It was summer vacation and Maya had gone for her annual visit to her grandfather’s village. Her cousins, Samah and Shiva, were also there. The twins were her maternal uncle’s children, and about a year younger than Maya. The three had lots of fun with their grandfather. One day after supper, Grandpa announced, “Kids, we are going camping tomorrow morning. You better have an early night and go to bed soon. No stories tonight.”
They all shouted ‘hurray’ in unison, and left for their rooms immediately after helping Grandpa clear the table, wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen.
The next morning, all three woke up excitedly. They prepared breakfast together and finished it off as fast as they could, and got ready for the trip.
They sang all the way and had lots of fun on the trip, stopping in between to click photos. Soon, they arrived at a hill and Grandpa announced that they would camp there. They put up their tents and started playing. It got dark very soon. They lit a bonfire, had their meal of roasted potatoes and marshmallows, and told stories. Tired, they got sleepy and went to their tents; Grandpa and Shiva in one, and Maya and Samah in the other.
The next morning, after having steaming cups of coffee and munching on their favourite biscuits, Grandpa took them fishing to a nearby brook. It was a lovely place, with wild flowers all around. Maya ran around jumping, and smelling the flowers, her black hair flinging up and down. Samah followed Maya around when suddenly she saw a rabbit and ran after it. A few moments later, Maya looked around and saw that Samah was no longer with her. She ran back to the brook where Shiva and Grandpa were busy fishing. Samah was not there too.
“Grandpa, have you seen Samah? She was with me, but then she disappeared.” Maya asked worriedly. Grandpa got worried too, but stayed calm.
“She must be here somewhere. Where else would she go?” He said calmly. However, an hour later, they still could not find Samah. They came upon a village, a little inside the forest, and Grandpa went there asking for help. The village headman was worried as he thought there were ghosts in the forests and may harm Samah. Maya and Shiva started crying. But Grandpa consoled them and said everything would be fine. The village headman called up everyone and asked if anyone had seen a little girl. Raghu, a young woodcutter, came forward and said that he had seen a little girl, who was crying in the forest. He brought her to the village and she was now at his home, eating with his mother.
Everyone was relieved as they rushed to Raghu’s home. Samah was delighted to see everyone. Grandpa thanked everyone and they came back to the camp, thankful that Samah was safe.
Spriha Bordoloi, Class-IV,
Sanskriti the Gurukul, Guwahati.