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My Friends in the Night Garden



By Gayatri Puntambekar

It was a warm night and the sky looked a deep blue. The moon shone in the sky, stunning like a piece of cheese against it.

The bright lights of the night shined and shimmered on the patches of pumpkin and lettuce in my nigh garden. As I looked out of the window, admiring the moon and the stars, they looked misty.

I then rang up my friends, Aarushi and Viya to inform them that we should leave for our night excursion. To prepare for it, I took a torch and quietly slipped it in my jeans pocket.

Before shutting the window, and tip-toeing down the stairs, I had made a dummy out of pillows and covered it with a bedsheet. Luckily, the flimsy, rather narrow wooden staircase didn’t creak under my weight. I then raced to the backdoor, opened it and then closed it gently. Once out of the house, I ran down the path through the yard, looked about cautiously and saw two figures in the distance, still and stationary.

I walked over to them and said, “Are you ready?.” Viya answered back, “Let’s go to the farm.” We saw a person standing still in the field nearby. I strained my eyes to see what it was, “It’s a scarecrow!” I exclaimed, rather wearily.

As we set off, I kneeled down to hunt for nocturnal little creatures through our path. I found a gray slug, trudging along, it seemed to be on its way to the large lettuce patch. I picked it up and put it in a metal bucket that Aarushi had found in the barn the other day. The slug felt slimy but I like them, and I didn’t mind that.

Suddenly, a snail made its way towards Aarushi’s shoe. She shrieked. “What’s the matter with you?”, inquired Viya. The torchlight in her hand lit up the place. And I chuckled, saying, “Only a poor little snail!” Aarushi frowned and made a face, but Viya put the snail on her palm and lowered it gently into the bucket.

Suddenly, in the calm of the night, we heard a rustle. A little snoot and a nose showed up from behind a rather over-sized pumpkin. “It’s only a hedgehog”, I said reassuringly to my friends.

Just then, there were sounds of footsteps down the farm path. We went our different ways, and rushed home. From that night on, we kept thinking about having more wacky adventures with the night creatures that perhaps, await us every day in the dark.

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