Raconteurs #2

Dad: Are you ready?

Daughter: Yes, I am.

Dad: There was once a giant octopus living all alone in the deep waters. As there was no other creature in the waters he often came to the shore to speak with a tall mango tree. They were the best of friends and they always helped each other.

One day, the octopus felt a severe pain in his body. He swam up to the tree and asked for his help. The tree said that he was helpless and there was nothing that he could do. The octopus lay himself down under the shade of the tree and kept crying in immense pain.

The octopus asked the tree for a mango in the hope that it may make him feel better but the tree refused. The tree explained that his mangoes were cursed and that nobody was supposed to eat it.

Daughter: Why were the mangoes cursed?

Dad: Um… because the tree had done something really bad I guess.

Daughter: What had the tree done?

Dad: Or maybe um… he had got it in exchange for the ability to speak.

Daughter: But that doesn’t make sense. If the tree could not originally speak…

Dad: Shush, my little girl. Let me complete the story. So where was I? Right! I was telling you how the tree refused to give the octopus his mangoes. The octopus kept crying in pain. Soon his skin began to pale and he felt extremely weak and vulnerable.

Seeing his state, the tree dropped a mango from one of his branches and warned the octopus that he must hold it in one of his tentacles till sunset before eating it to counter the curse. After sunset it will heal his pain and there will be no repercussions. If he failed to follow the rules then they both must prepare for the worst.

The octopus held the mango for a while but the pain was too much to bear for him. Despite the tree’s protests the octopus said that he could not resist any longer. He apologised to the tree and prayed that the pain will go away on eating it.

As soon as the octopus’ mouth touched the mango he felt relieved. A tiny dot of light came out of his mouth and swallowed the two friends and trapped them inside itself.

Daughter: So that tiny dot was the cause of the pain?

Dad: Yes indeed. But it was no ordinary dot. When the two friends tried to force their way out the dot exploded.

Daughter: Exploded?

Dad: And that’s how the universe came into existence

Daughter: No way! I have so many questions.

Dad: Not now, my girl. I want you to sleep right now. Tomorrow you will go to school and narrate this story to your friend, wouldn’t you?

Daughter: Yes I will. But what was the name of the octopus?

Dad: He was Okto.

(To be continued)

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