The story is now a part of a short-story collection available both in print and as an ebook. I will share the links soon.
My three-year old daughter demands me stories nearly all day. I try to wave off the requests most of the times, since it means overusing my brain, which is already fried by listening and singing nursery rhymes, and dealing with petty quarrels regarding property rights over various animals, dolls, lego blocks and kitchen set, apart from building the training courses for clients.
My favourite way to wave off the request is to ask my daughter to tell me a story before I tell her one. Usually, she asks me to excuse her to deal with an ‘important matter’ and leaves the vicinity until I had forgotten the request (my daughter through and through). A few days back, though, after multiple requests, she acquised to tell me a story of the Hare and the Tortoise.
As most of you would know, the original story was about a race between a vain but fast Hare and a humble but slow Tortoise. The vain Hare underestimates his competitor and sleeps off half way through the race and wakes up to find that the Tortoise has reached the finish line. I was expecting a retelling of the same tale.
However, this is the tale she told me (in Hindi).
There was a Hare 🐰 who was going to market to buy some carrots 🥕(?), because all Hare love carrots 🐰💕🥕.
He met a Tortoise 🐢 on the way who asked him nicely if he could join him–he needed to buy some carrots too 🥕 (??), because all Tortoise love carrots too 🐢💕🥕.
So, off they went merrily 🐇🐢. (Not sure when the race will begin!)
On the way, they met an Elephant 🐘 (???) who asked them not so nicely to carry him to the market because he wanted to buy some carrots too (because, obviously, all elephants love carrots too, 🐘 💕🥕). Or else he will step on them 😡.
So the Hare punched him 👊 (That was one strong Hare!), and then, he pulled the Tortoise on his back and ran to the market. 🐇🐢💨 (AHA!!!)
Then, they, bought carrots🥕, and happily ate them.
Author’s mother’s note: Well, what can I say, I love carrots too…🤣🤣🤣
She was sitting next to where you lie, mother, all black, serious, and still.
I wanted to ask the traitor the same questions you would have–why she wasn’t around while you were still alive; when you needed to snuggle with her; when you cried for her all night?
But then, she had been out pursuing lord-knows-what.
Now, she finds the time to sit next to where you lie, mother, after you closed those beautiful eyes and left to pursue lord-knows-what; all teary-eyed and seeking forgiveness for neglecting you for all those lonely years; bringing fresh flowers; trying to take my place in your lap.
You could hardly blame me for scratching her face. I wish I had taken out her eyes…but they looked so much like your own.
Photo by Howell_eddie on Unsplash
A hushed conversation
“Isn’t that the same tree stump we passed twice before?”
“Not sure. Can’t tell one from another in the mist.”
“Greta, should we call out father’s name?”
“Han! We have been over that before. He isn’t coming. You heard mother last night, didn’t you?”
“She was just complaining about the lack of food…”
“And too many mouths to feed!”
“Then, why didn’t they send us to the king? We could have worked as slaves or something.”
“Because then, they would have to give us food for the way and money for the ride. It beats the whole point.”
“I’m so hungry, I can smell gingerbread.”
“Do you remember what old Rabbi told about the witch house made of gingerbread?”
“I hope he’s right. I would rather be eaten than starved.”
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay