs away, but we will not help Cotton grow. The bad chemicals made the soil unhealthy and so Cotton and his family fell sick. The soil was beginning to lose its power to help Cotton. Cotton was afraid he was going to die.

After spraying fertilizers and pesticides made of chemicals, the farmer realised that it was not helping Cotton and his family grow. He was sad. He did not know what to do. His friend saw that he was upset and asked, “What is wrong, why do you seem so sad?”

“Oh, Cotton seems to be dying! I have tried all the chemical fertilisers and pesticides the shopkeeper gave me, but it is no use!” cried thefarmer.

“Well, you should use what I use – organic fertilisers. They do not have bad chemicals in them. It is very good for the soil, and healthy for Cotton too. Cotton will love it like kids love ice cream.”

“But I spent all my money on the chemical fertilizers and pesticides! How will I buy organic ones?” asked the farmer

“Don’t worry. Organic fertilizers are not expensive and they are available in nature. You can use the manure from your cow, the ash from your fireplace and old leaves from the trees. They are much better than chemical fertilisers and are cheaper.”

This seemed like the best idea the farmer had ever heard in his life. He decided to try it. The ingredients living in the organic fertilizer saw how the bad chemicals had hurt Cotton.

They felt bad for him and decided to help him heal, so that he could grow properly again, but Cotton was worried about the bugs. Would they comeback to eat him now that the chemicals were gone? However, there was no need to worry because the farmer’s friend had given the farmer a medicine to give to Cotton, which would keep him safe.

It was a yummy juice made from neem, papaya and garlic. It tasted so good that Cotton drank the whole thing. It kept the bugs away. The farmer also put some bodyguard bugs in the field to protect Cotton. They would eat any of the bad bugs that tried to hurt Cotton. They all became friends. Cotton felt so happy. No more bad chemicals. He began to grow very well as he had now become Organic Cotton by using organic fertilizers and organic pesticides.

Organic Cotton is when cotton is grown with no bad chemicals in fertilisers and pesticides.

Did Cotton grow up well?

Yes, he did. After all the help from the farmer and his friends, Cotton began to grow. First he bloomed into flowers. The flowers were white and beautiful!

Cotton 1st Stage - White Flower

The next day, the white flower had turned into a pink flower. It was even more beautiful.

Cotton 2nd Stage

On the third day, the flowers were gone! They had died. Instead there was a green bud called a boll.

Cotton FieldCotton Ball

His friends teased him, saying, “Oh Cotton, you are so ugly now! What happened to all your beautiful flowers?”. Cotton did not let that bother him. He was determined to grow, by any way possible. After many days of waiting, there came a beautiful morning. When Cotton and his family woke up, they were amazed at the sight before them. The ugly green bolls had disappeared and in their place was a soft, fluffy cotton ball!!! Yippee!

Cotton 3rd Stage - Cotton BallA Cotton Field

Cotton had finally grown into a healthy, beautiful plant, ready to be picked. He was overjoyed! This meant that the farmer would take them to a trip to the factory. The farmer was very happy with Cotton and took him and his family to the factory in a large truck. Cotton and his family met so many other families and joined with them to be woven into a fabric at the factory. Then they were transformed into organic T-shirts for the company ‘Little Green Kid’. When children put on Organic Cotton t-shirts from Little Green Kid they feel good and comfortable and like a super little green kid. They never wanted to wear anything else but Organic Cotton and he and his family lived happily ever after.

Fun facts:

Did you know?

  • India is the leading producer of cotton in the entire world
  • The process by which flowers of the cotton plant turn from white to red is humorously referred to as the “white, red, and dead” phenomenon
  • Using organic farming methods helps the land in the long run, and helps the environment
  • Cotton takes 120-180 days to grow
  • Soil needs to be kept at 60 degrees Fahrenheit in order for the seeds of cotton to germinate

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