Children

BOO!

Kiddo goat was sure there was a monster on the farm. How else could he explain the figure that appeared at dawn and shouted out?

In the pitch darkness of the night, someone whispered. “I have an idea. Let’s play a prank on the scaredy-cat kiddo goat!”

“But how?” a voice snorted in response. Umm... I got it. Let us scare the farm animals like the musicians of Bremen. I will perch on your head, and in the dark, we will look like a monster.”

“Hehe, I like the idea,” said the second one gleefully.

The next morning, Ma Moo woke up at dawn. Usually, at this time of the day, it was quiet and peaceful. But this morning, there was some commotion near the stables. Why were the ducks quacking loudly, the goats bleating in agitation and hens clucking nervously?

“Hey, what is going on?” she mooed to a grey Canada goose that stayed back on the farm while his family returned to Canada.

SOS

“It’s that silly kiddo goat that has fainted again, getting everybody worried,” he replied. The cow thought the bird didn’t really care and he was making fun of that poor creature.

Why did the baby goat faint so often? What was wrong with him? Should they call a doctor or a detective? Or should they call a policeman or a firefighter? These were the questions the animals asked. The cow thought over these questions for a long time. Finally, she decided to call in the Hopper detectives.

Rock, the penguin, Rana, the frog and Let-it-be, the grasshopper were exhausted after a long journey to reach the farm in Tennessee, the U.S. Yet they listened keenly to the cow’s story. Let-it-be understood the situation. “I have heard about fainting goats. They are also known as wooden leg goats. When they are startled or in panic, their muscles become stiff and they faint. This happens more among the young goats than the older ones. Ma Moo, I think the problem is not with kiddo goat but somewhere else. Someone is deliberately playing a trick on him. It will be our job to find out who this nasty fellow is.”

From behind the bushes a colt spoke, “Yeah, I think so too. There is somebody on this farm with a mean attitude.” He smiled broadly showing his large teeth.

Rock and Rana exchanged looks. “I don’t like this fellow. I think he is a nasty prankster,” said Rana. Rock agreed. “So do I, but we have to prove it. Come, let us talk to the kiddo goat!”

The little black-and-white goat stood by his mother’s side. He bleated softly, unable to answer Rock’s questions. It was the mother who explained what had happened to her kid. “It was at dawn when my kid went out to play with puppies. In the pale light, he saw a monstrous figure appear suddenly in front of him. It shouted ‘boo’. My little one fainted in fright but when he came around the monster was gone.”

“What did he say the monster looked like?” asked Rana.

“Oh, something that looked like a horse and with a large bird-like head.”

“Interesting...” said Let-it-be, “let us chat with the mean colt.” They found him and the Canada goose beneath a large willow tree. They were reading the story of the four musicians of Bremen.

“This ‘trick’ of these four friends really works,” honked the goose in pleasure. The colt neighed happily.

The Hopper detectives stepped out from behind the tree. They had overheard the two. “You are nasty, aren’t you?” scolded Rock. “It’s time you stopped this nonsense. Goose, next season, you shall return to your family in Canada! As for you colt, it’s time you got trained to do some useful work at the farm!”

There was peace once again at the farm. Ma Moo was quite delighted that the problem was solved.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 2:34:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/boo/article17376411.ece

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