Stories For Thing

Unfinished

girl

Today on the bus called Back Home
I dangled my legs and wrote a pome
About when I’d be a lady and all,
Jiggly chest, lipstick and tall.

I should like to marry a millionaire
And own a bookshop, one here, two there.
Or I’ll marry a bookshop and turn it out
With tea and scones and an orange cat stout

I would butter my cats and pet my scones
And pour tea down red tellyphones.
I’d knead and bake old Rumpelstiltskin
Top him with Playdoh, sprinkle him with mint.

I’d stand on fat books to trap the fairy (tales) in
Order them to stop being so pretty, and pull out a wing.
I’d tell rude old women, who came in for tea
Exactly what I think of them completely for free.

That’ll show them for pinching my cheeks
Or crushing my face to their pudding chest of fleece.
I’d run far away if I was asked to be polite
Disappear to secret places and give my folks a fright.

I’d empty the refrigerator and leave open the door
For my polar bears to climb in, to slumber and snore
My flamingo would be my sceptre, my staff
Or would I need something taller, maybe a giraffe?

I’d make a thing, all shiny and clean
that goes around call it the More and More Machine.
what would it make more of i don’t quite know
more and more rubbish maybe, a lot more than before

i could tell you about my teachers in school
wearing a man’s shoes, missing a toe, keeping the rule
but the Back Home Bus has brought me home
where I’ll be too busy to finish this poem

By Sandhya Menon

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Thing is Five

Little Thing lay herself down to sleep
Her eyes open she would not keep
On her pillow she stubbornly lay her head
“Tomorrow I shall be a big girl!”, she said.

“I will get hugs and kisses galore,
A tiny thing I shall be no more.
I’ll be very tall and as strong as a bear
I’ll throw my Mahm up and down in the air.”

So it could come fast, she slept very soon,
While over her watched the ever smiling moon.
It sent her dreams, so colourful and odd
In her sleep we could see her smile and nod.

She dreamt of a dragon, wreaking havoc over Britain.
She cast a shrinking spell on it, had it mewling like a kitten.
Pet dragon on her shoulder, firm ground beneath her feet
She set off once more, what strange people she would meet!

In each land she brought peace and calm
She had learnt well from her wise Mahm
She set them all a’ laughin’ with her terrible jokes
She had learnt them from her dad, what a funny bloke.

She settled in a village with her dragon named Mandy
Everyone refused to stop giving her candy.
She lived there for years until she got bored
And then she decided to once again, hit the road.

In her travels she came across many a chance
To stop and with all the countryfolk dance.
She jumped and she pranced until Mandy got weary
Then she went and brought light to lands more dreary.

All this happened and she was hale and hearty,
But oh no! She hadn’t yet gotten her 5th birthday party!
As the thought struck her she struggled once more
She couldn’t wake up! Oh what a bore.

But wake up she did and hugged everyone tight!
It had been a long long lovely night.
She stood on her bed and in the pillows she did dive,
It was her day, her year, she was now five.

By L’il Pun

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Adventures of FAT LOUIE. Episode 4: The Party & the Intruder

Fat Louie

Fat Louie (for those who just joined us, is a brown Bear and) is a class hero of 5th Grade in Jungle Tot’s school. Today he was at his best friend Ninja Duckie’s birthday party. The party was being held in a secluded Party Place away from all the homes of Jungle tots. Fat Louie had never been here. It was breath-taking! The whole place was done up to look like Lisbon; or so he was told, he didn’t know what Lisbon looked like! No wonder it was called “Portuguese Party Place”. Fat Louie had never seen a sea or waves. He had seen a river and even a waterfall, but not waves & a sea shore. They had created all this at the Party Place. Fat Louie wondered what Portuguese food would be like. He hoped they would have some fish here for him to eat!

He need not have worried because he saw some orangutans dragging a net from the shore and gleaming fish were jumping in the net. He felt as if he had been transported to some far off place. He wondered whether it was all for real.

He then saw Ninja Duckie. She looked, he thought a bit uncomfortable in her part dress, and then she came & hugged him. He suddenly remembered the gift he was clutching tightly and handed that to her. She squealed in delight after opening it and seeing her favourite chocolate truffles. Her mother appeared and stopped her from eating it all right there. Fat Louie then found himself in the middle of the party with his friends Sid the bunny & Druider the sloth and a lot of others.

