Stories For Thing

Party in the rain



Umbrellas, open, strewn all over the living room halted Mama in her tracks.

She was confused. She had cleaned this room, hadn’t she?

Then she heard her ChumChum giggle, like bells in the wind and she wasn’t confused anymore.

She peeked inside the nearest umbrella, “What are you doing, little Miss?’

“This is my fort”, said ChumChum, “it’s where I hide from Rain?”

“You love the rain, why are you hiding from it?”

“Because Rain always pours when I’m not looking”, ChumChum said patiently, “and if Rain pours I can go out to play.”

Mama nodded. “Ok then, have fun.”

“No, you can’t go Mama. Come have soup with me.”

“This is delicious ChumChum”, said Mama taking a sip, ‘what’s in it?”

ChumChum rolled her eyes, “It’s just water, Mama”.

“It’s delicious water.”

Rain didn’t pour that afternoon. Mama and ChumChum didn’t notice. They were too busy shoring up ChumChum’s fort, building boats from super strong paper, drinking soup.

Ninja Duckie

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Thing slays dragons for breakfast


Thing slays dragons for breakfast,
And dunks aliens in her soup.
She spells “mulligatawny”.
While twisting giraffes to a hoop.

She turns cabinets to rockets
And rockets to snails.
She takes them to the movies
After supping with the whales.

Thing’s waterslide’s a crocodile.
Her aeroplane’s a bee.
Her hair is the Amazon.
Her handkerchief’s a tree.

Thing takes tadpoles to the opera.
And waits till they become frogs,
And frogs become princes,
And princes become hogs.

She trains Cyclops to reggae
And Pluto to hip-hop.
Hercules to jazz
And Caesar to rock.

Thing’s closet’s a sanctuary
Of yellow-orange coats.
Of hot pink cyclones.
And biscuit-flavoured boats.

Her pencil can turn broccoli
Into tufts and tufts of smoke.
Homework into candy floss,
Erasers into soap.

Thing drinks up the Milky Way
In one giant gulp.
The stars and the planets,
The Queen and the Hulk.

Then, in comes Mum
To turn off the lights.
Thing shuts her book
And closes her  eyes.

Off she goes dreaming
Of  strawberry skies,
Of lemon meringues,
And blueberry pies.

Gauri Burma

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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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The Party In Her Mind


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:

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 Scary Tiger



I am a tiger.

I have big teeth like daggers, long, sharp claws, huge and powerful paws, and a tail like a whip.

I am a fearsome beast.

So why is nobody afraid of me?

All the other tigers say they have scared hundreds of people. They tell stories about going into a house full of humans and running around, snarling and growling. Everyone hides in a cupboard or jumps out the window or crawls under the table, screaming with terror.

Raja is the top tiger in our pack, and he tells the most exciting stories. Once, he said, he went into a famous movie star’s home – past the security guards and everything – and scared the movie star’s whole family, even though the movie star had seen lots of tigers before. The movie star’s son, a boy named Abbas, ran into his room and jumped into bed with the covers all up around his face, even though it was still daytime. Raja the big scary tiger left the movie star’s house with a smug smile on his face. “A job well done,” he said.

Raja makes it sound so easy. But it doesn’t work like that for me.

I don’t know why. I am not as big as Raja but I am still pretty big. My teeth aren’t as shiny as Raja’s but they are still pretty shiny. My claws aren’t as sharp as Raja’s but they are still pretty sharp. And my paws aren’t as powerful as Raja’s but they are still pretty powerful. (One part of me that is even better than Raja is my fur, which has so many lovely stripes nobody can count them all.)

But last time I tried to scare some humans in their house, they all just smiled and carried on eating their dinner. I growled and snarled and snapped and gnashed but they just kept on eating.

One of the grown-up humans said, “Isn’t that a beautiful tiger, children?”

And the smaller humans all said, “Yes, she’s very beautiful.”

But I didn’t want them to think I was beautiful. I wanted them to think I was scary. I ran out of the house and back to Raja and all the other tigers but I was too embarrassed to tell them what had happened.

Raja boasted that he was going to scare the family of a famous cricket player that night. “Not even the best player in the world can face me!” he boasted.

I feel like an idiot. I wonder, are my teeth and claws not as sharp as I think they are? All I have are these silly stripes, and they aren’t much use for scaring humans.

Right, then. Tonight I’m going to find out why Raja and the other tigers are so scary. I’m going to go to that movie star’s home and ask his son Abbas what Raja did that scared him so much. Then maybe I can be scary too.

