The Adventures of Minu and Bo: The Drawing

MInu and Bo by Subina
Drawing by Subina Shrestha

Bo could smell something burning as he woke up. He tried sniffing more to know if he was correct.

‘Aha!’ he said. Minu must have forgotten to turn off the stove, he thought.

Minu and Bo, two brown squirrels lived under a big Purple Tree in a big garden opposite of an even bigger palace.

Bo walked out to see what was really the matter after he checked the stove which was not lit. Minu was outside, standing in front of a big fire. Bo ran, grabbed her hand and bought her closer to the door at the tree trunk.

‘What were you doing?’ he asked, panting.

Minu looked dejected, she did not answer. Bo dragged a bucket full of water and poured it over the fire.

After the fire subsided, he was stunned to find what was burning. A few portraits were already half burnt, a few more had turned into ashes.

‘You burnt your drawings!’ he exclaimed looking at Minu. She couldn’t tell if he was angry or shocked.

He hurriedly started searching something in the remains. There was a drawing of the big purple tree, another had a beautiful nut that Bo remembered was from when they had travelled to the mountains. He used his sharp claws to dig deeper.

‘Phew!’ he said wiping droplets of sweat from his forehead as he pulled out a drawing slightly burned at the edges. He hid the drawing as he walked inside.

Minu thought about the the Annual Squirrel Fair they had returned from a few days earlier. It was a big fair with squirrels selling clothes to nuts to the things they had made. Minu had her drawings placed in the art corner. But she was not able to sell a single drawing. Sure there were other good ones, but hers’ weren’t bad either. Furious at herself, she decided to burn down her drawings.

Bo did not talk to Minu for the coming few days. He was angry that she had tried to burn down everything. She wasn’t in a good mood either but tried to remain distracted by cooking, cleaning or doing anything that kept her mind off of the discussion.

One morning when she was cleaning, Minu uncovered a drawing from Bo’s room. It was the same drawing he had retrieved from the ashes. Her eyes swelled with tears.

The drawing was from the year when they had collected one of the highest number of nuts. There was Minu and Bo standing besides a big pile of nuts. Bo looked extremely happy, and so did Minu. It was Bo’s favorite drawing and Minu’s too.

How could she have decided to burn it down? She could not understand. Bo had entered the room and was standing beside the door.

‘Sorry Bo,’ Minu said, tearing streaming down her cheeks. ‘I had been too stupid, just because no one bought my drawings in the fair I had decided it wasn’t good enough.’

‘But you are wrong,’ Bo said quickly handing her a box of tissues. ‘I like your drawings a lot.’

‘I do too,’ she said looking at the drawing in her hands. Bo smiled. It was ok if she wasn’t able to sell her drawings anymore. She felt glad looking at the portrait, thinking about the time they were so happy captured in her art. It wasn’t perfect, but it was special.

The Moment I fell in Love with Poetry

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

Maybe it was in 7th grade
when I memorized poems
for home work
so the teacher would not
be mad at me,
or maybe when I tried to
impress her for
3 extra grades.

Maybe it was the time
when two words I wrote
rhymed, and I became
a certified poet in my childish mind.

Maybe it was in 12th grade
when my crush wouldn’t look my way,
so I’d write about it everyday.
I didn’t know I’d really
laugh about it someday.

Cliche, I know.

Maybe it was the first time
I performed in front of strangers
about an animal and the man,
my throat ran dry
every time I had to greet someone.

Maybe it was when
we put up poetry evenings
in our college lawn
shaking but sure,
I decided to perform, a second time.

Maybe it was under the
moon lit February,
the day Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye
filled the air with echoes
of the arrival of love.

Maybe it was
taking a poetry class,
those meek yet subtle
lines that tied all of us together,
spilling truths we’d never tell
anyone alive.

Maybe it was that day
when I received a call for
a paid performance,
but it rained and rained on the
performance day,
not just once but twice.
And yet the soaking rain
made me grateful than sad.

Maybe it was all of those times
I’d divide a portion of my salary
to buy more poetry books,
uncovering secrets of human life
in lines.

Maybe it was in those days
when I couldn’t speak,
unable to devise an utterable word,
but still could write,
miles and miles.

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

I couldn’t.


This World Poetry Day, I tried reflecting back on when and where I fell in love with poetry. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. Like the veins of our bodies that run through each of our cells, I couldn’t find a place or a time when poetry was not there, sometimes in foreground, sometimes in background. 

The Adventures of Minu and Bo: The Rainbow Umbrella

Minu and Bo are two brown squirrels who live in a big tree with purple leaves. The purple tree as it was called, was at the center of a big garden, opposite of an even bigger palace. Visitors often came to see the palace and the two squirrels marveled at them.

