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The Growl

This story is about Rahul. Rahul was just like any other eighth grader who loved to play sports, watch TV, eat junk food and did not love to study for his exams.
One day, no.. One “exam day”, Rahul was walking home from school, all worn out and hungry. He lazily ambled across the street while pondering on a big reality of life. No, it was not about how he would fare in his exam of that day, but about what dish his mother would have prepared for the evening snacks.
Suddenly he heard a small sound which sounded like a buzz, rather, more like a growl. He ignored it and kept on walking. Then, it was there again, the same sound! Only this time it was louder and sounded fearsome. He slowly glanced back and saw nothing! He felt panic rising within him and had a sudden urge to pace faster. Eventually he started running. The faster he ran, the more aggressive the sound became.
Rahul finally reached his doorstep and trying to catch his breath, listened intently and heard the growl again! Weird thoughts started crowding his mind – What could it be? An escaped lion or tiger? A dinosaur? Or even worse, a mythical monster?
Quickly he ran inside the house, threw his bag away and went up to his room. Whew! To him, his room was the safest place in the entire world. He heaved a huge sigh of relief and back came the growl. Louder, clearer and scarier.
Frantically he looked here and there and scurried under his bed, quivering with fear. His thoughts started racing again - Was there really a sound or was it his imagination? What if it was a ghoul or spirit or a zombie? These thoughts were abruptly interrupted when he heard another sound, the sound of footsteps followed by that of the clicking of the doorknob and the creaking of the door and then silence. From under the bed, he fearfully peeped through half-open his eyes and saw a pair of feet facing him. They did look quite familiar.
The owner of the feet called out, “Rahul, when did you come home? Where are you? And what’s your bag doing on the floor of the living room? “. Rahul’s head hit the underside of the bed and he saw that the feet were walking towards him. Rahul slowly looked up and saw that the owner of the feet was his mother!
“Come out at once!” said his mother. Rahul slowly crept out, still shuddering. He said, “Mom, I think our house is possessed! “What rubbish!” said his mother. “The thing is.. someone or something has been following me. And it growls really loud”, Rahul hesitatingly told his mother. Then they both heard the growl, loud and clear, in all its glory. “See?” Rahul said, trying to hide behind his mother.
She pulled him out from behind her and asked, “Where do you think the sound is coming from?". “I don’t know, maybe a dinosaur or a zombie or…”, when he was interrupted by his mother’s loud chuckle. “No silly, the sound is coming from…there”, she said pointing to his stomach. “From my tummy?” Rahul asked disbelievingly. “You must be very hungry!” exclaimed his mother.
An annoyed Rahul slapped his forehead, “Oh man! As a matter of fact, I really am hungry”, he admitted. Mother replied with a knowing smile, “Good! Now go and freshen up fast. I’ve made delicious pakoras”. Rahul shouted out with joy, “Yeah! Yummy pakoras, my absolute favourite!” And there it was back again, the growl. Rahul and his mother burst out laughing.
Rahul decided then and there that he would do everything in his capacity to maintain the smiles on his and his mother’s faces. He started scoring really well in all the exams he wrote from that day onwards. He smiled whenever he thought about the incident of “the growl”, and also when he saw good marks on his exam sheet.
The moral of the story is that we shouldn’t get scared of any problem that comes our way (even a “growl”) and find a solution to it, instead of running away…AND that mother knows best…AND that pakoras are very tasty…AND that dinosaurs do not exist anymore, neither do ghouls, zombies and scot-free roaming tigers and lions!

V. Krishna Sai Gayatri,
VIII grade
Bhavan's Public SchoolJubilee Hills, Hyderabad

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