Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mini and Moni give Jared his due

One day, Tutella the tortoise came searching for Mini and Moni. “Mini, Moni, Jared is searching for you. He has asked you both to go and meet him” said Tutella.

“What could it be about?” wondered Mini to Moni.

“Let’s go find out” said Moni who was getting curious as was her nature.

Off they went to the bed of little rocks where Jared lived. 

When Jared saw them, he said “Hello, I have been looking around for you for some time”.

“Hello Jared” said Mini and Moni.

Jared squinted his eyes, raised his chin and said “Remember how I once did you a favor by sharing my exquisite white light with you when you wanted to meet Simy the sea horse deep inside the cave”. [Click here to read the story]

“Yes, we remember, Jared” said Mini “After all, it was only a couple of days back” she added.

“I thought I will give you the opportunity of repaying my favor by letting you do me a favor” said Jared. 

“Oh Thank you. That is very kind of you” said Moni sarcastically.

“Hmmm. So this is what I want you to do for me. I want you to get me a black pearl” said Jared.

Mini and Moni eyes opened wide in fear.

“A black pearl??” they repeated just to confirm if they had heard Jared correctly.
 
“Yes, a black pearl” confirmed Jared. “I have wanted one for a long time now. Tell me how soon can you get one for me? I hope it’s not a very difficult task for you” he sneered.

“You know the black pearls along with the oysters that make them are guarded by the sharks day and night. We will have to risk our lives to get one for you” said Moni.

“We can get you any other pearl you want” said Mini.

“No” shouted Jared. “A black pearl is what I want. You have promised me that you will return my favor whenever I ask for it. Are you intending to break your promise”? He asked craftily.

“We always keep our promises and we shall keep this one too. We will get you a black pearl though we do think it is a very big favor in return for the very small favor you did to us” said Mini.

“A favor is a favor. Now, don’t play games with me. Tell me, will you get a black pearl for me or not??” asked Jared impatiently.

“We will, Jared” said Mini and Moni bravely though within their hearts they were very afraid at the thought of battling the sharks and getting Jared his black pearl.

Mini and Moni went back to their place in the ocean bed and started thinking of a way to get the black pearl and escape without getting eaten by the sharks.

A little while later Simy the sea horse came to visit them. He was surprised to see Mini and Moni looking very sad and deep in thought because they were normally were jolly and playful.

“What’s up, friends? Something seems to be bothering you” asked Simy.

Mini and Moni took turns explaining to Simy how Jared has asked them to enter the shark territory and get him the black pearl.

“He has asked for the black pearl in return for sharing his light with you?? Why, he is a very mean fellow” said Simy.

“Yes, so he is” agreed Mini and Moni.

“We are thinking of a safe way to get the pearl and come back alive” said Mini.

“There is no safe way of doing this. You can come back alive only if you plan it well. But, in order to plan it well, we need to know all about the shark territory” said Simy wisely.

“Who will know all about that” asked Tutella who had been resting on a rock nearby and had heard all the conversation between Mini, Moni and Simy.

“Dhrona the octopus, of course. He has never failed us in the past” said Mini and Moni.

So, off they went to ask Dhrona who was, as usual, reading a book.

“Hello, my friends” said Dhrona when he saw Mini and Moni. “I guess you need some information and that is what has brought you here”.

“You are right, O wise one” said Moni. “We have come to you to know more about the black oysters and the shark territory”.

“Oh! That is one area you should stay away from. It is in the darkest and deepest part of the ocean. The bed is full of rocks and it is on those rocks that the black oysters live. You know, the ones who make the black pearl. All around them are the sharks who guard the oysters. Anytime there will be 10 sharks guarding the pearls and the oysters while the others are out hunting. Any one who enters the area gets chased and eaten by these sharks” said Dhrona.

Mini and Moni were filled with fear on hearing this. They swam back to their bed in the ocean and discussed about it. 

Tutella said “You have to somehow distract the sharks guarding the pearls to get into the oyster bed. And you need to distract them again to come back safely.
 
“How will we distract them?” asked Mini and Moni.