“Big camera!” Bo screamed pointing at the girl from the tree. There were a few more people behind who were clicking photographs of the palace. Bo ran as fast as he could, Minu followed.

The girl could see Bo’s nose up close, his messy fur and sharp claws. Bo had jumped in front of her camera and started waving his hand while Minu was pulling him away. Bo wouldn’t budge. The girl clicked a few pictures, Bo kept on waving as Minu looked at everyone nervously.

“Lets go Bo,” she kept on saying.

Minu eventually dragged Bo towards the purple tree. Bo kept waving till they disappeared inside the tree trunk.

That was the usual Bo, always happy to meet the humans. Minu was a little skeptic, but the humans often left them a few nuts, which made them very happy.

“Ohooooo….,” Bo said shivering as they reached inside the trunk.

Minu peeked out of the hole. The sky had suddenly turned dark and the visitors were slowing moving away. She could see a colored umbrella lying on the grass nearby. Bo peeked out.

“Someone must have left it, Bo,” Minu said looking at the umbrella. Bo nodded.

They could feel the drops of rain falling over their heads. Minu moved closer towards the umbrella. She pulled it, but it was too big. She signaled Bo for help. They slowly dragged the umbrella towards the tree. The sky turned darker as the clouds moved closer. They stopped just outside the tree.

“What are we going to do of it?” Bo asked. He paused for a while, and exclaimed with sudden excitement, “Its rainbow colored!”

Bo liked watching the rainbows. Minu always told him about the rainbows that would shine after the dark days filled with rain.

“Help me open it,” Minu said pointing towards the umbrella.

The two little squirrels tried their best. Bo had given up many times, but Minu wouldn’t call it quits. Finally, it opened. They kept the umbrella beside the trunk and arranged for it to stand on its own. Minu went inside and bought two nuts. She gave one to Bo.

“Lets sit under the umbrella and watch the rainfall,” she said. Bo finally understood.

They chewed on their nuts as the rain fell on the ground. The smell of wet earth filled the air. The rain stopped after a while and they decided to close the umbrella and dragged it inside the trunk. A rainbow shone across the sky. Bo was delighted, so was Minu.

“Lets thank the owner if they ever return,” Minu said. Bo agreed.

Minu drew two squirrels over a card and attached it with the umbrella. Bo wrapped some nuts to give its owner. They kept the umbrella back over the place they had found it.

The owner hasn’t returned yet, but they keep the rainbow umbrella over the same place everyday. Bo changes the old nuts and adds fresh ones. He usually eats the old ones before they get bad. Minu keeps drawing over new cards, as they continue to watch the rainfall under the rainbow umbrella waiting for its owner.

(Also published in Kindness Times on August 10, 2017.)

The Journey South

Image by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay
Image by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

‘Mama,’ said the Baby Bear as they dug the pile of garbage for food. ‘Why does it smell so different?’ she asked again.

Mama Bear frowned, she had no answer.

A group of 12 polar bears had left their home in search for food. The older ones were starving, the younger ones were afraid. They had just come across the pile of garbage, where humans, the most superior of beings as marked by God, had left a humongous mountain of waste.

Baby Bear dug dipper, she had found something. It gave off a pungent smell. She realized it was not food. It was a cellphone. She could not eat it.

‘They are coming!’ said one of the elderly bears. The entire group rose up and started moving backwards. The humans had arrived with loud noises. They had crackers along, and a pack of dogs with them. The dogs had already begun barking.

‘Mama, what do they have?’ questioned the Baby Bear.

‘We must move,’ said Mama Bear.

‘But I’m still hungry.’

Mama Bear frowned. Some of the bears continued digging for food. Their pearl white fur had turned brown and black. The smell was unbearable.

A loud noise scared the bears even more. Nearby, the humans had just lit their crackers. The dogs were barking loudly.

‘It’d be better to move,’ said one of the bears. But the pack was very hungry. The bears had not eaten for three days. They had to pick one, fear or hunger. And hunger won the battle. A few moved back, while some continued digging, chewing on whatever their senses allowed them to pass as edible.

Baby Bear found a can of food. It gave off a pungent smell, but she realized she could eat it. She swallowed it in one breath.

A few more crackers went off and the bears retaliated, their hearts stopping for a micro second. The barking had become louder and louder. The dogs were nearing in.

The pack finally decided to backdown and moved further back. They slowly started to disperse. The food hunt had been paused.


A group of polar bears is called ‘Celebration’. But the pack that entered human settlement in the Russian village recently, was not about celebration of any sort. Humans are on top of the food chain so we’ll receive the blow at the end, but the blow is also likely to be final. My heart capsized when I saw the picture of the bears searching for food in the trash. What have we done to bring such magnificent beasts of nature to this point?