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Updated: March 11, 2013 19:24 IST
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Banana monster

SUNILA GUPTE
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The Hindu

Ever since he had his first taste of the banana, the monster could not stop eating it. Will there be any left in Humanland?

“The Banana monster is here! Run! Hide”

The mannekins from Humanland ran hither and thither, hiding behind trees and crouching under bushes. But they made sure they could still see the monster.

The monster was a little wizard from Magikland and on a visit to Humanland he had discovered bananas. No bananas grew in Magikland. The monster loved bananas — yellow, red, green, king, bandit — he loved them all and devoured them greedily.

Action plan

He had arrived late at the wizard stop under the banyan and thus missed the bus back to Magikland. Now he was stranded in Humanland. But he was not sad, on the contrary he was overjoyed.

“Now I can eat as many bananas as I want. No more of the same old, same old food.”

And how he ate them! Or rather, gobbled them! North, South, East, West… he went everywhere. No place was spared.

Supermarkets reported that their stock of bananas had gone missing. Farmers screamed blue murder as they found their crops plundered, and ports could not account for the missing consignments of bananas. Even the bus depots and rail-yards were not spared! The police tried to take precautionary measures but nothing helped. The truth was the monster was invisible to the human eye and anything it carried would also be invisible.

The mannekins were very worried because only they knew what was happening. What was to happen now? What if there were no bananas left? What if all the bananas were finished? They had to stop this banana monster. They remembered him as he used to be — happy-go lucky, ready to play and ready to please. They were the ones who had introduced him to bananas, and were proud that Humanland had bananas which he thought were so amazing.

Then he suddenly changed and became this banana crazy monster. They stopped being nice to him. Now just a few bananas were left.

Suddenly a little mannekin shouted, “Purple prose, I see it…there are purple words in the air!” There was a hushed silence, for purple is a magic colour.

A whisper went around, “Great magic is going to be sent.”

The mannekin read out, “Take two bananas from him. Bury them in the enchanted round red-banana grove and guard the spot. Soon enchanted seeds and plants will appear and you will always have bananas.”

So the mannekins shadowed the Banana monster, and with a pea-shooter fell the Banana monster. The bananas he held fell and a mannekin picked up two and vanished. Then others gathered around the Banana monster and revived and sympathised with him. They made such a fuss about him that he didn’t notice the missing bananas. He was happy to see them, and quickly began eating the bananas.

When he looked up, there were no mannekins around. But there were no bananas either! He had eaten the last one! He searched high and low; alas, there were no more bananas!

“Greedy!” a voice in his head said. He blushed with shame.

He wandered around, but everyone had vanished. He was now bored and lonely.

“I am going home,” he announced, though he knew he would get punished. When he made the announcement the mannekins reappeared and sent him off. They whooped and danced and hoped he would never come there again.

And yes, their secret was safe, and new shoots are sprouting!

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