Now this is where the story really begins That morning, hiding

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Now this is where the story really begins That morning, hiding Powered By Docstoc
					Once there was a poor widow who had four children, three girls and a boy. The first girl’s
name was Lilee-Lilee. The second girl’s name was Filambo. The third one’s name was
Filam-Batam and the boy was called Kakarat.
    Now, there’s something I think you ought to know about these children. The girls were
beautiful, as lovely as can be, but they were not very nice, I’m afraid. You see, they were
as vain as they were lazy and idle. They spent hours and hours preening themselves,
plaiting their hair in fancy styles and worst of all, they were very unkind to Kakarat their
brother. Whenever visitors came round they would push him to one side and say to him,
‘Hide your face, you ugly boy.’
    Kakarat, on the other hand, was a very sensible boy. He would help with all the chores
round the house. He’d polish the windows till they shone. He’d scrub the wooden floor
until it was so clean you could eat off it. He’d sweep the yard and help his mum in the
garden growing yams and sweet potatoes. In his spare time he’d wander through the
woods and make friends with the animals.
    Every Friday morning, the widow used to go to the village market to sell her fruit and
vegetables. With the money she made, she’d buy clothes, food and lovely treats for her
children, especially her three girls. Every Friday morning before leaving for the market, the
mother would warn her children, saying, ‘Don’t open the door to anyone while I’m away.
When I get back you’ll know it’s me because I’ll sing this little song.’
    And she’d sing:
    Lilee-Lilee come here
    Filambo come here
    Filam-Batam come here
    But Kakarat stay there.
    With that she’d lift her basket to her head and set off for the market.
    One Friday morning, bright and early, mum got up as usual to prepare her basket for
market. Kakarat got up to help her and together they put in yams, sweet potatoes,
pineapples, some juicy avocado pears just ready for eating and, just before lifting her
basket to her head, she reminded the children as she always did.
    ‘Don’t open the door to anyone when I’m gone. When I return, you’ll hear my song and
only then must you open.’
    The song as you know went like this:
    Lilee-Lilee come here
    Filambo come here
    Filam-Batam come here
    But Kakarat stay there.
    As soon as she’d finished her song, the widow went off
to the market , heavy basket firmly perched on her head.
    Now this is where the story really begins. That morning,
hiding near the house behind a cluster of bushes was a very
sinister looking character. He was half human, half monster,
with long hairy arms, nails like claws and rolling red eyes.
His name was Zokla. Now Zokla had a very bad
reputation in the neighbourhood as a child-snatcher.
Whenever a child disappeared from one of the villages
people would say straight away, ‘Hm… Zokla take
him!’ or ‘Zokla take her.’
    This Zokla had been listening with great interest
to the conversation between the widow and her
children. He had memorised every word of the song.
He rubbed his hands in glee, waited a long while to
make sure mum had really gone, then he crept up to
the house.
    Zokla took a deep breath and in a gravely and really
awful voice he sang:
    Lilee-Lilee come here
    Filambo come here
    Filam-Batam come here
    But Kakarat stay there.
    The children heard this dreadful singing and had
a jolly good laugh.
    ‘That’s not mum’s voice,’ they laughed. ‘It’s too
awful.’
    So of course, they didn’t open the door.
    Zokla thought to himself, ‘I’ve got to do something
about this voice of mine.’
    So he trotted across to the blacksmith’s forge. A
blacksmith, as you know, is someone who works with iron
and makes shoes for horses. This blacksmith was busy working away,
melting and shaping iron. He had a roaring fire on which sat a pot of boiling, steaming
water.
    ‘Oi, let’s have a cup of hot water,’ shouted Zokla gruffly to the blacksmith.
    ‘Why you want a cup of hot water?’ the blacksmith asked.
    ‘Never you mind, just gimme!’ said Zokla rudely.
    To tell you the truth, the blacksmith was a little afraid of Zokla, so he gave him a cup of
hot water without any more argument. Zokla took the cup of hot water, then he fetched
some herbs, squashed and crushed them into the hot water till it turned green and slimy.
He then drank the hot potion in a few great gulps and pulled a terrible face. It tasted
disgusting. But Zokla didn’t really mind for those where no ordinary herbs. They had the
power to change the most atrocious voice into something soft and gentle to listen to. Zokla
waited for the postion to take effect and then he tested his voice to see whether the herbs
had worked. Noisily he began to test his voice: ‘Aah! Err! Ooh! Oweee!’
    The last note was perfect. Zokla hurred back to the house and this time with a voice as
gentle as a lark’s he sang:
    Lilee-Lilee come here
    Filambo come here
    Filam-Batam come here
    But Kakarat stay there.
    The children heard Zokla’s song.
    ‘Mum’s back,’ the girls said, about to rush to the door, but Kakarat held them back.
    ‘This isn’t mum. She can’t be back so soon. Don’t open the door.’
    But when had the sisters ever taken any notice of Kakarat? They simply pushed him
aside and went to open the door. Well, alas, standing at the door was not mum but this half
human, half monster with long hairy arms, nails like claws and terrible rolling red eyes. In
his hand he held a sack.
    He grabbed the first girl, Lilee-Lilee. Into the sack she went.
    He grabbed the second girl, Filambo. ‘Help! Help!’ but she too went in.
    The third girl, Filam-Batam, put up a struggle, ‘Let-go-of-me-you-horrible…’ but in the
sack she went with her sisters.
