Qui and the Monster

Qui and the Monster

Kaisar Patel
Qui lived with his mother on the outskirts of Badami village
He was all of six when his father did not return from his work place
People said he was absconding as he was in debt
But his wife was certain that it was a case of kidnapping or some kind of theft
The woman was thus left alone with her son
He was too small to take care of her and she was too poor to let him have some fun
They lost their home to the greedy money lenders
While the relatives turned deaf ears and became immoral offenders
Now every month a monster visited the village of Badami
He often stole a child in order to feed his hungry tummy
The villagers lived in constant fear of this malevolent monster
They hoped someday they would get rid of him forever
Time and tide brought Qui and his mother to stay in the wild
They hoped that things would soon be fine
But after many days and nights
They became sure that the father had probably died
The monster too had found a permanent home in the forest
He moved out only when he was hungry or when he didn’t want to rest
For a long time now he had been observing the new entrants in the woods
He wanted to devour the little boy and he knew, very soon he would
Each morning, the mother went to gather logs of wood
And while leaving she did ask her son to be good
She had taught him to hear the three knocks before he opened the door
She had practiced with him plenty of times just to be sure
At evening time, the mother would cook a simple meal
And the duo would sit by the fire and enjoy the humble treat
The mother would tell Qui wonderful stories
Of humans, animals and of the heroes who were legendary
She had also taught Qui to believe in all things good
She assured him that there lived no evil in the woods
But on dark and moonless nights, Qui would be especially scared
He wondered what it was that sounded so bad
One day he asked his mother, “Is there a devil in the woods?”
“I often hear noises that I don’t think I should.”
The mother smiled and assured Qui that it was a benevolent monster
She said, “He cried at night because he missed his mother.
Now for many days the monster had been eyeing the little boy
He knew that the mother left for work and poor Qui had no toy
The thought of devouring Qui would make his mouth drool
He knew he would gobble the meat without a fork or a spoon
So one day he landed at Qui’s door
He knocked thrice but stopped at four
Qui knew it wasn’t his mother
He hoped and prayed, “Oh God, let it be the monster.”
He rushed to open the door despite his mother’s warning
He cheerfully yelled back, “wait! I am coming.”
The monster was surprised at this pleasantness
He was terribly hungry and was in no mood of jest
As soon as Qui opened the door
He fell back with a thud and landed on the floor
His smile vanished at the sight of the beast
It was olive green in colour with very filthy teeth
But how could Qui be rude to the beast
His mother had taught him to believe that all things were neat
So he rose to his feet and asked the monster to hop in.
He flashed an immaculate smile that enhanced his dimpled chin
The monster’s growl weakened as he felt his shoulders slump
No one in the past had offered him this kind of welcome
He said, “Why don’t you come out and let us make small talk.”
We could pluck a few berries or even go for a walk.”
Qui began to chuckle as he thought he had found a friend
He wanted to run and venture beyond the iron fence
But then he thought of his mother and thus he told the beast
“You must eat your meal here as my mother can cook a feast.”
As luck would have it, the mother returned early that day
She had plucked a few flowers from the riverbed on her way
Within a minute of her arrival she had understood the scene
There was her son with the monster who wore a livery that was olive green
At first she wanted to yell and shout
But by then her heart was already in her mouth
She felt her heart beat as if it was running in a race
Now only if she could pick her son up and disappear from the monster and his face
When Qui saw his mother, he rushed into her arms
The monster’s stance weakened as he was floored by the little boy’s charm
Qui then held his mother’s hand and introduced her to the monster
Now there stood Qui and his brave mother
After a long pause the monster began to speak
He said, “Mother, please may I stay here for a little while at least.”
The mother was surprised at this turn of events
Was the monster innocent or was it some kind of pretence?
Qui was happy as happy could be
He asked his mother to serve the best of her recipes
The mother didn’t speak as she began to cook
While Qui showed the monster his favourite handmade book
So this is how Qui and the monster became good friends
And that’s not all to this story and it’s not here that it ends
When the news about the monster and Qui reached the village Panch
They readily walked into the forest with lathis and a gun
With the monster now tamed they could easily make a kill
There was no question of a truce or a deal
But when they reached Qui’s home
They were surprised to see that the monster was not alone
There was Qui sitting on the monster’s lap
The Panch blamed the mother for this kind of unforgivable slack
They asked little Qui to move away from the monster
As they aimed their gun at the colossal figure
Little Qui quickly stood up on the iron fence
He said they had to fight him before they aimed at his friend
The monster neither growled nor showed any offence
He simply stood by Qui’s side as if to defend
The boy’s audacity left the Panch in total dismay
They looked at the mother and this is what she had to say
“I have two sons now and that’s all I know.”
“Decide which one of you wants to be the first one to go.”
The Panch hadn’t expected the mother to speak thus
So they scampered out of the forest without any fuss
The trio looked elated as they hugged each other tight
Some battles are won with kind words and a subtle might


About The Author: Kaisar Patel

Have been a teacher for more than twenty five years now but there is a vagabond in me that surfaces every now and then .The three most important words for me are 'I am here'. I believe in humanity and in humility, in magic and in miracles and of course Shakespeare...cause what's life without a bit of Drama!!!

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