I creep along outside the wall of the movie star’s home. The guards don’t notice me because I am very quiet. I check up and down the street to make sure no one is looking, then I leap gracefully on top of the wall and down onto the other side.

I am so quiet, I don’t even make a sound.

I slink along silently through the movie star’s garden, which is full of big trees and pretty flowers. I want to stop and look at the flowers but then I remember why I’m here, so I carry on up to the house.

There’s another security guard patrolling around the outside of the house. I wait until he’s by the front door then I run round the side of the house, searching for a room that looks like a little boy’s. One room has big posters of rock bands. I keep searching. One room has photographs of the movie star on the set of his movies. I keep searching. One room has a poster of a rocket ship, a lot of picture books on a bookshelf, and a small bed by the window. This is the one. The window is open and I climb in carefully.

Abbas is there, sleeping. I gently step down onto his bed and it creaks loudly. Abbas wakes up. He looks straight at me for a few seconds and I think he’s going to scream, but instead he smiles and says, “Hello.”

I am a bit shocked. “Hello,” I say back to him.

“What are you doing here?” asks Abbas. “I’ve never had a tiger on my bed before.”

“And I’ve never been on a human’s bed before,” I reply. “I want to know why you don’t find me scary. All the other tigers tell stories about how scary they are and how humans run away from them and hide and scream, but humans never do that for me and I can’t understand it.”

Abbas stops smiling. He thinks for a moment. Then he simply says, “I don’t find tigers scary.”

“What?” I say, even more shocked than before.

“Tigers aren’t scary!” says Abbas, smiling again. “I think tigers are beautiful. There’s only ever been one in this house before, but we gave him some food and a cuddle and he left again soon after. Nobody was scared.”

“That’s Raja,” I say. I couldn’t believe what Abbas was saying “You fed Raja and gave him a cuddle?”

“Yes!” says Abbas. “He was very nice. He wasn’t as beautiful as you, though.”

I try not to smile when Abbas says this but I can’t help it. My mouth spreads wide and I show my big, sharp, shiny teeth by accident. Abbas isn’t scared, though.

“And look at you, sitting here on my bed,” says Abbas. “You aren’t being scary, and I’m not scared of you. Instead, you’re being friendly, and you’re my friend.”

“You’re my friend, too,” I say back. “I think all the other tigers have been lying to me. They tell me they go to houses like this one and scare all the humans inside. Raja told me he came to this house and you got so scared that you went to bed in the middle of the day.”

Abbas laughs and shakes his head. “That’s funny,” he says. “Yes, I think all the other tigers have been lying to you.”

Suddenly, I feel sad. Very sad, in fact. Why would all the tigers lie to me? Abbas sees that I am sad and asks what’s wrong.

“I don’t think the other tigers like me very much if they’ve been lying to me all this time,” I say.

“Nonsense,” says Abbas. He reaches out and strokes the fur on my back. It feels nice and I feel a bit better. “They are lying to you because they want to impress you.”

“I don’t understand,” I say.

“Sometimes, people try to make themselves sounds bigger or more important than they really are. It seems tigers do the same thing,” says Abbas. “They lie about coming into people’s houses and scaring all the humans because it makes them sound big and important. And now you think they are big and important, even though they’re really just tigers like you.”

“I see,” I reply. It’s all starting to make sense.

“So you are not very scary, I’m afraid,” says Abbas. “But you are friendly, and beautiful. Perhaps you should just be happy with that.”

This really makes me smile. “Thank you very much for helping me,” I say to Abbas.

“You’re welcome!” he replies. “Come and play with me during the day sometime.”

“I will,” I reply. And I hop out the window and slink quietly through the garden, past the trees and flowers, until I reach the wall, and I jump silently on top of it and over the other side back into the street.

I go back to all the other tigers. As usual, Raja is telling another story about scaring a house full of humans. He has every tiger’s attention as he spins a tale of terror.

I think back to what Abbas told me about how he fed Raja and gave him a cuddle. As Raja talks about scaring another terrified little boy tonight, I know that Raja probably just got food and a cuddle. This makes me smile.

By Barnaby ‘Kiwichettan’ HM

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Coming home


Kia stood by the doorway, eyes laden with impatience. “It should have been here by now,” she frowned. She swung on the door, played hopscotch on the tiles and darted to and fro, all while stealing glances at the road outside. After a frustrating ten-minute wait, she heard the peal of a bell. It was music to her ears. She rushed outside, forgetting to tell her mother goodbye. But her heart didn’t rest until she sighted the locomotive. And then the most gigantic smile swept across her face.

