By Anjali Nayar, illustrated by Kruttika Susarla, published by Pratham Books
Mira could not sit still. The scent of kheer from the kitchen was making her soooo hungry. She loved kheer more than anything else in the world. But when it was finally ready, Papa realised he didn’t have any raisins to put into it.
“I’ll quickly go to the market to buy some raisins,” Papa said to Mira. “Don’t eat the kheer yet.” “Yes, Papa,” Mira replied. But when Papa got back home, he saw that not a drop of kheer was left in the pot. “MIRA!” he shouted. “DID YOU EAT THE KHEER?”
“No,” Mira replied. “I didn’t eat the kheer, Papa.” “Then who did?” Papa asked. “You won’t believe what happened!” Mira said. “After you left, I saw Kiku was about to eat the kheer. So I had to save it from her! Then Kiku got upset.”
“She ran out of the house and into the middle of the road! An auto rickshaw screeched to a halt. ‘OYYYE!’ shouted the driver. Then a scooter screeched to a halt behind the auto, and a bicyclist slammed her brakes, and a truck honked its horn. ‘OYEEEEE!’ yelled all the drivers together.” “Terrified, Kiku ran off again, and I chased after her. We came to a vegetable market. At first, I couldn’t see her anywhere.”
“Then I saw her with her mouth stuffed full of spinach. ‘SHOOOO!’ screamed the vegetable seller, shooing her away.” “Scared, Kiku ran and ran, and I could not find her anywhere!” “Just then, I heard someone scream, ‘AIYYYOOO! There’s a goat eating my flowers!’ And Kiku came darting down the street, looking frightened.” “‘Kiku!’ I called, and she ran straight into my arms. I hugged her and brought her home!” Mira finished her story.
Papa started laughing. “Mira beta,” he said. “Why are you cooking up stories?” “Huh? I am not!” Mira said. “If you saved the kheer from Kiku, then who ate it?”
Papa replied. Mira hadn’t thought about that! Her eyebrows went up. “I don’t know,” she said, scratching her head. Just then, they saw the flash of a monkey’s tail before he jumped out the window. And this time, it was Papa’s eyebrows that went up.
“So can we can cook some more kheer, Papa?” Mira asked. Papa laughed. “Yes, my dear. Let’s make some more kheer!”