Stories For Thing

How the snail got his home

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What I am going to tell you is the story of a snail; a wanderer in spirit and in mind‐ people called him ‘slow’ and ‘lazy’ and other names that don’t exist anymore. Yet, this tiny creature had some innate qualities that nobody knew of. He was kind and intelligent…And so it goes that around 600 billion years ago; at the time when the world was created, many different creatures existed in perfect harmony. Creatures, BIG and small, tall and short, all shapes and sizes were friends. They gathered around the BIG BONFIRE every night to share stories and their life.

It was a moonlit night… a big silver ball looming high in the dark sky, illuminating the creatures’ meeting place. There was to be a new creature being sent down to earth to join them. The king of the creatures announced that it would be called a ‘SNAIL’. Everyone whispered excitedly‐ who would this new creature be? “Someone pretty like me”, tinkled the butterfly. “Huh, someone as classy as me” said the hoity‐toity ladybird. “Are you kidding me? I think it is going to be another busy creature like me” said the bumblebee. And so the speculations went on until suddenly there was a loud PLOP!

Everyone ceased and looked down‐ right in the centre lay a tiny, pale pink creature. It scrambled to its feet and looked around nervously. About 1000 different eyes stared back at it. It tried to look for a place to hide and began moving to a small bush. “Tee hee hee”, he heard a chuckle… and looked up to see the butterfly that was pointing to it and said “What an ugly creature you are!” and fluttered her wings around it. “Ooohhh… ohhh…” said the snail. “Your wings cause such a strong breeze, I’m cold all over.” (BRRRRR).

He moved further on. “Look at the mess you’ve made!” sneered the ladybird (looking down her nose). “You’ve left a trail of slime… EWWWWWWWWW” and she walked away. The poor snail bent his head and moved along. It really was taking ages to move. “Slow poke! Slow poke! Said the bumblebee as he poked the snail’s back).

“I really must find myself a house to protect me!” he thought. Well, but real estate prices were at its peak‐ there was just no room to accommodate another. “What am I going to do?” he sighed as heard the rain pattering. “I need to protect myself.”

Suddenly, he saw a white object flying down. “Oooh! It’s a bit of cloud. I think that should help me!” But it was a feather that landed perfectly on the snail’s back. “Yay!” I have a ho‐ome! I have a ho‐ome!” But suddenly he felt a tickle. “Oooh! Stop tickling me… ooh hoo!” The snail wriggled around and laughed and suddenly noticed that the feather was moving away with the breeze. “Wait, you’ can’t go!” he cried. And so the snail moved on to find himself a home. He soon came across a rock and wriggled under it. But the weight of the rock was too much to bear‐ “OWWWW” The snail sighed and moved on.

He saw a pretty green leaf and put it on top of him. Just as he was settling to sleep under his new home, he felt someone drill holes. It was the ladybird who wanted a midnight snack. “I’m drenched through!” cried the snail as he moved on.

By and by the snail reached a beach. It saw a crab moving sideways along and said… “Hello, do you think you could find me a home?” “Ha! Ha! Ha” said the crab. “It’s a ‘concrete jungle’ out here. What we all need are mobile houses!” and he pinched the snail. “Owwww! That hurts! It seems like I’m never going to find a home. But a mobile home! That’s an interesting idea!”

He knocked against something hard – THOOP! What’s this? He wondered as he prodded the object with his tentacle. “It seems firm…It won’t be blown away by the breeze or eaten by others…I think it should be a perfect fit!” The snail put the shell over his back and it was a perfect fit. “and Oh! I can even hide under it and sleep” he said as he went in and out of the shell.

“I guess I’ve found my home after all!”

The next morning, as the sun rose from the east to the west, the snail woke up to the cock crowing. “Oh what a beautiful morning” he sang as he bumped into the other creepy crawlies. This time, he wasn’t cold. The bee couldn’t poke him as he kept going into his shell and the ladybird‐ well did she get a horrid bump as she scurried into the snail on her way to breakfast.

And so the legend goes that the snail, the wanderer in spirit and in mind…found himself an ideal home to go along with him as he travelled!

By Pearl
featuring original art by Ms. Thing

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The little princess whose name rhymes with something

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A dog told this story to a cat.

Once there was a little princess in India who braved a terrible storm to hunt a particularly nasty shark named Billy. Billy the Meaniebutt Shark was his full name, and he certainly deserved it.

Billy rhymes with bully, and that’s what Billy was. He was so bad that he even bullied other sharks. Even whales. I’m talking about the really big kind, too.