    Zokla flung the sack over his shoulders and with the girls
 wriggling and jiggling inside he disappeared into the woods.
Kakarat in the meantime remained hidden and trembling
under the sofa.
    Some time later the widow arrived home. She’d done very
well at the market. She’d managed to sell all her fruit and
vegetables and had brought back coconut buns and all sorts
of goodies, especially for her three girls. She put down her
basket and called to the children in their special code.
    Lilee-Lilee come here
    Filambo come here
    Filam-Batam come here
    But Kakarat stay there.
    She got no response from the children. She thought
perhaps they had dropped off to sleep, so she sang the
song again a little louder:
    Lilee-Lilee come here
    Filambo come here
    Filam-Batam come here
    But Kakarat stay there.
    Trip, trip, trip, she heard Kakarat’s footsteps coming
towards the door. The door opened and very tearful
and distress Kakarat stood there.
    ‘Oh mum, oh mum,’ he cried. ‘While you were
gone…’ and he told her the
whole story of Zokla the half man, half monster who had taken his sisters away.
    Naturally the widow was very upset. She hugged Kakarat to comfort him and wept for
her daughters.
    ‘My beautiful girls, my poor, poor girls,’ she cried.
    Then she hugged Kakarat some more, dried his tears and told him not to worry for
there must be a way to get the girls back.
    Kakarat was so pleased with all this newly found attention from his mum, that he
suddenly felt very brave.
    ‘I’ll go mum,’ he offered. ‘I’ll go and fetch my sisters back.’
    ‘Please don’t go, you’re all I’ve got left, Kakarat.’
    But Kakarat was determined. ‘Don’t worry, mum, I’ll bring them back, I promise,’ he
said.
    So she packed him some food in a haversack and let him go.
    Kakarat set off to find his sisters and at every village he’d stop and ask the same
question: ‘Have you seen a great big half man, half monster, with long hairy arms, nails
like claws and rolling red eyes?’
    To his question the villagers would always shake their heads and answer, ‘No, we never
see no such creature.’
    At last Kakarat felt very hot, tired and hungry. He stopped near a clear stream, cooled
his face, hands and feet, had a long drink and ate some of his food. Now well refreshed,
he continued on his way but didn’t have much luck tracing Zokla and his sisters. By now it
was getting late. A round moon was just beginning to peep out from behind a hill. The sun
dipped slowly down into the crimson horizon and a few stars had already come out to play.
    Kakarat was on the verge of turning back but he tried one last time in this village: ‘Have
you seen a great big half man, half monster, with long hairy arms…?’
    There was a gasp of horror from a few of the villagers. Even before he had finished
describing the creature, someone said, ‘Dat’s Zokla you talking about! Boy, what you want
with Zokla?’
    Someone else, an elderly woman, took her pipe out of her mouth, spat loudly on the
ground and said with some authority, ‘Well if the boy have business wit Zokla, let him go an
fine him Zokla. You see dat likkle house on top de hill, wit de smoke comin’ out de roof?
Well, dat’s Zokla house, but if I was you, bwoy… I’d run home to me mooma.’
    Kakarat thanked the villagers and went up and up the hill and indeed he could see
Zokla’s broken down little shack surrounded by thick undergrowth. Kakarat hid behind a
large tree and put his thinking cap on. ‘How on earth was he to get his sisters out of
Zokla’s clutches?’
    You may remember that Kakarat had always been great friends with animals,
something for which he was now very grateful, for out of the blue appeared a pair of brightly
coloured hummingbirds, humming furiously on their wings. ‘We’ll help you.’
    A pair of shimmering snakes just as mysteriously slithered up. ‘We’ll help you.’
    Agoutis, manicous, Jacquot parrots, wild dogs, wild cats, animals large and small, all
gathered round, all offering to help Kakarat.
    The rooster of the bright red comb took things in hand. Drawing himself to his full
height, he said to the other animals, ‘When I count Wan, Two, Tree, you all shout, you
hear?’
     He counted to three and, as instructed, the animals howled and hissed, mooed and
meowed, they cooed and cackled, they shrieked and they stamped. From his house Zokla
heard the terrific, tumultuous, thundering noise and thought a million monsters were out to
get him. So he opened his door and ran and ran and ran. The animals followed in hot
pursuit. What a noise they made as they chased Zokla down the hill!
     Kakarat thanked and waved at his animal friends before going into Zokla’s house to
rescue his sisters. He found them tied to the legs of a rickety old table. Quickly he untied
their wrists and ankles and together they ran and ran and ran, and never stopped until they
were safely home again.
     Well you can imagine the excitement and the scene of joy at their return. There were
hugs and kisses all round. Mum was so relieved to see her children again. You’ll be
pleased to know that the girls, Lilee-Lilee, Filambo and Filam-Bantam, had learned their
lesson. They stopped being so vain and idle and helped around with the chores as they
should have done in the first place. They had also come to love and respect their brother
Kakarat. But as for Zokla, no one knows what’s become of him. For all we know he may
still be running. So if you ever take it into your head to go wandering off by yourself into a
nearby wood, let me warn you, you might just come face to face with this half human, half
monster, with long hairy arms, nails like claws and rolling red eyes. Watch out, it will most
probably be Zokla and I don’t want him to get you.
     Messiers Crick1!!!

				
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Description: Now this is where the story really begins That morning, hiding