Bedtime stories – Brave Chiu 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.
Once upon a time, there was a big forest with many trees. The banyan tree was the biggest tree in this forest. Many birds lived peacefully on this tree. A sparrow lived on the same tree with her baby, Chiu. A few branches higher also lived a lazy crow.
Chiu was a cute chick, who loved to play. She always obeyed her mother and helped her with chores in the nest. But, when her mother went searching for food, Chiu would get bored staying in the nest alone.
One day, there was a loud thunder and big black clouds covered the forest. All birds returned home early as big drops of rain started falling from the sky. The birds looked for leaves and straws to protect their nests from the heavy rain.
The lazy Crow had never built a nest for himself, so he did not know what to do to himself from the heavy rain. So the lazy Crow sat on the tree – wet, cold and shivering – in the rain.
Chiu’s momma saw the Crow and pitied him. She called the Crow to her nest and gave him some leaves so that he could remain dry and warm. Chinu’s mother saw that the Crow was very hungry too, and so she gave him fruits to eat too.
The Crow thanked Chiu’s mother for being kind and helpful. He also promised her that as soon as the rain stopped he would return back to his nest, but Chiu’s mother offered for him to stay with them till the rainy season ended.
The next morning, the Crow woke up with flu. Chiu’s mother asked the Crow to rest. The Crow took his blanket and went back to bed. Later when the rain stopped, Chiu’s mother went to collect some fruits.
As momma sparrow left home, the Crow removed his blanket and started walking around Chiu’s nest. The Crow noticed that little Chiu was sitting by himself in the nest and so was getting bored.
The Crow asked Chiu if she would like to come and play with him. Chiu was very happy, she chirped loudly and flapped her wings.
Each day momma was away at work collection food for the day, the crow played with Chiu. The Crow took good care of Chiu, and soon they became best friends.
One day Uncle Crow observed that at the end of the day Chiu’s mother would return home very tired. Uncle Crow told momma sparrow that he would go out to collect fruits for the family from the next day. Soon Chiu’s mother started trusting the Crow.
A few days later, momma sparrow had to visit the doctor and so she requested uncle crow to look after Chiu while she was away. Uncle Crow agreed and stayed back to look after Chiu. Momma sparrow also instructed Chiu to stay at home and behave well.
As soon as momma sparrow left, Chiu and the crow began their regular hide and seek game. After some time when Chiu grew tired and wanted to sit for a while, Uncle Crow told Chiu that his new friends had taught him a new game. Chiu was eager to learn the new game – The Secret Game.
The Crow told Chiu, “I will ask you to do something, and if you do it then I will give you a prize. And if you ask me to do something and I do it, you also have to give me a prize.”
Chiu chirped loudly and flapped her wings in excitement. Then Uncle Crow asked Chiu to fly to highest branch of the tree and come back. On the count of three, Chiu happily flew to the highest branch of the tree and came back in full speed. Since she had successfully completed her task, she asked Uncle Crow to reward her with a fresh red cherry that he was carrying with him. So Uncle Crow gave her a fresh red cherry in prize.
Then it was Chiu’s turn. Little Chiu asked uncle, “How much is 2+2?” Crow said “4.” Chiu did not have anything to give as prize to Uncle Crow. Uncle Crow realised that Chiu was sad and so, as reward, Uncle Crow patted Chiu’s back instead.
When mother returned home, Chiu told her about the game and showed her the prizes uncle had given her. Chiu said, “I like Uncle Crow so much.” Chiu’s mother was happy to see her daughter’s excitement.
Next day, Chiu’s mother once again went out. Uncle Crow came and they started their Secret Game again. This time Uncle Crow did not have a prize so he said, “I will give you a kiss on your cheek.” Chiu agreed, but when Uncle Crow kissed Chiu on the cheek, she did not like it. She was confused and did not know what to say.
She thought, “I like Uncle Crow. He is very friendly, takes good care of me, and gives me gifts too. I think he loves me. Why would he do anything bad to me? So what if he gave a kiss on my cheek?”
Next time, when Chiu won Uncle Crow gave her pat on her back; and when Uncle Crow won he kissed her on her cheek. This time Uncle Crow told Chiu, “This is our Secret Game. Do not tell anybody about it.”
This scarred Chiu. She couldn’t understand why she should not tell mother about the game. She was unable to understand why she didn’t like it when Uncle Crow patted or kissed her during the game.
As time passed, Uncle Crow would touch her private body parts while playing. This made Chiu very shy, angry and confused. Chiu was upset and did not like Uncle Crow touching her in this manner; but she felt helpless as she didn’t know what to say to him.
That evening she decided to tell her mother how she felt about the game that Uncle Crow had taught her, but soon Chinu felt confused again. “What will I tell momma?” thought Chiu. She knew that her momma respected Uncle Crow because of his age. Chiu feared her mother would not believe that the Crow touched Chiu in ways that she didn’t like.
Days went by and Chiu kept thinking about that incident. After that whenever Uncle Crow visited the nest, Chiu would come up with excuses to avoid being around the Crow so that he would not touch her.
One day Chiu’s mother asked Uncle Crow to take care of Chinu while she was away. Chiu was scared, but she decided to be brave. She decided that if Uncle Crow asked her to play the game this time; she would say “No” to him and fly away.