For the most part, whales are very nice and friendly, even though some of them are bigger than dinosaurs ever were. Billy took advantage of their gentle nature, and often took the lunches their mums and dads packed for them to take to school.

If a whale ever complained about it, Billy the Shark would pull a dirty trick. “Oh, you want to fight about it, huh,” he’d sneer. “What would your mom think, ha? She’d be so ashamed of her feisty kid fighting sharks. Whales are supposed to be so peaceful.”

“No, Billy,” the whale would say. “I don’t want to disappoint my mum.”

“Good whale,” Billy would chuckle. “Tell your mom you’d like a human and jelly sandwich next time. Gee willickers!”

Well, news of Billy the Meaniebutt Shark’s awfulness spread throughout the land and the sea; and finally word got back to a certain little princess, who had always been keeping an eye out for nasty sharks.

It was a little bird that told her. She flew into the little princess’ palace one morning, while the little princess was having a bath. The bird was very excited. “Holy earthworms! Your Highness! Wait until I tell you about this hideous shark!”

“Fetch me my Big Bad Mum!” The little princess shouted, splashing her fists into her bubble bath. Some of it got into her eyes, and stung like freshly sliced onions. “AAAAH!! I CAN’T SEE!”

So, rather than fetching Her Highness’ magical sword Big Bad Mum, the little birdy had to go and fetch the princess’ real mum instead.

“What’s this then,” Mum asked, when she arrived.

“Mahm! I’m blind!”

“Chill out, yo,” Mum sighed. “Hold still and I’ll rinse your eyes…and to think your dad and I let you run off to fight sharks. If they only knew that your personal kryptonite was you yourself.”

“I thought you were my personal kryptonite,” the little princess retorted.

“And don’t you forget it.”

Mum rinsed the princess’ eyes out, packed a few lunches, tried to do something with the girl’s hair – gave up – gave her a big hi-five, and waved goodbye as the good ship H.M.S. Bookshelf sailed away for adventure.

“I’ll be back in two flaps of a dragon’s wings, Mahm!!” The little princess called.

“Don’t hurry ba- I mean – take your time and be sure to check everywhere in the world that mean ole shark could be hiding!” Mum said.

The little princess frowned suspiciously. Mum smiled innocently.

Now then, next was the terrible storm that Lola told Frisbee about in Part One. After that, it didn’t take the little princess and her Jolly Pirates long to arrive at Shark Island.

Shark Island was ginormous. Some said it was the worst, most dangerous place on Earth. Even though sharks lived in the ocean, they liked to vacation on Shark Island.

They had all sorts of games and fun activities for sharks on Shark Island. Like “Chase Humans On Land”, “Release Captured Humans From Their Cages And Let Them Run Into The Sea So We Can Eat Them In Water”, and volleyball.

Volleyball was especially popular.

When the little princess and her band of Jolly Pirates approached Shark Island, the place was as quiet as a ghost town. This time of year, Shark Island was closed to tourists.

“According to this map the little birdy gave me, Billy’s house is right in the center of the island.”

“Do you think Billy is still here, your Captain Princessness?” a Jolly Pirate asked nervously.

“Oh, he’s here alright,” the princess said. “Billy’s the manager of Shark Island.”

The princess and a few of her Jolly Pirates rowed ashore the infamous island on a small boat.

“You lads wait here,” said the princess. She took a bag she was carrying over to one of the little beach huts sharks use to change into their bathing suits, and went inside. When she came back out a few minutes later, she was wearing the pretty blue dress she’d bought off of that sea dragon from Part One.

The Jolly Pirates were shocked.

“Your Highness!” one of them cried, “Why are you wearing that flimsy little fancy dress! You can’t fight sharks in that thing. Especially not mean ole Billy!”

“Chill out, yo.” The little princess had a sneaky smile. It was all part of the plan, you see.

But that’s a story for Part Three.

Try to behave until then, ok?

By Saladinho

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Lola tells Frisbee a story

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Now then, sit up and pay attention. Or, I don’t know, lie back and relax. Whatever works? You remember me, don’t you? It’s Frisbee the cat. I thought I’d tell you a story about a story. It’s called being postmodern. Postmodern is when a storyteller winks at the reader (or the listener), and the reader (or the listener) winks back.

It’s all very intellectual.

Let’s see, it was a Saturday morning I think. My human was wearing her pajamas and eating cereal, and watching TV, and talking on her cell phone. I was trying to take a nap, but my human was being too noisy.

“Meoowshut up!!” I said.

“What you want baby, what you want sugar, huh huh?” My human said, cooing at me like a dove. She could be really annoying sometimes, you know.

“Meoowwould you stop talking like that please! I’m not in the mood. Keep it down. I’m having my third nap of the morning, okay!”

