Coordination, Innovation, Celebration

KIDS STORIES

Originally posted in Writers' Diary 

I am trying to make a series of stories which starts from a funny old woman’s kitchen (Japanese Folk Tale); goes through the series of adventure, moral lessons, glimpses of magic spell stuffs, fun and ends with totally new characters on scene ready for continuation of series. I am being helped by an enthusiastic student too. :)

Part I : The Funny Old Woman 

Once upon the time, there lived a funny old woman who liked to prepare rice dumplings for her husband. She pased most of her time in her kitchen and in care of her husband. She used to laugh “Tee-Hee-Hee”. One day she was preparing rice dumplings for her husband. Accidentally, one of the rice dumplings fell down onto the earthen floor. It rolled down into the small hole on her floor. She tried to pick it up, but the hole grew wider and she fell down through the hole. She stepped on a new place, which looked like her neighborhood.

Actually, it was not her neighborhood. She was on a inclined road. The sides of the road were green paddy fields. She began to run down the road crying: “My rice dumpling!”. At a place, on the side of the road was a ‘Statue God’ who asked: “Where are you going old woman?”. She didn’t care much about the question. She looked at the Statue God and asked: “Have you seen my rice dumpling?”. “Yes, it was rolling down the road.” – replied the Statue God and added: “But don’t go further for there is a wicked Oni who likes human flesh and blood.”. She thought that was funny and laughed “Tee-Hee-Hee”. She began to run down the road saying : “My rice dumpling, my rice dumpling !”.

Same incident happened when she met second Statue God. She was running down crying, when she came across third Statue God. The third Statue God asked her to hide herself behind him, as there was Oni curiously walking up the road. Soon after, she saw a giant-like Oni climbing up the road and therefore she hid herself behind the third Statue God. “Hey Statue God, I can smell some humankind here.” , said Oni. “I am not sure.”, replied the third Statue God. “But I am sure, here is the old woman” , Oni saw the funny old woman and picked her up. “I will be angry with you and will never forgive you if you kill such a poor old woman.” – said the third Statue God. “She will be happily staying in my kitchen preparing food for me and my friends” , promised the Oni. The funny old woman laughed “Tee-Hee-Hee”.

He took the funny old woman with him till they reached a river. He caught the boat and put the old woman into it. He rowed it with a paddle. They reached another bank. Another side of the river was greener with dense forest. They walked together towards Oni’s home. There were other Onis who were waiting for the Oni. They were his friends. He asked the old woman to prepare food in his kitchen using his magic paddle. She had to put a grain of rice in a pot and fill it with water. On the fire, she had to stir the pot with one grain of rice and water. The rice began to multiply by two. 1-2-4-8-16-32-64-128-256-512-1024- and so on. She used to laugh “Tee-Hee-Hee” when she noticed rice multiplying while stirring it.

Some days passed, and she began to miss her husband and her kitchen where she used to cook her favourite rice dumplings. One day she noticed that nobody was in the house except her. She quietly came out of the house with the magic paddle under her girdle. She walked down through the dense forest until she reached the bank of the river. There was a boat without its paddle. Looking at the magic paddle funnily; she said “It helps.”. She rowed the boat slowly with the rice-paddle. As soon as she reached the next bank, she looked back to see the Oni’s place as she would never come back again. What she saw on the other bank of the river was the fiercest Oni ever with red-red eyes. Oni couldn’t swim across river; so he kneeled down to suck the entire river water. He did so and made the river muddy. The funny old woman was helpless and began to cry with funny face. The Oni couldn’t stop laughing and he again filled the river with water.

Poor helpless woman thought of running away from there and she marched up with pace. She saw three Statue Gods on her way but she didn’t talk with anyone. She saw a hole nearby the road on the field terrace and struggled more to reach the other end of that hole. She cried with happiness and ran to her husband’s bed as soon as she reached in her kitchen. The funny old woman and her husband began to pass their days in home with happiness. Sometimes she used to laugh “Tee-Hee-Hee”.

Part II: Flight to Heaven 

One day the old couple thought of selling the magic paddle. One of their neighbours paid a huge amount for the magic paddle. Then the old couple bacame very rich and established a restaurant named ‘Food Paradise’. They kept 4 staff in the restaurant and the funny old woman became the attraction of the restaurant doing some supervision and cooking town’s famous rice-dumplings. She began to earn more money as the restaurant was very popular and earned fame in the short time. Days passed on and the funny old woman began to become greedier. One day, she went to her neighbour and asked that neighbour to sell the ‘magic paddle’ back to her. That neighbour refused in soft words “I am sorry lady; what I can sell you is a magic broom. Using this; you can save your time and money in your restaurant”.

