A Story for my daughter…
This is a story that happened a long time ago. so long that no one really remembers where this story happened, or who told it for the first time, or if this is a story or something that really happened.
In a small town, by a small lake, next to a tiny hill and a very large valley, there used to live a little girl called Anaya. Anaya, loved reading books. Really, she was so fond of reading books that sometimes she would forget to eat, sleep, bathe or play when she had a story to finish. Everyone would call out, “Anaya hurry up, you will miss the school bus!”, or they would shout, “Anaya hurry up and eat, your food is getting cold”, or “Anaya come outside and play, we are all waiting for you in the garden”…. But Anaya would barely hear them. She would find a quiet corner in house and read. Sometimes she read under the stair-case, sometimes she read on her parent’s bed, sometimes she read in her grandfather’s room and sometimes she would just sit on a chair in the balcony and read.
Everyone thought that she was a bit crazy. Which kid would rather read a book than watch TV? Or play? Or Eat? But Anaya did not care what others thought. She was the happiest when she was left alone with a book. Sometimes she would read books that had pictures in them. Colourful pictures that were smooth and cold to touch and when you opened the book for the first time, they smelt nice. Sometimes she would read the story books that she and her mom got from the library. These books were old, their pages usually had pencil marks and words circled by those who had read them before… and the pages, they were not so smooth but were soft and pale. It did not matter if the books were new or old, if they had a story to tell, Anaya had to give them a chance to tell it !
So Anaya and her books, happily spent time together. She would spend time in the ‘Enchanted Woods’, catch criminals with the ‘Famous Five’, train animals at “Mr. Galliano’s Circus” and travel all over the place in her “Wishing Chair”. It was a busy day for her everyday doing all this ! Yet everyone used to think that Anaya is just doing one thing ! Reading books !
Anaya did not understand what they were saying. Did they not understand how much work one has to do when you read a story? Anaya first had to imagine what the characters of the story looked like, she had to imagine how they spoke, what they wore and what they smelt like. Sometimes she decided that she did not really like a character at all. But then, she still had to imagine everything about the character before she could decide that. However, her friends really thought reading books was a boring affair and if Anaya really liked her books so much, she might as well be with them by herself.
One day, Anaya was invited to a birthday party. She was not very keen to go as she wanted to stay home and read a book. She asked her mother,” Mom is it ok if I don’t go to Navya’s birthday party?”. Her mother said, “No Anaya, Navya would really like it if you went to her party, after-all, she is younger than you and treats you like her elder sister.”.
“OK Mom, I will go. Can I at least take a book with me to read in case I get bored?”
Her mom rolled her eyes and sighed, “Yes, I guess you can take a book to read”.
So Anaya wore her favourite dress, took a story book and went to the birthday party. She did not know many of the kids there so she found a chair in the corner and started to read. A little while later, Navya’s mother gathered everyone around and said, we will now play some party games. Everyone cheered; Anaya was a bit bored. She had never been in a quiz before and just wanted to read her book.
“We will now play a quiz”, explained Navya’s Mom. “ I will ask a question, and the kid who knows the right answer gets a lollipop!”
“So here is the first question; What is a Big Top?”
Everyone was quiet in the room. Suddenly a voice said from the back of the room “It is a large tent where the circus performs”.
Everyone turned to see who said it, and Anaya was standing there, a bit surprised that she knew the answer. She had just read about it in the circus stories.
“It is the right answer ! Here is your Lollipop!”; everyone cheered for Anaya.
“OK, here is the next question: Peru lies in which continent?”
“ South America “ Said Anaya before anyone else could respond. How could she not, after all Paddington the bear was from Peru.
“Very good Anaya !”
And so it went on, Anaya answered many of the questions in the quiz correctly and everyone thought she was a very good quizzer. All she was really doing was she was recalling answers from the stories she had read! Everyone asked her,” Do you study a lot? Do you prepare for quizzes all the time?”; little Anaya just shrugged and said, “I don’t know, I just read books !”