She walked around the engine, with butterflies in her tummy. It took her a few minutes to get acquainted with it. It was adorned with colorful ribbons, balloons and festoons as if it were decorated for a birthday celebration. There red, green, maroon, purple and violet. All her favorite colors.

She got into the engine with a bounce in her step. Gone were the timidity and the butterflies. All that remained was the ginormous smile. First, Kia plonked herself on the driver’s seat but decided the view wasn’t good enough. She made her pick of the passenger seats. Switched a few, until she got comfortable in one, right behind the driver’s seat, where she discovered was more breezy.

She clanged the bell, signaling the engine to move. And it did. Through grassy meadows with a cold stream and on slopes steep. Until Kia decided that she wanted to get off and explore a little. She clanged the bell again and the train stopped. Kia got off the train, her little feet going “plat” “plat” on the steps.

She chanced upon a cozy, colorful house. Very similar to the one she lived in, with her mamma and pappa. Only smaller in size. Smaller than even her. It was begging her to come play with it. She hopped and skipped and jumped toward it. Walked around it a few times, as if to explore each corner. And then lifted its roof. She couldn’t believe her eyes. The house was same-to-same as her house. Her bed, her bean bag, even her Winnie the Pooh. She opened the tiny windows for some fresh air as her mamma would always do, every morning. And then Kia suddenly remembered, she didn’t tell her mamma that she coming here. Her mamma would be very worried for her, no? She always insisted on holding Kia’s hand everywhere. Else if mamma got lost, she would get start crying, no? Now where will mamma look for her?

Kia hurriedly returned to the engine and this time she sat on the driver’s seat, hoping that the train would move faster. She even closed her eyes shut, not wanting to see the countryside either. She continued fidgeting until she heard her mamma call out to her for milk and biscuits. She turned around, opened one eye and immediately smiled when she saw her favorite blankie. She now knew that she had reached home. Her real home.

Inspired by an episode of Malgudi Days, I saw a long time ago.

By Flirting Shadows

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The Protector


Princess Kyra stood defiantly in the arena, the hopes of thousands sitting squarely on her young but confident shoulders. Her cape billowed violently in the wind, much like wings preparing to take flight. This was the moment that she had trained for, her entire childhood. This was her legacy to fulfil; and her battle-ground, this craggy hilltop with a slippery surface and giant boulders surrounding it.

On her proud forehead, glistened the tiara bestowed by her Mother, Queen of the Amazons, as her blessing before this glorious battle. Held aloft in her hand was the deadly Fire-staff, passed on to her by her Father who himself was bequeathed it by his own Sire. But this was not her sole weapon for the confrontation ahead, nor was she without an ally. At her side stood her faithful Tiger, a friend she had grown up with since they were both little more than cubs, fiercely protective of her and raring for the battle ahead. His teeth menacingly bared and his eyes fixed intently on the enemy as it crouched above.

Yes, the Enemy. The despoiler of their lands, the scourge of livestock and infants and terroriser of her hapless subjects. The primitive tormentor, thwarted by her ancestors, had once again risen and invaded their lands and forced their subjects to come crying for succour. The terrible, fire-breathing evil Dragon perched above her on the sheer wall facing the hillock, poised to launch an attack. Fierce in disposition and giant in width, this was her enemy in this battle for Justice. An enemy larger, stronger and with more power at its disposal than she and her loyal Tiger combined.

Yet she was unfazed, she knew no fear as she prepared to release the Tiger and aimed her Fire-staff, ready to plunge into fierce battle herself. She had the training and courage of her ancestors, her own steely will and the blessings and wishes of her subjects willing her on. The subjects who even now watched in nervous anticipation and rent the air with their cheers. As she began to leap she felt buoyed by these very chants of ‘’Kyra, Kyra, Kyra.’’

‘’KYRA, STOP SHINING DADA’S TORCH AT THAT POOR LIZARD AND GET OFF THE BED THIS INSTANT! Look, what a mess you’ve made jumping around like that, the pillows and covers strewn all over. And how many times do I have to tell you that the Cat is NOT allowed on the bed. And why do you have that dirty towel from the laundry-bag wrapped around you? And my hair band on your head, child? I can never understand the things you get up to, I tell you.’’

Little Kyra sighed and thought, not for the first time, that Mommies shouldn’t be allowed in your Fairy Tales.

By Le Mot Just

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