Parrots were doing a great Rap song and there were bodies on the floor gyrating away; Sid was doing his favourite bunny hop and Fat Louie did his own version of Gangnam style stopping now and then to nibble on the appetizers of Bombil stuffed with nuts and taking sips of mountain dew. Druider was the only one not dancing; he was sniffing around for tacos stuffed with termites.

Suddenly they heard a commotion near the front door and a scream!

The parrots stopped singing and there was an uneasy silence. They heard the Orang-utan at the door say “You can’t come in here” and the gruff reply “watch me”!

They saw the long snout of Wily the Wolf dressed in a Hoodie. The Wolf had gate crashed Ninja Duckie’s party. The 5th graders looked around aghast. Their parents had all gone leaving them to have a good time. Wily wolf entered the party room with an evil grating laugh. Ninja Duckie was paralysed with fear. All around the room it was as if they were playing the game ‘statue’. No one moved.

No one except Fat Louie. Fat Louie drew himself up to his full height and gave a big roar. The biggest he had ever done. Fat Louie then charged at Wily Wolf unmindful of the consequences. There was an audible gasp from around the room. To everyone’s surprise and delight Wily turned tail and ran out! Everyone in the room clapped! The orangutans shut and bolted the front door and the party started again.

Fat Louie was the hero again. Fat Louie had saved Ninja Duckie’s party! The jungle tots would have carried their hero on their shoulders except he was too heavy! There were lots of high fives and fist punches. Birds sang & the parrots rapped even more. Even Druider the sloth was enjoying himself.

What a memorable party this was, it would be remembered for many years! When the Moms came to collect the tots they were in for a great story!

Thing’s good friend, Rian

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Any Thing you want to be

Baa. Badum. BOOSH!

Thing fell on her tush. “Ow!” it hurt, “I don’t like you,” she wagged her finger at the errant stone.

“Sorry, little Miss,” said he.

“But, but… stones cannot speak!”

“Who made the rules?

Must be some fool

Whose bed was full of bugs.

You can’t be here

Causing such fear –

You shall get no free hugs.’”

Thing made a face. “But that’s wrong. If hugs are free, everyone should get them.”

“You have much to learn, little Thing

Of happy silences and liars who sing.”

But Thing had bigger worries to worry. Where was she, where were Mahm and Dada?

“Dream’s Cape” said Stone.

 

Fig 1

 

“No. Dreamscape.”

 

Fig 2

 

“Let’s go,” said Stone, wobbling from side to side.

“There’s much to see

And places to be,

C’mon girlie

Keep up with me.”

Thing skipped along – adventure time! ‘Maybe I’ll get something to eat too. My tum-tum is getting all rumbly,’ she thought.

————————————

They walked and wobbled, walked and wobbled, and in no time, they were in a white-white room with shiny-shiny things.

“Where are we?” asked Thing. All this white…and all little Thing could think about was how much better it would look if it was all coloured in.

“Why, hello!” said a big girl in a big white coat. ‘She reminds me of someone,’ thought Thing, ‘but who? Like Mahm and a little like Dada, but not exactly. Oh oh! What did she say?’ Thing tried to listen carefully.

“This isn’t your first time in a hospital, no?” said the white coated big girl.

“But it is,” said Thing. If it wasn’t, the place would not be so very white.

“Ah. But you were in a place quite like this around the time you were born.”

“How do YOU know? Were you there too?”

“In a way,” she said with a smile. “Do you know what this is?” She handed Thing a big plasticky black thingy with a shiny metallic U thingy.

“Doctor uncle carries this around. Are you a doctor too?”

She smiled again, “Indeed. And this is a stethoscope.”

‘Stethoscope. That’s a nice word. Ste-thus-cope. Stay-thus-cope. Stir-the-scope. Stereo-scope.’

“Do you want to try it?”

Thing was thrilled. She’d been thinking about the very same thing since she first touched it.

So the Doctor girl put the black tips of the U thingy in Thing’s little ears and placed the heavy disc thingy on little Thing’s chest. “Do you hear that?” She sounded so far away. And suddenly, Thing heard the most amazing thing.

