Bed-time stories to protect children from CSA 1 – By Arpan

Arpan shares with you this story and encourages parents/adults to use it as a tool to make children aware about Child Sexual Abuse and discuss Personal Safety Rules with Children in order to create safety nets in our set-ups so that our children may be protected from any such instance.

Special ‘Bob’

Age group 2-7 yrs

Once upon a time there was a small pond. It was surrounded by big trees with red, yellow and green flowers; and butterflies with black spotted wings. Different kinds of birds were also staying on the trees and would sing songs in their unique voices. The pond was very lively with lots of fishes and colourful lotus flowers.

In the pond, also lived two ducks – Momma duck and Papa duck. They were eagerly waiting for their four eggs to hatch. One day, as Momma duck and Papa duck woke up in the morning, they saw three little ducklings peeping out of the eggs that had hatched. Momma duck and Papa duck fluttered their wings in excitement, and the birds in the trees started singing a joyful song.

The three ducklings — Ashy, Yelly and Bubbly — were shiny white in colour just like Momma duck. The ducklings first looked around in surprise and confusion, but when Momma duck gave them a warm smile and a hug, they started playing with each other.

Just then, Momma duck realised that there was one duckling missing. She looked around in the nest and saw that one egg had still not hatched. When she showed it to Papa duck, both Momma and Papa duck became sad.  They both got worried thinking that the fourth duckling may not have survived in the egg. In the night before sleeping Momma duck and Papa duck kept the egg close to them and hoped that the egg would hatch the next day and the duckling will be okay. Momma duck decided that if the duckling survived she would name it Bob.

The next morning when Momma duck woke up, she heard a soft movement in the egg. Excited, she woke Papa duck up. The three ducklings sat around the egg, watching the egg move with curiosity. The egg hatched and there he was. Bob gave a big smile to his parents and his brothers and sister. But, as Momma duck and Papa duck saw Bob, smile went off their face. They were shocked to see that Bob was much larger than other ducklings and he was completely black in colour. Bob’s brothers and sister first looked at him and were scared. Then they looked at each other with surprise and started laughing at Bob.

Bob felt very sad and soon started crying. He walked away from the nest and sat next to the pond. When he saw his reflection in the pond, he started crying even more loudly. Bob saw that his brothers and sister were so beautiful and cute; while he was dark and big.

Momma duck saw Bob and felt bad. They scolded the other ducklings and told them not to tease Bob. After that Momma duck and Papa duck went to Bob and sat beside him. He was still crying when Papa duck looked at Bob and said, “What your siblings did is not right, but don’t feel sad because you are our child and we love you a lot. You are the most special of them all as you are different from them and are unique. There is no one in this whole world like you and no matter what anybody says you are special.”

Papa duck then asked Bob, “Do you see the trees and the flowers around you?” Bob looked around and said, “Yes, everything is very colourful, bright and beautiful. But only I am ugly and black.”

Papa duck said, “Do you think if all the flowers on these trees had the same colours, it would still look so beautiful? Do you think if all the butterflies on the leaves had the same coloured spots on them, they would look so cute?”  Bob grew thoughtful and silent.

Papa duck went on saying, “The trees surrounding this pond look beautiful because every flower has a different and unique colour. That’s what makes them “Special”; just like you are special.” Bob stopped crying. A big smile replaced the tears and Bob stretched out to hug Papa duck. Momma duck gave a soft pat on Bob’s head and hugged him too.

Momma and Papa duck called the other ducklings and told them that each one of them was unique and special; and we must never tease anyone just because he/she is different. The ducklings realised their fault and apologised to the Bob and all of them started playing together.


I am special and unique. I have a wonderful body.


Tips for parents:

We urge parents to use this story as a tool to impart the above message. You could also introduce the concept of empathy through this story.

Teaching children understand that it is not right to tease others or hurt others’ feelings, will help them grow into healthy individuals who respect and accept every person they meet just the way they are, no matter the drawbacks they may have.

( Arpan is a registered organization based in Mumbai with a mission to Prevent the occurrence of Child Sexual Abuse and heal those who have been affected by it.
With passion and conviction and a trained team of dedicated professionals; clinical and counselling psychologists Arpan began working on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in year 2006. Today Arpan works in a focused manner only on CSA. We are thankful for their continued support in this initiative.

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