Tag Archives: short stories

My Mom’s a Sleepyhead

This is Sam.

He loves to read magical stories.

He loves to play boardgames.

He loves to watch cartoon shows on television.

And he loves to do it all with his mom.

But there’s a problem.

Sam’s mom is always sleepy.

When he wakes up in the morning, she is no mood to watch the squirrels play in the patio or the birds twitter happily. Sam counts her yawns. 20, sometimes 25 times in an hour! Who does that!!

When she is back from work, she enters yawning. Again, not in a mood to play a game of chess or Scotland Yard with him. She is irritated and shouts at Sam.

“Sam, for God’s sake! Just look at your room. There’s no place to sit. Everything is so messed up. You are 7! Old enough to clean your room.”

mess

She cleans the room herself as she shouts at him and yawns. Cleaning, shouting and yawning all together. Then she cooks a quick meal and asks Sam to finish it fast.

“Mom shall we watch television while having our dinner?” asks Sam hopefully.

Mom shoots one angry look at Sam and he knows her answer.

“Finish your meal and go to bed”, said mom.

At night, Sam wants to listen to a story.

“Mom pleaaaaseee,” says Sam.

“Okay. But just one story,” mom agrees. Sam is overjoyed.

“Once upon a time, there was a king and a queen. They had a beautiful daughter. One day, an ugly ogre took the princess and started eating his salad. Suddenly… the clock struck 12 and beauty gobbled up grandma. Then she ran leaving her glass shoe behind…..the donkey and the cat started to race … zzzzzz…zzzzz….

Sam could not believe that!!

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“Mom! Mom! Wake up! Urgggggh”, Sam was very upset. He swears he will never talk to his sleepyhead mom again.

Today, Sam is in a bad mood. He cannot focus on what’s going on in the class. Sam’s teacher notices that he is upset for some reason. She calls him in the staff room and asks what happened.

“My mom’s a sleepyhead. She’s sleepy in the morning. She’s sleepy in the evening. She doesn’t read or play with me. All she wants is to sleep. I will never talk to her again,” says Sam.

“Sam, you are a good boy. You should try to understand your mom’s problem before getting mad at her. Do you know how hard it is for her to do everything at the office, at home, for you and for the rest of the family?”

Sam blinks.

“Have you seen a mobile phone? What happens when you play your favorite mobile game, watch a funny video, read about dinosaurs and talk to your grandma without charging it?

“It just switches itself off?” says Sam with a shrug.

That’s because the phone’s battery has no power left for more work. It’s the same with humans. We all have our energy bundles. And if we don’t get enough rest, we’ll be tired always. It’s the same with your mother. Maybe she is overworked.”

Sam realizes that it’s true. Mom works at the office. She comes back home and there’s more work waiting for her.

“If you want to spend time with her, you need to make sure that she has enough energy left for you,” teacher smiled.

Sam understands. He is ashamed to have behaved like a child. How could he not see that mom is tired?

In the evening, when mom comes back home, she is so surprised to see the room spic and span. Sam has done his homework too.

“Mom, let me help you with the dishes. Together, we’ll finish everything fast,” says Sam with a smile so sweet that her mom’s stress vanished instantly.

Sam is now able to save his mom’s energy for better things like bedtime reading, board games, cooking etc.

reading

And life is happy again.

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The ‘Pumpking’ Soup

King Sondumal was just like his name. Always sleepy and lazy. He had a huge kingdom but he didn’t try to make it rich, strong or happy. People came to him with their problems, but they were always sent back saying the king was resting.

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King Sondumal’s kingdom was in a bad condition. People were poor and unhappy. But do you know who was the unhappiest person in the kingdom? It was the royal cook. He worked hard to grind the spices, cut the vegetables, cook them into rich curries, but the king never liked what he cooked. Everyone else loved what he cooked. But it was just the king who never even finished his meals.

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“What a tasteless curry! You call yourself the royal cook? You don’t know how to make a simple potato curry. Take it away”, the king would shout and go back to bed.

The cook prepared the next meal with even more dedication. But it was impossible to please the king.

One day the cook had an idea. He went to the king and said, “My Lord, I want to treat you to the tastiest meal in the world.”

The king made a face. “ You cannot make a simple

“ You cannot make a simple daal and you talk about treating me to the tastiest meal?”

“Yes my lord, trust me. Pumpkin soup- it’s the tastiest meal in the world.”