“Ooh! Come here and let me eat you up you cutie little thing! Come here snuggums!” sang my human, between mouthfuls of cereal.

“Ugh! That’s it, I’m going to Lola’s,” I said. You remember Lola, right? That’s right: my friend the Bulldog.

My human opened the door for me, and I left my apartment and walked over to Lola’s house. It was quiet this morning. The birds were tweeting in the trees and on the power lines, insects hummed in the bushes, and traffic whizzed along on the large road nearby.

Okay, so I guess it wasn’t really that quiet.

Lola’s house is large and cozy, but my favorite part is how I can simply walk in by going through the pet door. No having to wait for humans to get off their lazy bums.

“Oh hi Frisbee!” Lola said as I came in. Lola was with her younger humans. For some reason, Lola called her humans Mama and Papa, and Brother and Sister. Weird.

“Wanna play Storytime?” Lola asked.

“Uh, how do you play Storytime?” I asked.

“I tell a story and you get to listen.” Lola said.

I thought about it. This didn’t sound like there would be a lot of fun running around and jumping involved. “Uh, sure I guess.” I decided.

“Great! I’ve got a good one! Let’s go outside.”

I followed Lola into her backyard, where she began to tell me a story about a little Indian princess who took her best men out on a dangerous shark hunting expedition.

“Everything had started off fine,” Lola said. “The little princess took her best ship, the H.M.S. Bookshelf; and her best men, the Jolly Pirates; and her finest sword, the magical Big Bad Mum. — No matter what dangers awaited, the princess was sure to be ready.”

I nodded in agreement. The princess sure did sound prepared.

“But,” Lola trilled, “The monstrous shark our intrepid crew was hunting wasn’t the only dangers they had to worry about. For not long after they set sail, the sky began to darken, and a terrible storm arose out of nowhere.”

I shivered a little when Lola mentioned the storm. Just a little.

“The little princess held on tight, as huge waves crashed against her ship, rocking it back and forth like a yellow rubber ducky in a kid’s bathtub.”

I must admit I was starting to find this all rather exciting.

“’Your Highness! The waves are too strong! We’ll never make it through!’ One of the little princess’ Jolly Pirates shouted. He started to cry.”

I felt bad for this fellow. Being a cat, I know what it’s like to be terribly afrai—I mean—deeply respectful of water.

“’Bloody heck, man!’” Lola said the princess bellowed. “’Don’t tell me we’re done for until you see a bright shining sign that reads: LITTLE PRINCESS WHOSE NAME RHYMES WITH SING, YOU’RE MOST DEFINITELY DONE FOR, SIGNED, YOUR FRIEND, THE PERSON WHO IS IN CHARGE OF KNOWING WHEN LITTLE SHARK HUNTING PRINCESS’ ARE DONE FOR!’”

I admired the little princess’ feistiness. She was very brave.

“Do you mean to say, Lola, that even with this terrible storm, the little princess still wanted to find Billy the Meaniebutt Shark?” Oh. That was the name of the shark the little princess was hunting, by the way. He sounded gruesome.

“Yup, she sure did!” Lola said, “She told her crew: ‘You boys batten down the hatches! Hoist up the main sail! Hold the course for Shark Island! By gum, I’ll make any lad here walk the plank if he doesn’t pull his own weight! I’m a fair princess indeed, but tough as nails, as sure as my name rhymes with pudding!’” Lola made a pretend slash in the air, acting like she was the princess shouting orders and swinging her magic sword around for emphasis.

“’Aye! Aye! Captain Princess!’ the Jolly Pirates shouted,” Lola said. “The men always got braver whenever the little princess threatened to make them walk the plank.”

“It’s called the carrot and the stick,” I nodded. I didn’t tell Lola that I wasn’t 100% sure about that, though.

“’Don’t worry men! I’ll stand at the prow of the ship and hack and slash away at this fearsome storm with my magical sword Big Bad Mum!’”

“Wait a minute,” I interrupted. “Are you telling me the little princess’ sword can cut water?”

“It sure can!” Lola nodded.

I considered this. “Wow! The little princess whose name rhymes with king is awesome!”

“She sure is,” Lola agreed. “She hacked and slashed at the waves all night, as the storm punched and kicked at the H.M.S. Bookshelf, while the princess’ loyal but sometimes scaredy and naughty crew struggled to keep the ship from sinking and falling apart.”

“And even though it was touch and go there for awhile, the little princess’ bravery won the day, and the storm finally gave up and went home.” Lola said.

