Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Ekana And The Witch!

In a land named Candor, there lived a boy named Ekana. He was very naughty and mischievous, and would often land into trouble due to his antics. Although his parents loved him to bits, they would punish him for his pranks in the hope of reforming him into a wise boy. His punishments would range from washing off his own socks to writing down “I won’t harass anybody again” 100 times to helping his mother clean the dishes.

However, when Ekana broke an antique porcelain vase and tried to stick it together with glue instead of telling his parents the truth, they reached the end of their patience. They were more heartbroken because Ekana tried to hide the broken vase instead of admitting it and taking responsibility for it. They decided that their little boy needed bit stricter punishment to learn the difference between the right and the wrong. As Ekana loved watching cartoon, they allow him to watch it every day for an hour. Under their new punishment, Ekana was grounded off the TV for a week.

Ekana was sad but he knew he deserved the punishment and so he tried to go through it gallantly. He started playing in the park for longer hours with his friends as he no longer had the privilege for TV. On the fourth day, however, he got bored. His friends played “Cutting The Cake” again and again and again without getting bored. Ekana had enough of those cakes and cuts. He wanted to do something different. When he asked his friends to play a new game, they refused. They loved running and jumping the game called for and they could do that for hours without getting bored.

Instead of arguing and trying to convince his friends for another game, Ekana decided to go for a walk in the forest behind the park. As soon as he entered the forest, he found a frequently trodden path. Thinking it wise to follow the path, he started strolling on it. The more he went into the forest, the more he got delighted. He saw beautiful peacocks dancing on the sides, squirrels playing up and down the trees, and rabbits in some kind of race. He was truly happy at that moment. As he was happily walking, he came upon an old lady sitting on the bench under a tree. He was quite surprised to see her because she looked old enough to be bedridden. Deciding to mind his own business, he started walking again, but as soon as he took 2 steps, that old lady called him by his name.

“Aunty, how do you know my name?” Ekana asked her in surprise.

“Son, I know lot many things about you. You know, had you glued your vase properly, you still would have had access to your cartoons.”

Hearing the old lady, Ekana was growing more and more fascinated. How could she know what he did? “But aunty, I think I was wrong in that. I tried to lie to my parents. Papa says honesty is the best policy and one should always side with the truth. You serve your God by practicing the truth.”

“So does that mean you enjoy being grounded?” The old lady asked Ekana scornfully.

Of course Ekana didn’t and he looked down on his toes tearfully. But what could he do when he was the one to break the vase?

“No need to cry. I have a solution for you.” The old lady told Ekana with glee.

“Solution for what?”

“The solution to make your life easier. Whatever you say will turn into the truth. So technically you won’t be lying. Do you like the idea?”

Ekana was confused now. Would it be lying if whatever you say turns into the truth? He supposed not.

“Yes. Where’s that solution?”

The old lady took an apple out of her handbag. “Eat this and whatever you say will turn into the truth.”

Ekana was delirious. After eating the apple, his life was going to turn out marvelous. Just imagine no more punishments, no more washing socks and dishes. Life was going to be sweet.

Eagerly snatching the apple out of the old lady’s hands, Ekana took a huge bite of the apple. As soon as he took the bite, Ekana started coughing. He started feeling weird. His palms were getting sweaty and there was a tingling sensation in his tummy. Ekana was getting scared by whatever was happening to him.

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Intending to ask the old lady for help, he looked at her and started screaming. The old lady had morphed into a witch. She looked exactly like the ones in his bedtime story books. She really had a long crooked nose and thin gnarly hands. When he managed to catch a sight of her feet, he started to run. The witch had 10 toes in each of her feet. He wanted to be away from her.  But before he could run away, the witch caught hold of him and started dragging him deeper into the forest.

“Why are you dragging me? What have I done? Let me go! My mama and papa are waiting for me!”

The ruckus Ekana was creating was getting on the witch’s nerves. “Shut up right now. Or I will kill you,” the witch roared.

Ekana was terrified enough to keep mum. However, he couldn’t understand why the witch wanted him. To get his answers, he tried to use his papa’s advice of keeping calm in the adverse situation. His mama always said that he was a smart boy; maybe it was time to use his smartness.

“I will shut up if you answer my questions. I will even come peacefully wherever you want me to come and you won’t have to drag me.”

Thinking how much energy will be saved if the boy came willingly, the witch decided to answer his questions. “I am trying to make a new spell and I need a dishonest 8-year old boy as an ingredient. You are eight and you are ready to lie, and so you will work for my spell.”

“But I have never lied and I have no intention to lie,” Ekana wailed.