Everybody thought for a long while and then Simy, the sea horse said “Leave that to me. I, along with my friends, will distract the sharks while you both slip into the oyster bed”.

“Oh! No” said Mini and Moni. “We cannot let you risk your life and that of your friends”.

“It is time for me to repay the kindness you have shown to me. If it were not for the both of you, I would not have the fame I enjoy today. Please let me do this for you” said Simy.

They sat and discussed the plan until late night. They decided to venture into the shark territory and oyster bed the next day when the sun was strong and they will have some light falling into the otherwise dark place.

Next morning, Mini, Moni, Simy and her friends set out on their mission.

When they arrived at the shark territory, they saw ten sharks swimming all around the oyster bed. Mini, Moni and the sea horses shivered with fear when the sharks opened their mouth and bared their sharp dagger-like teeth. 

They almost thought of turning back but the fact that they had to keep their promise to Jared meant that they had to go ahead with the mission.

As planned, the sea horses swam close to the sharks. As soon as the sharks saw the group of sea horses, they started chasing them. 
The sea horses were prepared for the chase; they scattered in different directions and started swimming very fast. 

With the sharks away from the territory, Mini and Moni swam quickly to the oyster bed. On one corner of the oyster bed was a big mound of black pearls. Hundred of oysters that created those pearls were sitting on small rocks. They were surprised to see Mini and Moni. 

“How did you two get inside?” They asked.

“Our friends have led the sharks away from here” said Mini and Moni.

“But why have you risked your lives to come to this place?” asked the oysters.

“We need a black pearl. Somebody who has done a favor to us in the past has asked us to bring him a pearl in return” said Mini and Moni.

“Oh, how bad of him to ask you to return his favor, that too by doing something so dangerous” said the oysters rightly.

“What about all of you? Have you nowhere else to live?” asked Mini and Moni.

“We are kept here by the sharks to make the black pearls for them. The sharks will eat us if we try to escape from here” said an oyster.

“They make us work hard day and night to make the pearls” said another.

“Oh, then you should use this chance to escape” said Mini and Moni. 

“What if the sharks catch us” asked the oysters.

“We should all escape quickly from here before the sharks come back. Just follow us. But before that we should grab a pearl” said Mini and Moni.

Unfortunately, just as Moni had grabbed a pearl in her mouth and was getting ready to escape along with Mini and the oysters, they heard water splashing all around them.

“Oh No” said Mini. “The sharks have come back”.

“Hunhh” grunted Moni for she had the pearl in her mouth and could not speak.

Mini and Moni hid behind a rock and the oysters quickly went back to their respective rocks. Everything appeared to be normal to the sharks.

Moni dropped the pearl down and said “We need to quickly think of a way to escape”.

Mini and Moni sat thinking for a long time until Moni’s eyes fell on the mound of pearls.

She said to Mini “Lets all push the mound of pearls down. The sharks will be busy collecting the pearls and hopefully will not notice us escaping”.

Mini, Moni and some of the oysters started pushing the mound of pearls. Down it came crashing and soon scattered to one side of the oyster bed. The whales were all caught in a mad rush trying to collect as many pearls as they could before they got swept away.

Moni again took one pearl into her mouth and she and Mini started swimming away quickly. The oysters followed behind them flapping their shells as fast as they could. 

Some distance away from the shark territory, Simy and the rest of the sea horses were waiting. As soon as Simy saw Mini and Moni, she hugged them in delight for she had got her friends back safely. The oysters climbed onto the sea horses and then, Mini, Moni and the sea horses along with the oysters swam to the safety of their ocean bed.

Once they were back to safety, they slept soundly till the next day for they were very tired from their adventure.

The next day, Mini and Moni went to give the pearl to Jared. Jared was very happy to see it and could not stop admiring it. He went around showing it to everybody but, alas, he found to his dismay that some of the other sea folks also had black pearls similar to his. For the water had carried a large number of pearls far and wide across the ocean.
Jared was very upset but there was nothing he could do about it.

As for Mini, Moni, Simy and her friends, they were just happy to be back safe. 


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