“‘You make me sick little princess!’ The storm cried. ‘I’m telling my mommy on you!’ The princess stuck her tongue out at the storm. ‘Nyah! Nyah!’ She taunted. ‘Big baby gonna go run to mommy! Waah!!!’ The Jolly Pirates roared with laughter at their funny little captain princess!”

“Whew!” I said, relieved. “I was starting to worry that they weren’t going to make it.”

“Thanks to the princess, they all made it through that awful storm safe and sound,” Lola said, “Oh. Except for the two Jolly Pirates the little princess gave as snacks to a sea dragon, as payment for a pretty new dress the sea dragon was selling.”

“Well, that turned dark rather quickly.” I observed.

“Oh no! It was a bright light blue dress, and it sparkled and shimmered all over. Like calm blue waves in the sunlight…to be continued.”

“Um, uh, okay…So then what happened?” I asked.

“Ah. Ah. Ah.” Lola said, shaking her head. “You’ll have to find out next time.”

“Next time!” I said, annoyed with Lola the same way I get with my human when she does something really annoying. “That’s not the way you’re supposed to tell a story!”

“You can tell a story all sorts of ways,” Lola said. “And my story has parts. Today was Part One. Next time will be Part Two.”

“Part One? Part Two?” I said. I was stymied. It didn’t seem fair somehow, to start an exciting story and then make the listener wait to hear the rest of it.

“Sure,” Lola said. “Didn’t anyone tell you that about stories, Frisbee?”

I shook my head unhappily at a sudden realization. Not only are cats bad at storytelling, we’re also pretty bad at storylistening.

By Saladinho

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ChumChum and Nana

shutterstock_69002632ChumChum and Nana sat on the swing, pushing it back and forth and all the while ChumChum talked about her school, and her friends, Adi, Tara and Mini. Nana’s pet dog Bruno slept with his head in ChumChum’s lap. She tickled him behind his ears, just to see them twitch in his sleep.

“You know Nana, the aeroplanebird is not a bird and it is not small either. When will I get to eat mangoes? Are those mangoes up there on the trees in your garden? Which bird is that? Your garden is so nice Nana. Can I water your plants tomorrow? I want to eat mangoes, Nana.” She chimed in one breath.

Nana laughed her tinkling laugh, “Do you want to walk with me and see the mango trees?”

Bruno sat straight and looked up at Nana. He was as happy as ChumChum to go to the garden. He grabbed his squeaky toy and ran after them on his stubby legs.

There was a hammock tied to two of the mango trees. Nana lay ChumChum on it and then lay down next to her. The sunlight streamed through the leaves and fell on to their faces. ChumChum raised her hand and moved it around to feel the warm rays play on her arm. She giggled “Nana, these sun rays are playing hide and seek with my arm”.

Nana raised her arm and pointed to the top of the tree “See there ChumChum, you see that green little thing? That is a baby mango.”

“But Nana, mangoes are yellow. My teacher showed us a picture.”

“Yes ChumChum, mangoes are yellow. But before they become yellow, they are green. And you know, the green ones are sour and not sweet like the yellow mangoes.”

“Sour like curd?”

“Umm, not like curd. Mango sour is a different sour. Like when you feel naughty and hide behind a chair and jump out in front of Mama and giggle. That giggle is sour. It tickles you.”

“I want to eat the sour mango, Nana, and laugh a naughty laugh.”

Now Nana had been hiding a mango in her satchel for just a time like this. She cut a small piece for ChumChum and herself. “Now we both will eat this after I count to three. Okay? One…two…three!”

ChumChum took a quick bite and the naughty mango tickled her teeth. She shut her eyes tight and squeaked. “NANA! The mango is so sour!”

Nana laughed, and ate her piece of mango and squeaked just like ChumChum.

“I want more Nana!”

Bruno looked up at them, wondered what the fuss was about and ran off to explore the garden. His favourite thing in the world to do.

By Ninja Duckie

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Frisbee’s Nine Lives

tuxedo

My name is Mraomeowkookow, but my human calls me Frisbee. Now everyone calls me Frisbee. Even Lola, who ought to know better. I’m a black cat with bits of white patiently and delicately painted on my paws, and about my face and throat; right around where my Vishudda resides. Everybody agrees that I’m quite handsome. Actually, they say I’m “beautiful”, or “cute”, even though I’m a boy. Oh well, I don’t complain. My human feeds me often enough (sometimes she ignores me when I demand special treats—I let her get away with it because I’m from a noble lineage, and it would not due to make unseemly outbursts).