“Lub dubb. Lub dubb. Lub dubb.”

She took it off her ears, “It’s like someone’s playing drums inside me!”

“That’s your heart.”

Fig 3

 

“Thank you for your patience,

But we have to get to other places.”

Thing had forgotten Stone was even there.

‘But I want to know what other instruments play inside me,’ thought Thing. But he was already wobbling away. So she waved a quick goodbye to Doctor girl and smiled her biggest smile.

“Goodbye Miss. Goodbye.”

“Bye-bye, little girl,” she said, “bye-bye.”

————————————

The ground was getting rough and walking was now tough. Every now and again, Thing thought she was lost. So many Stones, where was hers? But only one would move, muttering “C’mon, c’mon”. Good thing stones weren’t normally in the habit of talking.

Eventually, the ground smoothed out and sloped, so that Stone was mostly rolling than wobbling. Suddenly, they found themselves in a cave-like room. One wall was all glass, holding an ocean behind.

“Beyond the waves of infinity

Lie generations of my family,

Some sharp, some dull, some much like me.”

Stone was singing his tuneless song. Thing didn’t understand. So she pressed her face against the glass but her nose got in the way.

In the distance, she saw a little fish, grey and chubby and generally harmless. Its big mouth was stretched in an even bigger smile. That was growing by the second. Bigger and BIGGER OH GOD HE’S GOING TO CRASH! But there was only a slight thump as the BIG grey chubby fish hit the glass gently.

From behind its mighty fin emerged a much smaller, much slimmer black creature, with googly eyes and pipes and things. On closer examination, Thing realised, why, this ‘thing’ looked almost human!

“Who or what is that?” she asked Stone.

“A scuba diver is she,

An adventurer under sea,

A friend of the fishes who

Is vegetarian too.”

‘Makes sense,’ thought Thing, ‘I don’t eat my friends either.’

And then she saw the diver girl do the most bizarre thing with her hand. Like an ancient gesture or an other worldly salute.

 

Fig 4

 

Thing tried to do it herself and got it wrong a few times – everybody does. But she got it eventually. The diver girl flashed her a thumbs-up and swam off, much like her fish friends. Thing looked down at Stone. He was already wobbling on his way.

————————————

They walked through a dimly lit tunnel and soon were out in the open again. Thing stretched her arms far and wide; she never liked dark places. As she tried to stretch out and out of her body, she heard something in the distance – was that music? “Uh…” she opened her mouth to ask Stone, but he had no ears. But he could hear her speak. For that matter, she never really saw a mouth on him either. He fixed her with a stony stare with eyes that weren’t quite there. She’d fallen behind again. “Alright, alright. I’m coming. Sheesh.”

Soon they were walking in a pretty little garden, complete with green grass, fragrant flowers and there’s that music again!

Up ahead was a person sitting with her back to them. And Thing was sure it was a girl because her long and curly hair was tied into a braid. The big boys with long hair never did that.

Stone wobbled up to this girl and plopped on the grass before her. So Thing did likewise. She was very polite like that. And she finally saw where the music was coming from.

“Your guitar is so small!” said Thing. The girl stopped playing and smiled. “This, my dear, is a ukulele.”

“A yuka what?”

“You-ka-ley-li,” she said and handed it to her. Thing was overjoyed. Normally, people told her not to touch this and that. But here, everyone was giving things to her without her even asking for it.

She took the mini guitar. It was just the right size for her. She strummed it like she saw the girl do.

 

Fig 5

 

“Whoa!”she wanted to keep this thing with her forever. But it wasn’t hers to keep, so she gave it back sadly. The girl took it back and with a smile that never waned, she played them a song. And the song was so snappy, boy, it was so happy, that Thing got up on her feet and twirled and jumped and swayed in time to the music. “Once more!” she cried, when the song was done. So the girl played again, and kept playing as Thing and Stone skipped along on their way.

