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 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.)

Hope and Prepare | A Conversation

‘How does one hope for the best and prepare for the worst, Lord Vayu?’ princess Valli asked the Guardian of the Wind.

‘I am not sure, but it is quite an impossible feat I must say.’

‘To be hopeful of the great and still be ready to face the worst, a sting of irony,’ the princess added.

Vayu nodded his head.

‘To be hopeful would mean to let the heart float among the clouds,’ he said as the sky danced in shades of pink. The sun was setting. They were atop a high hill that overlooked the entire valley. ‘And to prepare for the worst would mean to fall straight unto the ground from the clouds.’

‘How can one imagine the two together. To hope for one and to prepare for another?’ Valli questioned as the wind blew her scarf. ‘Doesn’t one prepare for what one hopes?’

‘Indeed,’ replied Vayu. ‘The human life is bogged with the eternal ironies, to have day and night, shadow and light. To have the wind to breathe and to have the same win uproot homes as hurricanes.’

‘Wouldn’t it be better to be able to fly like the birds instead? To soar in the clouds and not have to worry of falling?’ Valli added.

‘But even the birds fear the fall.’

‘Perhaps, they do. And we do too.’

Meera Goes to Hogwarts: Chapter Five

A quick recap: Chapter One, Two, Three & Four.

A few days after the Quidditch selection, Benny seemed better. Meera knew that she was a little mad at being rejected. But surprisingly enough, Benny still showed up at Quidditch practices to cheer her friends. Meera was a little worried if it helped Benny, but Benny did not seem bothered as she was the day the names were pasted on the door, so Meera let it go.

It was misty morning as the colder months approached. The Quidditch practices continued as a major tournament was ahead of them. Meera was running to reach the practice ground. The group had already gather and were warming up.

‘Hi!’ said Neal as Meera reached.

‘Hi!’ she said panting.

‘Benny’s not going to show up?’ Neal asked.

‘No, she got some extra homework to finish.’

‘Better get ready for practice.’

At a distance Li was waving. Meera waved back as Neal tried to smile. She wasn’t sure if he was really waving at them. Li was the team captain and the keeper of the team. It was his job to keep the opposite team from scoring. Neal was the seeker, which was rather unexpected. Nobody thought he could take up that role, even Neal himself was a little reluctant. But as the days progressed, he proved to be one of the best the team could ever have. Redna and Gia were the beaters while Meera, Yuki and Kate were the chasers.

A new professor named Plutus was overseeing the entire Quidditch game for the Hogwarts team. He was a serious looking person who did not speak much but made the team practice really hard. It seemed like he had made his life’s mission to win the league.

‘If we don’t do well, Plutus will keep us till nightfall,’ Gia said as the team gathered closer.

‘The league begins in one week’s time,’ added Li. ‘And we shall be playing against Durmstang.’

‘I hear the team at Durmstrang is really good,’ said Neal.

Neal always had some information to share with the team. No one knew exactly where did he get his bits of information from and no one really asked. Meera did try, but Neal did not seem to want to reveal his sources.

‘Plutus is coming!’ gasped Redna. She particularly did not like him.

‘Everyone back to work!’ said Li.

Meera nodded.

The next two hours were filled with broom sticks flying left and right, the team members zooming in from there and here. Sometimes it felt like a state of chaos to Meera. When Plutus nodded to let them leave, everyone was exhausted as they hurriedly left for the Great Hall to have dinner.

A separate table had been arranged for the team. Meera thought it made them feel special but she also felt like it was quite unnecessary as they attracted so much of attention. Benny often peaked out of the side of the Hufflepuff table to have a look at Meera and Neal. She had other friends too, but it was clear she missed them.

As everyone sat down in a rush, Meera was surprised to find Li sitting next to her. He smiled as she sat down.

‘You did well today,’ he said.

‘Thanks,’ Meera said, running out of anything particular to say. ‘You’re always great,’ she was quick to add.

‘Nah, I’m just trying,’ he added.

Meera felt like she was so inadequate at conversations. What should she say next? How about how classes are going? But what would she say? Classes with students much younger than herself? How was it like? Maybe she should just keep quiet, yes that would be best. Maybe he’d say something interesting.

‘So how did you get to come to Hogwarts?’ he asked.

Yes, something interesting, Meera thought.

‘I’m not sure myself. Zuck just appeared out of thin air,’ she said and instantly regretted. Perhaps there was a better explanation, something that was really truly hooking. Sadly, there wasn’t.

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