“Would someone take this madman away? or should I throw him in the jail? Pumpkin soup is the most tasteless thing in the world. Do you understand?” yelled the king in frustration.

The cook was unafraid. He said, “What if I prove you wrong? I have a ‘pumpking’ growing in my garden.”

“A pumpking? What’s that??” asked the king.

“It’s a royal pumpkin and the tastiest breed of pumpkin. It’s so royal that when anyone who is not a king touches it, it rots immediately. So all I want from you is to go to my garden and bring that ‘pumpking’. I will make you a soup so yummy that you would want it every day. If I fail, you can put me in the jail.”

The king was surprised at his confidence. And he was curious about this ‘pumpking’ growing in his garden. So he agreed.

He called for his chariot.

“My lord, you cannot take a horse or a charioteer with you. They are not kings. The king has to go alone to the garden and pick the pumpking”, said the cook.

So the king walked towards the cook’s home. He found that the cook lives uphill. He started climbing the hill on foot. In just 15 minutes he was sweating and panting heavily. And the cook’s home was still far.

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The king kept walking and walking for 2 more hours and reached the cook’s home at the top of the hill. He found the ‘pumpking’ in his garden.  It was huge. He picked it and carried it back to his palace.

The ‘pumpking’ was too heavy and the road was too long. The king walked for another 2.5 hours before he reached his palace.

He was fuming.

“Now if you don’t make a good meal out of this, I am going to kill you,” said the king.

The cook went inside and quickly made the ‘pumpking’ soup- bland and tasteless.

He served it in the royal bowl to the king who was very tired and hungry.

As soon as he saw the soup, he gulped it down.

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“I can’t believe this! This is definitely tastier than anything I have tasted till now,” declared the king.

And then he asked for two more bowls of ‘pumpking’ soup.

The cook was happy. Back in the kitchen, the cook’s helpers tasted the soup.

“There’s no salt! It tastes horrible,” said the helpers.

“I told you, it’s a royal pumpkin. Only the kings will find it tasty”, said the cook smiling to himself.

 

But kids, you are smart. You know the truth, right? The king worked hard for the first time. He walked for hours carrying the pumpkin on his shoulders, got tired and hungry. So he found even the saltless pumpkin soup tasty. Those who work hard, enjoy their meals the most.

 

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Statue!

“Statue!”

And Raghav froze in an odd stoop. He was tying his shoe laces when he heard ‘the word’.

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“Statue!”

And Tia froze open-mouthed. She was calling out to someone, when ‘the word’ hit her.openmouthed

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Statue!”

Poor Ahsaan was about to get up after picking up his pencil, but he got stuck in an odd, uneasy squat as ‘the word’ hit him too.

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3 odd human statues in the middle of a playground? Not good.

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But, the one who enjoyed the scene the most was Arjun.

‘Statues’ was Arjun’s favorite game. He could play the game all day long. And freeze half the world.

This time too Arjun managed to freeze all three of them together. And what fun it was!

Arjun tiptoed between Ahsaan and Tia and did everything to annoy them further.

“Look Tia, a fly is going to enter your mouth. Shut it, quick.” But Tia didn’t budge.

“Chii Ahsaan, this is not the place to pottyyyy! Haven’t I been telling you to clear your bowels before coming to school? Eww!”

Then he picked up a dry grass and put it into Raghav’s nose. His nose wiggled, flared and shrank and out came a loud..

AAAAAACHHHOOOOO!!!!

“That’s it! You cannot keep us Statue for so long. It has to be not more than a minute. You are too crazy for this stupid game. We are never going to play with you again,” screamed Raghav and all three of them stormed out of the playground.

Oh no! Would that mean Arjun could never play this game again?

Arjun tried to apologize. But Tia, Raghav and Ehsaan seem to be too angry to even listen to him.

Heartbroken, Arjun walked back home, alone. To reach his home, he had to walk through a wood.

He decided to stop for a few minutes at his favorite place.

the wishing well

In the middle of the woods, there was a very shallow well, surrounded by trees. Raghav, Ehsaan, Tia and Arjun loved playing here. Arjun sat near the well and thought, “how wonderful would it be, if I get to play Statues with my friends again. Wouldn’t it be great if I statue them tomorrow and they can’t say no?”

Just then a coin slipped out of his pocket and dropped into the shallow well.

“Oh!”, said Arjun. But there was nothing he could do. It was gone.

He got up and headed home.

The next morning, Arjun got down the bus, and the first thing he saw was Raghav standing at the gate.

Arjun could not stop himself.