I have a friend—I guess she’s a friend—named Lola. Did I tell you about Lola? Get this: She’s a dog. A Bulldog, in fact. And they call her beautiful too! I shouldn’t be mean. I like Lola (don’t tell her I said that). I can overlook the fact that her face looks like it’s been flattened in by one of those frying pans my human uses to cook fish for me. Okay, okay, I’ll stop…Lola is a good egg. She’s even shaped like one—if an egg had four legs.

I suppose I should tell you a story. It isn’t going to be a good story, but don’t blame me. For me, to my mind, the best stories are short. Like this: “Once there was a little princess in a faraway land called India. Her name rhymed with string, wing, and ring-a-ding-ding. She liked to wrestle sharks, bookshelves, and wits with her Mum.” The end. Now, if I were the one who had told such an exciting, heart-wrenching story, I’d take a nap right after.

Mm! Fish! I’m hungry. And sleepy. I think I’ll take a nap after all. Don’t go away! I’ll be right back! SNOOOOORRRREEEEE!!! PUUURRRRR!!! Yawn! Stretch! Eat fish!!

I’m back. I had such a great nap. And when I awoke, my human gave me a fish burger. With ice cream and cake…and wine! Okay: I lied about the wine.  My human drinks wine, though. A lot. I remember one day not long ago, my human was drinking wine and eating chocolate, and telling me I was her only friend, when some man human came to visit, with a whole armful of flowers.

My human was so angry at the man. You should have seen her. I guess she doesn’t like flowers. She started yelling and screaming. The man kept stammering “But-but-but—honey I’m sorry! Please don’t be mad!” Not having it, my human chased him away with a frying pan. My fish frying pan. Humans make me shake my head.

With all the yelling, I decided to slip outside my apartment—which is on the second floor of a large complex of neat little boxes stacked side by side— and go downstairs to walk over to Lola’s house, just across the street. I stopped at the sidewalk and looked both ways before crossing. I had to make sure that there were no cars coming, because I’m such a sensible lad.

“Hey Frisbee!” said Whaump-whaump the squirrel. He was in the middle of the street, and he waved at me to come over.

“Get out of the street, Whaump,” I told him.

“Humans don’t own the street!” Whaump said. He liked to think of himself as a rebel.

“That won’t stop them from running you over if you get in their way,” I said. Conversations with Whaump-whaump had a tendency to turn political.

“Come here a second.” The squirrel said. He was holding something in his tiny paws. I was curious, but an ancient proverb came to mind, and I decided to wave him off.

“Pff!” I said. I was busy. I had better things to do.

“C’mon, dude!” Whaump-whaump said “You can go see your girlfriend later!” He giggled at me. He liked to tease me about Lola.

“Sounds like someone’s jealous,” I sniffed. It was a new tactic I’d learned from my human. Pretend that something doesn’t bother you, even when it does. It was called Massive Suggestion, I think.

“You always act like you’re better than everybody,” the squirrel sneered.

“I do not act like I’m better than everybody,” I stiffened. “I am better than everybody.” Perhaps that was a bit uncalled for, being so brutally honest, but the squirrel was getting my back up.

“Scaredy cat! Scaredy cat!” Whaump-whaump taunted.

I started to cross the street, ignoring the idiot squirrel.

“Hey, Frisbee!” He shouted at me, “What’s the use of having nine lives if cats are so afraid to do anything with them?”

I stopped.

I think now would be a good time to tell you the moral of my story. I know you’re supposed to wait until your story’s actually finished to tell it, but it occurs to me how often in life we already know a lesson before we foolishly put ourselves through all the trouble of having to learn it.

Anyway, the moral of my story is this: don’t let silly squirrels shame you into standing in the middle of the street with them.

Okay, now back to the story: I walked over to Whaump-whaump. “What are you holding” I asked, nonchalantly. Nonchalantly. That’s another word for pretending not to care about something.

“It’s an almond,” Whaump said. “Want to play ‘Hurry Up and Catch It’?”

“What’s ‘Hurry Up and Catch It’?” I asked, forgetting to be annoyed that the only thing the squirrel was holding was his lunch.

“It’s a game. You take an almond—or an acorn if you have one—and you put it in the middle of the street, and then you run to the sidewalk and wait until you hear a human’s metal monster coming. Then you spring into the street, grab the almond-or acorn-and run back to the sidewalk before the metal monster catches you!”

I  stared at Whaump-whaump while he beamed at me like a lunatic.

“Do squirrels have something like catnip, only it’s for squirrels,” I asked. “Because it looks like you’re taking it.”

“C’mon! It’ll be fun!”

“You can stay in the middle of the street if you want, but my Spider-Sense is tingling, and I’m going to get out of —HOLY TUNA FISH!!!”

