When Bullet and Poppet looked out of the window they were shocked. For there in the garden stood a bull happily chomping up the green?

Mona athai’s scream was loud enough to make Poppet and Bullet scuttle downstairs in a jiffy.

“What’s up?” asked Poppet.

“LOOK!” she cried pointing out of the window.

“Gosh!” muttered Bullet.

Mona athai’s garden had once been a lush green carpet of grass where cabbages and cauliflowers, tomatoes and peas came up in a riot. They were the pride of her heart.

“Don’t they look good?” Nita athai had asked when Bullet and Poppet first arrived.

“Oh yes,” cried Poppet and Bullet together.

And now…. an enormous bull stood in the middle of her garden, devouring peas as if there was no tomorrow.

There was no trace of the cauliflowers. And it looked as if the tomatoes and the carrots had never been. The cabbage lay scattered, limp and trampled upon. And the bull stood blinking as though it was a part of the landscape.

Mona athai was in a royal rage. “Who let in that bull?”

No one knew. The fences were intact and the gate tightly shut.

“Lock it up in the backyard,” advised Nita athai.

“Can’t you send the owner to jail?” asked Poppet.

“Don’t be silly, you can’t send people to jail if their bulls stray into gardens,” said Nita athai.

“Then fine the owner when he comes to claim it,” said Bullet.

Held prisoner

Mona athai drove the bull into the backyard and locked the door. The bull ambled round and round the place. No one came to claim it.

“What a pity Sivam has gone to his village for a wedding,” said Mona athai, “he’d have dealt with the wretched bull.”

“Supposing no one claims it?” asked Poppet.

“Don't be stupid,” said Bullet, “the owner will want it back,

won’t he?”

Another day passed. The bull ‘attacked’ the line of washing and nibbled Bullet’s shorts, Poppet’s skirt, Nita athai’s housecoat and Mona athai’s gardening overall.

“Better overlook the fine, Mona athai” said Poppet, “just warn the owner and ask him to take back the bull.”

But no one had the foggiest notion as to who the owner was or where to find him.

The bull chewed up the mat the next day. It had been put out for airing.

“Drive out the destructive animal before it does any more harm” shouted Nita athai.

But the bull refused to budge. It rushed about madly, going around in circles.

It seemed equally impossible to rope it. Mona athai frowned while Nita athai, Bullet and Poppet looked on helplessly.

Finally Mona athai was obliged to call her neighbour, Mr. Santhanam. He was one of Mona athai’s unsuccessful suitors and she could not stand the sight of him.

He grinned at her and drove the bull out with a stick. It seemed a perfectly simple thing to do!

“Thanks” said Mona athai

gruffly.

“Do you think it was he who had shoved the bull into our garden?” asked Bullet and Poppet together.

Nita athai grinned.

“Shut up!” said Mona athai striding out of the room.