“Statue!” said he. And to his pleasant surprise, Raghav stopped still.

“Hey Raghav! Thanks yaar. I knew you guys wouldn’t stay mad at me for long.”, Arjun was delighted.

“Hey guys!!” Tia called out as she came running towards them.

As she came nearer, Arjun shot the spell again, “Statue!”

And Tia stiffened. She looked as if she was ready to start a race.

“Hey Tia, you do it better than everyone else!”

Ehsaan came and said “Boo” from behind Raghav. No one, except Arjun, jumped.

As a response, Arjun said “Statue” and Ehsaan too became as still as a real statue.

“You guys are my best friends! I am so glad, I got to play with you guys again.”

“Okay guys, I won’t keep you Statue for long this time. Go ahead, ‘move’,” said Arjun.

But no one moved.

“Guys, it’s over. The bell has rung. Let’s go inside. We’ll be late for the assembly!” said Arjun.

But the three of them, didn’t move an inch.

Arjun shook, poked, tickled them, but his friends were caught in the pose. They looked just like…… statues!

Now, Arjun panicked. Something was definitely wrong. Arjun ran inside the school, straight to class III. Anya, Arjun’s sister was two years elder to Arjun. The class was waiting for its teacher. Children were laughing, talking, and flying paper airplanes. One of them was writing the date on the blackboard. It was Anya. She was the class monitor. Arjun went up to her and asked her to come out.

“Didi, you need to come with me to the school gate. My friends..my friends… something happened to them,” Arjun was breathless.

“What happened? And why are you guys still at the gate? The bell has rung a long ago!”

Arjun explained the situation in one breath.

“Arjun, enough of this non-sense. Go, back to your class, right now!” How could Anya believe such a thing!

“Didi, please come with me.” Arjun pulled Anya. Anya noticed he was almost on the verge of crying. She had to go with him.

It was only when Anya had tried all the tricks, including kicking and punching those poor statues, she realized the matter was more serious than what it looks like.

“Arjun, look at me. What have you done, boy?”

“Didi, I did nothing. I was just playing Statues with them but I don’t know how I turned them into actual statues!! Yesterday, they were annoyed with me because of this stupid game. I wished how wonderful would it be if they could never say no to my ‘statue’. Today turned worse that yesterday. My friends are never going to talk to me again.” Tears started rolling down Arjun’s cheeks.

“Wait a minute. You wished they could never say no. Where did you wish so? Don’t tell me it was near that well in the woods!” Anya had an expression that said, ‘Arjun, you are doomed’.

“Y..yes. I was exactly there when I wished so. Why?”

“Oh God, I have heard a lot of stories of wishes and prayers being answered near that well. You know what, it’s a wishing well! But for your wishes to come true, you need to put a coin in the well. I am sure, you wouldn’t have..what… did you?”

“D..didi! A coin accidentally slipped out of my pocket and went straight into the well. I didn’t know..” Arjun started wailing.

“Okay, okay, relax Arjun. We’ll make it all right. If now we know that the well makes wishes come true, things have turned easier for us, haven’t they?” Anya waited Arjun to get her point.

But Arjun was so upset, he couldn’t even think clearly.

Half an hour later, the siblings were exactly where all this started and turned so bad. The wishing well inside the woods!

Anya handed over another coin to Arjun.

Arjun gingerly stepped forward and pleaded, “O wishing well, you are great. You listen to our petty wishes and make them come true. But this time, things went a little awry. Please let me un-freeze my friends with the word ‘move’. I am nothing without them.”

With this, Arjun dropped a coin in the well.

And they ran back to the ‘statues’.

Arjun took a deep breath and said, ‘move’.

A few hours later….

Arjun opened his tiffin. Mom had packed his favorite parantha for lunch. He rolled the parantha and opened his mouth wide…

“Statue!”

Everything froze. Arjun with his mouth wide open, his hand raised to his mouth. But the only thing that left its place was the parantha.

“Move” said Ehsaan, Raghav and Tia together with the yummy parantha stuffed in their mouths.

happy together

How I wish! How badly I wish!

My wish comes true,

That you stay with me,

Till red is red, and blue is blue!

 

 

 

 

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Butterflies in my Stomach

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It was a Saturday morning. 4-year-old Mini woke up feeling happy. No school today! And mom will also be home all day! They can chat, go shopping and do some painting together which is the favorite pastime for both Mini and her mom.

She got down from the bed rubbing her eyes and went straight to the kitchen where mom was preparing breakfast.