Suddenly, out of the parking lot of my apartment complex, my human’s man came speeding out in his huge red metal monster, headed right for us.

“AAAAHHHH! WE DIDN’T START THE GAME YET!” Whaump-whaump screamed.

I couldn’t move. Neither of us could move. We were frozen in terror.

Just before it was too late, the metal monster screeched to a stop. It was standing nearly on top of us. It smelled of burning rubber, fish pans, and sad roses. It made a large blaring roar.

This time I moved. I ran over to Lola’s side of the street, Whaump-whaump right on my tail, and sighed in relief once I made it away from the huge ugly thing safely.

It took us a few minutes to catch our breaths.

“Hi guys,” a voice chirped happily at us, making us jump.

It was only Lola.

“Hey Lola! We were playing a game!”

I looked at Whaump-whaump. I couldn’t tell if he was lying to preserve our dignity, or if he really thought our terrible ordeal had all just been some exciting lark.

“I want to play!” Lola said excitedly.

“I propose a new game,” I said calmly.

Lola and Whaump-whaump were both intrigued.

“Let’s play “What Do Squirrels Taste Like?”

“What *do* squirrels taste like?” Lola said.

“How do you play that game?” Whaump-whaump asked, suddenly showing signs of self preservation.

I gave him a pointed look. “Oh. I think you know how you play that game. You eat a squirrel.” I narrowed my eyes and slowly advanced on him. “What part would you like to try first, Lola?”

“THAT’S NOT FUNNY FRISBEE!” Whaump-whaump squealed, running away and up into a tree and out of sight.

“Were you really going to eat him?” Lola asked.

I shrugged. Cats know best when to keep their own counsel.

“What happened out here anyway?” Lola asked. “I saw you two running from the street. It didn’t look like you were having fun.”

“It was nothing,” I said.

Cats may have nine lives, but we’re not the best storytellers.

By Saladinho

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Blue Bird

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Mama and Dada were sitting in front of the compunitor again. There were four compunitors in the house. There were only three people. Still, Mama and Dada never let Thing use the compunitor.

Thing was very curious. Whenever she passed by a compunitor, she always saw a blue birdie. Sometimes she saw this birdie on Dada’s big phone too. But she never saw it out of her window. Outside only had regular birdies. This birdie was special.

One day, she passed by Mama’s compunitor and saw the birdie wink at her, but when she turned to look back, it disappeared. That night, when Mama and Dada safely tucked her in bed, she immediately closed her eyes and started making motorbike sounds Dada made when he slept. Mama and Dada laughed. “Little one,” they said, “she must have been very tired.”

After Mama and Dada fell asleep, Thing tiptoed out in the dark to the room with compunitors, clutching her teddy close. The biggest one was near her, a red light was blinking. Tightening her grip on Teddy, Thing pushed the big chair back and clambered on it. She faced the big TV and pressed the ON button. Immediately, the compunitor TV came on. She saw a nice photo of a green empty field and blue sky with clouds. She moved the white rat(or was it cat?) near the compunitor and an arrow on the TV started moving. Fascinated, she moved it up and down and left and right.

She noticed, sitting in the corner, was the birdie. She moved the arrow over the birdie. The birdie tweeted and flew around the arrow. She made the arrow chase it, and the birdie kept flying around it. She let go of the white rat and climbed on the chair. She put her face close to the birdie to see if it had eyes. The TV glass felt really cool. And quite suddenly her head just popped through the glass.

The spectacle in front of her was astonishing! She was looking down into a room full of big tables, with lots of compunitors on them. She had never seen so many compunitors in one room. There were many people too, sitting and talking and typing on compunitors. Some were walking and talking. She looked ahead and saw the blue birdie on the wall. It was big. And beside it was written “TWITTER”. She had heard Dada talk about twitter once. Maybe they were Dada’s friends. She counted fourteen people, but then got distracted by two people talking right below her.

“I think I have writer’s block, man. I can’t imagine what to write next.”

“Write about your talking rabbit called Dinky.You’ve been wanting to do that for a long time.”

Thing’s heart started beating fast. They were talking about her!

“Ok, Thing. Here comes your next story,” said the first man, and went back to sit in front of his computer. She pulled her head back happily. This was the room where they wrote stories for her! She smiled to herself and slid off the chair. As she was about to turn the compunitor’s TV off, she saw the blue birdie wink at her. She winked back at it and whispered, “Thank you.”

**

The next evening, Mama insisted on putting Thing to bed. As she tucked Thing safely inside with her Teddy, she said, “Okay, baby girl. Today, I am going to tell you a story about a big, white talking rabbit and his adventures!”

Thing was so happy! “Is his name Dinky?”