————————————

They came to a spot in the garden that had rocks of the size one could rest their bums on rather comfortably. Thing’s tum-tum was rumbling like anything, more so for she could smell the mangoes nearby. But, big as she was, the tree was so much bigger than her. She looked hopefully at Stone, who nodded (probably). He wobbled up the tree, but kept to the lower branches – stones are not used to such heights you see. He disappeared among the leaves and one by one, mangoes ploinked down on the grassy floor. Thing caught as many as her little hands could and settled down to eat. As Stone wobbled down the tree, Thing laid out the mangoes on her lap and worked on them one at a time like a good girl, but seeing how Stone might feel a little left out, she picked him up and offered him some.

“Now that we’ve met them peoplesies,

How many things did you really see?”

Thing wiped her mouth and smoothed her dress and thought back on her trip. “Three,” she said with obvious pride, stumbling with the words, eyes open wide, “thing with UK’s layli, thing with scuba driver and thing with…um, stereoscope!”

“Try again, but this time think

Were they all different or really the same Thing?”

————————————

“Thing! Wake up. Come on now.” That was Mahm’s voice. Thing opened her little eyes. She was in her room, all tucked up in bed. “Good morning, sleepyhead.”

“Good morning Mahm,” said Thing with a huge yawn.

“Off you go to the bathroom, little girl.” Thing skipped away to brush her teeth. Mahm was making the bed when suddenly she found something under the blanket. “Silly Thing. What things she collects.” She put it aside.

Sometimes a stone is a girl’s best friend.

By Ozone Baby

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Baby Batty and Owleting

 

Batty_Owleting

Baby Batty was sad. His big sad eyes were moist, sparkling and reflected the brilliant moon. What a night it has turned out to be!

He’d wandered off to a human’s house, you see, and hadn’t been able to remember his way back home on the big tree. And as he rested his tired little wings on the window sill,  a human kid walked in. And oh so loud did she scream! All Baby Batty was doing was sitting on her window sill, peering out into the night, looking for his home. He’d done absolutely nothing to scare her. Hmph, he thought, almost falling off from the window as she ran out of her room. Batty heard her scream for her Mommy.

Baby Batty was sad that humans were scared of him. He never did anything to scare them and yet they ran away, screaming, almost running into walls, their hands in the air flailing around like they had seen a ghost! Well, at least he was home, safe.

Just then he heard some voices from lower down in the tree. He hadn’t heard that voice before. He knew a dog’s woof, a cat’s meow, a cow’s moo, even a human talking without a break on a small something attached to the ears (those humans are a weird lot he thought), but this was different.

“Mommy, Mommy!” Baby Batty flew to their branch,”I heard a new sound. Do you know what that is?”

Bigmama Bat swooped her shiny wings & turned. “Oh they are our new neighbors, Batty. They moved in late last night.”

“Are they bats? They don’t sound like bats.” Batty tipwinged and peered suspiciously over the branch.

“They are a hooting family of Mrs and Mr Owl and their little baby who is . They have asked us to tea. Do you want to come along?”, asked Bigmama Bat as she dusted her wings and spread the night glitter around.

“Ok” said Baby Batty and quickly wore his tiny little mittens.

As he watched BigmamaOwl pour his mama some tea he suddenly heard, “Hey, what is your name?”. All he could see were two bright, round, big, naughty eyes. Baby Batty was taken by surprise. Where did those eyes come from? He almost jumped out of his wings. Phew.

“My name is Batty. Who are you?”

“I am Owletling and this is my new doll”.

Owletling loved to make new friends. At their last hollowInTheTree home, she’d made friends with the tree and all the leaves and the butterflies and the bees. Even grouchy Mr. Bear was Owleting’s friend.

“Do you want to sit on the ledge and play with me?” Owletling’s big bright eyes were wide with anticipation. She did not wait for Baby Batty to say anything, just pulled him after her on to the ledge.

