FISHES

Excerpt: It is a worldly truth that a child can’t hide the glee of his heart. It follows also that a child can’t hide the sadness of his heart either. Thus the traces of their sadness were visible at their faces. (Reads: 47)

 

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Children Short Story – FISHES
Photo credit: xenia from morguefile.com

Every surrounding thing was soaked and drenched in water, the drops of water were still trickling-down from the thatched roof into the earthen pots, which were placed to accumulate drops hence water would not be fell on the floor, but still the splashes of drops were sprinkling in the air from the overfilled earthen pots and making the surface damp, and a particular smell of soil was wafting in the air.

Last night there had a heavy rainfall and in the morning effect of that was visible although now the rays of rising sun were glistering on the thatched-roof. In midst of these, two gleeful young boys were playing the pellets of glass inside the room of the thatched-roofed hut; for that day was a holiday in the school and both the parents had gone to work, when the sun was still not appeared on the horizon. One boy was about thirteen years old and other one was about eleven years old.  Suddenly the colours of pleasant morning attracted the eyes of the younger boy and then breaking the tranquillity of the moment, younger boy sounded out, looking at the rays of the sun which were coming into the room through a bared window, “What a lovely morning! Sunshine after the rain has filled the whole mind and heart with the new feelings and ideas; we should go for fishing, the fresh and muddy water will make fishes careless and hungry; they will easily accept bait. Especially cat-fishes will be so eager to catch bait that they can’t  differentiae even between a piece of bait and a fishing-hook.”

The other one nodded and replied, “Oh yes, sunbeam and the drops of the rain water are making the heart joyous, and the fresh gush of water must be inviting and enticing fishes in large numbers to come on the surface of water.  We should go for fishing, but a problem needs to be solved, the owner of the pond, is must be alarmed by the rain and must be looking for ardent fish-catcher like us. He doesn’t like transgressing strangers, and suspect even an ordinary bather. ”

Again the younger one nodded and said, “Oh, yes, some of the men are brute even the face of an innocent child can’t bring the sheen of kindness to their eyes thus we must take care of that moustache man, I know very well his anger towards the transgressing anglers; two days ago, he had ruthlessly beaten Raju and called him a thief, who tried to steal fishes from the pond, I was there and felt the horror of being beaten. And at the end he warned every child about loitering around the pond.”

Then elder one added, “Yeah, I know very well his ruff behaviour; once he has employed a guard for the pond but somehow that guard himself was caught stealing and selling fishes from the pond and thus his employer pounded him on his body with the great force as he were pounding his dirty clothes on the side of his pond and showered his clenched-fist with such force and rapidity as if he were trying to lynch that man, and then he ordered the man, who was drenched in blood and lay on his back , to leave the pond at once; We have to find out solution to escape  the eyes of the pond owner.”

After pondering for some moment, the elder one said, “I have a plan, first of all, we should check out, whether he is at he the pond or not, and then we shall carry on our plan; let take a fishing-rod”. And the younger one took the bamboo made fishing-rod, which was kept in the corner of that hut and presently prepared the bait of wheat-flour.

Thus both started to tread towards the pond; in the way both the boys saw other boys and their chums, playing cricket on the wet ground and soiling their bodies and their clothes, and some of them as working as a casual grazier, striking the hunches of cows with the small and the slender leafy-branches of a tree, some of the small children were playing with the paper-made miniature of dinghy on running down rain-water, but the mind of both the boys were still inclined to fishing. The pond was almost two kilometres far away. About some distance from that pond, a large habitation of a bush lay along the path of that pond. And a big and high rock had occupied the place beside of the bush. As both the enthusiast reach that point, the elder one promptly climbed on the cliff of the rock and start looking to the pond, view was very clear from that cliff. Having watched and sensed every danger, the elder one as able observer, started to say with little sadness in the voice, “Tut! Perhaps luck is not with us today; the moustache man is not there but someone is present at the pond. May be the friend the owner of the pond and in the absence of him that man is taking care of the pond.”

It is a worldly truth that a child can’t hide the glee of his heart. It follows also that a child can’t hide the sadness of his heart either. Thus the traces of their sadness were visible at their faces. They were now on the state of confusion to do what or to do what not.

But the younger one given up the state of confusion, and not yielding to situation, asked, “ Should we go back now?” The elder one suggested after a little pondering, “No,we should hide fishing-rod inside of the bush, and then take a bath in the pond.”

Thus both boys started again their march, with the small steps, towards the pond, having the fishing-rod and the bait hidden in the bush. And as they reached the pond, watched the beauty of rain drenched pond, smelled the muddy water and observed the globes of drops, shining like the small bit of diamond on the lotus and on the eclipse-shaped leaves, and witnessed the ripples on the surface of water which must be created by the kisses of the fishes on the surface of water; and they found that the stubble-faced man was fishing with a fishing-net and putting fishes in a sack. Observing both the children, the man’s poker face changed into a confused face, and questioned them with slight annoyance, “Hi boys, why you both are here? Haven’t any work to do?”

The elder one although nervous but said, confidently, “Good morning, sir, we come here for take a bath.”  The man ordered, looking at them sternly, “Then take a bath and go.”

Both the boys took off the clothes with sight hurriedness and took a bath without showing any emotion and put up cloths and return to their hut.

In the evening their parents returned from work.  After washing hands and feet, all were sitting  on the charpoy   except the mother, who was cutting potatoes on the ground.  Voluntarily, the father of the children, wiping the feet with a small piece of cloth, started to talk to the mother of both the children, “ In the morning Lokeshnath, the owner of the pond, caught a thief, who was carrying fishes in a sack. The father of Lokeshnath was sick, thus he went to the pond after some delay, but as he reached near the pond, he found a man with a fishing-net and a sack filled with fishes. Lokeshnath whacked the man with the great force as if he were whacking a mad dog until the thief went breathless.”

Both the children, who were sitting beside of the father and paying with the cuttings of the labels of match boxes, having heard that, started to gaze each other with  the open mouth.

–END–

KAMLESH BIRUA

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