She purchased that magic broom. Her neighbour’s Tom Cat followed her while she was going home. “Stay back!” she shouted. Tom Cat said: “I always play with the threads of brooms, kind lady!”. She allowed the Tom Cat to go with her. Next day, she redesigned her restaurant with proper corner to the magic broom and Tom Cat playing around it. One of the regular customer liked it and said: “Impressive!”. In the evenings, she used to clean the restaurant with the magic broom. The broom moved and cleaned as the wish of its master. The funny old woman was happy to get the magic broom in her restaurant.

One day, suddenly her husband died of heart-attack. That was the graviest moment in the life of the old woman. She began to stay in her house in grief with her relatives. The restaurant was being run by staff members and the Tom Cat. One day when all relatives returned to their homes, the old woman returned to the restaurant and suddenly rode on the magic broom. She said: “Broom, Oh Broom ! Take me to a ride! To a person who made me bride !”. The magic broom accepted the master. Soon, she was riding on the broom with the Tom Cat behind. The Tom Cat felt wonderful to see the clouds beneath and gradually he began to miss the mice and rats of the restaurant. He asked the old woman: “Let us return, I want to go back. “. But the old woman denied. So, he slid down the rainbow down the earth and reached the restaurant. In the sky, the thunderstorm hit the woman and she turned into ash and smoke. The magic broom was just as normal for it had magical power in it. It fell down and dropped just in front of the restaurant.

The Tom Cat then became its master. The intelligent cat then sat on round table with staff members of the restaurant. They appointed him the head and assumed joint-ownership of the restaurant. They also renamed the restaurant “Magical Cat Food Paradise” and redesigned the restaurant with more care on menu and surroundings. They purchased a land around them for making a parking space. The Tom Cat, the magic broom, and the restaurant began to become popular in the village and nearby towns.

Part III: Magic Spell of Jealous Neighbour

‘Magical Cat Food Paradise’ was a popular dine spot in the local area and nearby areas. The Tom Cat, and his human colleagues were very happy working with each other in a nice restaurant. One day the jealous neighbour who had purchased the magic paddle from the old woman visited there. The Tom Cat offered him free drinks and food. He was very happy to have free drinks and food. He became very jealous as his ex-domestic Tom Cat had then become the most successful animal in the village. He found the new setting of the restaurant very much impressive. He promised that he would be their regular customer.

The jealous neighbour returned home and began to think something very harmful to the ‘Magical Cat Food Paradise’ and especially affecting his ex-domestic Tom Cat. Suddenly, he put a magic spell in the paddle that he owned. “Paddle, Oh Paddle! Multiply a grain of rice! to eighteen grains and two lice!” During his visit to the restaurant he put an offer forward to the Tom Cat: “Mr. Tom Cat, I am thinking of selling my magic paddle to somebody else. Are you interested in buying it?” The Tom Cat was more than happy to get that offer. He said: “Let us do it. How much do we have to pay?” Then The Magical Cat Food Paradise purchased the magic paddle as they were happy thinking that their rice grains would be saved.

The Tom Cat and his human colleagues had a meeting and they planned a festival in their restaurant. Soon, they began to decorate the restaurant for the Christmas Party. Tom Cat had a car and a driver to drive him to town and nearby areas. He was carrying invitation letters for renowned customers of his restaurant. The jealous neighbour was looking all these and was being happy that the Tom Cat and his restaurant would serve lice with rice to their customers during the Christmas Party. He was counting days to witness such situation.

In the Christmas eve, the jealous neighbour arrived quite early in the restaurant. Everybody including the Tom Cat were very busy for the final cleaning job. The guests began to come. The wealthiest cat of the town came in and shook hands with the Tom Cat. “Where is your master?” asked the jealous neighbour. “Well, this restaurant has invited cats only. Are you invited?” replied the wealthiest cat of the town. The jealous neighbour had nothing to say and he went out without being able to answer. He was still looking out of his window to see what would happen then after. Soon after that, the restaurant was occupied with famous cats of the town. They drank and ate. They liked the lice in rice. Most of them seemed very much thankful to the Tom Cat for organising such party for only cats. One of them made a comment: “I like the rice most; its delicious ! “.
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