“Why are you sad, Batty?”
“How do you know I am sad?”
“Your eyes told me”
“Who taught you to read eyes?”
“The big tree taught me”
“What happened then?”
“Then one night the big tree shook very hard, like it had the fever. It moaned and groaned and fell down on the road. ”
“That’s very sad.”
“But why are you sad?”
“I frightened a human. And I didn’t have to so a thing. They always scream and run away when they see me. Am I a monster?”
“You are Batty. Battys are batty. They are not monsters. Only monsters can be monsters. The human needs glasses.”
“Even the one with glasses got scared one day.”
“They just need better glasses then, to see that everyone is different.”
“Really?”
“Yeah, and they’ll never be able to fly. And you can. You don’t have to sit in a tin box to fly. Have you seen their tin boxes?”
“Yes, there are some in the sky!”
“And they wear pants!”
“You are so funny, Owletling.”
“Do you want a gummy bear?”
“Where did you get it from?”
“The bear who lived under the old tree made them for me. Its my new toy doll.”
“Lets go to the top branch of my tree. I’ll show you my favourite beach place!”

Baby Batty had made a friend. And he was never sad again. And the next time a human ran away from him scared, he’d laugh – because he didn’t need pants!

By NinjaDuckie

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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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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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The Party In Her Mind

partyinthemind

It was bright and early one Monday morning when KeeKee’s eyes popped right open as soon as sunlight hit her face.

She sprang right up in bed, which was very unusual behaviour (you see KeeKee loved her dreams and she did not like to cut them short just because the sun’s rays were going knock-knock-knock on her eyelids). But today was a really important day. It was her birthday.

KeeKee knew birthdays were special. They helped her grow bigger. Without birthdays, KeeKee would still be a baby – now, who would want that? So it couldn’t be just any other day. KeeKee yawned and stretched and called out, “Mamaaaaa! I’m all awake nowwwwwww!!!!”

Mama and Dada came bounding in, with big grins on their faces. They gave her their own special hugs and kisses. They said, “Happy birthday KeeKee. My! How big you are now!” But KeeKee kept looking behind their backs. Where were the presents? The bigsmall boxes full of toys and books and chocolates and things?

Mama noticed and pulled KeeKee close to her: “Oh my baby, you’ve already got your gifts. Your own special hugs and kisses from Mama and Dada. Now get ready for school.” But KeeKee was so sad. No gifts, no party, no birthday cake. Only school. How terrible it is to have a birthday on a Monday.

On the bus, everything was as usual. Kids having paper-ball fights and some greedy boys already eating their tiffin. Only her best friend remembered to wish her happy birthday. In morning assembly, Principal ma’am said the prayers and made school announcements. Then she wrapped it all up as if there was nothing more to talk about. In class, KeeKee had to remind her teacher to get everyone to wish her in unison: “Happy Birthday KeeKee.”

This would not do at all. And so KeeKee decided that if no one would make her day special, she would do it for herself. So what if it was a Monday? She’d have a party in her mind.

Sitting at her desk in class, the room began to transform most magically. It became a beautiful garden, just perfect for a picnic. The blackboard became a huge rainbow-coloured banner with her name on it. The little desks and chairs turned into little picnic mats: some with trucks, some with balloons, some with fishes and some with giraffes on them. All the books on all the desks, turned into wrapped presents. And oh! When KeeKee looked at her teacher’s desk, it had changed into the biggest chocolate cake she had ever seen!! Just. For. Her.

Oh the time KeeKee had at her party! Receiving presents and hugs and wishes. Giving out cake and return-gifts. Playing with her best friends, showing off her new dress and then getting dirt all over it! Dada had even asked a clown to perform at her party. How funny he was! KeeKee began to laugh loudly.

“KeeKee? What is so funny?” said the teacher.

Uh-oh. Busted!

Just as KeeKee’s party in her mind began to wind down, the school bell rang. All the kids rushed out of the classroom. KeeKee was in no rush. What a party she’d just been too! Now she was ready to go home, crawl into bed and make the best of nap time.

As Mama walked her home from the bus stop, KeeKee told her all about her special day. Mama listened with a big grin on her face, especially when she heard about the presents. “Wow KeeKee, you’ve had quite the day! But you know, birthdays aren’t just special for the person who was born on that day.”

“What do you mean, Mama?”

“Birthdays are also important to those who love you the most!”

And saying that, Mama swung open the front door to their house. In walked KeeKee and suddenly all the lights came on and a huge bunch of people jumped up:
“SURPRISE!!!!!!”

All her friends and family were there. With lovely smiles just for her. And gifts. Lots and lots of gifts! As KeeKee lost herself inside this crowd of birthday wishers, she thought happily to herself: I’m so lucky. I got two parties instead of one. Monday birthdays are the best!

