Stories For Thing

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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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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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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ChumChum woke up

ChumChum

ChumChum woke up and yawned. She stretched her arms wide and almost hit Dada with her tiny left fist. Oops, she thought.

Where are we? She looked around her. How could she have forgotten!? They were on the AEROPLANE-BIRD!

Dada smiled at her and opened his palm. There it was, her share of chocolate that the sweet lady was giving everyone. What a nice lady she is, Chumchum thought, to give everyone chocolates. Dada and mama and her and the other people sitting in the aeroplane-bird.

Mama gave her, her little backpack, “We’re almost there ChumChum.”

The aeroplane-bird landed with a ‘whooosh’, a ‘thud’ and then sped across the runway like a speed-racer and then slowed down.

When the doors opened, they got off the aerplane-bird, and walked along a long, long passage with other people and their suitcases on wheels. ChumChum had fun looking at suitcases big and small, and black and blue and green and red, and old and new. So many of them.

As they walked out of the airport, ChumChum saw them standing there – her Nana and Big Dada waiting for them. Big Dada was holding the red balloons he had promised her on the phone yesterday.

ChumChum ran to Nana and gave her the widest grin she had saved only for Nana. Big Dada picked her up, planted a long kiss on her forehead and asked “So ChumChum, where is hide and who is seek?”

ChumChum laughed and laughed, Oh Dada don’t you know. Hide I left with you, yesterday* when we met. And Seek is with Nana. I asked her to hide him for our next game”.

ChumChum saw Nana give her a big wink. They were going to have so much fun on the swing.

By Ninja Duckie

Psst… For ChumChum, the past is yesterday, the future tomorrow.

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Kuchu and the Wobble Gang

Puppies

“Yelp, yelp.” It was Sunday morning, and Kuchu was trying to sleep a bit more. But the constant yelping was not helping. So Kuchu reluctantly lifted his head from the blanket and could see slightly messed up ball of fur outside the window. Kuchu being Kuchu, there was nothing that could contain his curiosity. So he got up and put on his glasses – and discovered that the huddle of fur was actually four puppies sleeping, or trying to sleep over each other, while yelping away to glory. “Where could their mumma be?” Kuchu thought.

It had rained the night before, but this Sunday morning sunny with an extra dose of honey. Going outside – Kuchu noticed that the puppies were hardly a few days old and the huddle was their defense mechanism, against any rabid stray or any evil creature that might want to have too close a look at them. But as Kuchu approached them, one of them, wobbled across and started sniffing his blue slippers. Encouraged by this, his siblings also joined him with tails wagging. Kuchu forgot all about sleeping and got into playmate mode with the Wobble Gang – as he named them.

An hour passed like this. Kuchu’s mother had given up hope for him turning up for breakfast. But there was still hope for lunch, she thought. And in a few minutes, a whitish brown canine appeared in the garden, and started giving threatening looks to Kuchu. “So she’s here finally” sighed our poor Kuchu as he let them go from his lap and on to where they truly belonged. And as he started walking back, he turned round once, and he was sure he could see the slipper sniffer wink at him once. He smiled and entered home.

By The Humerus

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Brothers

Bros-3

The lake shimmered in red in the light of the rising sun. The boys were thrashing about in it. The water-fowl swimming on the lake, trying to catch their early morning breakfast squawked angrily at the boys. The mountains near the lake loomed menacingly in the first light of dawn. The early morning sun was peeping behind the mountains to see what the commotion was.

“Watch out. Here I come”, screamed Senthil and canon-balled into the water. The water-fowl had enough of it and took off into the skies.

“Aaaargh, you have splashed water over my new clothes”, shouted Shyam and jumped into the water to beat up his brother.

“Who told you to bring new clothes and keep it on the banks of the lake. Its your fault only”, said Senthil, and swam away from his younger brother.

Senthil was too fast for Shyam to catch. He gave up and came out of the lake. He picked up his wet clothes and started walking towards home. The tears from his eyes mixed with the water dripping from his hair. His father had promised to take them to his grandmother’s place and he wanted to show her the new shirt and shorts they had bought for him.

He kicked a stone on the dusty path. He hated his brother. He always kept making life difficult for him. Why did God make brothers?

He picked up the stone and lazily threw it as far as he could. The stone soared out of his hands and landed in a bush. He heard a yelp, followed by a growl. A shaggy-haired dog came out of the bush looked with bloodshot eyes at Shyam. The dog bared its teeth and gave another growl.

Shyam turned around and ran as fast as his 10 year old legs would carry. The dog, emboldened, gave him the chase. He reached a barbed wire fence which a farmer had put up to keep cattle away. He tried jumping over it, but tripped and fell. The sharp edges on the fence tore through his flesh and he started bleeding. The dog was catching up with him. He picked himself up and started running again. The fence only managed to slow he dog, which crawled underneath it and renewed the chase.

His heart was beating rapidly in his chest. His legs were starting to tire. He was almost near the lake. He saw Senthil going back home, whistling and swinging a stick.

“Brother, help!”, he shouted.

Senthil turned around and saw his brother running towards him chased by a canine. He pulled his brother behind him and swung the stick in his hand in a perfect arc. The stick hit the dog in its back. The dog, yelped and ran away in the other direction.

He then turned to his brother who was holding on to him tightly. The wounds from the fence were bleeding. He took his brother to the water and washed his wounds and tied a towel around his leg.

“Thanks brother”, Shyam whispered, and hugged his brother.

“No problem and I am sorry that I drenched your new clothes”, said Senthil.

Shyam smiled weakly.

“Come lets go home. Father must be waiting for us”

They started walking home. Shyam wiped a tear from his eye and thanked God for making brothers.

The sun looked down at the two brothers, walking hand in hand on a dusty road, smiled and hid behind a cloud.

By Epinephrine

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