Mama looked surprised. “How did you know that?”

Thing smiled.

By Sandy

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Eating People Is Wrong

Congratulations!
First day?
Not to worry, you are off to a great start!
Come this way!

Brains safely ensconced in Head?
Hands check? Feet check?
All systems go?
You’re on your own and YOU can go wherever you want to go.

Streets! Up and down they go. Look a hare!
Hare

Sometimes you will want to go to there.
There are other rather dreary streets, but then I think you should trust your feets.

Also sometimes all streets are horrible,
and almost all incorrigible.
Then turn to page three ninety four,
or maybe head out of this town, so dour.

Out there! Oh, out there!
They say ‘stuff happens’
And it does to people like you but sometimes it doesn’t.

But when stuff does happen,
Fret! Panic! Be normal!
But also, go!
With the flow!

But remember! Eating people is wrong. Also watch out for angry running lobsters.
Lobsters

Strapping young person, you!
Sights! Sounds! Lights! Camera! Action!
Up is the place for you.

You will be good and you will fly to better clouds.
You will be the best and above the rest.

But don’t take my word for it! Because sometimes you won’t!

It is kinda sad and terribly true
Ups come with Downs and a lot of times they come for you.

You could lounge in a trough. Like this baleful starefish.
Starefish

That part is usually rough.

This is when they say the going gets tough.

The streets might suck again.
Darkness everywhere?
A bump and a push and a tumble in the bush.

It could be even worse. You could be eaten by a cute lion.
Lion

But remember! Eating people is wrong.

Maybe a clockwise when it should have been counterclockwise?
Who knows? I don’t!
Take the road less travelled or take the high road?
IT IS PRETTY HARD TO MAKE A DECISION WHEN IT IS YOURS TO MAKE.
QMan

You could try sitting but you don’t look the type to be doing that!

You will find a way. You will get out.

Once more! Oh the Heights! You will go where no ham has gone before!
Spacenaut

There is fun.

But sometimes there isn’t.

I might have left out the sports. You can learn about them on your own.
I am personally into video game horticulture.
Plant

Learning is always good.

There is loneliness to come. And the fears. Oh they are downright fearsome.
Scared me when I met them and I am scared still.
You will want to be scared too. I think it is okay. But what do I know?

Know this. Eating people is wrong.
And sometimes there will be cake and sometimes it will be a lie!

But I think you are an upper and a getter.

Tread lightly. Balance well. Be nice and be well. Look a bug!
Bug

Maybe you will get there!
Oh well, you probably very well will!

Now maybe you shouldn’t waste time listening to me prattle
when there are hurdles to be rattled.
Pinnacle

Poem and Original Artwork by Ninja Dukie’s good friend, Doppey

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Adventures of Fat Louie – Episode 3

Fat Louie

Fat Louie was something of a hero in his class. Fat Louie went to Jungle Tot School. There were many other schools, more expensive than Jungle Tot, for richer animals. Most of his friends from his neighbourhood went to Jungle Tot. Fat Louie thought his was the best School in the world. His best friend in class was Ninja Duckie. She didn’t live in his neighbourhood but lived on the higher end of the river. Fat Louie didn’t mind that because they met every day in class and sometimes on weekends too.

Fat Louie became somewhat of a hero after his last adventure when he got lost whilst going alone to Ninja Duckie’s house for a sleepover and the way he fought off the bees and got their honey. Fat Louie also was big for his age and this meant he was one of the biggest in his class. So nobody messed with him and all wanted him as a friend.

Today Fat Louie was especially excited; today was Ninja Duckie’s birthday and she had invited several friends over to the nearby Portuguese Party Place. Fat Louie had been told that Ninja Duckie’s parents were very wealthy. This is probably why she could afford to have her party at the Portuguese Party Place. Fat Louie had heard of this place but had never been there yet. He wondered what kind of food he would get there to eat and hoped there would be fish. Little did he know that they had 8 different varieties of fish from the small Anchovies to Bombil and Pomfret to the huge Surmai. Ninja Duckie knew this and that is why she asked her Mom to book this place.

Fat Louie had insisted on picking the gift for Ninja Duckie himself. For other parties he was invited to he would let his Mom pick something appropriate. This time he was clear that he wanted candy or chocolates for her. He told his mom exactly what to buy – Fannie Mae’s Chocolate Truffles. He knew she liked them.

This time around Fat Louie was not going to be allowed to go by himself. The moms had got together and cart pooled. He would go in his friend Sid’s mom’s cart along with Sid and another friend Druider. After the party Fat Louie’s mom would come in her cart to fetch them back.