By Gone Native

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The Elevator That Went Nowhere

Somewhere in the faraway land of Boombeh, there was a little house. Inside this little house was an elevator. Now you must be wondering, what’s an elevator doing in a little house? But there it was.

People laughed about it, made little jokes about the little house with the elevator. They called it ‘The Elevator That Went Nowhere’.

No one went near the elevator. ‘What’s the use?’, they’d say. ‘Where can this possibly take us? To the terrace of this little house?’, they shrugged the idea away.

But not Thing.

You see, Thing loved elevators.

She couldn’t stop herself from trying this elevator out. The Elevator That Went Nowhere.

So, one fine day, Thing dressed up in her best dress and stepped inside The Elevator. The Elevator was the coziest elevator Thing had ever seen. It had lots of buttons and knobs and lights and fans and wonderful music played inside it. It had a mirror where Thing could see her best dress swoosh around as she twirled and danced around in The Elevator.

‘But where does this Elevator go?’, Thing wondered.

There were SO many buttons with all kinds of numbers (some of them Thing hadn’t even learned yet). Then there were buttons with images and dates and words. There was a button that said ‘I’m feeling lucky’. There was a button that said ‘Spin’. There was a button that said ‘Tweet’.

SO. MANY. BUTTONS.

What a funny elevator, Thing thought.

So she did, what she did on the normal elevators.

She pressed the button with the number ‘3’ on it.

3 – For Thing, Mama and Dada. Simple.

The Elevator made a funny noise and Thing felt as if the Elevator was rushing up a very, very tall building. As if the little house wasn’t so little at all.

After some time, when The Elevator had made enough funny noises, it stopped. The doors of The Elevator opened and Thing stepped out.

In front of her were three musketeers, muskeeting away.

‘TAKE THAT’. ‘AND THAT’. ‘AND THAT’.

Athos, Porthos and Aramis (funny names Thing thought) kept muskeeting till Thing got bored and stepped back into The Elevator.

This time she pressed ‘7’.

The Elevator made all the funny noises again and stopped once more. As Thing stepped out, she could hear faint singing. Straining her little neck a little, Thing saw seven dwarfs walking towards a beautiful little cottage, carrying shiny jewels and singing songs that spoke of a fair princess. Thing went up to them and asked them what the song was about. They told her the song was called ‘The Ballad of the Fairest of them all’, in memory of a dear friend who had gone away to live with a handsome prince. What a foolish girl, Thing thought. Who’d leave these friendly dwarfs and go live with a handsome Prince? But then, she thought, one day, I’ll get married and go live with a handsome Prince as well. Yougottadowhatyougottado.

Or maybe the Prince would come and live with her and the dwarfs? Or the handsome prince and the dwarfs and Mama and Dada and Thing could all live together. In the little House. Definitely in the little house with The Elevator.

Thing said goodbye to the dwarfs(much to their dismay) and returned to the Elevator. This time, she pressed ‘SPIN’, just for some variety you know.

The Elevator began spinning. It spun around like one of those roundabouts at the playground. Everything around Thing was becoming blurry and colorful and there was music to accompany the spinning. The Elevator kept spinning till Thing was so sleepy that she just couldn’t keep her eyes open. And then she slept.

And as she slept she dreamed a beautiful dream – of numbers and words and dwarfs and songs and lovely little houses. When she woke up, all the buttons in The Elevator had disappeared. Only one button remained. The one that said ‘I’m feeling lucky’.

So Thing pressed it.

And the doors of The Elevator opened.

Outside The Elevator was Thing’s home. And in Thing’s home were her Mama and Dada.

As she stepped outside, The Elevator made a funny noise again.

And then it spoke: ‘Even when the world tells you that you won’t go nowhere, Thing, cling to your dreams. Trust them like you trusted The Elevator That Went Nowhere and the world will be more magical than you could ever imagine.’

With those words of wisdom, The Elevator made another funny noise and disappeared.

It probably went back to its little house, Thing thought.

And so she ran into her house and into her Mama’s lap and exclaimed, ‘I’M FEELING LUCKY TODAY MAMA!’.

