Saturday, July 13, 2013

Who Ate the Last Piece?


So far so good, today is my third blog-post
While growing up in India, I loved reading Akbar-Birbal stories. The Mughal Emperor, Akbar ruled India in the 16th Century. His adviser Birbal, accepted all the intellectual challenges that Akbar tossed him. Akbar's reign was just and Birbal helped Akbar to keep it so.

Once Akbar's Empress lost a diamond necklace. It fell upon Birbal to find the thief and the missing necklace. Birbal asked the palace workers certain questions, the guilty person exposed himself by his answers.
In my story, Sagar and Sapna look for the thief who made the last piece of a cake disappear.

Who Ate The Last Piece?
(for 5-7 year-old-children)
bhaiya = brother (Hindi)
retorted = gave a smart answer
remnants = remaining, left behind

Hands on her waist, five-year-old, Sapna looked at the empty plate on the kitchen counter.
“Bhaiya, you ate the last piece. We were supposed to share it.”
Her nine-year-old brother, Sagar dribbled a soccer-ball into the kitchen. “I didn't eat it, maybe you did.”
He picked up a brown crumb from the plate and popped it in his mouth. He dribbled the soccer-ball into the den.
“I’m telling. Mu..mmy...” She followed Sagar into the den.
“Sapna, what happened?” Mom came to the den.
“Bhaiya says that I ate the last piece of the chocolate cake. I didn't.”
“She did too, 'cause, it certainly wasn't me,” Sagar retorted.
Mom raised her eyebrows as she walked towards the kitchen. 
The two children followed her.
Mom put the empty plate in the sink just as her cell phone rang. She wiped her mouth with a paper towel before answering.
Sagar tossed the soccer-ball from one hand to the other and stared at Mom.
He put the soccer-ball in a corner, took a couple of kitchen towels, and twisted them many times to make a loop. He whispered to Sapna as he put the towel-loop on the top of her head.
Sapna balanced the towel-loop like a crown, and sat still on a bar-stool.
As soon as Mom put the cell phone down on the counter, Sapna said, "Mummy, I am Akbar and Bhaiya is Birbal."
"Oh, fun, we're going to have a skit!" Mom smiled as she sat on the other bar-stool.
Sagar-Birbal said, “Mummy, this is serious. Do not sit unless the emperor tells you."
"Pardon me, Your Majesty." Mom bowed as she got up from the bar-stool. 
Sapna-Akbar said, "You may sit, lady."
"Thank you, Your Majesty." Mom sat on the bar-stool.
"Please open your mouth.” Sagar-Birbal said.
“Why?” Mom asked.
Sapna-Akbar said, “Lady, listen to what Sagar-Birbal, my adviser says. If you don't, we'll lock you up in your room."
Mom shrugged, and opened her mouth.
Sagar-Birbal peered into Mom’s mouth, sniffed a little, and looked at Sapna-Akbar.
Sapna-Akbar asked, “Well, Birbal, what did you find in the lady's mouth?”
“Your Majesty, besides her tongue and her teeth, I see the evidence in her mouth.” Sagar-Birbal said.
"Birbal, what do you mean? Please explain."
"Your Majesty, I smelled chocolate as soon as she opened her mouth and then I saw the remnants of the cake stuck in her teeth." Sagar-Birbal said.
“Aha, I knew it, Birbal, you found the thief. Lady, did you eat the last piece of our chocolate cake?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.” Mom bowed.
“Lady, you can't hide from Birbal. As a punishment, you’ll make another chocolate cake just for Birbal and me. Do you understand? That means, a cake for Bhaiya and me.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.” Mom bowed.
Sagar gave a thumbs-up sign to Sapna, and dribbled the soccer-ball back to the den.
Sapna hugged Mom, “You are the best cake-maker in the whole wide world.”

The End

© 2013, Meera Desai Shah

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