Friday, August 9, 2013

Finding the Six Nincompoops

This week I am bringing you an Akbar-Birbal story. The parents of siblings, Sagar and Sapna, often used skits to explain a word.
Down the road, in my stories, the older two of the four siblings, make use of little plays and skits to explain a point.
In today's story, Sapna learns the meaning of a word and also shows to her brother, Sagar, that sometimes she can make more sense of his homework than he can. 

Finding the Six Nincompoops
Bhaiya= Brother
 enact = act part
 rummaged = searched, looked

Five-year-old Sapna giggled when she saw her nine-year-old brother, Sagar pull his cheeks and scream in pain.
At the breakfast table, Dad was startled and he looked up from his newspaper.
Sagar mumbled, “What crazy homework. I have to find six parts on the head and face that can touch each other.” Next, he pulled his ears forward.
“Ouch,” he cried.
“You look crazy, like a nincompoop.” Suneeti said.
“Stop it. You don’t even know what a nincompoop is.” Sagar clicked his teeth and made a note.
“I do too, sort of. You and your friends use it all the time.” Sapna shot back.
Sagar said, “Yeah, right.” He turned to his dad and asked, “Dad, do you remember that Akbar-Birbal story about finding six nincompoops?”
Dad folded the newspaper, “Sure, son, I like the Birbal stories.”
Sagar smiled, “How about we enact the story so Sapna will know the meaning of a nincompoop?”
Dad said, “Count me in, anything to keep me from mowing the lawn.”  
Sagar said, “That’s great. Dad, you are Emperor Akbar and I’m his wise and smart adviser, Birbal.”
Sapna clapped, “Yeah, I love Akbar-Birbal stories. You need a crown Dad.”
Sapna rummaged through her school bag and took out a native-American-Indian headband decorated with shiny rocks and feathers.
She put it on Dad’s head.  “There, you are all set, Emperor Akbar.”
Dad-Akbar adjusted the headband, “Thank you, child, for this lovely crown.”
Sagar-Birbal said, “Your Majesty, we need to find six actions that a nincompoop would do.”
Dad, the Emperor, said, “Right you are, Birbal. Will you please tell this little girl to find my bifocals in the den? I remember I took them off in the bedroom.”
Sapna said, “Duh, dear Emperor, if you took them off in the bedroom, how can you find them in the den?”
Dad-Akbar said, “But the bedroom is very dark, and you can see better in the den light.”
Sagar-Birbal said, “Your Majesty, that’s what a nincompoop would do—lose a thing in one place and look for it in a different place.”
Mom spoke loudly form their garage, “Mr. Birbal, I want to find a nincompoop.”  She came into the den. with a stroller full of toys on her arms.
Dad-Akbar said, “Oh, good woman, why don’t you roll the stroller on the floor instead of loading it with toys and then swinging it in your arms?”
Mom, the woman bowed, “Your Majesty, this stroller's has worn out fabric. If I put things in it and roll it on the floor, it will tear even more.”
Sagar-Birbal said, “Lady, the stuffed stroller is already stretching the fabric, and you are making it harder on yourself by carrying it.  It makes no sense.
The Dad-Emperor and Sagar-Birbal smiled at each other and said, “Lady, you are being a nincompoop.”
Mom returned after putting the stroller away in the garage.
Sapna counted on her fingers, “Two nincompoops down and four to go.”
Mom-woman said, “Sapna, I’m sorry our dog chewed up your school bag.”
Sagar-Birbal said, “Lady, I believe it was your cat that tore up the little girl’s school bag.”
Sapna said, “Guys, you both are being silly. We don’t even have a pet and my school bag is right here, with me!”
Sagar-Birbal said, “I see that now little girl. This lady and I make two more nincompoops by talking about the pets that we don’t even have.”
Sapna said, “Got it, two and two make four nincompoops.”
Dad-Akbar said, “Little girl, I’m the fifth nincompoop who’s spent too much time playing this game instead of cutting our overgrown lawn.”
Dad-Birbal said, “And I’m the sixth one who’s left his other homework aside for too long to play this silly game.”
Sapna said, “But Dad, it’s so much fun. And I get it—a nincompoop is a foolish guy. And guess what, Bhaiya, besides the teeth; I know five parts on my face that touch each other.”
Sagar said, “No, you don’t.”
Sapna said, “I do too. Look, I can smack my lips, I can touch my nose with my tongue, my teeth can bite my lips and I can blink my eyes to make my upper-lid lashes touch the lower ones.”
Sagar went around and gave a high five to his sister, “My little sis, you’re alright.” 
Sapna smiled and went back to her breakfast; Sagar made notes in his home work, Mom read the newspaper; and Dad got ready to mow the lawn.

The End   

© 2013, Meera Desai Shah  

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