‘So am I’, Mama said and hugged the luckiest girl in the world.

By Tantanoo

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The Lion who loved strawberry oatmeal

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Onceupatime, there was a Sheep called Purple. He had purple wool, because when he was a little baby, one day he went to play Holi with some children in the farm. He saw these big mounds of color that the children had heaped up to play color-color with, and he got really excited. He really liked the purple mountain, so he decided to roll in it. He did, and when he came out, he was all purple. When he went home that day, his mama said, “Go have a bath quickly, otherwise you will be purple for the rest of your life.” He said, “But I like being purple. Can I stay like this only?”

“Okay, if that’s you want. But people can be annoying, and they will keep asking you why you are purple. So you better watch out.”

And that is exactly what happened. Every time, Purple went out to play, or to eat grass and shrubs (which he did very often), all the goats, pigs, cows, horses, ducks and geese on the farm always asked him, “But why are you purple?” “Your mama and dada are both white. Isn’t that odd?”

One day, Purple got fed up of this constant questioning, so he decided to wander off to the jungle to make some new friends. By the time he reached the jungle, it was night time, and he was tired and hungry, so he found a nice warm cave and went and slept in it. In the morning he woke up, stretched himself nicely, and as was his habit, called out to his mom,

“Mommeeeee, I want to eat something. Can we have strawberry oatmeal?”

He didn’t see or hear his mommeee. Instead he heard a rather gruff voice.

“Grrrr… who is this mommeee who makes strawberry oatmeal?” the voice said. It was a LION! A HUGE LION, WHOSE HAIR COVERED ALL OF HIS FACE AND EARS AND FOREHEAD AND ALMOST HIS EYES!

Purple was very scared, but he remembered what his mommee said. “Don’t be afraid of anyone, even if they are much bigger or louder than you. Be calm, and you will always be ok.”

“Oh, that’s my mommee in the farm, she makes the most yummy strawberry oatmeal. Slurp slurp…!”

“Really,?” said the Lion. “Can I also have some?”

“Yes, sure, I can take you home, my mommeee will make some for you.” But what’s your name? I will have to tell her who’s coming.

“I am Punk,” said the Lion.

Purple really liked Punk. He was the only friend who didn’t ask him why he was purple. He was also big and strong and he could learn how to roar from him, he thought.

So Purple and Punk went to the farm, and Purple noticed how long Punk’s steps were, even though he was much bigger. “I must do some yoga, like my mommeee said,” he thought. “It will make my legs stronger.” He had seen Punk do some really complex stretches that morning.

As they approached the farm, Purple saw that all his farm friends were nowhere in sight and he wondered why. He then called out to his mommee. “Mommmmeeeeee, where are you? Look I brought a friend for breakfast. He loves strawberry oatmeal too.”

His mommeee slowly came out from hiding, and walked up to him slowly, cautiously.

“Where have you been, Purple? We have been so worried.”

“Oh, just went for a walk mommeee, sorry I forgot to tell you. This is my friend, Punk, the Lion. Don’t you love his hair.”

His mommeee then took Purple aside and whispered to him, “Do you know who he is? He is a lion, and he eats animals like us. Why have you brought him here? See how you have scared the other farm animals away?”

Purple thought deeply. “But mamma, he is a good boy. He let me sleep in his cave, and we’ve been having such a good time. I am sure he will not harm us. Let me talk to him.”

So Purple went and had a little chat with Punk. “You see, my mommeee and friends are scared of you. They think you may eat them. So you will have to promise me you won’t do that. Else mommeee won’t make you any strawberry oatmeal.”

Punk laughed really loudly. It sounded scary and funny at the same time.

“Oh that…. I should have told you, I have turned fruitarian. Doctor’s advice. I have too much bad cholesterol,” he said.

Purple couldn’t believe his ears. “Really? That’s great!”

“And guess what, I really like fruits. I mean there are over 500 fruits in the jungle. So much variety! I was actually bored of eating the same old meat,” said Punk.

“Yay! High five,” said Purple.

Soon they both sat down and shared a huge bowl of strawberry oatmeal. Punk said he had never had something so delicious. Purple was so happy.

By Lalita Iyer

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