Children

Monstrous surprise

Ahaan was happy. It was his birthday and had been a great day so far. He had worn his brand-new Spiderman T-shirt to school and had a special celebration. Now, on the bus back home, he could only think of his gift.

Mummy was at the bus stop, as always. She was smiling as if she had a secret.

“Mummy, did you get my birthday gift?” asked Ahaan.

“Umm…maybe! Why don’t we rush home to check?” Mummy teased.

As soon as Mummy opened the door, Ahaan saw a gigantic package wrapped in glistening orange. It looked like someone had lit a fire in the middle of the room.

Scary package

Ahaan stopped. Mummy pushed him towards it gently, saying “Don’t you want to see what it is?”

“Y-yes!” he said.

“Go on then. I’ll check on the cake. Your friends will be here soon,” Mummy said, walking away towards the kitchen.

Ahaan took a tentative step towards the package. Something about it was making him anxious and scared. Maybe it was the bright colour, or the size, or probably the rhino-like horns in multiple places. It looked like a monster, waiting to bare its teeth at him.

Ahaan touched it gingerly, and felt something soft and squishy inside. He poked a little more, and it let out a huge bellow that made him jump back in fright. Just then, one of the horns caught his shirt. There was a sharp tug and he fell down.

He opened his mouth to call Mummy, but his voice got stuck in his throat. The monster had turned towards him, and was staring at him with an enormous silver eye, a Spiderman dancing at its centre. It was moving.

Ahaan, lying on the floor, watched in horror as it moved closer and closer. Terrified, he fainted.

“Wake up, Ahaan, here’s your favourite banana shake. Drink it, and go for a quick ride on your new bicycle with Papa,” Mummy sounded distant and faint.

Monstrous surprise

Beauty and the beast

As he slowly opened his eyes, he saw that the orange monster was gone. In its place was a gleaming bicycle — just the kind he had wanted. It had looked so beautiful in the pictures but now, he couldn’t get over its ugly monstrosity.

“Can we go for the ride tomorrow, Mummy? I don’t want to go out in the dark with the new bicycle,” asked Ahaan.

Maybe, the morning would make him see that the ugly orange monster was just the clumsy wrapping of his birthday gift, the horns were the pedals and handle, the squishy thing that bellowed was the blow horn, and the enormous eye of the monster was actually the shiny, silvery surface of the rearview mirror that reflected his own clothes.

Maybe the morning would change the bicycle from an ugly monster to a friendly one.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2021 4:32:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/ahaans-birthday-surprise/article33167190.ece

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