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The Quarrel

by Karuna Kumar
(Malaysia)

Sameera and Mohit were siblings. Mohit was three years younger than Sameera. Although they were very fond of each other, they often quarrelled. Sameera was very neat and tidy, but Mohit had not learnt to take care of his things. As they shared the same room, this was often the cause of their quarrels.

One afternoon, when Sameera came back from school, she found all kinds of things spread over her bed – playing cards, dirty socks, a broken toy, a pile of tattered comics, even a muddy shoe! She was furious. “Take your dirty things off my bed!” she yelled.
“Don’t yell!” replied Mohit. “I don’t like yelling.”

“I don’t like the mess you make,” Sameera shouted. “And I’m going to throw it all on the floor!”

“Don’t you dare do that!” Mohit shouted back.

Their father heard the shouting and came in to see what was happening. “Stop all this shouting and tidy up!” he ordered when he saw the mess in the room.

He went off leaving Sameera and Mohit to clean up. Sameera was furious. She swept Mohit’s things off her bed and onto the floor. She pushed Mohit’s bed to one side of the room and her own bed to the other side. Then she shoved all of Mohit’s things towards his side of the room. Finally, she took a piece of white chalk and drew a line in the middle of the room. “What are you doing?” asked Mohit.

“New rules!” declared Sameera. “You stick to your side of the room, and I’ll stick to mine. I won’t let my things come to your side, and you don’t let your things come to my side. Understand?”

That night Mohit could not sleep. He felt scared and lonely in his corner of the room. “I wish I could push my bed near Sameera’s. But she may get even more angry,” he thought.

In her own corner of the room, Sameera too could not sleep for a long time. She too felt lonely. She missed the bedtime chat she generally had with Mohit before they fell asleep.

At three o’clock in the morning, Mohit couldn’t bear it any longer. He tiptoed towards Sameera’s bed. By now Sameera had fallen asleep. Quietly Mohit got into her bed, snuggled near her and fell asleep. A little later Sameera realised that Mohit was in her bed. She smiled to herself and continued to sleep.

In the morning, Sameera woke Mohit up as usual. “Wake up, sleepy head! It’s time for school,” she said.

Mohit sat up quickly. “Let’s please push our beds together again before going to school,” he pleaded. “I promise I’ll take care of my things and won’t leave them lying around!”

“Okay, I don’t mind giving you a second chance,” agreed Sameera.

Their parents were at the door. They heard what the two children were saying.

“So it seems that all’s well that ends well,” remarked their father.

“At least until the next quarrel,” said the mother.


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