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The Strange case of dying Calves-contd.

by Manjula K
(Bangalore, Karnataka, India)

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One evening, there was a fair in Roygada. I loved these fairs because the tribal people who lived up in the hills congregated at the fair and sold beautiful hand-made jewellery,coloured beads and wafers made of puffed rice. The wafers were a tasty treat when we deep fried them in oil and ate them hot and crisp.

My sister was sick with cold, so grandma let me go to the fair along with Kishanda. As always, I was thrilled to see so many colourful wares at the fair. I bought a handful of bangles, beaded necklaces, pretty bamboo baskets (for grandma), nice kurtas made of coarse cotton (for grandpa) and several other interesting items. By the time Kishanda and I started homewards, it was well into the evening. Kishanda’s hut was close to my grandma’s home, so I thought it best for him to stay back and let me proceed to my own home.

“Are you sure, Choti Memsaab?” he asked, his voice full of concern.

“Oh, that is quite alright Kishanda. I can walk alone to grandma's house.”

That was quite true. Grandma’s home was visible from Kishanda's house, and I only had to walk a few yards more before reaching home.

I left him at his hut and proceeded homeward. Suddenly there was a flash of lightning and once again, it started to rain.

Luckily, this time grandma had given me an umbrella so I took it out of my bag and opened it out. This time, the thunder broke the silence with a loud clap. My heart skipped a beat.

My footsteps quickened and though grandma's house was quite visible, I had to cross the trees that were now beginning to look dark and eerie. Their branches were swaying wildly in the wind, and I had to hold on to the umbrella lest it flew away into the horizon. The soil beneath my feet was damp and slippery. I missed a step and tripped in the slush. I sat down on a wooden log to nurse my injured foot.


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