“G’morning mummy”, said Mini cheerfully.

“Good Morning, my princess. You look fresh!”

“It’s a Saturday. What are we planning to do today, mummy?”

“Whatever you say, honey. We can paint, go for some shopping and bake some cupcakes together. What do you say?”

“Super! It’s going to be a great day!!” Mini was over the clouds.

“Amm.. but to start with, we have an important appointment today, Mini.”

Mini was puzzled.

“Appointment? With whom?”

“With the doctor. It’s your vaccination day, honey.”

Hearing this, all the excitement vanished from Mini’s face. She became pale instantly. She was scared of doctors and injections, like every other kid of her age.

But she was brave too. She never cried. She always wanted to be like her mom who she has never seen crying. So Mini just went to her room, got ready and sat with her mom in the car.

Suddenly, there was some strange feeling inside her stomach. As if something was moving inside!

“Ouch! My tummy hurts!” cried Mini.

“What happened, Mini? I hope you aren’t hungry. You didn’t finish your milkshake,” asked the worried mother.

Mini said nothing.

At the doctor’s clinic, the thing inside her stomach moved faster.

“Mom, there’s something in here. I can feel.. feel.. something fluttering its wings inside my stomach,” Mini fought hard not to cry.

Mom knew what it must be. She said, “I know what it is. Does it feel like..like having.. ‘butterflies in the stomach’?”

Mini was surprised! How does mom know?

“Yes mummy, they are all over my stomach!!”

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Mom smiled and to Mini’s surprise, she started singing!

When you are nervous

About giving a test

Or scared to visit

A doctor you detest

They flutter their wings

Like a garden in springs

You say, O God, mummy

There are butterflies in my tummy

“I think we should go inside and end this suspense at once,” said mummy mischievously.

Mini squealed.

“Nooo mummy. I don’t want to go. I don’t want injections. They hurt!”

“But the doctor is not going to give you any injections. In fact, he’ll give you few drops of medicine to drink.”

“Really mom!!”

Whoa! The butterflies cannot be felt anymore! They are gone!

On their way back from the doctor’s clinic, Mini was very happy.

“Mummy, now I am certain, the day’s going to be great! I love Saturdays!”

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As stiff as blocks, as soft as clay (Age 4 and above)

Of all the presents he got on his 4th birthday, Eenu loved the building set his grandfather had brought for him. He could make whatever he wanted using those colourful blocks. Red, yellow, blue, green.. they were different in colours, shapes and sizes.

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Now Eenu could create the toys he wanted to play with. He would no longer ask his father to buy a helicopter for him. He can make one easily!

He would not ask his mom to buy a red car. He can build one with much more colours. It was exciting!

Eenu was very happy. He would come back from school and busy himself with the blocks. Mom was happy too. She would not run after him to make him have his lunch. While playing with the blocks, Eenu would finish the bowl of cereal without much fuss.

One day, Eenu saw a teddy bear in one of the toy shops. At first, he wanted to ask his mom to buy the teddy for him. But then he thought, ‘I would make the teddy myself with my blocks’.

Eenu ran back home. Kept his bag in the shelf and pulled out his box of colourful blocks. He tried making the teddy. He could make his head, his hands and legs. But alas, the teddy wasn’t as good as it should be. Infact, it didn’t look like a teddy. It looked like a robot, instead. Then, Eenu realized what exactly was missing- the fluffy tummy of the teddy! What is a teddy without a bulky, big, soft tummy? Eenu was disappointed. ‘Mom, I can’t make a teddy with my blocks. There’s no way I can get a soft, plump tummy using these blocks. That’s bad!’

Mom kissed Eenu on his cheek and said encouragingly, ‘Eenu, the blocks you have are stiff and hard. They cannot be bent or made into soft, fluffy objects. I have something for you that will help you make a soft fluffy teddy.’

Eenu brightened up. ‘What is it mom?’

Mom brought out a box. Upon opening, Eenu saw something like a dough of atta that mom uses to make rotis.

‘What is it mom? Is it atta?’

‘No dear, that’s clay for you. Use the clay to make whatever you want. You can make teddy, helicopter, car, doll, Superman, animals and a lot of other stuff. There’s almost nothing that cannot be made using clay.’ Eenu jumped with joy.

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‘How wonderful mom! Blocks were good, but clay is just wonderful!’

Mom explained, “Children should be like blocks. Stiff and strong. You should never bend under the influence of bad things of the world.