This time Uncle Crow gifted with Chinu with loads of flowers and fruits, but Chiu refused to accept them. Uncle Crow then asked her to play the secret game. Chiu refused from playing the game firmly and flew away from there.
Chinu settled on the highest branch of the tree as she knew the Crow as too old to come searching for her all the way up. Chiu was shivering with fear and excitement. She was proud that she was able to protect herself from bad Uncle Crow.
Perched high up among the branches Chiu realised that in order to solve this problem permanently she would have to inform her mother about the threat she sensed from Uncle Crow.
In the evening, Chiu’s mother returned home with some of Chiu’s favourite fruits. Momma offered them to Chiu, but Chiu refused to eat them saying that she was not hungry. Chiu’s mother grew worried. She asked Chiu why she was refusing to eat her favourite fruits.
Chiu sat next to her mother and grew silent. Chiu told momma that Uncle Crow was a bad crow and would touch her often. Chiu started crying and said that she did not like Uncle Crow anymore.
Mother was puzzled as Chiu had earlier told momma that she liked being with Uncle Crow. Momma asked Chiu to tell her everything. Chiu told her mother about the secret game, the prizes, the place where Uncle Crow would touch her, how she felt, etc.
Chiu started crying bitterly by now. Chiu’s mother was shocked because she had trusted the Crow. Chiu said, “I know you don’t believe a word of what I said, but it is true. Uncle Crow is bad.” Momma immediately hugged Chiu. She told Chiu that, “yes it is true that I trusted Crow and thought he would take care of you, but I believe all that you told me is absolutely true. I am glad that you have shared this incident with me. I will help you.”
Momma assured Chiu that it Chiu was innocent and it was all the fault of the Crow. “You don’t need to feel guilty about it, Chiu. It’s never your fault my dear,” said momma to Chiu. Chiu felt better to note that her mother listened to her, trusted her, believed her and was willing to help her. It was at that moment that all of Chiu’s fear, confusion, and anger vanished and she fell asleep in the comfort of her mother’s arms.
Momma wanted to teach the bad Crow a lesson so that, not only would he stop abusing Chiu; but would also not abuse the other baby birds.
Next morning Chiu’s mother called all the birds and told them about the Crow’s behaviour. All the birds were shocked and decided to take action. They called the Crow and warned him. They told him that, if he even attempted to harm any of the chicks, they would throw him out of the forest.
That morning the Crow saw that all the birds were angry at him for misbehaving with Chiu. He begged them for forgiveness. He promised all the birds that from now on he would never do any such thing.
The Crow left the tree the next morning and was never seen by the birds. Chiu and mother lived happily ever after.
1) If anyone touches, looks or talks about your private body parts, or asks you to touch, look or talk about their private body parts ‘Say No and get away’.
2) After getting away, tell your trusted adults everything about the incident. Trusted adults are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers or any adult who would listen and believe what you say.
3) If your trusted adult does not listen or believe what you say keep telling other trusted adults about the incident till you receive help and the abuse stops.
Tip for parents:
a. This story tells us that abuse is not an accident. It begins with inappropriate touches. The touching of private body parts comes much later.
b. This story is about the grooming process through which the abuser establishes a relationship with the child so that child abuse is possible. First, he takes the child into confidence. He then builds good relations with the family so that no one suspects his frequent visits to the family, or his intimacy with the child and also no one will take the child seriously when he/she report abuse.
c. This story also shows how the abuser can convince children to keep the abuse a secret.
Reference Point: “This time Uncle Crow told Chiu, “This is our Secret Game. Do not tell anybody about it.”
d. It also talks about the dilemmas children have in their minds about talking about the abuse to the parents and why they do not report such matters to adults.
Reference Point: “What will I tell momma?” thought Chiu…. Chiu feared her mother would not believe that the Crow touched Chiu in ways that she didn’t like.”
e. Parents could use this section in the story as an opportunity to teach children the names and location of their private body parts so that they are able to reports appropriately.
Private body parts are those body parts which we keep covered in our underwear. They are called private because they are not to be shown to everyone.
If the parent feels comfortable s/he can introduce the private body part names.
(For girls: Vagina, Chest, Buttocks and Anus.
For Boys: Penis, Testicles, Buttocks and Anus)
Reference Point: “Uncle Crow would touch her private body parts while playing. This made Chiu very shy, angry and confused. That evening she decided to tell her mother … but soon Chinu felt confused again. “What will I tell momma?” ”
f. One of the important messages in this story is about how should a parent react when his/her child discloses about abuse.
Reference Point: Chiu’s mother was shocked because she had trusted the Crow… She told Chiu that, “yes it is true that I trusted Crow and thought he would take care of you, but I believe all that you told me is absolutely true. I am glad that you have shared this incident with me. I will help you.”
g. Children tend to blame themselves for the abuse as they may not have been able to say No to the abuser or get away from there. Hence it is important to not blame the child and tell them that it is never their fault.
Reference Point: Momma assured Chiu that it Chiu was innocent and it was all the fault of the Crow. “You don’t need to feel guilty about it, Chiu. It’s never your fault my dear,” said momma to Chiu.
( 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.
Site Url: http://www.arpan.org.in/ )