Hiss, Don’t Bite!


Author: Vayu Naidu
Illustrated by Mugdha Sethi

9788186838310 | Center Stapled | pp. 24 | 1997 | Tulika Publishers

A bad tempered snake learns the secret of life from a wandering monk.

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The children of a village in Bengal take the cows to graze in a forest. They like going to the forest especially for its beautiful banyan tree. They climb it, swing from it, play in its shade . . . they love it. A bad tempered snake lives under the banyan tree. One day it bites a cow and the children are afraid. The snake too is unhappy until he learns the secret of life from a wandering monk. The charming, evocative drawings are adapted from the Kalighat style of painting popular in Bengal. They have strong brush lines filled in with watercolour.

Additional information


Vayu Naidu
Illustrator: Mugdha Sethi




Tulika Books


Center Stapled



Year of Publication:






Country of Origin:


About the Contributors

Dr Vayu Naidu is a storyteller and performer. She was awarded Europe’s first PhD in performance oral tradition from the University of Leeds. She is founder and artistic director of the Vayu Naidu Company based in the UK. She has performed at storytelling, literature and music festivals around the world.

Mugdha Sethi is a graphic designer. Way back in 1997, she was Tulika’s first student intern from NID, Ahmedabad. She illustrated four folk tales as part of her diploma project, using four different artistic traditions in Hiss, Don’t Bite! (Kalighat paintings), Eyes on the Peacock’s Tail (Phad paintings), Magic Vessels (clay sculptures from Tamilnadu) and A Curly Tale (Madhubani paintings). Her pictures for Little Fingers add to the playful quality of the verse. Common themes that run through her work have to do with colour, nature, the earth and growing things.


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