Short Story by Eden

My niece Eden loves to write. At the age of 12 her thoughts are unique & rather deep. Here goes one of her short stories.

Defense is the Best Form of Attack

By

Eden

The drum was beating. The horn was sound.

“The king is coming! The king is coming!” shouted the people of the village.

The king hadn’t visited in a long time, and did not inform anyone about his visit. Nothing was prepared.

So the bakers rushed to get him fresh pastries, and the tailors rushed to get new clothes to gift him. Yet when the king got out of his chariot he said: “I want no gifts or sweets or anything as such. All I want is a brave man to help me.”

Many boys and men stepped out. Too many for the king to choose. So he asked them to battle to see who the three strongest men were. The battle took place then and there. Finally the three men were chosen.

The king still did not reveal what he needed them for. But the men did not question the king; they simply did what they were told.

The king took them on his chariot and invited them to come with him to the palace. When they reached the palace the king explained to them that he had three tigers. Each of the men were to battle with one tiger and make it surrender to them.

The first man battled furiously with force, bravery and strength. The tiger had tried to defend itself but it was too late. The man hit and beat it until it was dead.

The second man, too fought bravely, but did not kill the tiger. He tossed it around and severely injured it. The man soon could not fight anymore. He began to feel sorry for the tiger. He walked away in shame.

The third man did not fight. He simply defended himself from the tiger’s actions. Soon the tiger began to calm down, as he knew the man meant no harm. It soon stopped attacking the man. The man came out without a scar or wound and so did the tiger.

Seeing both the man and the tiger without injury, the king was surprised. He decided that the tiger had surrendered to the man. He then declared the man, the strongest and most respected man in the kingdom and asked him to protect his daughter while he was away. He said all this not knowing that the man did not fight, but just defended himself.

       *                *              *

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The lost art of handwriting

 

Growing up, I used to love writing letters  & sending greeting cards to family & friends.

What was even more thrilling was to receive cards, letters & replies by post.

It was a sheer delight to come home from school or college & see 1 or 2 letters or greeting cards waiting to be opened & read.

It was great.

We had a post-lady  – I would eagerly look out for her, to see if she had any letters for me in her bag. And then that down cast feeling when she would just smile & carry on. No letters that day.

There was such excitement to just receive a letter by post.

Today I stand guilty.

I have become terrible at writing. All the typing has got me so out of touch with handwriting.

In fact it requires some effort to get my writing to be fairly legible.

I am guilty of not writing letters anymore.

Other than the rare card that comes by once a year around Christmas, no letters come in either.

As with all of us hooked onto the trappings of the socially networked world, ‘updates’ are through short text messages via the mobile or Facebook status updates, replying to someone else’s  status message or an e-card in bulk using bcc.

What a radical shift from the doodle filled, detail  rich letters we used to send & receive. And postcards when someone went abroad.

Collecting stamps I’m sure will soon be so out-dated as to appear as the hobby of the ancients. 

Today we are digitally enabled but it’s about the spread of your contacts & the count not so much the depth. The ‘Hp all well, tk care.” msg while quicker & faster, lacks any emotional content whatsoever. And so it is.

Today you possibly need to see a Wikipedia page to understand this ancient pre-historic form of communication called letter writing using implements such as pen  or pencil & paper (wotdat?)

Ask a child to write you a letter when they go on vacation & pat comes the reply “I’ll send you an email”.

Talk to little children today about letter writing  & they will look at you aghast as if they just heard about a snake in the vicinity.

Are you a Souveniristic Tourist? Take the test to find out.

                                                                 

Take this quick test to assess just how much of a  souvenir freak you are & if there is any hope left to become normal.

1. Do you collect  magnets of every hill & dale you visit in each country? Yes/No  

 2. Do you collect souvenir spoons as a keepsake of countries you visit?  Yes/No

 3. Do you buy postcards to send friends & family but…like it way too much & keep it for yourself ?  Yes/No

 4. Do you collect foreign coins & postage stamps from every place &  have a neat pile up you know not where to  keep?  Yes/No

 5. Do you bring back a slice of sunshine via a photograph, or a bottle of  sand, or collect shells & pebbles that have that amazzzzing shade you won’t find elsewhere?  Yes/No

 6. Have other people seen your ailment & started bringing back magnets & spoons as gifts for you from their travels?  Yes/No

7. As you flip through books do you discover old tram, train, subway, concert tickets from Godknowswhere that serve as bookmarks? Yes/No

8. Do you preserve museum flyers, local maps as a token of sentiment? Yes/No  

9. Do you have a pile up of mementos of every shape, colour & imagination? Yes/No         

             

10. Do you write blog posts about souvenirs? Yes/No                                                       

 

 

 

Score
Upto 3 Yes  –  You are a happily balanced tourist
Upto 6 Yes  –  You are a tourist tugging away from the rope of normalcy that is trying to detain you
Upto 8 Yes  –  You are a tourist who has broken free from the rope. In  other words you are on the border of souveniritis
All 10 Yes    –  You are a tourist with a case of extreme souveniritis-outta-balancia. Get well soon!