“Children should try to be like clay too. Adjust in whatever situation you are put into. You may have all the good things in life like a comfortable fluffy bed, air-conditioned rooms, delicious food, a car to make you reach school in time, expensive toys.. But you should never shrink your noses when you visit someone who doesn’t have all such comforts. God tests every brave kid. You should adjust to the place and situation like clay.”

Good Kiddies are…

as stiff as a block

or an unmovable rock

sticking to their decision

with will and precision

Good kiddies are ….

as soft as a clay mound

or water from the nearby pond

bad days or tough times

they are found all smiles

“Now let me see what can you make using this mound of clay?” Mom said and went into the kitchen.

When she came back, she saw a beautiful clay mom sitting on the table.

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The Stammering Story-teller (Age 4 and above)

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This is Raghu.

Raghu is a good boy.

He is good to mamma.

He is good to daddy.

He is good to teachers.

He is good at studies.

So can a good boy like Raghu have any problems?

Yes, he does. Everybody has problems. Just the way your mamma cooks food and sprinkles a bit of salt on it to make it interesting, God sprinkles some problems on everyone’s life to make it interesting.

Happy Happy life

And no problems at all

Makes it dull and boring,

You would have no choice

But to be happy

And spend days only snoring.

Isn’t it?

So, what was Raghu’s share of problems?

Poor Raghu used to stammer a lot.

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“Mummy, may I have a cccccc-ccc-aakke?”

“Gg-good morning, Ddd-ddaddy.”

Kids teased him. Even his friends laughed behind him.

So, Raghu stopped speaking unnecessarily.

He would speak only when it was necessary.

No gossips. No chitchats. No jokes. Raghu became a quite boy.

Raghu loved reading stories and he loved telling those stories to others. He would read the story of the thirsty crow, the ugly duckling, the tooth fairy and snow-white.

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Soon he started making his own stories!

He came up with the stories of the boy who grew up with the kangaroos and easily won the high jump race with humans, the girl who never laughed because she feared her teeth would fall off and the bee who tried to suck nectar from a lady’s hat with a flower bow.

He narrated the stories to Taplu, his pet dog. It would wag its tail and start panting happily when the storied became exciting.

One day, Raghu was narrating the story of the man who asked God that he should never grow old, and became sad thereafter because time froze for him and he didn’t have any birthdays to celebrate after that wish was granted!

At that time his mother happened to pass by and overheard the remarkable story. She was so impressed and proud of him that she went to his teacher the next day and told her about his skill.

The teacher promised to restore Raghu’s confidence.

Next day, the teacher announced a competition in the class.

“Next week, we will have a story telling competition in the class. The winner will get a surprise gift.”

Wow! A surprise gift! We all love surprises!

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But soon the excitement died because no one was able to come up with a good story.

Some students re-told the classics like Peter-the-Piper, Cinderella, or the race between the rabbit and the tortoise.

Some students started off well but could not complete the stories.

Others just cut a sorry figure before the teacher. They couldn’t even utter a word!

It was Raghu’s turn. He had a very good story in his mind. But he was scared that he would stammer and the whole class would burst into laughter.

But the teacher promised that nobody would interrupt him, giggle or pass a smirk. The one who does that will be telling a story to the class everyday!

That was scary! So no one dared to move a muscle.

So Raghu started narrating the story of the day he overheard the vegetables talking in the kitchen!

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Soon the class was absorbed. He narrated with gestures

“and then the pott-tta-tto said with pp-ppride-

I am the tt-ttastiest of all

Mash me or fry deep,

Crunchy Chips and yummy cutlets

I am delightful and ch-ch-cheap

Everyone in the class couldn’t help but listen to Raghu with rapt attention. When he stammered, students would wait eagerly for him to finish the word.

When the story came to an end, students clapped cheerfully.

The teacher planted a kiss on his cheek and without any words handed over the prize. It was wrapped beautifully.

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Raghu unwrapped the gift and was delighted to see a pile of story books inside!

But that was not the only prize he got for his wonderful attempt. He had also earned the respect of his classmates and became one of the most popular child in the class.

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If the world is boring….

If the world is boring,

And nothing’s worth exploring,

Create something new,

In stories you can stew.

 

Of fairies and dolls,                                                                                                  

Giants and trolls,

And everything in world,

That walks and crawls.

 

You don’t have an idea,

What fun it has,

In making up things like,

A hundred plaited lass.

 

I know some stories,

Infact they are many,

Come listen to me,

And stop bothering your granny!

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