Muddle Over Puddles: Jill The Judge

While Jill is pampering the puppy at Pari’s place, who is howling from Diya’s bedroom?

October 28, 2022 11:07 am | Updated 11:07 am IST

Story so far: When Diya’s dog Jill follows Pari home, she tries to convince her mother that Puddles could be Jill’s lost puppy.

And how will Jill decide?” asked her mother.

“When animals lose their babies, they come looking for them,” Pari quoted Diya.

Her mother was in no mood to debate. When she let Jill in, the dog ran towards the basket and sniffed at the puppy.

“Impossible!” Mrs. Kumar shook her head and bent over to remove Jill.

“Don’t touch her, Ma,” screamed Pari. “Mother dogs can be ferocious!”

“Why don’t you just close the door and leave Jill and Puddles to themselves,” suggested Nani, on her way to bed. “It’s past your bedtime, Pari rani. You have school tomorrow.”

Across the hedge

Mrs. Kumar listened from inside the living room, as Jill licked the pup and made all sorts of noises. Puddles seemed to enjoy the pampering and squeaked back. Just then, across the mehendi hedge, from inside Diya’s bedroom, came a howl.

Mrs. Kumar glared at Pari. “Who is in this basket?” she thundered. Pari paled.

In her room, Diya quickly threw her blanket over the basket and hoped her parents hadn’t heard. Puddles howled again. Now Diya hoped they had heard. Then Puddles began to whine. Pari had overfed her to ensure she didn’t howl because of hunger. She began to wriggle in her basket and Diya watched as she slowly poked her little nose out from under the cloth. Then came two fluffy paws.

“No, Puddles,” Diya waved her pillow at the pup. “Go back.” Ignoring Diya, Puddles crawled out of the basket and disappeared under her bed. Diya peeped, but she couldn’t see the puppy in the dark.

Just then, the doorbell rang. When the Guptas opened the door, they were surprised to see a worried Mrs. Kumar holding Peeps in her arms. Behind her stood Pari, looking rather apologetic. And behind Pari stood Jill, wagging her tail.

“I’m so sorry, Sheetal,” said Mrs. Gupta, taking Peeps from her hand. “How on earth did you wander out of Diya’s bedroom?”

Where is Puddles?

When Mrs. Kumar told them what the children had done, Mrs. Gupta began to giggle. “So whose bright idea was this?” she asked Pari.

“You don’t understand,” said Mrs. Kumar. “Puddles might be a jackal.”

“Are you sure, Sheetal?” asked Mrs. Gupta.

“No, Kiran. But Puddles has been behaving suspiciously.”

“Suspiciously!” Diya’s father, Robin, raised his eyebrows. And then they heard a howl.

“Where’s Peeps...I mean Puddles?”’ gasped Mrs. Gupta, as they rushed into the bedroom.

Diya, seated in the middle of her bed, pointed underneath. Everyone bent over to look. But there was only a puddle of water. No Puddles.

To be continued

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