With a twinkle in her eye, the witch cackled. “Oh boy, you are one little liar, believe me. You did take a vow to lie by biting off the apple, didn’t you?”

Ekana was puzzled. He ate the apple to turn whatever he said into the truth. How did that turn into a vow of lying? When he said the same thing to the witch, she started chortling.

“Boy, if whatever you say is already truth, why do you need such a spell to convert it into the truth? If you wish to use this spell, it just means that you will first lie and then the spell will convert those lies into the truth.”

Listening to the witch’s explanation, Ekana was ashamed. The witch was right. He had just agreed to lie. Papa was right: honestly was the best policy.

“So now you see, you are perfect for my spell,” the witch said with satisfaction.

When the witch started dragging him away, Ekana started praying to God. He promised to God that he won’t ever lie again or get tempted to lie, provided he lived another day. He started looking around the forest to see his last visions of life. Suddenly his eyes fell on the thick stick coming up on their path.

Deciding to take chances, he snatched the stick covertly and started bidding for the appropriate time to use it. The witch was so blessedly happy in her thoughts that she didn’t notice Ekana grabbing the stick.

And the opportunity arose sooner than later.

Suddenly a sharp pebble dug into the witch’s feet. Giving a yelp of pain, the witch bent down to examine the hurt. Grabbing the opportunity, Ekana started thumping the witch with the thick stick. His repeated blows were strong enough to knock out the witch.

As soon as she lost her consciousness, Ekana started running out of the forest. He didn’t want to waste a minute because the witch could regain her senses anytime.

When he reached home, he was sweating profusely and was out of breath. Seeing Ekana huffing and puffing like an old man, his mama was surprised. When she asked him if he was feeling unwell, Ekana flung himself into her arms and hugged her tight.

“Mama, I am so so sorry that I tried to lie. I promise I will never do that again. Please forgive me. Please.”

Seeing her son so distraught over the matter that was nearly one week old, the mama was moved. Kissing his brow, she said, “I know you will keep your promise. I am very proud of you and I am glad I have you as my son. Don’t ever forget that.

Now go upstairs and wash up. It will be dinner time soon. Your papa is already home and changing. You scoot too.”

Thanking God for such wonderful mama and papa, Ekana ran to his room to wash up. He was going to grow up and make his parents real proud of him.


  1. This is cool. It has a fable/fairy tale feel to it. Keep writing. :)

  2. Sweet story with a true message... So I too won't lie and tell you that I almost did not read the story after seeing the length of it but once I started, it ended too soon :)

    1. Thanks Kusum for reading it. I know it's bit long. I need to learn brevity badly when it comes to fiction. :)

  3. Interesting!
    Keep writing, Pankti...
    You write really well! :)

  4. Intriguing story, the style reminded me of Ruskin Bond :)

  5. Pankti, that was an amazing story, I was glued to the screen until the very end and heaved a sigh of relief that he escaped from the witch. Well written and you should write a book.. you have a knack for writing :)

    1. Thanks Pallavi for the compliment. And yes, I am in the process of writing a novel..I hope some day it will see light of the day :)

  6. Interesting. It seems like an incomplete tale. Is there more to come? Because the happy ending was entirely too fast.

    1. No Brendan. I wrote this story according to the prompt. As this was a story for children, I had to keep the word count in control and hence, the fast moving story :(

  7. Lovely story, Pankti!
    Reminded me of the Fairy-Tales :)
    Ekana was dreaming, right? Glad he learnt his lesson well :)

  8. Aha! fairy-tale :) liked it !!

  9. wow, what a brilliant story! wonderfully thought out and superbly narrated! 10/10!

  10. A great story for children and adults Pankti. The name of the little boy Ekana is interesting. What does it mean?

    1. Ekana means Lord Vishnu. Thanks for reading, Khushboo!

  11. Interesting story!! Liked the narration!! But what happened to the witch?? :P

  12. Nice story!! Liked it a lot!! But what happened to the witch?? :P

    1. Shri, itni interesting lagi ki 2 comments? :P

  13. You had me with the name ekana!! Such a lovely name. And loved the story. Perfect for a children storybook. Loved it.

  14. Haha :) That was really good... some kind of a moral story that the kids of the day will love. Kudos, Pankti:) Lovely narration.

  15. A lovely story for kids indeed!...My daughter loved it as well and she told me in the halfway of the reading, that the wish by the old lady was not good. We expected the story to go other way like the "Midas Touch" but this one ended like "Hansel and Gretel"...Well written Pankti :)

    1. Thanks Uma..I am so glad that your daughter is liking my stories. BTW, what's her name?