Short Stories for kids - Two Worlds
A village stood in the middle of an island. It was surrounded by a dark dense forest. The looming trees gave the impression of being so tall as to be able to touch the sky. There was only one path to go towards the ocean which was open only in the daylight. By evening, the elders of the village made sure that everyone was back and the entrance to the ocean was closed.
No one knew what lay behind those thick trees. Every day, a group of villagers would go into the forest to collect fruits and wood. Even they didn’t venture too deep into the forest. It was like an invisible boundary or an unspoken rule that everyone adhered to.
One more rule of the village was that kids were not allowed to enter the forest. Once they reach a certain age, they were allowed to shadow an elder into the forest who then taught them how to look for good fruits, cut woods, where to go and everything else about the forest.
One morning, in the middle of the everyday hustle, a girl named ‘Nayami’ could be seen brimming with excitement. She was standing with her mother and little brother, waiting for an elder.
“Eee….. I am so excited.” She fist bumped in the air.
“Chill out. No one wants to hear your annoying voice early in the morning”, Said her brother Kinshu.
“Oh please, you are just sulking because you still have to wait one more year to be able to go into the forest.” Grinned Nayami.
“I am not sulking. You are annoying” Pressed Kinshu with a glare.
“Ok. As you say, little brother.” Said Nayami without letting Kinshu’s words ruin her excitement. Just then, an elder approached them and asked if she was ready to go. She nodded her head, turned and hugged her mother. “Be careful,” Said her mother.
“I will” Said Nayami and turning to Kinshu, “Don’t worry, I will tell you all about the forest once I am back”
“I hope a bear finds you before you find the way back home.” muttered Kinshu.
Their mother gripped his ear and said, “That’s not a nice thing to say to your sister. Wish her luck before you find yourself in trouble”
“Sorry, Mama” apologized Kinshu and wished Nayami, “Be safe out there.”
As Nayami and the elder walked into the forest, her excitement turned into curiosity. She had many questions. As they reached the invisible line, the elder advised her never to go across it. Upon questioning, the only answer she received was, “There are things out there that you are better off not knowing about.” Any further questions were left unanswered.
After that day, every day Nayami went out into the forest. She dutifully collected woods and fruits, sometimes pretty flowers that caught her eyes for her mother and weird shapes of leaves or branches for Kinshu. But her mind was always far away, trying to peek into the depths of the forest.
Sometimes, she stood at the line and just looked into the dense forest. She did not know what she was looking for or what to expect.. The forest aroused her curiosity. One day, while looking at the trees, lost in deep thoughts, she fell asleep.
She woke up startled, something had touched her foot. She was sure of it but as she looked around, she could not see anything unusual. She got up and dusted her dress when her gaze landed on a flower. It was so beautiful with shades of lavender. She had never seen a flower like that, it was so distinguish-ly unique. She picked it up and again looked around her. Nothing was out of the ordinary. She gave a final glance at the forest and walked back home, the flower safely hidden in her bag.
She didn’t tell anyone about the flower and the next few days, she tried to find another flower just like that. She went into different parts of the forest but with no luck. There was no trace of a flower like that. She went back to the area where she found it and again sat under the tree, waiting.
She faked sleeping and just as she heard some rustling, she jumped up and caught whoever was hiding behind the bushes. She was confused looking at the creature. It looked like a cat but it was pink in color and had a big diamond shaped pink stone between her eyes covering the forehead.
The cat-like creature hissed just as she swiped her claws at Nayami and jumped out of her grasp. Nayami fell on the floor, shocked at the creature glowing and floating in the air.
“What are you?” murmured Nayami. Just as a cat like creature glowered, “Don’t ever touch me like that.”
“You can talk!” exclaimed Nayami, utterly shocked.
“Yes, I can and I am capable of many more things which you will do well remembering” said Sasaki,” I am Sasaki of the ‘Eukarya’ Kingdom.”
“I have never heard of it.” Said Nayami, “Where is it?”
“It’s in the deeper parts of the forest, well hidden by the trees.” Answered Sasaki, “Now tell me about your world.”
Soon, they both sat under the tree and shared all about their worlds. Every day after that, they met under the tree and talked for hours. They were both curious about the other's world.
With time, their friendship grew and others started to get suspicious. One day they were both followed discreetly by their respective people and their hidden hangouts were discovered.
Everyone was shocked looking at each other but the shock turned to anger and they all started screaming, yelling at once. Nayami and Sasaki screamed at the top of their voice, “Stop”
Everyone stopped and there was a pin drop silence in the forest.
“Can we talk, calmly, without hurling accusations at each other? Please?”said Nayami.
“You were warned never to cross the line and yet here we are. You better have a very good explanation for this or you will be forever banned from the forest.” Said Elder, angrily.
“I never crossed the line. We never crossed the line. We each sat on our side and just talked.”
“Why don’t we interact with them? They are harmless.” Said Sasaki.
“They are harmless only till they have not harmed us. Humans cannot be trusted not to stab your back.” Said Goruku, Eukarya’s leader.
“What do you mean, we are not back stabbers.” Said Elder.
“Long time back, a human came onto this Island. He befriended us with his sweet talks and learned all of our secrets. When we welcomed him into our family, he cheated us by stealing the sacred stone from the holy river”
“What happened then?” asked Kinshu curiously.
“The forest trapped him in its maze and returned the stone to its place. After that, we closed ourselves to the outside world and the forest helped hide our existence.
“But, we are not like him.” said Nayami.
“How can we be sure you are not like him, that you are trustworthy? Prove yourselves.” Demanded Goruku.
“You want us to prove ourselves but how can we be sure you won’t attack us?” asked Elder.
“Suit yourself.” Said Goruku turning back, “Come now, Sasaki. It’s time to go back.”
“Wait”, said Nayami, “You both have something in common; you are both wary of each other and fiercely protective of of your people.”
“Why can’t we take that as a common ground of understanding? Trust is something to be earned over time. It cannot be proven by a random act or given as a blessing.”
“When we first met, even we were guarded with each other. We took it slowly and now, I can say for sure that she has my trust. I trust her to have my back. We have both earned our friendship.” Said Sasaki
Goruku and Elder silently thought over everything the girls said and requested to talk privately.
Everyone else waited anxiously for them to reappear and let them in on their decision.
They came back and said, “The girls have given us both a lot to think about. And after discussing it, we have decided that it’s time to unlearn the past and learn more about the present.”
Everyone cheered and since then, they all lived peacefully with each other building unwavering trust in each other
Moral of the story:
We are often mistrustful of strangers, but as we get to know people we look at similarities and learn to trust each other. It is important to get to know people before judging them
ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF THIS SHORT STORY:
Manisha Sanghi - A lively mom to a witty toddler who loves baking not only stories but also cookies and cakes
WHY SHORT STORIES FOR KIDS?
Instead of lecturing kids, short stories is a great way to teach lessons to kids. Stories help them to visualise themselves in place of the characters. In this story we see how you often judge strangers as harmful and once you get to know them they are actually good. Some of the conversation Strater pointers with kids for this story are
1. Stranger Danger - While it i sgood to make friends we should do it in a safe environement and not when parents are not around
2. Safety around strangers
3. How friendhip grows by knowing people and trusting each other
Our posters, maps and flashcards are some screen free way for kids to build knowledge and have conversations and interact