Fat Louie was hoping that there would be music and that they could all even dance. Fat Louie was not the best of dancers. But he was really uninhibited. He did everything with selfless abandon with is heart and soul in it. Ninja Duckie on the other hand was such a graceful dancer. Anything she did seemed graceful.

Fat Louie secretly wished there wouldn’t be anyone, at the party, from the snooty neighbourhood where Ninja Duckie lived. He had met one once and had to restrain himself from taking a swipe at him. He knew he must put on his best behaviour. But what if he was really provoked?

Continued in Episode 4, “The Party & the Intruder”.

By Thing’s good friend Rian

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Roly Polygot

IMG00066-20130319-1451

Tara was in school. Tara was sleepy. Tara was bored.

Tara had just started learning Hindi in school and she did not like it one bit. The characters were squiggly and confusing and not at all fun to draw. What to do, what to do… She stared at the board in mock concentration, then looked down at her notebook; at that incomprehensible alphabet spelled out on the page. She started drawing a little house at the top of the page. The house had a nice sloping roof and a little chimney with smoke coming out of it, just like in her story books. It had 2 big windows with striped curtains and a sturdy door with a pattern of leaves on it.

As Tara stared at her little house with pride, she finished colouring in the large dot that was the doorknob. Almost before she was finished, the door she had drawn opened! Tara’s eyes grew wide. She looked about her hurriedly to see if anyone had noticed anything odd. But everyone was looking at that Hindi teacher. She stared at her book again. By now the door had opened completely and something was visible inside the house. As Tara leaned in to peer inside, all off a sudden, she fell into the house!

What a strange predicament. Tara was inside a house she had drawn on a page of her own notebook. As she gasped and looked around her, she noticed that the house was decorated for a party. There were balloons and streamers and a cake in a corner. She heard music and a bunch of rather strange characters traipsed in from the other room in a cloud of colourful confetti.

Tara stared, confused. These creatures were all funnily shaped. They wore party hats on their heads and were all carrying lollipops and were singing loudly. As they noticed her, they cheered and surrounded her and placed a little plastic crown on her head, the type she had worn at her last birthday party. As Tara gaped at these friendly things, she realised where she had seen them before. On the page of her notebook! They were the Hindi alphabet characters she had just been despairing over. But here they were and they were so entertaining! She joined them in their celebration as they all laughed and danced and played games. When Tara felt it was time she got back to class, after eating lots of cake of course, she bid them all goodbye and left through the same door she had entered.

And there she was, back in her seat, with her head on her notebook. Had it all been a dream? She looked around at her classmates and teacher who were continuing just as before, then at the blackboard. She imagined the alphabets on the board decorated with streamers and balloons and grinned. She had a feeling she was going to like Hindi after all.

Story and original artwork by L’il Pun

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ChumChum and birthdays

chumchum-bday

“ChumChum, tomorrow is my birthday.” Said Mama. “What are you giving me for a present?”

ChumChum stopped colouring her giraffe pink and gawked at Mama “Mama, it is your birthday, so you should give me a present.” She sagely shook her head as Mama giggled, and went back to her colouring.

ChumChum realized she did not know what a birthday was. She only knew that on her last birthday Mama baked her a cake, and called all her cousins and friends for a party. ChumChum loved parties. With her friends and cousins, she played with new toys and blew balloons and laughed and laughed when Dada put on a red nose and a paper hat. Of all her presents, she loved the small trumpet Mama and Dada had given her.

“Mama, what is a birthday?”

Mama pushed her lower lip out. Mama tapped her cheek with the index finger. Mama looked at the ceiling. Mama scratched her head. ChumChum liked to see Mama think. She did just what Mama did when ChumChum was thinking along with Mama.

Mama picked ChumChum up, sat her lap and said, “When you were not yet born, and were still in my tummy, you were a little bit ChumChum. Then you were born, and you were ChumChum. So we like to celebrate that day and call it your birthday. Every year on your birthday day, you become little more ChumChum. There is so much to celebrate because every year a little more ChumChum gets added to our little ChumChum.”

ChumChum chewing on her finger as she listened to Mama.

“So Mama, you become more Mama for me on your birthday?”

“Yes, I do.” Mama kissed ChumChum and gave her a big smile.

ChumChum rushed to her room, and brought five candies with her which she gave to Mama.

“What is this ChumChum?” Mama asked.

“You have been my Mama for all the birthdays I had. I had four birthdays. So you are four more Mamas added to the Mama you were when I was born. And one extra candy because it is your birthday!”

Mama smiled and gave ChumChum the tightest hug ever, so tight that ChumChum whooshed.

By Ninja Duckie

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